P. E. Holdsworth

Writer | Journalist | Editor



Portia Holdsworth is a freelance writer, journalist, developmental book editor, and photographer who specialises in people and places.

Her work to date includes authoring the official literary biography of the Grammy award winning artist J 'Jus Bus' Nation; holding the position of Deputy Editor of Performing Arts for Europe, Caribbean, Asia and Australasia at Blouin Artinfo magazine group; and writing The Good Life column for Cohorted Cult magazine - a column of personal essays about Holdsworth's experience of finding her way again, after years spent recovering from a life-changing illness. Her works have been translated into twelve languages and published world-wide. 

The stories and lessons held by people and the places they exist in, have been the primary focus of both Holdsworth's professional work and specialist studies over the past decade as a writer, photographer and developmental book editor. 

During her time gaining a BA (Hons) degree in English and Drama at Goldsmiths, University of London Holdsworth developed two stage plays, Valetudinarian and The Blame Game, using studies of individual lives taken from modern day Britain to explore topics of class divide, loneliness, and the impact trauma has on socio-economic outcomes. Life-studies and social commentary have continued to be the focus of Holdsworth's work, including retrospective features on the lives of Mata Hari, Edith Piaf, and Pina Bausch for Blouin Artinfo magazine, as well as feature article biographies on unsung visual artists of the Caribbean such as Luis Jarvis. Her photographic portrait series, travel photography, and individual portrait works have also been published in print and online magazines internationally.

 In 2019 Holdsworth followed her love of life-writing to Oxford University, where she gained specialist qualifications in Advanced Writing Lives. Her time spent studying with Oxford helped to deepen her own practice in this genre, as well as enhancing her insight into how to best serve other writers when collaborating on their projects.

P. E. Holdsworth currently resides in Edinburgh with her husband where she is working on completing her debut memoir from the quiet of their 1820's apartment. Holdsworth continues to work with other international authors of memoir, biography, and creative non-fiction to help bring their books softly out of their dreams and onto a page.

P. E. Holdsworth's Latest News


Love Liverpool: P. E. Holdsworth poem for Liverpool Everyman Theatre

Misty Slope

Life-writing workshop: Unravelling Emotional Journeys


The Good Life Column Launch


Chester Literature Festival


Travel writing in Lisbon

A Selection of Articles by P. E. Holdsworth

Image by Brigitte Tohm

The Good Life: Learning to Live Again

It was three years ago. I was completely fucked.

In and out of hospital, barely able to haul my petrified body out of bed. Diagnoses of leptospirosis, post viral syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, postural hypotension, sensory intolerance, multiple food intolerances, oesophagitis, gastritis, peripheral neuropathy, neurological damage, histamine intolerance, anxiety, and ‘tropical disease unspecified’ attached themselves to my identity with more velocity than getting five different colours permanently streaked through my hair and buying baggy ripped jeans did when I was seventeen—who was I now? A medical anomaly. A sick person. Fucked.

The Good Life: How to Embrace your 1920s Self

Mine is a familiar story. Woman in the 2020s has a plethora of demands on her, yet thinks she has it all under control. Turns out she doesn’t have it under control whatsoever, and so lies awake at night in a mild panic. Eventually plays sleep story via a meditation app to quell the impending to-do-list doom. Woman enjoys sleep story set in the 1920s so much that she heads out the next morning, buys a time machine, and waves goodbye to her 2020 cares. Bliss.

great great grandmother eleanor pictured
Tram 24 - credit P E Holdsworth.jpg

Discover the Best Tram in Lisbon

Once the tram arrives, you step up into the perfectly preserved carriage and take a seat on one of the many available leather seats, enjoying the breeze through the open window as it trundles along to Avenida Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco. Here you can hop off and amble up the road to Amoreiras Shopping Centre—home to not only a peaceful shopping experience of big and small brands alike—but also the building in which you will find the highest miradouro(look out point) in Lisbon. For €5 per person, you can ride the lift to the centre’s rooftop for the Amorieiras 360˚ experience where you can take in views that stretch across the postcard rooftops, down to the River Tagus, and out towards the monumental statue of Christ the King across the river’s shores.

Invite Portia Holdsworth to write for your publication, guest post on your blog, or appear on your podcast


Things you might like to know

Will you write for our publication?

Please do get in touch if you think I would be a good fit for your publication; I am especially interested in writing personal experience articles, candid column pieces and biographical feature articles. I also have an interest and history in book, travel, and arts journalism.

Are you represented by an agent?

To date, I have not contacted any literary agencies regarding representation for my journalism or manuscript. If you are an agent interested in representing me then please do get in touch.

Will you guest speak at an event or be a guest on my podcast?

Absolutely! Be warned, I'm a true chatty Northerner. Drop me a line if you would like me to come along to an event/podcast and talk life-writing or life.

Can I send you my book?

If you are a professional publishing house and have a book coming out you think I would enjoy, then please feel free to get in touch. At this present time I do not accept books for review directly from authors, and cannot accept unsolicited manuscripts from authors requiring help.

If you are interested in hiring me as a developmental book editor - helping you get your writing project from your head onto the page and crucially into book form - then please feel free to get in touch.

Can I work with you as an editing client?

I take on a select number of clients each year dependent on how passionate I feel about their projects - I believe a good Editor should be as invested in your book as you are. I have a particular interest in memoir, biography and non-fiction but will occasionally dabble in other genres too. If you feel I could be what your book needs, then fee free to get in touch and tell me about your project.

Will you write my book for me?

At the present time I am not accepting ghost writing projects due to focusing on a manuscript of my own.



Get in touch with Portia to discuss working together

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Life from Others is an occasional e-letter offering from P. E. Holdsworth (Portia) sharing notes from herself, others, and people from history, who have a thought or two to share on life and the art of living. It is a newsletter designed to make you feel less alone in navigating the often turbulent experience of being alive. 

By subscribing you will also be kept in the know about any upcoming workshops, professional offerings or news from P. E. Holdsworth.

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(Sent to a lazy schedule, no bombarding e-mails here.)


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