The Royal Literary Fund Fellows

The Royal Literary Fund Fellowship scheme was conceived with the intention of placing professional writers in higher education institutions to offer writing support to all students. The principal aim of the Fellow's work is to foster good writing practice across disciplines and media. Each year Queen Mary University of London plays host to three Royal Literary Fund Fellows, who offer one-to-one tutorials to students and staff on all aspects of their writing. The scheme is co-ordinated by Learning Development.

For more information about the Royal Literary Fund, and the Fellowship scheme, take a look here.


RLF Fellows 2017/2018

Lynn Knight

Lynn is interested in the larger narratives behind ordinary lives, most particularly the lives of women. Her biography, Clarice Cliff (Bloomsbury, 2005), charted the working-class designer’s rise through the pottery industry and the way her designs spoke to the changes in  women’s lives     between  the  wars. Lemon Sherbet and Dolly Blue: the story of an accidental family (Atlantic, 2011), told the story of the three generations of adoption in her own family and made use of oral recollection, notebooks and domestic objects, as well as social history. The  Button Box (Chatto   & Windus, 2016) uses an  assortment of family buttons buttons to explore the story of women in the 20th century through the clothes they wore. She is especially interested in everyday objects as repositories of memory and history and in women’s relationship with their  domestic space.   Work at Virago (latterly as editorial director of the  Modern Classics series) led her to edit two collections of short stories, Infinite Riches: classic stories by twentieth-century women writers (Virago, 1993), reissued as The Secret Woman (Virago, 2000) and Dangerous  Calm: the selected   stories of Elizabeth Taylor (Virago, 1995). She has also  abridged the diaries of Beatrice Webb (Virago in association with the LSE, 2000), and written critical introductions and reviews. Lynn teaches fiction, as well as autobiography and memoir, at City Lit in London.  She has also taught at the Women’s Library, Charleston and the Geffrye Museum and runs  independent courses. 

Andrew Lycett

After graduating, Andrew travelled in and began writing about India. Some of his earliest articles appeared in the Illustrated Weekly of India and the Rising Nepal. He also worked briefly for a development agency in newly independent Bangladesh. In the mid-1970s he returned to Africa and later spent considerable time in the Middle East, working in both areas as a foreign correspondent, mainly for The Times and Sunday Times. Over a period of twenty years he also edited several magazines and other publications dealing primarily with the Arab world. He acted as a consultant to the Economist Intelligence Unit and was a contributing editor of GQ. As a result of regular visits to Libya, Andrew wrote his first book, 'Qaddafi and the Libyan Revolution' (with his Sunday Times colleague, the late David Blundy). This was published in Britain by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 1987 and in the United States by Little, Brown in 1988. Since the mid-1990s, he has concentrated on writing non-fiction books, mainly biographies. His 'Ian Fleming', published in 1995, is the definitive life of James Bond's creator. His 'Rudyard Kipling', published in 1999, drew an equally enthusiastic response, as did ‘Dylan Thomas – A New Life’ in 2003 and ‘Conan Doyle – The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes’ in 2007, the latter winning Book of the Week in the Guardian. In the United States, where it was published by Free Press, it was one of Booklist’s top ten biographies of 2008. It was a Notable Book of 2008 in the Washington Post. 'Kipling Abroad', an anthology of Rudyard Kipling’s travel writing, was published in 2010. Andrew has edited and contributed to several other books. He has also contributed to the new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. His journalistic output includes feature articles, book reviews and radio broadcasts. He speaks regularly at literary festivals, in schools and in universities, and at other events where his subject matter includes his books, biography in general, and aspects of current affairs in countries he  knows, such as Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, India and elsewhere.  

David Watson

David Watson is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. His work has been staged at venues including the Royal Court and the Bush in London, and Manhattan Theatre Club in New York. Having written poems and stories for as long as he can remember, he began writing for the stage as a teenager, as part of Birmingham Rep’s Transmissions scheme for young writers. His early work focused on the lives and concerns of young people, most significantly in Flight Path (2007), about the relationship between a teenage boy and his learning-disabled brother. By Pieces of Vincent (2010), he had extended his canvas, journeying across the British Isles from County Down to London, in an exploration of how a collage of individuals are united by one act of terrorism. He has collaborated extensively with community companies, including Only Connect, for whom he has written plays that were developed and performed by both former and serving prisoners. For the Big House company, he worked with young people on the point of leaving the care system on pieces including The Realness (2014), his first foray into musical theatre. For television, he wrote for three series of L8R (2008–13), an educational drama that was awarded three Children’s BAFTAs. Other screen work includes The Hope Rooms, a short film that premiered in 2016. Currently he is under commission to the Birmingham Rep and the Royal Court, and is also collaborating on new musical and film projects. He lives in North-East London with his wife and son.