Readings, Teaching & Consultancy

In addition to readings, masterclasses, and appearances at literary festivals, Chris undertakes a limited amount of consultancy work, advising colleges and universities on their writing programmes. He has been commissioned to act as external subject specialist in the approval of degree programmes in English, Creative Writing, and Drama. He has also been involved with the Royal Literary Fund's Fellowship scheme, acting as RLF Fellow at the University of Dundee and at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

He has tutored at the Arvon Foundation's writing centre at Lumb Bank, once the home of poet Ted Hughes, and has experience of working with students across a wide range of ages and abilities, from first year secondary school classes to PhD candidates and adult learners.

Chris occasionally takes on the judging of literary contests (such as Ohio University's Virginia Woolf Prize). He has acted for a range of publishers, both in the UK and USA, advising on proposed projects and offering an opinion on material submitted for publication. He may sometimes be available to undertake private manuscript evaluations.

To arrange a reading, commission a manuscript evaluation, or discuss teaching or consultancy proposals, please use the email address on the Contact page.

"For me, the essay is like a trial, a precipitation of the human, a fragment of confession: a concentrated fragment of imagination, of awareness, and of writing."

Fernand Ouellette

Wroxton College, near Banbury

Wroxton College near Banbury (photo: David Stowell). Chris was Visiting Writer here in 2011. Previous writers appointed to this position include Sebastian Barry, Paul Muldoon, Ruth Padel, Zadie Smith, Colm ToibĂ­n, and Jeanette Winterson.

Lumb Bank, the Arvon Foundation's writing centre in West Yorkshire

Lumb Bank, the Arvon Foundation's writing centre in West Yorkshire. Among the many writers who have tutored for Arvon are Carol Ann Duffy, Ian McEwan and Andrew Motion.

The Library at Lumb Bank

The Library at Lumb Bank. This is the room where Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, Philip Larkin and Charles Causley sat together to read through all 30,000 entries in the first Arvon International Poetry Competition (won by Andrew Motion, who succeeded Hughes as the UK's Poet Laureate).

Trinity College Dublin

Carlow University's annual summer residency at Trinity College Dublin (pictured) has seen the involvement of many Irish writers, including Kevin Barry, Eavan Boland, Gerald Dawe, Anne Enright, Huge Hamilton and Edna O'Brien. Chris was visiting writer in 2013.