Writing School East Midlands Tutors

Out tutors are renowned writers and performers, as well as being accomplished teachers, acknowledged for their skills and ability to to work with a broad spectrum of writers across a range of genres and forms. This is where you can get to know them.


Dan Simpson is a writer, performer, producer, and educator. He makes highly engaging contemporary work that is popular, smart, and funny. His subjects include science and technology; history and place; art and geek culture; people and poetry.  Dan has performed around the world including at Glastonbury Festival, Chicago’s Uptown Poetry Slam, Sofar Sounds Auckland, and on BBC Radio. He has created five stand-up poetry shows for Edinburgh Fringe. Dan is the former Canterbury Laureate, and his first collection of poetry is Applied Mathematics, published by Burning Eye Books – with second collection Totally Cultured due in 2019.

Look at Dan’s course, Poetry and Spoken Word: From Page to Stage

Emma and Duncan Pass run Write, Print, Create. They are a writer and artist with a background in professional practice and have both won awards for their work. Between them, they have over 20 years’ experience in facilitating workshops, and they’ve worked for all kinds of groups and organisations, including Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council, Inspire Nottinghamshire Libraries and arts charity People Express.

Look at Emma and Duncan’s course, Write and Print an Artist’s Book


Giselle Leeb grew up in South Africa and lives in Nottingham. Her short stories have appeared in The Best British Short Stories 2017 (Salt), Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Mslexia, Ambit, The Lonely Crowd, Litro, and other places. She has placed in competitions, including the Ambit, Elbow Room and Aurora, and been shortlisted for the Bridport and Mslexia prizes. She is an assistant editor at Reckoning Journal.

View Giselle’s courses Writing Short Stories in Leicester & Writing Short Stories in Notingham


Heide Goody and Iain Grant first met at Birmingham Writers’ Group and started co-writing in 2012. Since then they have self-published more than ten comic fantasy novels. Their books feature regularly in the top twenty of the Amazon satire charts.  When they write together Heide brings farcical stupidity and Iain brings geeky cleverness and then they blend it together, almost never arguing about who is Lennon and who is McCartney.

View their course Self Publishing: From Finished Draft to First Twenty Reviews.


Helen Jukes’ writing has appeared in BBC Wildlife, Caught by the River, The Junket, Port Magazine and others. Her first book, A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings, a memoir of bees and beekeeping, is published in the UK (by Simon and Schuster), Europe, Australia and America. She teaches on the creative writing programme at Oxford University, and lives on the edge of the Peak District.

View Helen’s course, Writing About Place

Hugh Dichmont is a writer and theatre maker, and artistic director of Nottingham production company INFLUENCING MACHINE. Projects include The Future History of the British Isles, a dystopian sketch show for podcast and stage, The War On Terry (UK tour), Pareidolia (Catalyst Festival, London), and short plays at venues including Nottingham Playhouse, Theatre 503 and The Vaults.

Look at Hugh’s course Write a Short Play

Jane Hill wrote her first novel aged 40, after a long career as a local radio journalist and programmer.  Grievous Angel, a psychological thriller, was published in 2005 by Random House in the UK and William Heinemann in the US. Two other novels – The Murder Ballad and Can’t Let Go – have also been published by Random House and a fourth novel was published in Germany. Jane is also a stand-up comedian, performing all around the country, reaching the finals of two national comedy competitions and taking three acclaimed one-woman shows to the Edinburgh Fringe.

View Jane’s course, The Twist in the Tale: how to take your readers by surprise, here


Kevin Manwaring is an author and Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester. He has been running writing workshops since 1999 in diverse community settings, and in Higher Education since 2004.  His books include The Windsmith Elegy vols 1-5, Desiring Dragons, Lost Islands, Oxfordshire Folk Tales, The Bardic Handbook and others. Kevin also writes regular features for Cotswold Life and Derbyshire Life.  His science fiction novel, Black Box, won a national science fiction novel competition and is being published by Unbound.

Kevin will be delivering three courses for WSEM this year, all around the theme of Fantastika. Click here to view the first.

Liz Berry’s first book of poems, Black Country (Chatto 2014), described as a ‘sooty, soaring hymn to her native West Midlands’ (Guardian), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, received a Somerset Maugham Award and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award and Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2014. Her pamphlet The Republic of Motherhood (Chatto, 2018) was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet choice and the title poem won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2018. Liz works as a poetry tutor for organisations including the Arvon Foundation and Writing West Midlands.  

View Liz’s course, Ready Steady Go! Writing Poetry in a Busy World, here

Maxine Linnell’s novels, Vintage and Closer, were published by Five Leaves, and Bloomsbury have recently published a new edition of her book for reluctant readers, Breaking the Rules. In 2017 her first poetry collection, This Dust, was published by Soundswrite Press. She is a mentor, a reader for The Literary Consultancy, and a professional member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.

Maxine is running several novel writing and writing workshops in Leicester for us in 2019/20. The first Writing Workshop is in November. Click here to view it.

Megan TaylorMegan Taylor is the author of three novels, How We Were Lost (Flame Books, 2007), The Dawning (Weathervane Press, 2010) and The Lives of Ghosts (Weathervane Press, 2012), as well as a short story collection, The Woman Under the Ground (Weathervane Press, 2014).  Recent short stories have been placed in several competitions and appeared in a variety of publications, including Dark Lane’s 6th and 7th anthologies and Neon.  A fourth novel, We Wait, is due out from Eyrie Press in 2019.

View Megan’s course upcoming course Exploring Character


Roy McFarlane was born in Birmingham of Jamaican parentage and spent most of his years living in Wolverhampton and the surrounding Black Country. He has held the role of Birmingham’s Poet Laureate and presently the Birmingham & Midland Institute Poet in Residence. His publications include Celebrate Wha? (Smokestack Books, 2011) and Beginning With Your Last Breath (Nine Arches Press, 2016). Roy’s latest collection The Healing Next Time was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Winter 2018, one of the Guardian’s best poetry titles of 2018, shortlisted for Ted Hughes award and longlisted for the Jhalak Prize. He’s also a graduate of the MA in Writing Poetry with Poetry School/ Newcastle University.

Click here to view Roy’s course, Capturing the Present and Past Through Poetry

Sabrina Mei-Li Smith is a writer, community arts facilitator and tutor of creative writing. She has received Arts Council funding for prose-based projects and worked with The Royal Court and BBC. In 2018 she began her Ph.D. in creative writing with De Montfort University and lectures ‘Writing Identity’, ‘Writing Ecosystems’ and ‘Professional Writing Skills’ on De Montfort’s creative writing undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. She has been recruited to lead Leicester City Council’s ‘Memories into Healing Words’ project which endeavours to establish Leicester as a Dementia friendly city through the engagement of poetry and creative writing. Her play, The Holy Bible, was developed with Derby Theatre as part of their 2018 BME writers programme.

View Sabrina’s course, Developing Your Writing Voice

Shruti Chauhan is a poet and performer from Leicester. She was voted Best Spoken Word Performer at the 2018 Saboteur Awards and won the National Poetry Library’s Instapoetry competition the same year. Shruti wrote the song lyrics for the BBC Four documentary My Asian Family – The Musical, as part of the BBC’s Big British Asian Summer season. Her pamphlet, That Which Can Be Heard, is published with Burning Eye.

View Shruti’s course, Beginning to Write Poetry, by clicking here.

Sian Tower is an experienced commercial copywriter who has worked both in advertising agencies and in-house. She has written for and about a range of industries and for companies such as Booking.com and Citroen UK. She is also a qualified teacher and workshop leader.

Look at Sian’s course, Commercial Copywriting for Beginners

Steven Dunne self-published his first crime novel, Reaper, in 2007, featuring DI Damen Brook. The book was optioned by Harper Collins and released as The Reaper in 2009. A sequel, The Disciple, followed in 2010. A third novel, Deity, was released with Headline in 2012 and The Unquiet Grave in 2013. The latter book was shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award.  In 2016, his further novel, A Killing Moon won the East Midlands Book Award. Death Do Us Part was also released in 2016.

View Steven’s course, Writing Crime Fiction, here.


Victoria Villasenor is a development editor for Bold Strokes Books in New York, and also runs the social enterprise Global Wordsmiths with her partner. She works with marginalized communities throughout the Midlands on writing projects and is a multi-published author.

Victoria will be delivering two courses for WSEM in 2019, Taking the Plunge: Putting Together your Publishing Packet and Creating Plot Lines