Work in progress at fanTALES (courtesy of @shansauro)

I teach creative writing, game writing and performance skills. My regular post is at the University of Edinburgh, but I’ve also taught at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the British Library, Leith Festival, fanTALES Europe — and through community outreach in Scotland. I worked with the Scottish Book Trust to curate a Games Lab for professional writers interested in moving into games writing.

My portfolio of courses changes from year to year. If you would be interested in a custom version of anything below, please get in touch.

Improve Your Fiction

A workshop course for intermediate writers. Tune up your skills in a ten-week programme which explores generating ideas, plotting short and longer works, sensory writing, theme and suspense.

The syllabus is bookended by sessions on self-appraisal and career planning. In week one, students consider what kind of writer they are, and in week ten I suggest future steps to achieve their goals.

Writing Fiction for New Media

A course at the University of Edinburgh in 2018, covering location-based storytelling, interactive fiction, narrative in games, audio and a range of fascinating stories told in new forms.

Students work on an individual project of their choice throughout the term, supported by a structured process and constructive, friendly feedback.

Writing Flash Fiction

A course for beginning to intermediate writers. Flash fiction offers the novice a chance for rapid progress by completing many works in a short space of time. More experienced students will benefit from the compression and discipline that flash fiction demands, and will be able to take new skills into their longer work.

The course originally ran through the Office of Lifelong Learning at Edinburgh University and is organised in two blocks of ten classes. The second term includes a major class project.

This course is also adaptable to a single term or one-day format.

Performing Your Writing

The twenty-first century writer has to do their own publicity, and one of the most direct opportunities is a reading. The reaction of a live audience is also the ultimate form of creative writing workshop.

This course has run in various formats, from a one-day intensive to a more leisurely evening class. It is intended for writers of any kind who would like to read their material on stage. It’s suitable for all levels, from absolute beginners up to experienced performers who would like to refine their technique and learn a few new tricks.

Included: what to read; how to cut for performance; confidence building; stage presence; breathing; varying your delivery; projection and handling a microphone.