This term I’m at Durham University

This January until Easter 2023, I am resident at St John’s College, Durham, as the Ruth Etchells Visiting Fellow. I’ll be holding workshops and drop-in sessions, as well as one-to-one sessions on creative writing. My primary aim is to encourage self-belief and to enable students to trust their inner creative voice and not to ‘over-rationalise’ when working on their creative writing projects.

It’s always a privilege to read the work of others; there are thousands of imaginative worlds out there waiting to be discovered and the St John’s community is full of talent and potential. It’ll also be great fun to be back in Durham and to return to college life, re-connecting with old friends and making new ones.

Oh yes, and it is an excellent place and space to put in some quality time on my 3rd novel, which (no spoilers) is about a fundamentalist Christian cult in the northeast of Scotland, and the damage done by its charismatic leader to the community and to one family in particular. 

Winter Tales Book Festival


A reminder about the Winter Tales Book Festival  taking place in New College Edinburgh from Friday 3rd December until Sunday 5th December.

I will have the great privilege of chairing a session on Creative Writing with Cathy Fox and Rachel Mann on Sunday afternoon 2.45pm to 3.45pm. 

Here is the link for the programme and the link to book for the different sessions. 

 Programme – Winter Tales Book Festival (

Most of the sessions are free, except for some evening gatherings In Conversation With … Robert Harris, Val McDermid, Sally Magnusson, Francis Spufford and finally on Sunday afternoon, Miles Jupp on Comedy, Religion and Literature. 

The Winter Tales Book Festival

I have just received my on-line draft program for The Winter Tales Book Festival in Edinburgh. The Festival offers a wide and diverse programme for everyone and is being held at New College from 1 pm Friday 3rdDecember until 6.30 pm, Sunday 5th December. Some wonderful writers will be in conversation about their work, including Sally Magnusson, Cathy Fox, Ian Bradley, Val McDermid and Francis Spufford. 

I will be discussing creative writing with Cathy Fox and Rachel Mann at 2.45pm on Sunday afternoon. More details to follow.