Born in Northumberland in 1957, Eliza began writing poems and stories for school magazines and plays for class performance. After winning a place on a poetry-writing course at the Arvon Foundation sponsored by the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, she well and truly caught the writing bug. Reading English at Cambridge, she amassed various notebooks of scribblings and later, as a teacher in Northumberland and Durham, honed her playwriting. She undertook research on oral storytelling in the classroom at the University of Durham, exploring children’s retellings of myth and traditional tale and attending symposia and conferences on narrative and oral story, an experience that influenced her own writing.
As a lecturer at the University of Cumbria, she continued to scratch poetry and stories on the backs of envelopes, beginning to publish in poetry journals in 2003 and self-published her first novel, Giving up Architecture (2006), assisted by Seaglass Books. She is a member of Sixpoets, a group founded in Lancaster around 2003 who continue to get together regularly to work on and talk about their writing. The group organised a series of poetry events in Lancaster over several years.
By 2012 Eliza, finding she was enjoying the writing far too much while having far too little time to spend on it, threw in the towel at the day job.
She is always up for a good ceilidh or a folk session.