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Queer as Friends is a practice-based creative non-fiction project which interweaves confessional memoir with queer/feminist theoretical discourse. It proposes a manifesto for unconventional friendships between women. It is intended to be both an autoethnographic approach to scholarship and a celebration of queer friendships as a feminist act.
The narrative is an experimental non-chronological patchwork structure of micro-chapters comprising mixed forms. Encompassing intimate details and experiences from ten of my own unconventional, boundary-crossing, friendships, their disruptive potential and radical effects will be uncovered and examined. This builds on the emerging market of creative non-fiction by women, books that successfully blend memoir with qualitative research (Gilbert 2007, Moran 2011 2012, Russell 2016, Nelson 2015, Wilby 2017).
The project's critical component is integral. I will explore the practice of writing the self as queer feminist methodology, in order to address the question: why is creative writing not yet accepted as scholarship?
Following a long career in the UK voluntary sector, I shifted focus to my writing practice. As well as a freelance contributor to LGBTQ+ media publications, I am a creative writing practitioner across many forms: poetry, short and long fiction, and audio and TV drama. I was longlisted for the 2020 Primadonna Award and shortlisted for the Lichfield Cathedral 'The Word' poetry award (2019). I am currently editing my debut novel, and I perform and produce a comedy mystery scripted podcast series. I created and wrote the UK's first lesbian web series, 'She's in London'.
Other research interests include widening access to undergraduate research opportunities, as a member of the wrap team at the University of Warwick https://wrapprojectwarwick.blog/ and "Confessional Knowing: A critically queer reading of friendships in the letters and journals of modernist women" in collaboration with the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre at Ryerson University, Toronto.