Giant robot battles. Zombie sieges. Library burlesque.
I’m Matt Finch. I was born in London. I write and create fun things for people to do in public spaces around the world.
Sometimes that involves devising role-play adventures for all ages – opportunities for people to physically step into the world of a story, from zombie survival challenges through to robots-versus-monsters battles in a knee-high cardboard city.
Sometimes that means curating arts programmes – like a burlesque festival for New Zealand’s biggest city - or tabletop games – like this superhero remix of Cory Doctorow’s work. It might even mean challenging an entire nation’s librarians to compete to make the best book dominoes. Once I even ate a daffodil for love, although to be honest that didn’t go entirely well.
I’ve spoken on literacy issues in both the British and Australian Parliaments – but more often than not, I’m writing – on pop culture, science, education, or community outreach – for print, broadcast, and online outlets around the world.
Dr. Matt Finch has taught and told stories for people across the age ranges from 4 years old to 40, in locations as diverse as the mountains of Peru, the streets of Brooklyn, Shakespeare’s birthplace, and rural New South Wales.
Matt creates immersive play activities for all ages – live-action scenarios incorporating theatre, games, and storytelling. Most famously, he’s pitched kids and teens against zombie hordes in Australia and New Zealand.
His work includes writing for print and online media around the world, creating web content for English public services, and delivering schools outreach workshops and an award-winning Researcher in Residence role for the University of London. He has also provided literacy mentoring for children in foster care, and bespoke corporate training workshops.
In 2010, Matt spoke at the British House of Commons on ‘Giving the Gift of Literacy’ for Volunteer Reading Help (now Beanstalk), an English literacy support charity. In 2012, he spoke in Australia’s Parliament House at the inaugural meeting of the Australian Early Literacy Parliamentary Friendship Group. In 2014, he was a keynote speaker at the biennial Australasian libraries and culture sector conference VALA – you can find video and audio coverage at the VALA website.
A fully qualified UK schoolteacher, Matt also holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of London, where he taught undergraduate seminars in English literature. His writing credits cover a range of print and online media in the US, UK, and beyond, including music reviews for the BBC’s Ariel, children’s writing broadcast on UK radio, and various travel, arts, and news features.
And you can hear an April 2014 interview with Matt by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation here: