Dr John Ballam

Director of the Undergraduate Diploma in Creative Writing, Department for Continuing Education


Dr Ballam is the author of two collections of poetry, six stage plays, one novel and numerous academic works, including articles reviews and chapters.  He is best-known for his critically-acclaimed memoir The Road to Harmony (1999; new edition 2009). His principal research interests are in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British and American literature. He is a prolific reviewer and has also worked with the prestigious Italian consortium Fondazione ISTUD on a series of enterprise biographies. His main field of interest, however, remains drama and he is currently a script consultant and screenwriter for several major producers in London, Hollywood and Mumbai.


  • Creative writing teaching to all levels, especially undergraduates and postgraduates
  • Life writing (biography, memoir, autobiography - teaching it and doing it)
  • Screenwriting (teaching it and doing it)
  • Novel writing (teaching it and doing it)
  • Lifelong learning for adults, especially people from disadvantaged backgrounds

Media experience

Dr Ballam has considerable experience of working with the media in the UK, USA and elsewhere. He is a regular guest on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Oxford.