Teaching is a major part of my practice as a writer, and I am pleased to work on some of the finest university writing programmes in the country.
In 2016 I was a Creative Fellow at the University of Birmingham within The School of English, Drama and American and Canadian studies. I then continued my work in the department as a Teaching Fellow
In 2012 I became a Fellow of The Institute of Creative and Critical Writing at Birmingham City University. Led by Dr Gregory Leadbetter, The Institute is an exciting new venture devoted to cultivating the creative imagination, the life of ideas, and the literary arts. I recently worked at the University as Radio-Writer-in-Residence developing the Birmingham Radio Project.
I worked for ten years as Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing at Leeds Beckett University, in the Leeds School of Art Architecture and DesignHere I am reading a short story to celebrate International Women’s Day at the Leeds Gallery in March 2014.
In January 2007 I traveled to India to be the British Council’s Writer-in-Residence at The University of Mumbai . It was a privilege to create the University’s first writing group for some wonderful students, all of whom had no previous experience of creative writing. This is cartoon of me and my daughters, which illustrated an article I wrote for The Times of India.
I run lots of courses in the community to help people develop their writing. In 2019 I am working with WriteHereuk running two seven-week creative writing courses. The next will take place on Wednesday evenings between 5 June and 17 July – and will feature expert tuition, one-to-one tutorials, dedicated weekly workshops that focus on students’ novels, and a visit from literary agent Carrie Plitt of Felicity Bryan Associates.
I will also be running a course with Writing West Midlands about the variety and complexity of STORY structures in 2020.
I run regular courses for school students, and for trainee teacher. I recently ran a six week course with Writing West Midlands for teachers who wish to develop their own skills as writers, and as teachers of writing. I also work regularly with BEd students at Birmingham City University, and Newman University, to share new approaches to teaching writing.
I’ve worked extensively as a creative writing teacher for some super schools-based creative writing organisations including Everybody Writes, Write On! and Creative Partnerships.
I was part of Bath Literature Festival’s The Write Team a bold initiative to create writing workshops for ‘shy’ children across seven Bath schools. I became Lead Writer for the The Write Team working closely with the project’s inspiring founder, Emma Metcalf.
Between 2009 and 2010 I worked for the wonderful First Story as Writer-in-Residence at Cheney School in Oxford.
I’m passionate about writing in education and the importance of creative writing in schools. You can read a recent article about my hopes and fears in the Times Educational Supplement here.
I visit schools, colleges, universities, libraries and reading groups regularly to speak to children, young people and adults about my work.
I teach regularly for the Arvon Foundation on both courses for adults and for young people.
My next course will be a Fiction & Tutored Retreat
Lumb Bank in Yorkshire. The course is now Sold Out but you can be added to the waiting list.
You can read a blog about the Arvon experience on the last course I taught with Andrew Miller, written by Anthea Morrison, one of our students, here
‘Just to say thanks for today . The workshop that I attended was fantastic and the girls got loads out of it.’
– Juliette Biddle-Mogg, Manchester Creative and Media Academy
‘You really re-lit a fire that had been dwindling for a while, and writing is something I’ve always enjoyed, so I’m very grateful.’
– Yr 12 student at St Anne’s Academy, Manchester
‘Helen forged a great relationship with the pupils and they responded with enthusiasm to her ideas. She was very adept at changing her techniques according to the group she was working with’– Simon Stringfellow, Archbishop Temple School, Preston
‘Thank you so much for the workshop on Thursday – it was excellent. I and all the students/staff that I spoke to enjoyed it immensely. I was very impressed with how much you managed to get into the workshop and got everyone writing and thinking hard without the day being over busy. Pitched perfectly I think.’– Dr Janet Smith, Senior Lecturer & PG Training officer, School of Biosciences University of Birmingham 2011