Dr Jess Richards


My academic background is in performance writing and visual performance from Dartington College of Arts.

My fine art / creative writing PhD project: Illusions, Transformations, and Iterations; storytelling as fiction, image, and artefact earned a place on the Dean’s List at Massey University, Aotearoa New Zealand.

I am the author of three literary fiction novels: Snake Ropes, Cooking with Bones and City of Circles (Sceptre 2012–17). I have also published creative nonfiction, vispo, short fiction, visual essays, and poetry in many literary magazines and peer reviewed academic journals.

My most recent book publication is Birds and Ghosts, an experimental work of creative nonfiction (Linen Press 2023). 

Awards and Nominations

  • Snake Ropes was shortlisted for: the Costa First Novel Award and longlisted for the Green Carnation Prize and Scottish Book Awards in 2012–13
  • City of Circles was shortlisted for the novel category of the Kitschies Awards 2017
  • Cooking with Bones was longlisted for the Guardian’s ‘Not the Booker’ prize, 2013 and the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2014
  • The Ardtornish/Scottish Book Trust Retreat 2014
  • Cove Park Literature Residency 2013 
  • Creative Scotland (Scottish Arts Council) Artist and Creative Talent Programme Award 2014
  • Invited Visiting Correspondent, Deep Anatomy – Psi#24: Fluid States, international performance art event, the Bahamas, 2015


  • Programme Lead MA Creative Writing

Research interests

Books (creative writing)

Other examples of my creative practice research:

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD Illusions, Transformations, and Iterations; storytelling as fiction, image, artefact
  • BA Hons Visual Performance

Professional memberships

  • National Association of Writers in Education
  • Society of Authors

Student education

Creative Writing Lecturer

Programme Lead for MA Creative Writing (2023-)

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>