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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.
Sally Bayley is a non-fiction writer whose work explores the relationship between biography, autobiography, memoir and literary fiction. Her book, The Private Life of the Diary (Unbound, 2016), was inspired by the diaries of Virginia Woolf. Following a similar structure to Woolf’s The Waves, her book is a biography of the diary as an art form.
Sally Bayley has just completed a literary memoir which tells the story of a young girl escaping from a cultic, all-female household by reading and her transition into the Care system. Girl with Dove: a Life Built by Books (HarperCollins, 2018) blends the voices of female protagonists, Jane Eyre, Miss Marple and Betsey Trotwood (David Copperfield) and from these voices creates an alternative literary family and genealogy. She is now completing a sequel, No Boy’s Play Here (HarperCollins, 2019) which will reclaim the lost male voices of her history, blending them with the characters she encountered in Shakespeare aged 14.
In 2017 Sally Bayley was awarded an IT Innovation award by the University of Oxford for a writing app design. The app will help users create and structure critical arguments using methods of close reading and the structures of critical narrative.
Sally Bayley has taught in Higher Education for 23 years across a wide range of subjects. For many years she has taught critical writing and thinking. Her particular interest has been the relationship between poetry, literary narrative and the visual arts.