Melissa Wan


I’m a writer of fiction and joined the School of English as a doctoral researcher in October 2022. I graduated from the University of Manchester with a First Class Honours degree in the Social Sciences in 2012, and was awarded the inaugural Crowdfunded BAME Writers’ Scholarship to study Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in 2018.

My first published story, ‘The Husband and the Wife Go to the Seaside’ was selected by Jenn Ashworth for a collection, ‘Seaside Special: Postcards from the Edge’ (Bluemoose Books: 2018), and was republished in Salt’s Best British Short Stories 2019, edited by Nicholas Royle. My short fiction has since been published and commissioned by a number of independent presses, including Confingo Publishing, Nightjar Press and Dead Ink Books. In 2019, I was an Elizabeth Kostova Foundation Writing Fellow, and I was 2019’s Northern Word Factory Apprentice, mentored by Carys Davies and also supported by New Writing North.

My research is funded by the AHRC through the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities.

Research interests

  • Practice-led research
  • Medical humanities
  • Short fiction

My practice-led PhD explores textual erasure in relation to the writing of sex and to the absence of disabled bodies within fiction, building on a one-day literary conference I conceived and co-organised at UEA in 2019, I’ll Show You Mine: A Sex-Writing Symposium. Using these gaps as ludic provocations and writing from my auto-ethnographic perspective of living with multiple sclerosis, I will employ creative-critical practices to write sex back in and make present what was formerly absent. The resulting short story cycle and thesis will disrupt normative conventions for writing sex, develop a new disability aesthetics for prose fiction, and produce original creative works which contribute to the short story corpus.


  • MA Creative Writing: Prose Fiction, University of East Anglia (2018 – 19), Distinction
  • MA Paris Studies, University of London Institute in Paris (2012 – 13), Distinction
  • BA (Hons) Social Sciences, University of Manchester (2009 – 12), First Class

Research groups and institutes

  • Medical Humanities Research Group
  • Centre for Practice Research in the Arts