I research writing & happiness. Here’s more of my academic background.

I am a Lecturer in Creative writing and an accomplished interdisciplinary researcher across Creative Writing, English Literature, and Psychology, with an international publication and presentation record. My PhD research explored creative writing in relation to the theory and practice of positive psychology. Through an analysis of qualitative interviews as well as placing this in a wider theoretical framework, I constructed a model of psychological wellbeing or ‘flourishing’ through creative writing. My previous research explored positive emotions in expressive writing.


PhD English Studies, ‘Wording the Self: A Positive Psychological Approach to Creative Writing’, Teesside University
MSc Applied Positive Psychology (with Distinction), University of East London
BA (Hons) English Literature and Creative Writing (1:1), Bath Spa University

Publications & Presentations

Hayes, Megan C and Llewellyn E. van Zyl. “Positive Journal Writing Across Multicultural Contexts” in Positive psychological intervention design and protocols for multi-cultural contexts, eds. Llewellyn E. van Zyl and Ian Rothmann. Springer International (June 2019)

Hayes, Megan C. “The Positive Journal: Putting the Psychology of Happiness onto the Page and into Practice.” Workshop presentation to the 9th European Conference on Positive Psychology, Budapest, Hungary, (June 2018).

Hayes, Megan C. “The Flourishing Writer.” Writing in Practice: The Journal of Creative Writing Research, Vol. 3 (March 2017)

Hayes, Megan C. “The Worded Self: Perspectives on Creative Writing and the Good Life from Literature to Positive Psychology.” Paper presentation to the Fifth Salzburg Institute Symposium, Universität Salzburg, Stefan Zweig Centre, Austria, (July 2017)

Hayes, Megan C. “‘Becoming more’: Towards a positive psychology of creative writing.” Workshop presentation to the European Conference on Positive Psychology, Angers, France, (June 2016)

Hayes, M. C. (September 2016) “The Flourishing Writer: Constructing Grounded Theory (GT) in Creative Writing Studies.” Paper presentation to the ‘Writing Between the Lines: Exploring Creative Writing as a Research Methodology’ conference, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales.

Hayes, M. C. (June 2016) “‘Becoming more’: Towards a positive psychology of creative writing.” Workshop presentation to the 8th European Conference on Positive Psychology, Angers, France.

Hayes, M. C. and Hefferon, K. (December, 2015) “‘Not like rose-tinted glasses… like taking a pair of dirty glasses off’: A pilot intervention using positive emotions in expressive writing.” International Journal of Wellbeing. 5(4), 78-95. DOI:10.5502/ijw.v5i4.4

Hayes, M. C. and Nicholls, S. (June, 2015) “Creative Writing Lab: Developing models for creative writing in the world.” Paper presentation to the ‘Creative Writing in the World’ conference, York St John University, UK.

Hayes, M. C. and Hefferon, K. (June, 2015) “Broaden, Build… and Bridge? Positive Emotions in Expressive Writing.” Poster presentation to the 4th World Congress on Positive Psychology, Orlando, USA.

Get in touch…

I’d love for you to contact me if you are interested in this research area.