At TLC we work with an excellent team of highly skilled editors, writers and poets, many of whom have received particular acclaim. Some specialize in very specific genres, like children’s stories, or fantasy, others read across a wider range of work, but all have the particular sensitivity and skills needed to critique the work of others.
Our readers form an incomparable team. Their many achievements are too numerous to list fully here, but between them they have published numerous books, won dozens of awards, commissioned work for leading publishing houses and literary agencies, produced award winning theatre and radio plays, tutored creative writing at UEA, Birkbeck, Goldsmiths and the OUP, worked as writers in residence around the world, and more . . .
See our Readers’ Talent page for a selected showcase of their current writing projects and activities.
We work carefully to match your manuscript to the best reader for you. Do let us know if you would like your work read by a particular reader, though please note that as nearly all our readers are working writers and tutors, they may not be available year-round.
Jane Adams is the author of twenty novels, published by Macmillan, Allison & Busby and Severn House (also as Jane A Adams) and a number of short stories both in the UK and USA in the Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror genre. Ghostly and carefully subverted Sci-Fi elements frequently also find their way into her Crime novels, (Bird, The Angel Gateway, Like Angels Falling, for example). Her first novel, The Greenway, was nominated for both the CWA John Creasey award and the Authors’ Club award for most promising first novel. Her novels have been translated into a dozen languages. She has taught creative writing at all levels from beginner to MA and also mentored other writers. She was the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Leicester University and then at DeMontfort University from 2005-9 and is returning to the RLF this autumn, when she will be at Nottingham Trent. She is currently working on another Crime novel in the Naomi Blake series and also a Fantasy aimed at the Young Adult market. Jane runs hauntedstair.blogspot together with young adult author Stuart Hill and she also has her own blog at: janeadamsauthor.wordpress.com.
Noga Applebaum has a PhD in Children’s Literature from Roehampton University. Her book, Representations of Technology in Science Fiction for Young People, was published by Routledge in 2009. She currently lectures on Children’s Literature at the Open University and teaches creative writing for people wishing to write for children and teens at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute. Noga participated in the three volumes of the Ultimate Book Guide and regularly interviews children’s authors and reviews new titles for several websites. In the past Noga worked for Booktrust and piloted a national creative writing programme for teenagers. She is twice winner of the London Writers’ Competition and is busy working on her first YA novel.
Sue Atkinson was a teacher and researcher in primary education for several years publishing academic books and articles, and also books for teachers and children, both fiction and non-fiction. She runs workshops on writing for children and tutors over the internet. She has written several ‘life writing’ books and Climbing out of Depression (Lion 1993) has been translated into 12 languages. Her latest book, Breaking the Chains of Abuse (Lion 2006), is about her journey of recovery from childhood sexual abuse.
Frankie Bailey began her scriptwriting career in 1989, successfully squeezing through the narrow aperture of “sitcom” (Birds of a Feather, Love Hurts, Lenny Henry Show) and surviving relatively unscathed to go on to write for medical and legal ‘precinct’ drama series (Casualty, Crown Prosecutor, Peak Practice and Heartbeat). Her recent Radio 4 drama (Signs and Wonders) received glowing press reviews.
She has a distinguished background in English Literature and History, but it hasn’t held her back in the least! She also specialises in historical fiction and biography and is currently writing a stage play about American novelist and playwright Carson McCullers.
I was impressed by your thorough analysis – extremely encouraging to a lonely key-tapper.
Elspeth Barker is a novelist and journalist. She was educated in Scotland and at Oxford. Her novel O Caledonia (Penguin) won four awards and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize. She has reviewed extensively and written features for the Independent on Sunday, Guardian, Sunday Times, Observer, LRB, TLS, Harpers & Queen, Scotland on Sunday, Vogue, and more. She edited the anthology Loss for Dent/Orion in 1997. Since 1992 she has worked as tutor and lecturer in creative writing at Norwich School of Art (MA and BA), and has tutored on over a dozen Arvon courses as well as other writing courses in the UK, Europe, and US. She has published short stories in numerous anthologies and was visiting professor of fiction at Kansas University in 1999. She has read and lectured at festivals and universities around the world. For three years she was a judge for the McKitterick and Sagittarius prizes. She is currently finishing a novel for Penguin and writing for the Independent on Sunday, Country Illustrated and The Literary Review.
Martyn Beardsley is a writer of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. His Sir Gadabout books have been published in several countries, and were turned into an award-winning series for CITV. He has also written Deadly Winter, a biography of the Arctic explorer and Trafalgar veteran Sir John Franklin, and co-edited Gratefull to Providence, the diary of an eighteenth century apothecary-surgeon. Several of his other children’s books, both fiction and non-fiction, also have a historical theme. Smuggler! and The Last Duel were both published by Barrington Stoke, who specialise in books for children who are reluctant readers, or suffer from dyslexia or other reading difficulties.
Keith Bennett is a poet, performer and playwright. He has published three collections of poetry, The Apricot Orchards of Maribor (Martin Blyth of Poole, 1998), The Louisiana Molegrip (Dionysia Press Ltd. Edinburgh, 1999) for which he was sponsored by Scottish Arts and The Clockwork Poetry Machine (Dionysia Press Ltd, 2006). He was a runner-up in The National Poetry Competition and his work has been read on BBC Radio 4 and Radio Solent. He is a mentor for the National Association of Writers in Education and runs workshops for all ages and poetry surgeries for more advanced writers. He has lectured part-time at Portsmouth University and presented papers on the art and craft of writing at Bath Spa, Middlesex and Surrey Universities. His plays, The Assassin’s Assistant and Brusher Mills, have been performed by Forest Arts.
Kavita Bhanot has Masters in Colonial and Post-Colonial Literature and in Writing from Warwick University and is currently a PhD student at Manchester University. She directed an Indian-British literary festival in Bombay and worked as an editor with India’s first Literary Agency. She has had several short stories published in anthologies and magazines and is the editor of the short story collection Too Asian, Not Asian Enough (Tindal Street Press, 2011).
Fran Bigman is a PhD student in English at the University of Cambridge, where she gained a distinction-level MPhil in 2008. Prior to that she studied at Brown University and Columbia University and spent over three years in the editorial department of Alfred A Knopf, Pantheon, and Schocken Books at Random House in New York. She has also worked for W.W. Norton & Company in New York and the literary agents AP Watt and The Wylie Agency in London. Fran’s book reviews have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, Wasafiri, Forbes.com, Words Without Borders, where she also served as reviews editor, and the Jewish Quarterly. She is reviews editor of the website Fiction Uncovered.
Sarah Bower is a novelist and short story writer. She has published two historical novels, The Needle in the Blood and The Book of Love. The Needle in the Blood was Susan Hill’s Book of the Year in 2007. The Book of Love was published in the US under the title Sins of the House of Borgia in 2011 and became a Toronto Globe and Mail historical fiction bestseller. It is due to be published in Brazil and several European countries in 2012. The Needle in the Blood will be published in the US in 2012.
Her short fiction has appeared in QWF, The Yellow Room, Spiked and Buzzwords among others. She has a creative writing MA from the University of East Anglia, where she now teaches. She is also a tutor in creative writing for the Open University. Sarah is currently working on a contemporary novel and a short story collection.
Matthew Branton is the author of four novels, The Love Parade, The House of Whacks, Coast and The Hired Gun, all published in the UK by Bloomsbury and translated into Japanese and Russian overseas. He was involved in the controversial New Puritans project (Fourth Estate, 2000) and his fifth novel was recently published in a groundbreaking online venture with the Independent on Sunday, for whom Matthew also reviews regularly. He has lectured in creative writing as far afield as the University of Hawaii, and has worked with The Literary Consultancy for several years.
Tom Bromley has been working in publishing for over ten years, including five years as a commissioning editor for both Little, Brown and Anova Books. He is the author of eight books: the novels, Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Half A World Away (Pan Macmillan), We Could Have Been the Wombles (Penguin), The Encyclopedia of Guilty Pleasures and Shopping While Drunk (John Murray), Rock and Pop Elevens (Michael O’Mara), All in the Best Possible Taste (Simon and Schuster) and four ghostwritten works.
Wayne Burrows’ first collection, Marginalia, appeared from Peterloo Poets in 2001, and his work has featured in New Writing 12 (Picador, 2004) and New Writing 15 (Granta, 2007), as well as the Forward anthology for 2002, Poetry Review and many other magazines and anthologies. He recently completed The Protein Songs, a sequence about genetics for use in Retina Dance Company’s Eleven Stories For The Body, Distance To Our Soul, which toured the UK and Europe over 2005/6. He was recently appointed editor of Staple New Writing and currently lives in Nottingham.
Tim Clare is a writer, stand-up poet and musician, who performs all over the UK. His memoir about having one last shot at chasing your dreams, We Can’t All Be Astronauts, won Best Memoir/Biography at the East Anglian Book Awards. He has written for the Guardian, The Times, and the Independent, presented the Channel 4 series How To Get A Book Deal, and has appeared on BBC2, and Radio 1, 2, 4 and 6. He also writes scripts for video games, including the English script for Nexus: The Jupiter Incident, on which he worked with voice actors as consultant director.
Cherry Cookson worked for many years as a Senior Radio Drama staff producer for the BBC, winning many national and international awards for her productions, including two Gold Sony Awards and directing several plays that won Writers’ Guild awards. She also directed the BBC entries for the Prix Italia and Prix Futura and won the New York International Programming award for a World Service Drama production. She now works freelance as an independent radio producer, teaches radio acting and creative writing and works as a script consultant. She has recently directed two plays for BBC Radio 4 and is working on a play for BBC Radio 3 for the Olympics.
Kieron Connolly has experience within film, journalism and publishing. He gained a Diploma in Screenwriting from the National Film & Television School. Two animation films that he co-wrote, Hourglass and Metalstasis, won, among other awards, the Royal Television Society Best Student Animation and the Public Choice Award at the British Animation Awards. Apart from screenwriting, he has worked as a script reader for FilmFour Productions and The Works, has written interviews for the Daily Mail WEEKEND Magazine, The Times, movieScope Magazine and Writer’s Forum Magazine, and currently works in editorial for Amber Books and as a reader for the Mail on Sunday books serialisation department.
When I realised there were flaws in the structure of my third novel . . . I asked The Literary Consultancy for help. They came up with brilliant solutions . . .
Norman Russell, author of Jackson and Bottomley period detective novels. Member of the Crime Writers Association
Stephanie Cross is a freelance journalist. She writes features and book reviews for The Lady magazine, and reviews fiction for the Daily Mail and the Times Literary Supplement. Her work has also appeared in the Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Observer, and she was a researcher for Ian Hamilton Collected Poems (ed. Alan Jenkins, Faber, 2009). Educated at the University of Cambridge, she gained a BA in English in 2002 and an M.Phil in English Studies (distinction) in 2005. She has acted as a freelance manuscript consultant to the David Godwin Literary Agency, and in 2006 was recognised by the Arts Council, East “Escalator” talent scheme as one of the ten best emerging prose writers in the Eastern region.
Heather Dyer writes picture books and novels for children aged 7-11. The Girl with the Broken Wing was one of Richard and Judy’s ‘Best Children’s Books Ever’, and The Boy in the Biscuit Tin was nominated for the Galaxy Best British Children’s Book Award. Her books have been broadcast on Radio 4, and are studied in schools at Key Stage 2. Heather also teaches creative writing at Aberyswyth University, where she is the current Royal Literary Fund Fellow.
Gill Farrer-Halls is the author of eighteen published non-fiction books in the Mind Body Spirit genre, including The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Buddhist Wisdom, Working with Karma and The Aromatherapy Bible. She has also edited several published non-fiction titles. A practising aromatherapist, she has been a Principal Teacher and Examiner with the International Federation of Aromatherapists for many years. Gill occasionally works as Production Manager/Producer for The Meridian Trust Buddhist Film & Video Archive and has produced and directed many of their DVD programmes of the Dalai Lama and other Buddhist teachers.
Gill has a BA in English, Film and Drama, and has studied on two post-graduate courses: firstly in theories and teaching of composition, and deconstructionism applied to poetry, and more recently in creative writing and self-development. She has also attended several creative writing courses with the Arvon Foundation and is currently working on the second draft of a novel.
Peter Forbes initially trained as a chemist and worked in pharmaceutical and popular natural history publishing, whilst writing poems, and articles for magazines such as New Scientist and World Medicine. A stint as Southern Arts Writer-in-Residence (1984-6) led to the editorship of the Poetry Society’s Poetry Review, Britain’s premier poetry magazine, where he nurtured very many young poets in the early stages of their career, including Glyn Maxwell, Sophie Hannah, Gwyneth Lewis and Don Paterson.
He has written many articles and reviews, many specializing in the relation between the arts and science, for the Guardian, Independent, Financial Times, New Scientist, World Medicine, Modern Painters, The Listener, New Statesman, and other magazines.
Since leaving Poetry Review in 2002 he has been writing reviews and writing and editing books. He has edited three poetry anthologies: Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the Twentieth Century in Poetry (Viking, 1999), We Have Come Through (Bloodaxe, 2003) and All the Poems You Need to Say I Do (Picador, 2004). In 2001 he published a translation of Primo Levi’s The Search for Roots (Penguin Press). The Gecko’s Foot (Fourth Estate, 2005), on the new science of bio-inspired materials, was long-listed for the Aventis Prize. He was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Queen Mary University of London 2004-7.
Jill Foulston holds an MA in English Literature from San Francisco State University. For many years a commissioning editor at Virago, Little, Brown and Penguin, she has worked with Michelle Lovric, Sarah Waters and Heidi Julavits, among others. Her two anthologies, The Joy of Eating and The Joy of Shoppingare both published by Virago, and she has contributed short stories, reviews and features to the Times Literary Supplement, Slightly Foxed, Waitrose Food Illustrated and the anthology Primal Picnics (ed. Jennifer Heath). Jill has also been an invited speaker on the creative writing course at Bath Spa University.
Karl French has worked for the past 20 years as an editor, writer and journalist for various publishing houses, among them Simon & Schuster, Foruli, Bloomsbury and Faber and Faber, and national publications, including the Guardian, Hotdog magazine and the Financial Times. He has also worked on books by Tim Jeal, Andrew Boulton, Miranda Seymour, Jonathan Fenby, John Kampfner, Lance Price, Peter Hook, Simon Wilde, Glenn Hughes among many others.
He was for several years a reader at Bloomsbury Publishing where he read over one thousand manuscripts, and his recommendations for publication included the collected letters of Hunter S. Thompson, the reissued novels of Terry Southern and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Peter Biskind’s history of Hollywood in the 1970s which became a major best-seller.
Karl has worked on several memoirs and biographies, most recently he worked as an editor of Bill Bruford’s autobiography. He has also written and edited several books on the cinema and music – titles including Screen Violence, chosen by JG Ballard in the Sunday Times as his book of the year, This Is Spinal Tap – the Official Companion, Cult Movies, Art by Film Directors and Abba Unplugged – and works for TLC and on a freelance basis as a reader, editor, mentor and editorial consultant.
Rose Gaete was an agent for six years at the prestigious Wylie Agency where she worked with authors such as Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis, Ahdaf Soueif, Jon McGregor and Paul Theroux. She is currently an editor and reader for a variety of publishers including HarperCollins, Bloomsbury and Atlantic Books. She has an MA in English Literature from Cambridge University. Her particular specialty is contemporary novels.
Rodge Glass lives in Glasgow. His first novel, No Fireworks, was published by Faber and Faber in 2005 and was nominated for four awards. His second novel Hope for Newborns was also published by Faber and Faber, in Summer 2008, and was followed several months later by Alasdair Gray: A Secretary’s Biography. This was published by Bloomsbury and won the 2009 Somerset Maugham Award for Non-Fiction, also being nominated for the Scottish Arts Council Non-Fiction Book of the Year. A more academic version of this book was submitted as Rodge’s PhD thesis at Glasgow University. After spending two years as Writer in Residence, he has now become a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Strathclyde University. Recent projects include being Editor on The Year of Open Doors (Cargo), a widely acclaimed collection of short stories featuring young Scottish writers, which was also released as an audiobook on Chemikal Underground Records, and Dougie’s War (Freight), a graphic novel Rodge wrote with Dave Turbitt about PTSD in soldiers returning from Afghanistan, based on months of research. Rodge has written journalism for the Herald, the Guardian and the Independent. His next novel, Bring Me the Head of Ryan Giggs, is due to be published by Tindal Street Press in April 2012.
Karen Godfrey first read scripts at the BBC and then moved on to work at HarperCollins publishers. She worked as an editor on the company’s prestigious crime list, working closely with authors such as Val McDermid, Reginald Hill and Iain Pears. Karen was involved in all stages of the editoral process and would also look at and report on new typescripts that came in.
Helen Gordon’s first novel, Landfall, was published in 2011. After university she worked as an editor at Granta magazine before leaving to pursue a freelance career. She currently teaches creative writing at the London Metropolitan University and continues to work as a freelance editor. Her journalism has appeared in, among other places, the Independent, the Guardian and Intelligent Life magazine. In 2011 she received an Art’s Council grant to help fund the research and writing of her second novel.
Vicky Grut started out on the staff of the independent publishers Lawrence and Wishart in the late 1980s. Titles she edited there, and subsequently as a freelance, ranged from academic texts to a political thriller by MP Peter Hain, ex-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Wales. She was a creative writing tutor for Birkbeck College for several years, and co-taught an Arvon Foundation course in 2001. Her short stories have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies, including Random Factor (Pulp Faction, 1997), Reshape Whilst Damp (Serpent’s Tail, 2000),Valentine’s Day: stories of revenge, (Duckworths, 2000), Resist (www.pulp.net, 2005) and New Writing 13 (Picador, 2005), New Writing 14 (Granta, 2006) and Waving at the Gardener (Bloomsbury, 2009). In 2009 she was a finalist in the Asham Awards and in 2006 she was the winner of the Chapter One Promotions International Short Story Competition. She teaches creative writing at London South Bank University.
Charlotte Guillain specialises in children’s literature. She has worked in children’s and educational publishing for over a decade and now works as a freelance publisher and author of children’s non-fiction. She also gets a close up view of the world of children’s trade fiction through the experiences of her husband, Adam Guillain, who is an author and storyteller.
Lucy Hannah‘s background spans scriptwriting and prose. She was the New Writing coordinator for BBC Drama responsible for developing the work of new writers across BBC Drama. She has an MA in Creative Writing (prose fiction) from the University of East Anglia and she’s the author of, Nancy Wake, World War Two secret agent, dramatised non-fiction for children published by Short Books which was written during her time as writer-in-residence at HMP Rochester. She’s written a variety of scripts and is working on her third novel.
Chris Harris is currently working as an Agent in London, building a list of clients. His reading interests lie in literary and crime fiction, thrillers, and a range of narrative non-fiction – in particular sport and popular science, although also history and politics). He also assesses historical fiction (historical thrillers), but is less familiar with straight historical fiction (Philippa Gregory or Suzannah Dunn). He has worked in publishing since 2008, initially in editorial – at both trade and reference publishers.
John Harrison is a freelance writer and traveller, and also a lecturer specialising in adventure cruise travel in Polar Regions, Latin America and other remote areas. He writes fiction, travel books, history, reviews and journalism. He has twice been a winner of the national travel writing competition: the Alexander Cordell Award. His travel book, Where the Earth Ends, was a Sunday Times Book of the Week. When not travelling, or swimming with icebergs in Greenland, he lives in Cardiff. A travel book, Cloud Road, won the 2011 Wales Book of the Year, and is about five months travelling through the Inca heartland in the Andes, walking 700 miles on old Inca roads. His second is Forgotten Footprints, out in May 2012, is a history of the exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula, based on the memoirs of little known sailors, sealers, whalers and explorers who slowly uncovered the last continent. He was recently elected a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers.
Sarah Hesketh was born and brought up in Pendle, East Lancashire. She attended Merton College, Oxford and obtained a BA in English Literature, she also holds an MA in Creative Writing from UEA. She served as both treasurer and president of the University Poetry Society and is a former editor of Oxford Poetry Magazine and Incorporating Writing. In 2007 her collaboration with composer Alastair Caplin was performed at the Leeds Lieder Festival and in July 2009 her first full collection of poetry, Napoleon’s Travelling Bookshelf, was published by Penned in the Margins. She currently lives in London and works as Assistant Director at the literature and free speech charity English PEN, as well as teaching creative writing part-time for the Open University.
Edward Hogan is from Derbyshire. His first novel, Blackmoor, won the Desmond Elliott Prize 2009 and was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year award 2009. He runs creative writing workshops at universities and colleges across Britain, and currently works at the University of Sussex. He is working on his second novel.
Doug Johnstone is a writer, journalist and musician based in Edinburgh. His most recent novel, Smokeheads, was published by Faber and Faber in March 2011. He has previously published two novels with Penguin, Tombstoning (2006) and The Ossians (2008), which received praise from the likes of Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin and Christopher Brookmyre. His next novel, Hit and Run, is published in March 2012. He is currently working on a fifth novel and a screenplay.
Doug is currently writer in residence at the University of Strathclyde. He has recently had several short stories appear in various publications, and since 1999 he has worked as a freelance arts journalist.
He is a singer, musician and songwriter in several bands, including Northern Alliance, part of the Fence Collective. Northern Alliance have released four albums to critical acclaim, as well as recording an album as a fictional band called The Ossians.
Robin Jones read Russian and Philosophy at Exeter and Westminster universities. He translated the state judicial inquiry into the tragedy at Chernobyl for Piers Paul Read’s book, Ablaze (Secker & Warburg), and the catalogue for the Hermitage museum (Booth Clibbon). He worked in not-for-profit as a freedom of expression campaigner for writers worldwide at Index on Censorship and as Co-ordinator of International P.E.N.’s Writers in Prison Committee before entering the book trade as an international literary scout for publishing groups in eleven countries. During this time he also worked for the only Russian literary agency in this country – Synopsis Literary Agency. Having worked at The Hanbury Agency and Imrie & Dervis he now runs Robin Jones Literary Agency where his authors include John Parkin, CJ Hart and Sir David Madden. He is a founder and director of Unthank Books and the Unthank School of Writing.
Marcy Kahan is a playwright. She grew up in Montreal, has a degree in English from Somerville College, Oxford and trained in theatre in Paris with the LeCoq teachers, Philippe Gaulier and Monika Pagneux. Her screenplay, Antonia & Jane was the first BBC TV film to be given theatrical release by Miramax (Gold Plaque Award – Best Original Feature Film Screenplay – 1991 Chicago Film Festival.) Her stage work includes: 20 Cigarettes (National Youth Theatre at the Soho Theatre, 2007); the stage version of Nora Ephron’s When Harry Met Sally (Theatre Royal, Haymarket/UK tour, 2005) and Intimate Memoirs of an Irish Taxidermist (Edinburgh Festival and Donmar Theatre; 1986 Perrier Award). Marcy has written over twenty original plays for BBC Radio, including 20 Cigarettes (2007 Tinniswood Award nomination); Drop Dead Gorgeous (2004 Bronze Medal for Best Play, New York Radio Festival); The Uncertainty Principle (2001 Kurd Lasswitz Science Fiction Prize, Germany); and Everybody comes to Schicklgruber’s (1997 Silver Sony/Society of Authors Award for Best Radio Play); Her radio dramatisations include a 10-hour War & Peace (co-writer: Mike Walker; 1998 Talkie Award for Best Drama) and Huckleberry Finn (BBC/CBC Toronto co-production). During 2007, Marcy joined twenty writers and composers for the Jerwood Opera-writing programme, based at Aldeburgh. She teaches playwrighting at Birkbeck College, RADA and the Actor’s Centre in Soho.
Sarah Keen was in publishing for a number of years, most recently for Headline, where she worked for five years in all, finally as senior fiction editor working on a mixed and varied list of authors including most genres from crime fiction to sagas, chick lit to literary fiction. During her time there she worked with many of their bestselling authors, editing authors such as Sunday Times bestseller Faye Kellerman and award-winning crime writer Barbara Nadel. She has also reviewed fiction for Time Out. She moved to Devon over three years ago, and now works as a primary schoolteacher and freelance editor.
Michael Langan is an editor and writer. He has taught writing for fifteen years and was senior lecturer and Programme Leader of Creative Writing at the University of Greenwich from 2002 – 2012, where he specialised in short story writing and the novel. He has a PhD from Liverpool John Moores University in contemporary creative writing and a background in performance poetry. His short stories and poetry have been anthologised and published in magazines, journals and online. From 2007 – 2010 he was managing editor of Brand Literary Magazine, responsible for selecting and editing the magazine’s fiction and non-fiction content. He currently writes on visual arts, film and literature for the online magazine Polari and has a particular interest in contemporary literary fiction as well as historical fiction.
Sue Lascelles has over 17 years’ editorial experience and has worked for some of the UK’s leading publishing houses, including Orion, Little, Brown, and Random House. In touch with current market trends – particularly in the areas of commercial non-fiction, literary fiction and MBS – she specialises in guiding new writers towards successful publication, as well as supporting established authors through the editorial process.
Jonathan Lee is a British novelist & editor. His first novel, Who Is Mr Satoshi? (Random House) was shortlisted for an MJA Open Book Award, nominated for the Desmond Elliot Prize for Literature, and translated into a number of languages. His second novel Joy (also Random House) was anObserver Book of the Year in 2012 and is being adapted for television. The BBC’s Culture Show programme recently featured him as being one of Britain’s ‘best new novelists’ & The Guardian has called him ‘a major new voice in British fiction’. He is an editor at Guernica Magazine and tutors writers for the Arvon Foundation. Click here for his website.
Lesley Lokko trained as an architect and holds a PhD in Architecture from the University of London, but gave up both architecture and academia to focus on writing full-time. Her debut novel, Sundowners, a Guardian Top 40 novel, was published in 2004, followed by Saffron Skies in 2005. Her latest novel, Bitter Chocolate, published by Orion and described by the Daily Mail as ‘a corker of a read!’ was published in January 2008. She is currently at work on her fourth novel, due out early next year. She divides her time between Ghana and Hackney, though not simultaneously!
A sexy, sophisticated page turner. Pour yourself a Mai Tai and enjoy!
Viv Groskop, Books Editor, Eve Magazine. This month’s must-reads.
Ben Lyle has worked in the film industry for the last twelve years, primarily in feature film development both as a freelance consultant and in-house for companies such as the UK Film Council, Fine Line Features and Working Title Films. He’s currently the co-head of development at Gorgeous Films. In addition to his work in the film industry, he recently graduated from UEA with an MA in Creative Writing (prose), won the prize for best short story in the Fiction Desk’s inaugural anthology Various Authors, and is currently researching an AHRC-funded PhD into feature film development, also at UEA.
Alan Mahar was until 2012 Publishing Director of Tindal Street Press, responsible for a prizewinning list of 70 titles of literary fiction that earned three Man Booker listings, two Orange, three Commonwealth Writers, two Costa First novel winners, a Betty Trask, three Desmond Elliotts – a track record of one-in-three prize-listed. As a small publisher, his responsibilities in addition to the business side, included commissioning and editing many books and overseeing their production. He enjoyed working closely with authors (such as Gaynor Arnold, Raphael Selbourne, Maria Allen, Paul Wilson, Anthony Cartwright and many others) to prepare their work for the scrutiny of the market. He is the author of two novels, Flight Patterns (Gollancz. 1999) and After the Man Before (Methuen, 2002), His other publications comprise short stories, anthology editing, reviews and articles for Literary Review, London Magazine, Warwick Review, Observer, Bookseller and others. He has recently resumed working on a novel put aside due to the pressures and pleasures of publishing. He is now a freelance consultant editor, writer and creative writing lecturer at several universities in the Midlands.
Sara Maitland is a writer of considerable stature. Her first novel, Daughter of Jerusalem (1978) won the Somerset Maugham Award, and her fifth, Home Truths (1992) was short listed for the Scottish Writer of the Year Award. She has also published four collections of short stories – one story, A Fall from Grace, is anthologised in The Penguin Book of Modern Women’s Short Stories (Penguin 1990). Sara is also a theologian and has published a wide range of non-fiction, as well as writing for radio and television. In October 2001 her radio play, Other Voices, was broadcast on Radio 4. In 1995 she became the last writer to work with Stanley Kubrick on his AI project. Sara is currently exploring ways of being a modern ‘solitary’, and the contemporary meanings of silence. On Becoming a Fairy Godmother was published by Maia Press in June 2003 and she has a new collection of short stories also published by Maia, 2008. ‘Far North’, the title story of this collection, has been made in to a film directed by Asif Kapadia, starring Sean Bean and Michelle Yeoh and a new non-fiction title, A Book of Silence, was published by Granta in 2008.
Melissa Marshall worked for literary ‘super’ agent Ed Victor before becoming an editor at Simon & Schuster where she worked for five years on women’s fiction, literary fiction, crime and thriller. She commissioned, edited and published authors such as Jules Hardy, Annabel Dilke and Kate O’Riordan, and worked closely with many others including Adriana Trigiani, Will Rhode, Victoria Glendinning, Jennifer Weiner and Kathy Lette. She is now an independent editor and reviewer for books and film, freelance editing fiction and non-fiction for publishing houses including Canongate, Macmillan, Orion, Hodder and Atlantic. Melissa also assesses books for their small screen and big screen potential for the BBC, and does consultancy work for unpublished authors through an Arts Council initiative as well as TLC.
Caroline McCarthy joined The Literary Consultancy as a reader of Literary Fiction and children’s books in 2004. She managed TLC between 2005 and 2007, during which time she worked on a wide range of literary projects. Following her first maternity leave, Caroline returned part-time to TLC as an in-house literary scout, working with writers, agents and publishers. She has contributed to several debates about the publishing industry and taught on creative writing courses and workshops.
Previously, Caroline worked for Dorling Kindersley and as a reader for Viking and Hamish Hamilton. She has written features and book reviews for the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, The Big Issue, and various fashion and lifestyle articles for women’s magazines and websites. She continues with freelance writing, reading and editing, and is developing her own writing projects.
Sheila McIlwraith worked as a writers’ agent for many years, then as a commissioning editor with André Deutsch. Authors she has worked with include Julian Barnes, Sarah Dunant, Sally Cline, Patricia Ferguson and Peter Mayle, and the books she has advised on and edited range from literary and popular fiction, through biography, history, popular medicine and science, travel, and all sorts of general nonfiction. Latterly, she has been teaching creative writing and English literature in Scottish secondary schools and FE colleges. She was educated in Glasgow and Oxford.
Sam Mills was born in 1975 and graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English Lang & Lit. Since then she has been a full-time novelist and has published 11 books to date. Her young adult novels, ‘A Nicer Way to Die’, ‘The Boys Who Saved the World’ and ‘Blackout’ are dark, crossover thrillers which are published in the UK by Faber & Faber. Her work has been translated into 5 languages. ‘The Boys Who Saved the World’, a satire on the War on Terror, is currently being made into a film with Tyger Drew-Honey, the star of ‘Outnumbered’ attached to star in the lead. ’Blackout’ has been nominated for the Carnegie prize and the Manchester Book Award and was recently shortlised for the Lancashire Book Award. Her debut adult novel as Samantha Mills, ‘The Quiddity of Will Self’, a quirky literary novel about sex, death, Will Self and the Great Vowel Shift, will be published by Corsair in 2012.
Ewan Morrison is the author of the novels Swung, Menage and Distance (Jonathan Cape/Vintage), the collection of short stories The Last Book You Read (Chroma) and the mixed genre abook/app Tales from the Mall (Cargo) which will be published in April 2012. His next novel Close Your Eyes (Jonathan Cape) will be released in August 2012. He has been a recipient of multiple awards and bursaries and was short listed for the Prince Maurice Prize in 2008 and an Arena Magazine Man of the Year Award in 2005. He also directs television and makes TV and radio appearances as a cultural critic. He lives and works in Glasgow.
Sally O-J is a freelance editor who has worked with a wide range of authors, from absolute beginners to an established TV scriptwriter. She is comfortable in genres as diverse as science-fiction, biography, historical, romance and mystery, as well as non-fiction. She works closely with writer’s agent Meg Davis (MBA Literary Agents Ltd) and has been the reader for award-winning novelist Sarah Waters (Fingersmith, Tipping the Velvet) on all her books. Previously, Sally was a journalist and editor in the music business, and has written and edited scripts for broadcast, album sleeve notes, and online features.
Sanjida O’Connell has had four novels published by Black Swan and John Murrays (Theory of Mind, Angel Bird, The Naked Name of Love and Sugar Island) and four works of non-fiction (Mindreading: How we learn to love and lie; Sugar: The grass that changed the world; Nature’s Calendar and Chimpanzee: The making of the film). She was one of the winners of the Betty Trask award, was short-listed for The Asian Award for Literature, was one of the winners of The Daily Telegraph’s young science writer’s award, and was short-listed for Asian Woman of the Year. She also writes feature articles on science and green issues for national newspapers and magazines and has had columns in The Times and BBC Wildlife Magazine. She teaches workshops on creative writing and science writing for the media and has presented wildlife programmes for the BBC with Chris Packham, as well as directing science documentaries for the BBC. She has a PhD in animal psychology.
Rebecca O’Connor is the editor of a new arts & literature magazine called The Moth. Her chapbook, Poems, was published by the Wordsworth Trust, where she was writer-in-residence in 2005. Her poems have appeared in the Spectator, Stand, the Guardian, Poetry Ireland and Poetry Review, and she is the recipient of the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, a Tyrone Guthrie Bursary and a New Writing Ventures Award. She was fiction editor at Telegram before becoming a freelance editor for Bloomsbury, Canongate, Granta, Serpent’s Tail and others.
Antonia Parkin has worked for several years as a children’s book editor at Frances Lincoln Publishers. She has a wide range of expertise covering poetry, story books and fiction and non-fiction picture books. She is also a freelance writer of educational books for children and a translator. Among her recent publications are translations of Jacques Duquennoy’s award-winning French picture books, Ghost Party and Loch Ness Ghosts. She lives on the Wirral with her family.
The Readers at The Literary Consultancy are hand picked, first class and terrific talent spotters.
Lennie Goodings, Virago Press
Jane Purcell used to work in children’s books at Random House, but left to go freelance. She wrote for the Guardian, Mslexia, and New Woman before moving into script writing. Since then she has written and performed sketch comedy for radio (The Way it Is on Radio 4) and television, (Smack the Pony for Channel 4 and The Sketch Show for ITV/Baby Cow). Her first play was Beryl du Jour for Radio 4, followed by a five-part Woman’s Hour series for Radio 4, Cooking for Michael Collins. The Guardian described it as ‘Gripping’, and the Financial Times said, ‘Jane Purcell’s retelling of the story of Pidgie Rigney (spy, gunrunner, cook and pre-eminently a member of the women’s branch of the IRA) is immediately gripping. Writing, production and acting deftly sketch in the complex, often contradictory feelings of post-1916. Riveting.’ Her next Woman’s Hour series was about the history of girls comics, 43 Years in the Third Form. The Telegraph said it was ‘funny, ingenious and evocative.’ She has also adapted The Indian in the Cupboard for the Saturday Play and abridged numerous books for radio. She is currently writing a television pilot comedy and teaching creative writing at the Open University.
James Pusey studied English Literature at the University of Bristol and subsequently worked in the publishing industry for over a decade, most recently as a literary agent at Aitken Alexander Associates in London, whose client list includes successful authors such as Mark Haddon, Sebastian Faulks, Catherine O’Flynn and Robert Wilson. He is now a freelance editor.
Aisha Rahman previously worked in the editorial department at HarperCollins Publishers for several years. Before moving to London, she was a lecturer at a university in Pakistan, where she taught a range of multidisciplinary courses, including a course on Pakistani Literature. Aisha particularly enjoys writing from the Indian subcontinent.
Jo Rogers is Head of Creative Affairs at Scion Films: recent film credits include The Constant Gardener starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz, Working Title’s Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley and Matthew McFaddyen, and Michael Winterbottom’s Tristram Shandy: a Cock and Bull Story starring Steve Coogan. She was formerly Head of Development at Fragile Films, where she developed films including Spiceworld, An Ideal Husband (with Rupert Everett, Cate Blanchett and Minnie Driver), The Importance of Being Earnest (starring Colin Firth, Rupert Everett, Reese Witherspoon and Judi Dench) and animated feature Valiant, for Disney. She has a slate of films of her own in development, some of which she is co-writing.
Cynthia Rogerson has written three novels and a collection of short stories: Upstairs in the Tent (Headline Review), Love Letters from my Deathbed (Two Ravens), I Love You Goodbye (Black & White), and coming out in 2011 – Fly & other stories (Salt Publishing). She won the V.S.Pritchett Prize in 2008, and her stories have been broadcast on Radio 4 and 2, as well as included in anthologies and literary magazines. Her novels have been nominated for the Saltire Prize and the Scottish Arts Council Book Prize.
Cynthia is Program Director of Moniack Mhor, the Arvon creative writing centre near Inverness. She also teaches creative writing to adults and children.
Jacob Ross has been hailed as ‘a writer of formidable technical range and emotional depth’. His novel Pynter Bender was published in September 2008 to much critical acclaim. It was shortlisted for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Regional Prize and chosen as one of the British Authors Club’s top three Best First Novels (2009). Jacob is also the author of acclaimed short story collections, Song for Simone and A Way to Catch the Dust. He has edited and co-edited numerous anthologies of short stories and is a committed and highly gifted creative writing teacher. He has taught, amongst other places, at Arvon and Goldsmiths University and currently lectures in Narrative Craft and International Literature in England and abroad. Jacob has mentored many promising writers through to successful completion of their manuscripts. 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.
Anita Sethi is an award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster who has written for national and international publications including the Guardian, Observer, Telegraph, New Statesman and Times Literary Supplement and appeared as a guest book critic and cultural commentator on several radio programmes. She has been published in books and anthologies including From There to Here, Roads Ahead, and The Book Club Bible and is recipient of a Penguin/decibel Prize, Arts Council writing award and Travelling Fellowship. She was the 2012 International Writer in Residence and Ambassador at the Emerging Writers’ Festival in Melbourne, Australia and has been awarded a writing Fellowship from Australia’s Wheeler Centre. She has given talks, workshops and lectures in the UK and around the world. She was born in Manchester and read English at Cambridge University.
Hannah Sheppard is a Branford Boase Award nominated editor who has worked in trade publishing for over a decade. She started her career at Macmillan Children’s books she worked on authors such as Judy Blume, Meg Cabot, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Frances Hardinge and Eva Ibbotson. Most recently she ran the YA and crossover list at Headline Publishing Group where she commissioned books by Julianna Baggott, Cathy Brett, Tanya Byrne, Andrew Hammond, Jennifer E. Smith and Cecily von Ziegesar amongst others. She edits children’s fiction from 9 upwards with a specialism in young adult and crossover fiction.
Sibyl Ruth’s first poetry collection, Nothing Personal, was published in 1995 by Iron Press. A chapbook, I Could Become That Woman (Five Leaves), followed in 2003. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and have been broadcast on radio and TV. She lives in Birmingham and is a former Laureate of the City. Sibyl has taught creative writing for the Open College of the Arts and at the University of Birmingham. For five years she organised the literature programme at the Midlands Arts Centre. She is a member of the editorial advisory panel of Tindal Street Press and an assessor for the Arts Council of England. Currently she is working on a set of audio pieces about Birmingham’s Central Library.
Anna South has worked in publishing for over twelve years and is as experienced with fiction as she is with non-fiction. During her seven years at Penguin UK she worked on all the adult imprints – from Michael Joseph to Viking – latterly as a Commissioning Editor at the Penguin Press. The authors she published there include top ten best-selling writer Simon Jenkins, journalist Stephen Glover, the late Ian Hamilton and the movie critic Gilbert Adair. She also worked extensively on the Modern Classics lists commissioning dozens of translations of works by authors such as Marcel Proust, Sigmund Freud and Albert Camus. Anna now works as an editorial consultant and reader (in both English and French), and her clients have included Chatto and Windus, Picador, a number of different Penguin imprints, Constable Robinson and Portobello. In addition she’s written a number of introductory pieces for a new hardback series, Collectors’ Classics, and edited the best-selling Penguin anthology Poems of the Great War, and was one of the judges for A & C Black’s 2007 New Fiction Competition. Several of the TLC submissions that Anna has worked on in recent years have gone on to become published books.
Leilani Sparrow has an MA in Children’s Literature from Roehampton Institute. She worked at Hodder Children’s Books for eleven years where she commissioned picture books and edited younger fiction. Before Hodder, she worked at Macdonald Young Books on their fiction team, and before that, Egmont (formerly Reed) in the production department. She is now freelancing and loving it and the mother of one rather energetic and very smiley little boy!
Cynthia Stamy holds a D.Phil. in English from the University of Oxford and an M.Phil. specialising in the Modernist period. Her book, Marianne Moore and China: Orientalism and a Writing of America, was published by Oxford University Press in 1999. Cynthia as long been interested in the literary crosscurrents between East and West and, following Wellesley (A.B. English), she explored Chinese culture in graduate work at Harvard (Special Student), Yale (A.M. East Asian Studies) and Princeton (Graduate Fellow) universities. She was a freelance fiction manuscript consultant for Virago Press and has worked as a researcher with scriptwriters to adapt novels into screenplays. Cynthia taught English literature and writing courses in America at Brown University, from which she also holds a Master’s degree specialising in American literature. As an experienced freelance editor, Cynthia is comfortable across genres in both fiction and non-fiction, and with supporting authors during the editorial process. Currently a literary/arts reviewer for The Global Dispatches, she is attentive to the international market for fiction in English.
Joel Stickley is a writer and performer. His work has been featured on Radio 4, Radio 3, BBC7, BBC Scotland, ITV and BBC Choice. As a member of critically acclaimed poetry collective, Aisle16, he has performed at Glastonbury, the Edinburgh Fringe, Port Eliot Lit Fest, the Latitude festival and a whole clutch of literary events across the country. Aisle16′s comedy theatre show, ‘Poetry Boyband’, was named as Time Out’s Critics’ Choice of the Year in 2005. His first book, Who Writes This Crap? was published in hardback by Hamish Hamilton in 2007 and is scheduled for a Penguin paperback release in 2008. The Guardian described it as “an inspired piece of parody.” Joel has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and specialises in comic fiction.
Ashley Stokes was born in 1970 in Carshalton, Surrey and was educated at St Anne’s College, Oxford and the University of East Anglia (where he took an MA in Creative Writing). He teaches creative writing at UEA, the Unthank School of Writing and for the OU and is an editor for The Literary Consultancy. His stories have appeared in The Warwick Review, Unthology, Staple, London Magazine, Fleeting Magazine and Fwriction Review among others. He also contributed a chapter to The Creative Writing Coursebook (MacMillan, 2001). He won a 2002 Bridport Short Story Award for The Suspicion of Bones and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize twice. His first novel,Touching the Starfish was published in 2010 by Unthank Books. A short story collection, The Syllabus of Errors will appear in 2011. His personal website is: www.ashleystokes.net.
Julia Stoneham began writing in the late 1970s, after an early career as a stage designer, and over the following twenty years wrote mainly for television and radio. Two original films [Phoebe and The Bell-Run] were produced by BBC Television Drama and Julia was also a regular writer on The House Of Eliott series. In excess of a dozen original plays were commissioned and broadcast by BBC Radio Drama as well as features and dramatisations including a serialisation of Susan Howitch’s novel Penmarric and for the Classic Serial slot, Patrick White’s novel, Voss. It was during that period that Julia began to move into fiction. Originally this took the form of short stories commissioned by the BBC. The most recent was Blue Afternoon which was produced and read by Martin Jarvis. Fourteen From Four, a collection of previously broadcast short stories, was published in 2005 by the Elebana Press and 2008 saw the publication [Allison & Busby Ltd] of Muddy Boots And Silk Stockings, the first of a trilogy of novels set in rural England during World War two. The second, The Girl At the Farmhouse Gate, came out in 2010 and the third, Alice’s Girls, in 2011. Current commissions include a dramatisation for BBC Radio 4 of Julian Barnes’ novel “Talking It Over” which will be broadcast in 2012.”
Zoe Strachan is the author of Negative Space and Spin Cycle (both published by Picador). The former won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book of the Year Award. Zoë also writes short stories, essays, journalism and drama. Her work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 3. She has received two writer’s bursaries from the Scottish Arts Council, a Hawthornden Fellowship and was UNESCO City of Literature writer-in-residence at the National Museum of Scotland. In 2008 she was awarded a Hermann Kesten Stipendium and spent time in Nuremberg, and in 2009 she received a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship which took her to France to write. She lives in Glasgow where she teaches part time on the prestigious Creative Writing programme at the University of Glasgow. Her play Old Girls opened the 2009/10 season of A Play, a Pie and a Pint at Oran Mor in Glasgow, and her short opera Sublimation (with composer Nick Fells) toured in May 2010 with Scottish Opera and will be performed in South Africa by Cape Town Opera in November 2010. She has just completed her third novel, Ever Fallen in Love? and her new stage play, Panic Patterns, co-written with her partner Louise Welsh is on at the Citizen’s Theatre in Glasgow in October 2010.
Helen Szirtes is a freelance editor and author of children’s books. Following an English degree at Magdalen College, Oxford, Helen spent two years teaching in Italy. On her return she fell quickly into publishing, getting a job at Bloomsbury, where she cut her teeth on a range of dictionaries and business books. A few years later she moved across into the children’s department, editing a wide and varied list that included picture books, poetry, young illustrated fiction and non-fiction, young adult fiction and the Harry Potter series. Helen has worked with many wonderful writers and illustrators, such as Philip Reeve, Alexander McCall Smith, J.K. Rowling, Sue Limb, Chris Priestley, Mary Hooper, Peter Bailey, David Roberts, Michael Terry, Jackie Kay and Michael Rosen. In 2005 she co-authored the children’s bestseller, 101 Things to Do Before You’re Old and Boring, with her partner Richard Horne, and they are about to embark on a fourth book in the series, to be published by Bloomsbury in 2010. Helen also writes poetry and is working on her first novel for children.
Alex Peake-Tomkinson is a writer, editor and bookseller. She worked in book publishing for seven years, most recently as the Online Editor at Portobello Books. She has an MA in 20th Century English Literature and currently reviews fiction for the Daily Mail and the Times Literary Supplement. Her writing has also appeared in the books pages of the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Telegraph, the Metro and Time Out.
She specialises in contemporary fiction.
Mary Tomlinson was Fiction Editor at Bloomsbury Publishing for nearly twenty years. For much of that time she worked with Liz Calder on her distinguished list, editing writers such as John Berger, Will Self, Patricia Highsmith, Brian Moore and Joanna Trollope. Since 2007 she has been editing fiction on a freelance basis, and is writing a novel. She has reviewed fiction for the Literary Review and literary biography and literary criticism for the Times Higher Education Supplement.
Patsy Trench has just completed a Masters degree in Theatre Text and Performance at RADA and Birkbeck College. A former actress, scriptwriter, script editor, lyricist and children’s theatre director, she now teaches and lectures on British Theatre at Kingston University, and organises theatre tours for overseas students. She has had one book published and is coming to the end of the umpteenth draft of The Worst Country in the World (working title), the story of her family’s emigration to Australia in the early 1800s.
Rachel Trezise was born in the south Wales valleys in 1978 and studied journalism at the University of Glamorgan and University of Limerick. Her first novel, In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl, won a place on the 2001 Orange Futures List, while her debut collection of short fiction, Fresh Apples, won the EDS Dylan Thomas Prize. Her latest novel is Sixteen Shades of Crazy. She also writes non-fiction and drama.
Christopher George Wakling was born in 1970. Before becoming a full time writer, Christopher worked as a City lawyer. Before that he read English at Oxford. He has published six novels. Towards the Sun (as Christopher George), The Undertow, Beneath the Diamond Sky, On Cape Three Points and What I Did. His most recent book is What I Did (John Murray, 2011). The Independent described it as “Horribly plausible … brilliantly captures parent-child relations in the raw.” All of his books are available in the UK. Some have also been published in the US, and others are available in translation for Dutch, French, Spanish and Italian readers. Christopher is a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Bristol University, teaches creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and Curtis Brown Creative, and is a regular contributor of travel journalism to the national press. He lives in Bristol.
Shelley Weiner is an acclaimed novelist, short-story writer and journalist who has, over the years, established a reputation as an inspirational creative writing tutor and nurturer of new talent. South African-born, she worked as a journalist, PR writer and editor in a publishing house before turning to fiction. Among her published novels is A Sisters’ Tale and The Joker. Shelley has been a Fellow and Special Advisory Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund and has lectured on the writing programme at Birkbeck College and Anglia Ruskin University. She has also taught for the Skyros Writers’ Lab, the Open University, the Taliesin Trust and Durham University Summer School. Scores of new fiction writers, several of them now published, have emerged from her “First Novel” workshops in Camden Town, Wales and in her Highgate kitchen.
Tessa West’s professional career has been spent largely in prisons. She was an assistant governor and, later on, an Independent Member of the Parole Board. Her non-fiction book Prisons of Promise was published by Waterside Press. The first creative writing she did was poetry, but she has successfully self-published three novels, The Estuary, The Reed Flute and Companion to Owls. Each of these is set in East Anglia, where she has lived all her adult life. Landscape is a feature in Tessa’s writing, as is her interest in identity and belonging.
Tessa was one of the first mentors at TLC, work she enjoys greatly and is able to combine with her own writing. Two years ago, as the final project for her MA in Writing the Visual (at the Norwich School of Art and Design), she created The Other Vikings, a hand-made book containing poems about or in the voice of Viking women. While writing The Curious Mr Howard, her biography of the prison reformer which was published in 2011 by Waterside Press, she was awarded the Arthur Welton Award. She has had short stories published in Unthology 1 and 2 and is currently working on a series of poems inspired by maps.
Alan Wilkinson has specialised in non-fiction and historical subjects. He has written three company histories and compiled two collections of Great War correspondence, including, “Thank God I’m Not A Boy!”, The Letters of Dora Willatt, 1915-18 (Hull U Press, 1997). He has also scripted commentaries for 200 TV documentaries, and written a number of Emmerdale episodes. His travel features have appeared most recently in the Wyoming-based American Cowboy. In 2004 he was appointed Jack Kerouac Writer in Residence in Orlando, Florida. His ghosted biography of Warwickshire batsman Wasim Khan, Brim Full of Passion, was Wisden’s Cricket Book of the Year, 2007. For the past four years he has been ghosting the Mike Pannett series (Now Then, Lad etc.) for Hodder. In 2011 he was awarded a Wingate Scholarship and spent six months on a cattle ranch in western Nebraska, studying the life and work of Mari Sandoz. He is currently completing a narrative account of his experiences there. His blog is available at http://walkinonnails.blogspot.com/.
Louise Wise worked in the commissioning department of an academic publisher for seven years and has an MA in Modern Literatures in English from Birkbeck College, University of London. She also has wide-ranging experience as a freelance fiction editor. Her passion is literary fiction but her bookshelves also contain volumes of contemporary poetry, literary criticism, gender studies, cookery books (though she never cooks) and a small but growing collection of Japanese Manga.
Evie Wyld is a novelist and bookseller. Her first novel After the Fire, a Still Small Voice won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize as well as a Betty Trask award, and she was also short listed for the Orange prize for New Writers and the IMPAC award. She has written short stories, essays and articles for, amongst others, Granta, Vogue, the Guardian, The Observer, and The Telegraph.
She was educated at Bath Spa, and then at Goldsmiths University London for her MA in Creative Writing. She was recently listed as the one of the Culture Show’s 12 of the Best New Novelists.
Kerry Young was born in Kingston, Jamaica to a Chinese father and mother of mixed African-Chinese heritage. Kerry has a long history of non-fiction writing and editing on issues relating to youth work and young people including ‘The Art of Youth Work’ and numerous professional publications as well as chapters and articles in academic books and journals. She has a PhD from De Montfort University and completed the Creative Writing MA at Nottingham Trent University in 2005.
Her first novel ‘Pao’, published by Bloomsbury in June 2011 and Bloomsbury US in July 2011, was described by The Independent On Sunday as `A pacy but absorbing saga of domestic struggle and gangland manoeuvring set against the violent backdrop of post war Jamaican politics’.
Kerry lives in Leicestershire and is currently working on her second novel for Bloomsbury.