Dr Kevan Manwaring

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Teaching Fellow in Creative WritingKevan Manwaring

Department: English

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 3357

Email: km468@le.ac.uk

Office: Room 1604, Attenborough Tower

Address: School of Arts, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH

Personal details


I am a Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester. Winner of a national science fiction novel competition (One Giant Write, run by Literature Works) and a PhD student essay prize (AHRC10), as well as several commissions for the Centre for New Writing, I have been a self-employed wordsmith since 2000. With articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Writing in Practice, New Writing, Axon, TEXT, and The Bottle Imp (Association of Scottish Literary Studies), I have also written a monthly 'writers in the landscape' feature for Cotswold Life magazine, been a judge for The London Magazine short story competition, and appeared on TV and radio to discuss authors. I am the psychogeography editor for Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel, poetry editor for Caduceus, and special guest editor of Revenant: Critical and Creative Studies of the Supernatural. I am the author of over a dozen works of fiction and non-fiction, including Desiring Dragons: Creativity, Imagination and the Writer's Quest (Compass Books, 2014); Oxfordshire Folk Tales, Northamptonshire Folk Tales, Ballad Tales (The History Press, 2012, 2013, 2017); Lost Islands: Inventing Avalon, Destroying Eden (Heart of Albion Press, 2010); and The Windsmith Elegy fantasy series (Awen, 2004-2012). I have taught creative writing for the Open University, University of Bath, University of Portsmouth, and Imperial College. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Hawthornden and the Eccles Centre for North American Studies at the British Library. I blog and tweet as the Bardic Academic.


  • PhD in Creative Writing, University of Leicester
  • Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy
  • Honorary Associate of the Open University
  • Postgraduate Fellow, North American Studies at the Eccles Centre, The British Library
  • Fellow of Hawthornden International Writers' Retreat



  • 'Lines of Desire: the phenomenology of long-hand writing in creative praxis', in New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing
  • 'GOLEM Speaks', in Frontier: The University of Leicester’s Postgraduate Research Magazine
  • Cotswold Ways: writers in their landscapes series. In: McKormack, C. ed. Cotswold Life. Cheltenham: Archant Media (2016-19)
  • Rural Rides - monthly literary cycle rides feature, in Hales, J., ed. Derbyshire Life. Cheltenham: Archant Media (2019-)


  • 'That Crafty Faculty', in Enstam, G. ed. The Bottle Imp, the journal of the Association of Scottish Literary Studies. Issue 23, Summer 2018.
  • 'Ways Through the Wood: The Rogue Cartographies of Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood Cycle as a Cognitive Map for Creative Process in Fiction', in Neale, D. ed. Writing in Practice, 4.
  • 'Lost in an Empty Land', in Gigi, A. ed. Panorama: the journal of intelligent travel, ‘Lost’. Available from: http://www.panoramajournal.org/
  • 'Sexing Faerie: gender and sexuality in the Fairy Tradition', Pagan Dawn, Spring and Summer.


  • 'GOLEM Speaks: Flash fictions on Artificial Intelligence', Centre for New Writing/University of Leicester.
  • Ballad Tales: an anthology of British ballads retold. Brimscombe: The History Press.


  • 'Welcome to the Smeuse-House', in Playford-Greenwell, S. and Prater, T. eds. Doggerland. Issue 2.
  • 'The Wolf Flute', in Heholt, R. ed. Revenant: critical and creative studies of the Supernatural. Issue 2. Falmouth University.


  • Marginalia: graffiti, urban coding and the semiotics of the street, in Hidden Stories, University of Leicester, Centre for New Writing.
  • 'Let the Mountain Sing its Own Song', in O’Brien, S. ed. The London Magazine. October/November 2015.
  • Lost Border (poetry collection). Stroud: Chrysalis.


  • Desiring Dragons: creativity, imagination and the writer's quest, Compass Books.
  • 'Stepping Through The Gate: using stories and storytelling to foster positive visions of an ecologically sustainable future', in Gerdie, A; Nanson, A., and Schieffelin, B. eds. Storytelling for a Greener World. Stroud: Hawthorn Press.


  • Northamptonshire Folk Tales, Brimscombe: The History Press.


  • Oxfordshire Folk Tales. Brimscombe: The History Press.
  • This Fearful Tempest. Stroud: Awen.


  • The Burning Path. Stroud: Awen.


  • The Well Under the Sea. Bath: Awen.
  • Lost Islands: inventing Avalon, destroying Eden. Loughborough: Heart of Albion Press.


  • Windsmith. Bath: Awen.
  • The Bardic Handbook. Glastonbury: Gothic Image.


  • The Long Woman. Bath: Awen.


My research explores notions of hybridity, transnationalism, and alterity - primarily through Science Fiction and Fantasy. My PhD was an epistemological enquiry into creative process, genre and form, through the medium of a novel ('The Knowing - A Fantasy'). It was based upon research into folksong and tale-cultures of the Scottish Lowlands and the Southern Appalachians, with a focus on the Reverend Robert Kirk, a 17th Century Episcopalian minister, author of the 1691 monograph, 'The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies'. Much of my published work has explored the Bardic Tradition in fictional (The Windsmith Elegy series of novels) and non-fictional ways (The Bardic Handbook; The Way of Awen; Desiring Dragons; The Bardic Chair). These days I am exploring this evolving field through my academic research (via my Creative Writing PhD at the University of Leicester). I am interested in crossing the creative/critical divide; using bardic skills in conference presentations, lectures, and workshops; and academic rigour in exploring oral traditions and written cultures, fantasy and folklore, and the cross-fertilisation between them.


  • EN1025 Introduction to Writing Creatively
  • EN2070 Advanced Creative Writing
  • EN3175 Understanding Screenplay
  • EN7134 Writing Fiction
  • EN7040: Research Methods
  • EN310 Compulsory Dissertation


  • BBC1 Breakfast TV, 'Roman Baths' special
  • BBC 4 ‘The Secret Life of Books’ (Cider with Rosie) academic consultant
  • Phil the Shelf, BBC Radio Gloucestershire (book programme)

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