Management of Manchester Writing School projects, events and systems. Primary contact for campus-based and online MA Creative Writing students. Director of the Manchester Children's Book Festival (Public Events). Academic Enterprise Lead for the Department of English (including coordination of Continuing Professional Development and short courses).
Creative Writing: prose. English fiction and narrative theory. Office hours for student tutorials: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 2-4pm; please email to arrange an appointment.
After gaining a first class BA in English and an MA in Creative Writing, James worked at the University of Manchester, in Arts and in Health Sciences, and oversaw the University's flagship international online degree programme, the Masters in Public Health. He has been teaching as an Associate Lecturer in the Department of English at MMU since 2003, and joined the full-time staff as Project Manager for the Manchester Writing School in 2006.
James organises the Writers at MMU visiting author series and managed two events as part of Offcut – a strand of MMU fringe activities running parallel to the first Manchester International Festival. In collaboration with Manchester Libraries, he organises and hosts the New Contemporary Writing series, in which students from the Manchester Writing School read their work to a public audience.
In 2007, he co-ordinated Next Stages: Dramaturgy and Beyond, an international script-writing conference run in partnership with North West Playwrights and hosted at MMU.
Since early 2010, James has organised two series of events in partnership with Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre: Carol Ann Duffy and Friends, which sees the Poet Laureate introducing and reading alongside students and graduates from the Manchester Writing School, and WORD, featuring guest poets, novelists and script-writers 'in conversation' with writers from MMU.
James is head judge and chief editor of Muse, the Manchester Writing School’s journal of creative work by students of the University, and has been a member of the judging and editorial panel for All Write!, a showcase of writing by 14 to 19 year olds from across the North West, produced by MMU's Association for Creative Writing and Education. He is involved in the Department’s wider, ongoing Outreach programme and has co-ordinated open days and run taster workshops for visiting sixth form students.
In 2010, James worked alongside Carol Ann Duffy and MMU Outreach Coordinator Kaye Tew to launch and direct the first Manchester Children's Book Festival - a major new international festival of children's literature, hosted by MMU and featuring readings, workshops and gala events with popular and distinguished children's writers and artists. A second, full-length Festival ran in 2012 with 79 events and activities taking place at the University and at cultural venues throughout Manchester.
James was appointed one of MMU’s first Enterprise Fellows in 2007, and used the fellowship to establish the Manchester Writing Competition – an international literary competition celebrating excellence in creative writing. The first Manchester Poetry Prize was awarded in October 2008 at a gala ceremony that officially opened that year's Manchester Literature Festival. The Writing School launched the first Manchester Fiction Prize in 2009, and the competition has alternated annually ever since and attracted more than 7,500 entries from over 45 countries. He was appointed Academic Enterprise Lead for the Department of English in 2012.
James is a member of the steering group for Creative Manchester.
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