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Helena Attlee

Helena works principally with post-graduates, early career academics and researchers, introducing them to creative techniques that will give their writing greater impact and make the writing process easier and more enjoyable.

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Additional expertise:
  • cultural and material history
  • garden and landscape history
  • Italian literature and history
  • travel writing

Courses offered by Helena Attlee

Helena’s courses are designed to build confidence and strengthen the writing of staff and postgraduate students through the introduction of new skills and practical techniques. They include:

  • Loud and Proud: Finding your voice as an academic writer (A 4-day immersive course combining workshops with one-to-one sessions, for PhDs and research staff)
  • Giving and Receiving: a two-day course on peer feedback for undergrads or PhDs
  • Manuscript Masterclass: Two half-day workshops for academic research staff writing books or articles
  • Make it matter: Skills for writing with greater impact and clarity at any level
  • Get Up and Go: a two-day course on beating procrastination and getting going on your MA dissertation or PhD thesis

Helena has long experience in the skills needed to transform complex information into clear, accessible and engaging writing. While always aware of the strictures and requirements of the academic context, it is this knowledge that inspires her teaching, helping her to introduce students to literary techniques that will enable them to write with greater ease, impact and accuracy. She is an empathetic, inspiring and responsive workshop leader.

Helena has an MA in Italian, is a best-selling author, has worked as an editor and contributed regular features to several magazines. She works predominantly with post-graduates, MA students and early career academics and researchers, leading bespoke workshops and writing clinics and co-delivering residential courses.

Helena was writing fellow at the University of Worcester from 2009-2012. Since then she has run workshops for students and staff at Bristol, UWE, Glyndwr, Bath Spa, Worcesterand Durham, and delivered courses for a number of Doctoral Training Programmes, including NERC GW4+, Northern Bridge, CHASE and M4C. She is co-founder of Open Ground: Writing in Unusual Places, where she leads creative writing courses and community workshops in gardens, wild landscapes, museums and historic buildings.

Discipline areas: Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Engineering & Related
Topics: Essays, dissertations, theses, literature reviews, reflective commentaries, online communication, journal articles, books, communicating with non-specialists
Participants: Postgraduates (research), postgraduates (taught), staff (academic), staff (non-academic)
Activities: Workshops, retreats, immersives, seminars, tutorials, talks/presentations
Consultant's background: Non-fiction, journalist
Location: Wales
Availability for travel: UK-wide
Testimonials for Helena Attlee

I really enjoyed the course. Helena was a really convivial group leader — inclusive, engaging and interesting to listen to.

-- Arts and Humanities doctoral student

I very much enjoyed the course. It was good to share ideas with colleagues, but, above all, to learn from Helena’s suggestions and experiences.

-- Early career academic, Arts and Humanities

I felt I gained a lot of perspective on my writing and thesis. I also managed to battle the issues that I’ve had with writing for as long as I’ve been in academia (and actually found out they are easily defeated!)

-- Science doctoral student

I feel completely enlightened about how I want to present my work in future. I feel more confident in my writing and I understand how best to write for my audience.

-- Science doctoral student

Helena was an inspiring, supportive and encouraging tutor. I found the tutorial really beneficial, and I felt a sense of permission to write.

-- Arts doctoral student
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