I work as a freelance creative writing teacher and mentor. I lead a rolling four-week creative writing course for adults at The Bowery in Leeds and work as a freelance editor for Cornerstones Literary Consultancy. I’m a regular creative tutor at The Hepworth, Wakefield, I’ve lead short courses at a number of women’s prisons. and have given one-off workshops and talks in a wide variety of settings including Huddersfield Literary Festival, Ilkley Literature Festival, Leeds University, Goldsmiths College, Leeds Trinity University, Salford University, Bradford Literature Festival and Rugby School. Workshop topics have ranged from ‘how to write a novel’ to ‘writing for self-confidence’ to ‘flash fiction,’ and have been pitched at a wide range of ability and education levels, from low literacy adults to Year 9 students to Postgraduate students.
I’m committed to helping everyone develop a creative, confident relationship to language. Via tailored group activities, creative exercises and explorative discussions, I endeavour to foster an atmosphere of supported exploration in which participants feel free to try out new ideas and approaches.
If you’d like me to give a workshop in your school, organisation or workplace, don’t hesitate to get in touch: I’ll happily devise a session tailored to your needs.
“I met some really nice people and learned a lot. The writing exercises were really helpful and fun.” (Huddersfield Lit Fest workshop attendee)
“Very good interaction, friendly group. All thought it was good value for money.” (Huddersfield Lit Fest workshop attendee)
A big part of writing is, of course, reading.
Books I’ve read recently and LOVED include the following:
GRIEF IS A THING WITH FEATHERS, Max Porter (is it a novel? is it a poem? Who cares? It’s brilliant).
ANIMALS, Emma-Jane Unsworth (Novel. Hilarious. Featuring excellently outrageous women).
HELL-GOING, Lynn Coady (Short stories. Funny. Sad. Each story a punch to the gut).
SUDDENLY A KNOCK AT THE DOOR, Etgar Keret (short stories. Some v. short. All v. surreal).
THE END OF DAYS, Jenny Erpenbeck (Novel. Ever thought ‘what if x hadn’t happened? If only …?’ This book explores such questions in the most clever and elegant of ways).
IMAGINARY CITIES, Darran Anderson (Non-fiction. Hard to explain apart from to say that it will blow your literary socks off. And I’m not just saying that because it’s published by Influx, honest…)
Books that made me*:
Everything by Lorrie Moore, Lydia Davis, Zadie Smith and Ali Smith
HOW FICTION WORKS, James Wood
NO ONE BELONGS HERE MORE THAN YOU, Miranda July
THE HISTORY OF LOVE, Nicole Krauss
BRAND NEW ANCIENTS and HOLD YOUR OWN by Kate Tempest
FREEDOM, Jonathan Franzen
DEAR EVERYBODY, Michael Kimball
THE BELL JAR, Sylvia Plath
*Books have an effect on you, as both a writer and a person, whether you notice it or not. These are just a few of the books which have stuck with me over time, which I frequently return to and/or which helped me through a particular time in my life.