Rachel Sargeant

Rachel Sargeant

Department of Film and Creative Writing
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: Hijacking Survivor Narratives: trauma appropriation in fiction
SupervisorsDr Ruth Gilligan and Dr Dan Vyleta
PhD Creative Writing


  • MA Creative Writing (Lancaster University)
  • Diploma in Management Studies (University of West London)
  • BLIB German and Librarianship (Aberystwyth University)


The early part of my career was spent in public library management in England. I then lived in Germany for several years where I taught English as a Second Language. On return to the UK, I worked in school library management while, in my spare time, writing novels and studying for a masters in Creative Writing. Two years ago I became a full-time author.


  • I taught/teach Creative Writing and Research Skills in primary and secondary schools, previously as part of my role in school libraries and now, occasionally, as a freelance writer.
  • I worked as a freelance teacher of English as Second Language at the Hochschule Niederrhein, Germany.


My creative study, in the form of a literary thriller, will depict how a trauma survivor’s ordeal is often rewritten by the media and social media to fit the archetypal victim narrative. But in telling this story, am I also guilty of hijack? Recent high-profile bestsellers have been challenged for lacking authenticity and exploiting third-party trauma. My accompanying critical study will examine ‘trauma appropriation’. Should writers draw only on their personal histories, or is it acceptable to derive inspiration from the harrowing experiences of others?

Other activities

I am a full member of the following professional bodies:

  • Society of Authors
  • Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals
  • Crime Writers’ Association
  • Psychological and Suspense Authors’ Association



Short stories 

  • I am a winner of Writing Magazine’s Annual Crime Short Story Competition and have been placed or shortlisted in various competitions, including the Bristol Short Story Prize.
  • My stories have appeared in women’s commercial outlets, including Accent Press anthologies and My Weekly magazine.

Non Fiction

  • Priority Paperwork: Policy Making and Development Planning for Primary and Secondary School Libraries. School Library Association, 2018 http://bit.ly/PriorityPaperworkRS
  • I wrote a case study chapter for: Karen Horsfield and Susan Staniforth, Budgeting for Success: Planning and Managing the Primary School Library Finances. School Library Association, 2017
  • I have written articles on library management for professional library journals and articles on crime genre writing for the CWA Red Herrings magazine and the Bay Tales website.
  • I review psychological thrillers, and crime, literary and Young Adult fiction on my website: www.rachelsargeant.co.uk and tweet about books and TV drama: @Rachel Sargeant3 .