Emily Woof was brought up in Newcastle Upon Tyne where she attended Heaton and Gosforth Comprehensive Schools. She spent a year in Paris studying with Philippe Gaulier and Monika Pagneux, and then began to make theatre.
Her first shows were devised pieces, SEX II, SEX III, and Revolver which she performed over a number of years at The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh Festival, where she won a Fringe First Award. She went on to tour internationally with manager Glynis Henderson. Other theatre writing includes, Going Going and Anna Susanna Part III commissioned by the Royal Festival Hall; The Bigg Market for Live Theatre, Newcastle. Her radio plays include Pianoman, The Bigg Market, Babylove and Home to the Black Sea.
After the death of her father, she found herself writing prose which turned into her first novel The Whole Wide Beauty, followed by The Lightning Tree, inspired by a year in India as a teenager. Her books are published by Faber and have received universal acclaim, ‘Tremendous versatility…a moving haunting novel full of humour and warmth.’ Daily Telegraph; ‘A debut novelist of the first order. Her writing has richness, complexity and embodies life force.’ Financial Times; ‘Woof is a captivating storyteller.’ The Times.
She has also directed/written short films: Between The Wars, finalist at Kodak Short Film Competition, Jury Prize at Bradford Film Festival; The Rides, Northern Film/Media; Going Going, BFI/Film Four; Meeting Helen, Film Four.
She regularly appears on television and film as an actor. Her credits include Pandemonium, The Woodlanders, Oliver Twist, Velvet Goldmine, The Full Monty, Vera, George Gently, Finding Alice, Shakespeare and Hathaway, Mothering Sunday.
She is currently finishing her third novel about dance for which she has received a research scholarship from The Arts and Humanities Research Council. She is co-writing a TV comedy commissioned by CBS about a couple who move to Cumbria during the pandemic. She is also writing a play, For Goodness Sake: a dark comedy about people who want to do good.