Melanie Whipman is an Associate Lecturer and PhD student. Her stories have been broadcast on Radio 4 and published in numerous magazines and anthologies. Her MA in Creative Writing was awarded the Kate Betts Prize. She has lived in Germany, France and Israel, and has had a variety of careers including selling hair transplants, cleaning water slides, and working on a crocodile farm. She is now settled in a Surrey village with her teenage twins, dog, cats and chickens. She doesn’t have room for a llama just yet. Her first collection, Llama Sutra is scheduled for publication soon.
Joanna was born in 1960 and grew up in Hayes, Middlesex. A shy child with appalling eyesight, her father spent every weekend soldering the wire arms of her NHS glasses back together. At the age of three, she taught herself to read when an insightful nursery-school teacher left her alone in the classroom with a stack of books. Preferring to stay on the sidelines, she has always watched people and invented stories about them. Joanna's love of words led her to become a writer of prizewinning stories, which have been published in numerous magazines such as Writers' Forum and Woman's Weekly, as well as competition anthologies. On more than one occasion she has been shortlisted for both the prestigious Bristol, Fish and Bridport Story Prizes. Her novel, Tying Down The Lion, about an English family driving to Berlin during the Cold War, was published in 2015, and her short story collection When Planets Slip Their Tracks is due out later in 2015.
Multi-award winning writer Lynne Voyce is a native of Liverpool who now lives in England’s industrial heartland. She writes in order to live many lives and see many things. Her short fiction has been published widely in books, magazines and online. When she’s not writing she teaches English at an inner city comprehensive and tries her best to enthuse others about literature. She is married with two daughters. She would like to be fluent in French, cook fantastic vegetarian food and complete Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk, but right now she doesn’t have the time. Her collection Kirigami was published in 2014.
Mark was born in Whitstable in 1966 and has lived in London since the 1980s. A transient decade of short-term lets and long-term parties took a bite out of him and while in recovery he started to work through the questions and fears that were to frame his first two novels. Mark’s first published story Up West appeared in Writers’ Forum in 1999. Although a very brief piece, it marked the beginning of his emergence as a distinctive London writer. Catching time at the kitchen table while his young children were asleep, Mark developed his first collection Blue Sunday Stories and through the early years of the century steadily grasped towards the individual style which makes his work recognisably compelling. In 2010 Allotments became his first story published in the United States. Mark has won several UK and US awards. In 2012 he won the Machigonne Fiction Contest with title story from his collection Burn Lines.
Bonnie West's stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including The Minetta Review - A literary magazine of New York University, The Talking Stick, Women's Day, Redbook Magazine, The Austin Chronicle, and two anthologies, Still Going Strong and The Ultimate Dog Lover. She has four mini-mysteries for children published by Carol Rhoda Press and a bilingual Japanese/English book, Hideki and Kenji Save the Day published in collaboration with Diane Carter. She was a finalist in both the Essay and Novel-in-progress categories of The William Faulkner - William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. She lives with her husband in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Her debut collection of short stories, Boyfriends will be published late in 2015.