Victoria Bennett

A Bit About Me...

I live landlocked between the north coasts but am always dreaming of the sea. An award-winning writer, poet, creative producer and founder of Wild Women Press. I have spent the last 20 years championing  women, in my community and beyond, celebrating creativity and curating platforms for the sharing of ideas, stories, inspirations, and actions for positive change, including the global #WildWomanWeb movement.

My writing has a particular focus on how we re-tell our own personal narratives. I am interested in the ways we impact and alter the space around us, not only in the tangible sense, but also in the intangible – the way we leave invisible marks within a landscape, traces of energy, and echoes of our existence, particularly in the context of loss and grief.  I am currently engaged in an MRes in Creative Practice at Shetland UHI looking at the landscape of loss and loss in the landscape, exploring narratives of absence within landscapes of personal and ecological loss,  through a creative process that brings together memoir, poetry, immersive digital technologies, and nature-spaces.

In a wider sense, I am interested in how poetry and new technologies can be used to create immersive platforms for meaningful storytelling. My latest project, #WildWomanGamer, seeks to disrupt the stereotype of videogame narratives to create a platform for authentic female voices. I am a Co-Director of The Wizard and The Wyld, creating digital narratives in Minecraft to inspire and entertain.

I hold a Masters in Creative Writing and have nearly three decades experience working as a freelance writer and artist.  I am a frequent collaborator with digital artist, Adam Clarke, who also happens to be my husband. Together, we live and work in rural Cumbria, where we are raising our free-range son. When I am not juggling home-ed, freelance creative projects, research and study, I can be found howling with the Wild Women, my creative tribe. I am a disabled artist, living with Genetic Haemochromatosis, Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos+ and POTS.

Awards

#Wild Woman Gamer - Shortlisted for a Winston Churchill Fellowship (2020)

All My Wild Mothers - Longlisted for The Nan Shepherd Nature Writing Prize (2019)

Calendar - Highly Commended (poetry) in the Charroux Festival Memoir Prize (2019)

Portrait of Care - Highly Commended (photography) - CarersUK Photography Competition (2018)

Muddy Hands - Winner Staff/Volunteer Choice - CarersUK Creative Writing Competition (2018)

Winner - CommonUnity Award for Wild Women Press (2018) 

Axis - Mother’s Milk Writing Award  Non-Fiction (2017)

My Mother's House - Winner - Digital Literature Bursary - The Writing Platform/Bath Spa University (2015) 

Shortlisted - Unsung Heroes Awards - Arts Council England (NW)


Winner - Northern Writers’ Award (2002)


Winner - Andrew Waterhouse Award for Poetry (2002)


Winner - Millennium Mind Award (1999)

Words

POETRY

To Start the Year from its Quiet Centre, pamphlet, Indigo Dreams (due for release 2020)

Letter to My Son, individual poem, The Bloody Amazing Anthology, Yaffle Press/Beautiful Dragons (due for release 2020)

My Mother Always Painted in Blue, individual poem, The Beach Hut https://writingatthebeachhut.org (December 2019)

A Daughter's Vigil, individual poem, As Above, So Below, 1st Issue (December 2018)

Dog; Cat - poems in #MeToo - A Women’s Poetry Anthology, ed. Deborah Alma; Fair Acre Press, 2018 (Winner of Saboteur Best Anthology Award 2018)

Drinking in The Rain - individual poem, The Golden B00k - Fifty Years of Arvon ; Arvon Foundation (2018)

Muddy Hands - short memoir, Keeping Well, Keeping Connected, anthology, CarersUK

January; Solstice - poems in Rowing Home - A Journey Through Grief, ed. Linda France - Cruse Bereavement Charity (2009) 

The 3am Club Anthology (editor) - Wild Women Press (2007)


Byron Makes His Bed - pamphlet, Wild Women Press (2007)


Fragments - pamphlet, Wild Women Press (2006) 

Fragile Bodies - pamphlet, Wild Women Press (2004)


Wild Women Hot Pot of Passion Anthology, ed. Julie Stebbings - Wild Women Press (2000)

Anchoring The Light - long poem, Wild Women Press (1999)

Howl At The Moon: Writings by Wild Women ed. Anthology - Wild Women Press (1999)

MEMOIR & OTHER NON-FICTION

Unofficial Minecraft Life Hacks Lab for Kids, co.author with A. Clarke, Quarry (Quarto Books), 2019

Axis - Mother’s Milk Blog (May 2018)

The Howl: How Wild Women Came to Be featured on Jamie Dedes "The Poet By Day" Blog

In Celebration of the Wild - featured on Wild Woman Web Blog

My Mother Wore a Wide-Brimmed Hat - featured on Wild Woman Web Blog

Regular “Expert Contributor” for Create Hub Arts & Digital Technology magazine. Articles (2016 - 2018) include: From #MeToo to #UsTogether; Losing and Finding; All The World’s A Stage; Pixels and Wood.

A Brief History of...

over half a life working with words and moving images...

EDUCATION

MRes Creative Practice Univerity Highlands and Islands (Shetland) Full-time student Feb 2020 - Jan 2021  

MA Creative Writing Lancaster University 2002

Arts & Disability Training for Trainers Hertfordshire University 1997

BA (Hons) English & Creative Studies (2:1) Portsmouth University 1996

EMPLOYMENT

Wild Women Press, Founder & Project Director — 1999 - present   Programming and delivering wild women workshops, projects, and live events in rural Cumbria and beyond, working with over 2000 women. Editing and publishing pamphlets by Wild Women members, and curating poetry platforms online. Co-ordinating multi-artist projects and touring. Organising annual creative retreats for 20 years. Fundraising, administration, project management, marketing, and all other aspects of group leadership. www.wildwomenpress.com

The Wizard & The Wyld Ltd, Creative Producer ...2018 - present  Founder and co-producer, creating magical adventures through stories, poetry, and digital gaming. Official Minecraft Marketplace Content Creator.  www.thewizardandwyld.com

Freelance Researcher & Game Writer ...2012 - present   Working with digital creative producer, Adam Clarke, on a number of high profile projects developing digital engagement projects using video games.

Blissfool Books, Founder/Editor ...2007 - 2011   Founder and editor at Blissfool Books, publishing “Wounded Angels” (Fr. Murray Bodo) and “Orange Dust” (Kenneth Wilson, foreword by The Dalai Lama)

Creative Writing Tutor (BA programme), Lancaster University ...2003 - 2006   Part-time creative writing tutor on the BA(Hons) creative writing modules. 

Arts in Health Project Artist (various)...1993 - 2006   Engagement and advocacy projects within health and social welfare sector.

Community Broadcast Assistant Editor ...1991 - 1993   Assistant Editor/Producer for community magazine programe