Staff Profiles

Clive Hopwood
Founder and Co-Director

Clive HopwoodI’m a writer, editor, director and storyteller. Over the last 40 years I’ve written over 100 books mostly for children, had more than 20 plays performed, edited a large number of books and magazines, told countless oral stories, organised arts festivals, started theatre and writers’ groups and reminiscence projects, directed stage plays, produced video and audio works, given talks, run workshops, created exhibitions and designed a wide range of publicity material.

I’ve worked in theatre (fringe, rep, touring rep and educational theatre), TV, publishing and community arts. Working as a writer in residence at HMP Garth in 1994-95 I got hooked by prison work… I’m the founder and Co-Director of the Writers in Prison Foundation and a member of the Arts Alliance steering group.  Pauline and I were the subject of Radio 4’s documentary The Goodnight Tales and winner of the Lord Longford Prize 2004.  I have a BA in Drama and an MA in screenwriting.

Check out Clive’s Director’s Journal 2011 for an insight into what a WIPF director does.


Pauline Bennett

I’m the other co-Director.  I’m also an oral storyteller, theatre director and community arts facilitator.  I’ve worked in schools, libraries, community centres, festivals, art galleries and museums, particularly with young people and those with special needs.  I joined the Foundation in 2002, having worked as an occasional volunteer for the previous four years.

I lived and worked in Italy for 23 years in Italy running a successful fashion business and have since used my fluent Italian as an interpreter/


Rebecca Burton

Hello, I’m the Business Development Manager and I started with the Writers in Prison Foundation in July 2012.  Before this I was in South East London for over 12 years working for the London Borough of Southwark in a variety of different roles including: Economic Development Manager, Strategic Partnerships and Head of Strategy and Information for Regeneration.  Here at WiPF I manage the office as well as working on the forward strategy, fundraising and, well, pretty much anything that needs to be done.



  • What prison staff and offenders say...

    The fact is creative activities and the arts can transform the attitudes and lives of those in prison [and] just might reach a part of their characters which stark punitive attitudes can never penetrate. Allowing troubled people to feel some self-worth through creative expression is more likely to foster self-respect and engender empathy with others than what prison life offers generally.

    Erwin James
    Ex-offender, now a professional writer
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