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During National Storytelling Week, 30 January – 5 February, we are celebrating the incredible storytelling talents within our University community. Novelists, biographers, poets, playwrights and actors; our academics and our students find diverse ways to tell a good yarn. Here we hear from two acclaimed writers, Naomi Booth and Claire Harman, who also teach the Creative Writing MA, MLitt and PhD courses run by the Department of English Studies.

Naomi Booth: Lovebirds 

Naomi Booth, is an award-winning writer and academic based in the Department of English Studies as Associate Professor of Creative Writing. 

She is the author of The Lost Art of Sinking (2015) and novels Sealed (2018) and Exit Management (2020) which was a Guardian Fiction Book of the year in 2020. Her latest work, from which this telling of Lovebirds is taken is Animals at Night, her first collection of short stories which illuminates the strange nocturnal meetings between humans and other animals. 

Find out more about Naomi’s work.

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Claire Harman: Poor Maggie Kirkpatrick

Professor Claire Harman is an award-winning writer and critic, and author of seven major literary biographies. She is a Professor of Creative Writing, teaching alongside Dr Naomi Booth, as well as Dr Paul Batchelor, Kayo Chingonyi, Sunjeev Sahota, and Dr Sam Riviere. 

Her latest book on Katherine Mansfield, All Sorts of Lives: Katherine Mansfield and the Art of Risking Everything was published in January 2023 to mark the centenary of Mansfield’s death, alongside Wild Places, a selection of Mansfield’s short stories. She has also been awarded a Forward Prize for Poetry and won the Tom-Gallon Award for her short story Otherwise Engaged.  

Here, she reads us the opening of her short story Poor Maggie Kirkpatrick, which was published in The Warwick Review and was runner-up for the Society of Authors' Tom-Gallon Award in 2015.  

Find out more about Claire Harman's work

Find out more:

Interested in telling stories like this? Find out more about our Postgraduate courses:

MA in Creative Writing  

MLitt and PhD in Creative Writing