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Stephanie Lyttle

Doctoral Student in Creative Writing - Stephanie’s thesis is entitled ‘‘Strange Magic’: A Critical and Creative Exploration of How Bisexuality is Constructed in Young Adult Fantasy Literature’.

Research Project Title:

‘Strange Magic’: A Creative and Critical Exploration of the Construction of Bisexuality in Young Adult Fantasy Fiction



Prof Preti Taneja and Dr Lucy Pearson

Contact Details:



Research Interests:

  • Queerness in Popular Culture
  • Young Adult and Children’s Literature
  • Genre Fiction (Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction)
  • Monstrosity and Monster Theory
  • Bodies
  • Robots/Androids/Cyborgs/AI in Fiction
  • Video Games
  • The Gothic
Stephanie Lyttle

Brief Outline of Research Project:

My research primarily asks: in the absence of explicit labelling, in what ways does 21st century young adult fantasy rely on the transactional nature of magic-based metaphors to do the “work” of constructing a picture of bisexual adolescence? How does the othering experience of “growing up magic” mirror the othering experience of growing up bisexual?


This work simultaneously informs and is informed by the accompanying YA novel I will write; my (horror) fantasy-romance aims to provide an unambiguous portrait of female bisexuality, unstifled by the male gaze.

Research Activities:


Research Groups:

  • Children’s Literature Unit Graduate Group
  • EDI Together Group, Northern Bridge

  • PhD Representative, School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics Research Committee



  • YA Studies Association
  • National Association of Writers in Education


Outreach Projects:

  • Summer 2020: Produced course for KS4 pupils for charity The Brilliant Club: ‘Robots, Monsters, AIDS, and Organ Donation: Body Issues in Fantasy and Science Fiction’
  • October 2020, ongoing: Commissioned to produce and deliver series of fantasy/magic/monster-based creative writing workshops for Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books
  • March-April 2021: Commissioned to provide creative writing workshops on fantasy forests for The Forests Project, a collaboration between Seven Stories and Durham University
  • Devised and led ‘Writing Fantasy Worlds’ seminar for PARTNERS Summer School 2022.
  • Designed and led online school workshop for Pride Month 2021: ‘Be Proud of Your Magical Self’.


  • 2021/22, 2022/23: “Introduction to Creative Writing”.
  • 2020/21: “Introduction to Literary Studies 1” and “Transformations”.


Academic Background:

  • MA (undergraduate) in English Language and Literature, Edinburgh University, 2011-2015
  • MA English (Creative Writing), Queen’s University Belfast, 2017