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Jemma Wayne

Journalist, and Author of Chains of Sand (June 2016), and Baileys Longlisted After Before

Jemma Wayne is a novelist, playwright and journalist.

Having graduated from Cambridge University with an academic scholarship for her achievements in Social and Political Sciences, she went on to obtain her PGDIP in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Westminster.

Working first as a reporter at The Jewish Chronicle and later as a columnist for The Jewish News, she now contributes to various publications including The National Geographic, Mslexia, The Evening Standard, The Independent on Sunday, The Huffington Post, Standard Issue, Red Magazine, The Arab Weekly, and The Jewish Quarterly, amongst others.

Jemma’s first full-length work, Bare Necessities – a tongue-in-cheek guide to being a grownup – was published by Piatkus Books in 2004. Her play, Negative Space, ran at The New End Theatre, Hampstead, in 2009 to critical acclaim. And her short stories have appeared in a variety of publications.

Jemma’s first novel, After Before, was published by Legend Press in 2014. It was short-listed for the 2015 Waverton Good Read Award, long-listed for the Guardian’s 2014 Not the Booker Prize, and for the 2015 Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, formerly the Orange Prize. Her second novel, Chains of Sand, was published in June 2016, and shortlisted for the Guardian's 2016 Not the Booker Prize.

Jemma lives in North London.

Why Boris's Slap-down Reveals A New British Feebleness

They are our representatives. They should call question to injustices. They are our moral voice in the world. Sadly, what the response to Boris's comments reveal, is that our voice will continue to be hushed when it is deemed unhelpful.
14/12/2016 14:24 GMT

Women Of The World Unite! (And Men Too)

But we have come too far to go backwards. We have woken to the notion that consent and respect must be entrenched in the way we treat both girls and boys from the very beginnings. And whether it is in media, in schools, in our homes, or on the streets, we must all speak out loudly against the small, 'harmless' transgressions that ultimately put women at risk. We must not return to slumber.
09/12/2016 11:44 GMT

Why Our Virtual Failure to Protect Is Real Abuse

I use the word 'protection' deliberately because in many ways the proliferation of images on the Internet is a form of abuse. An abuse of the individual's right to a private life, an abuse of the (rapidly disappearing) innocence of childhood, and in some cases actual literal abuse.
30/09/2015 16:48 BST

Better a Christmas Tree Than a St George's Cross

Politicians do a disservice to the public to pretend otherwise. It is possible to celebrate difference while encouraging cohesion, but that is not by - out of fear or misplaced respect - ignoring the symbols that divide. It is possible to laud tolerance while criticizing those (flag-wavers?) who undermine it.
04/12/2014 12:57 GMT

It May Be Halloween, But It's No Time For Witch-Hunts

It is time to wake up. In different ways many of us have done it, uttered sweeping, dangerous slurs - the "don't be gay" type comment is one I have heard unchallenged far too often. But it is the urgent responsibility of each of us, right now, to be precise about what speech we employ...
29/10/2014 10:42 GMT

A Pause, But We Are All Extremists Now

I still believe Britain, deep down, to be a tolerant and fair-minded society. But it is time for all of us, and especially the media, to take responsibility for the extremism that has whipped this country into a dangerous frenzy.
15/08/2014 12:03 BST

On Being Called A Nazi

It was a revelation this month to discover that calling for tougher curbs on smoking, made me a Nazi. Strike that, it was a surprise when my (admittedly provocative) Huffington Post article received a slew of 'she's a Nazi' comments, when my twitter account was inundated with trolls, when I received hate E-mail...
24/03/2014 16:06 GMT

Why Smokers Must Be Shamed

People may be happy to be seen as a fun kind of tipsy at a party, but nobody wants to be a drunk-driver.... Playing with our own safety is something that must remain personal choice, but the second it endangers somebody else, anybody else, this is the time for the state, and society, to step in. Smoking anywhere in public must become as unacceptable as drink driving.
05/03/2014 16:41 GMT

Justice Must Not Be Dulled By Wrinkles

The time has come for the role of international courts to evolve and take a greater part. Our own governments must facilitate and demand this. And respond to humanitarian need. If the question is 'are we our brother's keeper?' the answer must be a resounding 'yes'.
05/02/2014 12:35 GMT

Us and Them: Why Ed Prefers Ignorance to Information

Reducing the voting age to 16 may have seemed like one of the more throw-away policies in Ed Miliband's 'We're better than this' conference speech. But it encapsulated the simplistic appeal to base prejudices that characterised his sermon. And being 'better' was perhaps a mantra he should have first recited to himself.
27/09/2013 11:01 BST

Time to Stop Laughing at Farage's Bad Jokes

What is sad, and a tad frightening, are the undeniable gains that Ukip has recently made in membership and in elections. Despite the party's claims to want to protect Britain, what Ukip represents is not the deeply ingrained British values of liberty and equality, but actually, everything opposite to that.
22/05/2013 17:08 BST

Mother Judgement: How Women Are Undermining Modern Feminism

There is a quieter, yet just as dangerous trend undermining feminist values, and this trend is being perpetrated most, by women. The arena: online forums, Facebook groups, press articles, NCT circles, even groups of friends. The reason: Mother Judgement - the war between those who do and those who don't.
04/04/2013 18:08 BST

Why Child Benefit Encapsulates Britain's Class War

For many families in that 15%, Child Benefit represents the last visible, tangible thing they receive from the state. If they do not send their children to state school, if they use private healthcare, if they pay for their lawyers, drive a car, own their property, and have never claimed welfare, then this may be the only state benefit they have ever received. And put in these terms, they may well feel entitled to it. Of course, it can be argued that they are privileged not to have to rely on state infrastructure not to have to sit on NHS waiting lists or suffer a post-code lottery education.
09/01/2013 17:59 GMT

In Anticipation of Anti-Semitism

Within Israel and within Gaza, there is madness on both sides. Yet greater than the mad minority are a majority who long for peace. Neither Israel nor Gaza need unquestioning support. They do not need more tribalism. Debate - honest, open and informed - is a far more powerful tool, a far more effective peacekeeper.
21/11/2012 14:00 GMT