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Dr Mark Slater, DPhil, MA, Cert Ed.

Dr Mark Slater, DPhil, MA, Cert Ed.

Mark is the director of the Creative Writing Programme. In 2012 he left the University of Sussex to set up the Creative Writing Programme at the Writers’ Place in Brighton. While at Sussex he was the Arts Subject Chair for CCE where he ran the Creative Writing Programme and taught on the MA in Creative Writing and Authorship and the BA in Creativity and the Arts. His doctoral thesis is on originality and influence in the creative process. He has written extensively on creative writing in education and published articles on literary creativity and aesthetics. A graduate of the University of East Anglia M.A. in Creative Writing, he produced and edited the first UEA M.A. anthology of creative writing. He has published short stories, librettos, plays, journalism and worked on educational programmes on creative writing for the BBC. Mark will be retiring from the courses at the end of the 2023-4 academic year to focus on local politics – in May 2023 he was voted in as a councillor representing Chailey Barcombe and Hamsey near Lewes.

Cathy Hayward

Cathy Hayward

Cathy is co-director of the Creative Writing Programme, working alongside Mark Slater who retires at the end of the 2023-4 academic year. She trained as a journalist and edited a variety of trade publications, several of which were so niche they were featured on Have I Got News for You. She then moved into the world of marketing and set up an award-winning PR agency. In 2022, after having spent a lifetime pottering around bookshops, she bought Kemptown Bookshop in Brighton and is working hard to create a community hub which supports local authors and aspiring writers. Devastated and inspired in equal measure by the death of her parents in quick succession in 2016, Cathy completed the Creative Writing Programme out of which emerged her debut novel The Girl in the Maze (Agora, 2021) about the experience of mothering and being mothered. It won Agora Books’ Lost the Plot Work in Progress Prize 2020 and was longlisted for the Grindstone Literary Prize 2020 and Flash500 2020. Her second novel The Secret of the Brighton House (Lake Union) is due to be published in October 2024 and she’s currently working on her third novel.

Cathy Hayward’s website  

Rosie Chard

Rosie Chard

Rosie is a novelist, freelance editor, writing coach/mentor, landscape architect and English language teacher. After qualifying as a landscape architect from the University of Greenwich she lived and worked in Denmark and Canada for several years, designing gardens, parks and urban spaces. Her first novel Seal Intestine Raincoat, published in 2009 by NeWest Press, won the 2010 Alberta Trade Fiction Book Award and received an honourable mention for the Sunburst Fiction Award the same year. She was also shortlisted for the 2010 John Hirsch award for the Most Promising Manitoba writer. Her second novel The Insistent Garden, also published by NeWest Press, was the recipient of the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction in Manitoba in 2014. The Eavesdroppers, her third novel, was published by NeWest Press in September 2018. She is currently writing her fifth novel. 

Read Rosie’s top five writing tips

Rosie Chard’s Website

Elaine Chiew

Elaine is a novelist, short story writer, freelance editor, writing mentor, and English teacher. She is the author of The Light Between Us (Neem Tree Press, 2024), her debut novel longlisted for the inaugural Cheshire Novel Prize, and The Heartsick Diaspora (Myriad Editions, 2020), a short story collection recommended in The Guardian, Esquire SG, The Singapore Straits Times, BookRiot, with a special mention in The Saboteur Awards. She is also the editor/compiler of Cooked Up: Food Fiction From Around the World (New Internationalist, 2015), and Guest Editor of Best Small Fictions (Sonder Press, 2022). A two-time winner of the Bridport International Short Story Prize, her stories have been anthologised in the UK, U.S. and Asia, including in The Best Asian Short Stories (2021) and three of them broadcasted on BBC Radio 4.

She has an M.A. in Asian Art History from Goldsmiths, University of London, and has worked as an independent visual arts researcher in Singapore. In a former career, she was a U.S. trained corporate attorney with a degree from Stanford University, and worked in New York, London and Hong Kong.

Elaine Chiew’s website

Ruth Figgest

Ruth Figgest

Ruth is a novelist and short story writer. She was born in Oxford and grew up in the US. Her short stories have been short listed and commended for the Bridport Prize several times and in 2013 her short story “The Coffin Gate” was broadcast on Radio 4. Magnetism, her debut novel was published by Myriad in 2018. She holds an MA in Creative Writing and Personal Development from the University of Sussex.

Ruth Figgest on Twitter

Tammye Huf

Tammye Huf

Tammye is a novelist and short story writer. Her historical fiction debut, A More Perfect Union, won the Diverse Book Award 2021 and was longlisted for the Jhalak Prize 2021. It was also selected for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club as well as for several prominent best books lists. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, including Diverse Voices Quarterly, the Penman Review, and the London Magazine where her story was runner-up for the 2018 Short Story Prize.

Tammye Huf’s website

Mick Jackson

Mick Jackson

Mick’s first novel, The Underground Man, was shortlisted for The Booker Prize. He has since published a further three novels and three collections of stories, all with Faber and Faber. He is a visiting lecturer at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation.

Mick Jackson’s website

Katy Massey

Katy Massey

Katy Massey writes fiction and scripts, as well as non-fiction and worked as a journalist for many years before completing her PhD on memoir and autobiography at Newcastle University.  Katy’s memoir Are We Home Yet? about her relationship with her mother was published in 2020 by Jacaranda and was shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize. Her novel All Us Sinners was published in March 2024.

Alongside her own work, she has guided and published numerous emerging writers and initiated her own Arts Council-funded literature projects. She has published two anthologies of memoir: Tangled Roots: True Life Stories About Mixed Race Britain, featuring 30-plus contributions, and Who Are We Now? a collection of first-person experiences of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Katy Massey’s website 

Dr John McCullough

Dr John McCullough

John’s collection of poems Reckless Paper Birds (Penned in the Margins, 2019) was awarded the Hawthornden Prize for Literature. It was also shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award. His most recent collection Panic Response was published in 2022 and was a Book of the Year in The Telegraph as well as featuring in The Times‘ list of Notable New Poetry Books for the year. Its long poem ‘Flower of Sulphur’ was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. He has been teaching creative writing and literature in higher education since 2002 and lives in Hove. 

Read John’s top writing tips here. 

John McCullough’s website 

Roy McFarlane

Roy McFarlane

Roy is a poet, playwright and former youth and community worker born in Birmingham of Jamaican parentage. He spent most of his years living in Wolverhampton and the Black Country but now resides in Brighton. He is the Canal Laureate and Birmingham & Midlands Institute Poet in Residence as well as being the former Birmingham Poet Laureate. From Amsterdam to Philadelphia, Roy has shared his passion for social justice, equality, identity, love and the healing power of poetry as a witness to our times. His debut collection Beginning With Your Last Breath was followed by The Healing Next Time (Nine Arches Press 2018) which was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes award and longlisted for the Jhalak Prize. His third collection is Living by Troubled Waters (October 2022).

Roy McFarlane’s website

Dr Beth Miller

Dr Beth Miller

Beth is the author of six novels, including the bestselling The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright (2020). Her most recent novel, The Woman Who Came Back to Life (2022), will be published in seven languages. She has also published two non-fiction books about Shakespeare and the Archers. She is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Brighton University, a Subject Tutor on the Creative Writing MA at West Dean College, and a regular tutor for Arvon. She works as a writing mentor and book coach for writers at all stages. She has a PhD in Psychology.    

Beth Miller’s website

Jacq Molloy

Jacq Molloy

Jacq is an award-winning short story writer, performed playwright and freelanced for many years as an arts writer for magazines/newspapers. Her short stories have won/placed in competitions such as Mslexia Magazine short story competition, The Brighton Prize, Frome short story competition and been published in anthologies. She has been a creative writing tutor for 18 years and also coaches writers. Jacq has a Master’s in Creative Writing from Sussex University and is a Certified Writing Coach through NAWE, (National Association of Writers in Education)

Read Jacq’s top five writing tips

Bethan Roberts

Bethan Roberts

Bethan has published five novels and writes drama for BBC Radio 4. Publications include The Good Plain Cook (Serpent’s Tail, 2008), which was a Radio 4 Book at Bedtime. In 2012 Chatto and Windus published My Policeman, the story of a 1950s policeman, his wife, and his male lover. The book has just been made into a major motion picture starring Harry Styles. Mother Island (Chatto, 2014), received a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize while her latest novel, Graceland (Chatto, 2019), tells the story of Elvis Presley and his mother, Gladys.

Her work for Radio 4 includes a series of seven short stories about dancing, Strictly Stories, a two-part adaptation of the Russian novel Bride and Groom. She has written several Afternoon Dramas, including My Own Private Gondolier and When Ali Came to Abingdon. She also writes short fiction, for which she has won the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Prize and the RA Pin Drop Award. Bethan has taught Creative Writing for Chichester University, Goldsmiths College, West Dean College, the Open University, and Mslexia magazine.

Bethan Roberts’ website

Sharlene Teo

Sharlene is lecturer in creative writing at the University of Surrey. Her debut novel Ponti was published by Picador and Simon and Schuster in 2018. It won the inaugural Deborah Rogers Writers’ Award, was shortlisted for the Hearst Big Book Award and Edward Stanford Award, and longlisted for the Jhalak Prize.

Her work has been translated into eleven languages and appeared in publications such as The Guardian, McSweeney’s, the TLS, LitHub, Granta and Vogue. She completed an MA in Prose Fiction and a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of East Anglia where she received the Booker Prize Foundation scholarship and the David TK Wong Creative Writing Fellowship. She holds fellowships from the University of Iowa International Writing Program, the Sozopol Fiction Fellowship and the Vil·la Joana Residency.

Hannah Vincent

Hannah Vincent

Hannah is a novelist, short story writer and playwright. Her first novel, Alarm Girl was published in 2014 by Myriad Editions and her second, The Weaning was published in 2018 by Salt. Her short story collection She-Clown and Other Stories, published by Myriad in 2020, was shortlisted for the Edgehill Prize and the Manchester Fiction Prize. Her stage plays have been produced by among others, The Royal Court Theatre and The Royal National Theatre Studio and her radio play Come to Grief won a 2015 BBC Audio award. She has a PhD in creative and critical writing from the University of Sussex.

Read Hannah Vincent’s top five writing tips here. 

Hannah Vincent’s website

Laura Wilkinson

Laura Wilkinson

Laura has published six novels for adults (two under a pseudonym) and numerous short stories. Her contemporary fiction is published by Headline Accent. These novels are Crossing the LineThe Family LineRedemption Song and Skin DeepCrossing the Line was a Welsh Books Council book of the month and Skin Deep has been widely praised. Alongside writing, she runs workshops on craft and has spoken at literary events nationwide.

Over the past decade she’s worked as a creative writing tutor for organisations including New Writing South and on the MA programme at West Dean. She is also a structural editor and mentor for leading literary consultancies, coaching writers to competition short listings and publication.

Read Laura’s top seven writing tips here

Laura Wilkinson’s website