About our tutors
See below for tutor biographies.
From fighter-bombers to quill and paper, Miles Allen gave up his 25-year career designing software systems in hi-tech aircraft, to follow his dream of becoming a fantasy author. In 2010 it became reality when his first book hit No1 for fantasy on Amazon Kindle and even knocked The Hunger Games from the top slot in Waterstones for paperback. Now, six years on, he writes, coaches and runs his self-publishing company specialising in first-time authors; fusing his business, fiction and publishing skills to create a unique formula for successful fiction and business authors.
The Walkers of Legend
Dr Michael Chandler is currently a sessional lecturer within the Music and Performing Arts Department at Canterbury Christ Church University, as well as tutoring in music appreciation for the Workers' Educational Association within East Kent. He is also a pianist, giving occasional recitals and working as a teacher and an accompanist. One of his many interests within the field of music is the life and work of the French composer Olivier Messiaen.
Michelle Crowther specialises in biographical and historical writing. She has a BA in Renaissance and Modern History from the University of Warwick and an MA in Creative Writing from Canterbury Christ Church. She was a finalist in the Impress Prize for New Writing in 2015 for the first chapter of her biography Trader Fedarb and has ghost-written five books. Michelle has worked as a Creative Facilitator for Canterbury Museums, delivering sessions on the First World War and the Egyptians, as well as running poetry and creative writing workshops for local schools. She is the Learning and Research Librarian at CCCU for humanities and languages.
In her spare time she writes murder mystery dinner party games which are sold by Red Herring Games.
To understand one's purpose in life brings great joy, energy and also relief! This has been my experience, and the experience of my clients too...
'I felt an immediate connection with Maureen and found her approach genuine and uplifting. Maureen has a gift of finding what is hidden in you and unearthing it. I found her ability to support me to seek the gem inside a truthful experience. The energy derived in that knowing will enable me to take flight and expand. Thank you Maureen.'
Monica George - London
'Maureen's kind, unhurried, intensely thoughtful approach was encouraging and challenging in the right places. I am grateful to her for facilitating space for me to realise things for myself. She uses deceptively simple methods that resonate long after the conversation. It helped to bring forward what somewhere in my psyche I already knew - and the relief and energy that has come from knowing my purpose has changed my life fundamentally for the better.'
Simon Floyd - Norwich
Dr Geoff Doel has a PhD on Thomas Hardy from Birkbeck, is an Associate Lecturer for UniKent, and runs summer schools for UniDurham. Geoff has published 14 books and made several TV appearances including ‘Time Team’.
April Doyle is a writer, teacher and freelance artist with an MA in Creative Writing. Her short stories have been published in the UK and Australia. Before teaching adults she taught in Primary Education for a number of years. Her short story Elsewhere was published in Tales From Elsewhere in January 2016. She is the co-editor of Welcome to Our World and Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk (both available from The Alzheimer’s Society).
In addition, April is the Project Lead Administrator for the Community Adult Education programme and is pleased to answer queries from prospective CAE students.
Gill Draper has taught local and landscape history for over a decade and regularly lectures on behalf of the British Association for Local History at such events as Who Do You Think You Are Live at the NEC. Some of her special interests are towns between 800 and 1700, the early medieval countryside of Kent and Sussex, non-conformists such as Quakers and Baptists, the New Poor Law of 1834, and internet resources for local historians and independent scholars. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Society of Antiquaries. Her publications are listed on kent.academia.edu/GillianDraper
Victoria Field works as a writer and poetry therapist. She has had poetry and short fiction commissioned for BBC Radio 3 and 4 and has published three full collections, including the award-winning The Lost Boys (Waterloo Press, 2013). Her memoir Baggage: A Book of Leavings was published by Francis Boutle in 2016. She qualified as a Certified Poetry Therapist with the International Federation for Biblio-Poetry Therapy and was identified in a recent Poetry Review as a pioneer in the use of therapeutic writing. She has co-edited three books on the subject, most recently Writing Routes (Jessica Kingsley Publishers). She has been writer-in-residence at Truro Cathedral and her play Benson was presented by the Marlowe Studio as a work-in-progress in 2014. She is a fully-approved Mentor-Supervisor for the International Federation for Biblio-Poetry Therapy and a member of the British Psychological Society. www.thepoetrypractice.co.uk
Mark Hopkinson is a teacher and educational researcher with a career-long interest in exploring innovative approaches to learning and challenging existing orthodoxies on what education and schools should look like. As an educator, he is committed to the principle that learning should always have firm foundations in the lived experiences of the students.
Mark has a BA in Philosophy from Warwick, an MA in Social and Political Thought from Sussex, a PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education from Canterbury Christ Church University and is currently working on a PhD thesis at the University of Winchester into the role of student voices in curriculum design. His teaching and learning have both taken place across a broad range of subject boundaries. As a teacher, Mark has taught subjects across the social sciences and humanities including Philosophy, Sociology, Film Studies and Government & Politics. He has several years of experience as a sixth form teacher of both A Levels and the International Baccalaureate and has taught in the UK and in France.
Mark’s interdisciplinary background encompasses a wide range of areas but he lists the following as particular areas of interest: film, forms of socialist politics, education and social change, curriculum theory, epistemology, psychoanalysis, and sociological research methods.
Mark is a practising artist with his own studio and he is also part of the new Cowshed Arts collaborative in Canterbury. He exhibits internationally with the arts group Plastic Propaganda in regular venues in London. He has exhibited internationally as well as nationally and locally. He has had several pieces in the Canterbury Beaney museum gallery and the Mall Galleries London.
His art practice explores contemporary representational paintings in oils or mixed media, dominated by the Romantic landscape tradition of Britain but with enquiries in to the layering of memories and personal experience using symbols and art historical references that map a formative and subjective journey to a current point in time. www.plasticpropaganda.co.uk/pp-artists/mark-howland
A graduate of Chelsea School of Art I have been primarily focused on the British tradition of the landscape in painting. The landscapes are filled with memory and significance and emotional resonance. Although familiar, they offer much that is unknown and an emotional enquiry through the process of painting begins. This journey of discovery hinges on the layers of painting, collage and experimental use of mediums; such as wax and encaustic painting. The paintings are informed by developments in landscape painting that artist such as Paul Nash and Peter Doig have developed. The work questions the role painting has in representing the familiar-a move from the topographical and into something more subjective. The paintings suggest that it is not into abstraction that this outcome will be found, but towards an intensification of emotional resonance through new ways of manipulating the physical matter of the medium into representational forms.
Dr Andrew Humphries is a senior lecturer in Education at Canterbury Christ Church University specialising in English and Drama. He has a PhD in English Literature from University of Kent and an MA in English from Cambridge University. He is also a keen musician and professional viola player who continues to give recitals and chamber music concerts. Apart from setting up Shakespeare Drama workshops as part of the Enhanced Studies programme in Education and organising World War One Battlefields trips for English and Art PGCE students, Andrew has taught a wide range of genres and periods of English in his career but currently specialises in twentieth century and modernist literature and has a particular interest, also, in drama performance and education. He also researches transport and technology as well as representations of the child and childhood in literature. Since 2009 he has published two co-edited books, an award-winning Childhood in Edwardian Fiction: Worlds Enough and Time (2009) and Transport in British Fiction: Technologies of Movement 1840-1940 (2015). He has also just published his first monograph D. H. Lawrence, Transport and Cultural Transition: ‘A Great Sense of Journeying’ (2017).
John holds a passionate view that everyone is musical - see how people respond to the nuances of any speaking voice, from everyday ones to the 'tunes' of great actors. Learning to listen and not day-dream is at the heart of any music appreciation course because the sharpened focus that experience brings, particularly to people as they grow older, offers a new perspective of wholeness. Music connects because it uses three human attributes: pulse, memory, and response to pitch rise and fall. As a certain Joshua Logan said in the late 18th century 'Music's the medicine of the Mind'.
Tristan Ireson-Howells is completing a PhD in Modern American Literature at CCCU. He has an MA from Sussex in Modern American Literature and Theory. His research interests are in representations of sport in contemporary fiction, concepts of failure, postmodern literary theory, and the modern short story. This year he has given papers for Aethlon in Johnson City, Tennessee and for a conference on ‘The Failed Individual’ in Mannheim, Germany.
Sonia McNally is a practising artist with a first-class honours degree in Fine Art. In her own work Sonia explores the imagination and how it interacts with ancient and wild landscapes and buildings. Objects in these sacred spaces exist in two simultaneous dimensions – the physical observable world and the inner world of the imagination. When she is painting, Sonia is attempting to capture both of these aspects together, on the canvas.
Sonia is also an experienced and qualified tutor specialising in facilitating creativity and self-expression. Her Drawing at Canterbury Cathedral courses invariably get great feedback, with many students describing her as an inspirational teacher and re-attending the courses many times.
She has exhibited recently in Chicago last year and was recently commissioned to design and make an etched glass screen depicting the story of St. Alphege which is now on permanent display in the narthex of St. Alphege Church, High Street, Whitstable.
Caroline Millar is a walker and writer who enjoys exploring the landscape where she finds inspiration for her short stories and creative non-fiction. She has an M.A in English and American Literature and has been published in The New Writer, Elsewhere and Poetry News. She also manages a walking project for the Royal Geographical Society and works as a copy-editor on non-fiction projects and nature memoirs.
Venetia Minns is an artist and counsellor with a degree in fine art and an MA in Art Psychotherapy. She has worked creatively in the Arts for over 30 years. Her practice is informed by, amongst others, writers and thinkers such as Jung, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Jeanette Winterson, Eckhart Tolle and Rumi. She brings lively curiosity and visual enquiry into her work both with individuals and in groups and is keenly interested in our human narratives.
Dr Derek Mitchell first studied philosophy at Oxford and subsequently at the University of Kent and Kings College, London. After a long career in the National Health Service Derek retired from the Health Service in 2004 due to a serious illness. Derek now teaches philosophy for Canterbury Christ Church University, and independently. He also works as a volunteer patient representative with the Health Service in East Kent. Derek has recently completed a two year research project into philosophy of person centered healthcare with the European Society for Person Centered Healthcare and Manchester Metropolitan University. His first book Heidegger’s Philosophy and Theories of the Self was published in 2001 and his second, Everyday Phenomenology, in 2012. Derek has also had work published on evidence based medicine and person centered healthcare and is a Fellow of the England Centre for Practice Development at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Dr Liz Mitchell has a PhD from the University of Warwick in Literature and Philosophy. She has taught philosophy for many years as part of the Sociology Degree at Canterbury Christ Church University. She has given numerous talks on interpretations of Wittgenstein, and other philosophical topics. She is interested in feminist approaches to the great thinkers, and in making philosophy accessible to all.
Richard Norman taught philosophy for forty years at the University of Kent, where he is now Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy, and he has also taught for the WEA. His publications include the books 'The Moral Philosophers', 'Ethics, Killing and War', and 'On Humanism'.
Dr John-Paul Riordan is a senior lecturer and educational researcher at Canterbury Christ Church University in Education. He used to work in a school for children who have learning difficulties. John-Paul's PhD explored conceptual change pedagogy in school science (i.e. investigating what experienced teachers do when pupils express scientific 'misconceptions'). He is interested in science teaching and learning, 'misconceptions', conceptual change pedagogy, instructional strategy & video-based analysis of class lessons. He taught secondary school science (specializing in physics) since 1998. He is a qualified Makaton Regional Tutor and a member of L'Arche.
Carolann is a Focusing Practitioner, qualified with the British Focusing Association, and was for several years a full-time Yoga teacher. She was a founding partner of The Victor Foundation, which trained Yoga Teachers and Relaxation Therapists, and she continues to teach Yoga and Meditation, including a chair-based Yoga class for people with mobility difficulties.
With diverse experience in a wide range of occupations in IT, business, the NHS, and Yoga her qualifications include Bsc (Hons) in mathematics (University College, London) and a Post-graduate Certificate in Public Health (King’s College, London). Her love of working with people has drawn her to Focusing, and she wishes she had found Focusing earlier in her life - trusting her inner sense of direction, finding insights into issues, creativity and helping with all those difficult decisions life throws at us. Carolann loves sharing Focusing with others, and is keen for everyone to rediscover this natural way of being with ourselves. You can read more about Carolann’s work and how it continues to unfold new treasures, at www.carolannsamuels.co.uk
Anstey Spraggan did a PGCE at Christ Church and a Masters in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her novel When Ali Met Honour, the story of two British cultures colliding, is published by Dahlia under her pseudonym of Ruth Ahmed. Anstey teaches in the community and runs her own business, Writing Matters Ltd, as well as writing novels and short stories. www.writingmattersuk.com
Tricia Wastvedt is a novelist, editor, and tutor on the Bath Spa MA in Creative Writing. Her first novel, The River , was long-listed for the Orange Prize, short-listed for the Author’s Club first book award and also the St Maurice prize. Her second novel, The German Boy was published by Penguin in June 2011.
David Wright is a London classical scholar and a long-time genealogist and historian. He taught classics and palaeography as a teaching fellow at University College, London, and later at The City Literary Institute and the University of Kent at Canterbury. He has also taught and published widely on genealogy, catalogued a number of Kent's earlier historical records, and written a number of books including Bryan Faussett, Antiquary Extraordinary, a life of the local Georgian pioneering Anglo-Saxon archaeologist, and Tracing Your Kent Ancestors for Pen & Sword. In his limited spare time he enjoys chess, bridge, philately, archaeology and architecture, and walking in remote places. His earlier endeavours were rewarded with a fellowship of the Society of Genealogists, and more recent work with his election to the Society of Antiquaries of London. Latin and palaeography remain his great passions.