Hello! I’m Dr Will Buckingham. I love stories, travels and ideas, and I write for both adults and children. My books range from children's books to travel writing, and from philosophy to novels.
My picture book, The Snorgh and the Sailor (Alison Green Books 2012/2022), described by Julia Donaldson as “Outstanding — adventurous and quirky”, continues to be popular in schools and libraries. My middle-grade novel about dogs, the theory of relativity and friendship, “Lucy and the Rocket Dog” (2017) was a Library Information Technology Association Excellence in Children’s & Young Adult Science Fiction Notable Book.
“Hello, Stranger: Stories of Connection in a Divided World” (Granta 2021) is my most recent book for adults. “Hello, Stranger” was BBC Radio4 Book of the Week, and was featured on the BBC's Saturday Live. It draws together storytelling, anthropology, philosophy, history and memoir to ask what it means to live in a world where most of us are strangers to each other. I've written lots more for adults: everything from novels to travel memoirs. I have also contributed to DK's global bestseller (7 million copies sold to date!), “The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas, Simply Explained” (2013), where I wrote all the chapters from Nietzsche to Žižek.
I also write academically. I was formerly Associate Professor in Writing and Creativity at De Montfort University, and Visiting Associate Professor in the School of Literature and Journalism at Sichuan University (I am also a Chinese speaker). Currently, I am on the visiting faculty at Parami University, Myanmar. I have a PhD in philosophy and an MA in anthropology, and although I've been freelance since 2016, I still work on academic projects. The most recent has been a collaboration with researchers at the University of Kraków on a project about climate change and literature.
I run the popular online philosophy project Looking for Wisdom, which brings a truly global perspective to the study of philosophy.
For the past 20 years, I have run workshops in creative writing and creative thinking in all kinds of settings. Some of my projects have included: workshops for schools, library projects, writing residencies in hospitals, community philosophy salons in China, work with community groups, projects in museums… Wherever I work, I believe that we all have stories and ideas with the power to change the world, if only we realise it.
Through my social enterprise, Wind&Bones CIC, I've run projects with refugee communities in Greece and the UK, with women survivors of abuse in Bulgaria, and with small community education providers in Myanmar.
I've also appeared in book and literature festivals across the world, giving talks and workshops: including the Bookworm Book Festival (China), the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (Indonesia), the Edinburgh Book Festival (forthcoming, Scotland), the Wigtown Book Festival (Scotland), the Sofia Book Festival (Bulgaria) and the Helsinki Night of the Arts (Finland).
Some of my recent and upcoming events and workshops for 2022 include:
- A primary school visit in NE England, running nonfiction workshops
- Residency and week-long virtual writing workshop with the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, Bulgaria
- Three day writing workshop at the Dandelion Festival Glasgow (forthcoming, June 2022)
- Guest writer on the Freedom to Write retreat, Wales, with writers Andy West and Yvonne Jewkes
- Creative writing project with women survivors of abuse in Bulgaria, run via Wind&Bones and funded by British Embassy, Bulgaria, with final exhibition at the National Gallery, Bulgaria.
- An author talk at the Derby Book Festival
- A public philosophy talk for the Pari Center, Italy
- Writing commissions for RE Today magazine
- Consultancy and curriculum development for Parami University, Myanmar, and the Chinbridge Institute, Myanmar
I’m currently based in Dundee, although I’m often found elsewhere, and I'm willing to travel. So whatever project you are cooking up, wherever in the world, give me a shout and let's talk more.