Brian McCabe was born in a small mining community near Edinburgh. He studied Philosophy and English Literature at Edinburgh University. He has lived as a freelance writer since 1980. He has held various writing fellowships and is currently Writer in Residence for the University of Edinburgh, where he also teaches on the MSc Creative Writing Programme. He was the Editor of the Edinburgh Review 2005-2010.
He has published three collections of poetry, the most recent being Zero (Polygon). He also writes fiction and his most recent collection of short stories A Date With My Wife was published by Canongate in June 2001. His Selected Stories was published by Argyll in 2003.
Donna McCormack is a lecturer in English Literature at the University of Surrey. Her main research interests are biotechnologies in contemporary literature and film, evolutionary theory, postcolonial studies, and queer theory. She is currently working on her second monograph, with the working title: Recycling Global Life: Human Organ Transplantation in Contemporary Visual and Literary Texts. Her first monograph is entitled Queer Postcolonial Narratives and the Ethics of Witnessing (Bloomsbury Press, 2014), and she has publications in the European Journal of Cultural Studies, Somatechnics and BMJ Medical Humanities, as well as in edited collections such as Bodily Exchanges, Bioethics and Border Crossing (London: Routledge, 2015). She is the coordinator of the Nordic Network for Gender, Body, Health, as well as a founding member of the International Monster Network. She is working on a projected funded by the Swedish Research Council, entitled The Embodied Self, Health and Emerging Technologies: Implications for Identity and Gender, and will begin an AHRC Leadership Fellowship in September 2018 on Transplant Imaginaries.
Lesley McDowell is an author and critic based in Glasgow. She has a PhD on feminist theory and James Joyce from the University of Glasgow and taught for two years in the English Dept at St Andrews University. She has published two novels, The Picnic (2007) and Unfashioned Creatures (2013), about a childhood friend of Mary Shelley. She also published a non-fiction study, Between the Sheets: The Literary Liaisons of Nine 20th Century Women Writers (2010). She is currently working on a novel about the Victorian woman accused of murder, Madeleine Smith. She has won two Creative Scotland writing awards and was Writer-in-Residence at Gladstone’s Library (2014).
Katy Mcmillan recently completed her PhD in Medical Law and Ethics at the University of Edinburgh. Her doctoral research, supervised by Prof Graeme Laurie, was carried out as part of the Wellcome Trust funded Liminal Spaces Project. Her thesis focused on the biological and legal liminality of embryos in vitro, and in doing so explored the link between literatures on liminality and the uncanny/‘gothic’ self. Further, it explored how law does, and can in the future, engage with that which does not fit within normative realms of legal (and other) forms of categorisation.
Dilys Rose is a novelist, short story writer, poet, and librettist, and has published twelve books, most recently the novel Unspeakable (Freight, 2017), based on the life and times of Thomas Aikenhead (1676-1697), the last person in the UK to be hanged for blasphemy. She has recently completed a new collection of short stories.
She was involved in postgraduate creative writing programmes at the Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, and Edinburgh for nearly twenty years, latterly as a senior lecturer and programme director, but took early retirement in July 2017 to spend more time on her own work. As well as going solo, she enjoys collaborating with visual artists, composers, and scientists. Her most recent collaboration, the song cycle Watching Over You (2015), with music composed by Rory Boyle, was commissioned by Red Note for mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill.
Helen Sedgwick is a novelist, short story writer, and former research physicist. After completing a PhD in biophysics, she worked for several years in the bioengineering group at Glasgow University developing lab-on-a-chip technologies for the study of single cells before leaving full time scientific research to focus on writing. Her debut, The Comet Seekers, was published in 2016 by Harvill Secker and followed by a second novel, The Growing Season, that explores an alternate reality in which a portable external womb is changing the nature of human reproduction and its implications for society. She is particularly interested in writing about the way science and technology can impact the human body and alter the way we view ourselves and interact with one another, and her writing often juxtaposes ideas from science and the supernatural. She won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award and has taught creative writing at Strathclyde University, Glasgow University, and for community projects around Scotland. Alongside writing she works as a literary editor, was the managing director of Cargo Publishing and is the founding director of Wildland Literary Editors.
Sarah Stewart is a writer, editor and AHRC-funded doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh. She is investigating the methods used by contemporary poets to articulate their experiences of the failing human body, with a focus on the American poet Mark Doty’s narratives of the AIDS crisis, and the English poet Jo Shapcott’s work about being treated for breast cancer.
As an early beneficiary of open-heart surgery, Sarah is also interested in the human heart, stories of transplant patients and the transformative nature of illness. In 2017 she was a UNESCO City of Literature Writer in Residence in Krakow, Poland, and her poetry pamphlet ‘Glisk’ is published by Tapsalteerie.
Erika Szymanski is a research fellow in Science, Technology, and Innovation Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Her work concerns yeast (Saccharomyces cereivisiae) as a research tool shaped through genomics and genetic biotechnologies, but whose history as a microbial coworker-species is millennia old. She is interested in how new biotechnologies sit in that long trajectory of human-yeast co-domestication and co-working, in how we understand productive relationships amongst humans and microbes, and in how different frames for multispecies microbial research might alter how that research is done.
Erika completed her PhD in science communication at the University of Otago on New Zealand’s South Island, investigating rhetorical strategies for non-deficit model communication and how written science communication mediates relationships between researchers and winemakers and growers. Following an undergraduate degree in molecular biology and an MS in microbiology, she moved into humanities via an MA in rhetoric and writing studies. Alongside academic work, Erika has written about wine science and technology for popular and industry audiences since 2010, and she continues to produce occasional pieces for wine industry magazines and a blog at wineoscope.com.
Alice Tarbuck recently completed her AHRC doctorate in The Poetry & Practice of Thomas A. Clark at the Scottish Poetry Library & the University of Dundee. Her research interests include minimalist poetry, artists’ books, environmental humanities, and the relationship between attention and environmental ethics. She is currently a Research Assistant at the University of St Andrews, examining the relationship between text, body and community at poetry festivals. Writing on witchcraft, bodies and feminism has appeared in 404 Ink’s Nasty Women. Work on chronic illness and environment is forthcoming from 3ofCups Press anthology ‘On Bodies’. Her first pamphlet, Grid, is published by Sad Press. She is currently working toward a first full collection. She tweets @atarbuck.
Clare Uytman’s primary research focus is on individuals’ experience of limb loss and prosthesis use. Her interests lie in the understanding of this experience held by individuals, as well as the impact that it may have on a variety of psycho-social outcomes such as personal and social identity, coping and adjustment. On a wider level she is also interested in the psychology of disability and embodiment of assistive devices. Her current research also focuses on patient-practitioner communication within a clinical setting. Finally she has further interest in body image and visible difference in both clinical and non-clinical populations.
Sara Wasson is a specialist in Gothic and speculative fiction, who works on the uncanny in a range of media and conceptions, both psychoanalytic and otherwise. Her publications explore critical medical humanities in a Gothic mode, science fiction, and second world war Gothic. Her first book Urban Gothic of the Second World War examined how period writing in the Gothic mode subverts the dominant national narratives of the British home front, won the Allan Lloyd Smith Memorial Prize from the International Gothic Association and was shortlisted for the ESSE Award for Cultural Studies in English.
She also co-edited the collection Gothic Science Fiction, 1980-2010 for Liverpool University Press and guest-edited the special issue of Gothic Studies on Medical Gothic in May 2015. Her essays have appeared in journals such as Extrapolation, the Journal of Popular Culture, and Medical Humanities. Her current monograph-in-progress is a shadow cultural history of transplantation Gothic, in literature and film, and she is primary investigator on an AHRC-funded project examining literary representations of chronic pain, much of it highly uncanny. Creative submissions for the latter are welcome and the call for work can be viewed here: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/translatingpain/ .
Neil Williamson is a novelist and short story writer in the fields of science fiction and fantasy. His books include The Moon King (2014) and The Memoirist (2017) and two collections of short stories The Ephemera (2006) and Secret Language (2016), and his work has been nominated at various times for the British Science Fiction, British Fantasy and World Fantasy awards. Neil has explored many of the sub-genres of the fantastic, but the weird and the uncanny are especially close to his heart.