School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Elizabeth Bostock

Elizabeth Bostock

Doctoral Student in Creative Writing



  • Prof Linda Anderson
  • William Fiennes


Seabirds of Jutland/ The Stories We Tell: Family Archives, the Second World War and Writing Memory

I am writing a character-led novel set in occupied Denmark in 1943. In a provincial town by a Jutland fjord, the inhabitants are faced with daily choices about collaboration or resistance. I am developing a narrative that uses place, particularly the land- and sea-scape of the Jutland coast, to create psychological mood. Subject matter includes paint manufacture in Jutland and Danish cookery in the 1940s.

The starting point for this novel can be found in my Danish family history. Asger Holmboe, my grandfather, was a member of a local resistance group in the town of Horsens and his father, Christian, kept a detailed diary of press cuttings and his own observations during the Second World War until his death in 1945. My research trip includes visits to the archives of Besætteltsmuseet (the Occupation Museum) in Århus, where the diaries are held, and to Frihedsmuseet (Freedom Museum) in Copenhagen, as well as interviews with my living relatives. I am writing a journal which explores how this research intersects with my creative practice.

Research Interests

Denmark, particularly the history of the Danish Resistance 1940-45 and the underground press; creativity and the past; the use of family history in creative writing.

Research Activities


  • Seminar Tutor for SEL1000 (Creative Writing module for 1st year undergraduates)


  • Presenter, First Thursday Lunchtime Readings, NCLA, December 2014
  • Presenter, WATT (Write About the Toon) Launch Conference, 2013 and 2014
  • Presenter, HASS Faculty First year Conference, 2013


  • Elizabeth Bostock, 'The Problem with Scandinavian Grandmothers', in Grandmothers, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Amy Newmark (CT, USA: Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing LLC, 2011).

Academic Background

  • MA Creative Writing, Newcastle University (2012)
  • DipTrans (Business and Humanities), Institute of Linguists (1999)
  • MA (Cantab) Modern Languages, Downing College, Cambridge University (1986)