Jean Rafferty's first two works of fiction were both nominated for literary prizes. Myra, Beyond Saddleworth, a fiction based around Myra Hindley, was shortlisted for the inaugural Gordon Burn award, while The Four Marys, her collection of four novellas, was longlisted in the 2015 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered awards.
Her fiction continues to explore the dark side of reality - The Four Marys features shape-shifting, baby-snatching, infanticide and a hanging, while the choice of Myra Hindley as a topic for fiction brought opprobrium down on her.
This type of subject matter poses particular problems for the writer. Does a sensational subject require sensational treatment? Just because a thing's real does it feel true in a work of fiction?Through readings from her work and discussion, Rafferty explores the process of using real life in fiction.