Anna Kiernan

Job title
Senior Lecturer, Writing
01326 255332

Anna is a senior lecturer in Writing. She’s also the creative and editorial director at Stranger Collective, a creative content agency, and an artistic assessor for Arts Council England. Previously, Anna was co-founder of the MA in Publishing at Kingston University and head of the department of Writing at Falmouth. She 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.

Specialising in arts journalism, Anna 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.

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 in 2009.


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 centre and group affiliations

Material & Visual Culture

Research topics

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

Research outputs

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