Luke Allnutt grew up in Surrey and works as a journalist in the Czech Republic, writing for the British and American press, mainly about politics and technology. In 2013, he published UNSPOKEN, a Kindle Single inspired by his father’s death from cancer. He is a keen long-distance runner and proud Dad of two boys. If he had a Mastermind specialist subject, it would be the books of Judy Blume. His debut novel WE OWN THE SKY will be published by Orion in the UK in 2018, and has sold in 29 other territories around the world.
Amy Alward (nee McCulloch) is a Canadian author. She previously worked as Editorial Director at a leading children’s publisher, and in 2013 she was listed as one of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars. Her debut fantasy adventure novel, THE OATHBREAKER’S SHADOW, was published in 2013 under the name Amy McCulloch and was longlisted for the Branford Boase Award for best UK debut children’s book in 2014. THE POTION DIARIES, a young teen fantasy adventure, was published in July 2015. Rights were pre-empted in the UK (S&S) and US (S&S) and have sold in eight other countries around the world. THE POTION DIARIES was picked as one of the titles at the inaugural Zoella Book Club in 2016.
Ross Armstrong is an actor and writer based in North London. He studied English Literature at Warwick University and acting at RADA. He has performed on stage in the UK with the RSC in shows including Oppenheimer and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and on Broadway in the Donmar Warehouse production of Hamlet. He has also starred in numerous TV shows including Foyles War, Jonathan Creek, Mr Selfridge and DCI Banks, and will be appearing in the new series of Ripper Street. THE WATCHER is his first novel. It will be published by HQ in the UK and in Germany, France, Italy and Spain in 2017.
Stephen Aryan grew up in the North East of England but now lives in Yorkshire where he works full time in marketing for a software company. He’s been an avid fantasy reader since an early age, starting with the likes of Ursula Le Guin, Terry Brooks and David Eddings as well as myths and legends from around the world. The work of David Gemmell was a significant influence in his teens and continues to be a major factor on Stephen’s writing to date. As well as being a former book blogger and comic book contributor to Tor.com, Stephen continues to be an avid podcaster. His debut trilogy starts with BATTLEMAGE, published in 2015 by Orbit UK and Orbit US. The sequel, BLOODMAGE, was published in April 2016, and the final instalment CHAOSMAGE was published in October 2016. His new trilogy will be published by Orbit in 2017 and 2018.
Sam Avery, a quasi rock star in his 'youth' and a stand-up comedian ever since, started a blog when his twin boys were born to share his parenting jubilations and tribulations. Within months he had won Best New Blog at the MAD awards and saw the devoted following to his Facebook page, which he updates regularly, sky rocket. He has been featured in the Mail online, the Lad Bible, Netmums, The i Paper and Liverpool Echo and makes regular appearances on 5 Live and BBC 6 Music. You can download a new episode of his 'Things I Learned' podcast every week on iTunes.
‘A must’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘Hilarious’ DAILY MAIL
‘Amazing and brutally honest...brilliant’ THE LAD BIBLE
‘A gifted storyteller...absorbing and very funny’ THE LIST
Joanna Barnard is an English Literature graduate and works in marketing. In 2014 she won the inaugural Bath Novel Award. Her debut novel PRECOCIOUS is about a student-teacher relationship. When unhappily married Fiona meets Mr Morgan, her former English teacher, she is drawn into an affair with him. But what really happened between them when she was 14? And can her memories of the relationship really be trusted? Ebury (Random House) won the UK rights at auction, in a two-book deal. A Northerner currently exiled in the south of England, Joanna misses flat vowels, friendly bus drivers and chips and gravy.
Guy Browning has made a living bringing profound thought to places it really isn’t needed. He is a long-standing humorous columnist and commentator for The Guardian. He also writes the Sidestroke cartoon for The Sunday Times. He has written many books on business and humour although the dividing line is not always clear. NEVER HIT A JELLYFISH WITH A SPADE was an international bestseller. In 2012 he wrote and directed his first feature film Tortoise in Love which was released around the world. On the professional side, Guy started working life as an advertising copywriter at Darcy Masius Benton and Bowles, and then went on to be Creative Director of The Added Value Company, Europe’s largest marketing agency. He founded his own company Smokehouse in 1997, an innovation agency specialising in new product and service development. He is an international conference speaker on creativity and innovation.
Jessie Burton was born in south London in 1982. She studied at Oxford University and The Central School of Speech and Drama. She has appeared in several productions at the National, Bristol Old Vic, Salisbury Playhouse and the Donmar among others. Rights to THE MINIATURIST, her first novel, have sold in thirty-seven territories around the world, the bulk of which were sold at auction. Picador published in the UK in summer 2014, and it entered the Sunday Times bestseller list in its first week of sales. It was also named Waterstones Book of the Year, and to date has sold over one million copies worldwide. Her second novel, THE MUSE, was published in summer 2016 and spent 10 weeks straight on the Sunday Times bestseller list, peaking at number one.
When he was ten years old Niel Bushnell made a long list of things he hoped to achieve later in life. One of his main ambitions, lodged in between becoming an astronaut and drawing comics for a living, was to write a novel. The plan was to do this before he turned thirteen, but it’s taken him a little bit longer than that. His early love of comic books eventually took him in a slightly different direction: a career in animation. But Niel continued to write until his elusive first novel, SORROWLINE, was completed, some decades after his thirteenth birthday. He’d like to take the credit for it but he swears there is something living under the stairs that whispers secrets to him when no one else is around. Niel lives in his native north-east England, and he hopes that he might one day become an astronaut and set foot on Mars. SORROWLINE was published by Andersen Press in 2013 and the sequel, TIMESMITH, in 2014. Rights to both have also been sold in Germany, Brazil and Thailand.
An award-winning writer and journalist, Carla was the founding Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post in the UK, bringing the global news powerhouse to British shores in the summer of 2011.
During her time with HuffPost, she was twice named Editor of the Year at the Online Media Awards, and Media Innovator of the Year at the British Media Awards. She has also been included in Management Today’s annual 35 Under 35 list and The Drum’s Top 50 Female Innovators.
Specialising in opinion journalism, women's rights, fashion, travel and consumer behaviours, she has also held senior roles at Marie Claire and within Condé Nast's digital division.
In 2015, she left traditional media behind to take up a new role at Global Chief Content Officer at the world’s largest trend forecasting company, WGSN, and now spends a significant portion of her life, suitcase in hand, travelling between their worldwide offices. Instead of reporting on the here and now, today she is focused on predicting how we’ll behave, eat, live, dress and think in tomorrow’s world.
When on dry land, she has popped up on Newsnight, the Today programme and Sky News, and is a regular contributor to Channel 4’s What Britain Buys series.
And while she might help mega brands predict their own future trends, she still takes hours deciding what to wear each morning.
Lorraine Candy is the Luxury Content Director for The Sunday Times and Editor in Chief of Style magazine. She was previously Editor in Chief of ELLE magazine for 12 years. During her career as a journalist and editor she has worked as Editor in Chief at Cosmopolitan and Features Director of The Times newspaper.
She wrote a playful weekly parenting column for The Daily Mail’s Femail for six years called ‘I don’t know how I do It” and has written for The Times, The Guardian, The Mail, The Radio Times, Good Housekeeping and The Sunday Times as well as regularly interviewing celebrities for covers for the award winning ELLE magazine.
She writes regularly on her adventures in fitness, being a mum of four, fashion and feminism. She has a large social media following: Twitter 105k, Instagram 25k, Facebook 10k and regularly gives talks on a variety of subjects of interest to women. She has presented at the Mumsnet Conference and hosted many ELLE events interviewing women live on stage including Melinda Gates.
Lorraine appears regularly on TV and radio including Newsnight, the BBC’s Nine O’Clock news, This Morning and Anne Robinson’s Secret Britain as well as Radio Four’s Today programme and Woman’s Hour.
She is on the media advisory board of the children's charity Theirworld and also on the membership council of the Tate art galleries.
Mary Chamberlain is the author of many books on women’s history and Caribbean history. She is also Emeritus Professor of Caribbean History at Oxford Brookes University. Her book FENWOMEN was the first to be published by Virago Press in 1975. She has lived and worked in England and the Caribbean, and is a graduate of the acclaimed Creative Writing MA at Royal Holloway, University of London. She lives in London with her husband, the political theorist Stein Ringen. Her literary-historical novel THE DRESSMAKER OF DACHAU was published in Spring 2015 by HarperCollins UK and Random House US. Rights have sold in sixteen other territories around the world.
Nick Clark Windo
Nick studied English at Cambridge and then acting at RADA. For the last ten years, he has been working as a communications coach for a variety of individuals and companies, while also producing films. He runs an independent script-development fund and recently graduated from the Faber Academy’s ‘Write a Novel’ programme, during which he started writing THE FEED. It was pre-empted in 24 hours for six figures in the UK, and will be published in 2018 by Headline UK and HarperCollins US.
Jackie Clune is a writer, actress and singer who lives in East London. She has published numerous features for the Guardian (Weekend magazine), the Daily Mail (Femail), the Mail on Sunday (YOU magazine), the Observer, the Independent, Red magazine, and the Scotsman. In 2012 she had her own column in Top Sante magazine.
In 2004 she published her first novel Man of the Month Club (Quercus UK, Penguin USA) and in 2006 Extreme Motherhood - The Triplet Diaries (Macmillan, serialised in Femail). She has just written a monologue for BBC2, and is currently writing a one woman play. She is the mother of four children, including a set of naturally conceived triplets. She is a regular contributor to the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2, and has also contributed to various BBC Radio 4 arts programmes (Front Row, Woman's Hour, Loose Ends).
She is currently writing her second novel for the young adult market.
Katy sold all she owned, filled a backpack and booked a one-way ticket to south east Asia after her wedding was called off – and never looked back. The acclaimed travel blogger’s experiences inspired her to pen THE LONELY HEARTS TRAVEL CLUB and even saw her labelled the ‘Backpacking Bridget Jones’. She has had three books published by HQ, with three more to come. When she’s not globe-trotting, writing about her adventures and telling anyone who’ll listen to grab life by the horns, Katy loves catching up with family and friends and convincing herself that her cake addiction is out of control – just yet. You can find out more about Katy, her writing and her travels on her blog www.notwedordead.com
Sarah Day lives in London where she works as an Earth Science Communicator at the Geological Society of London. She has been shortlisted in the London Fringe Festival short story competition. Her literary historical novel, MUSSOLINI’S ISLAND, will be published by Tinder Press in Spring 2017.
Liz De Jager
Liz is far too fond of coffee shops and beautiful stationery but she uses both as incentive to keep on writing. Having been born and raised in South Africa, Liz now lives in the UK with her husband and their unruly Jack Russell. Liz has always loved reading and writing, much to the annoyance of her family who could never leave pens lying about without finding her scribbling on walls or bits of paper.
The Blackhart Legacy is her first series and three books are planned. The books are contemporary urban fantasies heaped with action, romance, fairy tale creatures, folklore and lashings of mythology.
Liz sincerely hopes that the events she writes about in the series do not come true.
You can find Liz over at www.lizdejager.co.uk or find her on Twitter as @LizUK
Claire has wanted to be a writer since reading Enid Blyton as a child and particularly enjoyed making up scary stories to frighten her little sister. After gaining a BA (Hons) in Journalism she started her career on a local newspaper and then worked at various press agencies writing for national newspapers and magazines. In 2004 she set up her own features writing agency writing true-life stories for women’s magazines, while attempting novels in her spare time. Her third attempt won the Marie Claire Debut Novel Award. The novel, THE SISTERS, was published by HarperCollins in Spring 2015. Her second novel, LOCAL GIRL MISSING, was published by Penguin in Summer 2016 and became a Sunday Times bestseller which has sold over 85,000 copies.
Maria was born and brought up in England, but has spent much of her life in New Zealand and France with her husband, four daughters and a well-travelled dog. She is now settled in Somerset. Her passions are family, writing and mountains (not always in that order). She is fascinated by the ties between past and present, thrives on the adrenaline of the moment and is happiest when faced with an uphill challenge. As a teacher and speech therapist, she has always had a professional as well as personal interest in language, literacy and literature and has been inspired by the many children, teenagers and young adults with whom she’s worked. Her first YA novel, BROKEN STRINGS, was published by Scholastic in 2014, and her second novel, A FLASH OF BLUE, published in 2015. ME AND MISTER P, illustrated by Daniel Rieley, was published by OUP in 2017, with three more to follow.
Francesca Haig is a novelist, poet and academic. She gained her PhD at the University of Melbourne, and is a Visiting Writing Fellow and the University of Chester, where she previously worked as Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader in Creative Writing. Her poetry and prose has been published in many literary journals and anthologies in both Australia and England, and has won various prizes. In 2010 she was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship. THE FIRE SERMON was her first novel, the first book in a trilogy. Rights have sold in more than 20 territories, largely at auction, with film rights pre-empted by Dreamworks. HarperCollins published in the UK in Spring 2015, and THE MAP OF BONES, the second book, is out now.
Maggie Harcourt was born and raised in Wales, and now lives near the border with her family. Her first novel, THE LAST SUMMER OF US, is a moving contemporary YA, about a 16-year-old girl the summer after her mother dies. Usborne pre-empted rights and published in spring 2015 as their lead YA title. Her next book, UNCONVENTIONAL, will be published by Usborne in February 2017.
Elodie is currently a staff reporter and presenter at ITV News Anglia, where she has won industry awards for her work. Her job has seen her join one of the most secretive wings of the Church of Scientology, cover the far right hip hop scene in Berlin, and record daily life in schools for the UK’s most vulnerable children. Her short story NIGHT SWIMMING won a short story competition judged by Stephen King. Her debut novel, THE BINDING SONG, will be published in the UK by Hodder in April 2017.
Rachel Heng was born in Singapore and lives in London. She graduated from Columbia University in the City of New York with a BA in Comparative Literature & Society. From August 2017, she will be pursing her MFA in Fiction and Screenwriting at the highly selective Michener Center For Writers, UT Austin, where she was awarded the James A. Michener Fellowship.
Rachel's short stories have appeared in literary journals such as The Offing, Prairie Schooner, the minnesota review and others. Her fiction has won Prairie Schooner's Jane Geske Award, was recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has been commended by the Huffington Post in their "15 Stellar Short Stories You Can Read Online" list.
Rachel's debut novel SUICIDE CLUB will be published by Hodder & Stoughton as the super lead title for the Sceptre imprint in 2018. It will be published by Henry Holt in the US.
Debbie Howells is a florist and writer who lives in Sussex with her family. Her first thriller, THE BONES OF YOU, centres on the mysterious disappearance of a teenager, and one woman’s search to uncover the truth. It was won at auction by Pan Macmillan, published in Spring 2015, hit the Sunday Times bestseller list, and has so far sold over 100,000 copies in the UK. Her second novel, THE BEAUTY OF THE END, was published in Summer 2016.
Katie Khan is a writer from London whose first novel, HOLD BACK THE STARS, will be published by Transworld (UK) and Simon & Schuster (USA) in January 2017, followed by nineteen other countries around the world. A graduate of the acclaimed Faber Academy writing course, and a fan of love stories with epic settings both on the page and on screen, Katie works for a film studio looking after digital marketing for Paramount Pictures in the UK.
Laura was raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. Both of them encouraged her to finger-paint to her heart’s desire, colour outside of the lines, and consider the library a second home. This led to an overabundance of daydreams. She relocated to Scotland to be with her husband, whom she met on the internet when he insulted her taste in books. She almost blocked him but is glad she didn’t. Her debut YA novel, PANTOMIME, was published by Strange Chemistry in 2013. Her most recent novel, FALSE HEARTS, was published by Macmillan UK and Tor US in summer 2016.
After graduating from university with a degree in Mental Health, Ali Land spent a decade working as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse in hospitals and schools in the UK and Australia. Ali is now a full-time writer. Her debut novel GOOD ME BAD ME is a literary thriller narrated by the 15 year old daughter of a serial killer. After handing her mother into the police, Annie is given a new identity as Milly and fostered into a new family. But as pressure on her mounts, will she be good or will she be bad? She is, after all, her mother’s daughter. Rights are sold in the UK (Penguin), US (Flatiron Books) and in 20 other territories around the world so far. GOOD ME, BAD ME is a Sunday Times top ten bestseller.
Louise Leverett graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London on a full scholarship before moving on to study at the famous Lee Strasberg Institute in New York. After working for a short time in both London and New York, she enrolled at Central Saint Martins studying Art Direction for Film, looking at style, content and developing a unique sense of how narrative can be explored within a filmic landscape. Her first film campaign for Mazda Automotives shortly after graduating was streamed globally through JWT in New York including Mazda International Head Office in Japan. Since then she has collaborated with a host of worldwide brands in fashion and luxury goods. Having set up her own company ‘Rock the Tribes’ Louise is now working on a collection of novels which will eventually be turned into adaptations for screen.
Taran was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for reading at a very early age. His love for stories developed into a desire to create his own during early adolescence, beginning his first book at 9 years old. He graduated with a First Class degree in Business Administration. Keen to explore a new avenue and get inside the publishing world, Taran landed an internship in Digital Sales at Penguin Random House. Thereafter, while taking time off to travel, he began to write SUMMONER in at the age of 22, taking part in Nanowrimo 2013. Thanks to Wattpad.com and updating daily, it’s its popularity dramatically increased, reaching over 3 million reads in less than 6 months. His SUMMONER trilogy was published in Spring 2015 by Hodder Children’s in the UK, Macmillan in the US, and in eleven other countries so far. The series is a New York Times bestseller, and a new 4-book YA fantasy series has now sold to the US in a major six figure deal, and also to the UK. To date, he has had 8 million reads on Wattpad.
Frances teaches English, part time, to adults with learning difficulties, including Asperger’s. She is married with one grown-up daughter and lives in Dorset. Her first novel, THE SEVEN UNRELIABLE RULES OF ELVIRA CARR, was runner-up in the Good Housekeeping 2014 First Novel Award, shortlisted for the 2016 Mslexia First Novel Competition, and was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish prize. Mantle will publish in the UK, and Sourcebooks in the US.
THE UNSEEING is Anna Mazzola’s first novel. It won the Brixton Bookjam Debut Novel competition, the Space to Write first page competition, came second in The Criminal Lines competition in 2014 and was highly commended in the Winchester Festival novel competition. Anna’s short fiction has also won or been placed in several competitions. She came runner up in the 2014 Grazia First Chapter competition judged by Sarah Waters, and more recently Short Story Sunday selected her historical crime story, PROOF OF THE PUDDING, for the grand finale of their Christmas special. She is a criminal justice solicitor based in Camberwell. Anna is currently working on a second novel about the mysterious disappearance of young girls on the Isle of Skye in 1860. THE UNSEEING was published by Tinder Press in the UK and Sourcebooks in the US.
Her twitter feed describes her as nosy as f**k. A useful quality given Kate’s first book, ‘Losing It: How we popped our cherry over the last 80 years’ (published by Icon Books) was the result of conversations with people of all ages about their virginity loss experiences. It later became a play in London’s Covent Garden.
Kate has written about sexuality, masculinity & relationships for The Guardian & The Independent. She has been the Writer in Residence at The Royal Chelsea Hospital collating wartime experiences from its famous military residents. She also conducts a flippant ongoing investigation into modern masculinity via Big Guy Small Dog Blog.
Kate has used her interviewing powers to create content for Pret a Manger and consulted for Durex, Smile Makers, Discovery Channel & Tunstall Healthcare on a variety of subjects including sex, food, gender, old age & curiosity.
Jo has twenty years’ experience as a journalist and editor writing for Time Out, TV Times, The Observer and The Times. She started her career as a showbiz reporter on the Daily Mirror and then spent ten years working as a TV critic. In 2005 she started work as a ghost writer collaborating with Duncan Bannatyne on his autobiography ANYONE CAN DO IT, which made the bestseller charts in hardback and paperback. Although she has concentrated on business-related books, her interests are wide-ranging, from the TV/celebrity fare of her early career, to politics, travel, social history and sport.
Lou Morgan grew up in Wales before moving to London to study medieval literature at UCL. She now lives in the south of England with her husband and son. Her short stories have been published in the Jurassic Press ‘Pandemonium’ series, and in anthologies from Solaris Books and PS Publishing. Her first novel, BLOOD AND FEATHERS, was published by Solaris in August 2012 with a sequel BLOOD AND FEATHERS: REBELLION which followed in the summer of 2013. Her YA horror novel, SLEEPLESS, was published by Stripes in summer 2014.
Born in London in 1968, Chris has never really felt the urge to live anywhere else. After joining the BBC in his twenties, he worked for several years as a radio comedy producer. Since then, he has been a comedian, on and off the radio; a newspaper and magazine columnist; and writer and voice actor for children’s animations. Chris' series Woof - One Man's Search For A Dog Or A Boyfriend will be broadcast on Radio 4 later this year.