Jess Moriarty is a creative writing teacher and programme developer. Her research focuses on auto ethnography and pedagogy in writing practice.
Jess has founded a range of successful initiatives including the Work Write Live programme and the many creative writing elements in the university's English degrees. Focussing on creative and imaginative writing for personal development, her research uses autobiography and poetry to explore the potential of enhancing academic writing processes.
Jess Moriarty is founder of the Work Write Live programme. She designs courses on and teaches creative and imaginative writing, writing for personal development and confident speaking and writing. Her research uses autobiography and poetry to explore the potential of making the academic writing process more personal.
Jess Moriarty devised and is now course leader for the Creative Writing MA and English Literature and Creative Writing BA. Her work seeks to support her students' confidence with creativity, develop their writing skills in a range of genres and help them to identify links between their passion for writing and the world beyond the classroom. She is particularly interested in cross-disciplinary practice, community engagement and non-traditional academic writing practices.
Jess's research focusses on autoethnography and innovative creative writing teaching strategies with undergraduate and post-graduate students. She explores the overlaps between personal, creative and academic writing. This formed the basis of her Professional Doctorate in Education, which looked at how to make academic writing more personal and creative and included a play based on her autobiographical and researched experiences with academic life.
She graduated from the University of Sussex with a Creative Writing MA in 2002 and joined the University of Brighton soon after, winning a Teaching Excellence award for her workshops with undergraduates, in which she aims to ignite inspiration and motivation with the writing process.
Jess is the co-founder of the university's Work Write Live, which provides a range of writing short courses and volunteering opportunities for students to develop the vocational and academic skills they are acquiring on their degree programmes. She has been interviewed by the Times Higher Educational Supplement about her workshops and won an Innovation Award for her retreats where participants are encouraged to develop confidence with writing and speaking. Under the banner of Work Write Live, students are able to run open mic evenings, produce creative writing anthologies and organise an end-of-year graduating show.
She has published in a range of journals and edited books, co-edited journals for the JWCP and is currently co-editing a book on narratives from teaching for Sense Publishers. Jess has written her own book, Analytical Autoethnodrama, and has also published poems - nearly always about her children - as well as adapted a novel into a screenplay for a branch of De Lane Lea Productions.
My Dark Material
3:35 York to King’s Cross,
going home to Brighton and you.
I am an alien in the North,
exhausted, sweaty from the effort
of being so cut off.
Heart muscles stretch,
sinew and tendon reaching out,
not quite getting through.
You are everywhere –
your face in the £1.80 cup of tea,
your laugh in the chugging and clacking
of train on track,
racing the wires linking pylon to pylon,
all pointing South, all leading back
cross country to you.
I will the train on, navigating past
Doncaster, Peterborough, Potter’s Bar,
needing the dent of you on my chest,
needing more than just love
to join us through the air.
Moriarty, J. (2014).
'Leaving the blood in: Experiences with an autoethnographic doctoral thesis.' In N. Short, Zeeman, L., & Grant, A. (Ed.), British Contemporary Autoethnography. Rotterdam, Boston, Taipei: Sense.
The above poem featured in my doctorate, which looked at the triangulation between research, autobiographical experiences and creative outputs. I am interested in academic writing that breaks with tradition and in the teaching that is essential to such practice.
When teaching Creative Writing I use a mixture of writing workshops, master classes with local guest speakers and community projects to help my students develop skills in a variety of genres and to build confidence with their creative processes.
My students are expected to engage in a writing community and to share their ideas and their writing with their peers and with me. It is my job to ensure the workshop space is challenging but that they feel safe and supported when reading their work aloud and discussing any feedback. Working in a range of genres, I ask students to take risks and experiment with prose, poetry, script, autobiography and graphic novel writing so that they understand concepts of ‘good’ storytelling and can apply this to all practices of writing. Students who take part in my modules can expect to work with local school children, residents of a retirement village, professional writers and performance artists in order to enhance their awareness of the craft, apply their writing and creativity to real life scenarios and push themselves academically, vocationally and personally.
I expect my students to read, read, read and write, write, write and in return for their commitment to honing and expanding their practice, I offer them the assurance that they will be better writers by the end of the module. Sometimes students choose to study creative writing because they think it will be the soft option but they soon realise that writing is personal, it is difficult and it is important. By equipping students with the techniques and skills that can help them improve as writers and by engaging them with a creative group, working on community projects and talking to professional writers, students see a noticeable difference in their writing and also feel able to articulate themselves and their discipline in relation to the world beyond the classroom.
Students are expected to attend every workshop and to also share their work on-line via the class blog. This means that students who feel less confident reading aloud have a space to share their work that is potentially less exposing and it also means that they can get in-depth feedback on their writing ad develop and on-line community which can enrich their writing and their experience of the module. workshops are often held in the creativity centre where the students can use the beanbags, write on the walls and own the space in order to feel more empowered in the workshop environment. It means that the tutor is less privileged and this helps to build trust and provides a stimulating place to work in.
I have been nominated by my students for several teaching excellence awards and in 2013 I was commended for being an inspirational teacher although this is a reciprocal process as it is my students who continue to inspire and motivate me.
Moriarty, Jessica and Adamson, Ross (2019) Storying the Self: Autobiographical pedagogy in undergraduate Creative Writing teaching Journal of Writing in Creative Practice. ISSN 1753-5190
Moriarty, Jessica (2018) Empowering students as researchers: Teaching and learning autoethnography and the value of self-narratives In: Teaching Narrative. Teaching The New English Series . Palgrave, London. ISBN 9783319706771
Hayler, Michael and Moriarty, Jessica (2017) Self-narrative and pedagogy: Stories of experience within teaching and learning [Edited Collections]
Moriarty, Jessica (2017) Writing to Resist: Storying the Self and Audit Culture in Higher Education In: Cole, K. and Hassel, H., eds. Surviving Sexism in Academia: Strategies for Feminist Leadership. Routledge, Oxford, pp. 250-258. ISBN 9781138696846
Moriarty, Jessica (2017) Soaring and Tumbling: An Autoethnography from Higher Education In: Hayler, Michael and Moriarty, Jessica, eds. Self-narrative and pedagogy: stories of experience within teaching and learning. Studies in Professional Life and Work . Sense, Rotterdam, pp. 135-146. ISBN 9789463510226
Moriarty, Jessica (2016) Autobiographical and researched experiences with academic writing: an analytical autoethnodrama Writing in Practice, 2 (1). ISSN 2058-5535
Moriarty, Jessica and Aughterson, Kate (2016) Journal of Writing and Creative Practice special edition: Writing Place: Post-Industrial Landscapes [Edited Collections]
Moriarty, Jessica (2016) Autobiographical and researched experiences with academic writing: an analytical autoethnodrama Writing in Practice, 2. ISSN 2058-5535
Ashmore, Nicola and Moriarty, Jessica (2016) Living Archives - supporting creative practice students learning leaps in interdisciplinary workshops C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-century Writings, 4 (1). pp. 1-18. ISSN 2045-5216
Ashmore, Nicola and Moriarty, Jessica (2015) From student to artist: supporting students' creative development through place-based work Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 8 (1). pp. 37-54. ISSN 1753-5190
Moriarty, Jessica (2014) Analytical Autoethnodrama: Autobiographed and Researched Experiences with Academic Writing Bold Visions in Educational Research . Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. ISBN 9789462098886
Moriarty, Jessica (2013) Leaving the blood in: Experiences with an autoethnographic doctoral thesis In: Short, N., Turner, L. and Grant, A., eds. Contemporary British Autoethnography. Studies in professional life and work . Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. 63-78. ISBN 946209408X
Shaw, Katy and Moriarty, Jessica (2012) Creating the sustainable: How can a creative writing module promote the sustainability agenda with the purpose of furnishing undergraduates with personal, academic and vocational skills for post-degree life? Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal, 3 (4). pp. 682-688.
Reading, Christina and Moriarty, Jessica (2012) Linking creative processes with personal, vocational and academic development in cross-disciplinary workshops Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal, 1 (2). pp. 848-859. ISSN 2040-2589
Moriarty, Jessica (2012) Work Write Live – Sharing Life Stories In: HEA Teaching Post-Millennial Literature, 2 July 2012, University of Brighton, UK. (Unpublished)
Moriarty, Jessica (2012) Leaving the blood in: autoethnodrama as a methodology in academic research In: Great Writing International Creative Writing Conference, 15-17 June 2012, Imperial College London, UK.
Shaw, Katy and Moriarty, Jessica (2011) Writing for social purpose – ideas for sustainable teaching and learning The Higher Education Academy: English Subject Centre.
Moriarty, Jessica and Moriarty, P. (2010) Using writing to motivate change: the social responsibility of the writer, the student and the educator National Association of Writers in Education.
Reading, C. and Moriarty, Jessica (2009) Telling their stories: Students’ experiences with creativity In: From spark to flame: creating and sustaining motivation and inspiration in our learning community, 10 July 2009, Brighton, UK.
Rajapillai, V. and Moriarty, Jessica (2009) Using virtual and real spaces to enhance student learning experiences In: From spark to flame: Creating and sustaining motivation and inspiration in our learning community, 10 July 2009, Brighton, UK. (Unpublished)
Moriarty, Jessica and Reading, C.J. (2009) Linking creative practice to the Personal Development Agenda In: Dialogues in Art and Design: Promoting and Sharing Excellence, York St John University, 21-22 October, 2009.
Moriarty, Jessica and Reading, Christina (2009) Telling their stories: students' experiences with creativity CRD Research News, 24. p. 21.
Antoniou, M. and Moriarty, Jessica (2008) Creative space Writing in Education, 44. pp. 43-48. ISSN 1361-8539
Antoniou, M. and Moriarty, Jessica (2008) Creative space: writing retreats for HE lecturers In: Connections: sharing the learning space - articles from the Learning and Teaching Conference 2007, University of Brighton, UK.
Timotijevic, Jelena and Moriarty, Jessica (2008) Helping students link their academic study with reflective self-awareness through engagement with Personal Development Portfolios In: Exploring the Hinterlands: Mapping an Agenda for Institutional Research in the UK, 25 – 26 June 2008, Southampton, UK.
Moriarty, Jessica (2008) Leaving the blood in - Using autobiography and narrative to tell the story of research into experiences with academic writing: How to get it write/right? Doctoral thesis, University of Brighton.
Antoniou, M. and Moriarty, Jessica (2008) What can academic writers learn from creative writers? Developing guidance and support for lecturers in higher education Teaching in Higher Education, 13 (2). pp. 157-167. ISSN 1470-1294
Moriarty, Jessica and Antoniou, M. (2007) Creative strategies for developing academic writing: a writing retreat project In: Creativity or Conformity? Building Cultures of Creativity in Higher Education, 8-10 Jan 2007, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.
Antoniou, M. and Moriarty, Jessica (2007) Creative Space In: National Association of Writers in Education Conference 2007, 16 November 2007, Yorkshire, UK.
Moriarty, Jessica (2007) The Social Responsibility of the Writer In: Footprints, leaving marks - Lapidus Conference, 7-9 September 2007, Leicester, UK. (Unpublished)
Antoniou, M. and Moriarty, Jessica (2007) Telling Their Story: investigating the positive effects of a creative writing retreat on academic staff development In: Society for Research into Higher Education, 11-13 December 2007, Brighton, UK. (Unpublished)
Moriarty, Jessica, Rajapillai, V. and Adamson, Ross (2006) What is your porn name? Issues with working on an EU project In: Learning and Teaching Conference 2006, July 2006, Brighton, UK.