Dr Rachel Connor
About Dr Rachel Connor
Rachel is a novelist, short story writer and a dramatist for stage and radio. More recently, she has begun to work in the areas of site-specific performance and digital storytelling. She also has an interest in the intersections between fields: between the creative and the critical, and between the disciplines of science, technology and creative writing.
The main focus of Rachel’s research is practice-based, as a writer of fiction, script and performance. She supervises doctoral work in creative writing and welcomes applications from research students interested in any area of adaptation and practice-based research that focuses on fiction and/or script. Rachel leads the ‘Practices of Writing’ research strand of the Centre for Culture and the Arts at Leeds Beckett.In addition to research and teaching, Rachel is engaged with a range of public engagement and outreach work, including working as a writer in residence in secondary schools for the charity ‘First Story’ and organising Leeds Beckett’s (Re)Writing Yorkshire event series.
- Module leader and tutor for ‘Writing the Short Story’ (Level 4)
- Module leader and tutor for ‘Writing Character: Fiction, Script, Screen’ (Level 5)
- Co-tutor for The Creative Writing Project (Level 6)
- Level 6 English Literature dissertation supervision
- PhD supervision in the areas of creative writing practice-as-research and adaptation (novel and script).
Rachel’s writing is underscored by a fascination with issues of containment, desire and connection. Previous projects (a novel, Sisterwives, Crocus Books, 2011; radio drama, BBC Radio 4, The Cloistered Soul, 2014; a site-specific adaptation of August Strindberg’s A Dream Play, Manchester Festival, 2015) sought to discover how the stories we construct have the power to constrain and entrap us – or, conversely, to set us free.
More recent work (a stage play, Synchronous, 2014; short story, ‘The Properties of Water’, 2014: http://linen-press.com/the-properties-of-water-by-rachel-connor/) examines the interconnections between narrative and the technology, history and culture of science. She is currently engaged in a research project with Harvard University, which asks how writing practice intersects with the tacit knowledge of scientific heritage; and how knowledge about the material culture of science might be enhanced through the adaptation of literary text to digital forms.
Rachel is also conducting research into writing processes and practice. She is particularly interested in prewriting - activities like daydreaming, planning and mapping that occur before anything is put on the page. Knowledge about this often-ignored area of the writing process has a potentially wide-ranging impact for the writing community.In the creative field, she is at work on another novel, which explores how the technologies of assisted reproduction and egg donation forge connections between two women, both strangers.