Biography

Who am I?

I am a senior lecturer in Creative Writing here at MMU and every year I have the privilege of watching new writers grow into themselves. As a teacher and editor I am extremely thorough so don’t be surprised if your work comes back with a lot of notes. I have written seven novels, two novellas and a short story collection. I have also edited sixteen anthologies of short stories.

I’m interested in the uncanny, the weird and the Gothic. I focus on novels under 50,000 words, short stories and experimental fiction. I enjoy surrealism, crime fiction and fiction about place, especially if a story is named directly after a place.

Outside of university I work as an editor for an independent publisher and I run my own small press. I also do some agenting and of course try to find the time to write my own material. Twice a week I play football and I would always rather cycle than get the bus anywhere. If you’re looking for me I can often be found rifling through the CD racks in the experimental section at Vinyl Exchange.

Why do I teach?

Every year among the new intake of MA novel-writing students, I find a selection of writers who are so talented that it is inspiring and exhilarating to work with them and watch them get even better. The question is not ‘Can you really teach creative writing?’ The Question is ‘how much can you improve by immersing students in the MA process over two or three years?’

The answer is a lot.

Words of wisdom

Make sure you’ve got something to say. If you can convince us that you read widely and that you can write a decent sentence then you’re on to a winner.

Read my full academic profile on the Department of English at MMU website.

Published Work