We are in the throes of what is being called the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. What it is to be ‘a writer’ has been transformed.
Josie’s academic research interrogates the impact of the ‘digital turn’ on writing and publishing, and aims to provide solutions. Her programme of research is represented by the monograph The Multimodal Writer: Creative Writing Across Genres and Media (Macmillan International Higher Education/Red Globe Press, 2019), and it includes specialist areas in digital inclusion, social media and employability.
This programme of research is informed by many years’ teaching and practice. Its formal start is marked by her 2012 submission of evidence to the Government’s Culture Select Committee, evidence that was quoted in Parliament by MP Sharon Hodgson: ‘Students who are taught creative writing are taught creative thinking’. A key task for Josie has been delineating how to teach the kind of creative thinking that will enable sure-footed negotiation of a digital writing and publishing landscape that constantly morphs and changes.
Articles and chapters such as ‘Tweets as microfiction’ (2016) and ‘Twitter and Creative Writing: generating an “authentic” online self’ (2019) drill down into specific skills that are needed for and can be developed by using social media, while ‘Live and public: one practitioner’s experience and assessment of Twitter as a tool for archiving creative process’ (2015) considers how practitioners can experiment with social media. ‘Testing Possibilities: on negotiating writing practices in a “postdigital” age (tools and methods)’ (2017) considers how to develop creative flexibility by drawing on prior practitioner experience (ie, by remediating creative practice).
A key driver for Josie is her passion for developing a robust Creative Writing pedagogy that can ‘future-proof’ writers and Creative Writing tutors in our fast-paced 21st century. She is a member of the DCMS Digital Skills and Inclusion working group.