Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow

About this service

This is a free, confidential service to help you improve your writing skills. Students of any discipline, at any level of study (from undergraduate to postgraduate) – and staff – are welcome to book a session.  

The Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow is a professional, published author whose role is to help you strengthen your writing. At the University of Hull we are lucky to have Ray French, an experienced novelist and short-story writer. 

A one-to-one tutorial can help you:

  • Plan your study time.  

  • Focus your reading for essay, dissertation or thesis writing. 

  • Express your ideas more clearly. 

  • Answer grammar and punctuation questions. 

  • Discover reading to improve your writing and editing skills.

  • Increase your writing skills with the aim of improving your grades.

  • Improve any academic writing – essays, reports, theses, dissertations, book chapters.  

Sessions are for 50 minutes and take place on campus in the Brynmor Jones Library.

Book an appointment

Contact Ray to book an appointment


RLF appointments are usually available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during semesters 1 and 2. The first week of semester 1 they will be on Wednesday and Thursday.

RLF Writing Fellow appointments are held on-campus in the Brynmor Jones Library. When you book an appointment you can discuss your needs and will receive directions as appropriate. 

Work you wish to be discussed can also be emailed to Ray ahead of the appointment. 

UK-based students only

Please note these appointments are an independent service provided by the RLF which, as a small UK charity, has constraints on its work hence the service is only available to students currently in the UK.

English for academic purposes (EAP)

The RLF service is intended to help native (or near-native) speakers of English improve their essay-writing skills. It is not suitable for speakers of English as a second language, unless they are already highly proficient in the language. If you are an international student and need help with your English language, please access the English Language Support service. 


About Ray French

Ray French was born in Wales to Irish parents, and now lives in Scotland. His first book was The Red Jag and Other Stories (2000). His novel, All This Is Mine (2003), was translated into Dutch and Italian. Going Under (2007), his second novel, is about a man who buries himself alive in his back garden, announcing that he’s not coming back up until his employer changes their decision to close the factory where he works and relocate to India. It was translated into French and German, adapted for German radio, and is currently optioned as a film in France.

He is one of four male authors featured in the collection Four Fathers (2006), eight stories about having and being a father. His short story, ‘Migration’, was published in the compilation Best European Fiction (2013), and others have been included in several collections. He is the co-editor of End Notes: Ten stories about loss, mourning and commemoration (2017), and I Wouldn’t Start From Here: The Second Generation Irish in Britain (2019), a collection of essays, fiction and poetry.

He has run residential writing courses for the Arvon Foundation, workshops in schools, libraries and art galleries, and worked with community writing groups, refugees and teenagers. He has lectured at Leeds Trinity University, the University of Leeds and the University of Hull.

What students say…  

“…my marks have gone up considerably. I have gone from an average of 58 to 72 this year, I cannot thank you enough.” 

- Undergraduate

“I can't explain how helpful it was, not only for cutting words but for my own mental state!” 

- Undergraduate

“I just want you to know how much I appreciate all the help you’ve given me over the past year. I genuinely feel like my writing has improved so much which I think is rare for a lot of people this late on. It has really helped having someone outside of the course to talk through my ideas…”

- Postgraduate 

Frequently asked questions

Appointment format

Appointments are delivered on campus in the Brynmor Jones Library and consist of:

  • A one-to-one consultation, lasting 50 minutes, to drill down into your writing

  • Advice unique to your specific requirement 

  • Completely confidential support 

You are encouraged to email an extract of your work in before your appointment to allow the Fellow to prepare.

What your session might cover
  • Structure and punctuation 

  • Writing with clarity 

  • Rewriting and editing 

  • Planning and time management

  • Tackling the word count 

  • Critical thinking, paraphrasing and referencing 


What NOT to expect from an appointment

RLF Writing Fellows do not undertake proofreading or EAP tuition. 

Questions? Contact Ray at: