The Creative Team

The Imagining History Programme UK is devised by a team of people who are passionate about and experienced in developing the creative minds of young writers. We draw inspiration from a wide range of fields of expertise.


Creative & Executive Director/Arts-Educator

Alan Caig Wilson MA MFA Adv Dip Drama – www.alancaigwilson.net

Alan has an MA in Psychology from St Andrews University, an Advanced Diploma in Drama from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and in 2003 graduated MFA with Distinction in Theatre Direction from Birkbeck University of London. 

Commissioned by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch in 2013 and 2014, he adapted two early works of Sir Walter Scott (The Lay of the Last Minstrel and Waverley, or ’tis sixty years since) for performance at the Borders Book Festival. In 2014 he was invited by the Buccleuchs to take on the establishment and direction of The Young Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. In 2015, he established The Imagining History Programme UK as the practical wing of YWSP – a way of introducing young creative minds to the riches of their historical worlds as a source for their writing.

A veteran of Arts Council England’s Creative Partnerships programme, he has worked in collaboration with a range of schools in London, Essex and Suffolk as an arts-curriculum consultant.

As a performer, director, creative producer and teacher he has worked in theatre, TV, film, Music Theatre and Live Art Performance all over mainland Europe, the UK and to India, the US and Japan. At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival has won two Fringe Firsts and a Capital Award. At Theatre Workshop in Edinburgh in the 1990s, as part of a ground-breaking European Union funded project – Positive Voices –  he created projects exploring the hidden voices of a range of communities across the City of Edinburgh – including people living with HIV/AIDS and young LGBTQ people. Also at Theatre Workshop he directed the large-scale Community show David’s Gift which told the story of Kindertransport children in Edinburgh

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Development Associate/Writer-Educator

Elizabeth Ferretti MA – www.writerrevealed.co.uk

Liz is a professional writer of fiction and non-fiction, who wishes she had started writing earlier in life. Since 2015 Liz has co-developed and co-delivered immersive writing experiences in extraordinary locations for The Young Walter Scott Prize/Imagining History Programme UK. She has created innovative writing workshops for a range of writers in East Anglia – including collaborations with the National Trust on the extraordinary post Cold War wasteland of Orford Ness.

During 2018 she was Writer-in-Residence at Quay Place Well-Being and Heritage Centre in Ipswich.

“The historic houses and landscapes of Britain are full of stories,” Liz says, “it’s wonderful to see young writers so inspired by them. The best part of the day? Watching the young writers immersed in their creative spaces, completely focussed on the imaginary worlds they are creating.”

Art Historian/Arts-Educator

Roxanne Matthews

Roxanne has 10 years experience in arts engagement and two first class degrees in art history from the University of East Anglia. She is a practicing art historian, facilitator and consultant, Having built a foundation in excellent community arts engagement at the Wallace Collection, she is committed to engaging older learners and inspiring young people to read and write through innovative arts practice. 

She has curated and managed a gallery in East Africa, run her own heritage talks and learning programmes and now works as a lecturer and consultant for museums, colleges and arts organisations.

Her specialisms and specific interests include medieval architecture in east anglia, the English reformation, seventeenth century Dutch painting,

Historical Associate

Dr Dina Gusejnova, Assistant Professor of Modern History, LSE University of London

Dina Gusejnova, originally from Russia, is Assistant Professor in Modern History at LSE University of London. She is the author of European Elites and Ideas of Empire, 1917-57 (2016) which traces how the collapse of empires in continental Europe affected ideas of Europe. She is also the editor of Cosmpolitanism in Conflict, Imperial Encounters from the Seven Years War to the Cold War (2018). Dina’s current research concentrates on ideas of citizenship and the experience of statelessness during the Second World War.

She is always keen to think about the past through different media and in collaboration with artists and writers. She has authored a programme for BBC Radio 4, Tarpaulin – A Biography, about the many lives of a common fabric. She has also given a TedEx talk at both Tate Modern in London and the Musee D’Orsay in Paris. She blogs for BBC World Histories and for the Journal of the History of Ideas. Her current preoccupation is with the medium of documentary film, a genre which holds much promise for the historian.

By engaging with history, we open our eyes to the multifaceted nature of our world: the paths not taken, things that might have been, the factors which led to things as they are now, a universe of peculiar but forgotten characters, of past dreams and expectations.



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Stephanie Haxton

Steph Haxton is an historian, a specialist in the Tudor and Stuart eras, with a particular interest in the Civil War in Cornwall. With a background in historical re-enactment, you could say that she has lived the history as well as researched it. Steph is also a playwright, author and loves word-smithing in all its forms. She has worked as an educational manager for English Heritage at Pendennis Castle in Falmouth.

She is the author of a trilogy of historical novels set in Cornwall, Exposed to All Villanies, A Cord of Three Strand and To Untie A Sealed Knot. All three novels were nominated in the prestigious Cornish Gorsedh Holyer an Gof awards, To Untie a Sealed Knot becoming a prizewinning novel in 2018.

History is about real people, ordinary folk as well as the famous ones. There are so many stories that start from forgotten facts and every one of them deserves to be told

The Imagining History Programme is funded by the Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust.