Writers in Residence

Better writing, better marks. Want to improve your writing?


Writers Sarah Ward and Frances Byrnes  are available during term-time to advise, on a one-to-one basis, students and staff on any aspects of their writing. Whether it's essays, reports, dissertations or other written work, Sarah and Frances offer constructive tutorials of up to an hour about any aspect of your writing that you want to discuss.

A mixture of online and face-to-face sessions will be available. Contact Sarah or Frances to book an appointment.

Sarah Ward

Sarah Ward

Writer in Residence: Monday/Tuesday

To book an appointment e-mail: sarah.ward@rlfeducation.org.uk

Sarah Ward is the author of four contemporary crime novels set in the Derbyshire Peak District where she lives, and two gothic historical thrillers published as Rhiannon Ward. She's also written Doctor Who audio dramas, and her articles and short stories have appeared in The Guardian, Sunday Express Magazine, Metro, and other print and online publications. Sarah began her career in the public sector before moving to Athens, Greece to teach English as a Foreign Language. 

Sarah is passionate about helping people write clearly and has taught in schools, prisons, libraries and at festivals. She strongly believes that anyone can learn the basics of good writing and is looking forward to helping students at Sheffield University. Whether you’re struggling with essay planning or have problems with a specific aspect of writing, Sarah is here to help. She’s available for face-to-face sessions on Monday and online video bookings on Tuesday.

Frances Brynes

Frances Byrnes

Writer in Residence: Wednesday/Thursday

To book an appointment email frances.byrnes@rlfeducation.org.uk.

Frances Byrnes writes radio dramas and adaptations and makes documentaries for BBC Radio 3 and 4 and the World Service, and she writes non-fiction for international publications. This year, she will be writing a non-fiction book that relates to her first love, dancing: she has made many programmes with and about dancers. Some Sheffield stories (for BBC Radio 4) that have gone viral or global include The I Love You Bridge, which she followed up for The Guardian/Observer; Our Trees, a drama-doc about our trees; and Now Wash Your Hands: the story of Izal in words and song.

Of course, all these programmes she didn’t make alone, not at all – she couldn’t have made The I Love You Bridge without the presenter, Penny Woolcock; Izal was the idea and inspiration of presenter, Sally Goldsmith who also wrote the brilliant songs.  When she adapted Michael Cunningham’s The Hours, L.P. Hartley’s The Go Between; Shane by Jack Schaefer and Bel Ami by Maupassant etc., she was in a collaborative team – producers, script editors, actors. We all need creative colleagues, reassurance and constructive criticism when we’re making and writing things.  Academic writing is different. It’s not a collaboration. It belongs to the student. But we all need a reader who can let us know – are we making sense?

Frances can offer help with, for example, how to be understood the first time we’re read; how to decide what matters and perhaps even where to begin. She loved her previous years as RLF Fellow in Animal and Plant Sciences in Sheffield and is pleased to be back.

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