About River Writing

The founders of River Writing are Susanna Beard and Jan Stannard. We've worked together for many years and are both now writers. 

Susanna Beard


Susanna trained in creative writing with Faber Academy and quickly landed an agent for her first novel, Dare To Remember, published in 2017 by independent publisher Legend (whoohoo!). Her second novel, The Truth Waits, also from Legend, was published in November 2018. She has completed her third novel and is editing the draft of her fourth. Susanna has a degree in linguistics. She has two grown-up sons and lives in Marlow with two small and quite naughty dogs. Susanna has been part of a writing group for four years and also two literary book clubs in Marlow and Henley.


Susanna's strengths: page-turning stories, characters, concise prose, vivid description and determination.


Some favourite authors: Matt Haig, Isabelle Allende, Hannah Kent, Donna Tartt, Margaret Atwood and Thomas Hardy.


Jan Stannard


Jan's first novel, provisionally entitled Meadow, is out for submission with agents, with five rejections (boo) but also three full manuscript requests (yay!) so far. Thankfully, Jan is a highly trained specialist in resilience and positive psychology, and is coping well. She remains confident of finding an agent. While she waits patiently, a skill every writer needs in spades, she's hard at work on her second novel, The Book of Weeds for Joy and Sorrow. She has a first-class honours degree in psychology and is a qualified executive and life coach. Jan lives in Maidenhead, has two grown-up daughters and an Irish terrier, Alfie. She belongs to the same Marlow book club as Sue.


Jan's strengths: lyrical prose, character development, coping skills and confidence building.


Some favourite authors: Hannah Kent, Marilynne Robinson, Kent Haruf, Hilary Mantel, Elizabeth Strout and Thomas Hardy.

Jan Stannard January 2010 024_crop.jpg