School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Zoe Cooper

Lecturer in Creative Writing


Zoe worked in theatre for a number of years before becoming a full time playwright and dramaturge.

She trained as a playwright on the Royal Court Young Writer's Programme, and her work has been developed with Shakespeare's Globe, New Writing North, Durham Book Festival, The Sage, Live Theatre, Soho Theatre, nabokov, Tristan Bates Theatre, the National Theatre Studio, the Royal Shakespeare Company Studio, Theatre503, the Orange Tree Theatre, Farnham Maltings, house and the Old Vic Theatre.

She has twice received a Peggy Ramsay Grant and has been shortlisted for a Kevin Spacey Artist of Choice Award, the Adrienne Benham and Rod Hall Memorial Awards. Many of her productions have attracted Arts Council England funding. She is a Macdowell Fellow and visited Yaddo in 2017.

Her latest play, Jess and Joe Forever opened  at the Orange Tree Theatre in London in 2016 before touring nationally. It received four star reviews from Time Out, The Evening Standard, The Stage and the Arts Desk amongst others and was a Critics Choice in The i, The Guardian and The Evening Standard. Matt Wolf wrote in The New York Times that the play was  'short and strikingly bittersweet' and Michael Billington wrote in The Guardian that it was a 'touching portrait of the uncertainties of adolescence and the human potential for transformation.' 

Jess and Joe Forever will play at the Traverse Theatre throughout the Edinburgh Festival 2017/ Zoe received the Most Promising New Playwright Award (Off West End Awards) for the play.

She has had three plays published by Methuen, the drama imprint of Bloomsbury.

She is represented by Lily Williams at Curtis Brown. 


Zoe is currently completing a PhD in Playwriting, supported by an AHRC Award. Taken together Jess and Joe Forever and her forthcoming play Romantic Heroes and Heroines form the creative component of her thesis. In those plays Zoe uses stories from Ovid and Shakespeare as the basis for new plays in which queer characters and women take centre stage. The critical component examines women in Shakespeare's plays. It compares the stories of Hermione in The Winter's Tale, Cordelia in King Lear and Hero in Much Ado About Nothing.

She is also working on a pilot podcast project with the support of the Arts Council England, New Writing North and the Newcastle Institute of Creative Arts Practice. The project was created by Zoe to give young people and emerging writers in Newcastle the opportunity to create new audio work which explores the city and their own relationship with the landscape that they inhabit.


This year Zoe teaches the script strand on:

SEL2216: Script Workshop 

SEL8641: Introduction to the Craft of Writing 

SEL8507: Script Workshop 

She will also be a seminar teacher on SEL1031: Drama, Theatre and Performance.  

Zoe is a part time member of staff and her office hours are between 2.30 and 5pm on Wednesdays during term time only. Please email her if you would like to arrange to meet at an alternative time.