About the researcher

Pete Jordi Wood (he/him) is a British author, illustrator and screenwriter from Cornwall, U.K. He is represented by CAA, United Agents and Rogers, Coleridge & White. 

Pete is the author of two books for Penguin Random House. ‘Tales From Beyond the Rainbow: Ten LGBTQ+ Fairy Tales Proudly Reclaimed’ (Puffin Classics, 2023) is an anthology of queer folk tale adaptations from around the world, written and illustrated by Pete and a spectrum of international artists, the majority of whom are LGBTQ+. ‘The Dog and the Sailor’ (Puffin, 2024) marks Pete’s debut picture book as writer and illustrator. 

As a screenwriter Pete was a member of the writersroom for “EastEnders” (BBC), wrote the original radio drama “Lifted” (BBC), and an original television drama “I Don’t Care” (Channel 4). He has a BA (Hons) degree in Animation and an MA in Illustration from Falmouth University. 

Research interests

  • Folkloristics 
  • Folklore, Myths and Legends 
  • Magic & the Occult 
  • Queer History 
  • Queer Theory 
  • Creative Writing: Prose Fiction 
  • Illustration 
  • Writing for Film and Television 
  • Writing for Theatre & Radio 

PJ Wood

PhD abstract

Thesis title

Queer Magical Folkloristics 


This Ph.D thesis explores the intersection of queer identity, magic and folklore, aiming to uncover and reintegrate historically marginalised LGBTQ+ folk tale characters and narratives into contemporary discourse. The research addresses a notable absence of positive portrayals of queer characters in magical tales and texts, examining historical biases in folklore studies.  

The central question guiding this investigation is: how can positive portrayals of queer characters, themes and narratives from magical folklore be unearthed, analysed and integrated into an LGBTQ+ inclusive creative practice to enhance the dissemination of historically marginalised knowledge?  

To answer this, a multidisciplinary practice-research study is proposed and conducted. The methodology emphasises scholarly exploration through qualitative desk-based research and critical analysis using queer theory, folkloristics, archetypal theory, comparative mythology, and auto-ethnography.   

The study extends from Victorian folklore through Greco-Roman antiquity, before focusing in on the practice-researcher’s cultural heritage as a resource. The results arising from the inquiry include the rediscovery of several unusual folk tales with queer characters and themes.   

The thesis concludes with the publication/exhibition/performance of a multi-modal submission that disseminates knowledge about queer magical cultures of the past in an engaging, contemporary format.  


Year Qualification Awarding body
2020 MA Illustration: Authorial Practice (Distinction)  Falmouth University
2010 BA Digital Animation (First Class Honours)  Falmouth University

Grants and awards

Year Description Awarding body
2023-26 Ph.D Studentship   Falmouth University