Staff profile

Dr Simon Heywood

Senior Lecturer, Creative and Professional Writing

Simon Heywood


English; Creative Writing and Publishing


College of Arts, Humanities and Education



Research centre

Identity, Culture and Representation Research Centre




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



Simon Heywood holds a PhD on contemporary storytelling from Sheffield University’s National Centre for English Cultural Tradition. He is the author of 'The Legend of Vortigern' (History Press, 2012) and 'South Yorkshire Folktales' (with Damien Barker, History Press 2014). He has toured nationally and internationally in live and contemporary storytelling, and created original commissions for Festival at the Edge and the Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival.

He won Best Collaboration at the 2012 British Awards for Storytelling Excellence, with Tim Ralphs. He won Best Documentary Award 2005 at the Strasbourg Film Festival for 'Contempt of Conscience,' with Joe Jenkins. He has published research and review articles, and prose fiction, poetry, and translations; edited the UK Society for Storytelling's quarterly magazine; contributed to a number of CDs; and given numerous conference papers and other academic presentations. His original songs and music have been covered by nationally and internationally acclaimed folk and traditional bands, including Albireo, Crucible and Melrose Quartet, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

He is currently engaged in original research on modern and historical Jewish storytelling and oral tradition. He teaches on the single and joint honours pathways in Creative and Professional Writing and is year and admissions tutor. His teaching is focused on the practical applications of traditional knowledge to creative thinking and problem-solving.

Books on a shelf

Disney’s latest remake Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens, will hit cinema screens on 17 March. While this new take on a classic will capture the imagination of a new generation, Dr Simon Heywood, Lecturer in Creative Writing, explores the story’s origin as a folktale.