I am the Manager of the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Met. Working closely with the Academic and Creative Directors, I have responsibility for the day-to-day running of the School, overseeing a range of Creative Writing courses, projects, events, systems and staff, and acting as primary contact for all of our campus-based and online Masters students. I also coordinate recruitment and admissions to our postgraduate programmes and short courses.
I am the Knowledge Exchange Coordinator and Marketing & Communications Lead for the Department of English, which involves developing and delivering impact and income generating projects, and social media and publicity management.
Much of my work is outward-facing. I engage with external organisations and public audiences to create showcase opportunities and ensure our work has a presence and impact in the world beyond the university.
First class BA in English and an MA in Creative Writing (Fiction).
I worked at the University of Manchester, in Arts and in Health Sciences, and oversaw the University's flagship international online degree programme - one of the UK's first entirely-online degree programmes. I taught as an Associate Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Manchester Met from 2003 until joining the full-time staff as Manager of the Manchester Writing School in 2006.
Supervisor for Level 6/BA Creative Dissertations/Projects.
Unit Leader for Level 7/Masters Creative Project, Dissertation and Manuscript units.
Unit Tutor for the Level 7/Masters unit: The Industry.
Coordinator for all Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and short course activity in English and Creative Writing.
I was head judge and chief editor of Muse, the Manchester Writing School’s journal of creative work by students of the University, and have also been a member of the judging and editorial panel for All Write!, a showcase of writing by 14-to-19 year olds from across the North West, produced by MMU's Association for Creative Writing and Education.
Since early 2010, I have organised a series of events in partnership with Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre: "Carol Ann Duffy & Friends". These evenings see the Poet Laureate introducing and reading alongside students and graduates from the Manchester Writing School. I also organise "Manchester Writing" at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, featuring guest poets and novelists 'in conversation' with writers from Manchester Met.
I managed events as part of Offcut – a strand of Manchester Met fringe activities running parallel to the first ever Manchester International Festival. In collaboration with Manchester Libraries, I also hosted the New Contemporary Writing series, in which students from the Manchester Writing School read their work to a public audience. In 2007, I co-ordinated Next Stages: Dramaturgy and Beyond, an international script-writing conference run in partnership with North West Playwrights and hosted at Manchester Met - and described as the "event of the millennium" at the time!
From 2010-2016, I worked alongside Carol Ann Duffy and Head of MMU's IDEA (Initiatives & Developments: Enrichment Activities) office Kaye Tew to curate, launch and direct the first Manchester Children's Book Festival - a major international festival of children's literature, hosted by Manchester Met and featuring readings, workshops and gala events with popular and distinguished children's writers and artists. The Festival is now an annual event.
I was appointed one of Manchester Met's first Enterprise Fellows in 2007, and used the fellowship to establish the Manchester Writing Competition – a suite of international literary prizes celebrating excellence in creative writing. The first Manchester Poetry Prize was awarded in October 2008 at a gala ceremony that officially opened that year's Manchester Literature Festival; the first Manchester Fiction Prize launched in 2009, and both prizes now run each year, with an additional Writing for Children Prize in 2014, to coincide with the biennial Manchester Children's Book Festival. In its first five years, the competition has attracted more than 20,000 submissions from over 50 countries and awarded £135,000 in prize money to writers.
I was appointed Academic Enterprise Lead (later known as Knowledge Exchange Coordinator) for the Department of English in 2012. In this role, it’s necessary for me to think commercially - to "productise" what we have to offer - to generate income for the department that will enable us to keep doing what we do and also innovate new ideas and projects. As well as bringing in money, it's also vital that we maintain intellectual and artistic integrity, combining income generation with academic rigour and the discovery of new creative work - an important, if delicate, balance.
I have provided consultancy for arts, community and educational organisations looking to set up competitions and festivals.
I am the Marketing & Communications Lead for the Department of English, managing all department social media channels and coordinating publicity in liasion with central teams.
Nominated for Manchester Met Staff Awards:
Outstanding Contribution to Research and Knowledge Exchange (2013)
Outstanding Contribution to Employability, Employment and Enterprise (2015)
Outstanding Leadership (2015, 2016)
Service Excellence (2015)
Outstanding Team Member (2016)
Short-listed for the 2015 Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) Poetry Award for Let in the Stars (anthology of new poetry for children edited by Mandy Coe and devised by Mandy Coe, James Draper and Kaye Tew).
Appointed one of the first Manchester Met Enterprise Fellows (2007).