I have over ten years' experience developing, managing and facilitating arts and literature projects in a wide range of community, educational and outdoor settings. I'm able to draw on my skills in performance, creative writing, electronics and programming, and craft and making to create imaginative site-specific and participatory works for people of all ages.

In 2018, I completed an EPSRC-funded PhD in Design and Computing in the Highwire Centre at Lancaster University titled: Making wonder tales: an exploration of material writing practice for ecological storymaking.My practice-as-research explored the use of different methods, materials and technologies in the making of ecological stories. I investigated the role of the author and extended my writing practice by using drawing, walking, oral composition, electronics and photography among other methods to make environmental stories that could be shared in new ways. This included a series of handmade digital wonder tales that use microcontollers and sensors to respond to the reader and/or the environment. The work I developed includes a story you can only hear by climbing higher, another you read by touch in the dark, and a story that changes depending on the quality of the air. My full thesis is freely available here:

Persephone's Footsteps is a reimagining of the Persephone myth, a response to escalating carbon emissions, and a map that can be used to explore any city. As Persephone climbs higher – first to escape the underworld and then to escape the polluted streets of the city – the listener must climb higher to hear more of her story.


For Hades is a collection of stories from the surface, gathered by Persephone to take back to the Underworld. Each artefact holds fragments of the literatures of other living beings, from the myths of trees to the stories of snails and seed tales carried by the wind. The stories are explored through touch and sound.

The Lichen Records is a collection of lichen-inspired stories, an archive of found materials, and a letter to the future. This work is slow-growing like the organisms that inspire it and the intention is that it will continue to seed new works. Stories inhabiting it presently include a number of fantastical cut-up stories remade from scientific papers that explore air pollution from a lichen perspective, a lichen-dial where the story changes depending on the quality of the air, and a solargraph that shows a lichen's view of the world with the path of the sun etched into the sky.

Detours from Lichen Cartography is a book of maps accompanied by an audio story that invites the reader outside. The story responds to the environment and will only grow longer in strong daylight. Each page turn reveals a new city as the narrator tries to find the City of Lichen and recounts their visits to the cities of Stone, Rain, Air, Leaves, Words and Light. This is a book designed for wandering and wondering.

How to Catch a River
I'm a writer-in-residence on Ensemble  a five year project investigating digital technologies and environmental change at Lancaster University. The theme for the project's first year was flooding, for which I developed The River Library, a participatory storymaking installation. People were invited to throw story dice into books that hold miniature rivers and to use these as prompts to make up their own stories of rivers and flooding. At Manchester Science Festival the installation resulted in 90 new stories being made by familes and the wider project installation was visited by almost 2000 people.

The Tide Jar is a story lantern that is only illuminated in the early evening when there is a full or new moon. This is when spring tides bring the highest water levels and a greater chance of flooding. The lantern is intended to be an unobtrusive reminder that calls attention to the river when daily life can disrupt our awareness of tide times and the lunar cycle.

A Rat's Tale was a project I developed, managed and faciltated for Light up Lancaster 2017 that included schools' workshops, site-specific installations and walking tours. Audiences were invited to get involved by being told 'Lancaster is overrun with humans and the rats have had enough. They’ve heard a rat called the Pied Piper can help. Follow the library story-trail to discover the unruly rats' corner, and, if you dare, join a guided tour for a rat’s-eye view of the city'. The project reached over 600 people over two evenings.

Stories for National Trust's Clumber Park Walled Kitchen Garden
This site-specific project was a collaboration with HighWire colleague Liz Edwards, who has made an incredible listening orchard in the walled kitchen garden at Clumber Park. I wrote two stories for the orchard inspired by the garden, its heritage, visitors and folklore and have worked with local schoolchildren on storymaking activities in the space. 'The Weeder Woman' and 'The Scarecrow and the Boy' can be heard by plucking a wooden listening apple from a tree.
Photo: Liz Edwards

Data Stories
Prior to starting my PhD research I took part in the Environmental Internet of Things project at Lancaster University. I set out to explore how data could inspire storymaking and whether the stories developed could then play a part in communicating what was learned from the data in an engaging way. The research took me to fields, riverbanks and the bay in the Conwy valley. I spent time with scientists and technologists on the EIoT team and developed four stories inspired by the landscape, conversations with researchers, the data being collected and local folklore. The stories highlight the interconnectedness of the valley and the environmental risk posed by pathogens entering the river. 'The Sheep's Tale' and 'The Soil's Tale' relate to sensor data collected during the project and 'The Tide's Tale' and 'The Wind's Tale' relate to open data available online. A digital prototype (not currently available online) was developed with Ben Taylor and Graham Dean. The live environmental conditions in the valley determined which story was visible to the reader. The texts  can be read here.

Earlier projects include:

Wonderlore's Travelling Story Shopsite-specific activities and workshops encouraging people of all ages to make new stories inspired by interaction with elements from folklore, fairy tales and myth.

'One of our most popular workshops of the summer, Claire’s enchanting set up sparked the imagination of children and adults alike.' Chester Performs

Castle Park Storiesa Heritage Lottery-funded project for Litfest, working with people from the Lancaster area to uncover hidden histories and share them through creative non-fiction and photography in an exhibition of stories.

Malkin Child, by Livi Michael, is a powerful reimagining of the most famous witch trial in English history, suitable for ages 9+. As the Lancashire Reads Book 2012, Malkin Child has been well received by children and adults. I edited the book and managed its production for Litfest to mark the 400th anniversary of the Lancashire Witch Trials.

The Language of Footprints introduces three new prose pieces from emerging North West writers. Through the short story and creative non-fiction forms the writers explore three very different Lancashire landscapes, each visiting layers of memory tied to places and considering the ways the landscapes we inhabit shape who we become. I commissioned and edited the pieces, which were read as part of Litfest 2012.

Paraxis: co-edited with Andy Hedgecock and Carys Bray. Publishing unnerving, uncanny and fantastical stories, essays and artwork.

New Fairy Talesan illustrated magazine I founded to encourage the writing and enjoyment of new fairy tales. Launched in 2008, our final issue was published in November 2010. To find out more about the magazine, read back issues and enjoy free audio stories please visit the website.

The Fairy Tale Cupboard
A blog about fairy tales, which I kept between July 2009 and January 2011.

Ways to make a word dress
An online scrapbook created whilst working on The Word Dress commission for Litfest.

Field guide to digital fiction
A resource I compiled in 2010 as part of a research project on digital fiction for my MA.