Thu 29 September 2016
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Conference Contributors 2016

Farrukh Akhtar is a Senior Lecturer at Kingston University, London. She is also one of the few UK based Transformative Life WritingTMfacilitators, a system that was founded by Joanne Klassen in Canada. Farrukh runs courses through the London Centre for Transformative Life Writing and at Woodbrooke, Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham.

Gail Aldwin's novel How to be Brave was long listed in the 2015 Flash 500 novel competition. During 2016, Gail taught a module of writing for children at the University of South Wales. She continues to develop her writing skills through PhD studies. You can find Gail@gailaldwin and

Judith Allnatt is a fiction writer and lecturer. Her novels have variously been shortlisted for the Portico Prize for Literature and the East Midlands Book Award and featured as a Radio 5 Live Book of the Month. Short stories have featured in the Bridport Prize Anthology and on Radio 4. 

Tiffani Angus is a Lecturer in Publishing, as well as Creative Writing, at Anglia Ruskin University. Her research interests include the history of garden-book publishing and gardens in fantasy fiction. She has published short fiction in several genres, including science fiction, fantasy, historical fantasy, erotica, and horror.

Jean Atkin is an award-winning poet, children’s novelist and experienced educator, based in Shropshire.  She offers bespoke workshops for schools, writers’ groups, libraries and museums.  She also mentors emerging poets.  Jean has been a poet in residence in libraries, schools, gardens, museums, festivals, farms - even on a beach.  She is also a tutor and guest reader for Arvon 

Jennie Bailey is an educator and writer who currently lives on the liminal border between Lancashire and Cheshire. Jennie’s place writing workshops are underpinned by her ongoing PhD research on reading, mapping, and writing the literary geographies of Rochdale. You can find out more from her website:

Miranda Barnes is a poet originally from the US, now living near Bath. Previously published in US journals, her poems more recently appear in Blue Fifth Review, The Beacon, and Lighthouse Journal and are forthcoming in The Cresset and Confingo. Miranda teaches Poetry and other genres whilst pursuing her PhD at Bath Spa University on the intersection of science, poetry, and spirituality. 

DeAnn Bell is a lecturer at Bangor University with a PhD in Creative and Professional Writing. She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and a professional member of NAWE. She is currently a peer reviewer for The Dovetail academic journal and a member of the Pontio Writing Group. Recent publications include “Invisible Monsters” by Open Pen Magazine and “Dorm Witch: Ritual Tools for University Spaces” by Pagan Dawn. Her academic research concentrates on encouraging creative habits in writers.

Emma Beynon works for Arts Alive Wales leading creative writing workshops in schools and the community. She is currently working with cinematographer Richard Greatrex , making films to celebrate young peoples’ poetry. Emma developed The Write Team managed by Bath Festivals. She has also led outdoor writing workshops for Hay Festival.

Susmita Bhattacharya’s debut novel, The Normal State of Mind (Parthian), was published in 2015. Her fiction and poems have appeared in WasafiriLitroRoundyhouseTears in the Fence, as well as being broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She has an MA from Cardiff University. She blogs at

Barbara Bloomfield was a radio and print journalist and then became a counsellor and Counselling Supervisor for Relate, working with couples, individuals and families. As a national spokesperson for Relate, she has recently been writing a column for the Independent newspaper. She has also written several books about relationships and social history and is a Board Member of Lapidus.

Lorena Briedis is the EACWP coordinator of communication and projects. She is a Creative Writing teacher and copywriter of European projects at Escuela de Escritores (Madrid, Spain).  

Catherine Bruton is the author of several critically acclaimed novels for teens and young adults including ‘We Can be Heroes’ (recently adapted for the big screen, starring Alison Steadman) and the multi-award nominated ‘I Predict a Riot’. She also teaches English part-time at King Edward’s School in Bath where she runs a thriving Creative Writing Society, as well as annual Short Story and Poetry Competitions and an annual Anthology of student writing.  As a published author and teacher, she is passionate about giving young writers opportunities to find their voice.

Robyn Bolam is Project Leader of Ferry Tales. Emeritus Professor and former RLF Fellow & Lector, her Bloodaxe poetry collections are The Peepshow GirlRaiding the Borders, and New Wings, a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her forthcoming collection isHyem. She edited Eliza’s Babes: Four Centuries of Women’s Poetry in English

Judith Buchanan is Professor of Film and Literature in the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York and has written widely on Shakespearean performance histories and on silent cinema. 


Sue Burge is a poet and freelance tutor in creative writing and film studies.   Three decades of teaching experience and a background in teacher training have enabled her to adapt to a wide variety of situations ranging from retired professionals and non-native speakers to recovering addicts.

Gale Burns is a writer and qualified Humanistic Psychology Practitioner and is writer in residence at both Sydenham Arts Festival and Kingston University, where he teaches BA, MA, and MFA students. He convenes the Shuffle poetry series and is published in several languages.    

Namita Chakrabarty is Tutor in Creative Writing and Writing for Performance at Ruskin College, Oxford. She uses recorded and live performance, and creative and critical writing, to explore themes of race and culture. She was co-investigator on the 2009-2010 ESRC funded ‘Preparedness Pedagogies, and Race: An Interdisciplinary Approach’.

Wanda O'Connor is a doctoral candidate at Cardiff University. Her writing is available or forthcoming in AsymptoteDatableedMagma,Poetry Wales and The Best Canadian Poetry 2014 (Tightrope Books). She co-organizes the Cardiff Poetry Experiment reading series and participates in collaborative projects, most recently with Enemies Gelynion. In addition to teaching writing workshops, she is currently composing a film project and a libretto. Her work has been described as "complex, but strikingly modern, with aromas of Eliot and Pound" and as having an "utterly unique voice." 

James Cole is Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Arts University Bournemouth. Following completion of a PhD in English and Creative Writing at the University of Southampton, he has worked on several community-based residencies as well as in primary and secondary schools, aiming to inspire children to read and write.

Jane Commane is a poet, editor and director at Nine Arches Press. Jane was born in Coventry in 1983 and is a poet, editor and writing tutor.  She has taught poetry in numerous community workshops in a variety of interesting settings, including at the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth and along the River Avon. 

Patricia Debney’s most recent collection is Baby (Liquorice Fish Books, 2016). Other recent publications include Gestation(Shearsman Chapbooks, 2014) and a collection of prose poems, Littoral (Shearsman Books, 2013). A former Canterbury Laureate, she is a Reader in Creative Writing at the University of Kent.

Laura Dietz is a novelist and a Senior Lecturer in Writing and Publishing at Anglia Ruskin University. Her recent academic publications include papers and chapters on the digital novel, science in literature and contemporary literary careers.  Her first novel, In the Tenth House, is published by Crown (Penguin Random House).

Lily Dunn is a published author and teacher, and has just finished the first year of her doctorate at Birkbeck under the supervision of Julia Bell. She is writing a hybrid memoir and exploring questions around loneliness and alcoholism. Granta will be publishing her essay, The Lost Children, at the end of the year.  With colleague Zoe Gilbert, she teaches creative writing and offers mentoring through London Lit Lab

Kate Edwards is a writer, actress and theatre maker, born in the Black Country. She is lead writer with the Coventry young writer’s group for Writing West Midlands and has taught creative writing and drama to young people and adults in a host of community and education settings; from homeless people in Birmingham to a clown troupe in Algeria. 

Magnus Eriksson is senior lecturer at Linnæus University, Sweden. He teaches critical and creative writing, and has published critical essays in fields including post-colonial writing, canonical processes in writing the history of literature, contemporary British fiction, country music, and football.

Carrie Etter’s latest publication is Scar, a long poem exploring the effects of climate change on her home state of Illinois (Shearsman Chapbooks, 2016). Her last collection, Imagined Sons (Seren, 2014)was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry; she also edited Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets (Shearsman, 2010). She is a Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

Sarah Evans is Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Screenwriting programme at the University of Worcester, where she has been based for two years. Prior to that she worked as a Lecturer in Screenwriting at UCLan and at the University of Salford. Sarah’s professional background is as a writer, script editor and producer for BBC and the independent sector, as well as being an independent short filmmaker. Sarah is currently enrolled on a PhD in Creative Practice and is a member of BAFTA and WGGB. 

Kylie Fitzpatrick is the author of four historical novels which, between them, have been translated into 10 languages. A lecturer and tutor on the Creative Writing MA and degree courses at Bath Spa University, she recently submitted her Creative Writing PhD. This is, in part, an exploration of the cross-over between Creative Writing and depth psychology.

Liz Flanagan is studying for a Creative Writing PhD in Young Adult Fiction at Leeds Trinity University. Her debut novel Eden Summer is published by David Fickling Books. Formerly a children’s book editor and Centre Director at Arvon Lumb Bank, she writes for children and young adults, and blogs at

Catharine Frances is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Central Lancashire. She has presented conference papers on play writing and autobiography for many years and teaches both genres. Catharine also writes about the pedagogy of creative writing in higher education. Much to her own surprise her current writing is a work of autofiction.    

Dr Who radio writer and authorWilliam Gallagher, is lead writer with the Burton young writer’s group for Writing West Midlands and has delivered writing workshops and training at literature festivals, universities, in schools, in prisons, for the Writers’ Guild, Equity and the Musician’s Union. 

Dolly Garland (BSc Finance and Economics, MA English Literature) is the founder of Kaizen Journaling where she teaches people how to use journaling for personal and professional development. She is also a published fiction and non-fiction author, and a digital marketing consultant. You can connect with her at

Francis Gilbert has been a secondary school teacher for over twenty years and now is course leader for PGCE English at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has published numerous books, including the best-selling memoir I’m A Teacher, Get Me Out of Here, and a novel, The Last Day of Term. His PhD is in Creative Writing and Education, and he has considerable experience of teaching Creative Writing at all levels. 

Amanda Harris is director of Kernow Education Arts Partnership (KEAP) and co-founder of the Story Republic.  

Fiona Hamilton is author of Bite SizedEnoughness, Counting Down to Human and Invisible on themes of mental health and sustainability, and recently Fractures, poems of place. She teaches Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes with Metanoia Institute, runs courses for Orchard Foundation and the Poetry School, and facilitates writing for wellbeing in the NHS and other settings

Philip Hartigan is a multimedia artist and writer, born in the UK and now residing in Chicago. He teaches book arts, printmaking, and writing classes at Columbia College Chicago and at arts centers in the midwest USA. He is also the Chicago correspondent for the online art magazine Hyperallergic.

Andrea Holland teaches creative writing and literature at UEA She has two collection of poems, Broadcasting (Gatehouse Press, 2013) winner of the Norfolk Commission for Poetry, and Borrowed (Smith/Doorstop, 2007). She has contributed two chapters to the Portable Poetry Workshop (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) one of which is on Simile.

Cath Howe is an author and teacher in South London with stories and plays published by Pearson. She runs workshops in schools, creates scripts for festivals and develops events for adult writers at Kingston University, in libraries, theatres and on author retreats. Cath is passionate about being inspired and creative. 

Paul Hurley works on collaborative projects with artists, researchers, citizens and community organisations across subjects as diverse as food, technology and hand hygiene. He is currently Senior Research Fellow in Geography and Environment at Southampton, and Associate Lecturer in Visual Culture at University of the West of England. 

Liz Hyder is a workshop leader and writer. She trained with Spread the Word and is currently working with Writing West Midlands’ Young Writers groups and is on their Room 204 Development Programme. She is developing several site-specific theatre projects, editing her first YA novel and working on a second novel. She’s also a freelance arts PR Consultant.

Tracey Iceton is an author and creative writing tutor with a PhD in Creative Writing from Northumbria University.  She won the 2013 HISSAC short story prize for ‘Butterfly Wings’ and was runner up in the Cinnamon Press short story competition with ‘Slag’ which appears in the anthology Journey Planner.  Her novel, part one of her Irish Trilogy, Green Dawn at St Enda’s, was published by Cinnamon Press in early 2016 with parts two and three following in 2017 and 2019.  Her stories have appeared in anthologies and journals including; ProleLitroNeon, and The Momaya Annual Review.  

Keith Jarrett is a former UK poetry slam champion and a writer of short fiction. His debut poetry pamphlet, I Speak Home, was published last year. Since 2012, he has taught in schools as part of a pioneering Spoken Word Educator programme. He was award a Bloomsbury PhD scholarship in 2015, and is now working on his first novel and undertaking research on migrant religious communities.

Danielle Jawando has a BA/MA in Creative Writing, and has taught writing workshops and courses for eight years. Danielle has had several of her short plays performed, and has previously worked on Coronation Street as a storyline writer. She is currently in the process of writing her first YA novel as part of the Megaphonewrite scheme.

Michael D.D. Johnstone is the author of three novels and the Course Leader for the MA in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Gloucestershire.

Romi Jones combines creative writing with community involvement to enable individuals and groups to express their dreams and frustrations. She has been awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to study creative writing with people with dementia in USA/Canada and MA in Creative Writing (Newcastle University) and Northern Promise Award (New Writing North).

Tyler Keevil is the author of two novels and a short story collection and has been the recipient of several awards including the $10,000 Writers Trust / McClelland and Stewart Journey Prize. He is the Course Leader for the BA in Creative Writing at the University of Gloucestershire.

Anna Kiernan is a Senior Lecturer in Writing at Falmouth University and is the Creative Director at Stranger Collective, a creative content studio that makes words count. Co-founder of the MA in Publishing at Kingston University, Anna has worked as an arts critic and editor and has published several books.

Deak Kirkham currently works mainly in language teaching where he specialises in academic writing. His recent interest in the role of creative writing in second language teaching offers a welcome distraction from PhD studies in interactional linguistics. He has a background in theoretical linguistics. 

Lania Knight's first book, Three Cubic Feet, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Prize in Debut Fiction. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Post RoadFourth GenreShort FictionPANKThe Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her second book is due out from Burlesque Press in 2017. She has a PhD in English/Creative Writing from University of Missouri, and she currently teaches at University of Gloucestershire as a Senior Lecturer. Read about her at

Naomi Kruger’s short stories have been published in literary journals and her first novel manuscript (partly narrated by a character with dementia) was highly commended in the Yeovil Literary Prize 2014. She has an MA and PhD from Lancaster University and lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Central Lancashire.

Inés G. Labarta is a Creative Writing PhD student in Lancaster University. Her project focuses on transcultural writing and the use of different languages as artistic tools. She is the author of a collection of YA novels and two novellas.

Barbara Large was Founder-Director of the Winchester Writers' Conference for 33 years and Senior Lecturer, Creative Writing. She is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Winchester; Chairman, Hampshire Writers' Society; Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a member of The Society of Authors and CreativeWordsMatter, which supports writers. 

Marie Larkin is a BACP Registered Accredited Integrative Therapist and Writing for Well-being Practitioner with an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She works in a therapy clinic and in private practice in Brighton and London. She is an experienced speaker, group facilitator and performance poet. 

Kate Lee is the author of six picture books including the best-selling 'Santa’s Suit'; she is also a freelance editor and NAWE/Arvon accredited coach. Kate is a part-time Creative Writing PhD candidate at Southampton University and also works in the PR department of a children’s charity. She is writing a novel for children inspired by Domesday Book, entitled The Stone Feather.

Danielle Lloyd is a committed educationalist with twenty years teaching experience.  She trains teachers, delivers the Award and Diploma in Education and Training and the Assessors’ Award in a variety of different settings.  She believes in a fun yet quality learning experience and also teaches in cafes.

Julia Lockheart is Senior Lecturer in Writing in Creative Practice at Goldsmiths, University of London, director of the Writing-PAD project and joint editor of the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice. Julia has studied both Fine Art and TESOL to MA level and is also qualified to teach adults with SpLDs (Dyslexia). She recently completed her PhD research in the Design department at Goldsmiths. She has presented and published both nationally and internationally.

Michael Loveday writes short stories and poetry, and is a freelance tutor for adults. His recent projects have included running creative writing workshops for the housebound via telephone conference call, teaching general creativity to the over-50s, and documenting life stories for people with physical disabilities. 

Helen Marshall is a Lecturer in Creative Writing and Publishing at Anglia Ruskin University and the author of two award-winning collections of fiction. Her research explores how medieval “bestsellers” depended on traceable production networks. This work builds upon the practical experience she gained as the Managing Editor for Canada’s largest independent genre press.

Alan (Kurly) McGeachie has been a freelance workshop facilitator for the past 8 years and a Teaching Assistant/instructor at an inner city Pupil Referral Unit. He has been shortlisted for Birmingham Poet Laureate on two occasions and his website can be found at

Amy McCauley’s poetry, essays and reviews have appeared widely in UK magazines and anthologies including: The Poetry of Sex (Viking), Hallelujah for 50ft Women (Bloodaxe), Poetry Wales, The Rialto and The Quietus. Her pamphlet Slops was shortlisted for the Pighog/Poetry School Prize 2014 and in 2008 she was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. Amy’s current projects include: a collection of poems (Auto-Oedipa) which re-imagines the Oedipus myth and a verse novel (CaNToS of JoaN), which was longlisted for the KCL Responses to Modernism Prize 2015. Amy is a PhD candidate at Aberystwyth University and is poetry editor for New Welsh Review. Her work will feature in the Best British Poetry 2015 (Salt).

Una McCormack is a New York Times bestselling author, specialising in TV tie-in novels. She has written novels, short stories, and audio dramas in numerous franchises, including Doctor Who and Star Trek. She is also Lecturer in Creative Writing at Anglia Ruskin University.

Patricia McNair teaches in the Creative Writing Department of Columbia College Chicago, where she was nominated for the Carnegie Foundation’s US Professor of the Year. She was a visiting lecturer at Bath Spa University in 2008. Her story collection was honored as Chicago Writers’ Association Book of the Year.

Wyl Menmuir is a novelist, freelance editor and literacy consultant.  He is writer in residence at Richard Lander School, Truro and an associate consultant for National Literacy Trust and Centre for Literacy in Primary Education.

Former Head of Creative Writing at the University of Wolverhampton, Joan Michelson currently teaches writing to medical students at Kings College. Publications include Toward the Heliopause, Poetic Matrix Publishers, USA, 2011, poems, fiction, essays in British Council anthologies of ‘New Writing, and in magazines and anthologies in the USA, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Romania, India and China. 

Kit Monkman is an artist and film-maker whose work is driven by an interest in interaction, participation, visual perspective and non-linear narrative expressed through a range of formats which include (but are not limited to) film, interactive installations and theatre design.

Lara Munden graduated from the University of Kent in 2011 with a First Class Honours degree in History of Art and Film. Since joining Bright White Ltd in 2012 Lara has developed the scripts and storyboards for a range of innovative projects.

Kate North writes poetry and fiction. She teaches Creative Writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Her novel Eva Shell, was published in 2008 and her poetry collection Bistro in 2012. She is interested in interdisciplinary applications of writing practice, experimental writing and feminist writing and theory.

Jeremy Over is a poet with two collections published by Carcanet: A Little Bit of Bread and No Cheese (2001) and Deceiving Wild Creatures (2009). He is an M3C/ AHRC PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Birmingham University researching the poetics of wonder in Kenneth Koch and Ron Padgett. 

Julianne Pachico is a PhD student in Creative-Critical Writing at the University of East Anglia. Her debut short story collection, The Lucky Ones, will be published by Faber & Faber in February 2017. 

Caleb Parkin has led workshops & projects with organisations including Bristol and Southampton Universities, The Poetry School, SusTrans and Green Man Festival. Starting out in BBC Radio and TV, science writing, and alternative education, he is now undertaking an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. Caleb is Membership Secretary & Conference Manager for Lapidus, the Writing for Wellbeing Organisation.

Paul Pattison is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Anglia Ruskin University. He is currently writing a novel as part of his candidature. His interests include George Eliot, the neo-Victorian novel, omniscient narration, experimental fiction and the academic novel. Paul has taught secondary English extensively in various countries. 

Stephen Payne was born in Merthyr Tydfil and brought up in Stockton-on-Tees. He is an academic cognitive scientist with a particular interest in human-computer interaction, currently Professor of Human-Centric Systems in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bath. He lives with his family in Penarth, South Glamorgan. Since 2005, Stephen’s poetry has been published in magazines and webzines including The Dark Horse, Magma, The North, The Poetry Review and The Rialto. Stephen’s first full collection, Pattern Beyond Chance, was published by HappenStance Press late in 2015.

Sarah Penny is a novelist and activist using arts for social change.  She was born in South Africa, emigrating to the UK in 2003.  Sarah is a Winston Churchill Fellow.  She is the founder of an FGM refusal project that uses creative writing and dramatherapy to encourage communities to transition away from FGM.

James (Jim) Pope has worked in education for over 30 years, teaching English and creative writing in FE and HE. He is a published author of six novels for children and adults, and since completing his PhD has been interested in digital interactive storytelling. He created the Genarrator package in collaboration with students at Bournemouth University. He also co-founded and is organiser of the annual New Media Writing Prize, now in its 7th year. He currently leads the BA English, and teaches children’s literature, and interactive storytelling, in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University.Jane Commane is a poet, editor and director at Nine Arches Press. Jane was born in Coventry in 1983 and is a poet, editor and writing tutor.  She has taught poetry in numerous community workshops in a variety of interesting settings, including at the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth and along the River Avon. 

Julie Primon is studying for a Creative Writing PhD at Cardiff University. She is researching the process of creative research – specifically when writing about foreign countries – and writing a historical novel set in WWII Italy. Her research interests include historical fiction, young adult fiction, and foreign language writing. 

Former university lecturer, British Museum facilitator, award-winning storyteller, writer, researcher and editor, Akuba Quansah founded Writing, Acting and Publishing Project for Youngsters in 2008: Published in twenty anthologies, she co-edited 'The Soul of a Child' (2015) and 'Mame Nwia-Amah' (2015) and currently tours with her 'Unpacking That Trunk' educational resource. 

Joanne Reardon is an Honorary Associate in English at the Open University where she is also an Associate Lecturer.  With short stories and poetry published in several magazines and anthologies as well as drama produced on BBC Radio 4, she was a runner up in the Cinnamon Press short story prize 2014.

Lisa Rossetti is a practising leadership coach, a Senior Researcher in the Faculty of Business Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Chester in the Faculty of Health and Social Care. She has a Masters in Applied Storytelling for Health and Social Care. Lisa works as a community poetry therapy facilitator with adults in Recovery, and is a Board Member of Lapidus.

Javier Sagarna is a Spanish writer and Creative Writing teacher. Director of Escuela de Escritores (Madrid, Spain) and current President of EACWP. Teaching experience all around Europe and Latin America. Publications: Mudanzas (novel) Ahora tan LejosNuevas aventuras de Olsson y Laplace (short stories) and Rafa y la jirafa (kids).

Clare Scott is an educational therapist, working privately with people who are neurodiverse.  She has an MA Creative Writing and has trained as a poetry therapist with the international academy POETRY. Her PhD in Creative Writing is psychogeography in practice.  Clare is a Director of the Community Interest Company, Aspiration: Living and Learning and a Board Member of Lapidus.

Anne-Marie Smith teaches Childhood Studies and research methods at Bangor University, and in her spare time is training as a poetry/bibliotherapy practitioner. She exists on the edge between the academic and the creative, and her use of reflective and autoethnographic writing seeks to cross that divide.

Jenifer Smith is co-author, with Simon Wrigley, of Introducing Teachers’ Writing groups: Theory and Practice. She is a Visiting Senior Fellow at UEA where she runs and researches teachers’ writing groups and runs poetry workshops in schools. Her pamphlet, Reading Through the Night was published by Garlic Press in 2015.

?Nicola Solomon is the General Secretary of the Society of Authors

Karen Stevens is a Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, in West Sussex.  She has a special interest in the novel and short fiction.  Her short stories have been published in The Big IssuePulp NetPanurge New FictionMouth OgresDreaming Beasts, Fish PublishingRiptideSalt Publishing.  Her edited collection of essays, Writing a First Novel, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014. 

Helen Stockton is a writer and creative writing teacher with two books, Teaching Creative Writing, and The Last Rolo, written from her dog’s perspective. She writes magazine columns, short stories and poetry and teaches in the adult learning sector, and privately. She is also a writing for well-being practitioner.

Monica Suswin is a writer and has contributed to the series on Writing for Therapy and Personal Development (Jessica Kingsley Publishers). Monica runs Cabin on the Hill - a retreat for women writers in Sussex. She offers workshops and sessions on the healing power of writing and is a long- standing member of Lapidus.

Jonathan Taylor is an author, critic and lecturer. His books include the novels Melissa (Salt, 2015), and Entertaining Strangers (Salt, 2012), and the short story collection Kontakte and Other Stories (Roman, 2013 and 2014). He is editor of the anthology Overheard: Stories to Read Aloud (Salt, 2012). He is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester. His website is

Scott Thurston lectures at the University of Salford where he has run the Masters in Innovative and Experimental Creative Writing. He co-runs The Other Room reading series in Manchester, edits The Radiator, a little magazine of poetics, and co-edits The Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry with Robert Sheppard. He has published numerous collections of poetry as well as a volume of interviews with experimental women poets.

Louise Tondeur has published two novels with Headline Review and various short stories and articles. She is a Principal Lecturer in Creative Writing at Roehampton. She works across the BA and MA programmes, including our flagship Writing Contexts modules. Her infrequent blogs can be found at

Mariana Torres was born in Angra dos Reis (Brazil) in 1981. She teaches Creative Writing since 2004. In Escuela de Escritores (Madrid), Mariana is in charge of the department of Teacher Training. As a writer, she has been published in different anthologies and has won several prizes. Her first book, The Secret Body was published in 2015.

Jennifer Tuckett is Course Leader of the new MA Dramatic Writing at University of the Arts London. Jennifer is also the Director of Writers at Work Productions which works with the industry to increase access and diversity in the writing industry.

Lucy Tyler is a playwright, drama practitioner, and theorist. Her plays have been produced in Europe and America and she is now pursuing a PhD exploring institutionalised dramaturgy. She is Lecturer in Performance Practices and Industries at the University of Reading.

Natalie Scott (PhD) is a poet and tutor from the North East of England. She is currently training in the field of Writing for Therapeutic Purposes to become a Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator. Her writing career has resulted in two pamphlets - Brushed (Mudfog 2009) and Frayed (Indigo Dreams) - and a full collection Berth - Voices of the Titanic (Bradshaw Books 2012), which was awarded runner up in the Cork Literary Review Manuscript Competition 2011. Berth also won an Arts Council award to be staged by Vivid Theatre at ARC in Stockton, to coincide with the centenary of the Titanic disaster. Natalie’s poetry has appeared in anthologies and journals including Ambit, Agenda, Other Poetry, South Magazine, Pennine Platform, Aesthetica, Writing in Education, Live Canon and Poetry Scotland

Nicola Solomon
 is the General Secretary of the Society of Authors

Pam Thompson 
 is a poet, lecturer and writing workshop facilitator living in Leicester. Her publications include Show Date and Time (Smith|Doorstop, 2006) and The Japan Quiz ( Redbeck Press, 2008). I have just completed a PhD in Creative Writing at De Montfort University - 'Equinoctial: An investigation of 'the holographic' for developing a collection of ekphrastic poetry'.

Valeria Vescina is a graduate of the Goldsmiths MA in Creative & Life Writing. She recently completed her debut novel and is researching the next one. She is represented by Laetitia Rutherford of Watson, Little. Valeria has been a member of First Story’s Events Committee since 2013.

Tony Wall is a Reader in Transformational Management Learning at the University of Chester where he founded the International Thriving at Work Research Group. He works on research policy development at the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, and is Board Member of The Writing for Wellbeing Organisation, Lapidus.

Sarah Watkinson is a lifelong scientist and new poet. Her work has recently been published in magazines including Antiphon, Clear Poetry, The Rialto, The Stare’s Nest and Well Versed. Sarah Watkinson grew up in London and Yorkshire and spent her most of her career as a biological scientist in the Department of Plant Sciences at Oxford University and as Fellow and Tutor at St Hilda’s College Oxford.  She lives in Bladon, West Oxfordshire. Her first poetry pamphlet, An Amphitheatre of Moss, is forthcoming from Cinnamon Press in 2017.

Richard Kenton Webb is Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Drawing and Print at the University of West of England (UWE) whose work has been selected for the prestigious John Moore’s Painting Prize 2016.  His work is displayed internationally, and includes a Residency and Fellowship in Queenstown, Tasmania, 2014.  

Chris Walker is a founding director of Bright White Ltd. Chris has a passion for driving innovation in learning and museum interpretation. He has been lead designer on many international projects, and helped win awards for both innovation and recognition of excellence in heritage interpretation.

Shelagh Weeks is a writer and Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University, teaching undergraduates and postgraduates, including an MA modules on teaching writing. She's had many jobs: market stalls, the buses, bars, waitressing, picking bananas. A member of the NAWE FE committee, she also works in schools and community settings. 

Claire Williamson is Programme Leader for Metanoia Institute's MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She is studying insight in the creative writing process for a Creative Writing PhD at Cardiff University and writing a novel set in 1999. Claire wrote the words for the WWI commemorative cantata Home by Christmas.

Heidi Williamson was Writer-in-Residence at the London Science Museum’s Dana Centre for two years, and has just finished a three year residency at the John Jarrold Printing Museum. She has held ‘pop up’ residencies in cafés and at festivals. Published by Bloodaxe, she works as a mentor, tutor, and writing coach for organisations including Writers’ Centre Norwich and The Poetry Society

Jeannie Wright is a survivor of teaching on counsellor education programmes at 7 different universities. She has used creative, reflective and sometimes ranty writing since she was old enough to write.

Sarah Gibson Yates lectures in writing, film and media at Anglia Ruskin University and is studying for a Creative Writing PhD in Young Adult Fiction, also at Anglia Ruskin University. She taught visual story telling at the University of East London and has led creative workshops in writing, filmmaking and creative media practice in Cambridge, London, St Petersburg and New York. 



Patience Agbabi

Patience Agbabi was born in London to parents from Nigeria and grew up in Wales One of the UK’s foremost poets, she studied English Language and Literature at Pembroke College, Oxford University, and is a former Poet Laureate of Canterbury. Her writing and performance has been featured on radio and TV worldwide.  In 2015, she was a recipient of The Cholmondeley Award for her latest poetry collection, Telling Tales (Canongate, 2014), and during the same year, was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Prize for New Work in Poetry 2014. Telling Tales is a retelling of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales for the 21st century. Mining the Middle-English masterwork for its performance as well as its poetry and pilgrims, her boisterous and lyrical collection gives one of Britain's most significant works of poetry thrilling new life.  Following a book launch at Southwark Cathedral, Patience has toured the book with literature producers Renaissance One to a range of literary festivals and venues around the UK. She lives in Kent. 

Kit de Waal
Kit de Waal writes about forgotten and overlooked places where the best stories are found. Her first novel My Name is Leon is a heart-breaking story of love, identity, and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Kit was born in Birmingham to an Irish Mother and Kittian father, and worked for fifteen years in criminal and family law. She was a magistrate and used to advise Social Services on the care of foster children, as well as writing training manuals on adoption and foster care. Her prize-winning flash fiction and short stories appear in various anthologies. She won the Readers’ Prize at the Leeds Literary Prize 2014, and the Bridport Prize for Flash Fiction in 2014 and again in 2015.   In 2016, she founded the Kit de Waal Scholarship at Birkbeck University, a creative writing scholarship specially designed for budding writers who would not otherwise be able to afford a Master’s degree.