Kate Pullinger

Personal statement

At Bath Spa Kate Pullinger is the Director of the university-wide strategy research centre, the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries (CCCI). Kate Pullinger is co-investigator on the South West Creative Technology Network, a 3 year, £6.5m project (2018-2021) funded by Research England; she is also co-investigator on the Bristol + Bath Creative Research and Development Partnership, a 4.5 year, £9m AHRC-funded creative industries cluster project (2018-2023).

She was previously the co-investigator on the two-year AHRC- funded research project, Ambient Literature, a collaboration with UWE, the University of Birmingham, and the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol (2016-18). She has a cohort of Digital Writing and Creative Writing PhD students. Kate is also the co-editor of The Writing Platform, a website aimed at giving neutral advice and informed opinion about digital transformations in publishing, reading, and writing, to established and emerging writers, co-sponsored by Bath Spa and the Queensland University of Technology.

Kate Pullinger writes novels, short stories, and digital fiction, including multimedia interactive collaborative works. Her most recent work, a ghost story for the smartphone that personalises itself to every reader, Breathe, was a collaboration with Editions at Play and the Ambient Literature Research Project; it was shortlisted for the 2018 New Media Writing Prize. Jellybone, a media-rich novel for smartphones, was published in autumn 2017 (Oolipo). Her novel, Landing Gear was published in 2014 (Doubleday Random House/ Touchstone Simon and Schuster); it was longlisted for Canada Reads in 2016. The novel expands and augments the story of her digital work, Flight Paths. The Mistress of Nothing won the Governor General's Award for Fiction in 2009, Canada's oldest and most prestigious literary prize; it was longlisted for both the Giller Prize and the Dublin IMPAC Award.

In 2014, Kate Pullinger created a digital war memorial to mark the centenary of the beginning of World War One. Letter to an Unknown Soldier, co-created by theatre-maker and novelist Neil Bartlett, invited people to write a letter to the unknown soldier who stands on Platform One of Paddington Station. More than 22,000 people responded and all their letters are collected on the WWI Centenary Art Commissions website. An edited selection of the letters was published in book form the same year.

Her digital fiction, Inanimate Alice, has won numerous prizes and accolades and has become a leading title in the field of digital literacy and pedagogy; episode 6, The Last Gas Station, won Honorable Mention for The Robert Coover Award for Electronic Literature in 2016.

Kate Pullinger grew up in Canada, dropped out of McGill University when she was 19, then travelled, read, wrote, and started a family before re-entering academic life in 2007 when she became a Reader in Creative Writing and New Media at De Montfort University, where she completed a PhD by Published Works.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD by Published Works - De Montfort University

Professional memberships

  • Society of Authors; The Writers' Union of Canada
  • Editorial Director of The Writing Platform, a website for writers that focuses on the intersection of creative writing and technology 
  • Member of the Steering Group for MaMSIE, a cross-disclipinary research network; member of the Editorial Board of MaMSIE's peer-reviewed e-journal, Studies in the Maternal 
  • Former Chair of the Board of NOT SHUT UP, a magazine and arts academy for prisoners.

External examiners

PhDs examined

  • 2017 Queensland University of Technology, Australia, Transmedia Fiction
  • 2016 University of Kent, Creative Writing
  • 2016 Manchester Metropolitan University, Digital Writing
  • 2015 Southampton University, Creative Writing
  • 2014 Open University, Creative Writing
  • 2013 Curtin University, Australia, Communication and Cultural Studies
  • 2013 Goldsmiths University, Creative Writing
  • 2013 Southampton University, Creative Writing
  • 2012 Southampton University, Creative Writing
  • 2012 Goldsmiths University, Media Arts
  • 2011 Goldsmiths University, Media Arts
  • 2009 Southampton University, Creative Writing

Other external roles

Kate is a regular speaker and participant at future of publishing and future of the book conferences in the UK as well as internationally. She has made appearances at many book festivals, including Books in Browsers in San Francisco, the Edinburgh International Festival, International Festival of Authors Toronto, Vancouver, Dubai, Brisbane and Melbourne. She has taught for Arvon regularly, and runs writing workshops for the British Council, most recently in Karachi and Lahore, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Morocco.

Teaching specialisms

  • Creative writing (the novel, short stories), creative writing and digital media (ambient literature, digital fiction, new hybrid forms of story-telling, collaborative multimedia fiction, networked novels, participatory fiction, electronic literature, transmedia storytelling, hybrid publishing)
  • Projects with students include 'A Million Penguins', the Penguin UK/DMU wiki-novel (2007) and the recent collaboration with if:book Australia, Queensland Writers Centre, and Queensland University of Technology, Memory Makes Us
  • 'Letter to an Unknown Soldier' employed a team of eight Bath Spa students as Editorial Moderators during the summer of 2014.

Current scholarship

  • Kate is currently writing a novel about a logger and his family, set in British Columbia, Canada, commissioned by Doubleday, Penguin Random House Canada (2020)
  • November 2013 saw the premiere, at the National Theatre of Slovakia in Bratislava, of Kate's libretto for the opera 'Dorian Gray', based on the novel by Oscar Wilde.

Research supervision


  • Dr Susan McMillan
  • Dr Heather Sharfeddin
  • Dr Jennifer Militello
  • Dr Lisa Gee
  • Dr Kayt Lackie
  • Dr Chris Meade
  • Dr Tania Hershman
  • Dr Rachael Hanel

Current PhD students:

  • Christine Wilks
  • Lucy English
  • Rob Sherman
  • Alastair Horne
  • Alison Bown
  • Gillian Johnson

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Ambient literature: towards a new poetics of situated writing and reading practices

Abba, T, Dovey, J and Pullinger, K, eds. (2020) Ambient literature: towards a new poetics of situated writing and reading practices. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9783030414559 (Forthcoming)

Forest green

Pullinger, K (2020) Forest green. Doubleday Canada, Toronto. ISBN 9780385683043 (Forthcoming)


Pullinger, K (2018) Breathe. Ambient Literature.


Pullinger, K (2017) Jellybone. Oolipo, Berlin.

Letter to an unknown soldier

Pullinger, K and Bartlett, N (2014) Letter to an unknown soldier. William Collins, Harper Collins, London. ISBN 9780008116842

Landing gear: a novel

Pullinger, K (2014) Landing gear: a novel. Touchstone Books, New York: London. ISBN 9781476751375

Once upon a time there was a traveller

Pullinger, K (2013) Once upon a time there was a traveller. Virago Press, London. ISBN 9781844086849

A curious dream: collected works

Pullinger, K (2011) A curious dream: collected works. McArthur & Co., Toronto. ISBN 9781770870321

Something was there

Pullinger, K (2011) Something was there. Virago Press, London. ISBN 9781844086832


Pullinger, K and Joseph, C (2010) Lifelines. Rising Stars. ISBN 9781846806377

Waving at the gardener

Pullinger, K (2009) Waving at the gardener. Bloomsbury, London. ISBN 9780747598763

The mistress of nothing

Pullinger, K (2009) The mistress of nothing. Serpent's Tail, London. ISBN 9781846687112

A little stranger

Pullinger, K (2004) A little stranger. McArthur & Co., Toronto. ISBN 9781852424879

Weird sister

Pullinger, K (1999) Weird sister. McArthur & Co., Toronto. ISBN 9781552780855

My life as a girl in a men's prison

Pullinger, K (1997) My life as a girl in a men's prison. Phoenix House, London. ISBN 9781861590244

The last time I saw Jane

Pullinger, K (1996) The last time I saw Jane. Orion. ISBN 9781897580844

Where does kissing end?

Pullinger, K (1992) Where does kissing end? Serpent's Tail. ISBN 9781852422776

Tiny lies

Pullinger, K (1988) Tiny lies. Jonathan Cape, London. ISBN 9780224025607

Inanimate Alice: how we accidentally created a digital story for schools

Pullinger, K (2015) 'Inanimate Alice: how we accidentally created a digital story for schools.' In: Manresa, M and Real, N, eds. Digital literature for children: texts, readers and educational practices. Peter Lang, Brussels, pp. 213-220. ISBN 9782875742728

A serious arteriopath

Pullinger, K (2012) 'A serious arteriopath.' In: Van Luven, L and Page, K, eds. In the Flesh: Twenty Writers Explore the Body. Brindle & Glass. ISBN 9781926972091

Transliteracy as a unifying perspective

Pullinger, K, Thomas, S, Joseph, C, Laccetti, J, Mason, B and Perril, S (2011) 'Transliteracy as a unifying perspective.' In: Hatzipanagos, S and Warburton, S, eds. Handbook of research on social software and developing community ontologies. Information Science Reference, London, pp. 448-465. ISBN 9781605662084

Digital fiction: from the page to the screen

Pullinger, K (2008) 'Digital fiction: from the page to the screen.' In: Adams, R, ed. Transdisciplinary digital art: sound, vision and the new screen. Springer, New York, NY, pp. 120-126. ISBN 9783540794851

Breathe: a digital ghost story

Pullinger, K (2019) 'Breathe: a digital ghost story.' The International Journal of Creative Media Research, 1. ISSN 2631-6773

Writing digital: practice, performance, theory

Ashton, D, Bower, G.J, Hollyman, S and Pullinger, K (2017) 'Writing digital: practice, performance, theory.' Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 23 (1). pp. 3-4. ISSN 1354-8565

Ambient literature: story as spatial experience

Abba, T and Pullinger, K (2016) Ambient literature: story as spatial experience. In: Books in Browsers VII: Telling Small Stories, 3 - 4 November 2016, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Story+: Kate Pullinger and Tea Uglow in conversation with Donna Hancox

Pullinger, K, Uglow, T and Hancox, D (2016) Story+: Kate Pullinger and Tea Uglow in conversation with Donna Hancox. In: Brisbane Writers Festival, 9 September 2016, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Unprintable books - Live live editing! - I wish I knew when I didn't know

Pullinger, K (2016) Unprintable books - Live live editing! - I wish I knew when I didn't know. In: National Writers Forum, 17 -18 September 2016, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

A very modern memorial

Pullinger, K (2015) A very modern memorial. In: TEDxBristol 2015: Great Expectations, 11 November 2015, Bristol, UK.

Writing digital: new forms of fiction

Hershman, T, Lackie, K, Meade, C, Pullinger, K and Wilks, C (2015) Writing digital: new forms of fiction. In: Experimental Narratives From the Novel to Digital Storytelling, 26-27 February 2015, Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London.

Brave new story worlds: writing in the digital age

Pullinger, K (2013) Brave new story worlds: writing in the digital age. In: Brave New World: English and literacy teaching for the 21st century, 4 July - 7 July 2013, QUT, Brisbane, Australia.

Way beyond the book: opportunities for writers in the digital age

Pullinger, K (2013) Way beyond the book: opportunities for writers in the digital age. In: Tools of Change for Publishing Conference, 12 February - 14 February 2013, New York, NY.

Having my cake

Pullinger, K (2012) Having my cake. In: Books in Browsers, October 2012, San Fransisco, CA, USA.

Spreadable media: writing in a disintermediated age

Pullinger, K (2012) Spreadable media: writing in a disintermediated age. In: MIX DIGITAL 2013: Text on Screens; Making/Discovering/Teaching, 15 July - 17 July 2012, Corsham Court, Bath Spa University, Wiltshire, England.

Landscape and memory in "The Mistress of Nothing" and "A Little Stranger"

Pullinger, K (2012) Landscape and memory in "The Mistress of Nothing" and "A Little Stranger". In: Association of Canadian Studies in Ireland 16th Biennial Conference - Canada: Landscapes and Landmarks, 10 May - 12 May 2012, University College Dublin, Ireland.

Letter to an unknown soldier [website]

Pullinger, K and Bartlett, N (2014) Letter to an unknown soldier [website].

Duel [website]

Pullinger, K and Campbell, A (2012) Duel [website].

Luke's message [website]

Pullinger, K and Joseph, C (2009) Luke's message [website].

Flight paths: a networked novel [website]

Pullinger, K and Joseph, C (2009) Flight paths: a networked novel [website].

Inanimate Alice [website]

Pullinger, K (2008) Inanimate Alice [website].

The breathing wall [website/CD]

Pullinger, K, Joseph, C and Schemat, S (2005) The breathing wall [website/CD].

Branded [website]

Pullinger, K and Memmott, T (2005) Branded [website].

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