Churchwell has lectured at the University of East Anglia since 1999. She has written for many publications including The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times Book Review, The Spectator, The New Statesman,[1] The Guardian and The Observer. Her works include a book about Marilyn Monroe entitled The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe (2004) and a book about F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby entitled Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby (2013). Her television appearances include Newsnight, Question Time, The Review Show, and The Sharp End with Clive Anderson.

Churchwell was a member of the judging panel for the 2014 Man Booker Prize.

She is the Eccles Centre for American Studies Writer in Residence for 2015. Starting in October, 2015, Professor Churchwell is to be the University of London’s School of Advanced Study’s (SAS) first chair in public understanding of the humanities.