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Jonathan Gibbs

Programme Director - Creative and Professional Writing

Jonathan Gibbs

Tel: 020 8240 4380

About Research Media


Jonathan joined the Creative and Professional Writing programme in 2016 and was appointed Programme Director the following year, teaching on both the undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

He has worked as a journalist since graduation, writing on books for the Guardian, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times and Times Literary Supplement. He also worked for 15 years as an editor for the website of The Independent, and has experience writing features for a variety of publications and platforms.

His debut novel Randall, or the Painted Grape – a sort of satire about contemporary art and the Young British Artists – was published in 2014 by Galley Beggar Press, and has been translated into French and Dutch. It was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize for a first novel, and shortlisted for the Figaro Prix du Livre de Voyage Urbain. His second novel, The Large Door, was published in 2019 by Boiler House Press, to overwhelmingly positive reviews. The Financial Times called it “a haunting work… poised, suspenseful and enigmatic, with a hint of brute eroticism”.

Jonathan’s stories have been published by Lighthouse, Gorse, Vanguard Editions and The South Circular, and have been anthologised in Best British Short Stories 2014 and 2015, edited by Nicholas Royle. His story ‘The Story I’m Thinking Of’ was shortlisted for the inaugural White Review Short Story Prize in 2013. He has judged the Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize and the Manchester Fiction Prize. He also curates the online short story project A Personal Anthology.

Jonathan teaches on modules relating to fiction and short story writing, creative non-fiction and professional writing, including journalism and reviewing. His research is centred around contemporary fiction and teaching creative writing, and he has a particular interest in digital futures for creative writing. He has both used Twitter as a creative writing tool, and written critically about it and other online creative forms. He continues to review and blog on all manner of literary topics, as well as speaking at literary festivals and on radio.

Jonathan has an MA in Creative Writing (Prose) and a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of East Anglia, where his thesis comprised of a version of Randall and a critical essay, Beyond Ekphrasis: The Role and Function of Artworks in the Novels of Don DeLillo.


Research Interests

  • Contemporary fiction
  • Creative writing pedagogy
  • Digital writing
  • The cultural industries


  • The Large Door, novel (Norwich: Boiler House Press, 2019)
  • Randall, or the Painted Grape, novel (Norwich: Galley Beggar Press, 2014; also available in Dutch translation from Podium, Amsterdam, and in French translation from Buchet/Chastel, Paris)
  • ‘But Funny: Geoff Dyer and Comic Writing’, in The Threepenny Review #150 (Winter 2015: Berkeley, California)
  • ‘Southampton’, story; in #1 Short Story Anthology (Vanguard Editions, October 2015)
  • ‘blue, unpleasant land’, fiction; commissioned creative response to the 2015 General Election result,
  • ‘Festschrift’, (Gorse, September 2014; anthologised in The Best British Short Stories 2015, Norwich: Salt, 2015)
  • ‘The Faber Book of Adultery’, (Lighthouse, Issue 1, Norwich: Gatehouse Press, 2013; anthologised in The Best British Short Stories 2014, Norwich: Salt, 2014; The Barcelona Review)
  • ‘Bees/Lake’, story; in South Circular (Issue 7, 2013)
  • ‘The Story I’m Thinking Of’ (The White Review) shortlisted for inaugural White Review Prize 2013.
Academic papers
  • ‘The Erotics of Flesh and Sex in the Sixties’, at Brigid Brophy Anniversary Conference, University of Northampton, October 2015
  • ‘Reverse Ekphrasis in The Body Artist’, at Don DeLillo: The State of Fiction, University of Sussex, June 2015
  • ‘But Funny: Geoff Dyer and Comic Writing’, at Colours of Memory: an International Conference on the Writing of Geoff Dyer, Birkbeck, University of London, July 2014
  • ‘You Can’t Write That! Creative-Critical Writing in the Academy’, at The CHASE Creative/Critical Writing Conference, UEA 2012.
  • ‘The Other Side of The Mirror: Strategies in Fictitious Biographies’, at History, Mystery and Myth, the 2009 Postgraduate Biography Conference at UEA.

In the news

The Ideas Exchange

St Mary’s Alumna on Bookseller Rising Star List

A graduate of the Creative and Professional Writing programme at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, Mel Taylor-Bessent, has been named by The Bookseller as one of its rising stars in publishing. Find out more...

St Mary’s Launches First Creative Writing Anthology

St Mary’s University, Twickenham has launched a new Creative Writing Anthology to highlight work from its BA students. Find out more...

St Mary’s Academic Awarded Honorary Doctorate

Christie Watson, Senior Lecturer in Creative and Professional Writing at St Mary’s University, Twickenham has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of East Anglia (UEA). Find out more...

St Mary’s Creative Writing Student to be Published in Anthology of Working Class Writers

A Creative Writing: First Novel MA student at St Mary’s University, Twickenham has been chosen to be published in an anthology bringing together new voices from working class writers with other, more established names. Find out more...

Media enquiries

For media enquiries, please contact our Communications and Public Engagement Manager, Sam Yarnold, by emailling or calling 020 8240 8262.