Commissions & Collaborations

I’ve worked on several collaborations with academics and have produced commissioned works of short fiction to share academic research and ideas.

Short stories about egg donation

UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER, UK

I was commissioned to produce six short fictional stories based on interview research by sociologists Leah Gilman and Petra Nordqvist into the experiences of egg donors in the UK. 

Some women who donate eggs do so as part of their own IVF treatment, while others donate eggs directly to people they know, such as friends or relatives. In both cases, egg donation raises complex questions for donors - how will they make sense of their connection to the woman who receives their eggs, or to any children who are born as a result of the donation? How will they talk to their own children or family members about their donation? What if things don't go to plan? The stories aimed to offer potential donors a way to think through these questions and to imagine themselves into some of the possible outcomes of donation.

The stories were made into booklets, which have been shared with fertility counsellors who work with women considering egg donation. 

Fiction about living with animals

UNIVERSITY OF LISBON, PORTUGAL

This collaboration was based on a research project about families' everyday relationships with animals in Portugal. The researchers, led by sociologist Verónica Policarpo, wanted to explore creative ways to share their work, and I was commissioned to write an original short story to communicate some of the project's findings.

My commissioned story 'All the Animals' (along with an essay about the story) is forthcoming in Animal Studies Journal.

Fairy tales and sustainability

UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE, UK

This project grew out of a paper by a team of sustainability researchers about using fairy tale characters as metaphors for thinking in novel ways about environmental challenges. 

What if, for instance, we thought of plastics as witches? Like witches, plastics offer all sorts of magical possibilities, and, like witchcraft, they can be both benevolent and dangerous. However, plastics are often demonised when environmental campaigns focus solely on their negative impacts. Instead of waging these 'witch hunts' against plastics, could we instead think about valuing, using (and re-using) plastics in better, more sustainable ways?

My commissioned story 'Fever' explores these ideas. You can read it, along with a commentary by researcher Katherine Ellsworth-Krebs, in Yes! magazine.

Read the story here:

I’m always interested in new collaborations of any kind - get in touch if you'd like to discuss ideas, or if you'd like to know more about any of these projects.