A writer with new stories to tell about local government

I have recently published a thriller called Hard Change, set in a Midlands city. The three main characters are a local authority director, a senior policewoman and an NHS manager, and the novel opens with the body of a young girl being dumped in a bin.

I set out to write a novel that told a real and involving story about local politics, counteracted the media’s negative portrayals of local government and represented the local government that I know and have worked in.

Becoming a novelist has been a fascinating and rewarding experience for me – you can read more about this process on my Hard Change blog. I have learnt an incredible amount, particularly from people’s responses to the novel, and that has fed back into my work as a facilitator and trainer.

Follow my Hard Change blog here
Read more in The Guardian


Write Your Own Town Hall Thriller – Creative Leadership workshops

Inspired by my experience of writing a novel, I have developed an innovative workshop that focuses on telling new and different stories about local government. I work with participants to:

  • Identify the stories they want to tell about their organisations
  • Challenge negative stereotypes and bring local government to life
  • Highlight the message that local government is about public services, not profit
  • Demonstrate that communicating a different point of view really can alter perceptions
  • Gain new perspectives on leadership that build character and resilience


What people say about Hard Change and my Creative Leadership / Thriller workshops

Hard Change:

“Great descriptions of people, power and goodness – read it!”
Jeremy Corbyn MP

“Rings true and draws you into the dilemmas of city life”
Duncan Sharkey, Chief Executive Worcester City Council

“Tough and human” – The Guardian

Creative Thriller Workshops:

“The team were buzzing after a great session with Dawn”
Andy Allsop, LB Hounslow

Town Hall Thriller Workshop: “Very motivating, encouraged us to see a new positive story for the Council.” Fran Collingham, Coventry City Council

Martin Smith Chief Executive LB Ealing  “I hired Dawn unseen to work with my cohort of senior managers. We are a pretty business like bunch, so introducing creative storytelling onto the agenda was a bit of a calculated risk. But it worked really well, feedback was overwhelmingly positive. People valued being challenged to think creatively and to learn and deploy new techniques to address complex managerial and sevice  issues.”

 “Colleagues were initially challenged by the creative exercise, but from the buzz in the room it was clear that innovative and inspirational ideas were flowing as a result of conversations and the sharing of ideas. It was a very enjoyable and unusual way to highlight the importance of positive story telling when times are hard and was much appreciated by everyone.

 Sandy Hopkins Chief Executive Havant SE Hamps

Recent Town Hall Thriller workshops include:

  • Coventry City Council
  • LGA conference 2013 Manchester
  • London Borough of Hounslow
  • Worcester City Council
  • SOLACE Conference York 2013


Contact Dawn