Scottish Universities' International Summer School

Scottish Universities’ International Summer School

I’ve been teaching and facilitating workshops for over twenty years, and bring all my experience as a writer and former theatre practitioner to bear, which makes for a unique approach. I care about community engagement, it sits at the heart of my work, and I’ve worked for and with a wide range of youth groups, community groups, and charitable and voluntary organisations, as well as in academic domains. Sometimes I’m engaged for a one-off workshop, and at other times I work with a group over several weeks or months, assisting them in the creation of new work. Some of my work has a therapeutic edge, and I’m passionate about stories for wisdom and wellbeing.

Since 2014 I’ve worked as an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. In 2014/15 I was also the Lead Tutor for Blaze – Strathclyde University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning’s online creative writing courses – developing the online course content and materials, and running all three courses (beginners, intermediate, and a novel-writing course). During this time I also worked at the Dukes Theatre, Lancaster, with their Deaf Drama Group. In 2013 I taught creative writing for the Scottish Universities’ International Summer School (SUISS).

A few other places I’ve worked:

The Mitchell Library; Glasgow Women’s Library; the Tron Theatre; the Tramway; Deaf Connections; the National Deaf Children’s Society; Who Cares? Scotland; Deafblind Scotland; Dance House; Glasgow University; Cardonald College; Thomas Muir High School; Hillpark Secondary School; St. Aiden’s SEN school; and Wallace High School.

Prior to co-founding Solar Bear, I designed and led writing and drama workshops for Theatre Cryptic; Suspect Culture; Theatre Works; LookOut; Stirling District Youth Theatre; Playplus; and The Scottish National Association of Youth Theatres.

Please contact me for further information regarding what workshops I’m currently offering, or sign-up for my newsletter for updates.


‘This creative writing course helped me see the experience of writing in a completely different light. Not only were we engaged in a very wide range of tasks which involved, among other things, drawing on aspects of our own experience, experimenting with point of view and narrative voice, collaborative writing, transforming dialogue into prose or enacting our own dialogues, we were also given very useful tools to develop our critical skills both as writers and readers and were encouraged to be more observant of the world around us through very stimulating activities inside and outside the classroom. Each workshop started with warm-up exercises. These exercises might have struck us as a little unorthodox at first, but by the end of the course we were all looking forward to them: they were fun and proved very useful to activate our senses and make us more alert. And perhaps more importantly, they went a long way towards creating group cohesion, and a congenial atmosphere (which in turn contributed to genuinely free and uninhibited writing).’

Marc Olmedo – Scottish Universities’ International Summer School (SUISS) postgraduate student 2013

‘The encouragement and knowledge that Deborah, the course tutor, brings to the course is particularly good and has definitely made it enjoyable. She is excellent, extremely supportive and knowledgeable. I would recommend the course on the basis of the tutor alone.’

‘I thought the materials were excellent, and the teaching was highly effective in terms of content and delivery. The tutor was polite, efficient and professional and provided honest and speedy feedback in a constructive manner.’

Quotes from Blaze evaluation forms 2015

‘A productive departure from the typical format of a Creative Writing seminar…a calm and relaxed approach to interactions with the students; eloquently presented ideas; productive individual and group exercises; and provision of a supportive working environment for the students, which ultimately makes them feel more positive about their creative writing. This was an excellent seminar which Deborah conducted with a very personable, but professional, manner.’

Alan Gregory, Assistant Director of Part I Studies, Lancaster University