I am an author, lecturer, editor and critic. I write creatively and critically. My specialisms include fiction and creative non-fiction, memoir, poetry, writing for voice, music and literature, laughter and literature, and literature of the ‘long’ nineteenth century. I came to the University of Leicester in early 2014 having worked previously at Loughborough University, where I also did my PhD, and De Montfort University. I teach Creative Writing and English Literature at all levels.
I write memoir, fiction, poetry, radio drama and criticism. My books include the memoir Take Me Home
(Granta 2007), the novels Melissa
(Salt 2015) and Entertaining Strangers
(Salt 2012), the poetry collection Cassandra Complex
, and three academic monographs, including most recently Laughter Literature Violence 1840-1930
(Palgrave-Macmillan 2018). With Karen Stevens I recently co-edited the anthology of short stories High Spirits: A Round of Drinking Stories
(Valley Press 2018 and 2019). My stories articles reviews poems and dramas have featured in The Times Literary Supplement
, The Times
, The Guardian
, The Morning Star
, The Independent
, and on BBC radio stations including BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 5. Both Entertaining Strangers
were shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award. Cassandra Complex
was shortlisted for the Arnold Bennett Prize and High Spirits
was winner of the Saboteur Award for Best Anthology. I am director of the popular review site Everybody's Reviewing
and of the Creative Writing at Leicester blog
Laughter, Literature, Violence, 1840-1930, Palgrave Macmillan, April 2019, ISBN 978-3030114121.
Cassandra Complex, Shoestring Press, July 2018, ISBN 978-1-912524-17-4.
Melissa, Salt Publishing, October 2015, ISBN 978-1784630355.
Kontakte and Other Stories, Roman Books, London and Kolkata, 1st edition, July 2013, ISBN 978-9380905-64-8, 2nd edition, July 2014, ISBN 978-9380905709.
Musicolepsy, Shoestring Press, Nottingham, April 2013, ISBN 978-1-907356-72-8.
Entertaining Strangers, Salt, Cromer, 2012, ISBN 978-1907773273.
Take Me Home: Parkinson's, My Father, Myself, Granta, London, July 2007, ISBN 1862079552.
Science and Omniscience in Nineteenth-Century Literature, Sussex Academic Press, Eastbourne, September 2007, ISBN 1845191250, or 978-1-84519125-2. Second paperback edition, November 2014, ISBN 978-1-84519-647-9.
Mastery and Slavery in Victorian Writing, Palgrave-Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2003, 229 pages, ISBN 0-333-99312-8 and 978-0333993125.
High Spirits: A Round of Drinking Stories [anthology], co-edited with Karen Stevens, Valley Press, November 2018, ISBN 978-1912436125, hardback edition November 2019, ISBN 9781912436125.
Overheard: Stories for Reading Aloud [anthology], Cromer, 2012. ISBN 978-1907773266.
Figures of Heresy: Radical Theology in English and American Writing, 1800-2000 [book of essays], co-edited with Dr. Andrew Dix, Sussex Academic Press, Brighton, 2006, ISBN 1-84519-026-2.
I supervise PhD students in all areas of Creative Writing, particularly memoir, fiction and poetry.
I am director of the MA in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester, and I also teach the BA modules in Creative Writing which form part of the BA (Hons) in English with Creative Writing and the BA (Hons) in Journalism with Creative Writing. At undergraduate level I teach on the modules EN 1025 Introduction to Writing Creatively Part 1, EN 1035 Introduction to Writing Creatively Part 2, EN 2070 Using Stories, EN 2080 Advanced Creative Writing Skills, EN 3119 Writing Voices, EN 3204 Writing for Laughs. At MA level I teach on the modules EN 7040 Research Methods in Creative Writing, EN 7041 Styles: Advanced Creative Writing Workshop 1, EN 7042 Applications: Publishing Teaching and Other Stories, EN 7043 Substances: Advanced Creative Writing Workshop 2, and EN 7044 Dissertation in Creative Writing. I also teach on the English modules EN 3010 Dissertation and EN 7021 Approaches to Victorian Literature.
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). Member of NAWE (National Association of Writers in Education). Member of Society of Authors. Director of Everybody's Reviewing. Editor of Stretto Fiction Series for Roman Books.
Shortlisted for Arnold Bennett Prize 2019 (for Cassandra Complex
). Shortlisted for East Midlands Book Award 2013 and 2016 (for Entertaining Strangers
respectively). Winner of the Saboteur Award for Best Fiction Anthology 2013 (for Overheard: Stories to Read Aloud
). Co-winner of the Saboteur Award for Best Anthology 2019 (for High Spirits: A Round of Drinking Stories
). Take Me Home
named as one of the Five Best Books on Neuroscience as a Career
by Prof. Andrew Lees 2019.
I regularly give talks, papers, workshops, readings at conferences, literary festivals and other events across the UK and elsewhere.
BA (Hons) in English and American Literature (Warwick 1995); MA in English (Warwick 1997); PhD in English Literature (Loughborough 2001); SFHEA Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2018).