Our teachers, course leaders, and manuscript assessors...

Petra McQueen

Petra McQueen has over forty publication credits including: The Saturday Evening Post, The Guardian, You Magazine, Writers' Forum, Lakeside Review and Open Road Review. She has also won sixteen writing competitions to date. The most recent of these are: The Writers' Forum, The Open Road Review, Strands International Short Story Competition, Grace Dieu, National Association of Writers’ Groups, and The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award.


She has taught English, Drama and Creative Writing for over twenty-five years. She has a Creative Writing MA (distinction) from Essex University, where she also worked as a lecturer.


Past achievements include organising a Literature Festival with over forty events in ten different venues; co-editing ‘The Red Thread’: an anthology of new myths, written in Greek and English; and performing pieces live for the Essex Book Festival, the University of Essex and Patrician Press.


Petra McQueen is the founder of The Writers’ Company, is a manuscript assessor, and teaches many of its courses.

Kate Worsley

Kate Worsley's 18th-century Essex seafaring novel SHE RISES (Bloomsbury, 2013), won the New Angles Prize and the HWA Debut Crown, and was shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award in the US.

She is an alumnus of the WCN Escalator literature development scheme, and was awarded an Arts Council Grant for the Arts to work on her second novel, set in 1930s rural East Anglia.

She was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Essex University from 2014-2017, and has been a visiting lecturer in creative writing at City University London since 2015. She also works as a freelance mentor and consultant.

Kate Worsley is a course leader, manuscript assessor and mentor for The Writers' Company. She will also be running a Historical Fiction Day.

Sue Dawes

Sue Dawes has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University which she completed in 2011 and has been involved in editing several books which have gone on to be published. 

Her own stories have appeared on-line and in magazines and she has won several writing competitions. A list of achievements can be found on her blog:  www.suedaweswriter.wordpress.com/achievements.


Sue has a specific interest in thrillers, horror, contemporary literature and YA fiction but enjoys all stories when they are well told.  She loves editing, particularly helping authors to make their stories the best they can be. 


The way to her heart is through Border Terriers and cake.

Sue is a manuscript assessor for The Writers' Company.

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Juliet Lockhart

Juliet is a sculptor, puppet maker and writer. Narrative and place have always threaded through her work alongside a deep interest in puppetry as an art form. 


In 2011, she graduated from the University of Essex with an MA in Literature & Creative Writing. Through writing about place and re-telling folk and fairytales her own artistic practice underwent a transformation. Her current practice has its roots in wild writings, the stories that lie beneath the land and figures that hover between the animate and the inanimate. 


She works from a studio amongst the vibrant community at Ardleigh Studios in Essex and is the artistic director and founder of Lockarts - an arts in mental health charity.

Juliet is running our Writing Shadows event.

James Canton

James Canton has written widely in creative non-fiction forms and taught on the MA in Wild Writing at the University of Essex since its inception in 2009, exploring the fascinating ties between the literature and landscape of East Anglia. He has worked on Radio 4 exploring the writing and landscapes of Essex such as for ‘Something Understood’ on John Clare and Epping Forest (August 2014) and ‘Open Country’ on Tollesbury Wick and literary Essex (November 2015). His book Out of Essex: Re-Imagining a Literary Landscape (2013) is inspired by rural wanderings in the county. His latest work Ancient Wonderings: Journeys into Prehistoric Britain was published by Collins in 2017.

James is running our The Wild Side event.

Emma Kittle-Pey

Emma Kittle-Pey is studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Essex. She is the curator of Colchester community writing group, WriteNight, at Firstsite Art Gallery. Emma teaches Creative Writing for Adult Community Learning, Essex, and is an early literacy specialist.

Quotes for the Fat Maggie stories:

‘…this collection of stories, tales … displays a high level of literary ability, deep curiosity, and engaging self-awareness… The stories have a really mature clarity and plainness, a simplicity that’s never simplistic’ Glyn Maxwell.

Emma is running our Short is Sweet event.

Sheena Clover

Sheena Clover is a writer and artist from Wivenhoe.

After a degree in English and a Post Graduate certificate in Education she taught in various Essex schools until her retirement in 2014. Sheena has always had a passion for poetry and is currently the Stanza representative and organiser of Colchester's Poetry Stanza group Mosaic. She regularly leads poetry writing workshops for Mosaic and has also led workshops in association with Colchester Castle Museum. Sheena has had poetry published in various poetry magazines and anthologies.

Sheena is running our Poetry course.

The Writers' Company, Wivenhoe, Colchester, 

By writers, for writers