Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing & BA Programme Leader
Department of English, History & Creative Writing
- Main Building, Clough 1
- 01695 650781
I am a scriptwriter and fiction writer, mostly in the short fiction form. Currently I teach second and third year script, as well as the second year Cultural Economies and The Writer’s Life module and I take the script group for the third year Writer’s Workshop module.
I had a fairly circuitous route to becoming a writer. After attending drama school, I worked in theatre as an electrician, as a stage manager and even in TV in the design department, before deciding that I did really want to be a writer. I enrolled on the MA Creative Writing course at MMU and went on to study for my PhD part time at Lancaster University, exploring the representation of gender, and especially masculinity, through both critical and creative work, through the character type of the loser. Out of this came my first short play, The Loser, which was produced in 2009 by Scenepool at Camden People’s Theatre. My first full length play Joy With Child, for which I was mentored by Charlotte Keatley through North West Playwrights, was produced in Manchester in 2010 by Organised Chaos.
In that same year, I began working with theatre maker Paul Hine to create Laid Bare Theatre, a company whose work explores social and cultural issues, using theatre as a public forum for debate. Our first production was a researched piece called Project XXX, a piece of multi-media theatre that explored the growing acceptance in youth culture of internet pornography; this production was supported by Bolton Octagon Theatre, Lime and Arts Council England and toured the north of England in 2014. Supported by the same partners, we are currently working on our second show, The Value Of Nothing, which explores poverty and masculinity, in terms of how young men cope on the welfare system.
I have had many commissions on issue based projects, writing several short films for organisations such as Lime Arts and Lets Go Global, as well as theatre projects such as Polarised in 2004 for Burnley Youth Theatre, which was the first play to explore the race riots of 2001 through young people’s actual stories and was adapted into a film for schools in 2005.
Short fiction has appeared in Transmission Magazine, Commonword’s ‘Migration Stories’, which was part of the Moving Manchester project, and The Loser monologue appeared in the Good Ear Review.
I have also worked extensively as a community artist, mostly with Lime Arts on creative projects with young people, such as the cystic fibrosis CF Transitions, the Comic Relief funded project Dr Sober as well as projects with older people, such as the project that culminated in the publication of Victoria Square: The Dwellings.
An article exploring the way the CF Transitions project worked as a community arts project for young people was published in UNESCO’s e-journal about Youth Arts in 2011 and an article exploring Project XXX has been published in the Journal for Applied Arts and Health in 2015.
Also in 2015, Palgrave Macmillan published Writing For Theatre: Creative And Critical Approaches, a book exploring what it means to write for theatre through a series of interviews I conducted with theatre makers from across the UK. This book was great fun to research and write, and I hope students find it useful.
Overall, my main research interests include gender representation, masculinity, feminism, arts and health as well as theatre making and theatre writing.
- Wri 1012 Introduction to Script Writing
- Wri1011 Introduction to Fiction
- Wri 2012 The Art of Script Writing
- Wri 2013 Cultural Economies and The Writer’s Life
- Wri 3002/Wri3012 The Art of Screen Writing
Fiction work published includes short stories in Transmission magazine, Migration Stories from Commonword Books and The Good Ear Review. Script works includes several short issue based films for Lime Arts and Lets Go Global, several youth theatre commissions (Burnley Youth Theatre, Activ8 at Bolton Octagon) and plays produced at Camden People’s theatre through Scenepool (The Loser) and in Manchester through Organised Chaos (Joy With Child). Throughout 2011 and 2012 I am working on an Arts Council England funded project with co-writer Paul Hine on a piece of multi-media theatre called Project XXX, supported by Bolton Octagon Theatre (more info on this can be found at www.wordpress.xxxprojectxx.com).
Research Papers and Conference Presentations
Conference presentations include papers on Creative Writing pedagogy at the Great Writing Conference in 2007 and 2008, a paper on young masculinities at the Men and Madness conference at MMU in 2007, a paper on changing masculinities at Portsmouth University in 2009 and a paper on Project XXX at the Pornified Conference at Institute of Education in 2011. In 2011 I had a paper published through the UNESCO e-journal on using creativity with young people through a project about Cystic Fibrosis.