Who we are

London Lit Lab was created by Lily Dunn and Zoe Gilbert.

We believe writers can learn a huge amount from each other and so we’ve set up London Lit Lab to share our writerly experience, knowledge and inspiration with up-and-coming writers.

Lily Dunn photo


Lily Dunn

Lily Dunn is an author, mentor, editor and creative writing teacher. She has written two novels (Portobello Books), a handful of short stories (Matter magazine) and creative nonfiction (Granta), and is currently working on a PhD in creative writing. She is a trained editor and journalist and has written for Time Out magazine, the Guardian, the Telegraph and numerous other publications. She has experience teaching teenagers and adults in class and workshops. As chair of North London Writers, she has many years experience in critiquing novel manuscripts and short stories. She is co-director of London Lit Lab.

“Lily is a thoughtful, supportive critic of works-in-progress. A fine balance is needed – praising what works, analysing what doesn’t – and she brought that sensitivity to all the fiction we read at North London Writers.” – Alix

Lily’s lessons were very enjoyable; she was confident and had good control over the class. Lily always brought something new and interesting and it never felt like another boring class I had to go to.” – Ellie




Zoe Gilbert

Zoe Gilbert is an author, creative writing teacher and mentor specialising in short fiction. Her stories have been published in anthologies and journals around the world, and have won prizes including the Costa Short Story Award 2014. Her first book will be published in 2018 by Bloomsbury. She is working on a PhD in Fiction and Creative Writing, focusing on the influence of folk tales on contemporary short stories. As host of the Short Story Critique Group at Waterstones Piccadilly, and co-host the Short Story Club at the Word Factory (where she is Associate Editor), she has many years’ experience of critiquing fiction. She has also taught creative writing classes to adults and teenagers, and is co-director of London Lit Lab.

“Zoe consistently offers excellent insights and points to consider that never fail to strengthen my work and help me see problems I’ve hitherto been blind to. Her sensitivity and positive approach ensure the critique group is always supportive and the advice constructive.” – Kerry

“Zoe has an enviable ability to get to the true heart of your work and tease out what the reader wants to see, hear and experience.” – Ali

“Before I started coming to Zoe’s critique group, I doubted my ability to write short stories. But in large measure thanks to Zoe’s thoughtful, supportive and perceptive suggestions and edits, I’ve now had two stories published in anthologies.” – Sharon