FLAME University


Learning from some of the best minds in education and in the industry
Prof. Michael Burns
Assistant Professor - Academic Writing
Email: michael.burns@flame.edu.in
PhD in Documentary Film History from University of Birmingham, UK; M.S. in Labor Studies, from University of Massachusetts, USA; B.A. in Theology from Georgetown University, USA.

Prof. Michael Burns completed his Ph.D. in Documentary Film History from the University of Birmingham in the UK in 2008, becoming the first student in the United Kingdom to submit an audio/visual doctorate. Since then, he has completed five documentary films for international television and his work has appeared in over twenty countries.

In recent years he developed a strong interest in story structure and traditions of storytelling. While living in Bombay from 2011 to 2017, Prof. Burns founded and directed Tall Tales, India’s longest-running, live, non-fiction storytelling event series. He has published two books derived from this storytelling work. He also teaches the most popular creative writing workshop in India under the Tall Tales umbrella.

In addition to his work as a writing coach for aspiring writers (both would-be novelists and non-fiction authors), he also runs international writing retreats through his company The Story Retreat.

Prof.  Burns current research interests include the universal story structure, character design, setting architecture in writing, the art of oral narration, and comparative international storytelling traditions.



  • The 8 Stories for Businesses & Professionals Amazon KDP, 2021 (8storiesbook.com)

  • The Best of Tall Tales, Rupa (2019)

  • Hacking your Creativity, Penguin (2018)


  • “The Power of Storytelling” Inspiration Economy Conference, Bahrain, March 2020


  • “Biden BIHNOO and Why it Matters” (Medium.com) 2020

  • “Rogue Won: Undercounts, small footprints, and stealing an election in plain sight” (Medium.com) 2020

  • “Intimacy” (Medium.com) 2017