Tom Sykes was born in Portsmouth in 1979, and educated at the University of East Anglia and Goldsmiths College. He has travelled extensively in Europe, Africa and Asia and worked as a journalist and teacher in India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.
Tom’s writing has appeared in The Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman, New Internationalist, New African, Red Pepper, The London Magazine, Travel Africa, The Journalist, Globetrotter, The Spark Magazine, Wings of Oman, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction, The Philippines Free Press and Quill, Going Places, GoNomad, The Expat, The Bristol Review of Books as well as in international anthologies such as Small Voices, Big Confessions (2006) and Urban Odysseys: KL Stories (2009). His novel Bad Territory was serialized in Ruthless Peoples magazine beginning in August 2009. Tom has been a staff writer for the US educational publisher World Trade Press.
Since 2005, he has co-edited and contributed to 3 anthologies of hitchhiking stories that have sold 20,000 copies worldwide. The first, No Such Thing as a Free Ride? was serialized in The Times and named The Observer’s Travel Book of the Month.
Since early 2015 Tom has been the co-editor of Star & Crescent, a Portsmouth-based community journalism and hyperlocal news website which recently received a prestigious NESTA grant.
Tom is a Lecturer in Creative and Media Writing at the University of Portsmouth and is pursuing PhD studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has also lectured at the Universities of Liverpool, Philippines and Malaysia and was a Visiting Lecturer at the Eagle Vision Institute, Ghana in 2013. He is a regular performer at spoken word events and his recordings have appeared on Audiobookradio.net and Wildfire Radio.
A member of the British Guild of Travel Writers and the National Union of Journalists, Tom won the Daily Telegraph’s ‘Just Back’ travel writing prize in 2011. His ‘Ringroad to Immolation’ was named one of the best online short stories of 2004 by StorySouth.com.
He is currently writing The Bradt Travel Guide to Ivory Coast, a chapter for The Cambridge History of Literature and the Environment and Blood is Thicker in Manila, a memoir of his time surviving a Third World megacity with his then partner and four year old stepdaughter.