Plymouth University has hired an expert in horror, fantasy, magical realism and historical fiction as its creative writing program targets the genre’s lucrative market. Dr. Inés Gregori Labarta joins the university’s renowned creative writing department, which has now produced more than 150 master’s graduates over the past two decades.
She is the author of a collection of novels called Los Pentasónicos and novels including Mactavish Manor’ and Kabuki, and her published shorts have won awards. While UK book sales hit a 10-year high in 2021, fiction sales rose 20%, including a 23% increase in science fiction and fantasy novels, and university wishes to develop genre authors.
Inés, who studied at Lancaster University and taught at the University of Wolverhampton, begins teaching at Plymouth in the fall of 2022 but will give a lecture to prospective MA Creative Writing students on Wednesday 27 April from from 2 p.m. in room 101 of the Rolle building on campus. The research seminar on English and creative writing is called “History: bending genres to write an alternative version of history” and Inés will reflect on how she has used magical realism, historical fiction and horror to write his short story The Bull’s Betrothed, which is a fictional depiction. of the siege of Madrid in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War.
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Anthony Caleshu, Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing and Head of the Masters Program, said: “The Creative Writing program is getting stronger and Inés is joining us to teach fiction, especially genre fiction, she is specializes in genre including horror and fantasy. Over the past few years we have recognized both the need and desire for students to write in genres such as fantasy, horror and young adult and with the arrival of Inés as a new member staff, we are delighted to meet this need.
The MA in Creative Writing was launched in 2004 and is the longest running program of its kind in the region. Each year it accepts around 15 students and Anthony said: “We are delighted to recruit from the local community and overseas, and welcome applications for our 2022/23 year.”
Inés will join the teaching team which includes Anthony, poet and editor and author of four books of poetry, and Dr Miriam Darlington, author of the creative non-fiction books Owl Sense and Otter Country and regular nature writer for The Times.
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“The program requires students to study all forms, including poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, life writing, travel writing, and playwriting for the stage, screen and radio,” Anthony said. “We believe that there is a relationship between the shapes and that studying all the shapes will make students more capable in any.”
The course also brings guest writers to Plymouth each year, with past visits from Ali Smith, Germaine Greer, Jon McGregor and Don Paterson. It also hosts conferences of publishers, editors and agents. Anthony said: “I look forward to working with new students, and we are including our alumni to be part of our wider community, with events dedicated to helping people find ways to publish.
To attend Dr Inés Gregori Labarta’s lecture or for information on studying for the Masters in Creative Writing program, contact Professor Anthony Caleshu at [email protected] The University of Plymouth also organizes open days for postgraduate teachers, where the Masters in Creative Writing and other programs can be discussed. To express your interest in the open house on October 19, 2022, visit: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/study/open-days/postgraduate-open-evening ).
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