Dr Hannah Wood
Lecturer in Creative Media
School of Art, Design and Architecture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)
Dr Hannah Wood is a Lecturer in Creative Media with expertise in interactive and immersive narrative. Her work explores how these forms invite people to embody moments and perspectives that can inspire change and understanding in the world.
She is founder and creative director of Story Juice an interactive storytelling and game development studio making playful experiences for everyone from individuals to audiences of 200,000, ranging from large scale and 5* reviewed immersive theatrical experiences using cutting edge sensor technologies, to multilocational adventure games using cities as stages, and augmented reality video games that have been featured on BBC Woman’s Hour. In 2020, Hannah was selected as one of Creative UK’s 10 female entrepreneurs and Story Juice is a national finalist for the Barclays Entrepreneur Games Award 2022.
Hannah's personal artistic practice is as a writer, experience designer, director and developer for games, interactive and immersive experiences; but she also works in other forms, having had poetry and short fiction published. Her projects have tackled themes including untold stories, intimacy, feminism, climate change and future technology across a range of genres, exploring how these topics translate into poetic mechanics, environmental storytelling, non-linear narrative structures and integrate physical and digital storyworlds. Her work carefully considers representation and its role in challenging and deconstructing dominant ideologies.
Hannah was a South West Creative Technology Immersion Fellow exploring designing for intimacy and subversion (separately), is experienced leading multidisciplinary teams, collaborating with artists in different fields, mentoring young creatives for organisations including the BBC and UK Games Talent, and in 2021 was selected for a programme to nurture new city leaders in Plymouth.
She's often invited to speak publicly about her creative work and research, including as the closing keynote speaker for a Gender and Games conference in tandem with a major video games exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Hannah has a Creative Practice PhD from University of Exeter (2017), which was bursary-funded and consisted of a range of creative work and an academic thesis entitled ‘Playable Stories: Writing and Design Methods for Negotiating Narrative and Player Agency.’ This research won the ‘Best Paper’ award at the International Conference in Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) 2017. The tensions between narrative and player agency are an ongoing research investigation into how interactive and immersive narratives borrow and adapt more traditional storytelling forms and invent fresh methods.
Prior to joining University of Plymouth, she was a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Falmouth University, where she also taught in the Games Academy. Before that she was a journalist working in the UK and Brazil, and as a digital editor for a national newspaper.
She has an MA from University of Exeter in English, Film and Creative Writing and a Postgraduate Certificate in Multiplatform Writing and Production, which was ScreenSkills-funded and accredited by the University of South Wales.
Her BA (Hons) degree was in English Literature, Film and Creative Writing from Cardiff University (2003), with a year abroad at University of California, Berkeley, where author Ishmael Reed published her poetry and short fiction and she was selected to attend a filmmaking symposium at the Telluride Film Festival.
She's also an alumni of Code Coven where she learnt programming skills.
Hannah is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Roles on external bodies
Hannah is a peer reviewer for the Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds and Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, a member of Plymouth's Cultural Partnership and a governor for Millbay and High Street Local Governing Body. She's also held voluntary community roles as a roller derby league director and coach.
Hannah teaches across creative forms, reflecting a multidisciplinary practice that incorporates games, theatre, immersive experiences, prose, poetry, audio and film. She has special interests in writing and directing for interactive, immersive and game forms, as well as in experimental literary fiction and art that drives social change.
Hannah currently teaches modules on Narratives, Immersive and Interactive Media, Transmedia Storytelling, Critical Theory and Professional Media Practice in the Creative Media department.
She previously taught a Writing Practices module in the Theatre and Performance department at Plymouth and guest lectured in Digital Art and Technology and Games.
At Falmouth University, she taught Creative Writing and English modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and supervised PhDs.
At University of Exeter, she was a postgraduate teaching assistant in Creative Writing and English Studies.