Writing experience

“A highly original and superbly crafted story, humorous in style while challenging in its themes. Ideas on life, death and time are woven expertly throughout the story, giving the humour depth and a sense of poignancy.

—Emma Segar, ‘Writing Novels and Short Stories’ lecturer, University of Liverpool

Courses and qualifications

Creative Writing MA (Merit), Centre for New Writing, The University of Manchester, 2015-17.
Six month Comma Press Short Story Course at Bluecoat, Liverpool, 2016.
Three 20 week evening courses, University of Liverpool, 2011-14.

Creative Writing MA (Merit)

Between 2015-17, Phil studied part-time at the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing. He participated in prose fiction workshops with lecturers Geoff Ryman, Ian McGuire and Jeanette Winterson. He took critical theory modules in Contemporary Fiction, and Forms of Writing, and was part of a reading group hosted by Jeanette Winterson. Guest industry visits included masterclasses with Kevin Barry and David Gaffney and feedback from writer-in-residence Emma Jane Unsworth.

Comma Press Short Story Course with Sarah Schofield

Between January – June 2016 Phil participated in a series of monthly workshops, taught by Comma Press author Sarah Schofield, which explored epical, lyrical, and artifice stories.

He was also invited by Bluecoat to write a series of guest blogs for the duration of the course, covering the six sessions for the website. Phil’s blogs were additionally published on the Comma Press website and used to promote subsequent short story courses around the country.

‘Scriptwriting for Film and TV’ 20 week continuing education course, 2013-14

Phil wrote a 30 minute screenplay ‘Second Class Coast’.

“Very funny characters, dialogue and descriptions – I could smell the sea air.”

—Bill Dawson, lecturer, University of Liverpool.

‘Writing Novels and Short Stories’ 20 week continuing education course, 2012-13

Phil was taught by Emma Segar and his submitted short story ‘Time Piece’ was awarded 80%.

‘Scriptwriting for Radio and TV’ 20 week continuing education course, 2011-12

Phil was taught by screenwriter Linda Miller and wrote a 30 minute radio play ‘Lost and Found’.

First class degree in Creative Advertising

For his undergraduate degree Phil specialised in both Art Direction and Copywriting.

Since graduating he has gained nearly fifteen years’ experience in arts marketing. He has written and edited brochures, press releases and web copy working for high profile organisations and institutions including Tate Liverpool, Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), BluecoatThe University of Manchester and University of Liverpool.

Professional experience

Since September 2020, Phil is available for short story critques and feedback reports as part of the Retreat West team of Editors and Mentors.
PechaKucha logo
In April 2020, Phil gave an online PechaKucha presentation as part of a 'lockdown special' PechaKucha Leamington Spa event.
Victoria Baths Weekend of Words leaflet
In April 2019, along with five other writers, Phil was commissioned to write a short story for the Victoria Baths Weekend of Words (7 - 9 June 2019). Invited to respond to Manchester's Water Palace, the stories were performed at the Arts Council England funded event on Saturday 8 June 2019.
In March 2019, Phil was appointed as the new Fiction Editor at Sabotage Reviews. He is responsible for recruiting a team of contributing reviewers, sourcing short story collections, anthologies, novellas and short fiction journals for review, and editing and publishing reviews to the Sabotage Reviews website. He has published 50+ reviews for the site and also works on the annual Saboteur Awards.
Between July 2019 and June 2020, Phil was a First Reader at Vestal Review - the oldest magazine of flash fiction (established in Boston in 2000). After a brief hiatus in summer 2020, Vestal Review relaunched under David Galef as a digital magazine. Phil is now a Contributing Editor and has read over one hundred submissions, putting recommendations forward for publication.
Phil was invited to read and assess competition entries for the Brighton Short Story Prize in July 2018.
Phil was interviewed by Zeroflash.org in April 2018 for the Zeroflash 'Get into writing' Q&A series.
Web project lead for the development of a multi-partner website for Manchester’s successful bid to become a UNESCO City of Literature.

One of three editors of The Manchester Anthology 2017 as well as fiction editor

Phil’s short story ‘Lorem Ipsum’ also features in the collection of fiction of poetry by Centre for New Writing master’s students. The anthology features a foreword by award-winning science fiction author Geoff Ryman.

Part of the wider editorial team for The Manchester Anthology 2016.

Phil proofread fiction submissions by fellow Creative Writing MA students.

A book launch for The Manchester Anthology 2016 was hosted at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation on Thursday 8 September 2016.

Wrote the script for ‘Shoot Liverpool: A Novel Adventure’, June 2009

Phil collaborated with London-based Shoot Experience to create an interactive photography event at Liverpool’s Bluecoat.

He scripted a story which sent participants off around the city centre, capturing segments of the tale with their cameras. The event culminated in an exhibition of photographs at Open Eye Gallery.

Writing festivals and conferences

  • Edge Hill Festival of Ideas 2019 (including Chris Power and Tessa Hadley)
  • Cork International Short Story Festival 2019 (including Julian Barnes and Kevin Barry)
  • Flash Fiction Festival 2018, Bristol + 2017, Bath
  • Man Booker 50 Festival at the Southbank Centre, 2018, London (including Kazuo Ishiguro)
  • Greenwich Book Festival 2018, London
  • Northern Short Story Festival 2019, 18, 17 + 16, Leeds
  • Writing on the Wall’s WoWFest, 2019, 18 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 09 + 08, Liverpool
  • Manchester Literature Festival, 2019, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13 + 12
  • National Creative Writing Graduate Fair 2018, 17 + 16, Manchester
  • Place Writing Festival 2017, Manchester
  • Northern Lights Writers’ Conference 2017, Sale
  • London Short Story Festival 2015 + 14 (including a Toby Litt masterclass in 2015)
  • Bristol Festival of Ideas 2013 (including George Saunders)
  • In Other Words Literary Festival 2013, Liverpool
  • Chapter & Verse Literature Festival, Bluecoat, 2011, 10, 09 + 08, Liverpool
  • Copywriting Conference 2019, Barbican, London
  • Content>>Ed Conference 2019, Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh
  • Content>>Ed Conference 2018, 30 Euston Square, London
  • Communications and Marketing Conference 2017 + 2018, The University of Manchester
  • Copywriting Conference 2017, The Crystal, London
  • Arts Marketing Association (AMA) conference 2010, Curve Theatre, Leicester
  • Arts Marketing Association (AMA) conference 2009, Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds