Melissa Shales

Postgraduate Research Student
Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
 Melissa Shales



Brought up in Zimbabwe, Melissa returned to the UK to study History and Archaeology before becoming a professional travel writer and editor, publishing over 30 titles of her own as well as editing many others within well-known guidebook series such as Berlitz, Michelin, Insight Guides, Dorling Kindersley and others. She has written and edited extensively for newspapers, magazines and online and has twice chaired the British Guild of Travel Writers, the professional association for travel writers in the UK. In 2011, she trained with Trinity as a TESOL teacher and now teaches English as a foreign language, edits and proofreads alongside writing and work on her PhD. She blogs occasionally at After two years of teaching LT111, Introduction to Literature: Origins and Transformations, in the current academic year, I will be teaching two classes of LT204 Approaches to Text. Globetrotter Guide to Barbados (4th ed; 2015 orig ed 2006) New Holland Globetrotter Paris (2012 - 7th edition.; orig pub 1996) - pub. New Holland. DK Top 10 Istanbul (2007, new ed 2011) Dorling Kindersley Globetrotter Naples and Sorrento (new ed 2010; orig ed 2001) - pub. New Holland (co-author) Frommers Day by Day Cyprus (North Cyprus) (2010, co-author) Wiley Best of Paris (2009 3rd ed.; orig ed. 2004) pub. New Holland Berlitz Turkish Coast (pub. 2009, new ed 2012) Berlitz Insight Guide to the Italian Lakes (pub. 2009, new ed Feb 13) Insight Guides Portrait of Rajasthan (2007) New Holland Portrait of Kerala (2007 New Holland Explorer Guide to South Africa (1997; 5th ed. 2006) - pub. AA/Fodors. Essential Turkey South Coast (3rd ed; 2005) - pub. AA Insight Tanzania and Zanzibar (project ed. and contrib.; 2003) pub. Insight Marrakech in Your Pocket (2001) pub. Michelin Discovery Travel Adventure African Safari (ed. and contrib; 2001) pub. Insight Naples, including Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast in Your Pocket (2000) - pub. Michelin Touring Southern Africa (ed. and contrib; 1997) - pub. Thomas Cook Microsoft Autoroute Express (contrib. France, Portugal, Monaco; 1997) - pub. Adastra. Provence Travel Notebook (1997) - pub. MQP On the Road Around the South of France (ed. and contrib; 1996) - pub. Thomas Cook. Traveller's Guide to Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan (1995) - pub. AA/Thomas Cook. Traveller's Guide to Kenya (1994; 2nd ed. 1996) - pub. AA/Thomas Cook. North-West Spain (1993) - pub. Christopher Helm (A&C Black) Illustrated Guide to France (1992); Walks and Tours in France (1993); Secret France (1994) - Contributor on Berry/Limousin. Pub. AA Footloose Guide to South India (1992) - pub. Simon & Schuster Discovery Guide to Zimbabwe (1989 and 1993) - pub. Immel The Traveller's Handbook (ed. 1985 and 1988; contrib. 1997) - pub. Wexas Great Highways of the World (AA; 1995) - contributor on Kenya and India. For further details, pleasesee Melissa Shales's website CHASE Conference: Environments: Landscapes and the Mind, 19/06/15 Steel Safari: Cairo to Capetown by Rail (Where Possible). University of Essex LiFTS Research Marathon, The Past in the Present, 14/07/2015 - Steel Safari: Knitting Together Multiple Timelines in Creative Non-Fiction a Reading and Discussion. On the Margins - Postgraduate Seminar on Travel Writing at The Centre for Travel Writing Studies, Nottingham Trent University, 30/06/2016 Writing the Rails English: Shared Futures Conference, Newcastle 3-7/07/2017 two presentations: Shaping the Continent, Reshaping the Self: travelling and writing about trains as part of Reshaping Reality panel; and part of NAWE Creative Writing Postgrad network: Working Outside the Academy panel. Twitter: @melissashales


  • BA Hons, History and Archaeology, University of Exeter

  • Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship (2009)

  • British Guild of Travel Writers (Honorary Life Member)

  • Society of Authors

  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

Research and professional activities


Cape to Cairo by Rail (Where Possible)

My thesis discusses the role of travel writing and the travel writer in the twenty-first century. It consists of two elements: a work of creative non-fiction, a book-length travel narrative, and a critical commentary on the narrative piece from theoretical, practical and creative perspectives. The book is framed around a journey through Africa along the route of the Cairo to Cape railways, examining the history of the railways and their impact on the continent and its peoples. I will also be



4.402, Colchester Campus