Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Dr Jess Moriarty is Principal Lecturer in Creative Writing and Course Leader for the Creative Writing MA. She is an experienced researcher and editor for the book series, Performance and Communities for Intellect Books. She has published extensively on creative writing pedagogy, autoethnography and community engagement. Her last book – Walking for Creative Recovery – adopts an autoethnographic approach and explores creative practice as a method for supporting well-being. Her pedagogic approach has a focus on diversity, personal story-telling and writing for change. Jess is the co-director of the Centre for Arts and Wellbeing Centre for Arts and Wellbeing ( and in 2022, Jess became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her new book with Chris Reading (for Bloomsbury) looks at walking, creativity and activism and is due in 2025.

Research interests

My research focuses on Creative Writing pedagogy, offering ideas for supporting students' confidence with writing and engaging them with community projects including working with archives, interviewing people in care homes and workshops promoting diversity in education and writing. I have published extensively on autoethnography and collaborative autoethnography, working with survivors of domestic abuse, artists and with academics from other disciplines including fine art, film, media and education. I am a member of the Centre for Arts and Wellbeing and the Research Enterprise Group - Performance and Communities.

Supervisory Interests

One of my key passions is working with PhD students on creative practice, autoethnography and creative writing pedagogy. I have supported doctoral students working on transdisciplinary projects and work that seeks to challenge conventional academic discourse. At the moment, I am honoured to be working with students who are looking at queering the colonial, creativity and Bronte, Santiago de Cuba as moving archive, diverse narratives from Brexit, feminist romance, autoethnographic arts-based work, stories from care, autoethno-drag, identity and hybridity in fiction, and queer bodies in performance.

Approach to teaching

Creative writing needs supportive and dynamic spaces where students feel able to share their ideas and work and get feedback and ideas that inspires them to evolve as motivated, confident writers with a clear sense of their potential to uplift and move audiences and readers and also hold up a mirror to the world in order to raise awareness and promote meaningful change. I have over 15 years experience of working with students at every level and achieved my PGCE in Higher Education in 2005. I am keen to engage students with my research and writing so that they feel we are part of an inclusive community of practice. We connect students with writing placements that help them to develop skills and enhance their sense of why writing matters, why their stories matter and how those stories can and will enrich the world.

Knowledge exchange


  • Awarded £6000 by the Impact Acceleration Account to develop a network of service users, service providers, academics and artists exploring how stories can support people who experience domestic abuse.
  • Awarded £6000 for Maisha Stories, a project with Writing Our Legacy and Diversity Lewes exploring how telling and sharing stories of lived experience with members of the global ethnic majority can support better health. 
  • Awarded £135,00 by the AHRC for a trans-disciplinary project, The immobilities of gender-based violence in the Covid-19 pandemic, led by Lesley Murray 2020
  • Awarded £10000 by the Research Enterprise & Social Partnerships for Performance and Maternity – a trans-disciplinary project led by Kate Aughterson 2020
  • Awarded £3000 by the Centre for Arts and Wellbeing for Maternities and Wellbeing symposium at the University of Brighton and post-conference book
  • Awarded £1800 by the Research, Enterprise and Social Partnerships Covid-19 fund for Virtual Nomads project 2020
  • Awarded £3,600 by Ignite, UoB, The clothes on our backs: A community-university partnership to encourage diversity and inclusion within the curriculum (with Diversity Lewes and Brighton Museum)
  • Awarded £2000 by the Information Knowledge Exchange, Rise up: Creative workshops with survivors of Domestic Abuse at RISE 2018
  • Awarded 20,000 Euros for a Leonardo project entitled Vocational Training for Writers which brings together European partners to discuss ideas on playwriting and professional practice 2014
  • Awarded £7,500 for Widening Participation project with local schools at Stanmer Park 2011.
  • Awarded £5000 by the Creative Campus Initiative to act as Project Manager and Editor for a collaborative anthology with the universities of Sussex and Brighton The Creative Writing Olympics Anthology (2010)The University of Brighton: ISBN:978-1-905593-13-2
  • Awarded £4150 by the Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences for a Writing for Social Purpose Project 2010
  • Awarded £5000 by the Creative Campus Initiative to produce and edit a collaborative creative writing anthology with Sussex and Brighton University. 2008
  • Awarded £2000 by the Creativity Fellowship for a Creative Inspiration Project 2007
  • Awarded £35000 to run creative writing retreats with academics CETL in Creativity 2007
  • Awarded £20,000 by the commercial fellows to turn retreats into the business model 2007
  • Awarded an Innovation Award for 2007

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Autobiographical and researched experiences with academic writing: an analytical autoethnodramaLeaving the Blood In, University of Brighton

Award Date: 2 Jul 2012

Master, Creative Writing , University of Sussex

Award Date: 1 Jul 2002

External positions

External Examiner, Goldsmiths, University of London

8 Mar 2021 → …

External Examiner, University of East London

1 Oct 20181 Oct 2022


  • PR English literature
  • creative writing
  • autoethnography
  • pedagogy
  • community projects
  • performance
  • Diversity
  • transdisciplinary
  • Well-being


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