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Dr Joanne Reardon

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Lecturer in Creative Writing
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Arts & Humanities
  • English & Creative Writing
  • joanne.reardon

Professional biography

I have an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and a PhD from Lancaster University.  

I was awarded Fellowship status by the Higher Education Authority in 2016.

I joined the Open University as an Associate Lecturer in 2006 from the universities of Lancaster and Edge Hill where I was a Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing.  I was also a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the OU in 2017.

Before going into teaching, I worked in Public Relations before becoming Literary Manager of the Bush Theatre and then Literary Associate at the National Theatre in London during the 1990’s.  I went on to be a freelance Readings Producer in BBC Radio Drama working on the flagship new writing series Opening Lines and producing several series of classical crime fiction for BBC Radio4extra.


Research interests

I’m a writer of fiction, drama and poetry.

My short fiction has been published widely in publications including The London Magazine and the UEA anthology Mafia and in 2014 I was shortlisted for the Cinnamon Short Story Prize, my short story ‘Mr H’s Angels’ based on the composer Handel’s connection with the Foundling Hospital in London, appearing in the anthology ‘Patria & Other Stories’.  In 2018 I was long listed for the Bare Fiction Magazine short story prize and my poetry is published by Beautiful Dragons press.

My first novel which is a crime novel set on the Northwest coast of England, ‘The Weight of Bones’ was shortlisted for the 2017 Cinnamon Debut Novel Award where it was described as ‘…a tangled and beautifully textured tale of murder, fires, deceit, blame and guilt’. The novel is currently out with other publishers and hopes to see the light of publication very soon.

I started my writing career as a writer for radio and I’ve had plays and adaptations produced on BBC Radio 4 which are occasionally repeated on BBC Radio 4extra.  A short ‘found’ play ‘Tweet’ was performed by the theatre company Uncommon Nonsense at the Royal Court Theatre in 2014. I'm currently working on a few new ideas for BBC Radio Drama.

My creative research focuses very much on site specific projects where I’ve worked with award winning artists to create a conversation between art and fiction.  This includes ‘My Mind’s Eye’, a short story exhibited alongside the work of Iain Andrews and published in ‘Mythopoeia’ at the Warrington Arts Festival in 2012 at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.   Working with artist Richard Kenton Webb at the Corinium Museum in Cirencester in 2014, ‘Still Life with Blackbirds‘ was a crime story against the background of an archaeological dig. Described as ‘the Time Team meets the Talented Mr Ripley’, it was published by Artists’ Choice Editions in 2017.


  • ‘Mr H’s Angels’, shortlisted for Cinnamon Short Story Prize 2014
  • ‘The Weight of Bones’, shortlisted for Cinnamon Debut Novel Award 2017 and Moth Crime (Mayfly publishing) (2016)
  • Pretty Feet’ longlisted for Bare Fiction Magazine Prize 2017
  •  ‘Still Life with Blackbirds’, (2016), London: Artists’ Choice Editions,
  • ‘Mr H’s Angels’, (2015) in Fortune, J (ed), Patria and Other Stories, Gwynedd: Cinnamon Press. 
  • ‘Listen…’ (2014) in Kenton Webb, R. Catalogue of Works, Cheltenham: Celia Lendis publications.
  • ‘My Mind’s Eye’, (2012) in Mythopoeia, Warrington: Warrington Art Gallery
  • ‘No Ordinary Angel’ in The London Magazine’ Vol. 36, 7 & 8, 1996.
  • ‘The Saint on the Landing’ in Neale, D. (ed) Mafia, UEA, 1993.


  • ‘Tweet  ‘, (2013) original short play performed by Uncommon Nonsense, London: Royal Court Theatre
  •  ‘Bending Heaven’ (2002) adapted reading of Jessica Frances Kane’s short stories, BBC Radio 4
  • ‘Dear Charlie’ in Book of the Week, (2008) adapted reading of Reg Thompson’s book, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 4 extra (repeated: 2012, 2015).
  • ‘Meeting Across the River’, (1991) original play, BBC Radio 4 directed by Adrian Bean.
  • ‘A Pacifist’s War’, (1992) dramatization of the war diaries of Frances Partridge, BBC Radio 4, directed by Adrian Bean


  • ‘A Day of Discovery’, (2016) in Bilkau, R. (ed) ‘My Dear Watson: the very elements of poetry’, Beautiful Dragons Press
  • ‘Home’, (2016) in Bilkau, R (ed) ‘The Last Drop’, Beautiful Dragons Press
  • ‘My Northern Sky’, (2014) in Bilkau, R. (ed)  ‘Heavenly Bodies’, Beautiful Dragons Press
  • ‘Fair, Quiet and Sweet’, (2012) in Bilkau, R. & Hymas, S. (eds) ‘Solstice’, Beautiful Dragons Press

Journals & Edited Collections:

  • Reardon, J. and Campbell, S. ‘Creative Writing and the traditions of story making’ (2019) in Hughes, J.(ed) A111 Book 2, Chapter 3
  • Reardon, J. and Attar, D. ‘Creative Writing & Creative Writing from English Language perspective’, (2019) in Language and Creativity, L101, Unit 18 
  • ‘Talking to the dead: the voice of the victim in crime fiction’ (2014) in New writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, Vol 11, Issue 1, p.100-108
  • ‘How the listener was lured in’ (2009) in The Short Story (ed. Cox, Ailsa)  Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
  • ‘Colour in the Cotswolds Cookbook’, (2009 ) Editor, Cirencester
  • ‘New Connections 99: Plays for Young People’, (2000), as Editor with Nick Drake and Susie Graham-Adriani, London: Faber & Faber
  • ‘Theatre of Debate’, (2000) Editor, London: National Theatre Publication


Conference papers:

  • ‘Talk to me of love’ (November 2017) National Association of Writers in Education, York
  • ‘Designing an online MA’ (November 2017), panel discussion to National Association of Writers in Education, York
  • ‘Sun, sea and fairgrounds: the landscapes of crime fiction’ (July 2017), English Shared Futures Conference, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • ‘The insistent voices of the dead’ (March 2017) Contemporary Cultures of Writing Spring Seminars series, Institute of English Studies, University of London
  • ‘Still Life with Blackbirds – a collaboration between art and fiction’ (November 2016) with Richard Kenton Webb, National Association of Writers in Education, Stratford-upon-Avon
  • ‘Nailing the Thought Down’ (November 2015), Contemporary Cultures of Writing Autumn Seminar series, Institute of English Studies, University of London.
  • ‘Talking to the Dead‘, (July 2012) Great Writing Conference, London: Imperial College
  • ‘The Short Story – a Writer’s Viewpoint’,             (May, 2013) Arts & Teaching Scholarship Network, The Open University in the North West. 
  • ‘Dumbo’s Magic Feather’, (July 2007) Great Writing Conference, Bangor
  • ‘Mentoring in Literature Development’, (March 2007) paper and panel discussion with Sara Maitland, National Association Literature Development Conference, Kendal.
  • ‘The short story’ (May 2006) panel discussion with Patricia Duncker and Ra Page organized by BookTrust, Short Story conference, Edge Hill University
  •  ‘How the Listener was lured in. What makes a good crime short story?’ (2006), Short Story Conference, Edge Hill University

External collaborations


  • ‘Still Life with Black Birds’ 2014), short story within exhibition at Corinium Museum, Cirencester – collaboration with Richard Kenton Webb.
  • ‘My Mind’s Eye’ (2012)  short story within exhibition  at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery – collaboration with Iain Andrews for Warrington Arts Festival