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.
Mandy has won numerous writing competitions and been placed and shortlisted in many others, including those run by Fish, InkTears, English Pen, The Telegraph, Bare Fiction, Reader’s Digest, and Bradt Travel Guides/Independent on Sunday. She won the British Guild of Travel Writers New Travel Writer Award 2014, and was runner-up in the 2016 Dragonfly Tea/Henley Literature Festival Short Story Competition. A selection of her short stories will be showcased in a forthcoming InkTears anthology.
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
Anne Summerfield was brought up in one of the most boring towns in England, which may explain why she’s always written stories. Last century she had short stories published in Virago and Serpent’s Tail anthologies, in Mslexia magazine and on Radio 4. More recently she won the Exeter Writers Short Story competition, was shortlisted for the first Exeter Novel Prize, has had flash fiction included in several National Flash Fiction Day FlashFloods, and stories in Shooter magazine and the Refugees Welcome Anthology.
Stephanie Lyttle won’t be happy until she knows everything. She likes bad TV, fine art, yellow flowers, and stories set in places she can’t afford a holiday to. She would probably be able to afford more holidays if she didn’t have an unfortunate tendency to buy second copies of books she loves “just in case”. She’s mostly new to writing competitions, but she has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize for flash fiction.
Caroline Gilfillan grew up near Brighton and spent most of her childhood turning over stones in rock pools. She lived in London for a long time, forming Stepney Sisters, a feminist rock band, with fellow female friends after becoming eager to move beyond banging the tambourine and singing crunchy backing vocals. At the same time she published her first short stories and poetry and joined an intense, mouthy writing group. Just before the millennium she signed up for an MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. Leaving London gave her more time to write and she never returned to the big smoke. She’s published four collections of poetry, most recently Poet In Boots (Brewster Press, 2015), a love letter to North Norfolk. Obsessed by history, her first full collection, Pepys (2012), explored the life of the irrepressible London diarist. Her short fiction has been published in The London Magazine, Mslexia and elsewhere, and she’s won and been placed in short story competitions. She’s also written novels she hopes will soon be published – but that’s another story. She now lives in the Lake District, where she scrambles on to the roof of the world inventing characters and poems as she climbs.
Gina Challen is originally from London, and moved to West Sussex in 1979. Whilst working as an Insurance Broker, she began a BA (Hons) in English and Creative Writing at the University of Chichester. In 2012, she left her job to complete a Masters Degree in Creative Writing. This she fondly calls her mid-life crisis. Her short stories have been shortlisted for many awards including The Bristol Short Story Prize, The Bridport Prize, Ink Tears Short Story Award, Storgy Short Story Award, Cinnamon Press Short Story Award and the Willesden Herald Short Story Award.
Claire Adam grew up in Port of Spain, Trinidad – with regular visits to Ireland, where her mother's family is from. She did her undergraduate degree in Physics at Brown University in the U.S. and then spent a few years in Italy and Ireland before settling down in London. She did an MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, and was shortlisted for the 2012 Pat Kavanagh Award for an extract for her novel-in-progress. Since then, she's mainly been working on completing that novel, but she's also had a little bit of success with a few short stories. She won a place on the London Word Factory 2016 “Apprenticeship” scheme, and is now working, with mentor Jacob Ross, on developing a short story collection.
James Mulhern has published fiction in several literary journals, with more stories to be published this year and next. One of his stories appeared in The Library's Best, a collection of best short stories. In September of 2013, he was chosen as a finalist for the Tuscany Prize in Catholic Fiction.
James was granted a writing fellowship to study in the United Kingdom during the summer of 2015, where he participated in seminars at Oxford University's Exeter College. He has been awarded several prizes for his writing, including, more recently, two short story Honorable Mentions for the Short Story America Prize in September of 2015.
Eleven short stories/adaptations from his novel Molly Bonamici (February 2016), a psychological thriller set in Boston and South Florida, have been accepted for publication. In 2016 and 2017, additional stories will be published in an anthology, as well as in literary magazines. This summer, James will begin a follow-up novel to Molly Bonamici, which will be set in Ireland.
He lives and works in the Fort Lauderdale area of Florida (just north of Miami) as both a high school teacher and a college professor.