For a year from September 2016 I will be Writer-in-Residence at Birmingham City University where I am developing a new audio writing initiative, The Birmingham Radio Workshop, with the School of English and the School of Media. We write, develop, record and share bold new writing for audio. Here is what it looks like: student writer Alex working with producer Paul and actor Alexa.
I was recently Writer-in-Residence for the brilliant EXEtreme Imagination Festival in Exeter.
In July and August 2012 I was Writer-in-Residence at Cove Park. This inspiring artists’ centre is situated in 50 acres of unspoilt hillside overlooking Loch Long on Scotland’s West Cost. I lived in a converted shipping container, shown opposite, known as a Cube. It was a memorable time, despite the atrocious weather.
In 2004 I was awarded an Arts Council of England International Fellowship to become Writer-in-Residence for three months in the Leighton Studios at the Banff Centre in the Rocky Mountains in Canada. My studio was the converted fishing boat, shown opposite, suspended from rafters in the pine woods.
In January 2007 I traveled to India to be the British Council’s Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mumbai. My students, despite having no experience of creative writing, produced incredible work. Many stay in touch and I’m expecting great things from them.
In February 2009 I was Writer-in-Residence at Shandy Hall in Coxwold, former home of one of my favourite writers, the legendary Laurence Sterne. While on residency here I devised an experimental writing project for a group of KS3 ‘reluctant reader’ boys. They did indeed prove to be very reluctant, but we all did our best – in three foot of snow. Between 2009 and 2010 I worked for First Story as Writer-in-Residence at Cheney School in Oxford. The students, aged between fifteen and eighteen, were wonderful young writers, several of whom are already making waves in the literary world.
I’ve appeared as a speaker at most of the main literature festivals including recently Hay on Wye, Cheltenham, Ikley, Warwick, Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, London, Latitude, Hong Kong, Mumbai and, of course, the brilliant Birmingham Book Festival. Here I am at Hay Festival 2016, with illustrator Carol Adlam, talking about our new graphic novel, Ministry of Women.
At the Leeds Raw Festival 2008.
‘I’m just writing to say thank you once again for coming to Kenilworth Library last Wednesday, and what a pleasure it was to have you there. All the audience had such an enjoyable and interesting time, and I have had 100% good feed back from them.’ – Kate Mackie, Senior Librarian Reader Development, Warwickshire Library & Information Service