Bury reporter: Gill James

Gill James moved to Greater Manchester when she had a massive career change at the age of 55. She established herself as a writer after over twenty-six years of teaching foreign languages in secondary schools. In 2007 she gained a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing (Bangor University) and became a lecturer at the University of Salford.

She retired as a senior lecturer from Safford University in 2016 but continued to write, occasionally work freelance for the university,  run her own publishing  company  with a few friends  and  enjoy  activities with U3A (University of the Third Age) and  NWR (National Women’s Register).  Recently she has volunteered as a Culture Champion.  The latter has involved designing creative writing materials for people who were isolating alone during the 2020 Covid 19 pandemic,, working with the Bury Art Museum at delivering an online writing workshop and working with women’s groups.

She firmly believes that older people can contribute a lot to society and to the economy and that by remaining active, they not only improve their own well-being but can also enhance the lives of people of all generations.

She sings tenor (yes, that’s right) in a choir. This is a multi-generational group where there is no ageism. This is also true in her writers’ networks.  She is keen to promote networks like these and also does this through her Creative Café Project.     

She also wishes to help establish safe spaces where people can meet and exchange ideas and information.  These may be on-line spaces or physical ones

Gill speaks French and German fluently and Spanish and Dutch quite well. Over the years that has bought her into contact with many people, a good contrast to her more solitary life as a writer.

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