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Our research focus is on writing practices, their cultural contexts and impacts ...

The research focus of this interdisciplinary group is on writing practices, their cultural contexts and impacts. We are interested in all forms of creative and academic writing, reflective practices, academic literacies, and translation as a creative act.

The group’s directors are Derek Neale and Sally O'Reilly.


Forthcoming events


  • London: Fiona Doloughan and Heather Richardson are organizing the Spring 2019 Seminar Series at Senate House: ‘Life Stories’ which will look at the burgeoning area of life-writing and engage with how life stories, whether of self or other, are constructed, to what effect and for what purpose. It will consider the role of fiction in rendering the story of a life and reflect on what it means (for self and other) to write from life. Speakers will include novelists, memoirists, biographers and literary critics. See details. As with previous London seminars the next series will be run in collaboration with the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Please note that seminar 3: Multimodal life stories, will take place in Room 2BC, FutureLearn, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP . 

Previous series include, in 2018, Diverse Voices: Creative Writing Today, Key Creative Writing Issues (Practice-based research and REF2021, Ekphrastic poetry, PhD commentaries); in 2017: Creativity, Language and Creative Writing and  The Rise of the Detective Novel; our Autumn 2016 seminar series was Creative nonfiction: debates and directions, while the 2015 seminar series included Creative writing research: an investigation and Styles of Writing, Styles of Thought: What Do We Mean When We Talk About Style? 

In 2014 the series were  The Short Story in the 21st Century and New Historical Fiction in the 21st century. These all followed on from the first seminar series 2012-14 on The Rise of Creative Writing, on Life Writing: Borderlands Between Fact and Fiction, on Translation, Creativity and Creative Writing (with a follow up event at The British Library - see further information) and  Writing Funny - language, creativity and comedy.   

For European Literature Nights since 2014 Dr. Fiona Doloughan has chaired panels and workshops involving writers and translators, for instance see Bridging the Gap – Stories and histories in translation and  Stories in Translation: Translating the

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Contact Us

Contact Derek Neale or Sally O'Reilly or by email:

The Postal Address is:

Department of English
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

Tel +44-1908-652092