Spectral Visions

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The Spectral Visions brand arose from the popular and respected academic conference ‘Spectral Visions: The Gothic’, hosted at the University of Sunderland in 2012. Each year, the Spectral Visions conference endeavours to lift the veil on the enduringly popular genre of Gothic, pulling in high numbers of eminent academics and prospective students from around the United Kingdom. The annual event allows undergraduate students interested in postgraduate study to get a taste of what the University of Sunderland has to offer, whilst acting as a fantastic display of academic passion for A Level students who are considering a degree in English.

Spectral Visions has provided a diverse platform for students, enabling its members to work with professional writers and eminent academics, and now with the launch of Spectral Visions Press, it is training students to become accomplished, professional publishers and editors.

English department staff getting ready for Spectral Visions

Staff from the English department get into the spirit for the Spectral Visions conference


Spectral Visions publishing house

Spectral Visions Press is an innovative new publishing house located at the University of Sunderland. The Press exists to further the University’s objective of providing a life-changing student experience, while contributing to cutting-edge research, scholarship and sensational creativity.

It specialises in publishing outstanding works of creative writing, niche pieces, and writing concerned with, and inspired by, Gothic literature and Gothic studies.

Governed by high-profile academics and industry professionals, Spectral Visions Press is pioneering in that it consists of more than 70 skilled student volunteers, who are at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels.

The publishing house materialised following the success of Spectral Visions: The Collection (2014) which was celebrated as ‘…the product of creative minds well versed in the stylistics… sitting squarely – and honourably – within the great tradition of Gothic anthologising’ and heralded as a ‘lively and positive contribution to the vitality of a genre’ by Professor William Hughes, Bath Spa University.

In its first month, Spectral Visions Press received close to 100 submissions from around the globe for its creative writing collection Spectral Visions: Grim Fairy Tales, and for its Gothic studies-centred academic journal ‘Monstrum’.

Steve Watts, Head of the School of Culture at the University of Sunderland, described Spectral Visions as an example of ‘what can be achieved when students have agency over their studies… a community of practice.’