Royal Literary Fund Fellows

The School of Education, Humanities and Languages at Oxford Brookes 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 Brookes 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 academic assessed and non-assessed work, exam writing or seminar presentation. RLF Fellows can offer help across the full range of academic disciplines. All Oxford Brookes students who are in the UK at the time of the consultation are entitled to sign up.

The Fellows’ office is T414 (Tonge Building) on the Gipsy Lane site. Students can make appointments by emailing the Fellows directly. The Royal Literary Fund Fellows only work between weeks 1 and 12 each semester.

The RLF is an organisation external to Brookes and students can check their data privacy policy.

Making an appointment

Students can make appointments by emailing the Fellows directly. The Royal Literary Fund Fellows only work between weeks 1 and 12 each semester.

Michael Bond

Royal Literary Fund Fellow

Michael Bond writes non-fiction books about human psychology and behaviour. He is interested in the many ways we are influenced by our social and physical surroundings: how the people we’re with and the places we know affect what we do and think.

His most recent book is Wayfinding: the art and science of how we find and lose our way (Picador, 2020). It explores how our brains make the cognitive maps that keep us orientated, and how our interactions with landscape affect our memory and cognition.

Previously he wrote The Power of Others (Oneworld, 2014), which won the 2015 British Psychological Society book of the year prize. It investigates the psychological effects of groups and the challenges of isolation.

Michael started his career as a science journalist. For six years he was senior editor at New Scientist. His interest in social psychology began during his time reporting on conflict and reconciliation in the Middle East during the second Palestinian intifada. His articles have appeared in New ScientistNatureAeonSlateDiscoverBBC FutureProspect, the Observer, the Daily Telegraph, the Times, the Financial Times, the New York TimesForeign PolicyUSA Today and elsewhere.

In his other life, he is co-founder of the problem-solving agency Common, which uses behavioural science to improve people’s lives. He also works as an editorial consultant for the UN Environment Programme’s Crisis Management Branch. He lives in a cottage with a cat called Cecil.

Michael Bond's website

Penny Black

Royal Literary Fund Fellow

Penny Black is an award-winning translator (from German), writer and dramaturg. Her love of theatre started in Vienna, where she lived for five years and completed her acting training. She has translated plays for the Royal Court, Gate Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Arcola Theatre and the National Theatre amongst many others. Her translation of Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek’s Sportsplay toured the UK during the 2012 Olympics and was read in its five-hour entirety as a Cultural Olympic Pop-Up event. She is a visiting lecturer on translation for performance at Goldsmith’s.

Her first original play Making Babies, An Embryonic Farce was translated into German and premiered in 2004 in Heilbronn, Germany; Sudden Silence at the Arcola Theatre in 2009. In 2018, the Gustav Klimt centenary year, the Belvedere Museum in Vienna commissioned her to write a one-woman play about Klimt’s life partner, Emilie Flöge. Beloved Muse was performed at the Belvedere Museum in German and the English-language version toured internationally before coming to the Royal Academy of Arts and the Barbican. She followed this with Alma Who? about Alma Mahler, which toured Austria in the summer of 2021. Her third play for the same performer entitled Selfies with a Giantess will premiere in Vienna in May 2023. Her audio play Between Two Worlds, based on the book The Gift of Alzheimer’s by Maggie La Tourelle and starring Juliet Stephenson and Jane Lapotaire, will come out on Audible this summer.

Her work as a dramaturg includes the Barbican/ Sydney Theatre ’s production of Julia Leigh’s Avalanche and working with Simon McBurney on his Magic Flute for the DNO/ENO.

Penny is currently working on her first novel.

Penny Black's website