Maria Joan Hyland is an ex-lawyer and the author of three novels: How the Light Gets In (2004), Carry Me Down (2006) and This is How (2009). Hyland is a lecturer in creative writing in the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester. Carry Me Down (2006) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Hawthornden Prize and the Encore Prize.
Hyland has twice been longlisted for the Orange Prize (2004 and 2009), the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (2004 and 2007) and This is How (2009) was longlisted for the Dublin International IMPAC prize.
At the University of Manchester she has run fiction workshops alongside Martin Amis (2007-2010), Colm Tóibín (2010-2011) and Jeanette Winterson (2013-present). Hyland runs regular Fiction Masterclasses in the Guardian Masterclass Programme, has twice been shortlisted for the BBC Short Story Prize (2011 & 2012) and she publishes in The Guardian How to Write series and the Financial Times, the LRB, Granta and elsewhere.