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Contemporary cultures of writing


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 convenors are Derek Neale and Sally O'Reilly.

Forthcoming events

  • London: Sally O’Reilly and Jane Yeh are organising the Autumn seminar series at Senate House: ‘Diverse Voices: Creative Writing Today’ which will focus on diversity in fiction and poetry in the 21st century, and ways in which issues of identity, race, class and disability are addressed by creative writers. Speakers will include novelists, poets, PhD students and publishers. 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.
  • Manchester Sally O’Reilly is organising a historical fiction conference ‘Peterloo and 21stcentury Historical Fiction: Voices from the Past’ at the People’s History Museum in Manchester on Saturday May 11th, 2019. This will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre on August 16th, 1819. More details to follow


Previous series include, in 2018, Key Creative Writing Issues (Practice-based research and REF2021, Ekphrastic poetry, PhD commentaries), Creativity, Language and Creative Writing and  The Rise of the Detective Novel in 2017; 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 Untranslatable . 

Making notes - notebook