I am a writer and editor, living in Manchester, England, where I studied fiction writing with novelists Geoff Ryman, Jeanette Winterson, Ian McGuire, and Maria Hyland, at the Centre for New Writing, University of Manchester (PhD, 2017; MA, 2013). I have taught creative writing at four universities in the North West of England, including (since 2019) the University of Salford, where I am now Lecturer in Creative Writing. I served as principal writer/editor on my first co-authored, non-fiction book, favourably reviewed by the New York Times and nominated for a book award. I edit non-fiction and fiction, with an emphasis on literary and experimental genres. I have worked also on YA books. As a writer, I have completed two novels (one now forthcoming) and a collection of short stories (several now published); thus I do bring a fiction 'toolkit' to the mix.
Because I teach writing regularly (in both university and workshop settings), I'm comfortable meeting clients where they are in their own writing process. I have worked with a number of editors over the years on my own projects, which in turn has taught me how to support my clients. I'm aware of the pitfalls writers fall into and strive to help writers to locate the issues in their own work. This is not a matter of simply showing you what needs changing but helping you to isolate your own 'tics' so you can resolve them. As I have developed my own non-fiction book proposals, sample chapters, and query letters (as well as novel pitches) for agents and publishers, I understand the process and journey of taking a project to publication. I usually work directly with authors, but I have worked too as an editor professionally for publishers. Lastly, I have done quite a bit of editorial work in oral history -- a rather niche field, but Studs Terkel made it pretty popular some time ago!
"I loved working with Alicia on my young adult novel. Her sharp observation and thoroughness helped me to strengthen and build my characters in a way that impresses me still. Her suggestions guided me to re-think elements of the plot to help my story more accurately flow in the direction I wanted it to. Her suggestions were invaluable in helping me create a stronger story and I could not be more pleased with the outcome. I would definitely work with her again." -- Jennifer Barnes, 2021
- Elizabeth George Foundation Writers Grant
- Nominated for the OHA Book Award
- Nominated for the Schwartz Humanities Prize
- Twice finalist for the Lange-Taylor Prize
- PhD, Creative Writing
- MA, Creative Writing
- MA, Folklore
- BA, English with Creative Writing Concentration
University of Salford
At Salford I work with my students on fiction, poetry, script. I teaching the fiction workshop, experimental writing ('the hybrid'), and biography. Most recently, I developed a course on Researching and Planning the Novel.
Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam and Manchester Universities
While Lecturer in Creative Writing at Sheffield, I co-edited fiction for Route 57: Modern Natures issue (see portfolio); this included providing substantive editorial support, copyediting, and proofreading galleys.
At Sheffield Hallam, as Associate Lecturer, I taught story and image, helping students develop and fine tune screenplays and comics.
On the PhD course at Manchester, I co-taught fiction writing with award-winning Canadian novelist and science fiction writer, Geoff Ryman.
World Trade Press
I led a team of writers producing 200 articles on business and trade for the top 100 GNP nations. This included fact checking, editing, copyediting, and proofreading.
I spent three years as an Assistant Editor for Narrative Magazine, reading from the slush pile, as well as one year working in the San Francisco office in marketing, giving me valuable insight into the literary publishing world.
In addition to taking on freelance editorial projects, I was a Contributing Writer for Parents Digest and a Contributing Book Reviewer for The Monitor. I also developed my own non-fiction book proposals.
Alicia J has 11 reviews