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Name: Lynda Clark

PhD: Creative Writing

Thesis Title: That's not how it should end: The effect of reader/player responses on the development of narrative

Thesis Description:

This critical and creative research project will explore the processes and environments that facilitate textual engagement. The creative element will comprise an interactive online novel which allows readers/players to shape the life of an aspiring writer, encouraging them to explore the impact of engaging with texts and their authors. The critical element will examine the relationship between literature and games, particularly in terms of episodic writing, which allows reader/player responses to shape unfolding narratives. Texts considered will include Conan Doyle’s 1893 short story The Final Problem and the 2013 game Mass Effect 3, as well as other texts that explore the possibilities afforded by the episodic form. Due to the similar opportunities across mediums (such as franchise-building and greater audience engagement) provided by episodic writing, this genre will form the main research focus, providing the project with opportunities for developing a dialogue between the reader/player and the creator.


Supervisors and Institution(s): 

Professor Philip Leonard - Nottingham Trent University

Dr Sarah Jackson - Nottingham Trent University

Iain Simons - GameCity and The National Videogame Arcade


Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:


  • March: Nottingham Writers' Studio in London - reading of 'Stealing from the Dead' at The Courtyard Theatre
  • November: Comparing Apples to Oranges - talk on the benefits of games for writers at Nottingham Writer's Studio


  • April: Now for Tomorrow II - readings of short creative pieces inspired by the Now for Tomorrow II exhibition at Nottingham Castle
  • May: WIP demo of interactive novella, Writers Are Not Strangers at M3C Research Festival at Nottingham Trent University
  • June:
    • Presented A Square Called Thomas: Form, Function, Character at the Bridging the Divide: Literature & Science conference at University of Kent
    • Presented WIP demo of interactive novella, Writers Are Not Strangers at the Out of Practice conference at the University of Birmingham
    • Organised and hosted the Critical Creativity symposium at Nottingham Trent University
  • September:
    • Presented 'The Interactivity Illusion and the Player-Creator Partnership' at Writing Between the LInes: A One Day Postgraduate Symposium Exploring Creative Writing as a Research Methodology at Cardiff Metropolitan University
    • Took part in the 'A Little's Enough' panel on short story writing at the British Fantasy Society's 2016 convention, Fantasycon Scarborough
  • October: Delivered 'Branching Out' and 'Beginners ChoiceScript' Workshops on interactive fiction as part of the National Videogame Arcade's GameCity festival
  • December: Delivered a Twine taster workshop to pupils in Trinity School's Digital Leaders program as part of the Journey to Justice CDF


  • January: Established Hello Words, a monthly interactive fiction writers' group at the National Videogame Arcade
  • March: Took part in 'Creative Writing PhD' panel at Writing East Midlands' Writers' Conference at Nottingham Conference Centre
  • April: Delivered a Social Justice Videogames workshop and further Twine development workshop to pupils in Trinity School's Digital Leaders program as part of the Journey to Justice CDF
  • May: Organised and co-hosted the two-day Continue conference at the National Videogame Arcade as the culmination of my placement activity
  • June: Organised and hosted prize-giving and demonstration session for the 7 games created during the previous Journey to Justice Twine workshops
  • July:
    • Delivered talk and demonstration of Writers Are Not Strangers at the MIX digital conference at Bath Spa University
    • Delivered 'Decoding Interactive Fiction' talk at the Instituit Francais in Sofia, Bulgaria, organised and funded by Arte Urbana Collectif
  • November:
    • Delivered talk and demonstration of Writers Are Not Strangers at the International Conference of Interactive Digital Storytelling in Madeira


  • Jan: Took part in the RLF/M3C/True North creative critical writing retreat for 3rd year PhDs
  • Feb: Delivered the talk 'Female Videogame Characters' at the Museum of London's Women in Digital Worlds event
  • April: 'Before Westworld was Mudfog: Charles Dickens' Surprisingly Modern Utopia' article released on the Conversation. This article has been translated into Spanish and Italian, has also appeared on The Smithsonian Magazine's website and has been received more than 14,000 views to date
    Attended UoN's Digital Culture Conference
  • April-May: Completed the Essential Teaching Toolkit in Higher Education qualification, passing all elements
  • May: Attended M3C's research festival at Maple House, Birmingham





  • AHRC/M3C Cultural Engagement Award - Cohort 2 Winner


  • Opening Up Digital Fiction competition - Shortlisted
  • Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize - Special Mention
  • Writing East Midlands Aurora Competition, fiction strand - Commendation


  • Cambridge Short Story Prize - Shortlisted
  • Commonwealth Short Story Prize - Europe and Canada Regional Winner


Other Research Interests:

  • Transrealism
  • Game studies


University email address:


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