I'm a senior lecturer in Creative and Professional Writing at the University of Wolverhampton in England. It's an institution proud of its status as a university of widening participation.
Teaching writing is fun and the students are original. Frequently they are juggling jobs, their study programmes and complicated emotional lives. Some can be frustrating and charming in equal measure; most are inspiring. I've learned as much about the craft from facilitating the process for students as I have from producing my novels.
My over-arching philosophy about teaching writing is that it is more about process than product; it is the journey, not the destination which will stand us in good artistic stead. As Mary Cantrell says: “Consistent perfection is not a requirement for becoming a writer”
Cantrell, M. (2005) Teaching and Evaluation: Why Bother? pp 65 -75 In Leahy, A (ed). Power and Identity in the Creative Writing Classroom: The Authority Project. (New Writing Viewpoints). Toronto: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
In 2007 I obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education. This course opened my eyes to technology-supported learning and my interest has continued, finding current expression in my research into enhanced e-books downloadable via mobile phones and e-readers.
I run one-off writing workshops for various arts organisations and had the privilege of tutoring a group of young San writers in South Africa in 2011. Among them, more than any other students, I saw collaborative learning achieve the results educational theorists dream of. I'll blog about it sometime.
It gives me great pleasure to be the UK tertiary education advisor for Kalahari People's Network in South Africa.