Dr Ellen Wiles

Lecturer in Creative Writing (E&R)


Extension: 2512

Telephone: 01392 722512

I am a Lecturer in Creative Writing, and a novelist, anthropologist, editor, and curator. 

Before taking up my post at Exeter I taught Creative Writing at QMUL, City Lit, and Camden Arts Centre. I previously worked as a human rights barrister and as a musician. 

My first book, Saffron Shadows and Salvaged Scripts: Literary Life in Myanmar Under Censorship and in Transition (Columbia University Press, 2015) includes new literary translations, extended interviews with Burmese authors, and an exploration of the way in which literary creativity was shaped by legal and political restrictions in the country. 

My second book, The Invisible Crowd (HQ, 2017), is a polyphonic novel that tells the story of an Eritrean asylum seeker, his barrister, and the various different people he meets in the UK on his quest for leave to remain. It was awarded a Victor Turner Prize.

My third book, Live Literature: The Experience and Cultural Value of Literary Performance Events from Salons to Festivals, will be published by Palgrave in paperback in 2020. It contains creative ethnographies of The Hay Festival and Polari Salon that explore the multi-layered experience of participation, and it is designed to be engaging for audiences beyond academia, including audiences, author-performers, producers and funders. 

I am the founder of an experimental live literature project, Ark, to stage immersive short story performances in library and gallery spaces involving cross-arts collaborations and new commissions. The project arose out of my live literature research, and was funded by Arts Council England. Ark has subsequently been commissioned by organisations such as The British Library. 

I am currently working on my second novel.

My literary agent is Laura Macdougall at United Agents. 

My personal website is: www.ellenwiles.com and I am on Twitter @ellenwiles