Petra McQueen

Assistant Lecturer
Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Postgraduate Research Student
Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
 Petra McQueen


Ask me about
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Autobiography
  • Autofiction


Petra McQueen is a writer and teacher. Her writing has appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, The Guardian, and You Magazine among many other publications. She has won several prizes for her prose, including first prize in the NAWG Short Story Competition. She lives close to the mud-flats of North East Essex, UK with her large, lively family. She runs a company specialising in writing workshops (, and is currently working on her Creative Nonfiction PhD at Essex University.


  • Drama BA (hons) University of Wales, Aberystwyth (1991)

  • PGCE Drama University of London, Goldsmiths (1997)

  • Creative Writing MA University of Essex (2014)

Research and professional activities


Breaking rules: questioning and redefining creative nonfiction, autofiction, and psychogeography.

My dissertation consists of a creative non-fiction (CNF) book about my research journey into the life of adventurer, fraudster, and bigamist Harry Bensley (b.1876). In my commentary, I address contemporary controversy about genre boundaries in CNF; the theory and praxis of CNF research; and a reworking of the autofiction definition. Harry Bensley’s original story, instigated 100 years ago by Bensley and passed orally and via media, has Bensley wearing an iron mask and pushing a pram ‘around



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