Julia Bell


Welcome to my website. I am a writer and Reader in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London, where I am the Course Director of the MA in Creative Writing.

My recent creative work includes poetry, lyric essays and short stories published in the Paris Review, Times Literary Supplement, The White Review, Mal Journal, Comma Press, and recorded for the BBC.

I have also published three novels with Macmillan in the UK (Simon & Schuster in the US) and am the co-editor of the bestselling Creative Writing Coursebook (Macmillan) updated and re-issued in 2019.

I am interested in the intersection between the personal and the political, and believe that writing well takes courage, patience, attention and commitment, qualities I try to encourage in my many brilliant students. I also enjoy taking photographs.

To write a good book you have to have certain qualities. Great art is connected with courage and truthfulness. There is a conception of truth, a lack of illusion, an ability to overcome selfish obsessions, which goes with good art, and the artist has got to have that particular sort of moral stamina. Good art, whatever its style, has qualities of hardness, firmness, realism, clarity, detachment, justice, truth. It is the work of a free, unfettered, uncorrupted imagination . . .
— Iris Murdoch