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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)

Illustration of Joe Reed

Joe Reed

Teaching Associate, Creative Writing

Why should people study your subject? 

If you want to write, as so many people do, you don't necessarily need to do so in an academic environment. However, it can really help! The courses we offer here are ICE give students a structure in which to complete their projects. We tutors offer insights about the writing process, and tips to improve and develop projects. Crucially, students and staff here form an inspiring, encouraging community. It's a lot easier to produce a manuscript when working amongst other similarly-motivated writers. 

How is your subject relevant to our current world? 

We're all wired for narrative. We love stories in books and on TV, but we also respond to storytelling in so many other parts of life - advertising, political discourse, sports and psychology, to name just a few areas. The ability to tell a tale well, identifying what is important, urgent and interesting, is a hell of a skill. 

What do you love about your subject? 

Writing requires one to pay close attention to the world around you. In this respect, it is very rewarding. 

What are you currently working on? 

I'm working on my third novel right now. 

What books have you published? 

My first novel, We Begin Our Ascent, was published in 2018. My second novel, Hammer, came out earlier this year. 

Who or what has inspired you? 

My own writing teachers: George Saunders, Dana Spiotta and Frances Leviston, to name a few of them. 

What’s your favourite part of teaching? 

Encountering a piece of student work that feels new and urgent. If I can offer any advice that might bring this piece into crisper focus, all the better. 

What’s the best piece of study advice you’ve ever been given? 

In writing, revision is key. No one gets everything right on their first (or even their second!) try. 

What do you like to do outside of work? 

I walk my dog (though I'm inevitably thinking of writing when I'm doing so!) 

Learn more

Find out more about Creative Writing courses at ICE.

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