Margaret Wilkinson
Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing

Introduction

Margaret Wilkinson, is a prose, stage, screen and radio writer. Currently Degree Programme Director for the MA in Creative Writing, she has a special interest in dramatic structure (for both script and prose writers), voice and dialogue.

Research Interests

I have a special interest in dramatic and narrative structure, voice and dialogue as applied to both prose and script writing, as I teach on the Master’s Degree in both strands. I am particularly interested in three act structure as a fluid, yet stable, principle for organising drama and fiction and in the way this framework might function creatively as well as structurally.

Other Expertise

I have a special interest and expertise in writing for radio. As a result of recent BBC Radio commissions, I am exploring and gaining expertise in adaptation. I have an ongoing interest in the psychological and dramatic aspects of the ghost story. As a mentor for New Writing North, the Arts’ Council, and The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, I continue to pursue my interest in nurturing new writers, and guiding more experienced writers, in the region. For many years I have contributed regular columns to the regionally-based, nationally and internationally acclaimed, writing magazine, Mslexia, disseminating ideas about the craft of writing through exercises and techniques I have personally developed. Recently I have completed a series of six articles for Mslexia on Writing for Radio.

Current Work

My new stage play, Queen Bee, a psychological ghost story, opens in April 2009 at The Customs House, South Shields and is touring to Northern Stage, Newcastle, The West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, and other venues. My 5-part radio drama. 'Out of the Ashes,' part of the on-going 'Writing the Century' series, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, January 2009.

Future Research

I have been commissioned by BBC Radio 4 to adapt the neurological case history by Dr Oliver Sachs, 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat,' for broadcast in 2010. In addition, I’m hoping to develop a character-led stage play based on the relationship of Arabs and Jews on Tyneside, which will examine the role played by character progression in creating dramatic structure; and explore how character is action, how action is motivation, and how motivation is dialogue.

Postgraduate Supervision

I am currently the primary supervisor for four PhD novelists:

Paul Pearson, The River Vein, a novel set in the historic Greek community of Sudan. (Co-supervisor, Linda Anderson.)

Jeff Binmoeller, untitled coming of age novel, set in Chicago, imitating the autobiographical form, and influenced by Conrad, Dickens and Homer. (Co-supervisor, Terry Wright.)

Jane Thomas, untitled novel set in England, Italy and India, during the period of 1879-1910 using Edwardian English appropriate to the era yet contemporary in tone and pace. (Co-supervisor, Baidik Bhattacharya.)

Charles Kelly, untitled novel set in England and the former Yugoslavia, exploring the fallout of war on the lives of a young Croatian orphan and the family who adopt her. (Co-supervisor, Alison Light.)

Postgraduate Teaching

MA in Creative Writing, prose writing workshops and tutorials.
MA in Creative Writing, dramatic writing workshops and tutorials.