James Heneage is a writer who lives half the year in the Mani. He is the author of the four-book Mistra Chronicles, published by Quercus, and is currently writing The Shortest History of Greece which will be published spring 2020 by Old Street Publishing. He is the founder of the Ottakar's Bookshop Chain which he sold to Waterstones in 2006 and of the Chalke Valley History Festival. He has chaired the Cheltenham Literary Festival and the Costa Book Prize and was a Booker prize judge in 2008. He likes walking, Tintin and Greece.
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Sarah Bower is the author of three novels and many short stories. She has been published in Lighthouse, Spiked and MsLexia among others. Her work has been broadcast on BBC Radios 3 and 4, and has been translated into ten languages. Her first novel, The Needle in the Blood, won the Susan Hill Award 2007, her second, Sins of the House of Borgia, was a Toronto Globe and Mail bestseller. Sarah is a graduate of the University of East Anglia creative writing MA programme, where she was shortlisted for the Curtis Brown Scholarship. She currently teaches creative writing for the Open University and has also taught at UEA and Lingnan University in Hong Kong. Sarah has lived in Canada and Crete as well as Hong Kong but is currently based in Norwich where she runs the Emerging Literary Translation Scheme for the National Centre for Writing.
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Chris Heath is the creator and writer of The World According To Grandpa series of books and has had a 20 year career as a Development Producer and Comedy Writer. He’s created shows for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and CBBC, including Holiday of my Lifetime with Len Goodman and The TV That Made Me With Brian Conley. He wrote two series of a Radio 4 sitcom called Clement Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (with Marc Haynes) and has written for comics like Lenny Henry, Marcus Brigstocke, Rufus Hound, John Bishop and Paddy McGuinness.
Neil Fawcett lives in South Manchester and writes poems from a blue shed at the bottom of his garden. He worked as a lecturer of English in further education before concentrating on poetry full time. Neil studied for an M.A in poetry at The Manchester Writing School, where he was fortunate to be tutored by the wonderful Michael Symmonds Roberts and Poet Laureate Carole Ann Duffy. He has been widely published in journals both home and abroad and has performed his work at various venues around greater Manchester, including the Anthony Burgess Centre and the Royal Exchange Theatre.
Carol McGrath: Following a first degree in English and History, Carol completed an MA in Creative Writing from The Seamus Heaney Centre, Queens University Belfast, followed by an MPhil in English from University of London. The Handfasted Wife, first in a trilogy about the royal women of 1066 was shortlisted for the RoNAS in 2014. The Swan-Daughter and The Betrothed Sister complete this acclaimed, best-selling trilogy. The Woman in the Shadows, a best-selling historical novel about Elizabeth Cromwell, wife of Henry VIII’s statesman Thomas Cromwell, was published by Accent Press in 2017. Carol is currently working on The Silken Rose set in the High Middle Ages and featuring Ailenor of Provence. She frequently speaks at events and conferences and was the co-ordinator of the Historical Novels’ Society Conference, Oxford in September 2016. She regularly reviews for the HNS. Click photo to visit www.carolcmcgrath.co.uk.
Alizon Robertson is a crime fiction writer and academic based in Lancashire and Andalucia Spain. She has taught Creative Writing and English Literature at North West Universities for twenty seven years and has recently submitted her Cumbrian based thriller The Lantern Bearers.
Stephanie Rouse is a writer, reader and daydream believer. After a board level career in marketing, Steph has been privileged to study novel writing with the prestigious Faber Academy and Oxford University Continuing Education. She is currently touting her debut novel to literary agents while working on her second. She is a founder-presenter of Write Club The Podcast and lives in Greece and the UK with her husband and a neurotic cocker spaniel called, Wilfred Owen. Her favourite form of procrastination is ‘research’.
Ann Richardson is originally from California but now from Kardamyli. Ann’s passion for oral histories led to her being commissioned to produce several family history books. She runs the Mani Memoir Group which meets weekly and includes a range of writing talents: from complete novices to people who have been paid to write. Ann believes that all lives are equally important and that we each have our unique story to tell. She helps her group explore and record their personal histories.
Rita Wilson is a writer, artist, and English and Creative Writing teacher. She has won several awards for her artwork, and her art and writing have been published in Rune and Riverspeak Literary Magazines, and the Voices from the Attic Anthology. Her short story, "Nature's Bounty", was featured in wolfmatters.org, devoted to the protection of the grey wolf. Wilson earned her MFA in Creative Non-fiction from Carlow University in Pittsburgh. She chronicles the experience of five generations of strong Greek women, from her Great Grandmother in a Greek Village, to her daughter in her debut biography/memoir, Greek Lessons. Her art and poetry are also featured in this book. Wilson currently teaches writing as a university adjunct and in workshops, including a creative writing workshop in Italy this past May, and a communications workshop for the Coast Guard in July. She resides in the Pittsburgh area with her husband, John.
Peter Johnson has written all his working life, though not in any literary sense: they were papers dealing with various issues in medicine and healthcare, a career founded on degrees in biology and psychology. During this period he was also a part-time university lecturer and ran courses across the country focussed on research methods in the health service. Over the years he has written the occasional short story and tinkered in other subjects. For example he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society at the tender age of twenty four. Many years later he jointly published a paper in the Numismatic Chronicle after recognising a coin confirming the existence of an ancient Greek town (Sarbanissa, in Pontus) previously known only by one mention of its name by Ptolemy the Geographer. More recently he gained the Advanced Diploma in Local History with the University of Oxford, during the study of which he was contacted by Amberley Publishing. He has written five books for Amberley in the past four years, the latest three are Llandudno at Work, A-Z of Llandudno (both 2018), and Small Change: A History of Everyday Coinage (15 August 2019). In these books he also produced all the images and is usually found behind a camera, rather than in front of one (face perfect for radio anyone?). He enclosed two rare photographs of himself for the organisers to choose from to accompany this biography, both showing favourite pastimes of his: drinking strong tea in a Greek beach taverna on a summer’s afternoon, the other, pottering around an ancient site.