Anna Kiernan

Job title
Senior Lecturer, Writing
01326 255332

Anna is a writer and editor who divides her time between academic life and consultancy work for agencies within the creative and cultural industries. Through her work for YCN, she delivers strategic communications services to clients including Lush cosmetics, The Guardian, Arsenal FC, the NSPCC and the Department for Transport. Previously, Anna was the creative and editorial director at Stranger Collective, a creative content agency, an artistic assessor for Arts Council England and a national advisor for Arts Council Wales. 

With a background as a fiction editor at Simon & Schuster publishing, Anna co-founded the MA in Publishing at Kingston University in 2006. During her six years at Kingston, Anna was a co-investigator on the AHRC-funded oral history project Museum Lives at the Natural History Museum, where her work included directing a short film based on oral history interviews, which was first shown at The National Gallery. 

Specialising in arts journalism, Anna has worked as a freelance writer and editor for, among others, The Guardian, the Bookseller, the Times Literary Supplement, the Big Issue and Private Eye and was also deputy editor of Pluk: Photography in London the UK and Europe. Before going freelance, Anna was an editor at André Deutsch publishing and Simon & Schuster publishing. Her books include Voices for Peace (Scribner, 2001: London; New York), Bit on the Side: Work, Sex, Love, Loss and Own Goals (Parthian, 2007) and a book about literary drinkers (Barnes and Noble, 2002). Anna's first poetry book, Pick Me Up, with illustrations by Harriet Lee Merrion, was published in 2014 by Atlantic Press Books. Poems and illustrations from the book were displayed at Falmouth Art Gallery and at the Tiny Pencil exhibition As Above, So Below. 


YearQualificationAwarding body
PGCE (post-compulsory)
The Institute of Education, London
MA Arts Criticism
City University, School of Arts Policy and Management, London
BA (hons) English Literature
Sussex University

Membership of external committees

National Adviser, Arts Council Wales
Artistic Assessor, Arts Council England
Trustee, Cornwall Film Festival

Research interests

Research interests and expertise

My research is linked by a central interest in cultural value and the value of culture(s) in the context of publishing and life narratives and ethnographies. My publications focus primarily on book publishing and life writing. Other research interests include how writing intersects with visual arts, cultural policy and independent publishing.  

Research topics

Writing culture
authorial practice
life writing
Arts criticism/journalism
Narrative communication

Research outputs

Publications and research outputs


Kiernan, Anna (2016) Mad Girl's Love Song: Reflections on routes into reading, writing and mentoring. Book 2.0, 6 (1 & 2). pp. 47-57. ISSN 20428022 Item availability may be restricted.

Conference or Workshop Item

Kiernan, Anna (2016) The killer and the poet: Rethinking online writing. In: National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) annual conference, 11-13 September 2016, Stratford. (Unpublished) Item not available from this repository.

Kiernan, Anna (2015) Literary editors and peer-to-peer book reviewers: Rethinking the role of cultural intermediaries in a socially networked age. In: Books and reading in an age of media overload, 15-16 June 2015, Sorbonne, Florence. Item not available from this repository.

Kiernan, Anna (2015) A new paradigm? Crowdsourcing and the social benefits of community publishing. In: UNSPECIFIED. Item not available from this repository.

Kiernan, Anna (2014) Feeling my way: tactility, text and biography in Pick me up. In: Perversions of Paper, 28 June 2014, Birkbeck College. (Unpublished)

Kiernan, Anna (2013) A Voyage Round new territory: Collaborative poetry of (and in) the environment. In: Exeter University: Centre for Environmental Arts and Humanities symposium, 11 September 2013, Exeter University. (Unpublished) Item availability may be restricted.


Kiernan, Anna (2014) Pick Me Up. Atlantic Press Books, Cornwall. ISBN 9780957154926


Kiernan, Anna (2015) Installation: ‘The Museum of Momentos’. [Exhibition] Item not available from this repository.


Kiernan, Anna and Fentham, Andrew (2016) The Enemies Project: Contemporary Poetry in Collaboration. [Performance] Item not available from this repository.

Externally funded research grants information

Year startingYear endingProject titleFunderValueCollaboratorsHESA Category
Museum Lives oral history project at THe Natural History Museum

Kingston University/Natural History Museum

Research students

Previous student supervision

Dr Duncan White:  A Re-evaluation of Assumptions About the Nature of American ‘Placelessness’ in Contemporary Art and Fiction, Kingston University

Number of research students supervised to completion: 1 Number of research degree examinations: 40


Areas of teaching

Creative Writing
Authorial Practice
Fine Art
English Literature

Courses taught

Pitching for Publication

CPD delivered

Curating Collaborations, AIR Sandpit, 2014.
Creating Compelling Business Stories, 2014.

Policy engagement within Cornwall

Trustee, Cornwall Film Festival
Outreach at Marlborough primary school (2014)
Outreach at St Francis primary school (2014)

Business engagement

Business start ups

Thread (Managing Partner)

Business engagement case studies

Businesses I worked with in 2014 included:  Sames & Littlejohn, Stranger Collective, CultShare, Barefoot Media, FXPlus, Nature Workshops, Rick Stein's

Professional engagement