NAWE Creative Writing Postgrad network: Working Outside the Academy


Zoe Gilbert, University of Chichester

Keith Jarrett, Birkbeck/SOAS


Elaine Ewart, University of Essex – Community engagement: organising the Fenland Poet Laureate Awards and setting up the Fen Speak Poetry Collective, running open mic nights, creative writing workshops and readings.

Melissa Shales, University of Essex – Combining a part-time creative writing PhD with teaching English as a foreign language, freelance writing and editing for the commercial press and academic proofreading.

Zoe Gilbert, University of Chichester – Running a teaching and mentoring business alongside studying for a part-time creative writing PhD: benefits and pitfalls

Keith Jarrett, Birkbeck University – Cross-disciplinary work and community engagement/performance during a full-time creative writing PhD

Set up in 2015, the NAWE PhD Network supports postgraduates in Creative Writing. A key concern has been employment and community engagement. How do we create opportunities whilst studying, and support our future careers without damaging our research and writing time?
This panel brings together four creative writers who combine their PhD with other activities. The panel will share their experiences, advice and ideas, followed by a discussion and Q&A.

The presentations are designed to help postgraduate students and early career researchers who are juggling research and writing with the need to earn a living. We particularly welcome postgraduates interested in joining the network. Come along to sign up and become part of a large, mutually supportive group of writers!

Zoe Gilbert is currently working on her first collection of stories inspired by folk tales, and is studying for a PhD in creative writing at the University of Chichester. Her story ‘Fishskin, Hareskin’ won the Costa Short Story Award 2014.

Keith Jarrett is a former UK poetry slam champion and a writer of short fiction. Since 2012 he has taught in schools as part of a pioneering Spoken Word Educator programme. He is now a PhD scholar at Birkbeck, University of London.

Elaine Ewart is a practicing poet of place and was Fenland Poet Laureate in 2012. She is currently based at the University of Essex.

Melissa Shales is an award-winning travel writer and editor and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She is currently studying for a PhD at the University of Essex.

Thursday 6th July, 11.00