Mon 22 April 2024
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Higher Education Committee 

The Higher Education Committee represents all members with an interest in Higher Education, and has a number of very important duties to perform: responding to government consultations, participating in REF 2021, working closely with other subject associations, raising concerns affecting the sector, and publishing our online, open access, peer-reviewed journal. Members of the Higher Education Committee attend 3 meetings per year in London and participate actively in the work of the committee.

A new HE Committee for 2022 - 25 was elected at the AGM on Thursday 10 November 2022. A Chairperson will be selected from within the group in due course, and members of the HE Committee will also form the editorial board of NAWE's peer-reviewed journal Writing in Practice.

HE Committee members for 2022 - 2025: 

Jenn Ashworth, Lancaster University

Jenn Ashworth is a novelist, short story writer, essayist and memoir writer. She is the Professor of Writing in the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University. As the subject lead in Creative Writing, she takes a special interest in matters of Creative Writing pedagogy and research, led the development of Lancaster’s first modular MA in Creative Writing, served as the NWCDTP pathway lead for Creative Writing and has participated in the recent ACE consultation process on their new funding strategy. She teaches long and short fiction, life writing and the personal essay and has an interest in cross-media collaboration and social media’s role in the development of communities of creative practice. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an honorary fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge. More at

Dr Yvonne Battle-Felton, Sheffield Hallam University

I am a lecturer in Creative Writing and Creative Industries at Sheffield Hallam University. I have been in HE since 2009 and have taught in the US and the UK. As a writer, academic, and creative practitioner, I create and co-develop projects, platforms, and opportunities to empower people to share their stories. I create projects that encourage students to engage with readers and the wider community and aim to lead by example by participating in and creating community arts projects. Diversity, representation, narrative, and voice are important to me on the page, in the classroom, and in life.

Helena Blakemore, University of East London

I am a Senior Lecturer at the University of East London and have been teaching Creative Writing in Higher Education since 2003. I am a member of the Writing in Practice and Writing in Education Editorial Boards, and have been a serving HE Committee member since 2008 (elected Vice Chair, 2009-2014). I co-authored the QAA’s first subject benchmark for Creative Writing and have been involved with NAWE conference events and other activities. I am particularly interested in supporting diversity, both in the curriculum and student cohorts. (Update: Helena has now retired and is no longer serving on the Committee.)

Dr Celia Brayfield, Bath Spa University/Advanced Studies in England

I am the author of nine novels and six non-fiction books. I'm a Senior Lecturer at Bath Spa University, and have also taught or mentored emerging writers with Oxford University Continuing Education Department, the US- focused Advanced Studies in England , the Arvon Foundation, Ty Newydd, Guardian Masterclasses and Gold Dust. As an author, I’ve also served on the Management Committee of the Society of Authors, with Terry Pratchett as Chair. I have co-edited three editions of Writing in Practice and I was also a member of the QAA Panel which wrote the Benchmark Statement for Creative Writing in 2015/6. As a past Chair and Deputy Chair I have taken specific interest in a fair deal for colleagues working on casual contracts and in our links with EACWP. At this challenging time in higher education in England, I believe strongly that NAWE has a vital role in supporting the subject of Creative Writing and those who teach it.

Rachel Carney, Cardiff University and Aberystwyth University (student representative)

Rachel Carney is a poet, creative writing facilitator and 4th year PhD student based at Cardiff University, with co-supervision from Aberystwyth University, funded by the SWWDTP. Her research examines the use of creative writing as a tool for visitor engagement in art museums, working in partnership with National Museum Wales. She also teaches on the undergraduate creative writing course at Cardiff and works as a freelance writer. She has an MA in Creative Writing (2019) and an MA in Museum Studies (2008). Her debut poetry collection, Octopus Mind, will be published by Seren Books in July 2023.

Dr Jessica Clapham, Bangor University

I am a lecturer in Education and Linguistics at Bangor University, North Wales. I am pursuing a course as a Poetry Therapy Practitioner under the guidance and mentorship of Jill Teague. I have attended poetry workshops and recent peer group meetings with Jill and am I convinced that this route is an expression of my core values. I have recently completed a Doctorate in Education at Exeter University, which involved exploring Bilingual Teacher Identity and Code-switching in schools in Wales, using Narrative Inquiry techniques. This has encouraged me to rediscover my love of poetry and narrative and develop further knowledge of working with dynamic groups of learners.

Nikolai Duffy, Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University

I am a Senior Lecturer in English at Manchester Metropolitan University, where I teach creative writing, poetry, and American Literature. I am also the Associate Head of our Postgraduate Arts and Humanities Centre, where I lead on creative writing critical-creative PhDs. Former PhD students include: Kim Moore, Andrew Forster, and Rachel Mann. I am currently supervising Niall Campbell and Anna Selby. With Michael Symmons Roberts, I am the co-director of Manchester Met’s Poetry Research Group, which works closely with the Manchester Poetry Library. I have served on the AHRC funding allocation committee for creative writing PhDs in the North West for 9 years. I am a poet and academic, specialising in the relation between creative and critical writing. Previous publications include the collection of prose poems, UP THE CREEK (Knives Forks and Spoons, 2018); the hybrid work of poetry, prose and essay on the subject of mourning THE LITTLE SHED OF VARIOUS LAMPS (Very Small Kitchen, 2013), and the work of creative literary criticism, RELATIVE STRANGENESS: READING ROSMARIE WALDROP (Shearsman, 2013). I am the Editor of Rosmarie Waldrop’s selected poems, GAP GARDENING (New Directions, 2016). I am currently finishing my first novel and a creative-critical monograph on hybrid lyric poetry, exploring the connections between poetry, philosophy, visual art, and politics.

Dr Sue Dymoke, Nottingham Trent University

Sue Dymoke is a poet, Associate Professor in Education at Nottingham Trent University and National Teaching Fellow/SFHEA. Her research focuses on aspects of poetry pedagogy and curriculum, writing development and creativity. Sue also regularly leads poetry writing workshops for young people and adults. A NAWE member for many years, she has extensive experience of peer reviewing, journal editing and writing for publication. Books include three poetry collections (the latest is What They Left Behind, Shoestring Press) and edited volumes: Making Poetry Matter: International research on poetry pedagogy and Making Poetry Happen: Transforming the poetry classroom (Bloomsbury). She blogs at (Update: NAWE was deeply saddened to learn of Sue’s untimely death in 2023. Read a personal tribute from fellow NAWE member Francis Gilbert here. Sue also served on the NAWE Board of Trustees.

Carrie Etter, University of Bristol

Dr Carrie Etter has been a member of the HE committee since 2010 and recently joined the creative writing faculty at the University of Bristol after eighteen years at Bath Spa University. She has published four collections of poems as well as short fiction, essays, and reviews. Recent work appears in Theories and Strategies for Teaching Creative Writing Online (Routledge, 2021), Ten Poems about Music (Candlestick, 2022), and 100 Poems to Save the Earth (Seren, 2021). Her research interests include literary trauma theory, innovations in form and genre to articulate trauma, ecopoetry, and prose poetry.

Dr Francis Gilbert, Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr Francis Gilbert is a Lecturer in Education at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he is PGCE English course leader, and the head of the MA in Creative Writing and Education. He has been a member of NAWE for some years now, and has regularly given workshops at its conferences. He has also published articles about creative writing in NAWE's magazine and academic journal. He has been a member of the Higher Education Committee as well, and has tried his best to promote the values of NAWE and represent views of members and other connected people on the committee. He would be delighted to continue in this role if possible.

Professor Michael (Cawood) Green, Northumbria University

I am a writer and Professor in English and Creative Writing, as well as co-founder and chair of the interdisciplinary Northumbria Practice Research Group. I set up the now well-established PhD programme in Creative Writing at Northumbria, and helped establish the extremely successful Northumbria/New Writing North partnership. My current research concentrates on the reflective commentary as a generative mode in the creative process, and my latest novel, The Ghosting of Anne Armstrong, completed under the auspices of an AHRC Fellowship, is the first to be published in Goldsmiths Press’s Practice Research series.

(Paul) Oz Hardwick, Leeds Trinity University

I am currently Professor of Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University, where I have worked since 2000, leading the development of the BA English and Creative Writing and MA Creative Writing, and supervising PhD students. My poetry is widely published, and I have a record of academic publication in Creative Writing, as well as Medieval Studies, for which I been included in my university’s past REF (& RAE) exercises. I have a particular interest is in prose poetry: my most recent collection is A Census of Preconceptions (SurVision Books, 2022), and I am co-editor with Anne Caldwell of The Valley Press Anthology of Prose Poetry (Valley Press, 2019) and Prose Poetry in Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2022). I am committed to the idea of the university as a place that engages with wider communities. I have been involved with NAWE regionally for a few years and appear to have been caught by its gravitational pull.

Andrea Holland, University of East Anglia

I would like to put myself forward as a member of NAWE's Higher Education Committee, continuing my long service to NAWE and its members as part of the Higher Education team: I teach Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia with a specialism in poetry and cross-arts collaboration. I have two collections of poems published, Broadcasting and Borrowed, with individual poems in journals and anthologies. I'm a contributor to The Portable Poetry Workshop (Palgrave/Macmillan) with many articles on poetry and creative writing pedagogy published. I sit on the Board of the European Association of Creative Writing Programs and have been a member of NAWE's HE Committee since 2008, contributing to both the original NAWE Subject Benchmark for Creative Writing and the 2015 QAA Subject Benchmark Statement, as well as NAWE's Code of Practice for Casual Contracts at HEIs.

Dr Holly Howitt-Dring, Liverpool John Moores University

I am Senior Lecturer at LJMU, having recently moved from University of Portsmouth, where I was MA Course Leader. I have been lecturing for over ten years at various HEIs, and a member of NAWE and the HE Committee for the past two elected cycles. I was on the Writing in Practice Board as a journal editor for two issues. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Peer Review College Member for the AHRC, and a member of the Critics’ Circle. I am editorial advisor to The London Magazine.

Anjum Malik, Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University

Poet, scriptwriter, currently one of the multilingual City poets for Manchester, and senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her ‘Before The Rains’ poetry collection was published by Huddersfield university Press, with other poems featured in several other anthologies. She has also had over 80 original plays transmitted or performed for BBC, ITV and theatre. Currently she is developing a TV drama series for BBC and a stage play for Rifco Theatre company. Previous jobs include police officer, interpreter, salesperson, business and classical Indian Kathak dancer. Born in Saudi Arabia of Pakistani heritage, Anjum is currently based in Manchester, U.K. Agent: Guy Howes, WGM Talent and Literary Group;

Professor Andrew Melrose, University of Winchester/University of Brighton

Professor Andrew Melrose is now Emeritus Professor at the University of Winchester and works with other universities throughout the UK, Greece, Australia and the USA. He has worked in Creative Writing for over 25 years and has over 150 publications in one form or another (books, films, articles, poems and songs) and he has maintained his ambition to publish at least one thing every year. His most recent publications are The Boat and Das Boot (in German translation) which is about introducing children to the idea of people who take to boats, looking for a better life, and Fisherrow - a book and cd of his own songs At the moment he is working on a novel, has edited Writing in Practice and Meniscus, and is also an international editor for Axon: Creative Explorations. (Update: Andrew stepped down from the HE Committee in 2023.) 

Dr Kate North, Cardiff Metropolitan University

I teach at Cardiff Metropolitan University where I am Reader in Creative Writing. I have served two terms on the NAWE HE Committee and I have recently taken over as Co-Editor for Writing in Practice. I write poetry and fiction and am interested in applications of writing practice in health and wellbeing contexts. I would like to work with the Committee to make Writing in Practice as SCOPUS listed journal in the current REF cycle. I have previously served on the Management Committee of NAWE and as Chair of Literature Wales also.

Dr Joanne Reardon, Senior Lecturer at The Open University

I’m Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at The Open University contributing to the writing and delivery of courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. More than 2000 students a year study Creative Writing at the OU, tutored by over 150 Associate Lecturers who are all practising writers. Prior to joining the OU, I was a Visiting Lecturer at Lancaster University and Edge Hill University after many years as a producer for BBC Radio Drama. I’m primarily a novelist who also works in collaboration with contemporary artists in site-specific locations, creating experimental prose in response to their artworks.

Dr Amy Spencer, Bath Spa University

I have served on the NAWE HE Committee for three years and, previously, on the NAWE Management Committee. I am a post-doctoral research assistant, associate lecturer, creative producer for Paper Nations and writer. I have a PhD from Goldsmiths and have worked at UWE Bristol as a post-doctoral research fellow as part of the Ambient Literature Research Project. My current research at Bath Spa University addresses the affordance of mobile technologies for telling stories. I write both fiction and non-fiction and am the author of DIY: The Rise of Lo-Fi Culture and editor of the forthcoming essay collection Ambient Stories: Digital Writing in Place.

Christina Thatcher, Cardiff University

I am a Creative Writing Lecturer at Cardiff University (as of January 2023) with research interests in contemporary poetry, creative writing pedagogy and the role of creative writing in therapeutic and community contexts. I am an HEA Fellow and have taught in universities for five years, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. As a practicing writer, my work has featured in over 50 literary magazines. I published two poetry collections with Parthian Books: More than you were (2017) and How to Carry Fire (2017). I am also the Poetry Editor of The Cardiff Review, a regular tutor for The Poetry School, and a member of the Literature Wales Management Board.

Elena Traina (student representative)

Elena Traina is a writer, creative writing tutor and researcher in Creative Writing Studies. She completed a postgraduate diploma in Teaching Creative Writing at University of Alcalá and she teaches Creative Writing in English as a second language online at Scuola Holden and Escuela de Escritores. She has recently started a PhD at Falmouth University, researching how creative writing is taught in Romance-language countries and exploring the relationship between place and creative writing pedagogy. As a researcher and as a professional, she is interested in writing creatively in ESL and in conventional and unconventional approaches to teaching Creative Writing.

Dr Amy Waite, University of Roehampton

Amy is a Research Fellow at the University of Roehampton, teaching and researching across English Literature and Creative Writing. After completing her Literature PhD at the University of Oxford, Amy worked as a literary agent at Felicity Bryan Associates representing children’s and young adult fiction writers. Amy currently consults as a children’s fiction reader for Maria B. Campbell Associates, recommending titles for Netflix to adapt for television and film, and is an editor at The Writer's Advice Centre and Wacky Bee Books. At Roehampton, Amy sits on the editorial board of the in-house micro-publisher Fincham Press, which has grappled with debates about Open Access for the REF.

Dr Jennifer Young, Falmouth University

I have taught Creative Writing in universities for over 15 years. I became the Head of Writing and Journalism at Falmouth University in January 2019. Prior to that I worked for 13 years at the University of Hertfordshire as an associate dean and a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, where I designed and validated an MA in Creative Writing and redesigned the undergraduate creative writing provision. I’m a SFHEA, and my PhD in Creative Writing is from Southampton University. My research is in creative writing pedagogy and the blending of creativity with heritage. My novels are historical thrillers.