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A bit more about me

I started my career as a Drama teacher, teaching at most levels before gradually letting Creative Writing take over – nowadays when I teach it’s mainly Creative Writing, with adults. In 2018 I published my first work of fiction for a while – a short story collection called Unusual Places. In the noughties, I published two novels with Headline Review: The Water’s Edge (2003) and The Haven Home for Delinquent Girls (2004). Then I travelled for a while, wrote a PhD, started a family, and worked full-time as a university lecturer. During that time I published various essays, short stories, poems and articles, and a non-fiction book called A Small Steps Guide to Goal Setting and Time Management. Nowadays I teach part-time for the Open University and work for myself – writing and designing courses – for the rest of the week.

See a sample of my writing here:

Find Time to Write (a free eBook)

Versions of Creative Writing Teaching (from Writing in Education, 2014. Downloads as a PDF.)

On Dyslexic Writing (From Writing in Practice, 2015.)

On Teaching Creativity (Downloads as PDF. Starts on page 48.)

My most recent publications

My short story collection came out with Cultured Llama this summer.

An essay called ‘Searching for the Bandaged Place’ in The Creative Critic: Writing as / about Practice. Edited by Katja Hilevaara, Emily Orley.

An essay called ‘Risk, Constraint, Play: A New Paradigm for Examining Practice-as-Research’. Text: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses, Vol 21: 1, April 2017.

A series of self-published guides for writers and writing students, Small Steps. 2017.

Even more about me

I was born in Poole in Dorset and grew up in the south coast seaside town of Bournemouth, so I’ve always loved the seaside, although I lived in London for a long time – about 18 years in total. I think of it as a second home. I went to Bournemouth School for Girls, and then studied Drama at the University of East Anglia. I did a Drama PGCE at Middlesex and taught Drama and writing in schools and youth groups and other places. I’ve been writing since I was 7 or 8, mainly in notebooks. (I thought I was writing poetry but I don’t know if I was!) I started to take it seriously when I was an undergraduate. I returned to UEA six years after graduating to do the MA in Creative Writing, specialising in fiction. After that I did a PhD in English Literature and Cultural Theory at the University of Reading, where I wrote about hair. I live in East Sussex with my wife, son and our two black cats. I love singing (I used to sing in a choir called the The Pink Singers when I lived in London), cooking, reading, days by the sea, and picnics.

My novels

I used my experience of growing up in self-catering holiday flatlets to write my first novel, The Water’s Edgewhich was set in a ramshackle hotel. The Water’s Edge was a real hotel near the East Cliff in Boscombe, Bournemouth. I never went into the hotel; instead I watched while Bournemouth Council slowly knocked it down over two years, and imagined what it would have been like inside.

The Haven Home for Delinquent Girls is also based on a buildingThe Haven in Ely, Cambridgeshire, used to be a home for unmarried mothers. At the time I first visited it was a teashop selling fancy cakes. Nowadays it’s a private home. Both books were published by Review and are still available to buy second hand on Amazon. I’m currently working on my third novel. My collection of short stories – Unusual Places – came out with Cultured Llama in 2018.

I also write poetry and screenplays.

My short stories

For a list of the short stories I’ve published so far, click here.

Small Steps

After taking time out to travel, write my PhD and start a family, I wrote a nonfiction book, called A Small Steps Guide to Goal Setting and Time Management, which was published by a small press called Emerald in July 2012.

Recently I have self-published various eBooks based on reflections on my own writing practice and teaching. You can find out more about them on the Small Steps Guide blog.

My academic writing

My academic writing falls into three (sometimes overlapping) categories:

  • cultural interpretations of the body – mainly on hair!
  • creative practice – for instance, on learning and teaching creativity, or creative research
  • and more recently disability and neurodiversity.

I’ve published several essays on hair, as that was my PhD topic. I’ve written about my experience as a dyslexic writer in NAWE’s ‘Writing in Practice’ magazine and in the foreword to Everything is Spherical. I also contributed an essay on the links between Queer and Crip Theory for a Palgrave collection called Rethinking Disability Theory and Practice. My essay on creative practice as academic research was published by a journal called TEXT. You can read it online here: Risk, Constraint and Play. I also have an essay in The Creative Critic, the Routledge collection that came out in 2018.

Teaching

I taught my first class in 1993 when I was still an undergraduate. I’ve taught in all sorts of places – from community centres to homeless shelters, from supply teaching to University lecturing. For twelve years, I lectured full-time in Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton. I recently left to spend more time on my writing. I currently teach part-time for on the Open University’s MA in Creative Writing.

Contact

You can get in touch with me here.

Thanks for visiting my website.