Petra McQueen BA(hons) PGCE has been teaching English and Drama for over twenty years. Beginning her career in Japan, she has travelled extensively, teaching at primary schools, high schools, tertiary colleges and life-long learning centres. Her subjects include English as an Additional Language, Drama, Literature and Creative Writing. At present Petra runs successful Creative Writing workshops in Essex and Suffolk. Through teaching literature to others, and through a love of reading and research, Petra has gained an extensive knowledge of authors and the lives they’ve led. Her non-fiction books aim to be easily understood, entertaining and informative.
Petra’s other love is fiction writing. Her short stories and poems have been published both in the UK and abroad. She has won a few minor competitions and hopes to win more. She is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing and in the autumn of 2012 hopes to have started her PhD. Her specialism is autobiography and how the style of autobiography can be replicated in fiction. The work of Roberto Bolaño has influenced her work greatly. Her current project explores life, death, disability, literature and love, can be found at: www.wheredoallthedeadpeoplego.blogspot.com. It is an autobiographical account of growing up with a brother with many disabilities.
Petra is also the co-founder of 'Off the Rails', a community group dedicated to showcasing local art and literature in the station buildings and surrounds. Details about this project can be found at: www.offtherailswivenhoe.blogspot.com or on facebook.
Petra lives in a small cottage not far from an estuary with mudflats dotted with oyster-catchers and egrets. Sometimes she jogs along the banks of the river. She tries to exercise every day but usually fails. The fridge is nearer and often more exciting. She is kept busy and entertained by her two lovely boys.