Passionate about equality, inclusion and empowering young people to build a better world with words, Sandeep Mahal is Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature. She drives the city’s vision where everyone is reading and writing their way to a better life. She is also Chair of the UNESCO Cities of Literature Network. Sandeep previously spent ten years in public libraries in Sandwell, in various roles, working as Race Equality Librarian, and later as Outreach Services Librarian. In addition to libraries, she has many years of experience in the UK publishing environment, transforming the way UK publishers collaborated with the UK public library network. In 2013, Sandeep was seconded as a Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow to The Space – a commissioning agency supporting greater digital access to the arts, co-funded by Arts Council England and the BBC. Sandeep has previously judged the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize and the Costa Prize First Novel Award. She is a trustee of Spread the Word and the Women’s Prize Trust.