Dr Francis Gilbert

Francis approaches Creative and Life Writing from an educational perspective to understand how it is taught.

Staff details

Dr Francis Gilbert


Senior Lecturer in Education, Head of the MA in Creative Writing and Education & course leader for PGCE English


Educational Studies


f.gilbert (@gold.ac.uk)



Academic qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) English Literature (Sussex University, 1989)
  • Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in English and Drama (Cambridge University, 1991)
  • Masters (MA) in Creative Writing (University of East Anglia, 1992)
  • Diploma in Journalism (London College of Printing, 1998)
  • Post-graduate Certificate in Teaching for Higher Education (PG Cert) (Goldsmiths College, 2012)
  • PhD in Creative Writing and Education (Goldsmiths, June 2015)
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy SFHEA (2019)


Francis is the Head of the MA in Creative Writing and Education and course leader for PGCE English. He teaches on both programmes, including:

  • Modules on the MA in Creative Writing and Education, including Research into Creative Writing Practices and Creative Writing Pedagogies & Identities (2017 to present)
  • University-based sessions on the Secondary PGCE, including ones on the teaching of English and Professional Studies (2015 to present)

Professional projects

Francis has organised a number of conferences at Goldsmiths, including ones on Reading for Pleasure and Teaching Creative Writing. He runs a project with the Widening Participation Team which encourages young people in local schools, hospitals and charities to write creatively, leading to their work being published in an anthology at the end of the academic year. He has made numerous and ongoing appearances on television as an educational commentator, including BBC News, BBC Breakfast, Newsnight, Channel 4 Dispatches, Sky News, ITV News, and Channel 4 News. He has also been featured in radio programmes including Radio 4’s Today programme, Woman’s Hour, and Review, among others.

Featured work

How Teaching to the Test Depresses Results, OCR (Oxford and Cambridge exam board) conference, Cambridge, March 2019.

Gilbert, Francis. 2019. Snow on the Danube. London: Blue Door Press. ISBN 9781916475403

Gilbert, Francis. 2018. The Mindful English Teacher: A Toolkit for Learning and Well-Being. London: FGI Publishing. ISBN 978-1974255863


Publications and research outputs


Gilbert, Francis. 2019. Snow on the Danube. London: Blue Door Press. ISBN 9781916475403

Gilbert, Francis. 2018. The Mindful English Teacher: A Toolkit for Learning and Well-Being. London: FGI Publishing. ISBN 978-1974255863

Gilbert, Francis. 2017. Who Do You Love. London: Blue Door Press. ISBN 978-1539626183

Edited Book

Sweeney, Carrie; Januchowski-Hartley, Stephanie and Gilbert, Francis, eds. 2024. Freeing Creative Voice. London: Centre for Language, Culture and Learning. Goldsmiths, University of London. ISBN 9781913694098

Friedland, Deborah; Troiano, Gabriel and Gilbert, Francis, eds. 2022. Diversity and Inspiration. London: Gold Publishing (Centre for Languages, Culture and Learning). ISBN 9781913694074

Gilbert, Francis, ed. 2022. Creative Power: Investigating Creative Writing & Its Value. London: Gold Publishing (Centre for Languages, Culture and Learning). ISBN 9781913694081

Edited Journal

Gilbert, Francis, ed. 2020. Writing in Practice, Writing in Practice, 6. 2058-5535

Book Section

Macleroy, Vicky and Gilbert, Francis. 2021. A Century of Teaching Creative Writing in Schools. In: Andrew Green, ed. The New Newbolt Report: One Hundred Years of Teaching English in England. Oxford: Routledge. ISBN 9781003141891

Gilbert, Francis. 2020. The Haunted House: Teaching Creative Writing Through Collaborative Learning to 9-13 year olds. In: Emma Branking; Francis Gilbert and Carinya Sharples, eds. Inspire: Exciting Ways of Teaching Creative Writing. Centre for Language, Culture and Learning, pp. 107-125. ISBN 9781913694043


Tom, Dobson and Gilbert, Francis. 2024. Becoming the falconer: productive feedback for the redrafting of creative writing. New Writing, ISSN 1479-0726

Gilbert, Francis. 2024. ‘I need you to jump out of your seat and go plant more flowers!’ What do primary school children in Lambeth want for their local parks? Educational Studies Blog,

Gilbert, Francis. 2024. Four ways education can make the world more socially just. Educational Studies blog,

Conference or Workshop Item

Gilbert, Francis. 2024. 'Creative Writing and English: collaboration, connection, crossovers'. In: Creative Writing and English: collaboration, connection, crossovers. The English Association, United Kingdom 7 March 2024.

Gilbert, Francis. 2022. 'How can we harness the power of creativity?'. In: Creative Power Conference. Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom 9 December 2022.

Gilbert, Francis; Leena, Dhingra and Steve, Roberts. 2020. 'Decolonising Creative Writing Conference presentation'. In: Decolonising Creative Writing. United Kingdom 11 December 2020.


Gilbert, Francis. 2016. Lines of Work: Teacher Francis Gilbert on Rousseau.


Gilbert, Francis. 2024. 6 Ways to Become a Better Teacher of Creative Writing.


Gilbert, Francis. September 2022 - July 2024 Spreading good practice: developing the Parklife Toolkit.

Gilbert, Francis. 2022. Exciting Developments in the Parklife Project! A Community Garden will be coming soon!.

Gilbert, Francis. 2022. How can primary school children improve their local parks?.


Gilbert, Francis. 2023. Inquiry: Urban Green Spaces. Discussion Paper. UK Parliament, London.


Gilbert, Francis. 2015. Who Do You Love? The Novel of my Life (Creative Writing thesis) and Building Beauty: the Role of Aesthetic Education in my Teaching and Writing Lives (commentary on the Creative Writing thesis). Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London

Research Interests

Creative and Life Writing; Educational Studies