Tutku is a local writer, working across many forms. Her debut short story collection All The Women She Knows will be out in February. She is also an alumna of the Royal Court Writers Programme. Her creative writing workshops “Write With Tuts” happen across the area and invite writers and non-writers alike to indulge their creativity in unique, relaxed settings. 

What do you most value about the area/street you live in? 

The people! Everyone feels a genuine enthusiasm for the area. My mum owns Barbaros Hair Salon so we’ve been here many years and I’ve never seen that energy waiver. Last Christmas we made a toiletries donation box for the foodbank – the generosity of donations we received was incredible! It’s nice to be somewhere where people care about looking out for each other.  

What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without? The green spaces! I go for many walks in order to offset my screen time so I feel lucky to be in an area where there’s so many outdoors spaces. My favourite is a proper stomp around Beckenham Place Park. 

What is your favourite place to eat? Tricky question because there’s so many good places. Amrutha is brilliant – their feasting menu is everything! I love Babur too.  

Coffee or tea? Where? Both! My coffee order is usually a mocha. I’m a big fan of Canvas and Cream who serve their tea in a polka dot teapots. It’s such a charming and fun space as well, I’m so excited to be hosting my creative writing workshops there. 

The best kept secret 

The Christmas decoration game is unparalleled in HOP. If you look closely at the Christmas Tree by the station, there’s always a framed picture of Pat Butcher. And of course, there’s The Christmas House (if you know, you know!) – there was even fake snow last year! It’s magical and magic is what we need. 

When I want to relax…  I love the quiet calm of art exhibitions and then browsing the gift shop for ages – either buying nothing or buying even more books. Then meeting friends for a cackle later. 

What is your favourite shop? What was the last thing you bought there? 

My sweet tooth is unruly so I’m most likely to be buying treats from Sundae. I’m either a scoop of vegan dark choc or a peanut butter and salted caramel milkshake girlie. 

The book I’m reading at the moment  

What She’s Having: Stories of Women and Food. It’s printed by my publishers Dear Damsels (who are independent and dedicated to running work by women). It’s 16 different pieces by sixteen writers (one of which is me). Every time I pick it up it’s like a massive comforting hug, there are so many unique voices on each page and each piece is totally different, I feel really lucky to be alongside so much talent. 

My perfect holiday needs to be 50% “ohmygod look at that!?” discovery and adventure, 50% all out daiquiri sipping laziness. 

My instagram for updates on workshops etc  @Tutku_Barbaros