Writing Queer Love

Mon 17 July 2023 - Fri 21 July 2023
Tutors / Andrew McMillan & Okechukwu Nzelu
Guest Reader / Maz Hedgehog
Course Fee / From £575 - £675 per person
Genre / Fiction
Language / English

Love is one of the hardest things to write because it’s both general and intensely personal, abstract and yet defined by little fleeting moments. Queer love has the potential to be revolutionary and revelatory, to offer salvation and solace, as well as heartbreak and loss. In this cross-genre week, Okechukwu Nzelu and Andrew McMillan will look at different techniques and ideas for writing queer love, thinking about areas such as dialogue, dynamics, the tone and atmosphere of a scene as well as ways of writing about different forms of intimacy. The course will provide a safe and nurturing space for new and experienced writers alike.


Andrew McMillan

Andrew McMillan’s debut collection physical (Cape, 2015) was the only poetry collection ever to win The Guardian First Book Award (2015). The collection also won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize (2015), a Somerset Maugham Award (2016), an Eric Gregory Award (2016) and a Northern Writers’ Award (2014). It was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Costa Poetry Award, The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2016, the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Roehampton Poetry Prize and the Polari First Book Prize. It was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for autumn 2015. In 2019 it was voted one of the top 25 poetry books of the past 25 years by the Booksellers Association. His second collection, playtime (Cape, 2018), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for autumn 2018, a Poetry Book of the Month in both The Observer and The Telegraph, a Poetry Book of the Year in The Sunday Times and won the inaugural Polari Prize. His third collection, pandemonium, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2021, and 100 Queer Poems, the acclaimed anthology he edited with Mary Jean Chan, was published by Vintage in 2022. physical has been translated into French, Galician and Norwegian editions, with double-editions of physical playtime published in Slovak and German in 2022. He is Professor of Contemporary Writing at the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Okechukwu Nzelu

Okechukwu Nzelu is a Manchester-based writer. In 2015 he was the recipient of a Northern Writers' Award from New Writing North. His debut novel, The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney (Dialogue Books, 2019), won a Betty Trask Award; it was also shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Polari First Book Prize, and longlisted for the Portico Prize. In 2021, it was selected for the Kingston University Big Read. His second novel, Here Again Now, was published by Dialogue Books in March 2022. He has made several appearances on BBC Radio 3 and 4, and is a regular contributor to Kinfolk magazine. He is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. 

Guest Reader

Maz Hedgehog

Maz Hedgehog is a writer and performer working somewhere between poetry and theatre. Co-founder of theatre company Ink and Curtain, their work is lyrical and imaginative, frequently inspired by folklore and mythology. Their latest book, The Body in Its Seasons, was published by Burning Eye Books in April 2022. @MazHedgehog 

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