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Chris Simms

To ensure your writing resonates with its intended audience, Chris uses his experience as a copywriter, novelist and Fellow of the HEA to help academics craft text that is a pleasure to read.

Additional expertise:
  • approaches to storytelling
  • critical reflective writing
  • giving and receiving feedback
  • hosting library reading groups

Courses offered by Chris Simms

The sessions Chris delivers are all underpinned by a single principle: do not confuse your reader. The areas in which he offers guidance for achieving this include:

  • Creating REF impact case studies with a clear narrative thread
  • Producing grant applications that both inform and persuade
  • Writing journal articles strong on originality, significance and rigour
  • Editing reports, statements and presentations to achieve clarity and style

Chris worked as a freelance copywriter in Manchester’s advertising industry for 15 years before being appointed as first ever Writing Fellow at the University of Manchester. There, he designed and delivered several talks to postgraduates on how to write effectively. These talks have since been adapted and delivered to audiences beyond the educational sector.

After becoming a Consultant Fellow of the RLF, Chris gained accreditation as a Fellow of the HEA and now delivers a range of interventions, some of which weave in creative techniques such as free writing, that suit taught postgraduates, doctoral candidates and early career researchers.

A particular strength of Chris is his ability to work one-to-one with an academic, combing through their text to identify and remedy any issue that clouds a reader’s understanding.

His teaching style is relaxed and informal with an emphasis on making the task of writing enjoyable.

He is also the author of sixteen compelling thrillers, the majority of which are set in Manchester. In addition to several nominations for crime-writing prizes – for his novels and short stories – Chris was named by Waterstones as one of their ’25 Authors of the Future’.

Discipline areas: Arts, Business & Management, Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Engineering & Related
Topics: Essays, dissertations, theses, literature reviews, reflective commentaries, business reports, online communication, letters and emails, journal articles, research or grant proposals, communicating with non-specialists
Participants: Postgraduates (research), postgraduates (taught), staff (academic), staff (non-academic), international students
Activities: Workshops, seminars, tutorials, talks/presentations, online community commentaries
Consultant's background: Copywriter, journalist, novelist
Location: Northern England
Availability for travel: International
Testimonials for Chris Simms

The service helped me to understand the idea of structuring within a paragraph and how simple changes in sentence arrangement could make it more fluid and meaningful. I’m sure it aided me in achieving 80 percent in my lit review.

-- Undergraduate

Chris has been very helpful in giving me great advice to improve my writing skills. I would recommend this to anyone out there.

-- Undergraduate

I found it very interesting and feel it has equipped me with very relevant skills.

-- Registry Office Administrative Services

Helpful, clear, constructive, thought-provoking, and it already pushed me to be more reflective about my writing practice.

-- Doctoral student, arts and humanities

Chris helped me pinpoint the problem areas of my writing that I could not see myself.

-- Postgraduate researcher
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