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The Department of English and Modern Languages at Oxford Brooks University hosts Writing Fellows from the Royal Literary Fund (RLF) in London. The RLF is a charity which supports professional writers through a variety of schemes, and Oxford Brooks University was one of the pioneer hosts for the RLF Fellowship scheme.
The RLF scheme places experienced writers into higher education institutions to offer confidential one-to-one tutorials to undergraduate and postgraduate students on any aspect of writing and presentation, whether creative writing, academic assessed and non-assessed work, exam writing or seminar presentation. All Oxford Brookes students are entitled to sign up and consult with one of the Fellows, who are available across four days each week.
The Fellows’ office is T404 (Tonge Building) on the Gipsy Lane Campus. Students can make appointments by emailing the Fellows directly. The Royal Literary Fund Fellows only work between weeks 1 and 12 each semester.
Nigel Cliff writes mostly narrative nonfiction. His books have been translated into ten languages and include The Shakespeare Riots (Random House, 2007), about a deadly transatlantic stage rivalry; The Last Crusade: The Epic Voyages of Vasco da Gama (Harper, 2011), about the discovery of the sea route to Asia; and Moscow Nights: The Van Cliburn Story (Harper, 2016), about a young Texan pianist who upended the Cold War. They have been winners or finalists of several awards, including the US National Book Critics Circle Award, and have been named books of the year by the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe. Two have come tantalisingly close to being filmed, and one lent its name to a rock band.
Born in Manchester, Nigel read English at Oxford, where he was awarded the Beddington Prize for English Literature. He began his career as a theatre and film critic on The Times and has written for The Economist and the New York Times Book Review. He has also translated and edited Marco Polo’s Travels for Penguin Classics (2015). He speaks widely about his books, most recently at the British Library and on Start the Week. He enjoys pounding round cities to unravel their past, concocting new recipes, making up monstrous yarns for his young son, and discovering the next improbable story that illuminates the comedy of life. He is a Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford and lives in London.
Max Eilenberg writes mainly for children. He is the author of original picture books (Cowboy Kid and Squeak’s Good Idea) and retellings of classic fairy tales. His stories revolve around simple emotions and anxieties, and play with language, rhythm and humour. He particularly enjoys the craft of making picture books, working with illustrators so that text and pictures support, develop and amplify one another in a seamless whole; and the critical response he most values is when a child says – again, read it again!
In addition to his children’s books, Max has published essays on a range of subjects including art, epilepsy and contemporary American fiction. Most recently he has been working on a book on the history of the representation of Magna Carta, tracing the background of the document and its political uses and abuses over the last 800 years.
Max studied English at York, followed by research and teaching at Oxford, before making a career in publishing. He held senior positions at Heinemann, Secker & Warburg and Methuen, and has worked with many prize-winning authors. He continues to act as a freelance publishing consultant and editor. He lives in north London, plays guitar in a pub band, ranks Bob Dylan and Thomas Pynchon among his literary heroes, and clings to the hope that Arsenal will one day win the league again.