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.
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.
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.
I was born in 1987 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire where I still live now with my partner Leon and our three beautiful children Ollie, Scarlett and Maia. I grew up as the youngest of five kids in a family of creative and emotional people, surrounded by music, art and words. Stories and poetry were forever being written, spoken or sung by our parents and writing and creativity became important to me from a young age. I became a mother at age seventeen and spent some years as a single parent working as a waitress and studying an access course which enabled me to get into university. I studied Writing and English literature and graduated in 2014. I took some time out to spend with my family but plan to begin teacher training this September. I write mostly short fiction and children’s stories and poetry.
Adena Graham's short stories have appeared in numerous publications, both online and offline - including Creepy Pasta, Unhinged, Dead Things, QWF, Writers' Brew and, most recently, three editions of Popshot Magazine. She has twice been placed as runner-up in the Faber Academy Quickfic competition. Her short story, Parrotlytic, won third prize in the To Hull & Back humorous short story competition, her short story More Than Life was Highly Commended in the Writers' Village International Short Fiction Award Winter 2015, and her short story Comedy of Terrors won the Hour of Writes competition in February. She was also shortlisted for the Ink Tears Flash Fiction Prize 2015. As well as short stories, Adena's had two erotic novels published under a pseudonym (so her mum won't find out!) She has also completed two fiction novel and is partway through a third, which she hopes to find an agent for.
Pauline Suett Barbieri is a Liverpool writer with a love of poetry. She has two collections of poetry out from Waterloo Press, Hove, 'The Shirley Valentine Syndrome' and 'Bringing Home the Bacon'.
She was shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize to number 12 out of 4500 submissions judged by Sir Andrew Motion. She was also shortlisted for the Exeter Poetry Prize twice, judged by Jo Shapcott and Lawrence Sail, respectively. In addition, she was Highly Commended in the Blackwell's Oxford/The Reader Poetry competition.
Matt Barnard is a poet and short story writer. He has had poems published in a range of magazines, including Acumen, London Magazine, Magma, Other Poetry and Outposts. He was featured in the Poetry School’s 2004 anthology Entering the Tapestry and in 2006 won The Poetry Society’s Hamish Canham Prize with his poem ‘The Sore Thumb’. In 2014 he was included in short story anthology Momaya Annual Review, and in 2015, he won the Ink Tears short story competition with ‘The Last Damn Peach’. In the same year, his poem ‘Eel‘was highly commended in the Bridport Prize. He was born in 1972 in London, where he still lives with his wife and their two sons and two dogs and works as a social researcher for the Anna Freud Centre
Glenn lives in Devon with his soulmate, Helen, and their wagging dog, Peggy. Some of his short stories were published in magazines after he finished his literature degree, but he hasn’t written fiction in more than a decade – unless you count his news journalism. He’s promised Helen that he won’t leave it another decade before the next short story.
Marina Marinopoulos loves stories. Reading them, hearing them and, of course, writing them. She has always written, in both Greek and English, but up to now life always got in the way of attempting publication. After years of procrastinating, she decided it was time to share her writing with others. Rejections piled up, but her story Heatwave was published in the Aestas anthology, others have been shortlisted in competitions and more are still awaiting replies. She has also completed a mystery novel, which she is in the process of editing. Marina is both awed and cowed by the stupendous achievements of the other writers on the InkTears site and fears she has a lot of catching up to do. But that’s the fun of it, after all. She’s a terrible bookworm and, when not writing, can be found painting, cooking, riding or just out with her dogs. Or buying yet more books.
Maxine Patterson lives in Sedgefield, Co. Durham with her husband. She’s a retired deputy Headteacher who taught English at secondary level. She only started writing after retirement and is heavily involved in a University of the Third Age writing group in Sedgefield and has published several stories on the local U3A website. The Ticket was her first short story submitted for a competition.
Naomi confesses that the best word to describe her is: whimsical. Forget about “the girl next door” and think along the lines of “the girl from the next galaxy over” and you’d be closer to the correct personality trope. She is an unequivocal day-dreamer, anime enthusiast, partisan of fantastical things, and unshakable devotee to story-telling. Her love for absorbing fabulous, unforgettable stories is only outshined by her love for creating her own. When not writing or wandering around inside her head, Naomi takes to drawing, singing, reading (of course), playing console games, working with rescued animals, and dabbling in the occasional art commission. At present, she shares a house with her equally peculiar sister, rambunctious nephews, flamboyant niece, fun-loving cats, Kyo and Yuki, and wonderfully tolerant housemate, on the Gold Coast, Australia.
Alison Wassell is a short story writer with no intention whatsoever of ever writing a novel. She is a former primary school teacher who now makes a living by selling bottled gas in her cousins' business whilst volunteering in a charity shop and attempting to become a proper writer. She has had stories published in various magazines and anthologies, and has been longlisted, shortlisted and placed in a numerous competitions.