Senior Lecturer, Course Leader
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After completing a philosophy degree at York University (First Class), I worked as a parliamentary researcher before becoming the literary manager of Theatre503. In 2004, I joined the University of Westminster and have been a Senior Lecturer since 2008. I teach creative writing modules for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. I am currently Course Leader for Creative Writing degrees.
I am a practicing playwright and have had work performed at theatres including the Riverside Studios, the Finborough and the Gate. I am also a member of the theatre/dance collective 'Hannah Bruce and Company' which specialises in site-responsive work.
I am the module leader for, and also teach on, the following undergraduate modules:
Writing the City is an introduction to London as a place of literary production and inspiration. As well as seminars and workshops exploring the 'nuts and bolts' of writing, there are site-visits, urban walks and opportunities to hear from published writers about how they have made use of 'the city' in their work.
Making Plays is a playwriting course that examines how plot, character and dialogue are constructed. There's also plenty of opportunity to discuss individual plays and playwrights. In recent years we've looked at the work of people including Jez Butterworth, Penny Skinner and Jack Thorne.
The Individual Writing Project. This module is the end point of the BA creative writing degree. This project allows students to work on a sustained piece of creative work under the guidance of a 'writing mentor'. In past years students have produced chapters from novels, full-length plays, film scripts and memoirs - as well as a host of creative hybrids.
I am also the module leader for Sound and Vision (TV and radio writing), Writing for Children, and Punchlines (comedy writing).
For the MA Writing the City, I teach the module Conflict and the City - a detailed investigation of dramatic works about, or drawn from an experience of, the urban environment.
I have run external creative writing programmes at the Tate, the 'Circle of Misse' in France and the Foundation for International Education. I also co-ordinate regular collaborations with English PEN and the Soho Theatre and am responsible for many of the guest lectures / workshops that the creative writing department hosts.
My main research activities lie in the fields of new playwriting, dramaturgy, and the relationship between text and place. My doctorate was on the early history of the Soho Theatre, and in 2012 I curated the fortieth anniversary of the original Soho Poly. Events included play readings of early work by Robert Holman and David Edgar (introduced by the playwrights), performances of plays by the Miniaturists, and a panel event including Michael Billington, Michael Coveney and Irving Wardle. Between 2003 and 2005, I was the literary manager at Theatre503, one of the country's leading new playwriting venues.
I am a practicing playwright, and my most recent production was The View from the Mountaintop, for which I received Arts Council funding. My play The Shelter was performed at the Riverside Studios in July 2013. Another play, Through the Night was one of four chosen by the 2001 Papatango New Playwriting Awards and produced at the Finborough Theatre. My monologue play Inside Out was also selected for the inaugural HighTide festival. Other work includes: Brightest and Best at The Half Moon (2012); Insect, a Miniaturists play performed at the Arcola, (2011); Hypertension, part of the 'Ave it / Coming Up Later Festival at the Old Vic Tunnels (2011); W-11, a community project for The Gate (2010). I am a member of 'Hannah Bruce and Company', a theatre/dance collective which has performed site-responsive work at venues including Wilton's Music Hall, Northern Stage and Shoreditch Town Hall.
I have also written radio comedy for BBC 1 and BB4, several short stories and two non-fiction books: Key Concepts in Creative Writing (Palgrave Macmillan) and Big Questions (an introduction to Philosophy for teenagers).