Festival 2015: Tutors

Please note that the information given here relates to a previous event.

You can visit our NAWGFest main page for the latest information.

Getting to Know Your Tutors

Warwick Festival, 4th–6th September 2015

Here are some photos and mini-biographies of your 2015 festival tutors. They appear here in the order that they are listed in the festival brochure.

For more information about the festival, please also refer to the following articles:

Tim Wilson
Tim Wilson

Tim Wilson has enormous experience as both writer and teacher. He took the MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where he studied under Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter, and has been a professional writer since 1986.

He has had thirty novels professionally published and translated into eleven languages. His Robert Fairfax historical mystery series, written under the pen-name Hannah March, was twice shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger, and has recently been re-released in e-book by Headline. He has recently written on Shakespeare for the New York Times and the Huffington Post.

Tim with cat

His historical novels written under the pen-name Jude Morgan have attracted rave reviews from Hilary Mantel, Tracy Chevalier and Joanna Trollope. His novel about the Brontës, The Taste of Sorrow, was short-listed for the Portico Prize 2010 and has been optioned for TV serialisation by BBC Wales.

He has taught Creative Writing at City College Peterborough and elsewhere for 17 years, and is a Member of the Society of Authors.

Tim's latest novel, The Secret Life of William Shakespeare, written as Jude Morgan, is his 30th published book.

Tim will be available for one-to-one sessions on Saturday; he offers a close, detailed and constructive critique of your work. If there are any particular questions you want to ask, please append them to the piece. Full details, and how to book him for a 20 minute session, are on page 30 of the festival brochure.

Adam Strickson
Photo: Adam Strickson

Dr Adam Strickson is a theatre director, environmental artist, poet, librettist, and teaching fellow in Theatre and Writing at the University of Leeds, where he has taught many successful young writers from Yorkshire, the northwest, and India. His graduates have won short story competitions, been commissioned by leading theatres and had plays produced on Radio 4.

In autumn 2015, Adam travelled to Taiwan to comment on the winners of an international competition for scripts describing the Chinese experience across the world. He is adapting a classic play by Tang Xianzu, The Chinese Shakespeare, for performances in Leeds, Edinburgh, Shanghai, Beijing and Fuzhou.

Photo: Adam Strickson

Three books of his poetry and libretti have been published and he has been poet in residence at Ilkley Literature Festival, Trinity Centre Leeds, and for the town of Boston in Lincolnshire. He has recently written prose about Greek tragedy and Fiddler on the Roof!

In 2014 he was artist in residence in Dewsbury Country Park, creating bird sculptures and bird poems in the woods, fields and sunshine to celebrate the Tour de France in Yorkshire.

His first collection, An Indian Rug Surprised by Snow, came out in 2005. His second, Tear Up the Lace, in 2011. He was lead artist for the imove Olympic cultural project Wingbeats, and a book of his poems and libretti focusing on the experience of the natural world for this project was published by Valley Press in 2012.

Aimee Bell
Aimee Bell

Aimee has worked with authors from all over the world, including self-publishers and international best-sellers. She started her own design consultancy, Author Design Studio. As well as specialist website and book-cover design, Aimee also offers training in the importance of social media and enjoys the diversity of authors she has the chance to work with.

Visit her website at www.authordesignstudio.com.

Della Galton
Photo: Della Galton

Della Galton is a novelist, short-story writer and journalist and has been getting published for over twenty-five years. She's had over 1,500 short stories published in the UK alone and she's run out of fingers to count her books on.

Photo: Della Galton

She is also the agony aunt for Writers' Forum and the author of How to Write and Sell Short Stories and The Short Story Writer's Toolshed.

She's a qualified adult education tutor and a popular speaker and lecturer in the UK.

Steve Bowkett
Photo: Steve Bowkett

Steve Bowkett qualified as a hypnotherapist in 1991 and has worked with many hundreds of people since then on a wide range of issues. He is a member of the Hypnotherapy Association and has run his Learn Self Hypnosis course for a number of years at places like Writers' Holiday and NAWGFest.

Steve began writing for pleasure when he was twelve. He taught secondary English for twenty years and has been a fulltime freelance author and education consultant since 1994. Over the years he has visited hundreds of schools to do storytelling sessions, run creative writing and thinking workshops, give talks about writing and run INSET courses on thinking skills, creativity, writing and emotional resourcefulness.

His first book, published in 1985, was a fantasy novel for pre-teen readers. Further early published work consists of fantasy and SF for teenagers. He has since diversified into adult and teen horror, teen romance, mainstream fiction for pre-teens, fiction and non-fiction for younger readers, educational non-fiction, and poetry for all ages.

To date he has published 77 titles, including fiction for all ages, educational books, and numerous short stories and poems. His next book, Jumpstart Wellbeing, is being published by Routledge in early 2017.

He lives near Market Harborough with his wife Wendy and a menagerie of animals.


Steve's one-to-ones: Please send up to 3,000 words of text if you want Steve to comment on a specific project. Or feel free to come on the day if you have any general questions about creativity and self-confidence, writing children's fiction, children's or adult fantasy, SF and horror. Steve can also advise on preparing an educational proposal for submission.

Full details, and how to book him for a 20-minute session, are on page 30 of the festival brochure.

Talli Roland
Talli Roland

Talli Roland writes bittersweet and witty contemporary women's fiction. Born and raised in Canada, Talli now lives in London, where she savours the great cultural life (coffee and wine). Despite training as a journalist, Talli soon found she preferred making up her own stories – complete with happy endings. Her novels have been short-listed as Best Romantic Reads at the UK's Festival of Romance and chosen as top books of the year by industry review websites.

Talli's website is www.talliroland.com, and she blogs at www.talliroland.blogspot.com.

As well as an inspiring workshop, Talli will be giving the afternoon talk on Saturday at 1.45pm in Engineering F107: How do authors know what's right for them?

Veronica Heley
Veronica Heley

Veronica Heley has now celebrated the publication of 75 books, having been in the business for over 30 years. She is currently writing two gentle crime series with a Christian worldview; the Ellie Quicke Mysteries and the Bea Abbot detective stories. She also produces some short stories for The Methodist Recorder and other Christian magazines.

In the course of her career she has written crime, romance, historical fiction, articles on writing and many books for children. She has produced a biography of St Paul and storyboards for children's comics. She's involved with her local church and community affairs, likes to break for coffee with friends and does the garden when she has time. She has been a member of a book-reading club for 40 years, but has decided that life is too short to read depressing literature any more.

She may be contacted on: www.veronicaheley.com and blog.veronicaheley.com.

Please note: If you book for Veronica's workshops she has offered to look at delegates' work beforehand if it deals with crime.

She would like to see page 1 only, double-spaced, together with a one-page synopsis, also double-spaced. When you attend the workshop it will give her a really good idea of what you need to learn to develop as a writer.

Please do not take advantage of this offer unless you have secured a place for one of Veronica's workshops. Note also that this is not a requirement for attending, just a very generous gesture on Veronica's part.

Paul Dodgson
Paul Dodgson

Paul Dodgson is a writer, composer, radio producer and teacher. Writing credits include 15 plays for BBC Radio 4 including Famous, Binge Drunk Britain – The Musical and Windscale. Paul has written two radio memoirs, You Drive Me Crazy and Home. Paul has directed and produced more than 400 programmes for all BBC radio networks.

Theatre work includes a large cast adaptation of Robin Hood for Storm on the Lawn, music and lyrics for productions of Heidi, The French Detective and the Blue Dog and The Nutcracker at Theatre Royal Bath, Alice Through The Looking Glass at Tobacco Factory, Bristol, Joking Apart at Nottingham Playhouse, The Kingdom and Bluebeard at Soho Theatre, London and The Importance of Being Earnest at Salisbury Playhouse. The Nutcracker was the 2013/14 Christmas show at Nuffield, Southampton.

Screenwriting credits include 18 months as part of the Eastenders writing team and the drama/documentary series Monsters We Met for BBC 2.

Paul has taught creative writing at Exeter University where he was previously Writer-in-Residence and runs radio and short story workshops around the UK. While at Exeter, Paul developed an interest in memoir writing, a genre he now teaches internationally. More details of this work can be found at www.writinglife.co.uk.

Marvin Close

If you've got a song in your heart then let's get it down on the page. From beginners to the more experienced, Marvin's lyric-writing workshops are a practical hands-on guide to developing your own ideas into songs.

Last year's sessions, which were offered for the first time at a NAWG festival, were a big hit with the writers who took part, each and every one of whom went home from the weekend with a fully completed song they had written from scratch.


Marvin is currently writing the biography of Hope Powell for Bloomsbury Press.

He is also researching and writing a new book about football in Palestine, called More Noble Than War, and the script for a new movie, War Is The Cry, set in wartime Hull.


Photo: Marvin Close
More Than Just A Game: Football vs Apartheid

Currently on release worldwide, published by Harper Collins (St Martin's Press in the USA). Co-written with Professor Chuck Korr, it is the true story of how the political prisoners on South Africa's infamous Robben Island turned football into an active force in their struggle for freedom. Despite torture, regular beatings and backbreaking labour, the men defied all odds and played organized league football in one of the most brutal hellholes on earth for over 20 years. It was Book of the Week in The Independent On Sunday and The Irish Times, and the subject of a documentary made by ESPN in the United States, and a half hour long BBC Radio 4 programme in the UK. More Than Just A Game is currently out in Japanese, Korean, Italian, Czech and Dutch translations, plus editions in Canada, South Africa and Australasia – and now the USA in paperback.

As a dramatist and scriptwriter for British television, Marvin has written over 70 episodes of Emmerdale, scripted episodes for Tracey Beaker, Doctors, 24/7 and Three Seven Eleven, and storylined over 200 Coronation Street shows. He has also worked as Script Consultant on Nickelodeon children's TV series, House of Anubis.

For BBC Radio, he has written and co-produced two recent documentaries, Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus – the bizarre true story of how the Pythons ended up making two TV Specials in Bavaria – in German. A language that none of them could speak. And Your Starter For Ten – a one hour history of 50 years of University Challenge.

A former writer-in-residence at Manchester's Library Theatre, Marvin's stage plays include the award-winning comedy Dorothy Parker's Dead; the story of The Goons, Crazy People (co-written with John Chambers); an investigation of modern work, Working; a homage to Oliver Hardy, Ton of Jollity; and a political history of Hull dockers, No Surrender!

For BBC Radio Four, he co-wrote two series of the comedy, Arnold Brown and Company; and co-created and wrote two series of the nostalgia comedy series, Where Were You?

Photo: Marvin Close

For over 30 years, he has played extensively in bands as a singer and guitarist and written or co-written over 100 pop, rock and folk songs. No hits, but plenty of experience! And more than anything, a passionate desire to share the joys of songwriting.

Marvin has delivered numerous writing workshops and lectures at universities, colleges and arts festivals, has tutored for the Arvon Foundation and worked extensively as a writer for the Arts Council. From 2002 to 2007 Marvin was a part-time tutor and lecturer on Leeds Metropolitan University's MA in Screenwriting, and worked closely with the then Course Director Alby James, to develop new ideas and directions for the course.

In 2010, Marvin worked as writer-in-residence at Tweendykes Special School in Hull, England, helping children with autism and learning difficulties improve their communication skills. Marvin wrote and produced a BBC documentary short called Invisible Eddie, about his son's experience of growing up with autism.

A former journalist on The Sheffield Star evening newspaper, Marvin gained a BA (Hons) in Educational Studies and English at Lancaster University, and then undertook two years of postgraduate research into post war educational history at Leeds University.

He will show you how to write succinct and telling lyrics, construct song structures and create killer hooks and choruses. No musical experience necessary, but instrumentalists are more than welcome too.

In the month before the Festival, delegates who sign up for Marvin's lyric-writing workshops can contact him for a downloadable instrumental song recording, as a possible template for their lyrics. marvinjohn@btinternet.com.

Marvin is happy to do one-to-ones. He offers professional advice on scripts in general (film, television, radio and theatre), fiction and non-fiction prose (everything from feature articles to full-length books) and song-writing.

Full details, and how to book him for a 20-minute session, are on page 30 of the festival brochure.

James Nash
James Nash

James Nash is a writer and poet, and a long-term resident of Leeds. He is a well-known provider of creative writing workshops in schools, universities and in the community, and is regularly called on as a host of literary events.

Some Things Matter: 63 Sonnets is the fourth collection of his poetry. Highlights from the three previous collections, along with some new non-sonnet material, were published by Valley Press as an ebook in April 2012, under the title A Bit of an Ice Breaker: Selected and Uncollected Poems.

James is happy to do one-to-ones: He would just need three poems at the beginning of the weekend, or in advance via e-mail or post. They may be emailed to James at james@jamesnash.co.uk or posted to the usual address:

65 Riverside Mead

Please do not contact James unless you have secured a place for a one-to-one.

Further details on page 30 of the festival brochure.

Julie Bokowiec
Julie Bokowiec

Julie is a playwright and theatre artist whose plays have been nominated and short-listed for a range of awards. The Last Cuckoo, starring Paul Copley, was nominated for the 20th Mayer-Whitworth Award 2012 (Royal National Theatre).

Julie has written and directed original drama and music theatre works in association with Opera North and Trestle Theatre Company and has been commissioned by the Royal Theatre Bath, Bradford Theatres, Harrogate International Festival, and the Lawrence Batley Theatre among others.

Recently commissions include the critically acclaimed Lost Boy Racer for the Yorkshire Festival 2014, touring as part of the cultural programme of the Tour de France, Grand Depart.

For more information see www.juliebokowiec.com.

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Author: Kevin Machin Date: February 9, 2015 4:43 pm
Categories: NAWGFest, People Tags: photos, NAWGFest 2015
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