Fri 27 May 2022
HE Committee
HE Committee Elections
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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 was adopted at the AGM within the NAWE Conference York on Saturday 9 November 2019. This followed an online nominations process and all NAWE members were invited to take part. Details of the elections can be found here

A Chairperson will be selected from within the group in due course, & members of the HE Committee will also form the editorial board of NAWE's peer-reviewed journal Writing in Practice.

If you would like to find out more about the work of the Committee, or if you have any questions or comments to pass on to its members, please contact us

HE Committee members for 2019 - 2022:

Jenn Ashworth, Lancaster University

Jenn Ashworth is a novelist and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. As the postgraduate director of 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, is 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. 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.

David Bishop, Edinburgh Napier University

I am Programme Leader for Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland, where I helped develop and launch our Creative Writing MA in 2009. Our programme focuses on genre fiction and innovative pre-writing practice, while eschewing peer review workshops - an approach that attracts students from around the world. We are launching an international MA/MFA programme during 2020 in partnership with Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. I am the author of twenty published novels, an award-winning screenwriter, and have script credits for BBC TV dramas and radio plays. I am currently writing historical mysteries set in Renaissance Florence, with the first novel City of Vengeance being published by Pan Macmillan in Spring 2021.

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). In this role I have been particularly involved with the AQA consultation for the Creative Writing A Level, chairing Annual Conference events, and co-authoring the QAA’s first subject benchmark for Creative Writing (published February 2016), which the QAA have asked me to review and approve for their updating process. 

Celia Brayfield, Bath Spa University/Advanced Studies in England 

I am a the author of nine novels and six non-fiction books. I'm also a Senior Lecturer at Bath Spa University, a tutor working with the US-accredited Advanced Studies in England and a mentor with Gold Dust. On the six years I've served on the HE Committee I was also a member of the QAA Panel which wrote the Benchmark Statement for Creative Writing in 2015/6. As 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 NAWE has a vital role in supporting the the subject of Creative Writing and those who teach it. 

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.

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

Carrie Etter, Bath Spa University (role share with Dr Amy Spencer)

I am Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and have served on NAWE's Higher Education Committee since 2010. I also regularly teach in FE for The Poetry School, Poetry Swindon, and other organisations. I have published four collections of poetry, a chapbook of flash fictions, and numerous essays and reviews. I am passionate about creative writing as research and the role of creative writing in HE. 

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 English 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 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 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 contributed to The Portable Poetry Workshop (Palgrave/Macmillan) and have also published articles on poetry and creative writing pedagogy. I sit on the Board of the European Association of Creative Writing Programs and I am a long-serving member of NAWE's HE Committee, contributing to both the original NAWE Subject Benchmark for Creative Writing, and also the QAA development team for approval of the subject benchmark, as well as a 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.

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.

Dr Kate North, Cardiff Metropolitan University (role share with Christina Thatcher)

I am a writer of poetry and fiction and I am Reader in Creative Writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University. I have experience of teaching on and running programmes in several HE institutions over the past fifteen years. I have previously served two terms on NAWE’s Management Committee and a term on the HE Committee. I am committed to working on the Editorial Board of Writing in Practice, promoting career development opportunities for colleagues, pushing forward equality and diversity initiatives and in representing Wales based writers in a UK context.

Dr Amy Spencer, Bath Spa University (role share with Carrie Etter)

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 Metropolitan University (role share with Dr Kate North) 

I am a Creative Writing Lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University 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 one poetry collection in 2017 with another forthcoming in 2020. 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.

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.