About Hilary Spiers

Hilary Spiers is a novelist, award-winning short story writer and playwright, who writes about ordinary women in sometimes extraordinary circumstances. She believes women's complex and fascinating lives deserve more scrutiny than they often get and is particularly interested in the lives of older women and historical figures.

Her play, Feeding Frenzy, was shortlisted for the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize in 2022.

She is the author of Hester & Harriet and Hester & Harriet: Love, Lies and Linguine, published by Allen and Unwin, featuring two feisty sisters of a certain age. She continues to write fiction, both novels and short stories, but has recently been focusing largely on her playwriting.

She is scheduled to direct her play A Singular Deception at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2024 for the Edinburgh Graduates Theatre Group (EGTG).

She lives in Edinburgh.

Hester and Harriet: Love, Lies and Linguine

Hester and Harriet lead comfortable lives in a pretty cottage in an English village. Having opened their minds, home and hearts to Daria, a mysterious migrant, and her baby son Milo, the widowed sisters decide to further expand their own horizons by venturing forth to Italy for their annual holiday.

Back in England, Daria and Milo are celebrating – they’ve received official refugee status with papers to confirm they can make England their home. Meanwhile, nephew Ben, who knows only too well how much he owes his aunts, is hurtling towards a different sort of celebration – one he’s trying to backpedal out of as fast as he possibly can.

With a huge secret hanging between the sisters, an unlikely new love on the landscape for Hester and new beginnings also beckoning for Harriet, Italy provides more opportunities for adventure than either of them could ever have imagined. But which ones will Hester and Harriet choose?

As Hester and Harriet throw all their cards on the table in Italy, and potential catastrophe threatens Ben in England, it’s anyone’s guess how chaos will be kept at bay.

love lies and linguine book cover

Sometimes you have to open your door to the unexpected ...

Hester and Harriet, two widowed sisters who share a home, like their routine. But when they take in first a young girl and her tiny baby they find hiding in a bus shelter and then their truculent teenage nephew, their orderly lives are turned upside down. Seven days of mystery, mayhem and danger ensue - and nothing will never be the same again.

Available from Amazon Book Store
Google Play Get it on

Hilary worked once again with Birmingham based theatre company Tea & Tenacity on a play about the astonishing Dr James Barry, for forty six years in the nineteenth century a doctor in the British Army – and discovered on his death to be a woman.
For more information visit: teaandtenacity.co.uk

hilary at singular decfeption rehearsal

A break in rehearsals for A Singular Deception during its development in Birmingham. L to R: Ali Belbin (director), Hilary Spiers (writer), Ryan Hamilton (actor) and Caroline Frewin (actor).

Latest news




  • Hilary’s play The Betrayal, based on a chapter of William Haddow’s novel Leithers - One Family, was broadcast on Citadel Goes Viral in April. citadelgoesviral.com
  • Her monologue about Jesus’s mother Mary was streamed as part of the Edinburgh Passion at Easter. edinburghpassion.com. She played Anna, Judas’ mother, in the same production. Her audio play, That Spot of Joy, produced by Questors Theatre in London, can be heard here: http://www.questors.org.uk/event.aspx?id=892
  • Her collection of poems ‘Blitz E15’ was a prize-winner in the Hearth’s Tales of Lockdown: talesoflockdown.org
  • The film of her play Ripe for Improvement, which she directed, formed part of The Edinburgh Graduates Theatre Group contribution to the 2021 Edinburgh Fringe.
  • In November, she directed a script-in-hand production at Edinburgh’s Southside Community Centre of Lucy’s Kirkwood’s searing ‘howl of rage’ Maryland, responding to the murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa.


  • Hilary’s play Smoothing Iron was selected for performance at the Theatre Trail at the Arundel Festival 2020.
  • In February, Hilary came 2nd in the H E Bates Short Story Competition with her contemporary ghost story Last Train.
  • In July 2020, Questors Theatre in London held an online rehearsed reading of Hilary’s play Feeding Frenzy, about the obesity crisis.

The Stamford Georgian Festival

Hilary was commissioned by Stamford Arts Centre to produce a piece of promenade, immersive theatre for the Stamford Georgian Festival in September 2019. The ten performances of Mrs Siddons’ Dressing Room were sold out and ushers had to dissuade bystanders from tagging along with the cast and audience as they moved from the Theatre to a beautiful townhouse as part of the action!

eliza at the theatre door
mrs siddons at the theatre door
jem and mrs s en route to number 19
mrs s arrives in carriage


  • In March, Hilary directed Rory Kinnear’s The Herd
  • In September, the premiere of Ladybird, Ladybird
  • Also in September, Mrs Siddons’ Dressing Room (commissioned by Stamford Arts Centre) sold out at the Stamford Georgian Festival.


  • In October 2018, Hilary’s play A Singular Deception had a very well-received rehearsed reading at The So & So Arts Club, directed by Anthony Shrubsall, with Kimberley Jarvis playing Dr James Barry and Spencer Lee Osborne her faithful manservant Black John.
  • Hilary directed Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s An Enemy of the People in March
  • A number of short stories published in various magazines
  • Hilary has been working on a new novel – a thriller
  • She has been developing a new play, a political satire about the obesity crisis


  • Hester & Harriet: Love, Lies & Linguine published in Australia (as Love, Lies & Linguine) in February.
  • Hester & Harriet: Love, Lies & Linguine published in the UK in March.
  • Hester & Harriet re-issued in Australia.
  • Hester & Harriet: Love, Lies & Linguine produced as an audiobook from W F Howes.
  • Hilary pursued a theatrical project with Caroline Frewin of Tea & Tenacity, the Birmingham-based company who toured her 2014 play First Do No Harm.


  • Hester & Harriet published in the UK in March. Reviews and interviews can be read here.
  • Hester & Harriet now available as an audiobook from W F Howes.
  • Hester & Harriet included in the 2016 Amazon Rising Stars list.
  • Hilary's play Ladybird, Ladybird was shortlisted in the New Perspectives Long Play Competition 2016.
  • Her one-act play Ripe for Improvement was performed at the Arundel Festival in August.
  • Her short play On Such A Full Sea was performed at the 2016 Peterborough Green Festival in August.

The Stamford Mercury

Hilary was recently featured in Britain’s oldest newspaper, the Stamford Mercury, in advance of the launch of her latest book, Hester & Harriet: Love, Lies & Linguine.

Read the article here

First Do No Harm,

First Do No Harm, Hilary's play (short-listed for the Ronald Duncan Award) based on real events in the Fens at the start of the welfare state immediately prior to WW1, toured the East and West Midlands in September/October 2014, having opened at BirminghamFest in July 2014. It was produced by Tea and Tenacity Theatre Company. Click here or click here for reviews.

Her plays Hoovering on the Edge, Pecking Order and Painting from Memory are now available from the National Operatic and Drama Association who also handle the performance rights.

Learn More

Hoovering on the Edge

Performed in the UK and Australia, Hoovering on the Edge charts the unlikely friendships that develop between seven very different women , tutored by one hapless male - on a summer writing holiday. Sun, sangria and storytelling , what could possibly go wrong...! Meet Moira the tactless hypochondriac, Clare the dippy yoga teacher, and feisty Rita, to name but a few, as the women embark on a voyage of discovery about themselves, their hopes and their dreams - and uncover some surprising home truths. Click here for reviews.

Learn More



HE Bates
Short Story


The Times
Short Love
Story Competition


Jane Austen
Short Story


Sandi Toksvig's Writing Challenge, Wimbledon Book Festival