Alex Pheby

Dr Alex Pheby BA (hons), MA, PhD, FHEA

Associate Professor of Creative Writing

Dr Pheby studied at Manchester University, Manchester Metropolitan University, and Goldsmiths. He taught at, and received his doctorate in creative and critical writing from, the University of East Anglia before becoming programme leader for Creative Writing at Sunderland University, and then at the University of Greenwich.

His first novel, Grace, was published in 2009 by Two Ravens Press.

His second novel, Playthings – about the life of the German judge Paul Schreber – was published in 2015 by Galley Beggar Press. Widely acclaimed in media from the Guardian to the New York Times, and called "the best neuro-novel ever written" in the Literary Review, Playthings was shortlisted for the 2016 £30,000 Wellcome Book Prize."

His third novel, Lucia, a book about the life of James Joyce's daughter, released in 2018, was joint winner of the 2019 Republic of Consciousness Prize. In 2020 he published Mordew the first in a trilogy of fantasy novels, which the Guardian described as "a darkly brilliant novel, extraordinary, absorbing and dream-haunting... crammed with grotesque inventiveness… an extravagant and often unnerving marvel."

Responsibilities within the university

Writer and Programme Leader for BA Creative Writing and combinations


Member of the Society of Authors, and a fellow of the Higher Education Association.

External examiner for English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Falmouth.

Judge of the Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize.

Research / Scholarly interests

Contemporary fiction, creative writing, and critical theory.

Key funded projects

He is co-founder and co-director of the annual Greenwich Book Festival.

Media activity


Greenwich Book Festival, May 2015

Stoke Newington Literary Festival, June 2015

Waterstone's Piccadilly, London, October 2015

Waterstone's New Street, Birmingham, November 2015

British Library, London, February 2016

Creative Conversations, University of Greenwich, February 2016 link

Wellcome Trust Blogger's Brunch, April 2016 link

Wellcome Trust Lecture, April 2016

Bath Spa masters course visit, April 2016

5x15 Talk, April 2016 link

Little Atoms Podcast, April 2016 link

Shakespeare and Company, Paris, April 2016 link

Waterstone's Tottenham Court Road, Londnr, May 2016

Greenwich Book Festival, May 2016

Latitude Festival, July 2016

Edinburgh International Book Festival, August 2016

Triskele Lit Fest, September 2016

Recent publications


Pheby, Alexander and , (2016), Schreber the plaything. British Psychological Society. In: , , , . British Psychological Society, The Psychologist, 29 ISSN: 0952-8229 (Print), (doi:

Pheby, Alexander and , (2016), Three pinhead priests, two in flight, one walking on water, enforce the ritual of land-bound remembrance on a boy child found watching birds at swim. The Curved House. In: , , , . The Curved House, Visual Verse: An Anthology of Art and Words, 3 (3) (doi:


Pheby, Alexander and , (2019), Mordew. Galley Beggar Press. In: , , , . Galley Beggar Press, Norwich (doi:

Pheby, Alexander and , (2018), Lucia. Galley Beggar Press. In: , , , . Galley Beggar Press, . ISBN: 9781910296882 (doi:

Pheby, Alex and , (2015), Playthings. Galley Beggar Press. In: , , , . Galley Beggar Press, Norwich . ISBN: 9781910296479 (doi: ).

Pheby, Alex and , (2014), Afterimages of Schreber. CoLiCo Press. In: , , , . CoLiCo Press, Sunderland . ISBN: 9780957547711 (doi: ).


Pheby, Alexander and , (2018), Dreams of the Dead - IX. In: , , , . , (doi: )