Here you will find the details of all our speakers that will be featuring in our panels and workshops.
Emily Yau is currently Editorial Director on Quercus’s commercial fiction list, having previously worked at Penguin Random House, where she published books such as The One by John Marrs and The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker, both of which selected for Simon Mayo’s Radio 2 Book Club. She also acquired the psychological thriller Final Girls and an upcoming novel from bestselling non-fiction writer Helen Russell, and has worked with Sunday Times bestsellers Caitlin Moran, Andy Weir and Rowan Coleman. Emily studied on the English programme at Manchester Metropolitan University and is looking forward to returning for her third NCW Grad Fair.
After six years commissioning commercial fiction at Quercus, Kathryn joined Bookouture to pursue her passion for digital publishing. While at Quercus she published everything from romance to psychological thrillers, and her authors included ebook bestsellers Linda Green, Tracy Rees, Joanna Bolouri and Cate Woods. Kathryn is originally from San Francisco, California but has lived in the UK for more than a decade.
Jacob Ross is a novelist, short story writer, editor and creative writing tutor. His latest book, The Bone Readers, marks a new departure into crime fiction, and won the inaugural Jhalak Prize in 2017. His literary novel Pynter Bender was published to much critical literary acclaim and was shortlisted for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Regional Prize and chosen as one of the British Authors Club’s top three Best First Novels. Jacob is also the author of two short story collections, Song for Simone and A Way to Catch the Dust, and is the editor of Closure, Contemporary Black British short stories. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been a judge of the V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize, the Olive Cook, Scott Moncrieff and Tom-Gallon Literary Awards.
Jess completed her first degree in Literature with The Open University, and has since taught creative writing and gained an MA and PhD in Creative Writing Studies from St Mary's University, Strawberry Hill. She has also worked as a support worker specialising in acquired brain injury.
Jess was brought up in London as part of a large family from Mayo, and plans to settle somewhere along the west coast of Ireland in the next few years. Until then, she lives in Richmond with her daughter.
Jess' debut novel, Himself, was published by Canongate in October 2016. Her second novel, The Hoarder, will hit the shelves in Spring 2018.
Sai Murray c) Sakina Sheikh
Sai Murray is a writer, spoken word artist, graphic designer of Bajan/ Afrikan/ English heritage. His first poetry collection Ad-liberation is published by Peepal Tree Press. In 2015, he was lead writer on Virtual Migrants' touring production Continent Chop Chop - a theatrical performance combining poetry, music and digital media that addressed issues of race, refugees and climate justice. Sai runs artist/activist promotions agency Liquorice Fish and is a founding poet facilitator of youth arts and campaigning project Voices that Shake!. He is a Numbi resident poet; arts and politics editor of Sable Lit Mag and a co-ordinating member of PARCOE (Pan Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe).
Debbie Taylor - Mslexia
Debbie Taylor is the founder and Editorial Director of Mslexia magazine. She has written for Oxfam, UNICEF, Anti-Slavery, WHO and others about women and social issues. Her books include My Children, My Gold (Virago), a travelogue about single mothers, and The Fourth Queen (Penguin), a novel set in a harem in 18th Century Morocco. Her latest novel, Herring Girl (Oneworld), a paranormal historical murder mystery, is out now.
Mslexia Publications is an independent not-for-profit publishing company dedicated to the promotion and publication of women’s writing. It was founded in 1999 with National Lottery and Arts Council England funding, but now survives solely on the sales of its publications and income from its competitions.
SJ Bradley is a writer from Leeds, UK, whose short fiction has been published in the US & UK including in Litro magazine and New Willesden Short Stories. She is the organiser behind Fictions of Every Kind, and director of the Northern Short Story Festival. In 2017 she won a Saboteur Award for her work editing the Remembering Oluwale anthology, published now by Valley Press. Her second novel, Guest, is now published by Dead Ink Books and is available in bookshops. www.sjbradleybooks.blogspot.com
Irenosen Okojie is a writer and Arts Project Manager. Her debut novel Butterfly Fish won a Betty Trask award and was shortlisted for an Edinburgh International First Book Award. Her work has been featured in The Observer, The Guardian, the BBC and the Huffington Post amongst other publications. Her short stories have been published internationally including Salt's Best British Short Stories 2017, Kwani? and The Year's Best Weird Fiction. She was presented at the London Short Story Festival by Ben Okri as a dynamic writing talent to watch and was featured in the Evening Standard Magazine as one of London’s exciting new authors. Her short story collection Speak Gigantular , published by Jacaranda Books was shortlisted for the Edgehill Short Story Prize, the Jhalak Prize, the Saboteur Awards and nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award.
Afshan D’souza-Lodhi was born in Dubai and bred in Manchester. She is of Indian/Pakistani descent and writes plays, prose, performance pieces and occasionally passive aggressive tweets. She has worked with Z-Arts, Manchester Lit Festival, Commonword & Cultureword, The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester, Eclipse Theatre, Tamasha Theatre Company, Dog Horn Publishing, Young Enigma, Edinburgh Free Fringe Festival, Polari and one day hopes to take over the world. Afshan is currently being commissioned by RandomActs North to write and direct a short film for Channel 4.
Adam Lowe c) Drew Wilby
Adam Lowe is a writer, performer, publisher and director from Leeds. He currently lives in Manchester, where he runs Young Enigma, a professional development programme for young and emerging LGBT writers. He also runs Dog Horn Publishing and handles publicity for Peepal Tree Press, the world's largest publisher of Caribbean literature and part of the Northern Fiction Alliance.
Kavita Bhanot’s fiction, non-fiction and reviews have been published and broadcast widely. She is editor of the anthology Too Asian, Not Asian Enough (Tindal Street Press 2011), the forthcoming Book of Birmingham (Comma Press, 2018) and co-editor of the first Bare Lit anthology (Brain Mill Press, 2017). She has a PhD from the University of Manchester, is a reader and mentor with The Literary Consultancy and is currently Honorary Creative Writing Fellow at Leicester University.
After four years at David Fickling Books, Tilda moved to Penguin Random House Children’s, before joining the Hot Key Books and Piccadilly Press team as Senior Commissioning Editor. There, she worked closely with both emerging and established children’s and YA authors, including Mark Lowery, Robin Etherington, Jo Cotterill, T S Easton, Julie Mayhew and Sebastien de Castell. Having relocated to the North of England, Tilda now works as a freelance editor and her clients include Oxford University Press, Bloomsbury, Speckled Pen and Orion Children’s Books. She is also a mentor for The Golden Egg Academy, and will begin running the first regional branch of GEA from Manchester in 2018.
Michelle Green is a British-Canadian writer and spoken word artist. She has appeared at many festivals and live events across the UK and beyond, performing solo and in collaboration with writers, musicians and visual/digital artists. Her stories have featured on BBC Radio 4, in Short Fiction Journal, and in the literary mapping app LitNav, with her poetry appearing in numerous anthologies, including Stairs and Whispers, the UK’s first anthology of work by D/deaf and disabled writers, forthcoming from Nine Arches Press. Her debut short story collection, Jebel Marra (Comma Press, 2015) was nominated for a number of national and international awards, and she is now working on her second collection, an audio and digital short story map of Hayling Island. More at www.michellegreen.co.uk
Kit Caless writes for VICE, The Guardian, New Statesman among others. He is the author of Spoon's Carpets: An Appreciation (Square Peg/Penguin Random House 2016). He is co-founder and editor of London-based independent publishing house Influx Press, and co-founder of digital story telling project #LossLit.
Esther Harris - Bookollective
Esther Harris is one third of book PR agency Bookollective, voted among The Booksellers Rising Stars 2017. Once upon a time, a book editor, designer and publicist saw a gap in the market for a fresh approach to book creation and promotion. They joined forces, meeting authors, book bloggers and other publishing professionals along the way, to form one big 'book collective'. Their passion for books and decades of publishing know-how means that authors and publishers now have access to some of the best literary experts in the industry, all in one team and all working together to build buzz around their books.
Charlie Campbell has been a literary agent for over a decade. He joined Ed Victor Ltd in 2005 before setting up Kingsford Campbell in 2014. He is interested in both fiction and non-fiction, with a particular focus on literary novels, thrillers and non-fiction that tackles big or quirky subjects in an accessible way. Before agenting, he spent three years at Literary Review, where he became Deputy Editor. His clients include Edward Brooke-Hitching, Jen Campbell, Rebecca Front, Julian Gough, Will Hill and Anthony McGowan. He is captain of the Authors XI, a cricket team of writers that has played at literary festivals in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Iceland. He has written two books: Scapegoat: A History of Blaming Other People and Herding Cats: The Art of Amateur Cricket Captaincy.
An established scriptwriter, poet and performer, Anjum Malik has written several much-acclaimed original plays for BBC, ITV and theatre in UK. She is a regular creative writing tutor for leading literary organisations in UK and overseas. She is also a lecturer in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, England, UK.
Anjum specialises in fact to fiction. Her scripts, poems and writing are based on true stories and real people. Over 70 of her scripts have been produced, transmitted or preformed so far. Her previous jobs include police officer, interpreter, sales person, business owner and classical Indian Kathak dancer. She was born in Saudi Arabia and has lived in Pakistan as well several cities in England. Anjum is multi lingual and currently based in Manchester, UK.
Tania Hershman's third short story collection, Some Of Us Glow More Than Others, was published by Unthank Books in May 2017, and her debut poetry collection, Terms & Conditions, by Nine Arches Press in July. Tania is also the author of a poetry chapbook, Nothing Here Is Wild, Everything Is Open, and two short story collections, My Mother Was An Upright Piano, and The White Road and Other Stories, and co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers' & Artists' Companion (Bloomsbury, 2014). Tania is curator of short story hub ShortStops (www.shortstops.info), celebrating short story activity across the UK & Ireland, and is currently completing a PhD in creative writing inspired by particle physics. Hear her read her work on https://soundcloud.com/ taniahershman and find out more here: www.taniahershman.com
Livi Michael is the author of 8 novels for adults and 12 for children, several of which are set in different historical periods. She has won or been nominated for seventeen awards,.Her latest trilogy about the Wars of the Roses; succession, Rebellion and Accession has been published by Penguin Books.
She teaches creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, supervising students with a particular interest in historical writing at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She also offers a CPD courses in collaboration with the history department: From Historical fact to Contemporary Fiction