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 and PGC 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 and an ongoing interest in the psychological and dramatic aspects of the ghost story. As a teacher and mentor I continue to pursue my interest in nurturing new writers, and guiding more experienced writers, in the region. I currently supervise 7 PhD students- five in prose fiction and two in drama. For many years I have contributed regular columns to the 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 and four articles on the short story.

Current Work

Stage and Radio scripts

Nocturne (BBC Radio 4, Afternoon Play, 2014); Blue Boy (Northern Stage, Durham Literary Festival, 2012; Can You Hear Me? (BBC Radio 4, Afternoon Play, 2011; Thirty Minutes to Curtain Herr Mahler (The Bridgewater Hall, 2010; Queen Bee (NorthEast Theatre Consortium, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Northern Stage, the Customs House, 2009)

 

Co-investigator, Cracking Good Stories Project- a Creative Writing and Linguistic collaboration to bring good fiction to adults who are learning to read in English for the first time, the project examines the role of fiction and pleasure reading in boosting reading fluency in adult learners 

 

 

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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 tutorial

Writing for Radio

Introduction to the Craft of Writing