Evan Fallenberg is the author of the novels Light Fell (Soho Press 2008), When We Danced on Water (HarperCollins 2011) and The Parting Gift. (Other Press 2018) and a translator of Hebrew fiction, plays and films including Meir Shalev's A Pigeon and a Boy, winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction and a finalist for the PEN Translation Prize. His first novel, Light Fell, won an American Library Association Award for Literature and the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction.
Fallenberg teaches at Bar-Ilan University, co-founded the Vermont College of Fine Arts International MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation, and taught at City University of Hong Kong. He is the recipient of writing and translation fellowships in the US, Canada, Switzerland, Iceland, China, and Italy and is the founder of Arabesque: An Arts and Residency Center in Old Acre. Fallenberg was artistic director of the Translation Residency program at Mishkenot Shaananim in Jerusalem from its inception until 2021.
Skitsofrenis (Costas Louzis) was born and raised in the Messinian Mani region, twenty kilometres from Kalamata. As a kid he started sketching obsessively for hours and hours, every day until his adulthood. He is a self taught artist and from 2008 until now creates murals around Greece and abroad.
Regina Hermans My name is Regina Hermans. I was born and brought up in the States and moved to Germany in 1975, where I studied psychology and trained as a psychoanalyst. I am a member of the International Psychoanalytic Association. I retired from practicing psychotherapy ten years ago and devoted my attention to my growing family. My fourth grandchild was born last month. As my grandchildren live a long distance from me, I have entertained them via Facetime with puppet shows ( I have a very impressing collection of puppets by now) and telling them stories. I’ve always enjoyed children’s literature and thought I’d give it a shot after some very positive feedback from my granddaughter (age 5) and other children to whom this story has been read. Adults find it amusing as well because they recognise the themes that are hidden between the lines. Recently I have submitted the German version to a well-know German publisher and they have accepted the manuscript for publication! So, thanks to Mani Lit Fest, I am embarking on my own new adventure as a writer.
Rita Wilson is a former English and Creative Writing teacher who now spends her time writing and painting. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Carlow University in 2013. Her art and writing has been published in Rune and Riverspeak Literary Magazines, wolfmatters.org, Voices from the Attic, the 100 Lives Anthology, and Wisdom of the Crone. In 2016 she published the biography/memoir Greek Lessons, the story of five generations of strong Greek women, inspired by her mother. She has just completed her second book, a novel.
For more info on Rita's writing and art, go to www.rita-wilson-creative-arts.com
Carol McGrath Following a first degree in English and History, Carol McGrath 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 highly acclaimed trilogy. Mistress Cromwell, a best-selling historical novel about Elizabeth Cromwell, wife of Henry VIII’s statesman, Thomas Cromwell was published by Headline in 2020. The Silken Rose, first in a Medieval She-Wolf Queens Trilogy, featuring Ailenor of Provence, was published on 2nd April 2020. This was followed by The Damask Rose. The Stone Rose was published in April 2022 completing the Trilogy. The Stolen Crown, a novel about the 12th century conflict between Stephen and Matilda, was published in Spring 2023 and is currently a best seller. The Lost Queen, a novel featuring the Lionheart's queen Berengaria of Navarre, is due to be published in 2024 by Headline. Carol also writes historical non-fiction. Sex and Sexuality in Tudor England was published in January 2022.
For more news, exclusive content and competitions, sign up to Carol’s newsletter at: www.carolcmcgrath.co.uk
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And Twitter: @CarolMcGrath
Olga Profili was born in Athens where she lived until the age of 18. She studied Italian Linguistics and Italian Literature, and later Geolinguistics of the Romance Languages at the University of Grenoble, where she carried out her PhD studying the Greek dialects of Southern Italy. She has been a researcher at the Universities of Grenoble and Oxford. She was employed at the European Commission, first as a translator and later was responsible for promoting and safeguarding minority languages and cultures. She has also worked in the sector of information for women in the EU, and has been the President of the Staff Committee of the European Commission. She speaks 6 languages and spends her time between Brussels, Kardamili and Buenos Aires. Her first novel was also published by Kaleidoscope.gr.
Claire Papamichael was born in Athens in 1963 and studied Sociology in the Panteion University. She has worked more than 35 years as a freelance literary translator from English to Greek. Among the authors she has translated are Maeve Binchy, Marian Keys, Graham Greene, Sebastian Faulks, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens and recently Madeleine Miller, Alex Michaelides and Olivia Manning. She has translated The Promise by Damon Galgut, who won the 2021 Booker Prize and also his acclaimed novel Arctic Summer. She is currently translating the third volume of the Saga of The Century by Rebecca West, Malafrena by Ursula LeGuin and Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2021.
Except for some attempts at poetry as a favour to friends, The Book of Katerina by Auguste Corteau is the first book she has translated from Greek to English. The translation was among the three that won a European Prize for Translation last summer. "
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.
Alizon Robertson is a retired Creative Writing tutor who writes in the genre of crime fiction and the ghost story. She has finally (after too many rewrites and edits to mention) finished her speculative thriller The Lantern Bearers and is about to embark on her next novel - Lost Boys: a story of a haunting.
Novelist, poet and scriptwriter, Gail Aldwin has been writing for over a decade. Her first two
coming-of-age novels were runners-up in the Dorchester Literary Festival Writing Prize 2020 and
2022. Gail was awarded a creative writing PhD in 2018 and still laughs whenever she’s called
Doctor Gail. Her psychological suspense mystery The Secret Life of Carolyn Russell is published by Bloodhound Books. Gail splits her time between a tiny flat in South West London and a home
overlooking water meadows in Dorset.
Gail is active on social media and loves connecting with readers and writers. Do get in touch.
Gill Page and 'Trouvere'
I studied classics for my first degree and that’s what first brought me to Greece. I dutifully
visited all the ancient sites I could. Then a bit later I took a career break in the 1990s, and ended up teaching in Greece for three years. One of the villages I was teaching in was in two halves – a lower by the sea and a higher up hill a bit. The two sides were divided by the ruins of a medieval castle. I realised then that even though I had always been really into medieval history (my Saturday job as a teen was working at jousts and medieval banquets!) I knew nothing about medieval Greece. More to the point, neither it seemed did my bright and lovely students. This got me fascinated in attitudes to Greek history and specifically in the medieval period. I soon learnt that in the thirteenth century large parts of Greece were ruled by ‘Franks’ – ex-crusaders for the most part, and their descendants, who had got waylaid (seduced?) by Greece and never made it back home.
I on the other hand did manage to leave Greece, and I completed a PhD on the impact of these western conquests. I made a special focus on the history of the Peloponnese because I found the history of this part of the world particularly compelling, and there are some especially fascinating sources from the Peloponnese as well. Later, I turned the PhD into a proper book, which was published as ‘Being Byzantine’ in 2008. Since then (more or less) I’ve been working on a novel set in the Peloponnese in the thirteenth century. Okay, for a few years it was just thinking about it, but I started actually writing the thing (unbelievably!) about ten years ago and it is now very near completion. In fact I am here to edit it into a final shape for submission.
Meanwhile I have been a modern medieval minstrel for some twenty years. My partner Paul and I
are Trouvere, and we basically graft away researching, recording and recreating medieval music. I love to research, edit and translate medieval songs. We are especially into the music of the
troubadours and trouveres of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries – the music that might well have
been heard at the castle of Lefktron, above the bay in Stoupa, 750 or so years ago.
Deborah Swift is a USA Today bestselling author who has written seventeen historical novels to date. Her first novel, The Lady’s Slipper, set in 17th century England, was shortlisted for the Impress Prize, and her WW2 novel Past Encounters was a BookViral Millennium Award winner. Deborah is a mentor and writing coach with The History Quill, and also teaches adult education writing classes. Her latest novel is The Silk Code, a WW2 thriller published by HarperCollins. Before being a writer, she worked in the theatre and for TV as a set and costume designer, and plays and films are a big influence on her work. When she's not writing, Deborah enjoys exploring the rugged hills and coast near her home on the edge of the English Lake District.
Lindsay Bennett Ford is originally from the North East of England and now lives in Syros, Greece. Her short fiction has recently been published in Ellipsis Zine, Bandit Fiction, Literally Stories and Emerge Literary Journal, amongst others. After studying literature at university she has worked in communications for the charity sector and currently freelances. Lindsay is currently working on a novel.
Katerina Gyftaki Beck is a Greek author living on the shores of Kalamata bay. She began writing fairy tales from a very early age and has published two collections of stories. She worked as a journalist for several newspapers and later worked as a professional story teller, accompanied by various musicians. Her first novel, Argantael, was a fantasy for young adults and was selected amongst the top ten best novels for teenagers. She has since published four novels for adults. Her novel, First the Wolf, is in the process of being translated into English, and has received high praise from reviewers. Her most recent novel is Το Σπασμένο Φυλαχτό (The Broken Charm). Her books deal with varying historical periods, focusing on love, mystery and adventure. She lives with her husband, a musician and composer, and her dog and several cats. She has two children who are also in the music world. She loves stories, animals, and music.
You can find out more about Katerina’s work on her Facebook page, Κατερίνα Γυφτάκη συγγραφέας and Katerina Giftaki Beck.
Ismini Konstantopoulou is a retired teacher who lives in Kalamata. From an early age she has devoted her time to the two great loves of her life: Children and Culture, which led to a constant cultural activity in the city and elsewhere.
She has written dozens of plays of varying length for both children and adults, and has directed a number of them for amateur drama groups both in Kalamata and in other cities. She has also translated, adapted and directed a number of foreign plays for children and adults. She has participated in four drama festivals with great success.
Two of her plays for children, "Once there was a pumpkin plant…" in 2000 and "The secrets of the River" in 2015, were prize winners. She has also acted in six films by Peter Huby.
Since 2015 she has been a member of the Messinian Writers Union and contributes stories for their annual publication, "Messinian Creations."
She has published two volumes of stories for children in cooperation with six other Messinian writers, under the title, "An Anthology of Children's Stories."
These days she is writing a book called "Cleo."
She has two children and four grandchildren.
(Haralampia Nikolakopoulou) lives in Greece. She studied Greek Literature at the University of Athens and holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Western Macedonia. Between the years 1992 and 1999, she worked as a copywriter for multinational advertising agencies. She presently lives in Kalamata, where she founded her own school of creative writing in 2013. Her short stories and fairy tales have won awards in national competitions and have been published in literary magazines and anthologies. 41 and a Ηalf Κisses from Mr Leroi is her first novel.
Her other published works include:
I Dimiourgiki Graphi sto Gymnasio [Creative Writing in Secondary Education], (Athens: Ekdoseis Sideri, 2014)
Mellisses Iereies, Dio Nouvelles [The Bee Priestesses: Two Novellas] (Athens: Ekdoseis Gavrielidis, 2015)
Mia tryferh kardia sto vathos kai alles istories[A tender heart in the background, short stories] (Athens: Ekdoseis Thraka, 2018)
Bam! A Tragic Comedy (Athens: ekdoseis AΩ, 2020)
Steve Potter lives in London and is the author of 'Therapy with a Map' and 'Talking with a Map'. He teaches psychotherapy to health service staff in the UK and internationally. www.mapandtalk.com
Η Μαρία Σταθέα του Παρασκευά και της Αθηνάς έχει καταγωγή από την Καλαμάτα και την Μεσσηνιακή Μάνη. Σπούδασε Κλασική Φιλολογία στο Εθνικό και Καποδιστριακό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών και εργάσθηκε ως καθηγήτρια στην Μέση Εκπαίδευση και για τρία έτη στο Τμήμα Φιλολογίας του Πανεπιστημίου Πελοποννήσου αποσπασμένη στην Ακαδημαϊκή Βιβλιοθήκη. Είναι εκλεγμένο τακτικό μέλος της Εταιρείας Ελλήνων Λογοτεχνών, μέλος της Ένωσης Μεσσηνίων Συγγραφέων και της Διεθνούς Εταιρείας Ελλήνων Λογοτεχνών. Αρθρογραφεί σε εφημερίδες, σε έντυπα και ηλεκτρονικά περιοδικά, ασχολείται με την βιβλιοκριτική και την φιλολογική επιμέλεια βιβλίων και έργα της έχουν συμπεριληφθεί σε πολλούς συλλογικούς τόμους. Έχει εκδώσει μέχρι σήμερα 12 βιβλία με ιστορικό, λαογραφικό και περιβαλλοντικό περιεχόμενο, ενώ τρία από αυτά είναι ποιητικές συλλογές και τέσσερα απευθύνονται σε παιδιά. Έχει βραβευθεί επανειλημμένα από διάφορους φορείς για το έργο της και γενικά για την συμβολή της στον πολιτισμό.
Chris Heath is an award-winning writer and producer responsible for creating and writing two series (45 episodes) of The World According to Grandpa stories on Milkshake!
He has written for numerous Children's TV shows, including most recently, Roots & Fruits for Cbeebies and as the 'Series Story Editor' on Sky Kids' My Friend Misty (based on Fearne Cotton's Happy Place series). He also wrote two series of the BBC Radio 4 sitcom, Clement Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (with Marc Haynes) and has written material for performers like Sir Lenny Henry, Marcus Brigstocke, Roland Rat and Paddy McGuinness. In addition, he has created formats 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's currently writing the live stage show of The World According to Grandpa which is set to begin touring internationally in 2024.
Barbara Spitz was born in London as the child of Viennese immigrants. After cutting her teeth in various rock bands in the 70s, including a spell in the legendary “Sadista Sisters”, Barbara got the taste for theatre and made her debut at the Schauspielhaus, Vienna in 1983. She has gone on to perform on international stages in plays, operas, music theatre and her own devised pieces, working in both German and English at venues including the Edinburgh Festival, Sydney Opera House, Amsterdam Musiktheater and the Komischer Oper Berlin where she is currently performing in Barrie Kosky´s prize winning production of “Anatevka”.“Fiddler on the Roof“ which returns for performances at the Schiller Theater, Berlin in February 2024. She also appears in films and TV. „What a Feeling“ will be released in European cinemas in April 2024.
Stephanie Rouse(host of Pedalo Peril) 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’.
Pat Woolfe (host of Open Mic) is a retired English and drama teacher from Manchester, who now spends most of the year in Stoupa, where she lives with her husband Mike, and numerous cats.
She is one of the founder members of Write Club, where she says she finally had the chance to develop some of the stories inspired by characters, situations, snippets of conversation she had been mentally filing away for future reference. Her previous literary efforts were often in response to the need to provide drama material for students, or members of the Youth Theatre she ran, and included several short plays. More recently, she has produced a number of short stories, often with just a hint of darkness, one of which won the 1st prize in our last Short Story competition.