Will Buckingham

Leicester, Leicestershire
Literary Fiction, Other, Writing for Children

Writer Biography

I am a writer and philosopher based in Leicester, UK, where I am currently senior lecturer in creative writing in the School of Humanities at De Montfort University.

I write fiction, philosophy, and for children. I am particularly interested in philosophical stories and story-like philosophies, or anything in between. My first novel, Cargo Fever, draws upon Indonesian folklore and legend to explore the boundaries between human beings, gods, ancestors and the animal world. My second novel, The Descent of the Lyre, is a reworking of the myth of Orpheus, set in 19th Century Bulgaria, which is said to have been the Thracian home of the legendary musician-king. Meanwhile, my philosophy book, Finding Our Sea-Legs, weaves tales of talking fish, desert journeys and ocean crossings to explore the nature of ethics. More recently, I have started to write for children. My first childrens book, The Snorgh and the Sailor, is a curiously philosophical little story about friendship, adventure, solitude and soup, and was described by Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson as Outstanding adventurous and quirky.

I am currently working on a number of books, including a philosophical monograph on storytelling in the work of the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, a novel of sorts based on the Chinese Book of Changes, or Yijing, another novel on the subject of myth and music, some further projects for children, and another project that combines my interest in Chinese, my experience of teaching creative writing, and my philosophical interests.

I was brought up in Norfolk (which was the inspiration for the setting of my first childrens book). I studied for a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1994) and after a period of research at Pattimura University, Ambon, Indonesia, I took a masters degree in anthropology from Durham (1997). Later, I took a PhD in philosophy from Staffordshire University (2007), where I wrote my thesis on ethics, philosophy and obscure Indonesian gods. I moved to the East Midlands in 2008 to take up a job at De Montfort University, and now I live in the West End of Leicester.


Selected Publications

& The Descent of the Lyre& , a historical novel set in Bulgaria and published by Roman Books in 2012.

& The Snorgh and the Sailor& , a children’s book with Thomas Docherty (illustrator), published by Scholastic/Alison Green, 2012.

& Introducing Happiness: A Practical Guide& , a philosophy book, published by Icon Books in 2012.

& Finding Our Sea-Legs: Ethics, Experience and the Ocean of Stories& , a philosophy book published by Kingston University Press in 2009.

& Cargo Fever& , a novel published by Tindal Street Press in 2007.

Contributed To

Overheard:Stories for Reading Aloud (ed. Jonathan Taylor, Salt Publishing); Utopias (ed. Ross Bradshaw, Five Leaves Press); The Interpreters’ House magazine; The Lowestoft Chronicle; The Frogmore Papers; The Packingtown Review; Brittle Star Magazine; Hearing Voices; & Coffee Philosophy: Grounds for Debate& Blackwell/Wiley; & The Philosophy Book& , Dorling Kindersley; BBC Radio 4; Radio Wildfire, etc.

Performances & Workshops

I’ve given workshops and performances at book festivals, international conferences, in bars and clubs, at literary events. Some of these include events such as the Birmingham Book Festival; the Warwick Words Festival; the Cultural eXchanges festival; the States of Independence festival; the Lowdham Book Festival etc.

Prizes & Awards

The Snorgh and the Sailor shortlisted for the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards 2013.

Available for the following:

  • Lectures / Talks / Panels
  • Teaching
  • Live Performances
  • Workshops
  • Community Group Work
  • Work Experience/Qualifications

    I’ve worked as a writer in a wide range of settings. For several years, I was writer in residence at the Heart of England HNS Trust. I have also worked as a writer in schools (in particular with the Write On! project in the West Midlands), as a consultant for a Booktrust creative writing project, as a visiting lecturer in creative writing at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Nantes Métropole, France and at a number of other universities. I’ve worked with creative writing students of all ages (from reception age to groups in which the average age was around 78).

    Want to know more?

    You can request more information about this writer by sending an email to info@writingeastmidlands.co.uk.

    My Work

    The Descent of the Lyre
    Publisher: Roman Books

    Websites, blogs and links to work