Ms Martine McDonagh

Research project: In Search of Future Positives


The proposed project will investigate existing representations of recovery from early-life trauma and lifelong re-traumatisation in fiction and the potential for positive representations in the context of a climate-changed future. Through my research, I intend to explore how recent science and treatments have improved the potential for hope of recovery in the future life of a traumatised person. I will write a 20-30,000-word critical thesis detailing my examinations of recent fiction and autofiction offering representations of traumatised characters, alongside the most recent academic research into trauma writing and established and emerging theory regarding Complex PTSD (CPTSD) and its treatment. The ensuing analysis will inform the creative element of this project, a 50-60,000-word novel with the working title Terminal Island and will help shape a narrative that aims to present a positive view on the potential for human individual and species survival and experiments with form and style.


I have always worked in the creative arts industry, primarily as an artist manager in music, but with a few diversions into film and book editorial and production, most recently as a Producer on The Nettle Dress documentary, which was the 8th most viewed UK documentary in 2023. My writing career has run throughout and I'm the author of two traditionally-published novels, I have waited, and you have come (2006, 2012) and Narcissism for Beginners (2017), plus one self-published and another as yet unpublished. I have two Masters Degrees in Creative Writing and Scriptwriting and designed and ran the MA Creative Writing & Publishing at West Dean College of Arts & Conservation in Sussex. I have also taught Music Business Professional Practice at undergraduate level at BIMM and Canterbury Christ Church University. I am currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow based at Chichester University.

Areas of research interest

  • Fictional representations of treatment of and recovery from PTSD
  • Fictional representations of positive futures
  • Fictional representations of climate grief
  • Autoethnography
  • Current and emerging CPTSD treatments
  • Restorative Justice with focus on CPTSD and climate


  • BA English Literature and Theatre, Goldsmiths College, University of London
  • MA Creative Writing, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • MA Scriptwriting, Goldsmiths College, University of London