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Samantha Harvey – Bath Spa University

Personal statement

Samantha Harvey is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing on the MA at Bath Spa University, and a novelist. She teaches novel and prose writing workshops on the MA. Her PhD thesis centred on writing philosophical fiction, and her interests include (but aren’t in any way limited to) how to write deeply and innovatively, but also readably – how to be a daring writer in an increasingly conservative literary world.

She has taught on the MA at Bath Spa for eight years, and has published three novels with Jonathan Cape, which have, between them, been considered for various literary awards, including the Orange, Baileys and Booker Prizes.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD Creative Writing.

Bath Spa employment

  • 2012-present.


Other external roles

  • External Examiner to PhDs at Exeter and UEA
  • Tutor, Arvon
  • Former tutor, Humber School of Writing, Toronto. 

Areas of expertise

  • Literary fiction
  • Philosophical fiction (how to write ideas into novels)
  • Character-driven narratives
  • Writing about memory and its unreliablility
  • Unreliable narrators.  

Areas of research supervision

Sam is interested in supervising students working in the areas of philosophical fiction, novels of ideas, literary fiction, narratives that focus on/experiment with time and memory. 

Invited talks and guest lectures

  • Edinburgh International Book Festival
  • Bath Literature Festival
  • Toronto International Festival of Authors
  • Enniskillen International Beckett Festival
  • London Literature Festival
  • Keynote speech at the Abbeyfield Symposium of Spirituality and Older People (Windsor Castle)
  • Talk: "The Challenges of Writing the Novel" at Humber School of Writing, Toronto.


  • Print: Guardian, Independent, Times, Telegraph, Scotsman, Daily Mail, New Yorker, Washington Post, New York Times (received reviews); New Yorker, Guardian, various online magazines (written reviews/articles/essays
  • Radio: BBC R4 Open Book, BBC Radio4 Saturday Review, interviews on various local BBC stations, RTE (Ireland), CBC Writers & Company (Canada), Talk Radio Europe (Spain)
  • TV: BBC’s Culture Show; CBC Canada.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

The shapeless unease: a year of not sleeping

Harvey, S (2020) The shapeless unease: a year of not sleeping. Jonathan Cape. ISBN 9781787332027

The western wind

Harvey, S (2018) The western wind. Jonathan Cape, London. ISBN 9781787330597

Dear thief

Harvey, S (2014) Dear thief. Jonathan Cape. ISBN 9780224101721

All is song

Harvey, S (2012) All is song. Jonathan Cape, London. ISBN 9780224096324

The wilderness

Harvey, S (2009) The wilderness. Jonathan Cape, London. ISBN 9780224086073

Flowers appear on the Earth

Harvey, S (2013) 'Flowers appear on the Earth.' Granta, 122. ISSN 0017-3231

Odd, unnatural activities: the writing of a philosophical novel

Harvey, S (2011) Odd, unnatural activities: the writing of a philosophical novel. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

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