Anne Zouroudi fell madly in love with Greece on her first visit in the late 1980s, and became a real-life Shirley Valentine when she married a Greek fisherman on the tiny island of Symi. Life there inspired her to write The Messenger of Athens, an acclaimed crime novel with an intriguing touch of mythology in its enigmatic
investigator, Hermes Diaktoros, described as the Greek Hercule Poirot. Anne has gone on to write seven more Greek Detective mysteries - all hymns to Greece’s landscapes, people and food - which delight fans around the globe. She is also the author of the gripping bestseller Found under the pseudonym Erin Kinsley.
Auguste Corteau is the pen name of Petros Hatzopoulos. Born in Thessaloniki in 1979, he currently lives in Athens. He is the author of fourteen novels as well as plays, novellas and short story collections and is a recipient of the Greek National Book Award for Children’s Literature. He has also translated many works of literature into Greek, from Nabokov’s Lolita to Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men. An LGBT activist, in 2016 he signed a Cohabitation Pact with his partner, the first same-sex couple to do so after the law was passed in the Greek Parliament.
Marina Kazakova (b. Gorky, Russia, 1983) is a Russian-born Belgium-based poet. Her literature works deal to a large degree with confrontation with the past and explore the challenges posed both by memory and grief. Published internationally in magazines and journals (Three Rooms Press "Maintenant", "Great Weather for Media...", "Crannog", "Duck Lake Books", "Writing in a Woman's Voice", "Modern Literature"), Marina is a frequent performer, she has been shortlisted at various international poetry festivals and art events: Brussels Poetry Festival 2017-2018, Maintenant's Dada London Invasion 2018, Nothing To Sell 2019 - Rome, European Poetry Festival 2020, Red Square Festival 2020, The 3rd International Literary Festival Words of Fire 2020 in Portugal, Gerard Manley Hopkins International Literary Festival 2020 in Ireland, Stanza Scotland's Poetry Festival 2021, Mani Lit Fest 2021, etc.
Marina holds Master's degrees in Public Relations and Transmedia. Currently, she is Communications Officer at Victim Support Europe (Brussels) and working on her practice-based PhD in Arts at Luca School of Arts (KULeuven).
Sara Maino is an audio-visual artist, poet and performer, film and theatre director. She’s the author of several international poetry performances and theatrical shows held in all Europe, South Korea, Brazil. Some of her lyrics have been published on national reviews and collections. She’s coauthor of anthropology and ethnobotanical research books published in Italy. As an author and multimedia expert she worked for Rai Radiotelevisione Italiana in Trento and Milan, for University Luiss Guido Carli in Rome, for several foundations and museums. She is a freelance and spends much of her time as an expert in the Italian schools, researching with kids on the relationship between soundscapes, drawing, imagination and collective memory of the community. Her goal is to develop the awareness of active listening.
Maria Mavroyenneas (Mar Mor) was born in 1970 in a small, historic Greek village by the sea; Homer’s Kardamili on the Mani Peninsula. Her powerful stories are inspired by nature’s influence on ordinary people’s lives and their interactions. She shows a deep, clear insight into the life of rural Greece and its secrets; where
hardship, traditions and legacy intertwine so well. Maria Mavroyenneas caught the “bug” of writing as a result of her friendship with British author, Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, and his wife, Joan. Both gave her every encouragement and support from the beginning of her writing career. This book is dedicated to their memory.
Photo credit: Dimitris Christeas
Chris Heath is the creator and writer of The World According To Grandpa series of books (now a brand new TV show on Channel 5) and has had a 20 year career as a TV 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 acts like Johnny Vaughan, Lenny Henry, Marcus Brigstocke, Rufus Hound, Roland Rat and Paddy McGuinness.
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 in May 2021 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.
Hugh McMillan is a poet from South West Scotland. His work has been published widely in Scotland and beyond, and he has won various prizes, most recently the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award in 2017 for Sheep Penned, published by Roncadora; he won the same award in 2009 for Postcards from the Hedge. He has been a winner in the Smith/Doorstop Prize and the Cardiff International Poetry Competition, and has also been shortlisted for the Michael Marks Poetry Award and the Basil Bunting Award.
He has had many poetry collections published, as well as numerous pamphlets. Not Actually Being in Dumfries: New and Selected poems was published by Luath Press in 2015, who also in 2016 brought out a book about his home region commissioned by the Wigtown Book Festival, McMillan’s Galloway: an Unreliable Journey. In 2018 the poetry collections Heliopolis, and The Conversation of Sheep, the latter in collaboration with a local shepherd, were also published by Luath. He has featured in many anthologies, and three times in the Scottish Poetry Library’s selection Best Scottish Poems. His poems have also been chosen three times to feature on National Poetry Day postcards, the latest in 2016. In 2017 he was writer in residence at the Harvard Summer School in Napflio, Greece.
In March 2021 a new paperback edition of ‘McMillan’s Galloway’, tales and poems from the South West, will be published by Luath Press. In 2020 he was appointed a ‘Poetry Champion’ by the Scottish Poetry library and commissioned to find new work for their platforms and to promote the work of the Library. He curates #plagueopoems a video poetry blog which has featured, so far, 140 poets from all over the world. StAnza 2021 will feature #plagueopoems as well as a film of his collaboration with artist Robert Campbell Henderson ‘Elspeth Buchan and The Blash o God’. He is currently editing the new Edition of Poets Republic, and, is co-founder of Drunk Muse Press, editing in 2021poetry collections by Harry Smart, George Gunn, Josie Neill and the poems and prison memoirs of the Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour.
Photo credit: JoAnneMacKay
Jennifer Barclay is a writer and editor on the island of Tilos, where she lives surrounded by hills and sea with her dog. She grew up in a village in the north of England and lived in several countries before moving to the Dodecanese in 2011. She is the author of Falling in Honey, An Octopus in my Ouzo and most recently Wild Abandon: A Journey to the Deserted Places of the Dodecanese. She has contributed to publications including The Times, Metro, The Guardian, Daily Mail, Food and Travel and Psychologies, and has appeared on BBC Radio 4, Australian national radio and Korean and Greek television. www.octopus-in-my-ouzo.blogspot.com
Gail Aldwin is a novelist, poet and scriptwriter. Her debut coming-of-age novel The String Games was a finalist in The People’s Book Prize and the DLF Writing Prize 2020. Following a stint as a university lecturer, Gail’s children’s picture book Pandemonium was published. She volunteered at Bidibidi in Uganda, the second largest refugee settlement in the world but was repatriated early due to Covid-19. Her second novel for adults, This Much Huxley Knows uses a seven-year-old boy to narrate. The story explores friendship and community tensions during the Brexit referendum and is scheduled for release in July 2021. When she’s not gallivanting around the world, Gail writes at her home in Dorset. You can find Gail on Twitter @gailaldwin and on her blog https://gailaldwin.com.
Carol McGrath is the author of the acclaimed She-Wolves Trilogy, which began with the hugely successful The Silken Rose and continues with the brand new The Damask Rose. Born in Northern Ireland, she fell in love with historical fiction at a young age, when exploring local castles, such as Carrickfergus, and nearby archaeological digs – and discovering some ancient bones herself. While completing a degree in history, she became fascinated by the strong women who were silenced in record, and was inspired to start exploring their lives. Her first novel, The Handfasted Wife, was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards, and Mistress Cromwell was widely praised as a timely feminist retelling of Tudor court life. Her novels are known for their intricacy, depth of research and powerful stories.
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Suzanne Goldring Following an eventful career as a public relations consultant specialising in business and travel, Suzanne Goldring turned to writing the kind of novels she likes to read, about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. She writes dual time-line narratives to explore and question how the present is shaped by the past, featuring strong female characters.
Her debut novel MY NAME IS EVA draws on her experience of volunteering in a care home and was partially inspired by a cache of wartime love letters which were saved from the flames. Her second novel, BURNING ISLAND, is set in Corfu, a place of fun and beauty but also tremendous tragedy. This was followed by THE GIRL WITHOUT A NAME, which explores the impact of WW2 on lives in post-war Britain. Goldring’s latest novel, THE SHUT-AWAY SISTERS, examines the lives of women during WW1 and the Spanish flu pandemic and her new WIP is set in Florence during the German occupation in 1943-44.
Molly Green: After setting up and running an 8-office estate agency for 17 years, I was approaching another big '0' birthday. I decided to sell up to give me the space to write that promised novel which was burning inside. Unfortunately, I sold my company to two conmen, so the novel morphed into a non-fiction book called Seller Beware: How Not to Sell Your Business. However, I emerged scathed but wiser, and to date have written 2 memoirs and 9 published novels comprising three trilogies. They are historical sagas, mostly set in the 2nd World War. I've just signed another contract with the publishers for two more in the same era. My dream of writing novels and being published by one of the 'big five' came true from an extraordinary stroke of luck after many years of very hard work and refusing to give up. I've got the best job in the world. I still pinch myself!
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.
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.
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’.