Wed 22 May 2024
NAWE aims to put creativity at the heart of education. NAWE is a charity funded largely by its members fees and donations.
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Conference Contributors

Randall Albers chairs the Fiction Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago, where he directs one of the largest university writing programmes in the US. His work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, F Magazine, Writing in Education, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. 

Linda Anderson, an award-winning novelist and writer of short stories, is Reader in Creative Writing at the Open University and a National Teaching Fellow. She is the editor of Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings, which has been acclaimed as a ‘major contribution to the pedagogy of creative writing’.

Sara Bailey is an Associate Lecturer at Solent University Southampton, and a PhD student at Bangor University, Wales. She lives in London next to a railway station.

Craig Batty is Senior Lecturer in Screenwriting at Bournemouth University.  He is co-author of Writing for the Screen: Creative and Critical Approaches and Media Writing: A Practical Introduction, and author of the forthcoming Movies that Move Us: Screenwriting and the Protagonist’s Journey. He also writes screenplays and acts as a script consultant.

Helena Blakemore is Programme Leader for BA Creative & Professional Writing at the University of East London. She is a member of the NAWE Higher Education Committee, is co-author of the Subject Benchmark for Creative Writing, and has recently delivered conference papers on professional development and diversity in creative writing teaching.

Donna Lee Brien is Head of the School of Creative and Performing Arts at CQ University, Director of the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music, and is widely published in the areas of writing pedagogy, collaboration in the arts, and professional applications. Her latest research area is food writing.

Andrew Burton became Creative Programme Manager at the Writers’ Centre Norwich in Spring 2010. Previously, he was Head of Marketing at the New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, ran the Ipswich Writers’ Café, and helped to programme literary events within Ip-art, Ipswich’s annual arts festival.

Philip Burton, aka Pip the Poet, is widely published in literary magazines, and in anthologies for children. Sequences of his poems are to be found in PN Review, and in Stand. He is a 2005 Lancaster litfest winner, and received a commendation in 2009 from the Kent and Sussex Poetry Competition.

Maggie Butt is is a poet and Chair of NAWE, also head of department teaching Creative and Media Writing at Middlesex University.

Antonia Byatt is Director, Literature at Arts Council England. Previously she was Director of the Women's Library, London Metropolitan University, the largest collection of women's history in the UK. She was also Head of Literature at the South Bank Centre where she programmed major festivals such as Poetry International and a regular series of events, talks and discussions around writing.

Sandra Cain is Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in Creative Writing at Southampton Solent University. She has authored several books including Key Concepts in Public Relations, How to Get What You Want, The Total Volunteering Book, The Life Bible and Media Writing: A Practical Introduction (with Craig Batty).

Anne Caldwell is a freelance writer and works as NAWE’s Professional Development Manager. She is an accredited coach and also delivers a professional development planning service for NAWE that involves working with people on a one-to-one basis to plan their future creative lives.

James Challiss studied Creative Writing at Winchester University and has undertaken extensive research in Creative Writing Pedagogy, Metafiction and Postcolonial Fiction. He is continuing his studies at Winchester on the Creative and Critical Writing MA and co-operating with Dr Amanda Boulter on a research paper for TEXT journal.

Mbizo Chirasha was born in 1978 in Zvishavane District in Zimbabwe, and was inspired by his social surroundings at a young age, quickly gaining prominence as a performing poet and writer both in Zimbabwe and internationally. The themes of his poetry include children’s rights, politics, social lives, gender issues, praise and protest, culture and African pride.

Deirdre Coffey has a BA from King’s College, London and an MA from Lancaster. She is in the second year of an OU studentship, working towards a PhD in Creative Writing. Her novel is set in 1960s Ireland and explores belonging, exile and point of view. She also writes poetry.

Brigit Connolly is an RCA research student looking at Translation and the Applied Artist. After a Linguistics and Translation MA at Westminster, she taught English in Brixton Prison and translation to postgraduates, and re-trained as a Ceramicist (RCA MA 2009). In collaboration with Harriet Edwards, she has set up a college creative writing venture.

Angel Dahouk has worked at the Poetry Society for six years, and is currently leading on one of the Society's flagship education programmes, introducing specialized poetry sessions designed by poet educators into initial teacher training courses. She has just completed a postgraduate degree in Cultural Policy and Management.

Jonathan Davidson is Chief Executive of Writing West Midlands, Associate Director of the Birmingham Book Festival and Director of Midland Creative Projects Limited. He manages Writing West Midlands’ arts education programme, Write On!, which works in over fifty schools a year. He has published one full poetry collection (a second due in 2011 from Smith/ Doorstop) and had many radio plays broadcast. His adaptation of Mary Webb’s novel Precious Bane was toured nationally by Interplay in 2009/10.

Patricia Debney’s collection of prose poems, How to Be a Dragonfly (Smith/ Doorstop Books), was the overall winner of the 2004 Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition, and her novel, Losing You, is published by bluechrome. Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Kent, in 2007 she became Canterbury’s first Laureate.

Ferdinand Dennis is a lecturer in Creative and Media Writing at Middlesex University, London. He is the author of two travel books and three novels. He has contributed to various national newspapers, including The Guardian and The Independent, and written and presented numerous talks and documentaries for BBC Radio 4.

Anna Disley joined New Writing North in 2003 to establish and develop the education and community work of the organization. As Deputy Director she is responsible for fundraising, developing partnerships and delivering projects in education and community contexts. She works closely with Director Claire Malcolm on the strategic development of the organization. 

Rosemary Dun is a performance poet and host of Big Mouth Cabaret as well as teaching Advanced Creative Writing at the Open University and Novel Writing at an adult education centre in Bristol. She has a Creative Writing MA and a PGCE in PCE, and has run two Arts Council-funded series of master-classes in performance poetry. She has also taught performance poetry workshops in Bristol and at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Cheltenham Poetry Festival and Winchester Writers' Conference.

Harriet Edwards works with International students and writing development at the RCA. A project team member of Writing PAD, she is now assistant editor on its journal, Intellect. In 2007, she began a PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University concerned with how contemporary design processes might impact on writings in HE.

Kjell Eldor graduated from LJMU in 2009. He was editor of The Korovian, is founding editor of the alternative magazine Badformat! and is a Trustee for Liverpool’s Writing on the Wall Festival. His poetry is published by Headland Press. He is studying for an MA in Publishing at Kingston University.

Carrie Etter has published a collection of poetry, The Tethers (Seren, 2009), and edited the anthology Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets (Shearsman, 2010). She is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, where she has taught since 2004, and she blogs at <>.

Fiona Firth is the Information Manager for the Writer's Compass, responsible for maintaining the professional development content on the NAWE website. She is also a qualified librarian and has worked in reader and writer development roles for Scottish Book Trust and North Ayrshire Council.

Kate Fox is Radio 4 Saturday Live Poet in Residence and former Cultural Leadership Associate at New Writing North.

Beverly Frydman has an MA in Creative Writing and Personal Development from the University of Sussex and is one of only three instructors in the UK certified to teach the Journal to the Self Workshop. She is also a practising bereavement counsellor.

Enza Gandolfo is a lecturer in creative writing at Victoria University, Melbourne Australia. Her books include: Inventory: on op shops (2007) with Sue Dodd and …it keeps me sane…women craft wellbeing (2009) with Marty Grace. Her novel, Swimming (Vanark 2009) was short-listed for the ABC Fiction award and Barbara Jefferis Award.

Roz Goddard’s fourth poetry collection is The Sopranos Sonnets and Other Poems (Nine Arches Press 2010). She is a former poet laureate for Birmingham and her work is displayed in BMAG’s newest gallery. Her poetry has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4. She runs writing workshops and courses, including for the Arvon Foundation, and mentors individual writers. She is currently studying for an MPhil in writing at Glamorgan University.

Julia Green is Course Director for the Writing for Young People MA at Bath Spa University. Her recent YA novels include Breathing Underwater and Drawing with Light. She’s led workshops for schools, festivals, communities, the Arvon Foundation, and Young Cultural Creators Project. She’s Writer in Residence for the Bath Children's Literature Festival 2010.

Eve Grubin's book of poems Morning Prayer was published by the Sheep Meadow Press. She has taught at the New School University and in the graduate writing program at the City College of New York. She now teaches at The Poetry School, Morley College, NYU in London, and the Florida State University Study Centre. She is the poet in residence at the London School of Jewish Studies, and poetry editor at Lyric Poetry Review.

Joe Hallgarten is Director of Cultural Programmes at Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE), which leads Creative Partnerships and a number of other national programmes. A former primary school teacher, he moved to the Institute for Public Policy Research, and later spent a year on the Clore Leadership Programme as Fellow in Cultural Policy, during which time he helped to initiate a UK version of Dave Eggers’ Valencia 826 writing project.

Fiona Hamilton is a writer and facilitator. She has two poetry collections published and writes about aspects of therapeutic writing, which she teaches at Bristol University. She works with people in NHS and other settings encouraging them to voice their stories creatively and reflectively.

Vanessa Harbour lectures at Winchester University, is co-editor of the successful e-journal Write4Children with Andrew Melrose and is the Faculty of Arts Research Informed Teaching Project Officer. She co-wrote a chapter on drugs in children’s literature with Andrew Melrose in Drugs and Popular Culture: Drugs, Media and Identity in Contemporary Society edited by Paul Manning (2007) and is currently finishing her PhD.

Graeme Harper is Professor of Creative Writing at Bangor University. Recently Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of South Australia, he is currently Chair of the NAWE Higher Education Committee. His latest works include the novel Camera Phone (2009), On Creative Writing (2010) and a new short story collection, Medicine (2010).

Jacqueline Harrett is a former teacher and academic with a passion for storytelling. She is author of Exciting Writing and Tell me another: speaking, listening and learning through storytelling. She works with teachers, students and children, encouraging others to take pleasure in writing.

Anthony Haynes is Creative Director of the Professional and Higher Partnership <> and Visiting Professor at the University of Hiroshima. His books include 100 Ideas for Teaching Writing.

Chris Holifield is the Director of the Poetry Book Society, which works to promote poetry sales and readership and also runs a new poetry website, <>. She is also the co-founder of <>, the largest writers’ website in the UK, which offers a range of information and services for writers.

Andrea Holland is the author of a poetry collection, Borrowed, and has articles in Writing in Education and The Journal of Writing in Creative Practice. She teaches at UEA, runs the MA in Writing the Visual at Norwich University College of the Arts, and is on NAWE’s HE Committee.

Gill James is a lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Salford University. She writes for children and young adults. Her research into creative writing in other languages draws on her former experience as a teacher of languages. Creative Language Learning: French Resource was published by Continuum this year.  

Keith Jebb is course leader in Creative Writing at the University of Bedfordshire. He is a practising poet, critic and reviewer, and is editor of the forthcoming online journal of innovative and experimental writing and text-art, Divergence. Publications include the pamphlets hide white space (2006) and tonnes (2008), both from Kater Murr's Press. His work also appears in The Reality Street Book of Sonnets anthology (2008).

Anna Jefferson is Creative Learning Manager at New Writing South, placing writers in schools and other settings across the south-east. She is Co-Director of Broken Leg Theatre and her most recent production won an Argus Angel award for Artistic Excellence as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival. She runs script writing workshops with 7-16 year-olds for Little Green Pig.

Hilary Jenkins is the NAWE HE Network coordinator. She also teaches Creative Writing for the Open University, and has recently moved to the North York Moors where she hopes to find more time to write and paint.

Mike Johnston, MA, worked as an Assistant Director, Technical Director, Director, and Production Editor on programmes including News 24, BBC World, BBC Online, as well as for BBC 1, 2, and 3, HTV West, Eurosport and Transworld Sport before coming to teach at Bath Spa in 2003.

Philippa Johnston is Professional Development Director of the Writer’s Compass. She also works as a freelancer, developing her work as a coach (she is a Cultural Leadership PCT Accredited Coach) and her own applied arts practice.

Jeri Kroll is Program Coordinator of Creative Writing at Flinders University. She has published over twenty books for adults and young people. Recent work includes a novel, a book of poems and Creative Writing Studies, co-edited with Graeme Harper. Forthcoming is Research Methods in Creative Writing (Palgrave).

Stephen May is Relationship Manager, Literature, at Arts Council England (Yorkshire). Previously, he worked for the Arvon Foundation, as a teacher, and as an Arts Development Officer. He also programmes the Hebden Bridge Festival. As a writer he has been a storyliner, written plays and his novel, Tag, won the Media Wales Reader’s Choice 2009. He also runs writing workshops.

Steve May has won awards for poetry, drama and fiction, has written more than 50 plays for BBC radio, and is the author of a book for students, Doing Creative Writing. He is Head of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and Vice Chair of the NAWE HE Committee.

Lesley McKenna is a lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Bedfordshire. She is a practising novelist and prose poet, and her novella, Dead Babies, was shortlisted for the Cinnamon Press Prize (2008). Publications include the prose poem sequence Body/scapes (2008) and Amaranthus caudatus (Love Lies Bleeding) to be published by Kater Murr's Press later this year.

Patricia Ann McNair has had fiction and creative nonfiction appear in various anthologies and journals including American Fiction: Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers. She is also published in The Truth of the Matter: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction edited by Dinty W Moore. She teaches in the Fiction Writing Department of Columbia College Chicago.

Farah Mendlesohn is Reader in Science Fiction and Fantasy at Middlesex University. She is co-editor of the Hugo winning Cambridge Companion to Fantasy, author of Rhetorics of Fantasy, and The Inter-Galactic Playground: a Critical Study of Children’s and Teens’ Science Fiction, and co-author of A Short History of Fantasy.

Joan Michelson was formerly Head of Creative Writing at the University of Wolverhampton. She now teaches at Birkbeck College, University of London and directs the Story Shoe Project for children: story-telling/story-writing/book-making. A set of shoebooks opening out of shoe boxes and accompanied by photographs and poster-size printed copies of the story texts has been on display at Haringey Libraries 2009-2010.

Jenny Moon is an Associate Professor at Bournemouth University in the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice. She also works as a freelance writer, running workshops for teaching staff in Higher Education. Her most recent book is Using Story in Higher Education and Professional Development, (Routledge 2010). It is a study of the nature and ‘identity’ of story and of the many ways story is and can be used in educational processes.

Cheryl Moskowitz is a poet, novelist and writing facilitator. She co-founded Lapidus, and has taught on the Creative Writing and Personal Development MA at Sussex University since its inception. Publications include a novel Wyoming Trail (Granta 1998) and Can It Be about Me, a poetry collection for children (Circle Time Press 2009).

Paul Munden is Director of NAWE. He is a Gregory Award winner and has been published in Faber anthologies. He is editor of Feeling the Pressure, an anthology on the theme of Climate Change, published by the British Council.

Shyamala Nair is a lecturer in English and at present Principal of Lady Amritbai Daga College for Women in Nagpur, India. She is a published poet and has been featured in anthologies and South Asian Review. Her areas of interest also include literary theory and gender studies. She runs Creative Writing workshops for students on writing poetry, detective fiction, myth-making and short stories.

Nadia Narain is one of the most popular and beloved yoga teachers in London. Currently teaching at Triyoga in Primrose Hill, she specializes in Hatha yoga and prenatal yoga.

Derek Neale is a fiction writer and dramatist. He edited A Creative Writing Handbook: developing dramatic technique, individual style and voice, and co-authored Writing Fiction and Life Writing. He taught at UEA for a number of years and is now Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Open University.

Janet Olearski is a London-born writer based in Abu Dhabi, where she runs two university learning centres. An established textbook author, she abridges classic novels for the ELT market. She has also written a number of children’s books, including The Sunbird Mystery, Earth, Water, Three Fairy Tales, and Mr Football.

Louise Page is an award-winning dramatist. She has worked on a variety of science and writing projects including ‘Enlightened’ for the Wellcome Trust and ‘Do Animals Understand Science?’ for Walter Evans School. She is currently writing a handbook on creativity and reflective practice for health professionals for Polity Books.

Jeff Price is a poet, poetry events promoter and founder of the performance group, The Poetry Vandals.

Anna Reckin teaches non-fiction (life-writing and travel-writing), fiction and poetry, with a particular emphasis on development and process. Her own
writing, mainly in poetry, is informed by a strong interest in experimentalist writing, and has been published in the UK and the US.

Heather Richardson’s PhD project is a historical novel set in Edinburgh in the late 17th Century. Her first novel, Magdeburg, was published earlier this year, and her short fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies in the UK and Ireland. She teaches Creative Writing with the Open University.

Peggy Riley is a writer and playwright, shortlisted for the 2009 Asham Award. She has had work commissioned and produced at a number of off-West End and regional theatres, as well as tours and residencies in historic churches, houses, and a former women’s internment camp. She runs creative workshops in schools, arts centres and prisons, and runs East Kent Live Lit.

Rachel Rodman, PhD, Biochemistry, has taught writing courses at the University of Wisconsin.

Pat Ryan is a storyteller and academic. He is research fellow at the University of Glamorgan and travels around the globe telling stories and inspiring others to do the same. He has worked on several projects with young people including ‘Kick into Reading’ and is author of Tales from Shakespeare.

Lisa Samson is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Leeds Metropolitan University. She has an MA in Creative Writing and is currently studying for her PhD in Creative Writing. Her work has been published in anthologies and literary magazines and she has had a few short pieces performed in Yorkshire theatres.
James Shaw graduated from LJMU in 2010 where he is now studying for an MA in Screenwriting. He is a poet, musician and rapper. His CD, Serving Scouse, received excellent reviews and he won the 2006 BBC 1 Xtra-Homegrown Award. He has worked with the police and other agencies on preventing drug and alcohol abuse.

Shawn Shiflett teaches the Story Workshop® method of writing in the Fiction Writing Department of Columbia College Chicago. His novel Hidden Place was included in Library Journal's "Summer Highs, Fall Firsts," a 2004 list of "most successful debuts." He is working on a second novel, Hey Liberal!

Karen Stevens is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, and has a special interest in the novel and short fiction. She has recently completed her first novel, The Bridge, shortlisted for The Daily Mail Novel Writing Competition 2009, judged by Fay Weldon and Shena McKay.

Alicia Stubbersfield was a member of the original NAWE committee. She lectures in Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University and regularly tutors for Ty Newydd and Arvon. She has published three poetry collections, most recently Joking Apart.

Becky Swain is Learning Manager at Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE) and leads on the national poetry and young people’s project We’ll Versed. She has worked as a freelance consultant for Arts4, Education Officer for UCL Bloomsbury Theatre, English and Drama Teacher in Newcastle Upon Tyne and youth and community worker for St Margaret’s Streetwork Project, Scotswood. She is an accredited coach through Performance Coach Training.

Mimi Thebo, Bath Spa University, writes for children and adults. Her latest novels were published by Random House, Ballantine. She is particularly interested in how arts students become professional practitioners and how universities can help in this transformation.

Ursula Troche is a writer, poet, performer and photographer. Her motto: ‘From Identity to Liberation Poetry’. She has published two poetry collections: Embraceable - Notes from Different Places called Home and Origins and Other Issues. She has also published academic articles on identity and two books in German.

Jen Webb is Associate Dean, Research, in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra. Her research focuses on the relationship between creative practices and society, and on the teaching of creative writing at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Recent works include Understanding Representation (2009), and contributions to anthologies on creative research.

Cliff Yates is a freelance writer and teacher. He is the author of Jumpstart Poetry in the Secondary School (Poetry Society). His poetry has won the Aldeburgh first collection prize, the Poetry Business book & pamphlet competition and an Arts Council Writer’s Award. He works extensively with teachers and runs courses and workshops in the UK and abroad.    

Our guest reader on the Friday evening will be Jackie Kay, an award-winning author who has a long relationship with NAWE and so very many aspects of writing in education generally. Read more.

On Saturday, our guest will be Martin Rowson, an award-winning cartoonist who is currently completing his graphic novel version of Gulliver's Travels. Read more.