Writing-PAD is a community of practice dedicated to sharing approaches and tools for thinking-through-writing in art and design. Most of our Writing-PAD Centres and some membership institutions from our network have guest edited an issue or more of the JWCP, which has been useful in disseminating the work that we are carrying out. The Writing-PAD (ac.uk) site acts as an archive of the initial project and the community wiki is more current but always requires some updating(writing-pad.org).

Our last event was Thinking-Through-Genre: exploring genre as pedagogical resource

On November 8th 2016 at Middleport Pottery in Longport (near Stoke-on-Trent) Writing-PAD gathered to discuss using genre as pedagogcial resource. This day introduced a theoretical framework for exploring genres and their affordances, including a recent example of how this can work as pedagogical practice. Via a tour of this very special venue, we explored a valued English Heritage site,  and used this as a starting point for playing with the idea of genre and regenring in our own teaching practices. The day also included the launch of the recently published book Writing Essays by Pictures by Alke Groppel-Wegener.

The Speakers

Dr Fiona English is Honorary Senior Research Associate at UCL Institute of Education with a background in linguistics and language and literacies in education. Much of her research has been concerned with student writing and academic literacies, with her book Student Writing and Genre using a social semiotic perspective to explore the relationship between genre and the production of academic knowledge. More recently she has published Why do Linguistics?: Reflective Linguistics and the Study of Language with Tim Marr.
Dr Alke Groppel-Wegener is Associate Professor of Creative Academic Practice at Staffordshire University and a National Teaching Fellow. Having trained as a theatre designer but ending up teaching study skills, she became frustrated with the traditional ways of teaching academic practice, which has led her to develop her own approach being inspired by the creative processes of art and design and collated her strategies as Writing Essays by Pictures: A Workbook for students. She blogs at www.tactileacademia.com.

The Venue

Middleport Pottery is home to Burleigh Ware, which is still made on site using traditional craftsmanship. (And there is a shop where you can get your own Burleigh Ware, too). It was restored with the help of the Princes Regeneration Trust, has become a top visitor attraction and the home of The Great Pottery Throwdown.
It is a short walk from Longport Train Station, a 5 minute train ride from Stoke-on-Trent, and we would encourage participants to use public transport.
Please note that this is an old site and some of the areas are cobbled and might present a problem for people with mobility issues. It is advised that you wear sturdy shoes (no high heels) for the tour, and that you let the organiser know of mobility issues in advance, so that she can discuss your needs.

The Series

This exploratory workshop is the first in a series that will stretch through the academic year and culminate in a special issue of the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice.
Through discussion within the Writing PAD community, we know that very often lecturers, and particularly practitioner/teachers, are doing a lot of interesting things in their teaching, but they seem to lack the confidence to share this work, specifically within the academic conventions of publication beyond a description of what they are doing.
To address this, we have decided to pick the focus of Genre, Genring and Regenring for this academic year, and are organising a series of events that will provide support for this issue and culminate in one (or possibly two) special issues of the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, guest edited by Fiona English and Alke Groppel-Wegener.
The other events in planning are:
• a first follow-up in February 2017 which explores the traditions and conventions of academic writing. There will be speakers in the morning, which are still to be confirmed, but we are talking to Julia Molinari, Lisa Clughen and Julia Lockheart, who will explore academic writing as a genre – and discuss the changes it is going through. The afternoon will be given over to a sharing session/exhibition where delegates have the opportunity to show off examples of their genre-ing and regenring practice, either as artefacts or in a poster format. The will allow the opportunity for people to share best practice, but also to get feedback and ideas for potential research designs in order to explore their practice more and on a more theoretical level. This event will probably be held at De Montfort University in Leicester.
• A second follow-up in the form of an academic conference, either at Easter time or early May 2017. Here people can share their practice in an academic format, and those presentations could use the feedback from the conference to inform papers for the Special Journal edition. This might be hosted at Nottingham Trent University or Staffordshire University.
• If there is interest, there are plans for a writing retreat to facilitate the writing of the papers, possibly at Nottingham Trent University.
We are currently investigating funding to keep costs down, but it might be the case that we need to break even on this. You will not have to attend all these events to be considered for the special issue, but as we are trying to build up a mutually supporting network, it would be nice if you could come and join us at as many as possible.


You can read more about Alke’s work on the Writing Essays by Pictures book here: https://tactileacademia.com/writing-by-pictures/

Here are some of the events and issues that Writing-PAD network has been focusing on: -

Writing-PAD debate forums:

We are currently in discussions with 3 institutions about Writing-PAD events

  • an event during the Limerick City of Culture 2014 with Tracy Fahey (Head of the Department of Fine Art and Head of the Centre for Postgraduate Studies) and David Brancaleone (Critical and Contextual Studies) both from Limerick School of Art, and Dr Niamh NicGhabhann (Course Director, MA Festive Arts) at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick.
  • A Writing in Creative Practice event at Plymouth University for February 2015.
  • A Writing in Creative Practice event at University of Huddersfield: 'Re-writing the Archive' in late 2014.

Here are some of the most recent events we have been involved in - most have resulted or will result in an issue of JWCP: -

Writing-PAD Symposium: 'Screen Writes' at The London College of Communication (Friday 27th June) followed by a guest edited issue of the JWCP. 'ScreenWrites' explored the purposes and practices of writing astraining for BA students largely in visual communication, including graphic design and illustration.

  • The symposium offered a space to discuss the ideas gained from a new series of writing workshops run at LCC in the Design School who's aim is to help BA students gain more confidence in all aspects of writing. They were organised by Dr Mark Ingham, one of the Contextual and Theoretical Studies Coordinators, and run by Andrea Mason, Harriet Edwards, Linda Stupart and Andrew Slatter.
  • The emphasis is on writing practices emergent from studio concerns inline with the ethos of the Writing-PAD project and subsequent network.  Screen Writes is therefore loosely structured around three interconnected areas.
  • First, the role of creativewritings in relation to voice, identity and the inherent mix of imageand graphic in visual communication practices. This includes thesurveying of tools and techniques employed.
  • Second, the potential that such practices lend students to create a presence in socialmedia with a view to professional purposes, or how blogging, and indeed tweeting, can link the students to communities and prospective avenues beyond the university.
  • Third, the articulation of the place,and merit of such practices within the wider design curriculum.
  • The beaten paths of these often debated relationships in university writings will be taken off track to see if the clichés that surround these relations in academia can be torn apart and reworked into moreproductive dynamic interactions.

Launch of the Writing-PAD Centre East Midlands (Thursday 26thJune) and an earlier Writing in Creative Practice event at De Montfort University: 'Making the Textual Visual' Event has takenplace. Currently compiling articles for the JWCP.

Writing-PAD Seminar Series on Modular Form at Roehampton University on March 14th 2014. This will be followed by an issue of the JWCP guest edited by Peter Jaeger: The focus of this day-long symposium is modular form. By this term we mean writing  which consists of discrete units or fragments of text, each of which orchestrate a theme, a concept, a critical position, or a related series of textual events. Modular form could be situated in a tradition running through the "poem-lectures" and anecdotal reflections of John Cage, the reconfigured slogans of Barbara Kruger, the faux-aphorisms of Charles Bernstein, and the fragmentary critical prose of David Shields (among many other examples). Similarly, in the philosophical tradition, modular form can be seen in such examples as the aphoristic musings of Nietzscheand Wittgenstein, the short, found texts and notes collected in Benjamin's The Arcades Project, and the terse ruminations of Baudrillard's Cool Memories. 

Writing-PAD workshop and Seminar Series (November 2013) on Writing in Creative Practice from Falmouth University. Guest edition of the JWCP to follow in March 2015. Deborah Price and Dr. Larry Lynch (Head of the Academy of Music and Theatre Arts).

Writing-PAD Workshop (November 2013) at Arnolfini for performance writing. This has resulted in JWCP 6:3 on performance writing guest edited by Jerome Fletcher.

23-27.09.13: Writing-PAD debate forums: A week of writing in creative practice atthe Iceland Academy of Arts, Reykjavik. I facilitated a week of morning co-writing workshops. These were followed by afternoons of talks given by a variety of Icelandic artists, film makers, writers and designers. I was asked to give the first two talks: one, outlining the history of the Writing-PAD network, and the second, pedagogical tools for writing in creative practice.

12.07.13:Writing in creative practice. University College Falmouth Tremough Campus Penryn Cornwall, England, TR109EZ http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/events/detail/2013/Seminars/Disciplines_AH/GEN403_Falmouth (hosted by Learning Futures at University College Falmouth and facilitated by the Educational Development team)

04.07.13: Making the textual visual: Engaging visual learners with text offers Academics, Librarians and Learning Developers an opportunity to share experience and practice. Kimberlin Library, De Montfort University. (Hosted by De Montfort University facilitated by Julia Reeves).

02-07-13: Writing in creative practice: Towards Academic Publication http://www.staffs.ac.uk/schools/art_and_design/iact/projects/project_writing-in-creative-practice_session3.html (Hosted by the Institute for Applied Creative Thinking: I-ACT and facilitated by the editor in chief of Studies in Material Thinking (http://www.materialthinking.org/) and Associate Professor at the School of Art and Design, Auckland University of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand Nancy de Freitasand Dr. Alke Gröppel-Wegener.)

13.06.13: Writing in creative practice: Writing and the object at MiddlesexUniversity, The Burroughs, London, England, NW44BT http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/events/detail/2013/Seminars/Disciplines_AH/GEN404_Middlesex http://tvad-uh.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/writing-design-talk-for-writing-and.html (Hosted by Middlesex University and facilitated by Peter Thomas and Dr. AlkeGröppel-Wegener.)

12.04.13 Writing in creative practice: Collage, reflection and writing. Ayr Campus, University of the West of Scotland, Scotland, KA80SX. http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/events/detail/2013/12_April_collage_UWS http://www.uws.ac.uk/campus-ayr/writing-in-creative-practice collage,-reflection-and-writing/ (Hosted by UWS and facilitated by Dr Alke Gröppel-Wegener with Sarah Williamson, Alison Bell, and Brigid Collins).

26.03.13: Writing in creative practice: Exploring layers of meaning. University of Chester, Faculty of Arts & Media, Kingsway Site, Kingsway, Newton, Chester , England, CH22LB http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/events/detail/2013/Seminars/Disciplines_AH/GEN357_Chesterhttp://blogs.heacademy.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/2013/04/04/writing-in-creative-practice/ (Hosted by the University of Chester, with Elizabeth Kealy-Morris, SarahWilliamson and Angela Davies).

17.12.12: Writing in creative practice: Practicing theory in Art & Design education. The School of the Arts, University of Northampton, Avenue Campus, St. George's Avenue, Northampton, England, NN26JD http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/events/detail/2013/Seminars/Disciplines_AH/GEN402_Northampton (Hostedby the University of Northampton and facilitated by Will Hoon)

23.06.12: Translating - Pairing Practices: a day of workshops and discussionsexploring the relationship of writing to art and design practices at research level. The Centre for Creative Collaboration (C4CC), 16 Acton Street, London , England, WC1X9NG http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/events/detail/2012/seminars/disciplines/DW252 (Hosted and facilitated by Harriet Edwards and Brigit Connolly.) JWCP issue 6:1

24-05-12: Writing in creative practice: Integrating Writing into a Studio-based Curriculum http://www.staffs.ac.uk/schools/art_and_design/iact/projects/project_writing-in-creative-practice_session2.htmlwww.heacademy.ac.uk/events/detail/2012/seminars/disciplines/DW204 (Hosted by the Institute for Applied Creative Thinking: I-ACT, Staffordshire University, and facilitated by Dr Alke Gröppel-Wegener)

04.05.12:Writing between the disciplines Writing: GOLD. (Hosted by GoldsmithsUniversity of London and facilitated by Julia Lockheart.) Initiatedby JWCP 5:1. Writing the outcomes were presented in the JWCP 5:2 and5:3.

30.03.12:Writing Practice: A Celebration of Writing-PAD at the Arnolfini. Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, England, BS11QA. http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/events/detail/2012/30_Mar_Writing_Pad (Hostedby the Arnolfini and Facilitated by Julia Lockheart)

29-03-12:Writing in creative practice: Thinking Through Writing and Making http://www.staffs.ac.uk/schools/art_and_design/iact/projects/project_writing-in-creative-practice_session1.htmlhttp://www.heacademy.ac.uk/events/detail/2012/seminars/disciplines/DW207 (Hostedby the Institute for Applied Creative Thinking: I-ACT, StaffordshireUniversity, and facilitated by Dr Alke Gröppel-Wegener)

Some of these Writing-PAD initiatives hosted by the Institute for Applied Creative Thinking: I-ACT, Staffordshire University, also link to Tactile Academia http://tactileacademia.com/2013/07/02/sharons-pub-method-snack-writing-and-avoiding-the-frankenfish-or-towards-academic-publication/andto their Writing in Creative Practice website: http://www.staffs.ac.uk/schools/art_and_design/iact/projects/project_writing-in-creative-practice.html

3-4.11.11: Illustration and Writing Symposium. (Hosted by Writing-PAD in association with Manchester Metropolitan University and facilitated by Desdemona McCannon). Selected papers published inJWCP 4:3

01.04.11: Writing-PAD Wales Symposium at Swansea Metropolitan University. Idesigned, co-ordinated and facilitated a one-day workshop on Collaborative Writing the outcomes were presented in the JWCP 4.2. http://writing-pad.org/Writing+PAD-Wales

09.11.10: Co-writing as a tool for metadesign. Open workshop held at Goldsmiths. I designed, co-ordinated, facilitated and ran a workshop on co-writing as a tool for design teams.

2011:Writing-PAD debate forums: De Montfort University, Leicester. (Facilitated by Julia Lockheart)

2010:Writing-PAD debate forums: KiHO in Oslo, Norway (Facilitated by Julia Lockheart) To be followed by a Scandanavian issue on writing increative practice.