Wed 16 January 2019
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Conference Contributors 2018  

Amina Alyal has published scholarly research and poetry, e.g. The Ordinariness of Parrots (Stairwell Books 2015) and Season of Myths (Wordspace at Indigo Dreams 2016).   She teaches creative writing and English at Leeds Trinity University.  She is interested in working with the cross-overs, sometimes synaesthetic, between music, spoken and written word, and the visual image. 

Sean Baker is a playwright and theatre director producing a collection of short stories set in the Cambridgeshire fenlands. His research investigates the apparent growth in the publication of regionalist collections in the new millennium and investigates how reading shapes his writing. 

Amy Barlow is an English teacher. She has worked across Fulham Academy Trust and led on results for SEND students at Fulham Cross Girls’ School.  Currently she is SENDCO at Dulwich Hamlet Junior School and a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Amy believes in empowering young people to be courageous, curious and confident.

Josie Barnard is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing with Journalism at Middlesex University. Her academic research interests centre on the multimodal writer. She is the author of five Virago books; her print and broadcast journalism includes for outlets such as the Guardian, the Independent, the Times Literary Supplement and BBC Radio 4. 

DeAnn Bell teaches Creative and Critical writing at Bangor University and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Professional member of NAWE. Her recent publications include “The Missing” in Open Pen and “Crone Maiden” in Sage Woman. She is a co-editor of Wonderbox Publishing’s upcoming anthology Normal Deviation, a collection based on Third-Option Thinking research. For more info see:

Marco Biceci is a PhD researcher in creative writing at the University of Portsmouth. His area of research is identity development in early adult masculinities through multi-generic creative-non-fiction. He is a published author and playwright with ten years experience as an editor and teacher of creative writing.

Alan Bilton teaches literature and creative writing at Swansea University. He is the author of two novels - both part slapstick comedy and part anxiety dream - The Known and Unknown Sea (Cillian Press, 2014) and The Sleepwalkers' Ball (Alcemi, 2009) and a collection of short stories, Anywhere Out of the World (Cillian, 2016), as well as books on silent film, contemporary fiction, and the 1920s.

Claire Boardman, BA (Hons), MA, MSc, is currently studying for a PhD in Digital Heritage at the University of York, and focusing on the large scale, non-academic re-use of digital archival content. Her current research project explores the potential for heritage inspired placemaking to support neighbourhood well-being via digital storytelling.

Barbara Bloomfield is an experienced Counselling Supervisor and a writer. She taught creative writing to undergraduates at Bath Spa University for six years after taking her master’s degree there. She has written four books, translated into 12 languages, and her work has been played on BBC radio. She is a Director of Lapidus International and a spokesperson for Relate.

Daniel Blythe is the author of 25 titles including The Cut, Shadow Runners, the Emerald Greene series, three of the official Doctor Who novels and reluctant reader books for Badger Learning. Daniel also does editorial reports for agencies, has led author days in over 400 schools, and has taught on Sheffield Hallam University's Creative Writing MA.

Josephine Brady is a lecturer in the School of Education at the University Birmingham. She works closely with trainee and graduate teachers completing postgraduate studies at MA level. She has a keen interest in children and young people’s writing both inside and outside of the classroom.

Lorena Briedis is the manager of EACWP, the European Association of Writing Programmes. She is a writer and Creative Writing teacher at Escuela de Escritores (Madrid, Spain). 

David Briggs was Head of English at Bristol Grammar School for thirteen years, during which time he founded the AFA programme in Creative Writing. An Eric Gregory Award winner, Briggs has also published two collections of poetry: The Method Men (Salt, 2010); and Rain Rider (Salt, 2013), a PBS Winter Selection.

Carole Bromley is a York-based poet, published by Smith/Doorstop. Her poems for children have won prizes and in 2017 her first collection for children, Blast Off! came out. She now visits schools and festivals reading and giving workshops. Carole is an Arvon tutor and runs poetry surgeries for the Poetry Society.

Liz Cashdan, former chair of NAWE, teaches for the Open College of the Arts, the WEA and does workshops in schools.  Her latest publication is Things of Substance: New and Selected Poems (Five Leaves Publications: 2013).

Belinda Castles is an award-winning Australian novelist (Bluebottle, Hannah and Emil, The River Baptists) and creative writing lecturer at the University of Sydney. She recently returned to Sydney from a period as lecturer in creative writing and director of the MA in creative writing at the University of Exeter.

Jenny Cattier worked in marketing for 20 years. She has taught creative writing and runs the literary community Lit Fuse. Her research draws on existing scholarship, and her own quantitive and qualitative research to examine the place that short stories with a fantastic aspect have in bibliotherapy for women suffering from depression.  Her work incorporates the findings of this research to inform the writing of a collection of short stories.

Aviva Dautch teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at the British Library and is on the boards of Modern Poetry in Translation and Exiled Writers. She has an MA in creative writing from Goldsmiths and a PhD in poetry from Royal Holloway. Her poems are published in Primers 3 (Nine Arches Press: 2018).

Jonathan Davidson has worked in arts and cultural management for thirty years including on many (mostly) successful small-scale funding applications. He is Chief Executive of Writing West Midlands and runs his own arts management company, Midland Creative Projects. He is also Chair of NAWE. 

Cecilia Davidsson is a writer and senior lecturer in Creative Writing at Linnaeus University in Sweden. She made her debut in 1994 with a collection of short stories that won the the award fot that year’s best debut in Swedish fiction. She has since published four more books with short stories and three novels, most recently Detta ska passera (This will pass, Albert Bonniers förlag, 2018). Davidsson also writes children´s book and easy-to-read-books for adults.

Julia Deakin was born in Nuneaton and taught at the University of Bradford. The Half-Mile-High Club was a Poetry Business competition winner and her collections Without a Dog (2008) and Eleven Wonders (2012) impressed nationally renowned poets. A compelling reader, she has read on Poetry Please and won several competitions.

Janet Dean is a former Director in Local Government who graduated with an MA in Creative Writing in 2015, aged 59. She publishes poetry, and her first novel The Peacemaker is due out in 2019. She co-founded Awakening The Writer Within which runs retreats in Yorkshire and France. 

Helen Dring is an English teacher and young adult novelist from Liverpool. She is studying for a PhD in Education and Social Justice at Lancaster University.

Moira Egan’s most recent collections are Synæsthesium (The New Criterion Poetry Prize, 2017) and Olfactorium (Italic Pequod, 2018). Her poems, prose, and translations have appeared in journals and anthologies on four continents. She teaches Creative Writing at St. Stephen’s School in Rome.

Carrie Etter’s forthcoming collection, The Weather in Normal (UK: Seren, US: Station Hill), includes her long poem, Scar (Shearsman, 2016), on the effects of climate change on her home state of Illinois. She is Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. 

Magnus Eriksson is Senior Lecturer in Critical and Creative Writing at Linnaeus University. He has published essays on the Magical Realism of Garcia Marquez, Cortazar's meta-fiction, Megan Abbott, Stephen Booth, gender patterns in the writing of the history of literature, country music feminism, football, the process of otherizing in post-Colonial literature, Swedish writers Artur Lundkvist and Björn Ranelid, and other topics. He has published two collections of essays, the latest one being Förvrängningar. Essäer om litteratur, musik och det andra (Distortions. Essays about Literature, Music, and the Other, 2017).

Glenn Fosbraey is Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer in BA Creative Writing at the University of Winchester and has been on the teaching team for 10 years, during which time he has won a series of learning and teaching  awards and become a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Glenn has published various journal articles, chapters, and books on the subjects of drama, song lyrics, and pedagogical practice, and runs the University's award-winning record label 'Splendid Fred Records'.

Sarah Gibson Yates lectures in writing, film and media at Anglia Ruskin University. Her current research explores writing digital culture into young adult realist fiction. Formerly a film programmer, screenwriter and short film director she’s led  workshops in writing, filmmaking and new media practice in the East of England, London, St Petersburg and New York. @sgyates 

Francis Gilbert is a Lecturer in Education at Goldsmiths, University of London, where is the Head of the MA in Creative Writing and Education. He has been practicing mindfulness for some years and is the author of 'The Mindful English Teacher' (FGI Publishing, 2017) and ‘Who Do You Love’ (Blue Door Press, 2017).

Martin Goodman’s recent Client Earth, a tale of ecolawyers fighting for the planet, won the Jury’s Choice Business Book of the Year Award 2018. Also recent, Forever Konrad brings the vampire tradition to Hull – with a vengeance. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Hull. @MartinGoodman2 

Andrew Graves is a professional poet whose work has featured widely from The National Portrait Gallery to BBC 6’s Cerys Mathews show. He represented Nottingham for the Cities of Literature Showcase. His latest poetry collection is God Save the Teen (2016), whilst his next, about working-class cinema, will be published next year. 

Paul Graves is a lecturer at the University of Helsinki, teaching Creative Writing. He is the co-translator of Apollo in the Snow: Selected Poems of Aleksandr Kushner, and his translations of Russian poetry and Finnish folk poetry have appeared in many publications. He is working on a collection of poems.

Michael Cawood Green is Professor in English and Creative Writing at Northumbria University. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles, and two novels, Sinking and For the Sake of Silence, winner of the Olive Schreiner Prize. His latest novel, The Ghosting of Anne Armstrong, will be published in Spring 2019.

Lily Green is responsible for integrating Book Kernel, an innovative publishing start-up, into the fabric of Paper Nations. Through documentation of milestone events, training a new generation of Book Pilots and trialing the new Writing Ambassador scheme, she has helped build the foundations of a network of young book creators.

Pippa Gribben is a teacher at Yeo Moor Primary School in Clevedon, North Somerset.                   

Kirsty Gunn holds the Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Dundee. She writes novels, short stories and essays, and is published in the UK by Faber and in a number of territories abroad.

Charlotte Hacking is the Learning Programmes Leader at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE). Before joining CLPE, she was an experienced teacher and senior leader. Charlotte's special interests lie in the use of picturebooks and poetry to raise children's engagement and attainment in literacy. She developed and led on the CLPE projects The Power of Pictures and The Power of Poetry.

Mandy Haggith lives in the northwest Highlands of Scotland, where she combines writing with sailing, environmental activism and teaching literature and creative writing. She won the Robin Jenkins Literary Award for environmental writing and in 2013 was poet in residence at the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens. She has three published poetry collections (letting light in, Castings and A-B-Tree), a poetry anthology (Into the Forest) and a non-fiction book (Paper Trails). Her novels include The Last Bear, Bear Witness and, most recently, The Walrus Mutterer, the first of a historical novel trilogy set in the Iron Age.

Bryony Hall has been a member of the Contracts Team at the Society of Authors for nearly five years. As well as vetting contracts and offering advice on professional queries, she is Secretary for the Educational Writers Group and administers the Society of Authors’ Contingency Funds.

Oz Hardwick is a writer, academic, photographer, music journalist, and occasional musician, whose work has been published and performed internationally in and on diverse media. His latest poetry collection is The House of Ghosts and Mirrors (Valley Press, 2017). By day he is Professor of English at Leeds Trinity University.

Nicky Harlow is a published novelist and broadcaster living in West Yorkshire. She is an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Open University, where she has just completed a PhD in Creative Writing. Her research interest lies in the rendering of setting and imagery in contemporary crime thrillers.

Sam Holdstock is an English teacher at an inner city London academy. He is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing and Education at Goldsmiths, University of London, and recently had his first poem published in The Moth.

Andrea Holland is a lecturer in literature and creative writing at UEA. She has two collections of poems, Broadcasting (Gatehouse Press, 2013) and Borrowed (Smith/Doorstop 2007) and poems in journals, anthologies and online, most recently in The World Speaking Back, poems for Denise Riley (Boiler House Press, 2018).

Christine Hollywood is a writing for health and wellbeing practitioner. She was Chair of Lapidus from 2013 - 2015.  Christine developed Write 2Be Me, a creative and expressive writing project for schools. She has also co-founded New Chapter which holds spaces to write and share stories in Sussex and the South East.

Holly Howitt-Dring is a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University, where she teaches an array of subjects at all levels. She is an editor, and a writer of prose and poetry.

Helen Jacey is a writer, story consultant and creative producer at Shedunnit. She leads the MA Creative Writing and Publishing, Bournemouth University. Her book The Woman in the Story is the first feminist screenwriting guide. Helen is the creator of crime series Elvira Slate Investigations with first novel Jailbird Detective out in 2018.

Hilary Jenkins is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Teesside University. Her first pamphlet Gather was published in 2016. She is writing a sequence of novels called Elements exploring the metaphors we live by.

Carolyn Jess-Cooke is a poet, novelist, editor and academic published in 23 languages. She is currently Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, where she leads a British Academy-funded project on Creative Writing Interventions for Mental Health.

Daisy Johnson, MA, BA (hons), MCLIP recently completed an MPhil with the University of York where she considered the relationship between space, place and girlhood within children's literature. She now works as a freelance writer and researcher, and can be found online at Did  You Ever Stop To Think? (

Judy Kendall is Reader in English and Creative Writing at Salford University, award-winning poet, visual text exponent and Old English riddle translator. Her poetry collections include insatiable carrot (Cinnamon Press). In her third monograph-in-progress, on the inarticulable borders of language, academic and creative analysis combine. 

James Kenworth’s plays include Johnny Song, Gob, Polar Bears, issue-led plays Everybody’s World (Elder Abuse), Dementia’s Journey (Dementia), and site-specific plays When Chaplin Met Gandhi (Kingsley Hall), Revolution Farm (Newham City Farm) and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham (Newham Libraries/Community Links).He is Lecturer in Media Narrative at Middlesex University.

Helen Kenwright is a writer and a creative writing tutor for Converge, a project at York St John University offering educational opportunities for people who use mental health services. She also runs the Writing Tree, an organisation supporting writers. Previously she worked for York College as an Educational Researcher in FE.

Tim Kelly is Course Director of the MA in Professional Creative Writing at Coventry University. He writes poetry, fiction and screenplays. He holds awards for scripting and directing short films. He is Producer of the documentary film 722 TMX Engineer Battalion and Scriptwriter/Producer of Story: Tales from a Refugee Camp.

Deak Kirkham like language(s). He learns them, teaches one, lectures about them, writes about them and writes about other things in them. He is yet to encounter the edges of language-related reflection and action, and therefore keeps on doing it, for the time being at least.

Fay Lant Formerly a secondary school teacher in south London, Fay now leads on the National Literacy Trust’s writing programme. The Young Writers Programme works with primary and secondary schools in the most disadvantaged areas of the UK to develop children and young people’s writing skills and enjoyment of writing.

Nancy Lee is the author of two works of fiction, Dead Girls (Faber & Faber) and The Age (McClelland & Stewart). She is the co-creator of the popular EdX series How to Write a Novel. An Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, her third book, a collection of poetry, will be published in 2020.

Amy Lilwall is currently working towards her PhD in Creative Writing with the University of Kent. Her domestic dystopian novel, The Biggerers will be published by Oneworld this June. Amy currently lives in Cornwall where she lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Falmouth.

Russ Litten is the author of three novels including Scream if You Want To Go Faster. Russ has been a writer in residence in prisons in the North of England and continues to work with ex-offenders in the community.

Danielle Lloyd is a committed educationalist with twenty years teaching experience and her own training organization, Vine Education and Training. She is a creative business woman and has recently set up an on-line forum, the Teaching Entrepreneurs Association, to support freelance teachers and trainers.

Michael Loveday writes flash fiction and poetry, and is a freelance writing tutor. His flash fiction novella Three Men on the Edge was published by V. Press in 2018. He teaches American undergraduates for the Advanced Studies in England programme, and in lifelong learning for various educational charities in Somerset.

Gail Low researches book history and publishing, and is the founding editor of DURA (Dundee University Review of the Arts); she recently established the module Writing Creative Essays at Dundee as a core strand of the undergraduate programme of Creative Writing at Dundee.

Alice Maddicott is a writer and artist based in Somerset. As well as her own creative practice she works extensively in schools and museums.

Julia McGuinness writes, counsels and runs workshops around Chester. These include her Write for Growth series, a journalling group and sessions with patients at a Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre. Her first poetry collection is Chester City Walls (Poetry Space 2015). She belongs to Lapidus. More at

Stuart Maconie is a TV and radio presenter, author, columnist and journalist. He co-hosts the Radcliffe and Maconie Show on BBC Radio 6Music and has written and presents dozens of other shows on BBC Radio. His books include The Pie at NightThe People’s SongsHope and GloryAdventures on the High TeasPies and Prejudice and Cider with Roadies.

Petra McNulty is a short story writer and associate lecturer at Lancaster University. Her work draws on her experience as an architect, sculptor and milliner. She's been short and long-listed for the Fish and Hourglass short story competitions and was highly commended in the Cost Coffee Short Story Awards 2017.

Wyl Menmuir is a novelist and editor based in Cornwall. His bestselling debut novel, The Many (Salt Publishing) was longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. Wyl is co-creator of the Cornish writing centre, The Writers’ Block, and has worked with Arvon Foundation and National Literacy Trust on a series of high profile literacy programmes.

Liz Mistry, the author of four Northern Noir crime fiction novels, describes Bradford, her adoptive city, as Warm and Rich and Fearless. A creative writing PhD candidate at Leeds Trinity University, Liz explores the teen voice in adult crime fiction.  She teaches creative writing and runs The Crime Warp blog.

Hannah Morpeth is the director of Create Healthy Minds, a creative facilitator and qualified mental health nurse. Create Healthy Minds facilitate workshops exploring creative writing techniques for wellbeing and mental health awareness sessions.

Alyson Morris is Course Director of the BA in English and Creative Writing at Coventry University. She writes poetry, flash fiction and short stories and is Editor of Coventry Words magazine. She specialises in creative nonfiction and is currently writing a book based upon her father’s post-war experiences in Germany.

Graham Mort writes poetry and short fiction. He is Professor of Creative Writing and Transcultural Literature at Lancaster University and Extraordinary Professor at the University of the Western Cape. He has developed writing projects in sub-Saharan Africa since 2001.  His latest collection of poems is Black Shiver Moss (Seren, 2017).

Sam Murphy is the Poetry Editor for Dublin based website He is based in Birmingham and graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BA and MA (Distinction) in Creative Writing, with a focus on contemporary poetry. His poems have been published in Ink Sweat and Tears, Trashed Organ and was commended in the Verve Poetry Festival competition 2018. Sam has worked in higher education, and the charitable sector delivering creative writing and skills workshops to young people, vulnerable adults and others. He writes about podcasts at, and tweets infrequently @Sam_Murphy00.

Derek Neale is a novelist – The Book of Guardians (Salt, 2012) – script and short story writer, and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at The Open University. He edited and co-wrote A Creative Writing Handbook: Developing dramatic technique, individual style and voice (A&C Black/Bloomsbury, 2009); co-authored Writing Fiction and Life Writing (both Routledge, 2009) and was a principle author in Creative Writing: a workbook with readings (Routledge, 2006). Derek is lead educator on the OU/FutureLearn Start Writing Fiction MOOC.

Sophie Nicholls is a poet and novelist and Head of Humanities at Teesside University. Her book The Feeling of Writing, is forthcoming with Palgrave Macmillan (2019).

Risto Niemi-Pynttäri lectures in Web Writing at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. He worked on "The Invisibles, digital storytelling for the empowerment of young people" project (2015 – 2018) and is a writer, mentoring writing groups, having courses on the pedagogy of creative writing (2010 - 2018). 

Steven O’Brien is a senior lecturer at University of Portsmouth, where he runs the MA in Creative Writing. Amongst other posts and professions, he is a poet, and editor of The London Magazine.

Stella Pakeman After reading English Literature at university, Stella worked in a variety of national and local publishing concerns before retraining as a teacher of English. She has taught in the state sector and, for five years, in a home school. Stella passionately believes that students thrive when their writing experience is relevant to today's world and has real audiences.

Judith Palmer is Director of The Poetry Society. With education at the heart of its mission, the Society runs the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, a nationwide  Poets in Schools programme and online platform Young Poets Network. Judith has formerly worked as a journalist and broadcaster, in publishing, as an academic research fellow, and a curator of public programmes.

Vasilis Papageorgiou is Professor of Creative Writing and Reader in Comparative Literature at Linnaeus University, Sweden. He has written and translated many books, published in Greece and Sweden. For more information and a full publication list, please visit his university staff website at

Caleb Parkin is a poet, performer, filmmaker & experienced facilitator, based in Bristol. He works with schools, museums, universities and others & is completing an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. He enters and occasionally wins competitions.  @CalebParkin

Alice Penfold is a London-based secondary school English teacher. Having taught for three years, she worked for the National Literacy Trust whilst studying for a Children’s Literature MA at Goldsmiths. Alice is now teaching again, completing the second year of her MA and spending her spare time reading and writing.

Kevin Price is a PhD candidate at Western Australia’s Murdoch University, an English teacher and author. Between 2005 and 2015 he developed and taught a program of creative writing in primary and high schools, and now provides student workshops and creative writing professional development for senior high school English teachers.

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. She was previously a writer-in-residence at MADE café, in Cardiff, and was published in the anthology Café Collisions.

Kate Prince created ‘Take a Breath – Yoga/Breathing for Creativity’ while studying an MA in Writing for Children. Kate, who is a writer and qualified yoga teacher, has taught ‘Yoga for Creativity’ to university students and creatives. She also has an MA in Museums and Galleries: History of Textiles and Dress.

Amanda Quinn is a writer and tutor. She has been published by National Flash Fiction Day, Papaya Press, Ellipsis Zine, After the Pause, and Spelk among others. She delivers courses and workshops on creative writing for the Workers’ Educational Association and other community/arts organisations in the north east of England.

Meryl Pugh teaches at Morley College, London and the Poetry School.  Her first collection, Natural Phenomena (2018, Penned in the Margins) was the PBS Spring 2018 Guest Selection. She has a PhD in Critical and Creative Writing from UEA; her current project is provisionally entitled ‘London Feral’.

Jessica Randall is Writing Programme Leader at the Ministry of Stories. Her background is in theatre participation, where she’s primarily worked with schools and youth theatre groups. She has written several plays for children and young audiences.

Joanne Reardon’s fiction has been published in magazines and anthologies including The London Magazine and Mafia and she was shortlisted for both the Cinnamon Short Story Prize 2014 and the 2017 Cinnamon Debut Novel award. In collaboration with artist Iain Andrews her short story, ‘My Mind’s Eye’, was published at the Warrington Arts Festival (2012) and ‘Still Life with Blackbirds’ at the Corinium Museum, Cirencester with artist Richard Kenton Webb in 2016; she is now working on a new project with artist Natalie Sirett in London for 2019. She also writes for radio where she was a Producer for many years at BBC Radio Drama. Jo studied Creative Writing at UEA and Lancaster University and is now teaches at the Open University where she is an Honorary Associate in Creative Writing.

Tawnya Renelle currently lives in Glasgow and is working on a PhD in Creative Writing. She is writing a textbook about hybrid forms weaving together poetry, prose, critical analysis, and theory. She enjoys challenging and investigating genre and form. She enjoys spending extensive time in the Scottish Highlands.

Hannah Sackett is a PhD student at the Institute for Education at Bath Spa University. She is researching children making comics in KS2, and has a particular interest in materials and process. Hannah helps to run Comic Swap and the Comics Club blog.

Jacqueline Saphra’s latest collection from Nine Arches Press, 'All My Mad Mother'was shortlisted for the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize and in the same year 'A Bargain with the Light: Poems after Lee Miller' was published by Hercules Editions. She lives in London and teaches at The Poetry School. 

Clare Scott is a words-for-wellbeing professional.  A specialist in neurodiversity and specific learning difference, she employs verbal and non-verbal media in her intuitive practice.  Her PhD in Creative Writing involves psychogeography, mental health and metaphysics.  She is Chair of Lapidus International, a director of POETRY and of Rowan Journeys C.I.C.

Barrie Sherwood is an assistant professor of English and coordinator of creative writing at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His short fiction and essays have appeared in various journals. His novels are The Pillow Book of Lady Kasa (DC Books, Canada) and Escape from Amsterdam (Granta Books, UK; St Martins Press, USA). 

Nicki Shore, First Story’s Head of Programmes, was previously a headteacher in a Lincolnshire secondary school in which First Story had a residency. She has held various leadership positions in schools, prior to her six years in headship and she has a particular interest in literacy, pedagogy and student voice. Nicki is now studying for a PhD in Education with Lincoln University. 

Jenifer Smith is a writer educator, visiting senior fellow at UEA and co-director of the UK National Writing Project. Her publications include Introducing Teachers’ Writing Groups with Simon Wrigley (2016) Routledge; Reading Through the Night (2015) Garlic Press; Pivotal with Alice Finbow (2017) limited artist’s edition.

Bambo Soyinka is an award winning Writer, Director and Executive Development Producer. She has designed and created numerous critically acclaimed interactive stories, programmes and multi-platform productions, noted for their capacity to bring people together across borders, fuse worlds and change the state of play. Bambo has over 20 years’ experience leading multi-sector projects with artists, educators and entrepreneurs in the South West, the UK and internationally. As a key part of her current role, Bambo directs the Centre for Transnational Creativity and Education (TRACE) at Bath Spa University. TRACE’s current portfolio of external multi-partner projects includes Paper Nations (supported through an ACE’s strategic writing in school fund).

Jean Sprackland is a poet and writer. She is the winner of the Costa Poetry Award in 2008, and the Portico Prize for Non-Fiction in 2012. Her books have also been shortlisted for the Forward Prize, the TS Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Award. Jean is Professor of Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is Chair of the Poetry Archive, the world’s premier online collection of recordings of poets reading their work. Jean has worked as a consultant and project manager for organisations involved with literature and education. She has held residencies in schools and universities, and is a tutor for the Arvon Foundation. She lives in London.

Julian Stannard is a Reader in English and Creaive Writing  at the University of Winchester. His most recent collection is What were you thinking? (CB Editions, 2016) and this year Il Canneto  published Sottoripa in Genoa, a bilingual publication of his Genoese writings. He reviews for TLS. His website details can be seen at

Jennifer Steil is an author and journalist who recently sold her third book to Viking. Her award-winning novel, The Ambassador’s Wife, (Doubleday, 2015), was described by the Seattle Times as “brilliantly drawn and deeply troubling,” The New York Times called her memoir, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (Broadway Books, 2010), a “riveting tale of a life’s journey that reads as if it will need a sequel.”

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 freelance writer, creative writing teacher and writing for wellbeing practitioner. She has four published books, ‘Teaching Creative Writing’ and ‘Reading Skills’ plus ‘The Last Rolo’ and ‘Sit, Stay, Roll Over’, written from her dog’s perspective!  She also writes magazine columns, short stories and poetry.

Becky Swain is Head of Learning and Participation at Arvon and leads on work with schools and a wide range of arts and community  groups. She is an experienced youth worker, teacher and arts learning facilitator.

Lucy Sweetman is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and has a project management and editorial role with Paper Nations. She is a commercial copywriter and a writer of creative nonfiction with a particular interest in creative inquiry and the relationship between the personal, political and public. Lucy spent more than twenty years in the voluntary and public sectors working with marginalised and disadvantaged young people in the UK, Australia and across Europe. She is the co-editor of Exploring Consensual Leadership in Higher Education: Co-operation, Collaboration and Partnership (Bloomsbury, 2018).

Jonathan Taylor’s books include the novels Melissa (Salt, 2015) and Entertaining Strangers (Salt, 2012), both of which were shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award, as well as the memoir Take Me Home (Granta Books, 2007), 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), which won the Saboteur Award for Best Short Fiction Anthology, 2013. He runs the MA in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester. He’ll have a glass of red wine if you’re ordering. 

Helena Thomas is the Course Leader for the Secondary English PGCE at Bath Spa University. She is also undertaking doctoral research into novice teachers’ experiences of teaching writing in U.K. state secondary schools.

Maria Thomas holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Oregon, and is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, where is working on a novel about female sex tourism and corporate capitalism in the Caribbean. She coordinates Creative Writing for City Lit in London.

Pam Thompson is a poet, lecturer, reviewer and writing tutor based in Leicester. Her publications include The Japan Quiz (Redbeck Press, 2008), Show Date and Time, (Smith/ Doorstop, 2006) and Hologram (Sunk Island Publishing, 2008). Her second collection, Strange Fashion, was published by Pindrop Press in December 2017. Web-site

Heike Herma Thomsen M.A. (English Literature) is a Certified Coach for Creative Writing and Poetry Therapy, Translator and Writer. She has been running courses for 20 years using literary exercises for personal development and well-being, and creative (writing) techniques for business with a particular focus on developing clarity and building (self-)confidence.

Enrique Valladares is a writer and Creative Writing teacher at Escuela de Escritores (Madrid, Spain) since 2007, has been teaching online and presencial courses of short stories, microfiction and creative writing. In 2014 attends the two year Master de Narrativa at Escuela de Escritores.

Valeria Vescina is a graduate of the Goldsmiths Creative & Life Writing MA. She is a writer, a teacher and critic, as well as a trustee of the Hampstead Arts Festival. Her debut novel, That Summer in Puglia (Eyewear Publishing), was launched at the Oxford Literary Festival in March 2018.

John Vigna is an Instructor and Pedagogy Chair at UBC Creative Writing where his focus is on pedagogical and curricular strategies for 5500 Creative Writing students across the MFA, Major, and Minor programs, including online edX innovations. He is the author of Bull Head, translated and published recently in France by Éditions Albin Michel (Loin de la violence des hommes).

Judy Waite is an award-winning author of over forty works of fiction, ranging from picture books to Young Adult Fiction, plus academic publications that focus on creative writing. She has run creative workshops for over twenty years, teaches creative writing at the University of Winchester and specialises in research that connects creativity with education.

Lynda Waterhouse is an author/educator with ten published books. She has devised and run creative workshops for museum and art galleries for many years including the Wallace Collection, The Queen’s Gallery and Elsecar Heritage Centre in South Yorkshire.

Andrew Weale is a photographer and prize-winning children’s author. He teaches creative writing at Winchester University, and the City Lit and City Academy in London. He also gives poetry and creative writing workshops at schools. His first self-published book was the genre-bending Photo Graphic Novel, London Out of Time.

Lyle Weir is Lecturer on the BA in English and Creative Writing at Coventry. He teaches poetry, writing for magazines and short story writing. His background is in performance poetry and music. He has toured extensively, building a reputation as the ‘must see’ frontman in the band, Ashes of Maybelle.

Chris Westoby took his PhD Creative Writing at the University of Hull. His research goal is to help bring the subject of mental health into healthy discussion, through following the stories of others and digging into his own experience. The Fear Talking develops the young voice – perceptive but lost in intrusive thought – which began in ‘The Base of Death Hill’ in Writing Hull. 

Harry Whitehead is associate professor of creative writing at the University of Leicester. His research interests and publications include the subject’s culturally particular origins, its new global reach, and devising alternative pedagogies for teaching writing. He has a background in film and TV production and in social anthropology.

Paul Williams is discipline leader of Creative Writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia where he runs the Master of Professional Practice (Creative Writing) and the undergraduate programme. He has published fiction, young adult novels, a memoir, educational readers, short stories and articles. Recent books include Playing with Words (2016), Fail Brilliantly (2017), The Art of Losing (2018), and Novel Ideas (forthcoming 2019).

Claire Williamson is Programme Leader for Metanoia Institute’s MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes and author of four poetry collections, the latest is Visiting the Minotaur (Seren, 2018). Claire has been working with others to find words for over twenty years in a wide range of community and healthcare settings.

Dave Windass, First Story’s Programme Officer for Hull, has been actively involved in Hull’s arts scene for over two decades. He is a playwright, theatremaker and festival producer, and previously was an arts journalist. He is part of the team that delivers Humber Mouth, Hull’s annual literature festival, and loves words, books, music and the occasional dance, especially when people are looking.

Jessica Wortley is a published poet and teacher of creative writing. She is currently working towards a PhD in creative writing at Teesside University, where she is researching links between nature writing and wellbeing. Her first poetry pamphlet As If We Were The Trees, was published in 2015.

Patrick Wright is an Associate Lecturer in Arts and Humanities at The Open University. He has a poetry pamphlet, Nullaby, and a forthcoming full collection published by Eyewear. He is also a PhD student in Creative Writing, focusing on ekphrastic responses to monochromatic paintings.

Simon Wrigley was a teacher and school adviser for English and drama.  He was chair of NATE 2004-2006. In 2009, Jeni Smith and he co-founded NWP (UK). They co-authored Introducing Teachers’ Writing Groups (Routledge 2015). Simon has launched over 30 teachers’ writing groups and runs the project website :

Jo Young is a University of Glasgow Creative Writing PhD candidate studying the female soldier’s poetic response to war. She is a poet, tutor, Army Reservist and the Army’s Arts Engagement Officer. She organised this year’s ‘Writing Armistice Poetry Competition’, running workshops for children, adults and soldiers. Her first poetry pamphlet is published in 2019.

Lynne Taylor As Schools Programme Manager for Paper Nations, Lynne is responsible for managing the relationships with all the schools involved in the project. This includes managing partnerships as well as coordinating workshops with Writing Champions and Writing Explorers, and the Inspire Days at Bath Spa University. Lynne has over twenty years’ experience in managing literacy projects for children in libraries and schools.

Christopher Vick is the author of YA novels, Kook, and Storms. He is a graduate of the Bath Spa MA in Writing for Young People. As both a writer and tutor he is fascinated by the nature of stories: what they are, how they are put together and why they are important.  These subjects make up the core of his workshops and talks in schools and at literary festivals.



Stuart Maconie


Stuart Maconie is a TV and radio presenter, author, columnist and journalist. He co-hosts the Radcliffe and Maconie Show on BBC Radio 6 Music and has written and presents dozens of other shows on BBC Radio. His books include The Pie at Night, The People’s Songs, Hope and Glory, Adventures on the High Teas, Pies and Prejudice and Cider with Roadies.



Jean Sprackland


Jean Sprackland is a poet and writer. She is the winner of the Costa Poetry Award in 2008, and the Portico Prize for Non-Fiction in 2012. Her books have also been shortlisted for the Forward Prize, the TS Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Award. Jean is Professor of Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is Chair of the Poetry Archive, the world’s premier online collection of recordings of poets reading their work. Jean has worked as a consultant and project manager for organisations involved with literature and education. She has held residencies in schools and universities, and is a tutor for the Arvon Foundation. She lives in London.