WDHE 2016: Spaces and Places to Write
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The Learning Development Team at Plymouth University are pleased to be hosting the 16th biennial Writing Development in Higher Education (WDHE) Conference on 27-29 June 2016. 

The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Spaces and Places to Write’. Each of the conference streams focus on aspects of our pedagogical practice which support engaged learning and student success in (academic) writing. 

Plymouth University’s own Writing Café provides a creative, cross-disciplinary developmental space where staff and students can write together, and will be the venue for a number of activities during the conference.

Find out more about the Writing Café

The cost for the event is £160 (discounted rates available for a limited number of Plymouth University staff and students). This includes access to all conference sessions, refreshments and lunch for all three days of the conference and an evening meal on 28 June. 

Conference streams


  • What makes communication effective? 
  • Does how we communicate affect what we communicate? 
  • How can we develop writing fluency and what does it mean to write ‘well’?

  • Exploring collaborative approaches to (academic) writing. 
  • What can collaborative projects bring to writing? 
  • What alternatives can we offer staff and students to the traditional notion of the ‘lone scholar? 


  • Exploring creative (academic) writing.
  • Can we (and should we) challenge the constraints of the ‘traditional academic’ text’? 
  • What other textual forms can be used to produce and communicate knowledge and learning?

Keynote speakers

We are delighted to announce two exciting keynotes from internationally recognised speakers and writers:

  • Dr Ken Gale (Lecturer in Post-16 Education, Plymouth University) and Dr Jonathan Wyatt (Senior Lecturer and Director of Counselling and Psychotherapy, University of Edinburgh) will present their groundbreaking work on collaborative writing practices.
  • Dr Tina Pepler (Dramatist and Consultant Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund) will talk about the challenges and successes she has encountered during her long and varied career as a professional writer and Royal Literary Fund fellow.

Schedule of events 

The schedule is in the process of being finalised. However, the following skeleton format should help guide you as you make plans to join us in Plymouth. Please return to this page for a finalised schedule closer to the conference.

Monday 27 June (conference sessions 09:00 – 16:30)
  • Arrival and registration from 09:00 
  • Keynote: Dr Ken Gale and Dr Jonathan Wyatt
  • Evening drinks reception with canapés followed by optional activities (tour of Plymouth Gin Distillery / pub crawl / walking tour of Plymouth Barbican)

Tuesday 28 June (conference sessions 09:00 – 16:30)

  • Keynote: Dr Tina Pepler 
  • Conference dinner and boat trip at 19:00 

Wednesday 29 June (conference sessions 09:00 – early afternoon)

Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching and Learning Conference

The Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching and Learning Conference is taking place on 29 and 30 June. Day one of the conference will focus on sharing best practice in digital learning, while day two will explore the broad ranging themes of teaching and learning. Delegates attending the WDHE conference are invited to attend at no extra charge. 

Visit the conference event page to register for the conference or to submit an abstract.

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Today's events

Keynote speaker: Dr Ken Gale

Ken works in the Institute of Education at Plymouth University and has published widely and presented at a number of international conferences on the philosophy of education and collaborative approaches to education practices. His recent work involves the use of post human modes of theorising the creation and operation of relational space between discursively constructed representational forms and the materiality of pedagogical and research based practices in contemporary education. 

His co-authored books include Between the Two: a Nomadic Inquiry into Collaborative Writing and Subjectivity, Deleuze and Collaborative Writing: an Immanent Plane of Composition and How writing Touches: an Intimate Scholarly Collaboration. With Jonathan Wyatt, he has recently edited journal Special Editions on Collaborative Writing for the International Review of Qualitative Research and on collaborative writing as a method of inquiry for Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies

He is an associate member of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the International Association of Qualitative Inquiry and the Narrative Inquiry Centre at the University of Bristol, where he is also a Visiting Fellow.

Keynote speaker: Dr Jonathan Wyatt

Jonathan is senior lecturer and director of Counselling, Psychotherapy and Applied Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. 

He is the winner, with Beatrice Allegranti of the 2015 Norman K Denzin Qualitative Research Award for their paper “Witnessing Loss: A Feminist Materialist Account”, published in Qualitative Inquiry

His recent work includes special issues on collaborative writing, co-edited with Ken Gale, for the journals International Review of Qualitative Research and Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies; and a book, On (writing) Families: Autoethnographies of Presence and absence, Love and Loss, co-edited with Tony Adams and published by Sense.

Keynote speaker: Dr Tina Pepler

Tina is a dramatist who works in radio and television, and a Consultant Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund. She has written extensively for BBC Radio – original plays, dramatisations and drama-documentaries. Her television work has been broadcast on BBC1, Channel 4 and ITV, and ranges from historical drama (e.g. Princes in the Tower, C4), to films co-written with Julian Fellowes for A Most Mysterious Murder and an episode of Downton Abbey.

In her work with the Royal Literary Fund, Tina was the RLF Fellow based at Plymouth University from 2009-12. Thereafter she was a founder member of the RLF Higher Education Panel and developed and piloted an immersive training model for students designed to focus on developing their writing skill. 

Tina also co-designed writing retreats for academics, as well as the original training model for other RLF Consultant Fellows.

Tina has a PhD in Drama from Bristol University Drama Department. She has been a tutor with the Arvon Foundation, has taught new writers in South Africa (sponsored by the SABC, BBC and British Council), and is currently a tutor on the MSt in creative writing at Oxford University. Recently she travelled to Istanbul to work with Syrian refugees who have set up a radio station to broadcast into Syria and online.

Follow the link below for more information about Tina’s work.

Event photography and video
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