Spring Writing Seminar Series

The Graduate School runs a writing series each year. Below are details of the sessions which ran in 2014.

Showcasing GCU Creativity, Innovation and Collaboration in Academic Writing

spring writing image 2014 v2

Our cross-school role in the Graduate School provides us with real insight into the creativity, strength and diversity of our academic writers at GCU. With this in mind, we are delighted to have the opportunity to continue to showcase and share some of this talent in our second series of Spring Writing Seminars, clustered loosely around the theme of collaborative academic writing. 

The seminars are open to research staff and students at GCU and invited guests from outwith the University.

You can listen to selected podcasts from our 2013 Spring Writing Seminar Series here.

The following sessions were held in 2014:

Dr John Harris & Dr Nicholas Wise

Writing across borders: Internationalization and inter-disciplinary collaboration

Dr John Harris & Dr Nicholas Wise, Department of Business Management, GSBS, Sport and Identities Research Cluster

This session will focus on the benefits of writing collaboratively in social science research.  It will explore the ways in which a particular focus (sport) affords opportunities to critically engage with varied aspects of internationalization ‘in the round’.  The seminar will also reflect upon the issues and challenges inherent in undertaking inter-disciplinary collaboration and attempting to produce scholarship that sits between traditional disciplinary boundaries. Finally, it may also offer some pointers as to how to develop effective and productive writing partnerships. 


Dr John Harris is Reader in International Sport and Event Management and also leads the Sport and Identities Research Cluster.  He was born in Wales and has a PhD in the Sociology of Sport.  Harris has published work with a number of colleagues on various aspects of sport, events and tourism management.  His most recent international collaboration is the co-edited (with Dr Richard Elliott) text Football and Migration (Routledge, forthcoming). 

Dr Nick Wise is Lecturer in Sport and Event Management and Postgraduate Suite Leader for International Sport/Events/Tourism Management.  He was born in the USA and holds a PhD in Geography.  Wise has travelled to more than eighty countries and has co-authored articles in journals such as Geographical Research, International Journal of Sport Communication, and Tourism Recreation Research.  

Professor Rowena Murray

Writing in Social Spaces

Professor Rowena Murray  

‘It’s like a secret activity…. No one else in my department talks about writing practices. They all present themselves as over pressured and far too busy to write…. This can’t be the case as they are all publishing, but writing practice is denied and not shared’.

While writing is a social act, in the sense that it is socially constructed, and when we write we are influenced by the society of writing around us, it is not usually discussed in these terms. In some settings it is not discussed at all – it is the very opposite of ‘social’ in that sense. This is paradoxical: a social process that is practised without the use of social processes? This seminar explores the potential for social groupings to impact on our writing. Since writing is implicated in our social positioning in academic and other communities, it is important to look at the social processes involved and to consider whether or not we can embed them in our writing practices.


Professor Rowena Murray, Director of Research, University of the West of Scotland  

Rowena Murray graduated with MA (Hons) from Glasgow University and PhD (with Distinction) from Pennsylvania State University and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is Professor of Education, Director of Research, in the School of Education at the University of the West of Scotland and Adjunct Professor at Swinburne University, Melbourne. Her teaching and research focus on academic writing, the subject of her journal articles and books, including How to Write a ThesisWriting for Academic Journals and The Handbook of Academic Writing (co-authored with Sarah Moore). Her research has been funded by Nuffield Foundation and British Academy.

Dr Andrea Fidgett

Facilitating scientific writing by committee

Dr Andrea Fidgett

UK Research Councils are working together to create ‘impact’, actively promoting and encouraging multidisciplinary research to address major research challenges.  When diverse perspectives are intentionally brought together to produce high-quality thinking, producing equally high-quality outputs that everyone can agree upon is vital.  Even so, the process can feel like herding cats! Drawing from experiences working in the conservation community, this presentation will describe with examples, the facilitative behaviours and skills essential for anyone who wants to work and write collaboratively.


Dr Andrea Fidgett, Nutritionist, Chester Zoo

Following her Zoology degree, Andrea became a comparative wildlife nutritionist via an MSc in nutrition and a PhD in avian ecology, looking specifically at the relationship between nutrition and reproduction.  As Chester Zoo’s nutritionist, Andrea contributes to the health and welfare of animals by making their diets better. The full-time position is unique in the UK and her time is split between delivering a nutrition service to Chester Zoo, providing expert training and consultancy to universities and zoos internationally on a chargeable basis and, as a supervisor on UKRC funded doctoral studentships, also conducting targeted, collaborative research.

Serving the wider international community, Andrea is a founder member and Chair of the EAZA Nutrition Group, providing nutrition advice to zoo-based conservation breeding programmes and developing tools, guidelines and protocols for general use.  The group organise international conferences, publish a series of books based on the material presented and maintain close links with equivalent bodies in other regional associations.  Additionally she is Editor-in-Chief of conference proceedings published as the book series ‘Zoo Animal Nutrition’ and a founding Editorial Board member of the online, open-access ‘Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research’.

Links to collaboratively authored publications freely available online

EAZA Research Strategy 2008; Developing the research potential of zoos and aquaria 

BIAZA Zoo Research Handbook (Chapters 7 and 12)


Chris Dolan & Ann Marie di Mambro

Writing Together

Chris Dolan & Ann Marie di Mambro


Chris Dolan, Lecturer in Creative Writing, Screenwriting, Media and Journalism

After working as an international consultant for UNESCO, Chris Dolan took up writing full time in 1991. Since then he has published 2 novels (the 3rd due out this year) 2 collections of short stories, and 2 factual books (on John Lennon, and Scottish anarchist Ethel Macdonald). He has written over 70 hours of television drama, and written and presented several television documentaries. He has written over 100 hours of radio drama and documentaries. His has written 6 award-winning stage plays (his next, starring David Hayman, will premiere at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival).

He has been teaching creative writing and thinking at tertiary level and joined GCU in 2010 to teach on the Masters in Television fiction Writing. He now lectures both undergraduate and postgraduate modules.


Ann Marie di Mambro, Lecturer in TV Fiction Writing 

Ann Marie di Mambro is a playwright and Lecturer in TV Fiction Writing, and has written for shows including EastEnders, Casualty, Taggart, Holby and River City.

She studied at Glasgow UniversityGirton College, Cambridge, and Bolton College of Education, before becoming a teacher. She gave up teaching to write for theatre.[5] Her plays have been performed in Scotland's main theatres as well as touring to other venues across Scotland.[6] In addition to theatre plays, she writes drama for British television,[7][8] and British radio.[9]

From 1989 - 1990, she was the Thames Television Resident Playwright at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh.[5] She has been commissioned to write plays by the Traverse Theatre and by Cumbernauld Theatre.[6] She won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for 1994-5.[10]