Mandy Huggins was brought up in Scarborough, where her parents taught her the importance of kindness, stories, travel and good wine. She moved to London in the 1990s, and now lives in West Yorkshire. Her travel writing and short fiction have been published in anthologies, travel guides and literary journals, as well as newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Telegraph, Reader’s Digest, Traveller, and Writers’ Forum. She appeared on BBC radio as part of Your Desert Island Discs, celebrating listeners’ music choices and stories, and her written piece to accompany the programme appears on the BBC website. Mandy’s travel writing has won several awards, including the British Guild of Travel Writers New Travel Writer Award in 2014, and her short stories have been placed and shortlisted in numerous competitions, including Bare Fiction, Fish, InkTears, English Pen, Cinnamon Press, and Bradt Travel Guides. In 2016 she was a runner-up in the Henley Literary Festival Short Story Competition and the Retreat West Flash Fiction Award. Her first collection of flash fiction, Brightly Coloured Horses, will be published by Chapeltown Books in autumn 2017.
Margaret Dakin was born and lived most of her life in Brisbane. She came to writing comparatively late after an adventurous life working in various occupations, culminating in twenty years as a studio potter and a copper enameller. After retiring in 2002, she joined a writing group and discovered a love of short stories. Meeting with like-minded friends keeps her pushing her pen every week, with enough success to encourage her to continue. She is the Treasurer of the Society of Women Writers Qld. Inc. Her stage and radio plays have been produced, one of them for the second time this year, and she is currently working on a musical.
Stephanie Hutton is a writer and clinical psychologist in the UK. She has published her flash fiction, short stories and poetry online and in print. In 2016 she won the Writers HQ Competition, Ad Hoc Fiction, and Bibliophone 1000 Words Heard Competition, and was shortlisted for the Black Pear Press Short Story Competition and Brighton Prize. She believes in the therapeutic value of fiction and is currently working on a novel. Find her work at stephaniehutton.com.
Peter Newall lives in Sydney, Australia, but has spent many northern winters travelling through Central and Eastern Europe, pursuing the ghosts of the Habsburg Empire, the Soviet Union and his ancestors. He speaks Russian and German inaccurately. He recently lived for a year in Odessa, Ukraine, where he sang for a popular local blues band. His stories have been published in England, the USA, Hong Kong and Australia, and his story The Luft Mensch was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2016. He began writing three years ago, from a desire to record somehow the transience of human feelings.
Sophia Barnes hails from the Blue Mountains, Australia and lives in Sydney, where she works as a freelance editor and writer, academic and all-round bookish person. Her short fiction has appeared in Wet Ink Magazine, Seizure Online and the collection Stories of Sydney (Xoum Publishing). She regularly reviews new Australian writing for the Sydney Review of Books and has published critical work in the Journal of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Doris Lessing Studies and the collections Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook After Fifty (Pan Macmillan) and Doris Lessing and the Forming of History (Edinburgh University Press). She is currently teaching literature and creative writing at The University of Sydney and working on a collection of short stories.
Maureen writes poetry and short fiction. She has poetry published in various magazines and online webzines: Poetry Scotland’s Open Mouse website, The Lake, Weyfarer’s Magazine, Prole, Writers’ Forum, Reach Poetry, Interpreter’s House, and in 2016 was published with three other poets as part of Primers 1, a collaboration between Nine Arches Press and the Poetry School featuring new poets. She won The Labello Prize for short fiction in 2014, and was published in their anthology Gem Street. She has stories in Scribble, Prole, and the Hysteria Anthology 2016. She was longlisted at Exeter Writers’ short fiction competition 2016, shortlisted at Fish short fiction competition 2016, shortlisted at the HISSAC short fiction competition 2016, and shortlisted at Hysteria short fiction competition 2016. Maureen is currently working on a first short story collection.
Melanie Napthine is a Melbourne-based writer whose awards include first prizes in the Margaret River Short Story competition, the FAW award for an unpublished manuscript, the Boroondara short story competition, the Henry Lawson short story competition, the Ethel Webb Bundell literary awards, The Short Story Competition, The Katherine Susannah Prichard Short Story Competition and the Writers Online Paranormal Short Story competition. She works in educational publishing, and spends the rest of her time parenting, reading, writing, running and travelling.
Hannah was born in Yorkshire but spent her teenage years growing up in Nepal and India. A degree in English and Publishing led to a career in charity fundraising. A cancer diagnosis, long distance romance and a relocation to Canada all served as distractions from her childhood ambition to be a published writer. Now firmly settled in the Cotswolds with her husband, two children and dogs, Hannah has firmly placed writing amongst her top priorities. Two and a half years ago the only creative writing Hannah had attempted was some rather tormented poetry, but her determination has reaped rewards. In July 2015 Hannah completed the Faber Writing a Novel course, and she is currently writing her second novel whilst the first gets a rest in a drawer.
A librarian by profession, John Holland spent much of the 1980s writing comedy for BBC Radio 4’s Weekending and Radio 2’s The News Huddlines, as well as for TV shows he is happy he can no longer recall. He also wrote for Punch magazine, which folded while he was working for it - a fact that many believe is not a coincidence.
Natalia Theodoridou holds a PhD in Media & Cultural Studies from SOAS, University of London. She is the dramaturge of Adrift Performance Makers (@AdriftPM), and a writer of strange stories. Her work has been published in KROnline, Ninth Letter, Interfictions, Clarkesworld, and Neon, among other venues. It has also been translated into Greek, French, Italian, and Portuguese. Originally from Greece, Natalia has lived in the US, the UK, and Indonesia for several years. She is currently based in Exeter, UK. You can find out more at her website, www.natalia-theodoridou.com, or by following @natalia_theodor on Twitter.
Tric Kearney is a writer living in Cork, Ireland. She grew up among a large family, where competition to tell the most compelling or entertaining story at the dinner table was fierce. Emerging from the mists of being a stay at home mother to four children, she has finally found her writing voice. Tric was named, Best Writer at the Irish Parenting Blog Awards. Her blog, My Thoughts On A Page was voted Best Personal Blog at the same event. She writes a weekly humorous column in The Irish Examiner newspaper. She particularly enjoys writing short stories and flash fiction. Her story Goodnight Jimmy featured in the Imagine, Write, Inspire Anthology called The little book of love.
Sharon lives in East Lothian and writes around her part-time job and family life, hoping one day to be released from the former through the power of captivating and money-spinning words alone. She has had short stories and flash pieces published on-line and in magazines, including Writers’ Forum, The Moth and Sentinel Literary, and won first prize in the 2016 HISSAC short story award. She is currently studying an OU creative writing course.
Some days, when Mark Dixon’s small but highly destructive children are safely tucked up in bed, he can summon up enough energy to put his imagination to work. He steals ideas without compunction - mostly from demode French philosophers of the 1980’s - folding their cues into whatever ridiculous weirdness he can hoover up from all his years of living. He cites influences that include Richard Brautigan, Victor Pelevin and Mark Danielewski. This year, Mark Dixon has been published by Sein Und Werden magazine and longlisted for the Storgy short story competition.
Amanda O’Callaghan’s short stories and flash fiction have been published and won awards in Australia, UK, and Ireland.
A former advertising executive, she studied English at King’s College London, and holds a PhD in English from the University of Queensland. She has been awarded a Queensland Literary Fellowship to complete her first collection of short stories. She lives in Brisbane.
Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812 –1870) was an English writer and social critic. He is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. Born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in a debtors' prison. Despite his lack of formal education, he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed extensively and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms. His novels, most published in instalments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication. His plots were carefully constructed, and he often wove elements from topical events into his narratives. Masses of the illiterate poor chipped in ha'pennies to have each new monthly episode read to them, opening up and inspiring a new class of readers.
Ingrid Jendrzejewski grew up in southern Indiana and studied creative writing and English literature at the University of Evansville before going on to study physics at the University of Cambridge. Her current research interests focus on representations of science, mathematics and technology in stage plays. She has soft spots for reading, programming, cryptic crossword puzzles and, of course, writing; her work has appeared in Vine Leaves, Eating My Words: The 2014 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology, The Fast-Forward Festival, The Sixth Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum English Haiku Collection and The Mainichi.
Karen Lethlean is a retired English teacher, whose essay ‘When Did We’ was included Caught in the Breeze: 10 Essays, concerning Australian identity published by Blemish Canberra. ‘The Fake One’ appeared in Journey: Experiences with Breast Cancer BusyBird Publishing. She won the Torquay Froth and Bubble literary festival competition in 2010. Karen’s work has been published in some literary magazines and has won writing awards such as runner up Winter Solstice, Wild Words.org with Red, Yellow & Black. In her other life Karen is a triathlete and has done Hawaii Ironman twice!
Sandra Crook, a former Human Resources Manager, was born in the north-west of England, but after several years living and working in South Africa, Germany and Spain, and cruising the waterways of France in a Dutch barge, she has recently settled on the Dorset coast. Her writing career began in the late nineties, when two of her articles were published by the Financial Times Weekend supplement. This pinnacle of journalistic success was, sadly, never again revisited, though further articles for regional and animal magazines were accepted before she began writing short fiction. She has had short stories published in a number of anthologies, and enjoyed writing success in several competitions. Shortly before turning her attention to relocating earlier this year, she won competitions in Flash 500, Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum, and her story, Finn, was awarded second place in the 2015 Magic Oxygen Literary Prize by a panel of 19 judges from four continents. This year she also won both first and second prize in the Flash 500 Annual Short Story Competition with Triangles and Rosemary’s Baby.
Alice Cairns and Mary Trend are recent graduates who have been writing together since they were seven years old. At Oxford University they collaborated on a series of student plays, from a modern retelling of The Comedy of Errors to a Victorian era ghost story. Since graduating last year, they won Toasted Fiction Theatre's radio play competition and had their entry recorded in front of a studio audience. It will be released as a podcast on iTunes soon! They also write a blog - Milk & Honey - that looks at ways of relishing the reading experience by matching a book to the perfect season, snack and cup of tea! What's more, they were featured in an InkTears blogpost on how to write with a partner.
Emma J Myatt is a full time mother and full time writer who runs a holiday let/writers' retreat business. She also keeps chickens, gets lovingly bossed about by her cats and her favourite hobby is ignoring the housework. She's had a tussle with early stage breast cancer this year but is glad to say she's winning and the whole thing has been one big inspiration to write and live even more. She writes whenever she can, reads as much as possible, loves cooking, walks along the coastal path where she lives for inspiration and swims to keep fit. She's not quite sure how she fits everything in but somehow, she does. She's won a few competitions in the past, including the Just Write/Writing Magazine 2016 competition, Flash500, Hour of Writes weekly competition (a few times) and been runner up/shortlisted/honourably mentioned/highly commended in lots more. She loves writing and is perfectly happy when she's at the keyboard. Read more at emmajmyatt.wordpress.com