Dr Laura Dietz

Associate Professor of Writing and Digital Publishing Studies;

Course Leader, MA Creative Writing and Publishing;

Co-Course Leader, MA Publishing

Affiliated with StoryLab Research Institute.

 

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Cambridge School of Creative Industries

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Creative writing , Publishing

Research Supervision:Yes

Courses taught: Creative Writing and Publishing, Publishing, Creative Writing, Writing and Film, Writing and English Literature

Laura is a novelist who combines writing fiction with the study of reading, science in literature, and digital literary culture.

Follow Laura on Twitter

Email: laura.dietz@aru.ac.uk

Background

Laura writes novels and studies novels, publishing fiction alongside research on topics such as e-novel readership, the digital short story, online literary magazines and the changing definition of authorship in the digital era. She is a Co-Director of the Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy, serves on the operations group of StoryLab, and is editor of the Digital Literary Culture gathering of the Publishing and Book Culture series of Cambridge Elements (Cambridge University Press).

Research interests

  • The novel, particularly innovative forms
  • Digital reading
  • Digital literary culture
  • Modern literary magazines
  • Historical fiction
  • Creative writing
  • Publishing
  • Cognitive approaches to literature
  • The presentation of science in contemporary fiction

Areas of research supervision

Laura would welcome further PhD applications in creative writing, publishing, or book culture, particularly those relating to her research interests (see above).

Current PhD 1st supervisions include:

  • Reprising Middlemarch: plural intertextualities in the creation of The Golden Nautilus, a Neo-Victorian novel
  • Retelling in the Slipstream: Men Who Lose Their Shadows - from Hans Christian Andersen to Haruki Murakami
  • Literary Communities & Cultures in the Digital Space: An Inquiry into the Reading Experience on YouTube
  • A Transformative Works novel, taking place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as imagined by Joss Whedon in The Avengers (2012), creating a novel exploring affective hermeneutics through domesticity and examining contemporary issues through social lenses
  • An exploration of the efficacy of non-realist fiction as a therapeutic agent for female depression
  • Stan and Jack: Exploring representations of the writer and artist in the neo-classical phase of the cinematic biopic

Teaching

Laura currently teaches on the following modules:

  • Readers and Reading Cultures
  • Writing Historical Fiction
  • Fundamentals of Publishing
  • Legal, Rights and Data Issues in Publishing
  • Workshop: the Novel

Qualifications

  • PhD Publishing Studies, UCL
  • MA Writing, Nottingham Trent
  • PGCE Higher Education, Anglia Ruskin
  • BA English, Stanford

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Secretary of the Association for Publishing Education
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Stationers
  • Member of the British Society for Literature and Science
  • Member of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing
  • Member of the International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature
  • Member of the Society of Authors
  • Editorial board, Journal of Electronic Publishing
  • Editor of the Digital Literary Culture gathering of the Publishing and Book Culture series of Cambridge Elements (Cambridge University Press)

Selected recent publications

Dietz, L., 2019. ‘Who are you calling an author?’ (Version reprinted with permission) In: C. Davis, ed. Print Cultures: A Reader in Theory and Practice. London: Palgrave.

Dietz, L., 2018. The short story and digital media. In: P. Delaney and A. Hunter, eds. The Edinburgh Companion to the Short Story in English. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press.

Dietz, L., 2015. Chapter 22: My Later Endeavours (chapter of Inventions). New Writing, 12(3), pp. 304-310.

Dietz, L. Warwick, C. and Rayner, S., 2015. Auditioning for permanence: Reputation and legitimacy of electronically distributed novels. Logos. Logos, 26(4), pp. 22-36.

Dietz, L., 2015. Who are you calling an author? Changing definitions of career legitimacy for novelists in the digital era. In: Evans, N and Davidson, G. (Eds.). Literary Careers in the Modern Era. London: Palgrave.

Dietz, L., 2014. Online vs. print reputation of literary fiction magazines. Short Fiction in Theory and Practice. 4(1). pp. 7-21.

Dietz, L., 2013. Consider. New Writing. 10(3), pp.261-266.

Dietz, L., 2012. Adaptive Fiction: How can evolutionary and cognitive approaches to literature impact creative writing? New Writing. 9(2), pp.147-155. 

Dietz, L., 2007. In the Tenth House. New York: Crown (Penguin Random House).

Recent presentations and conferences


Papers at peer-reviewed conferences:

'"Sucker" for Amazon? Reader perceptions of power and control in transactions with Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.' To be presented at Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) annual conference, University of Amsterdam, July 2022.

'The Power of Payment by the Page: reader and author perceptions of Amazon's influence on what writers write and readers buy.' Presented at Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) annual conference, University of Münster (online), 28 July, 2021.

'Migrations of Feeling: Emotional Responses to Typeface from Print to E-book'. Presented at Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) annual conference, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 18 July, 2019.

'Impersonal Libraries: readers' experiences of "owning" digital novels'. Presented at 16th Conference of the International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature (IGEL), University of Stavanger, 25 July, 2018.

'Love and the E-book: how readers harness evolving book technologies to demonstrate and deepen attachment to novels.' Presented at Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) annual conference, University of Victoria, 11 June, 2017.

'"Transaction" in Transition: Digital Novels and the Evolution of Epitext.' Presented at Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) annual conference, McGill University and Universite de Sherbrooke, 9 July, 2015.

'Barbarians in the Temple: Bibliophilia and the "Bookness" of Electronic Novels.' Presented at Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) annual conference, University of Antwerp, 19 September, 2014.

'Adaptive Fiction: how can authors respond to questions on the evolutionary purpose of fiction?' Presented at British Society for Literature and Science (BSLS) annual conference, Cambridge University, 9 April, 2011.

Selected invited presentations:

'Success in New Publishing: Short Form Publishing'. Panel at University Press Redux Conference, Churchill College, University of Cambridge, to have been delivered 17 March, 2020, postponed due to COVID-19.

'What makes us human in the age of AI?' Talk at Cambridge Festival of Ideas, University of Cambridge, 17 October, 2019.

'"I tend to prefer real books to e-books": negotiating the realness and bookness of e-novels.' Seminar at Open University History of Books and Reading seminar series, Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, 15 April, 2019.

'Digital Paratext'. Seminar at UCL, 24 January, 2017.

'Reading on Screen'. Seminar at UCL, 23 November, 2015.

'Digital Reading Roundtable.' Contribution to Digital Reading roundtable, part of the AHRC-funded Digital Reading Network project, Frontline Club, London, 12 March, 2015.

'E-books, E-paper, E-reading'. Seminar at UCL, 1 December, 2014.

'Science in Fiction.' Author dialogue, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, 12 March, 2014.

'Psychical Mainstream, Psychiatric Fringe: depicting Victorian scientific research in fiction.' Lecture for Cambridge Writers, 2 June, 2009.

'Populating the "Anti-Genre": Novelistic Characters.' Lecture at Nottingham Trent University, 27 October, 2008.

'Writing the Past.' Lecture at USC Pembroke College Summer Institute, Cambridge University, 15 July, 2008.

'What Next for Writers?' Talk at Cambridge Wordfest (now Cambridge Literary Festival), 30 March, 2008.

'Character in the Novel.' Lecture at Nottingham Trent University, 22 October, 2007.

'Risk.' Presentation at Escalator Awards Showcase, Foyles, London, 28 June, 2007.

Other recent presentations, panels, and conference papers:

'Preserving the power of the written word: Cambridge Elements and the role of short monographs in the humanities.' Roundtable, to be presented at Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) annual conference, University of Amsterdam, July 2022 (postponed from 2020 due to COVID-19).

'Projection or Reflection? The Pandemic Bookshelf as a Mirror for Self-Image and Personal Identity.' Presented at the Bookshelves in the Age of the COVID-19 Pandemic conference (online), Open University, 4 November, 2020.

'"Really? You think I'm that kind of person?" Amazon profiles as components of readerly identity'. Presented at Futures Thinking inaugural conference (AI in Publishing theme), University of Oxford, 2 October, 2019.

'"I tend to prefer real books to e-books": negotiating the realness and bookness of e-novels.' Video presentation at The Mediated Text symposium, Loughborough University London, 5 April, 2019.

'Digital Bibliotherapy.' Presentation as part of Bibliotherapy for wellbeing: poetry and prose as Prozac? event at Cambridge Festival of Science, 25 March, 2019.

'"I liked them a lot... but I feel like I don't know them fully?": Implications for Bibliotherapy of Recent Research on Immersion and Engagement with E-Novels.' Presented at The Book as Cure: Bibliotherapy and Literary Caregiving from the First World War to the Present conference, Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, 14 September, 2018.

'Owning the "Unreal": keeping and collecting digital novels.' Presented at DH_Budapest_2018 Conference, Centre for Digital Humanities, Eötvös Loránd University, 29 May, 2018.

'How Novels Work.' Panel for LitFuse moderated by Prof John Mullan, ARU, 2 November, 2017.

'Loving Novels on Screen: E-books, Affect and the Digital Bibliophile.' Presented at StoryLab symposium, Anglia Ruskin University, 6 June, 2017.

'Protecting Books from Women: Gender, Bibliophilia, and Feeling for Books on Screen.' Presented at New Directions in Print Culture conference, Oxford Brookes University, 9 May, 2017.

'Credible Texts.' Presented at National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) annual conference, Stratford-upon-Avon, 11 November, 2016.

'Writing Digital Futures.' Panel, part of a linked series of talks and creative writing workshops, Cambridge Festival of Ideas, 28 October, 2016.

'Speaking the Language of Amazon.' Presented at By the Book conference, Villa Finaly, Florence, 23 June, 2016.

'Life as a novel after death as a book? Reputation and legitimacy of post-print literature.' Presented at By the Book conference, Villa Finaly, Florence, 23 May, 2014.

'Science as the Spark: literature inspired by Science.' Panel at Cambridge Science Festival, 20 March, 2014.

'"Science" Fiction: Scientism and the historical novel.' Presented at National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) annual conference, York, 15 November, 2013.

'The Post-Print Literary Magazine.' Presented at National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) annual conference, York, 11 November, 2011.

'INcredible: Stories in Science.' Panel at Cambridge Festival of Ideas, 26 October, 2011.

'Online versus Print Reputation of Literary Fiction Magazines.' Presented at Out of Print: the Evolution of 20th Century Writing conference, University of East Anglia, 16 September, 2011.

'The Children: context and the creative process', 14th Annual Great Writing International Creative Writing Conference, Imperial College, London, 18 June, 2011.