Abbie Greaves is the author of The Silent Treatment (2020) and The Ends of the Earth (2021/2022). She lives and writes in Cambridge, UK. Her novels have been translated into over a dozen languages, selected for the Radio 2 Book Club, shortlisted for the RNA Debut Novel of the Year Award and featured in the Independent, the Sun, Woman & Home, PopSugar, Cosmopolitan, and more. Abbie worked in publishing for three years, including at Curtis Brown as a literary agent’s assistant, before leaving to write full time.
Ali Shaw is an award-winning novelist, short story writer and creative writing teacher. His novels are The Trees, The Man who Rained, and The Girl with Glass Feet, which won the Desmond Elliott Prize, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His books have been translated into fifteen different languages, and his short fiction has appeared in multiple newspapers, magazines, and on BBC Radio 4.
Andrew Michael Hurley is currently based in Lancashire. His first novel, The Loney, was originally published by Tartarus Press as a 300-copy limited-edition, before being republished by John Murray. It went on to sell in 20 languages, win the Costa Best First Novel Award and Book of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards. Devil’s Day, his second novel, was picked as a Book of the Year in five newspapers and won the Encore Award. Starve Acre was published by John Murray in 2019. Andrew also wrote a short story for The Haunting Season, a bestselling anthology of ghostly and gothic tales published by Sphere in 2020.
Anna Davis is the founder and Director of the Curtis Brown Creative writing school. She is the author of five acclaimed novels which have been published in twenty languages. She has been a journalist and Guardian columnist, as well as a Curtis Brown literary agent. She taught creative writing at the University of Manchester and in many other settings before founding Curtis Brown Creative in 2011.
Anna Freeman is a novelist, radio presenter and creative writing tutor. Her two historical novels, The Fair Fight and Five Days of Fog, are both published by W&N. The Fair Fight has been optioned for TV by Scarlett Johannsen's development company, These Pictures. Anna is also the host of Radio 4's human interest arts programme, Sketches: Stories of Art and People.
Anthony Anaxagorou is a British-born Cypriot poet, fiction writer, essayist, publisher and poetry educator. His poetry has been published in POETRY, The Poetry Review, Poetry London, New Statesman, Granta, and elsewhere. His second collection After the Formalities, published with Penned in the Margins, is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the 2019 T.S Eliot Prize. It was also a Telegraph and Guardian poetry book of the year. In 2020 he published How To Write It with Merky Books. Anthony is an honorary fellow of the University of Roehampton, artistic director of Out-Spoken – a monthly poetry and music night held at London’s Southbank Centre – and publisher of Out-Spoken Press. His latest poetry collection Heritage Aesthetics won the 2023 RSL Ondaatje Prize.
Ayisha Malik is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, The Other Half of Happiness, and This Green and Pleasant Land. She was a WHSmith Fresh Talent Pick and Sofia Khan was a London CityReads choice in May 2019. Ayisha is winner of The Diversity Book Awards and has been shortlisted for the Asian Women of Achievement Award, Marie Claire’s Future Shapers Awards and h100’s Awards for Publishing and Writing. Her fourth adult novel, The Movement, is to be published in summer 2022.
Catherine Johnson has written over 20 books for children and young adults, including Sawbones, which won the Young Quills Prize for best Historical Fiction in the 12+ category and was nominated for the Carnegie medal in 2015. Her book Freedom won the 2019 Little Rebels Award for Radical Children's Fiction.
Cathi Unsworth is the author of four crime novels, most recently That Old Black Magic; plus two further (non-genre) novels, all published by Serpent’s Tail. Her novel Weirdo was translated into seven languages and longlisted for the 2014 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, the 2014 Gran Prix de Littérature Policiére, the 2013 Gordon Burn Prize and the 2013 New Angle Prize for Literature. Her novel Without the Moon was The Times' Crime Book of the month upon publication.
Cathy Rentzenbrink is the author of The Last Act of Love which was a Sunday Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize. She followed it with A Manual for Heartache and Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books. Her first novel Everyone Is Still Alive is out now. Her writing guide Write It All Down: How to put your life on the page was published in 2022. Cathy regularly chairs literary events, interviews authors, reviews books and runs creative writing workshops. In previous lives, Cathy worked for Waterstones for ten years, ran the literacy charity Quick Reads, and was Books Editor at The Bookseller.
Charlotte Mendelson is the author of five highly acclaimed novels, most recently The Exhibitionist. Her books have been longlisted and shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and longlisted for the Booker Prize. She also won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award, among others. She worked in publishing for twenty years and now teaches creative writing widely, and is Gardening Correspondent for the New Yorker.
Christie Watson’s is an award winning, bestselling writer. She has published three memoirs, including The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story which was a number one Sunday Times bestseller, and two novels, including the Costa First Novel Award-winning Tiny Sunbirds Far Away. She is Professor of Medical Humanities at UEA.
Photography by Rebecca Reid.
Christopher Wakling is the author of six acclaimed novels, including What I Did, The Devil’s Mask and On Cape Three Points. Born in 1970, he read English at Oxford, then worked as a farm hand, teacher and lawyer, before turning to writing full-time in 2001. As well as writing fiction, Christopher is a travel writer for the Independent. He is also the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Bristol University and has tutored numerous creative-writing courses for Curtis Brown Creative and The Arvon Foundation.
Clare Alan is a script editor and producer who has worked on a range of TV and film projects in the UK and Ireland. Her script editing credits include Solomon & Gaenor by Paul Morrison and controversial C4 factual drama The Investigator by Barbara Machin for September films; Dangerfield and Silent Witness for the BBC, and four series of The Vice for ITV. Clare moved to Touchpaper TV as head of development in 2001 and began producing on shows by Julian Fellowes, Barry Simner, Edna O’Brien and Colin Teevan. In 2017 she set up Pamela Productions where she worked on ReefTV’s biopic of Mahler for BBC Music & Arts, Draco by Clive Bradley and A New Dawn by Bronagh Taggart for BBC Northern Ireland. She has also worked as executive producer on C4’s new writing and directing scheme Coming Up.
Colin Teevan is a celebrated playwright, translator and writer for screen. He is writer, creator and executive producer of Rebellion (RTE, Netflix) seasons 1 and 2 and lead writer, showrunner and executive producer on Das Boot (Bavaria Fiction/Sky TV) seasons 2, 3 and 4. He is also the writer and creator of Charlie (RTE), three original films starring Aidan Gillen, who won an IFTA for Best Performance. His other work for television includes Silk (BBC) starring Maxine Peake, Vera starring Brenda Blethyn and Single Handed (ITV). Colin currently is showrunning a show for Channel 4/Playground, and his feature film for Amazon is in production. He has new series in development with Gaumont Germany, Bavaria Fiction and Windlight. Colin’s theatre pieces have been produced by many leading British theatres including the National, the Young Vic, the Soho Theatre and the National Theatre of Scotland. He is also the creator of our highly popular advanced course in Writing an Original TV Drama Serial, and is Emeritus Professor of Screenwriting and Playwriting at Birkbeck, University of London where he lectured for over 12 years. He previously lectured on Creative Writing and Screenwriting at UEA, Durham, Newcastle and Queen’s Belfast.
Craig Barr-Green writes picture books, non-fiction titles and theatre productions for children. He lectures in Children’s Literature at Falmouth University and is a seasoned children’s bookseller. He often performs storytelling shows at festivals, and set up the SLT publishing company Clickety Books. He is a passionate advocate for children’s literacy and neurodivergent representation. His latest picturebook, Gina Kaminski Saves the Wolf will be published by Little Tiger in September 2023, with illustrations by Francis Martin. Craig is represented by Isobel Gahan.
Crystal Jeans has had two novels published by Welsh women’s independent Honno Press. Her first novel, The Vegetarian Tigers of Paradise, was shortlisted for the Polari Prize and is currently in development for film. Her second novel, Light Switches are my Kryptonite, won Wales Book of the Year in the English language. Her breakout novel, The Inverts, was published by The Borough Press in 2021. Crystal lives in Pontypridd with her partner and their two children.
Cynan Jones is the author of five novels, published in over 20 countries. He has won the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize, a Betty Trask Award, the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Award, and the BBC National Short Story Award, for which he was also on the 2019 judging panel. His short stories have appeared in a variety of anthologies and in journals and magazines including Granta and the New Yorker. He has also written a screenplay for the hit crime drama Hinterland, a collection of tales for children, and stories for BBC Radio. Stillicide, a collection of 12 short stories, was commissioned by Radio 4 and published by Granta. Cynan was the RLF Writing Fellow at Aberystwyth University, and as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature was a member of the RSL Open Panel, convened to elect writers from under-represented communities. He has worked extensively with schools and writing groups, and tutored on short fiction and editing for the Arvon Foundation and Literature Wales.
David O’Connell is a writer and illustrator living in Brighton. He works mostly in children’s books, particularly humorous picture books and young fiction. His best known books are The Naughtiest Unicorn series, the Sunday Times bestselling How to Grow Up and Feel Amazing (both as illustrator) and The Chocolate Factory Ghost (as writer). His first book was Monster & Chips, the first of a series of funny (and revolting) adventures of ‘hooman’ Joe Shoe whilst working at the Monster Diner of friendly monster Fuzzby Bixington. He then collaborated with the brilliant Sarah McIntyre on the picture book Jampires! After illustrating the Creature Teacher series by writer Sam Watkins, he worked with illustrator Francesca Gambatesa on a series of picture books all about families, as well as illustrating Boyband of the Apocalypse books for funny writer Tom Nicoll.
Emily Barr wrote and published 12 novels for adults before turning to YA. Her first novel for young adults, The One Memory of Flora Banks, was the bestselling YA debut of 2017, and was published in 27 languages. Her fifth YA novel, Ghosted, was published by Penguin in May 2022 and her next one, This Summer’s Secrets, will be published in June 2023. Emily also writes sci-fi in the US as Evie Green. A CBC tutor and mentor, Emily has also taught at Faber Academy, Domestika and Arvon. Her agent is Stephanie Thwaites.
Dr Emma Kavanagh received her PhD in cognitive psychology in 2004, and then moved on to specialise in trauma, specifically survival in high-risk situations. She went on to spend a decade providing training to specialist police teams across the UK (firearms, counter-terrorism, body recovery) and NATO forces throughout Europe on the psychology of life-threatening situations. Emma then began writing fiction, with her first four novels (Falling, Hidden, The Missing Hours & The Killer On The Wall) being published by Arrow, and next two (To Catch A Killer, The Devil You Know) with Orion. Her first non-fiction book, How To Be Broken, was released in 2021, and she is currently in the process of writing her second. How To Love A Psychopath will look at those with psychopathic traits and will examine how those traits impact the people who love them.
Erin Kelly is the author of He Said/She Said, which spent a total of 12 weeks in the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller list. Her first novel The Poison Tree became a major ITV drama and a Richard & Judy bestseller. Erin has written five more original psychological thrillers, The Sick Rose, The Burning Air, The Ties That Bind, We Know You Know and Watch Her Fall, all of which were published to critical acclaim. In 2014, she wrote the official novel and short story series of the hit TV series Broadchurch. Her books have been translated into 25 languages.
As well as writing fiction, Erin has worked as a journalist since 1998 and teaches creative writing. She lives in north London with her husband and daughters.
Jacob Ross is a novelist, short story writer, editor and anthologist. Ross tutors Narrative Craft internationally. His crime novel The Bone Readers won the inaugural Jhalak Prize in 2017. His literary novel Pynter Bender was shortlisted for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Regional Prize and selected as one of the British Authors’ Club’s top three Best First Novels. Ross’s collected short fiction Tell No-One About This was listed by the 2017 Bocas Literary Prize among the best Caribbean fictional works. His most recent crime novel Black Rain Falling was published in spring 2020. Jacob Ross is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Associate Fiction Editor at Peepal Tree Press.
Jake is the author of seven highly acclaimed novels. The Long Firm was the bestselling debut novel of 1999, and was followed by He Kills Coppers, Truecrime, Johnny Come Home, The Devil's Paintbrush, The House of Rumour and The Fatal Tree. In 2006, The Long Firm was made into a four-part, BAFTA-nominated series for BBC 2 starring Sir Derek Jacobi and Mark Strong. In 2008, He Kills Coppers was made into a three-part series for ITV1, starring Rafe Spall and Kelly Reilly. Jake has previously taught creative-writing courses for the Arvon Foundation.
Jamie Nuttgens is an award-winning writer, producer and director in TV and Film with over 25 years’ experience working with writers across different genres and platforms. After a career in Rep and Devised Theatre and as a Writer-Producer in Commercial Radio, he joined BBC Drama Serials to Script Edit Jimmy McGovern’s The Lakes. After a stint at Casualty he moved to ITV to produce The Bill and a spin-off series, Burnside. For Channel 4 he developed and co-produced Red Riding, a series of TV films based on David Peace’s Northern Noir novels. He has produced the award-winning work of UK Indian writer-director, Smita Bhide, including Cup & Lip, The Blue Tower (Best UK Feature Raindance Film Festival) and Another Planet (Golden Award IFF Goa). His own writing has included Casualty, The Bill and Crossroads. He is currently Head of Drama at Ten66 Television (Black Lesbian Handbook / Love In The Flesh). At the Met Film School, Ealing Studios, he headed the MA in Screenwriting since 2013, is currently Lecturer in Screenwriting at Oxford University and has been a visiting lecturer at NFTS, La Femis Paris, Northern Film School, Westminster, Polish Film School Lodz, and Blanquerna Barcelona.
Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous Sunday Times bestselling novels and has won various awards for her writing, including the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance, the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award and the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year Award. Her books have sold more than five million copies worldwide and in 2015 she was inducted into the Love Stories Hall of Fame. Jenny is married with three children and lives in Scotland.
Photo by Kajsa Goeransson.
Julia Armfield is a fiction writer with a Master’s in Victorian Art and Literature from Royal Holloway University. She is the author of the short story collection salt slow and the novel Our Wives Under the Sea. Her work has been published in Granta, Lighthouse, Analog Magazine, Neon Magazine and Best British Short Stories 2019 and 2021. She was longlisted for the Deborah Rogers Prize 2018 and was the winner of The White Review Short Story Prize 2018. In 2019, she was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year award. Her debut collection, salt slow, was longlisted for the Polari Prize 2020 and the Edge Hill Prize 2020 and was shortlisted for the London Magazine Prize for Debut Fiction 2020. Her story ‘Longshore Drift’ won a Pushcart Prize in 2020.
Kirsty Logan is a Scottish novelist, poet, performer, literary editor, and writer of short fiction. Her short story collection The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales was awarded the Polari First Book Prize as well as the Saboteur Award for Best Short Story Collection. Her debut novel The Gracekeepers won a Lambda Literary Award and its prequel, The Gloaming, was published by Vintage in April 2018. Her third short fiction book, Things We Say in the Dark, is a collection of feminist, literary horror stories.
Laura’s first novel, The Versions of Us (2015) was a number-one bestseller, it has been translated into 24 languages, and was shortlisted for Debut of the Year at the British Book Awards. She’s had three further books out since then: Greatest Hits (2017), which features an accompanying musical soundtrack by Kathryn Williams; Gifts (2021), a novel in short stories; and This Beating Heart (2022). Her fifth novel, Births, Deaths and Marriages, will be published in 2025. She delivered a TedX talk on originality in fiction, and worked as a writing mentor for the charity Arts Emergency. She is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Writing School. Laura has taught many novel-writing courses for CBC in London and online, and she currently mentors members of our alumni community.
Lauren Pearson has been in publishing for more than 20 years, both in the US and in the UK. A former agent, most recently with Curtis Brown, she has worked with authors including Audrey Niffenegger, Gregory David Roberts, Babette Cole, Isla Fisher, Paula Harrison and Emily Barr. Now a freelance editor and writer, she especially loves working on crime & psychological thrillers, both literary and commercial fiction, as well as middle grade and YA. She is also the author of the Crabtree School series from Scholastic and The Sleepover from Orion Children’s Books. She lives in Buckinghamshire.
Having returned to her native Scotland after working as a screenwriter in LA, Lisa O’Donnell sat down to write her first novel The Death of Bees, which was published by Windmill in 2012. The book, a razor-sharp black comedy about family values that follows the orphaned children of two Glasgow drug addicts as they rebuild their lives with the help of a caring neighbour, won the Commonwealth Book Prize in 2013. Her second novel Closed Doors is another tale of lost innocence set during the 1980s on the author’s childhood home island of Rothesay. She is currently working on her third novel.
Lizzie Enfield is a journalist and regular contributor to national newspapers, magazines and radio. She has written five novels, the latest two published as Elizabeth Enfield, and has had short stories broadcast on Radio Four and published in various magazines. She has taught for the Arvon Foundation, at the Writers Room in Brighton, and at various universities and colleges in addition to her work at CBC. She also writes a monthly writing column for Writing Magazine and is the author of Finish Your Book: How to Complete Your Half-Written Novel. Lizzie is a regular chair/interviewer at literary events, when not appearing to talk about her own books.
Nikita Lalwani’s first novel Gifted was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2007, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, and was the winner of the Desmond Elliot Prize for New Fiction. Her second novel was The Village (2012) and her third is You People (2020). Nikita was a judge for the RSL Encore prize and the Rathbones Folio prize 19/20. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Photograph: Vik Sharma.
Stephanie Merritt is an author and journalist. Writing as S J Parris, she is the bestselling author of the Giordano Bruno series, which follows the renegade monk, philosopher and heretic Giordano Bruno in Elizabethan England. The sixth novel in the series Execution was published by HarperCollins in 2020. Stephanie regularly writes for the Observer and the Guardian.
Sarah’s debut, Someone Else’s Skin, won the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2015 and was a World Book Night selection as well as a Richard & Judy Book Club pick. Sarah is one of the Killer Women, a crime writing collective supporting diversity, innovation and inclusion in their industry. As well as writing, Sarah teaches crime fiction and mentors its rising stars including Nadine Matheson. Her short stories have won the Cheshire Prize for Literature, the Fish Criminally Short Histories Prize, and the SENSE prize.
Simon Ings is an author, editor and critic based in London. His eight critically acclaimed novels include The Weight of Numbers and Dead Water – and the science fiction novels Hot Head and The Smoke; while his non-fiction includes Stalin and the Scientists and The Eye: A Natural History. As editor of New Scientist magazine’s Arc project, he published Margaret Atwood, Kim Stanley Robinson and others. He writes an SF column for the Times, and was on the judging panel for the 2020 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. Simon has run workshops and classes for literary festivals and for the Arvon Foundation, and has been a tutor and editor on many of Curtis Brown Creative’s courses.
Simon Wroe’s first novel Chop Chop was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, longlisted for Desmond Elliott Prize and the winner of a Betty Trask Award. His second novel Here Comes Trouble was published in April 2017 and was shortlisted for the Everyman Bollinger Wodehouse prize. He writes books and arts reviews for the Economist and features for the Guardian.
Suzannah Dunn has published two collections of short fiction and twelve novels, seven of them historical, one of which The Confession of Katherine Howard was a Richard and Judy Pick. She was picked alongside Robert Harris, Edward St Aubyn and Helen Simpson, by Julie Burchill in response to Granta’s first ‘Best Under 40’ list in 1993. She has sold over a quarter of a million copies of her historical novels in the UK alone. Her thirteenth novel Levitation for Beginners will be published by Little, Brown in 2024.
Suzannah was Director of the MA in Novel Writing at Manchester University for six years and has taught many courses for the Arvon Foundation. She is a popular speaker at literary festivals and events including the Bristol Festival of Ideas.
Vaseem Khan is the author of two crime series set in India, the Baby Ganesh Agency series set in modern Mumbai, and the Malabar House historical crime novels set in 1950s Bombay. His first book, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra, was a Sunday Times bestseller, now translated into 15 languages. The second in the series won the Shamus Award in the US. In 2018, he was awarded the Eastern Eye Arts, Culture and Theatre Award for Literature. Vaseem was born in England, but spent a decade working in India. Midnight at Malabar House, the first in his historical crime series, won the CWA Historical Dagger 2021. The third novel in the Malabar House series – The Lost Man of Bombay – has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger. The fourth novel in the series, Death of a Lesser God, comes out Aug 2023. He is the Vice-president of the Crime Writers’ Association.
Yvvette Edwards is a British East Londoner of Montserratian origin and author of A Cupboard Full of Coats and The Mother. She has written a number of short stories which have been broadcast on radio and published in anthologies, including New Daughters of Africa. Her work has been nominated for a number of literary awards including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Man Booker Prize. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
She is passionate about writing that challenges the single narrative and established stereotypes, giving voice to characters who are absent or under-represented on the contemporary literary landscape. Photo by Jo Millington.