I lecture in Creative Writing across all levels of study.
I studied English and Russian Language and Literature for my undergraduate degree. My MA was in English and American Literature, and my PhD was on Katherine Mansfield and the late nineteenth and early twentieth century short story.
For the past 20 years I have been involved in teaching, curriculum innovation and programme management in Creative Writing. Prior to that I taught English and other Literatures (Russian and Scandinavian) across Adult and Higher Education in the West Midlands. I am bilingual Norwegian-English.
My 15 years experience of developing and co-ordinating a successful part-time BA in Creative Writing at the then Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Birmingham - one of the first single honours Creative Writing degrees in the UK – has formed the basis of my work in the English Department. Since joining the Department in 2006, I have been responsible for the development of the Creative Writing component of the BA English with Creative Writing, for which I am the Programme Convenor. I have also designed modules for the new MA in Creative Writing. I organise the Birmingham Visiting Writers’ Programme, a series of annual lectures by high-profile writers.
I teach Creative Writing on the BA English with Creative Writing and the MA Creative Writing. On the undergraduate degree my main teaching areas include Creative Process, Short Story and Novel Writing, and Theory and Practice of Editing. I have a particular interest in building creative-analytical skills through structured problem-solving approaches to writing as process and product. I contribute to the MA programme with Modules on Intertextuality and Research Skills. My interests in Comparative Literary and Cultural studies feed directly into both these modules.
I will be taking on PhD supervision in the research areas outlined above from 2011-12.
The main function of my research is to support my interests in curriculum innovation, and to enable me to develop new pedagogies of Creative Writing, grounded in both theory and practice of writing. I view Creative Writing as a meeting point for writing and research across genres, media and disciplines.
My main research and writing interests are in the following areas: The Short Story, Editing Theory and Practice, Cross-disciplinary Models of Authorship, Writing as Translation and Adaptation, Autobiographical and Biographical Poetry.
My major administrative roles within the university in recent years have included: Director of Learning and Teaching and Head of Academic Programmes, in the Centre for Lifelong Learning; Welfare Tutor and Careers Contact in the English Department.
I am currently External Examiner for the MA Writing: Practice and Context at Bangor University. Prior to this I held a similar position at the University of Wales, Lampeter.
I am a member of NAWE (National Association of Writers in Education).