- Course: PhD (Practice-led)
Please tell us a bit about yourself, your background etc?
I am a professional writer and creative writing teacher. My first novel, All the Good Things (Viking, Penguin, 2017) won a Betty Trask Award and my short story collection, How the Light Gets In, (Influx Press, 2018) was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Edgehill Short Story Prize.
What made you want to apply to study for a PhD and to Leeds?
I wanted to develop my creative practice in a more structured and critical framework, to gain more teaching experience and to become part of a lively academic and creative community.
What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?
I’m not so much passionate about creative writing as obsessed with it. It is the way in which I understand the world and my experience within it.
What opportunities did you have to participate in and contribute to the research culture in your School?
The School of Performance and Cultural Industries has a number of thriving research groups and regularly organises conferences and seminars.
How did you find the support you’ve received from your supervisor and towards your research training and career development more generally?
My supervisors strike the perfect balance between supporting me and pushing me to develop my creative practice and my scholarship in new and challenging directions. It’s been a really fruitful relationship so far.
Did you use the facilities provided by the LHRI?
I am co-director of the interdisciplinary critical reading group, Quilting Points, and we use the LHRI to host our meetings.
What would you say about Leeds as a city?
It’s friendly, fun and the good sort of grubby. I love living here because it’s big enough that there’s lots going on, especially in the grassroots arts and live music scenes, but small enough that within thirty minutes, you can be - at one extreme - in a bar, restaurant or nightclub - or - at the other - in the countryside.
What would you say about the learning facilities in the School and at the University in general?
There’s an excellent range of libraries and digital resources.
What do you like to do outside of studying?
I like hanging out with friends, trying out new places to eat and drink, running, walking in the countryside, and travelling.
What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to study for a PhD at Leeds?
Contact prospective supervisors, even if your idea is at a nascent stage. Have a good look round the University website to see if it’s the sort of institution you’d like to become a part of.