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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.




  • AHRC/M3C Cultural Engagement Award - Cohort 2 Winner


Other Research Interests:

  • Transrealism
  • Game studies


University email address:


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