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Dorothy Koomson is an award-winning, global bestselling author and journalist whose books have been translated into more than 30 languages, with sales that exceed 2 million copies in the UK alone. She was featured on the 2021 Powerlist as one of the most influential Black people in Britain, appeared in GQ Style as a Black British trailblazer, and is a judge for the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction.
Dorothy uses her platform to support new writers and hosts ‘The Happy Author’ podcast. Dorothy lives in Brighton (well, Hove, actually) and the city is an ever-present character in her novels. Her latest book, the Sunday Times bestseller I Know What You’ve Done, is out now in paperback. Her next book, My Other Husband, will be published in hardback on 18th August by Headline.
We are delighted that Dorothy will be hosting various events throughout BBF, including The Brighton Book Festival Launch Party at Afrori Books, Friday 24th June 8-10pm, The Pitch Your Novel Workshop at The Feminist Bookshop, Sunday 26th June, 3.30-5pm, and The Myth of the Mainstream Panel at Afrori Books, Sunday 26th June, 7.30-9pm
Juno Dawson is a bestselling novelist, screenwriter, journalist, and a columnist for Attitude Magazine. Juno’s books include the global bestsellers, THIS BOOK IS GAY and CLEAN. She won the 2020 YA Book Prize for MEAT MARKET. Her first adult fantasy trilogy HER MAJESTY’S ROYAL COVEN arrives in 2022. She also writes for television and has multiple shows in development both in the UK and US. Her debut short film was THE BIRTH OF VENUS (BBC 2020) and she created the first official Doctor Who scripted podcast DOCTOR WHO: REDACTED (BBC Sounds 2022).
Juno grew up in West Yorkshire, writing imaginary episodes of Doctor Who. She later turned her talent to journalism, interviewing luminaries such as Steps and Atomic Kitten, before writing a weekly serial in a Brighton newspaper. Her writing has appeared in Glamour, The Pool, Dazed and the Guardian. She has appeared on Pointless Celebrities, BBC Women’s Hour, Front Row, ITV News, Channel 5 News, This Morning and Newsnight.
Juno lives in Brighton. She is a part of the queer cabaret collective known as CLUB SILENCIO. In 2014, Juno became a School Role Model for the charity STONEWALL.
Join Juno at Brighton Book Festival's Launch Party at Afrori Books, Friday 24th June, 8-10pm
Josephine is a writer and creative. She works primarily with words, but enjoys experimenting with other artforms and collaborating with artists, musicians and filmmakers. Josephine writes poetry, life writing, articles, essays, songs and has recently started writing her first novel. She has had her work published in various places and is a proud New Writing South Fellow.
Josephine's creative work tends to explore themes such as belonging, journeying, healing, connecting with nature and the Black/mixed-race experience. She endeavours to make work that is honest, accessible and amplifies marginalised voices, particularly those from the global majority. You can read/watch/listen to some work and find links to blogs and socials at www.josephinehall.org.
Join Josephine at Brighton Book Festival's Launch Party at Afrori Books, Friday 24th June, 8-10pm
Photograph by Jade Hylton
AFLO the Poet
AFLO. the poet is a Brighton-based spoken word artist, activist and academic who embraces creative expression to disrupt the status quo and inspire social change. AFLO. uses poetry as a vehicle to address hard-hitting topics, particularly racism and mental health, and has performed to crowds of thousands at Black Lives Matter protests and other demonstrations in Brighton and beyond.
AFLO. takes a decolonial approach to poetry and creativity, believing that you don’t need a certain level of experience or qualification to be an artist. She has shaken up the scene with her ever-evolving project and collective, ‘AFLO. and the Poets’ and is a trustee of Brighton’s Black Anti-Racism Community Organisation (BARCO), Brighton’s only organisation to focus solely on the racism faced by Black people.
Photo: Luisa De la Concha Montes
Venessa Taylor is a Number 1 bestselling author with her debut book Baller Boys.
She brings two decades of experience as an inner-city primary school teacher and assistant headteacher. Born and raised in London, Venessa continues her legacy as a literacy lead, through her stories. One of her proudest achievements was raising the standards of reading and literary engagement and attainment across the school with a focus of engaging boys and reluctant readers.
Venessa used this valuable time to research and identify what students would respond most to in terms of content, characters and setting. Venessa soon realised that what the boys wanted to read about was not readily available, so took the challenge upon herself to inspire and encourage more young people – boys in particular - to read.
Venessa is currently working on Baller Boys 2!
Join Venessa at the Family Festival at Afrori Books, Saturday 25th June, 10-1
Sabba Khan is a born and bred East Londoner whose work as a visual artist, graphic novelist and architectural designer is framed by her experience as a second generation immigrant. Originally trained as an architect at Central Saint Martins and the University of Westminster, Sabba weaves design ideas into her art practice. Collaborators for Khan’s comics work include The British Council, SOAS, NHS, London Borough of Newham, JCWI and The British Library.
An extract from Sabba’s debut graphic novel, The Roles We Play, was shortlisted for the Myriad First Graphic Novel Award, and its making was supported by Jerwood Arts. The Roles We Play explores how Khan’s lived experience has been informed by her family’s migration history, and the intergenerational trauma one can face if that history is largely unacknowledged. Awards include the Jhalak Prize 2022, Broken Frontier Break Out Talent 2021 as well as The Roles We Play’s selection among Guardian’s Best Books of 2021. She also contributed to the Eisner Award-winning anthology Drawing Power. The Roles we Play is available in the US with Streetnoise Books under the title What is Home, Mum?
Join Sabba at the Graphic Novels Workshop at Afrori Books, Saturday 25th June, 11.30-1
Stella Dadzie is best known for her co-authorship of The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain which won the 1985 Martin Luther King Award for Literature, and was recently re-published by Verso as a Feminist Classic.
She is a founder member of OWAAD (Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent), a national umbrella group that emerged in the late 1970s as part of the British Civil Rights movement, and was recently described as one of the “grandmothers” of Black Feminism in the UK. Her career as a teacher, writer, artist and education activist spans over 40 years.
Join Stella at the Ties That Bind: Writing for Collective Liberation Panel at The Feminist Bookshop, Saturday 25th June, 1.30-3.30pm
Cradle Community is a collective of organisers committed to radical education and building community understanding of prison abolition and transformative justice. In 2020, Cradle produced how to be an abolitionist today, a colourful, astrology-themed zine with practical tips on supporting and caring for each other in everyday interactions.
In their first book - Brick by Brick: How We Build a World Without Prisons - Cradle Community invites us to explore what it will take to dismantle structures of oppression, and to imagine the future we can rebuild together—brick by brick.
Join Cradle Community at the Ties That Bind: Writing for Collective Liberation Panel at The Feminist Bookshop, Saturday 25th June, 1.30-3.30pm
Suzanne Scafe is Visiting Professor at the University of Brighton.
She was a member of OWAAD and the Brixton Black Women’s Group. Her recent work includes essays on violence in the spatial imaginary of Kingston fictions and several essays and book chapters on black British women’s autobiographical writing, black British fiction and drama, Caribbean women’s writing, autobiography and life writing.
Join Suzanne at the Ties That Bind: Writing for Collective Liberation Panel at The Feminist Bookshop, Saturday 25th June, 1.30-3.30pm
Of Jamaican heritage, Ciannon Smart grew up in a small town in the south-east of England. As the only daughter in a house full of boisterous sons, she developed a voracious appetite for reading from an early age, preferring anarchy in stories rather than real life.
Her debut YA fantasy duology is comprised of Witches Steeped in Gold (2021) and Empress Crowned in Red (2022).
In YA she loves her heroines exactly as she loves her villains: wilful, wily, and unpredictable. When not writing, Ciannon can be found reading, painting, or taking the long way home to listen to a good song more than once.
Join Ciannon at Lyrics and Lines at Afrori Books, Saturday 25th June, 4-5.30pm
Sheena Patel is a writer and assistant director for film and TV who was born and raised in North West London. She is part of the poetry collective 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE and her debut novel I’m A Fan will be published by Rough Trade Books in 2022.
4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE have given performances and talks across the UK and internationally, including at the British Library, Tate, the Muscat Literature Festival, and as a support act for Sleaford Mods. Their work has been featured on Poetry Unbound and British Vogue.
Join Sheena at the Feminist Futures panel at The Feminist Bookshop, Saturday 25th June, 5.30-7pm
Lynne Segal is Anniversary Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College.
Her many books include Is the Future Female? Troubled Thoughts on Contemporary Feminism; Straight Sex: Rethinking the Politics of Pleasure; and Making Trouble: Life & Politics. She co-wrote Beyond the Fragments: Feminism and the Making of Socialism with Sheila Rowbotham and Hilary Wainwright.
As a member of The Care Collective, she is one of the authors of The Care Manifesto, published by Verso last year.
Join Lynne at the Feminist Futures panel at The Feminist Bookshop, Saturday 25th June, 5.30-7pm
Laila Woozeer is a queer non-binary London-born writer and musician who grew up in rural Wales, fully enchanted by the ancient magic found there. Laila’s work ranges from award-winning soundtracks, off-the-wall theatre shows and original songwriting. Laila is a long-term vegan, practising mixed-religion sorceress, lover of all things pink and/or shiny, rescue snake owner, overuser of major sevenths, and avid arcade gamer. Laila is interested in and available for commissions and commentary on topics including identity, race, colonialism, UK history, veganism, animals/animal welfare, representation, spirituality, witchcraft, travel/tourism, mental health, sexuality, gender and gender identity, relationships, theatre/performing arts, entertainment and pop culture. For more information, visit: https://www.lailawoozeer.com/
Laila will be hosting the Feminist Futures panel at The Feminist Bookshop, Saturday 25th June, 5.30-7pm
Yvonne Bailey-Smith was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the UK in 1969 when she was a teenager. She trained and worked first as a social worker before becoming a psychotherapist. She is also a Water Aid Supporter and passionate about providing clean water and sanitation in developing countries.
She is the mother of three children: novelist Zadie Smith; actor, musician and children’s book author Ben Bailey Smith; and lyricist and writer LucSkyz.
Her first novel The Day I Fell Off My Island was published in 2021 and has been shortlisted for Authors' Club Best First Novel Award 2022, Society of Authors Paul Torday Memorial Prize 2022 and RSL Christopher Bland Prize 2022.
Author photo © Suki Dhanda
Join Yvonne at the British Culture: Small Island panel at Afrori Books, Saturday 25th June, 7.30-10pm
KIT DE WAAL
Kit de Waal was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother, who was a childminder and foster carer and a Caribbean father. She worked for fifteen years in criminal and family law, was a magistrate for several years and sits on adoption panels. She used to advise Social Services on the care of foster children, and has written training manuals on adoption, foster care and judgecraft for members of the judiciary.
Her writing has received numerous awards including the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 2014 and 2015 and the SI Leeds Literary Reader's Choice Prize 2014 and the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year. MY NAME IS LEON, her first novel was published in 2016 and shortlisted for the Costa Book Award. She has two children and lives in the West Midlands.
Join Kit at the British Culture: Small Island panel at Afrori Books, Saturday 25th June, 7.30-10pm
Tony Fairweather was born in Clapham South, south London, the son of Jamaican parents. He opened one of the first Black bookshops in the UK, with an art gallery and artefacts. He then went on to work for the Voice newspaper heading up its book club.
In 1989 he founded ‘The Write Thing’, an events company established to promote Black authors, which led to his working with a veritable who’s who of the Black literary world while producing events in the UK, USA and Africa. Tony is the founder and curator of the Windrush Collection and the Windrush Exhibition of artefacts associated with the Windrush generation. He lives in South London.
Join Tony at the British Culture: Small Island panel at Afrori Books, Saturday 25th June, 7.30-10pm
Photo © Sharron Wallace
Kaia Allen-Bevan is a poet, writer, artist, illustrator, actress, co-host of two podcasts and advocate for justice for all marginalised identities. She has always had a burning passion for equality and revealing the beauty within everyone, which has grown with age to equity and beyond.
Kaia will be hosting the British Culture: Small Island panel at Afrori Books, Saturday 25th June, 7.30-10pm
Hannah Vincent is an award-winning playwright. She has also written two novels, Alarm Girl (2014) and The Weaning (2018) and a short story collection, She Clown & Other Stories (2020), whose title story was shortlisted for the 2017 Manchester Fiction Prize.
Hannah has a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Sussex. She teaches Creative Writing for the Open University and wrote course materials for the script strand of their MA. She also teaches at New Writing South and co-designed their Creative Non-Fiction Programme. Earlier in her career, she worked as a BBC Drama television script editor. Her own radio drama Come to Grief won the 2015 BBC Audio award for ‘best adaptation’. She lives in Brighton.
Join Hannah at the Bookish Brunch at Afrori Books, Sunday 26th June, 11-1pm
DR NICOLA STREETEN
Dr Nicola Streeten is an anthropologist-turned-illustrator and comics scholar. She is the author of Billy, Me & You, an acclaimed graphic memoir about her bereavement following the death of her two-year old son which received Highly Commended in the Popular Medicine category of the 2012 British Medical Association Medical Book Awards.
In 2017 Nicola completed an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded PhD from the University of Sussex. Her research on UK Feminist Cartoons and Comics from the 1970s informed her contribution as co-editor with Cath Tate to The Inking Woman.
Nicola is director of LDComics a women creator-led forum welcoming all in promoting and celebrating comics works with a focus on the everyday.
Join Nicola at the Bookish Brunch at Afrori Books, Sunday 26th June, 11-1pm, and at online event LDC Online, Monday 20th June, 7-8.30pm
HENRY J GARRETT
Henry James Garrett is a screenwriter, author and illustrator. He stumbled into a peculiar cartooning career after dropping out of a Philosophy PhD due to anxiety. Since then, he’s created an illustrated op-ed for The New York Times, cartooned for Buzzfeed, The BBC, The Fawcett Society and London Pride, exhibited in Brighton and London, built up a loyal Instagram following, and gifted a drawing of her dog to Meghan Markle.
His plan had been to write philosophy papers that would make people kinder to one another, and he managed to find a strange route back to that through his cartooning when his debut book, This Book Will Make You Kinder: An Empathy Handbook, a mixture of metaethics and drawings, was published by Penguin in 2020.
Join Henry at the Bookish Brunch at Afrori Books, Sunday 26th June, 11-1pm
Anna Burtt has worked in publishing for almost a decade and is currently Head of Events at a global writing consultancy. She is the host of the Brighton Book Club on Radio Reverb and has run a successful writing group for the last four years.
She’s recently finished her first novel, which is set in Yorkshire and explores grief, sexuality, intergenerational friendships and drag.
Join Anna at the Bookish Brunch at Afrori Books, Sunday 26th June, 11-1pm
Emma Topping is a book option specialist and a builder of franchises. The owner of Viv Loves Film, and Executive Producer on projects such as Sony’s PETER RABBIT feature franchise and Netflix’s tentpole feature and series REDWALL franchise, based on Brian Jacques books.
She also has over 20 years’ experience as an Entertainment Lawyer, including with industry leaders: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Group, The Walt Disney Company, Macmillan Publishers and Penguin Random House.
Emma lectures at Screen Film School Brighton where she co-created and will be course leading a new BA Hons Film Business & Production Degree that launches in September 2022.
Join Emma at the Beyond the Book Workshop at Duke of York's Picturehouse, Sunday 26th June, 11-1pm.
The workshop will be followed by a film screening of Precious (Lee Daniels, 2009), adapted from Sapphire's 1996 novel Push.
Jendella is author of the novel Hope & Glory and Head of Editorial at Black Ballad – the award-winning digital platform for Black British women. She is also the host of the podcast Black Ballad Presents: The Survival Guide.
She has written for The Sunday Times STYLE Magazine, Metro Online and Independent Voices, as well as previously been a columnist for Media Diversified, MTV UK, and Christian Today.
In 2017 she completed and self-published her project, Young Motherhood. Her short story, Kindling, was published in The Book of Birmingham and her visual work has been exhibited across the UK and internationally. Finally, Jendella is a TEDx speaker who has also appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour, as well as speaking at various universities and conferences.
Photograph by Tols Abeni
Join Jendella at The View 2022 panel at Afrori Books, Sunday 26th June, 1.30-3pm
Meera is Co-Director of Round Table Books, an award winning bookshop located in Brixton. The bookshop was founded by indie publisher Knights O f in 2019 after successfully raising more than £30,000 in crowdfunding to turn its then pop-up initiative into a permanent space.
Round Table Books exists to celebrate underrepresented children’s books, writers and illustrators, curating and stocking books from the widest variety of UK and Irish publishers possible.
Join Meera at The View 2022 panel at Afrori Books, Sunday 26th June, 1.30-3pm
NII AYIKWEI PARKES
Photograph by Rose Ablah
Nii Ayikwei Parkes is a Ghanaian-British producer, editor and writer who has won acclaim as a children's author, poet, broadcaster and novelist. Winner of multiple international awards including Ghana’s ACRAG award, his novel Tail of the Blue Bird was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize, going on to win France's Prix Baudelaire and Prix Laure Bataillon in 2014; and his latest book of poems, The Geez (2020) is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, was longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize, and shortlisted for the Walcott Prize. He was the founding director of the Aidoo Centre for Creative Writing in Accra and is the founder of flipped eye publishing, a leading small press. Nii Ayikwei serves on the boards of World Literature Today and the Caine Prize, and has served as a judge for several literature prizes including the Commonwealth Prize, the NSK Neustadt Prize and the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize. As a producer, he is the founder of the African Writers’ Evening series of talks and serves as the current Producer of Literature and Talks at Brighton Festival.
Nii will be hosting The View 2022 panel at Afrori Books, Sunday 26th June, 1.30-3pm
"If I had to put who I am in any kind of order I am first a Christian Black woman. I am also a mother, a bookseller, an activist, a mentor, a lyricist and a wife."
In 2020 Caroylnn opened an online bookshop that created a one stop-shop for books by black authors. In 2021, following a very successful crowdfund, she opened a bricks and mortar shop in the heart of Brighton. Afrori Books now has the biggest selection of books by black authors in the UK. Giving a platform to over 2000 black authors through their shop and social media channels.
Carolynn Bain will be hosting the Masculinities panel at Afrori Books, Sunday 26th June, 3.30-5pm
Isaac Borquaye, better known as Guvna B, is an award-winning rap artist and writer. With 2 MOBO Awards and 3 UMAs, he is a seasoned talent who has found a new lease of life. His last two albums have amassed over 15 million streams, the latest of which was the UK’s highest charting nonexplicit rap album of 2020.
His debut non-fiction title, Unspoken: Toxic Masculinity and How I Faced the Man Within the Man was released in 2021. He is married to Emma Borquaye, with whom he is co-authoring his first children’s title. The couple have one son, named Ezra.
Join Guvna B at the Masculinities panel at Afrori Books, Sunday 26th June, 3.30-5pm
Amen Alonge was born in Lagos and moved to London as a teenager almost twenty years ago. He is currently training to become a solicitor.
Amen’s first novel, the thriller A Good Day to Die, was published by Quercus in early 2022 and further novels featuring his protagonist Pretty Boy are forthcoming. Amen lives in London with his wife and their son.
Join Amen at the Masculinities panel at Afrori Books, Sunday 26th June, 3.30-5pm
Alison Rumfitt is a writer and semi-professional trans woman. Her debut pamphlet of poetry, The T(y)ranny, was a critical deconstruction of Margaret Atwood’s work through the lens of a trans woman navigating her own misogynistic dystopia. It was published by Zarf Editions in 2019.
Tell Me I’m Worthless is her debut novel.
Her work has appeared in countless publications such as SPORAZINE, datableed, The Final Girls, Burning House Press, SOFT CARTEL, Glass Poetry and more. Her poetry was nominated - twice! - for the Rhysling Award in 2018.
You can find her on Twitter @hangsawoman and @alison.zone on Instagram. She loves her friends.
Join Alison at the Brighton's Queer Culture panel at The Actors, Sunday 26th June, 5.30-7pm
Tanya Byrne was born in London where she spent forty years before moving to Brighton in 2017 with her dog, Frida. After eight years at BBC Radio, she left to write her debut young adult novel, HEART-SHAPED BRUISE, which was published by Headline in May 2012 and earned her a nomination for New Writer of the Year at the National Book Awards. Since then, she has written four other young adult novels and has contributed to several short story anthologies including A CHANGE IS GONNA COME, which was named Sunday Times Children's Book of the Week and was honoured with a Special Achievement Award by the YA Book Prize.
As a brown, queer, working class author, she is determined not to pull the ladder up after her so is passionate about encouraging authors from marginalised backgrounds to tell their own stories and making publishing more open to everyone.
Her latest novel, AFTERLOVE, is out now. She is currently working with Emma Reeves and Two Rivers Media to adapt it for television.
Join Tanya at the Brighton's Queer Culture panel at The Actors, Sunday 26th June, 5.30-7pm
As a queer, pansexual, non-binary trans person, Fox educates on LGBTQIA+ issues through art, books, films and conversations. Fox and their partner Owl have appeared on TV, and notably explained non-binary issues to Piers Morgan LIVE on Good Morning Britain for 15 minutes, as documented in their feature film I Am They. Fox founded My Genderation, a film project that celebrates intersectional trans lives and experiences, creating over 100 short films. Their films have won awards at various film festivals, including Outfest, BFI Flare, and Toronto International.
As a writer, they are the co-creator of the children’s book Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl, the Trans Teen Survival Guide, and Trans Survival Workbook. They are also the sole creator of the Trans Pride Colouring Book. They’ve contributed written chapters for Trans Britain, This Is How We Come Back Stronger, and We Can Do Better Than This.
Join Fox at the Brighton's Queer Culture panel at The Actors, Sunday 26th June, 5.30-7pm
Saima Mir is an award-winning journalist and writer. She has written for The Guardian, The Times, The Independent and The Daily Telegraph, and worked for the BBC.
Her work appeared in the anthology, It’s Not About the Burqa in 2019, and The Best Most Awful Job in 2020. Her novel The Khan was published by Point Blank in January 2021. The Khan has since been optioned by BBC Studios.
Saima is a recipient of The Commonwealth Broadcast Association World View Award, and The K Blundell Trust Award. Saima’s work has been longlisted for The SI Leeds Literary Prize, and The Bath Novel Award.
Her screenplay Ruby & Matt has been optioned by Rendition Films.
Join Saima at the Myth of the Mainstream panel at Afrori Books on Sunday 26th June, 7.30-9pm
Rosanna Amaka grew up in South London and is of African and Caribbean heritage. As a child she loved writing short stories later progressing to novels, which she has spent many years crafting.
THE BOOK OF ECHOES is her debut novel. She began writing it over twenty years ago, to give voice to the Brixton community in which she grew up in, and reflects some of the changes that have happened in the community over time. The book is about life, pain and hope and was inspired by a wish to understand the impact of history on present-day lives and the journey of her ancestors.
Join Rosanna at our online Feminist Histories panel on Sunday 19th June, 6-7.30pm
WINNIE M LI
Winnie M Li is an author and activist. COMPLICIT is her second novel, which draws from her earlier career in the film industry. A Harvard graduate, she previously wrote for travel guide books, produced independent feature films, and programmed for film festivals. Her debut DARK CHAPTER won The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize, was nominated for an Edgar Award, and translated into ten languages. She is currently adapting it for the screen.
Driven by her own experience of rape, she founded Clear Lines, the UK's first festival addressing sexual assault and consent through the arts and discussion, and began her PhD research at the London School of Economics. She holds an honorary doctorate of law from the National University of Ireland in recognition of her work. Winnie lives somewhere in traveling distance of London, with her partner and toddler.
Join Winnie at our online Feminist Histories panel on Sunday 19th June, 6-7.30pm
A. K. Blakemore is the author of two full-length collections of poetry: Humbert Summer (Eyewear, 2015) and Fondue (Offord Road Books, 2018), which was awarded the 2019 Ledbury Forte Prize for Best Second Collection.
Blakemore's debut novel The Manningtree Witches won the 2021 Desmond Elliott Prize. The Manningtree Witches plunges its readers into the fever and menace of the English witch trials, where suspicion, mistrust and betrayal ran amok as the power of men went unchecked and the integrity of women went undefended. It is a visceral, thrilling book that announces a bold new talent.
Join A. K. Blakemore at our online Feminist Histories panel on Sunday 19th June, 6-7.30pm
Rose has worked in publishing for over ten years, helped to set up riverrun, the literary imprint of Quercus, and is now Senior Editorial Director at Virago where she publishes fiction, non-fiction and graphic novels. Her authors have won or been shortlisted for prizes including the Women’s Prize, Baillie Gifford, Desmond Elliot, Bath Novel and Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year.
At Virago she co-runs independent bookshop events and the podcast OurShelves. She teaches creative writing at various universities and festivals as well as the Faber Academy and Arvon.
Rose will be hosting our online Feminist Histories panel on Sunday 19th June, 6-7.30pm
Penny Batchelor is an alumna of the Faber Academy online ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She a novelist, freelance journalist and disability campaigner. Penny is passionate about positive disability representation in fiction.
Her debut thriller My Perfect Sister was longlisted for The Guardian's Not The Booker Prize 2020 and was a Waitrose Weekend choice. Her New Best Friend, Penny’s second novel, was published on 5th August 2021. Along with EC Scullion Penny is the co-founder and editor of the Thriller Women blog.
In 2021 Penny co-founded the #KeepFestivalsHybrid campaign urging literary festivals and events to keep online access to events after finding that, post-pandemic lockdown, many were returning to in-person events, which excluded those unable to travel.
This year, along with fellow author Victoria Scott, Penny was successful in campaigning for Amazon to include a disability fiction category in their books section.
Penny is currently hard at work writing her third novel and a non-fiction proposal on the subject of disability.
Join Penny at our online Protest in the Pages panel, Wednesday 22nd June, 7-8.30pm
Elizabeth Chakrabarty is an interdisciplinary writer using creative and critical writing, besides performance, to explore themes of race, gender and sexuality. Her debut novel Lessons in Love and Other Crimes, inspired by experience of race hate crime, was published in 2021 by the Indigo Press, along with her essay, On Closure and Crime.
Her poetry has been published by Visual Verse, and her short creative-critical work includes writing published in Glänta, Gal-Dem and New Writing Dundee, and more recently, in Wasafiri, and the anthology Imagined Spaces (Saraband, 2020). She received an Authors’ Foundation Grant from The Society of Authors (UK) in December 2018, to support the writing of Lessons in Love and Other Crimes, and she was chosen as one of the runners up for the inaugural CrimeFest bursary for crime fiction authors of colour in 2022. She lives in London.
Join Elizabeth at our online Protest in the Pages panel, Wednesday 22nd June, 7-8.30pm
Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan is a writer, poet and educator disrupting understandings of history, race, knowledge and violence. She works to equip herself and others with the tools and faith to resist the unliveable conditions we find ourselves in, and work towards another reality.
Suhaiymah is co-author of A Fly Girl’s Guide to University (Verve Poetry Press, 2019), author of Postcolonial Banter (Verve Poetry Press, 2019), and Tangled in Terror: Uprooting Islamophobia (Pluto Press, 2022), as well as host of the Breaking Binaries podcast (on hiatus).
She has essays in I Refuse To Condemn (Manchester University Press, 2020) and Cut From The Same Cloth? (Unbound, 2021) and has written for The Guardian, Independent, Al-Jazeera, and gal-dem.
She has written plays for The Royal Court, Albany and other theatres and is currently under commission with Kiln theatre and Freedom Studios. Suhaiymah is also an active member of the Geographies of Embodiment (GEM) research collective and co-founder of abolitionist group, The Nejma Collective.
Join Suhaiymah at our online Protest in the Pages panel, Wednesday 22nd June, 7-8.30pm
Erin James is a published photographer, photojournalist, writer, radio host, DJ, curator and founder of Tough Cookie Mag. She looks to inspire others to speak out on difficult and stigmatized subjects through the medium of art, focusing her work on socially engaged topics and social justice issues whilst championing and uplifting marginalised voices.
Erin will be hosting our online Protest in the Pages panel, Wednesday 22nd June, 7-8.30pm
Indu Antony is a Bangalore based artist. She overcame various social obligations to pursue her forms of expression and has been working with individuals from the fringes of the society.
Indu explores tonalities of inward discussions which later burst out into the communal spaces. Her work comprises of understanding feministic stands which gives way to performances and installations.
Join Indu at the LDComics online event, Monday 20th June, 7pm
Canadian cartoonist Sandra Bell-Lundy is the creator of the internationally syndicated comic strip Between Friends, syndicated by King Features since 1994 and appearing in nearly 175 newspapers worldwide. Her comics have been collected in 4 books, greeting cards and her characters have been featured in a mammogram awareness campaign to assist the Canadian Cancer Society.
Join Sandra at the LDComics online event, Monday 20th June, 7pm
Mollie Ray is an illustrator and graphic novelist based in Lancashire. Her debut graphic novel ‘Giant’ is to be published in 2024 with Faber & Faber. Her work is whimsical, soft and familiar, but often exploring challenging subject matter. Represented by James Spackman of the BKS Agency.
Join Mollie at the LDComics online event, Monday 20th June, 7pm