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Steve May

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Personal statement

Steve May has won awards for drama, poetry and fiction. He studied English at Cambridge, and gained his doctorate in Drama from the University of Bristol. He has taught Film, Drama and English, but now specialises in the subject area of Creative Writing. His book for undergraduates(Doing Creative Writing) was published in 2007. In 2008 he co-authored the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) Creative Writing subject benchmark, and is currently chair of the QAA Benchmarking panel for Creative Writing. He also served on the QAA panel reviewing the English benchmark in 2013. From 2011 - 2014 he was chair of the NAWE HE Committee, was appointed to the AHRC Peer Review College in 2012 (specialising in digital and collaborative projects), and elected a Fellow of the English Association in 2014.

In 2011 he completed a Learning Technology Enhancement Academy project developing digital elements in Creative Writing teaching. He is an active member of the Contemporary Writing Research Centre: his prophetic play, Horizon, was broadcast by the BBC in 2008, and ten plays in the Higher series (written as Joyce Bryant, and dealing with current issues in HE) have been broadcast between 2008 and 2015. He has been judge for the Sony and Imison Radio Awards, and the Ravenglass Poetry Competition. He is also a musician and composer.

Academic qualifications

  • BA Cantab
  • PhD Bristol
  • PGCE Bristol
  • MA Cantab.

Professional qualifications

  • BA English Christ's College Cambridge I/IIi
  • MA Cantab
  • PhD Bristol Univ Drama Dept
  • PGCE Bristol University.

Professional memberships

  • NAWE Higher Education Network Committee (2008-), Chair (2011-14)
  • Member of the Society of Authors Broadcast committee 1991-1999, 2002-2005
  • Negotiator for Society of Authors 1995-1999
  • Fellow of the English Association 2014-
  • Member, English Association HE Committee.

Teaching specialism

  • Creative writing, especially scriptwriting
  • Appointed BSU teaching fellow in 2004.

Conference presentations:

  • 2002 Plenary speaker ESC creative writing conference, University of Glamorgan
  • 2003 Speaker ESC Condition of the Subject Conference Panel speaker, CCUE conference, 2006
  • 2007 Individual presentation, ISSOTL Conference, Sydney
  • 2007 Two panel presentations at NAWE conference, York
  • 2008 Individual presentation, ESC Employability event BSU ("Student expectations and experience of the Creative Writing BA.")
  • 2008 Two presentations at NAWE Conference, Manchester ("Developing a Creative Writing Benchmark,"and "Higher Education Network Panel.") 
  • 2008 Individual presentation, AAWP conference, Sydney ("Inspiration, deadlines and working to a brief: student views of creativity, coursework and the world beyond." (Available at http://aawp.org.au/creativity-and-uncertainty-papers)
  • 2009 Three panel presentations, AWP conference, Chicago:
    "Story - The Heart of the Matter," "What did scriptwriting ever do for us novelists?" and "If I applied for my own job now, would I get it - and if not, who would?"
  • 2009 Two panel presentations at NAWE conference, Southampton
  • 2010 Two presentations at AWP conference, Denver
  • 2010 Paper at AAWP conference Melbourne: 'Investigating the means of production: a fresh approach to contextualising elements in Creative Writing degree programmes'; panel, 'Icarus extended'.
  • 2011 Two panels at AWP conference, Washington; guest speaker at Chicago Storyweek Festival of Writers
  • 2012 Two panels at NAWE conference, Northampton
  • 2012 Panel at AWP conference, Chicago: 'Creativity in Crisis: what is the future for creative writing programmes in Higher Education?'
  • 2012 Panels at the NonfictioNow conference, Melbourne, and AAWP, Geelong
  • 2013 Two panels at AWP conference, Boston
  • 2013 Two panels at NAWE conference, York
  • 2014 Plenary speaker at CCUE (now University English) conference
  • 2014 Two panels at NAWE conference, Bristol.

He has supervised 5 PhD students to completion, and has acted as an external PhD/MPhil examiner for UCLAN, the University of South Wales, and the University of Bedfordshire.

External examiners

  • 2002 - 2005 Univ of Gloucestershire, all u\g creative writing modules
  • 2003 - 2007 MA Creative Writing, University of Winchester
  • 2006 - 2010 MA Creative Writing, Birkbeck, University of London
  • 2007 - 2011 Edge Hill, undergraduate creative writing programme
  • 2009 - 2012 MA Scriptwriting, University of Aberystwyth
  • 2011 - 2014 MA Creative Writing, University of Southampton.

Other external roles

External auditing/review:

  • External validator for BCUC cw u/g programme 2002
  • External validator for NEWI cw u/g programme 2003
  • External validator Chichester University College u/g cw programme 2004
  • External validator for Southampton Solent u/g screenwriting programme 2005
  • External validator for Brunel University creative writing programme 2006
  • External advisor for new Creative Writing provision, York St John 2007
  • Consultant for University of Chichester, RAE 2008
  • External validator for UCE 2008
  • External validator for Middlesex University 2009 and 2013
  • Consultant for Middlesex University, REF 2014
  • Member, QAA Benchmarking Panel, English subject review
  • Chair, QAA Benchmarking panel, Creative Writing.

Prizes or shortlistings

  • 1984 Giles Cooper Award
  • 1985 SW Arts Poetry bursary
  • 1988 Winner, TSB Prize for Fiction
  • 1990 4th Prize, National Poetry Competition
  • 1996 Runner up, Writers Guild Best Original Script award.

Recent professional updating

  • AHRC PRC development events
  • Member of DASSH
  • Member Community and Culture Digital Network
  • Completed IOSH Managing Safety course 2014.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Doing Creative Writing
book

May, S (2007) Doing Creative Writing. Routledge. ISBN 415402387


One Chance
book

May, S (2004) One Chance. Egmont. ISBN 1-4052-1626-3


Dazzer plays on
book

May, S (2000) Dazzer plays on. Mammoth, London. ISBN 9780749734312


15 going on 20
book

May, S (1997) 15 going on 20. Mammoth, London. ISBN 0749729058


Revelation, transgression, disclosure and the tyranny of truth
book_section

Albers, R and May, S (2015) 'Revelation, transgression, disclosure and the tyranny of truth.' In: Harper, G, ed. Creative writing and education. Multilingual Matters, pp. 17-28. ISBN 9781783093533


Writing for sound/radio
book_section

May, S (2013) 'Writing for sound/radio.' In: Harper, G, ed. A Companion to Creative Writing. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, pp. 86-97. ISBN 9780470656938


Undergraduate Creative Writing Provision in the UK: Origins, Trends and Student Views
book_section

May, S (2012) 'Undergraduate Creative Writing Provision in the UK: Origins, Trends and Student Views.' In: Beck, H, ed. Teaching Creative Writing. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 65-72. ISBN 9780230240070


Investigating the Means of Production: a fresh approach to contextualising elements in creative writing degree programmes
book_section

May, S (2010) 'Investigating the Means of Production: a fresh approach to contextualising elements in creative writing degree programmes.' In: Cole, C, Freiman, M and Brien, D, eds. The Strange Bedfellows or Perfect Partners Papers: the refereed proceedings of the 15th conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, 2010. Australasian Association of Writing Programs, Brisbane. ISBN 9780980757330


Inspiration, deadlines and working to a brief: student views of creativity, coursework and the world beyond
book_section

May, S (2008) 'Inspiration, deadlines and working to a brief: student views of creativity, coursework and the world beyond.' In: Brien, D and Neave, L, eds. The creativity and uncertainty papers: the refereed proceedings of the 13th conference of the Australian Association of Writing Programs. Australasian Association of Writing Programs, Brisbane. ISBN 970980757316


Scriptwriting for radio
book_section

May, S (2006) 'Scriptwriting for radio.' In: Harper, G, ed. Teaching creative writing. Continuum, London, pp. 91-101. ISBN 9780826477279


Creativity in crisis: what is the future for creative writing programmes in higher education?
conference_item

May, S (2012) Creativity in crisis: what is the future for creative writing programmes in higher education? In: Association of Writers and Writing Programs Annual Conference, 29 February - 3 March 2012, Chicago ILL, USA.


Teach a writer to fish
conference_item

Thebo, M, May, S, Albers, R, McNair, P and English, L (2009) Teach a writer to fish. In: Creative Writing In Education : NAWE Autumn Conference, 13 - 15 November 2009, Chilworth Manor, Southampton, UK.


Story - the heart of the matter
conference_item

May, S (2009) Story - the heart of the matter. In: Association of Writers and Writing Programs Annual Conference, 11-14 February 2009, Chicago ILL, USA.


What did scriptwriting ever do for us novelists?
conference_item

May, S (2009) What did scriptwriting ever do for us novelists? In: Association of Writers and Writing Programs Annual Conference, 11-14 February 2009, Chicago ILL, USA.


If I applied for my own job now, would I get it - and, if not, who would?
conference_item

May, S (2009) If I applied for my own job now, would I get it - and, if not, who would? In: Association of Writers and Writing Programs Annual Conference, 11-14 February 2009, Chicago ILL, USA.


Student expectations and experience of the Creative Writing BA
conference_item

May, S (2008) Student expectations and experience of the Creative Writing BA. In: Beyond the Placement: Creative Writing and Employability. English Subject Centre conference, 23 October 2008, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK.


Developing a creative writing benchmark
conference_item

May, S (2008) Developing a creative writing benchmark. In: National Association of Writers in Education conference, 14-16 November 2008, Manchester, UK.


Student responses to creative writing: coherence, progression and purpose
commissioned_report

May, S (2008) Student responses to creative writing: coherence, progression and purpose.


Creative writing subject benchmark statement / Creative writing research benchmark statement
commissioned_report

May, S (2008) Creative writing subject benchmark statement / Creative writing research benchmark statement.


Higher 10: creative solutions
performance

May, S and Bryant, J (2015) Higher 10: creative solutions. In: Afternoon Drama, BBC Radio 4, 6 May 2015.


Higher 9: year of the rat
performance

May, S and Byrant, J (2015) Higher 9: year of the rat. In: Afternoon Drama, BBC Radio 4, 5 May 2015.


Higher 8: privatisation, the final battle
performance

Bryant, J and May, S (2012) Higher 8: privatisation, the final battle. In: Afternooon Drama, BBC Radio 4, 6 August 2012.


Higher 7: clearing
performance

Bryant, J and May, S (2012) Higher 7: clearing. In: Afternoon Drama, BBC Radio 4, 30 July 2012.


Higher 6: rebrand, relaunch
performance

Bryant, J and May, S (2011) Higher 6: rebrand, relaunch. In: Afternoon Drama, BBC Radio 4, 23 August 2011.


Higher 5: restructure
performance

Bryant, J and May, S (2011) Higher 5: restructure. In: Afternoon Drama, BBC Radio 4, 16 August 2011.


Higher 4: the price of partnership
performance

Bryant, J and May, S (2011) Higher 4: the price of partnership. In: Afternoon Drama, BBC Radio 4, 9 August 2011.


Higher 3: inspection
performance

Bryant, J and May, S (2009) Higher 3: inspection. In: Afternoon Drama, BBC Radio 4, 21 August 2009.


Higher 2: partners
performance

Bryant, J and May, S (2009) Higher 2: partners. In: Afternoon Drama, BBC Radio 4, 20 August 2009.


Higher
performance

Bryant, J and May, S (2008) Higher. In: Afternoon Drama, BBC Radio 4, 12 May 2008.


Horizon
performance

May, S (2008) Horizon. In: Afternoon Drama, BBC Radio 4, 19 May 2008.


STIs
video

May, S (1999) STIs.


Schach dem system
audio

May, S (2006) Schach dem system.


Arthur (episodes 4-6)
audio

May, S (2004) Arthur (episodes 4-6).


Facing the mirror
audio

May, S (2003) Facing the mirror.


Baby first
audio

May, S (2002) Baby first.


The night before Christmas
audio

May, S (2001) The night before Christmas.


Waiting
audio

May, S (1999) Waiting.


Profile
audio

May, S (1999) Profile.


Market research
audio

May, S (1999) Market research.


Chess Wars
other

May, S (2004) Chess Wars.


Teaching Creative Writing at undergraduate level: why, how and does it work?
monograph

May, S (2003) Teaching Creative Writing at undergraduate level: why, how and does it work? UNSPECIFIED. HEA/ESS.


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