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Creative Writing Research Group

Creative Writing Research Group

All members of the Creative Writing Research group work across a diverse range of genres and praxis, cultivating distinctness and originality in a field that is continually changing and adapting. We share a commitment to the history of genres and writing, as well as to contemporary trends such as experimental non-fiction and cross-genre work. We specialise in unique aspects of creative writing such as the American novella, writing for music, vernacular literature, crime writing, and experimental poetry. We are all writers of national and international reputation who have won a range of awards and fellowships.

Over the years, the research group has very successfully led a number of students through practice-based PhDs to publication. Our unique PhD community has worked on a range of subjects from historical fiction, experimental prose, political writing, holocaust writing, contemporary adaptation, science fiction, lyric poetry, creative biography, young adult fiction and poetics. We are always keen to hear from prospective PhD students interested in working on projects which engage with our own areas of specialism. 

To learn more about studying with us as a research student, visit our Creative Writing and Practice-based PhD page.

Members of the group

The group includes a number of award-winning prose writers and innovative novelists.

Nadifa Mohamed’s novels Black Mamba Boy and The Orchard of Lost Souls respectively explore her father’s journey across Africa and Somalia on the brink of civil war.

Douglas Cowie is the author of Owen Noone and the Marauder, which The Times described as ‘a sparky debut novel … with enormous assurance and offbeat charm.’ His most recent novel, Noon in Paris, Eight in Chicago, fictionalises the relationship between Nelson Algren and Simone de Beauvoir.

Ben Markovits has published nine novels, including You Don’t Have to Live Like This, awarded the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018.

Adam Roberts, in contrast, is a prolific science fiction and fantasy novelist and an expert in the field, having written two critical books on the genre. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018.

Nikita Lalwani’s Man Booker-longlisted and Costa-shortlisted debut Gifted centres around a child prodigy growing up in Wales in the 1980s and was dramatized for BBC Radio 4. Her third novel, You People, was published by Penguin in 2020. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018.

With writing centred upon notions of playfulness, queered forms and the limits of language, Eley Williams’ collection Attrib. and other stories was awarded the Republic of Consciousness Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize 2018. Her novel, The Liar’s Dictionary appeared in 2020. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018.

Anna Whitwham's debut novel, Boxer Handsome, which focused on the marginal experiences of London's boxing communities, was New Statesman's Book of the Year, 2015.

Poetry is equally central to our writing community and the approaches our poets take are just as diverse.

Sean Borodale works as a poet and artist. He was a Granta New Poet in 2012 and his debut, Bee Journal, was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Costa Book Award. His latest collection, Inmates, was published in 2020.

Prudence Bussey-Chamberlain is a contemporary poet and critic who has published two books of criticism on contemporary feminism and queer poetry as well as three poetry works, most recently, *retroviral.

Lavinia Greenlaw is a writer in a broad range of forms with research interests in the visual arts, vision, scientific process and imperative, image making and interrupted perception. As well as publishing six poetry collections, she has published experimental non-fiction, such as The Importance of Music to Girls. Her immersive soundwork, Audio Obscura, won the 2011 Ted Hughes Award. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004.

Will Montgomery has a long-standing involvement, as critic and practitioner, in contemporary experimental music, field recording and sound art.

Redell Olsen is a poet who also works with text and visual media in bookworks, film and performance.  Her most recent works include a film: 'Now Circa (1918)' that reflects on the parallels between the struggle for female suffrage and the protests of women in our contemporary era.

The department also excels in its research commitment to other genres, notably playwriting and screenwriting.

Nicholas Pierpan is a multi-award-winning playwright and screenwriter, combining his knowledge of classical forms and the history of literature with the stage. Synthesising poetry and drama, his recent play William Wordsworth was produced by English Touring Theatre and The Theatre by The Lake in 2017. He was awarded a fellowship by Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin to participate in the ‘Serial Eyes’ writing programme, 2020.

This dynamic research culture is enthused and expanded through a number of excellent visiting lecturers who are all very distinguished within their own field. Poppy Corbett is an award-winning playwright, who uses her understanding of contemporary theatre and writing to inform our first-year course Introduction to Creative Writing third year Screenwriting course. Philip Womack, a journalist and prolific children’s author uses his expertise within the genre to lead third-year Writing for Children.

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