About Jay Courtney

Jay CourtneyI am a writer who takes inspiration from being in the wild, whether it's sitting by my garden pond or visiting remote Islands in the North Atlantic. After a distinguished career in education and health, fighting for improvements in children’s health and well-being, I am now marinating in all the things I love most and writing about them.

I studied for an MA in Travel and Nature Writing at Bath Spa University having the privilege of being taught by Stephen Moss, Bafta winning director of Spring Watch and Gail Simmons, widely published travel writer specialising in the Middle East. I studied world religions and social anthropology at under-graduate level and have a fascination for how people understand themselves and the world.

I was surprised and delighted that my first ever submission to a travel writing competition ‘Thirty-seven names for fog’ won the weekly Daily Telegraph ‘Just Back’ competition and stunned when this piece was chosen as overall winner for 2018.

I live in daffodil country on the Gloucester-Hereford border with my wife, dog and bats. I am currently writing a novel ‘Hitting Bedrock’ exploring the impact of nature on the human psyche and the invisibility of mature women. I am determined to ‘not go gentle into that dark night’.


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In print

The Telegraph, May 2018

"Amid a strong field, Jan Courtney has been judged to have written the best Just Back of 2018 in our travel writing competition."



Bath Spa University, April 2019

"Bath Spa student named overall winner of Telegraph travel writing competition"



Bath Spa University, June 2018

"National recognition for Bath Spa Creative Writing student"