the london book fair
11–13 March 2025
Olympia London

The Writers' Summit

Chairs of the Conference:

Lucy McCarraher, Founder, Rethink Press (morning)
Henderson Mullin, Chief Executive, Writing East Midlands C.I.C (afternoon)

09.30 – 10.00

Registration with Coffee & Networking

10.00 – 10.10

Chair’s Welcoming Remarks

Welcome and introduction to the current writing landscape
Lucy McCarraher, Founder, Rethink Press 

10.10 – 10.40

Keynote Address: How Authors Can Own their Own Media

All authors worry about writing their books, but often they don't think through how they are going to raise awareness about themselves and their books across the world! In today's complicated landscape in which there are so many options for spreading the word, how can authors find the right communities? Should they be all over social media or should they simply look at one social media vertical? Can AI help with marketing? What are the best marketing and PR techniques? How do they shape a campaign without having to hire an unaffordable, publicist or marketing manager? What's the right time to begin to spread the word about your book?


Lisa Sharkey
, Senior Vice President Creative Development, HarperCollins 

10.40- 11.10

The Author’s Journey: Making the Most Of your Publishing Experience

Join us for a thought-provoking conversation as we delve into the challenges and obstacles that authors face. This debate will cover a wide range of topics, including the initial steps of entering the industry, securing a publisher, and working with an agent, as well as the marketing aspects of promoting and illustrating a book. This will be an informative and practical session. 



  • Hazel Mead, Illustrator
  • Tabitha Rayne, Writer, Artist, Inventor
  • Joshua Fletcher, AKA Anxiety Josh, Therapist & Author, School of Anxiety
  • Alice McIlroy, Author of The Glass Woman


Chaired by: Johanna Clarke, Senior Contracts Advisor, Society of Authors

11.10 – 11.35

Networking Break

11.35 – 12.20

Essential Skills in Book Production

A session designed to equip self-publishing authors with top tips for editing, book formatting and cover design. Industry experts will guide you through the intricacies of these critical aspects of book production, empowering you with the knowledge and tools needed to create a polished and marketable book.



  • Nastasia Bishop-McHugh, Founder, Stardust Book Services
  • Martin Cavanagh, Content Marketing Manager, Reedsy


Chaired by: Roz Morris, Author and Editor

Organised by the Alliance of Independent Authors.

12.20 – 13.05

Panel discussion: Becoming a Writer in a Modern Market

Join us to explore the world of modern writing. This session will delve into the transformative influence of digital platforms and self-publishing on the writer's journey, shedding light on the unparalleled opportunities to connect with readers while also addressing the challenges of navigating a rapidly evolving market. We'll also uncover the crucial role of the modern writer in shaping a more inclusive literary landscape, emphasising the power of diverse voices in storytelling.

Additionally, we'll explore the shifting role of traditional publishers and emerging publishing models, focusing on how writers can adapt to the modern market while preserving traditional models. Furthermore, we'll unravel the opportunities and challenges of writing for various mediums such as video games and multimedia storytelling, and how this influences the modern writer's approach, offering insightful strategies to thrive in this dynamic creative space.


  • Greg Buchanan, Author of Sixteen Horses, and video game writer (crime genre)
  • Lucy McCarraher, Founder, Rethink Press
  • Natasha Carthew, Writer/Artistic Director, The Working Class Writers Festival
  • François von Hurter, Co-Publisher, Bitter Lemon Press
  • Cat Mitchell, Senior Lecturer in Publishing, University of Derby 


Chaired by: Jo Henry, Managing Director, BookBrunch

13.05 – 14.05

Networking Lunch

14.05 – 14.35

Going Indie: Creative and Commercial Freedom

Dan Holloway in Conversation with Sacha Black. She's a lover of words, expensive shoes, and breaking the rules, whose books and podcast for authors can teach you how to improve your writing and become a badass entrepreneur, and a full-time queer author of lesbian fantasy romance under two pen names. He’s a part-time writer of dark fiction and a performance poet known for experimental narratives that fuse avant-garde and introspective themes, and a creativity consultant who's won the World Intelligence Championship, and the Creative Thinking World Championships three times. Join them for a wide-ranging and entertaining conversation that will span the diverse spectrum of independent author-publishing.



  • Sacha Black, Novelist and nonfiction author and professional
  • Dan Holloway, Performance poet and novelist and creative thinking champion

Organised by the Alliance of Independent Authors.

14.35 – 15.05

Diversity & Inclusion In Books - Have We Done Enough?

Gain a broader understanding of how diversity and inclusion (D&I) are delivered in the wider creative industries and engage in a thought-provoking conversation about what constitutes good practice in this area. Together, we will critically examine whether the creative industries are truly progressing in fostering diversity and inclusion or if there are setbacks that need to be addressed. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of a meaningful discussion that aims to shape a more inclusive and diverse future for the publishing and creative industries.



  • Sana Rasoul, Kurdish author
  • Abiola Bello, Author, Publisher and Co-Founder of The Diverse Book Awards
  • Natasha Bowen, Writer and teacher
  • Dr. Polly Atkin, Writer (virtual)
  • Davina Ajana, Founder and Creative Director, Sadé Magazine


Chaired by: Helen Lewis, founder of Literally PR and co-founder of The Diverse Book Awards

15.05 – 15.20


15.20 – 15.50

Finding Your Village Organised by The Society of Authors

Being a published writer is hard, not just the writing but navigating the publishing world, knowing what route to take, how to evaluate contracts, know when you’re being taken advantage of, find funding and maximise opportunities. How do you find your writing village to support you through good times and bad? And where can you find unbiassed advice, access to funding and more.



  • Davina Hamilton, Children's Author, The Ella Riley Group
  • Trish Cooke, Writer
  • Yvonne Battle-Felton, Academic Director of Creative Writing (author, Senior commissioning editor), Cambridge University (author, John Murrays Press)
  • Johanna Clarke, Senior Contracts Advisor, Society of Authors


Chaired by: Abie Longstaff, Children's Author and Chair of the Children's Writers and Illustrator Group, Society of Authors

15.50 – 16.20 

Closing Keynote: The Ethics of Ghostwriting and the Age of AI 
(Sponsored by Kevin Anderson & Associates) 

This thought-provoking session will explore the intricacies of the ethics of ghostwriting, assisted writing, the differences between utilizing AI and a ghostwriter, the usefulness and limitations of AI, and the future landscape of AI and ghostwriting. Led by Kevin Anderson, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of KAA – a ghostwriting and editorial firm that works with over 500 authors a year and has produced hundreds of bestselling books. This panel will also include a prominent Executive Editor and an international bestselling ghostwriter. 



  • Kevin Anderson, CEO & Founder, Kevin Anderson & Associates
  • Adam Strange, Executive Editor, Kevin Anderson & Associates
  • Wendy Holden, Bestselling Author
  • Jessica Sindler, Managing Executive Editor, Kevin Anderson and Associates

16.20 – 16.50

Interactive Panel with Agents – Sharing Top Tips

  • Top tips to aspiring writers 
  • How to land an agent
  • What not to do
  • What the market is looking for
  • How the agents work with self-published authors


Agents include:

  • Jess Molloy, Literary Agent, Curtis Brown
  • Kiya Evans, Associate Agent, Mushens Entertainment
  • Liza DeBlock, Literary Agent and Foreign Rights Manager, Mushens Entertainment


Chaired by: Orna Ross, Founder & Director, Alliance of Independent Authors

16.50 – 17.00

Chair’s Closing Remarks
Henderson Mullin, Chief Executive, Writing East Midlands CIC

17.00 – 17.45

Drinks Reception


Henderson Mullin

Chief Executive,

Writing East Midlands C.I.C

Lisa Sharkey

SVP & Exec. Director of Creative Development,

HarperCollins Publishers

Hazel Mead


Tabitha Rayne

Writer, Artist, Inventor

Joshua Fletcher

Therapist & Author,

School of Anxiety

Alice McIlroy

Author of The Glass Woman

Johanna Clarke

Senior Contracts Advisor,

Society of Authors

Nastasia Bishop-McHugh


Stardust Book Services

Martin Cavannagh

Head of Content,


Roz Morris

Author and Editor

Greg Buchanan


Lucy McCarraher


Rethink Press

Natasha Carthew

Writer/Artistic Director,

The Working Class Writers Festival

François von Hurter


Bitter Lemon Press

Cat Mitchell

Senior Lecturer in Publishing,

University of Derby

Jo Henry

Managing Director,


Dan Holloway


Rogue Interrobang

Sana Rasoul


Albemarle Independent College

Abiola Bello

Author and Publisher,

Hashtag Press

Davina Ajana

Founder and Creative Director,

Sadé Magazine

Helen Lewis

CEO & Founder,

Literally PR (& The Diverse Book Co-Founder)

Davina Hamilton

Children's Author,

The Ella Riley Group

Yvonne Battle-Felton

Academic Director of Creative Writing,

Cambridge University

Abie Longstaff

Children's Author and Chair,

Children's Writers and Illustrator Group, SoA

Kevin Anderson

CEO and Editor-in-Chief,

Kevin Anderson & Associates (KAA)

Jessica Sindler

Managing Executive Edito

Kevin Anderson and Associates

Jess Molloy

Literary Agent,

Curtis Brown

Kiya Evans

Associate Agent,

Mushens Entertainment

Liza DeBlock

Literary Agent and Foreign Rights Manager,

Mushens Entertainment

Orna Ross

Founder & Director,

Alliance of Independent Authors

Speaker Information

Henderson is the Chief Executive of Writing East Midlands which works to support writers across the region, and run projects to connect them to its many communities. He previously ran Index on Censorship, publishing in support of freedom of expression, where he developed a long-held interest in how marginalised people represent themselves in unequal media and publishing environments. 

He has consulted on many literature events and projects including Arts Council England’s Cultural Olympiad, the Human Rights House Network (Norway), FLUPP Literature Festival (Brazil), literature festivals in Nottingham, Derby, and Leicester, and as a Board member of SOAS Open Air Radio, New Art Exchange, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, and Art Reach. He recently completed an MA in Black British Literature at Goldsmiths with a special interest in speculative fiction, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Lisa Sharkey is the SVP and Executive Director of Creative Development at HarperCollins Publishers. Following more than two decades producing, writing, and developing Emmy award-winning television news, including a role as Senior Producer of Good Morning America, Lisa made the switch into books because of her love for literature, storytelling, and going deep.

Sharkey is a champion of powerful, poignant, and persuasive storytelling. More than 75 of the books she’s published have become New York Times bestsellers, selling millions of copies in multiple languages across the globe over the past 17 years. Her authors have accomplished extraordinary things and have changed the world by telling their stories. Sharkey publishes books in the categories of politics, journalism, true crime, music, sports, medicine, self-help, cooking, mindfulness, science, religion, military life, and inspirational memoir. Sharkey is a mother of three, a yoga teacher, and a mentor of military veterans who are transitioning into civilian life. She is a lecturer in the English Literature department at her Alma Mater Washington University in St. Louis where she helped develop the publishing concentration. She is an instructor at the Kauai Writers Conference and a speaker on career transition, publishing in the zeitgeist, social media and women in entertainment.

Hazel Mead is a freelance illustrator who combines colour, characters, warmth and humour to bring to life her musings on society and topics not explored enough while inviting us all to look at each other with empathy. She graduated with a first class degree in Fine Art and Illustration in 2017, and has been working as an illustrator since. Hazel has worked on campaigns and illustrations for Adobe, Netflix, Plan International, Amnesty International, The Red Cross, SOAS, VICE, Cambridge University Press and others across the realms of branding, editorial, packaging design, publishing, illustration for TV and mural painting. Her debut book ‘Why Aren’t We Talking About This?!’ was released by Squarepeg, Penguin this year. 

Tabitha Rayne is an award-winning author, artist and sextech designer and has been writing and publishing since 2009, specialising in sensuality from 2011. With several novels and short story publications both traditionally and self-published, she loves collaborating with others. She is currently the commissioning editor for the Frolicme online magazine and erotic story page and is always on the lookout for new talent. She invented the Ruby Glow ride on sex toy range for those moments when her own writing got too hot to handle and she wanted to write through an actual orgasm without having to ‘take a break’. Her debut short film, Inevitable, premièred at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2023. Tabitha was named one of the top 50 Influential Neurodivergent Women 2022.


Joshua Fletcher, also known as "Anxiety Josh" on social media, is a psychotherapist, author, and former anxiety sufferer. He specializes in discussing and working with anxiety disorders and providing insight into the world of therapy. Joshua also hosts a popular podcast called "Disordered" and has written three best-selling self-help books focused on anxiety and panic. He has amassed over 250,000 social media followers across Instagram and TikTok, and often features in the media as a mental health expert.

Alice McIlroy is an English and Law graduate who is a fiction author and works as a teacher and assistant literary scout. Her writing career started after attending Faber Academy in 2018. Her writing has been longlisted for the Stylist Prize for Feminist Fiction 2021 and Grindstone International Novel Prize 2021, and her short story, The Cliff Falls, published by Dark Mountain Project. Her debut novel, The Glass Woman, was published in January 2024 in the US and UK by Datura, an imprint of Angry Robot Books. It is a psychological thriller and cautionary tale exploring the ethical implications of A.I. and brain implants in fiction.

Johanna is a Senior Contracts Advisor at the Society of Authors where she advises members on contracts and industry queries. She previously worked as a Contracts Executive at a literary agency, and at a theatrical agency representing playwrights and creatives. Johanna is the coordinator for the SoA’s Poetry and Spoken Word group, cohost of the SoA Advisory Clinic podcast series, and manages the advisory team’s extensive outreach programme. 

Nastasia Bishop-McHugh is the founder of Stardust Book Services, a UK-based pre-publication company specialising in fantasy fiction. They provide a vast array of services for writers, authors, and publishers, supporting the industry in creating marketable, stand-out books, with their most notable services being cover design, cartography, illustration, and editing.

Nastasia created the company in 2020 after a leap of faith leaving her job in the corporate world at the height of the pandemic and has since created an international team of 25 freelance editors and designers. She herself is a professional editor specialising in fantasy fiction and expanded Stardust into what it is now after she found her authors were struggling to find companies who could provide all the services they needed in one place. 

Martin Cavannagh is a London-based writer, creator, and Head of Content at Reedsy. Since 2017, he has hosted Reedsy Live on YouTube, sharing insights and advice from some of the world’s top publishing professionals. 

Roz Morris is an author, editor and book doctor and has been both sides of the writing and publishing fence. As a ghostwriter she’s been edited by major publishing houses. As an editor she’s trained staff in all the editorial trades, evaluated manuscripts for a London literary consultancy and developmentally edited novels and memoirs that won awards. As an author she’s self-published writing craft books, memoir and fiction for which she has also won awards. She’s taught masterclasses for The Guardian, Writers & Artists and for Jane Friedman's online academy. She’s a story consultant for a thriller publisher in Dublin and a regular panelist on the Litopia YouTube show Pop-Up Submissions with literary agent Peter Cox. Her Nail Your Novel series is recommended by writing tutors on both sides of the Atlantic.

Greg Buchanan is a bestselling author of crime fiction (SIXTEEN HORSES and CONSUMED) and a Senior Narrative Designer and writer for BAFTA-award winning games such as NO MAN’S SKY. His novels SIXTEEN HORSES and CONSUMED follow veterinary forensics expert Cooper Allen, with a TV series on the way from the studio behind Hannibal and Narcos. In video games, he is increasingly focussed on hybrids between novelistic prose and gaming  – including his own self-published, BAFTA-longlisted interactive fiction AMERICAN ELECTION (2019). He is a veteran academic and teacher, leading a game writing workshop course at the Writing Interactive Academy. Born in 1989, he studied English at the University of Cambridge; completed a PhD at King’s College London in identification and ethics; and went on to study for the MA in Prose Fiction Creative Writing at UEA. Greg is also a volunteer socializer with rescue cats at Cats Protection.

LUCY McCARRAHER is the Founder of Rethink Press, Founder of, the book-writing app, and Founder of the Business Book Awards. She also hosts the ABOO – A Book of One’s Own – women writers’ network. She is the author of 13 books including three novels, four self-help books and six books on writing books. Lucy mentors non-fiction and fiction authors through planning and writing their books and is the UK’s most experienced business book mentor. She recently won a Stevie Award for Women Helping Women in Business; and the Great British Businesswomen’s Award for Creative Industries Businesswoman of the Year for her work supporting more women to write and publish their business books.

Lucy has also been a magazine publisher, TV presenter, journalist, script-writer and work-life balance consultant. She has a post-grad diploma in teaching adults (DTLLS) Literacy and Creative Writing.
[email protected]

Facebook – Lucy McCarraher, Lucy McCarraher Mentor
Twitter - @lucymccarraher @rethinkpress
Instagram @lucymccarraher @rethinkpress
LinkedIn – Lucy McCarrahe

Natasha Carthew is a working-class writer from Cornwall. She is published by Hodder, Bloomsbury, Quercus and the National Trust. Her new book Undercurrent: A Cornish Memoir of Poverty, Nature and Resilience, is shortlisted for the Nero Book Awards 2023 and is out now with Coronet/Hodder.

She is known for writing on Socioeconomic issues and working-class representation in literature for several publications, podcasts and programmes; including The Booker Prize Foundation, ITV, Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, The Royal Society of Authors Journal, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, The Bookseller, The Guardian, Caught by the River, The Observer, Mslexia, The Dark Mountain Project, The Big Issue and The Economist.

Natasha is Founder and Artistic Director of The Working Class Writers Festival and The Nature Writing Prize for Working Class Writers. She guest edited the working-class edition of The Bookseller in 2022 and is recipient of The Bookseller Rising Star Award 2022.

She is represented by Juliet Pickering at Blake Friedman Literary Agency.

Francois von Hurter is a co-founder and co-publisher of Bitter Lemon Press. We are London based and an independent publisher of suspense fiction and eclectic non-fiction. Founded just over twenty years ago we have published novels translated from twelve different languages as well as fiction written in English from England, India, Australia, New Zealand, and the US.

Cat Mitchell is a Senior Lecturer in Publishing and the Programme Leader for the Creative Writing and Publishing BA at the University of Derby. She previously worked in the publishing industry, including four years at Penguin Random House. She is currently researching disability in publishing, and in 2021 published the Access Denied report, which investigated barriers for disabled job seekers and employees in the industry.

Jo Henry is Managing Director of the online book trade journal BookBrunch.  She started in publishing at Victor Gollancz, becoming Sales Director in 1989.   In 1995 she moved to Book Marketing Ltd. as MD.  Following the acquisition of BML by Publishing News in 2007 she also became MD of the PN Group.  In 2010, on the closure of PN, BML was acquired by Bowker Market Research, which was in turn acquired by Nielsen Book in September 2013.  At Nielsen Book she led the consumer insight service as VP of Insight and Analytics.  She is co-founder of the Book Marketing Society and a former Chair of both the Book Society and the Book Trade Benevolent Society.

Sacha Black is a bestselling and competition winning author, rebel podcaster, speaker and casual rule breaker. She writes writing craft books for authors, and spicy sapphic fantasy romance as Ruby Roe. She lives in Cambridgeshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.

Dan is a performance poet, novelist, non-fiction author and speaker, long-time News Editor for the Alliance of Independent Authors, and CEO of Rogue Interrobang, a University of Oxford spinout dedicated to solving wicked problems with creative thinking. He has been Creative Thinking World Champion 4 times, European Speed Reading Champion 3 times, is a powerlifter, bridge international, ultramarathoner, and lover of small pets. 

Dan researches and campaigns on disability. His recent paper The Wheelchair and the Whale, published in the Journal of Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies, focuses on the way narrative shapes the inclusion and exclusion of disabled people. He is also a director of WhatWeNeed.Support, an open source platform developing cross-industry standardised support needs, spun out from Experian’s Support Hub platform on which Dan has consulted for 2 years.

His most recent book, Living in Longhand, is a “self-help book for people for whom self-help books don’t work”

Sana Rasoul was born in Slemani, a city in the East Kurdistan region of Iraq. She currently lives in London working as a teacher of Politics. Sana writes books that spook and scare. Her debut novel, The Twig Man, was published by Hashtag Press.  Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @bookgirlsr to find out more.

Abiola Bello is a Nigerian-British, prize-winning, bestselling author from London. She's an advocate for diversity in books. Abiola's the author of the award-winning fantasy series Emily Knight which was nominated for Yoto Carnegie winner of London's BIG Read 2019, the People's Book Prize Best Children's Book finalist.

Abiola contributed to The Very Merry Murder Club, which was selected as Waterstones Children's Book of the Month.

Her debut YA, Love in Winter Wonderland, was an Amazon's Editor's Choice and featured in The Guardian's Children's and Teens Best New Novels.

Her new book Only For The Holidays is a Waterstones Best Paperback book of 2023 and The Bookseller One to Watch.

Abiola won The Black British Business Awards 2023 for Arts and Media Rising Star, The London Book Fair Trailblazer Awards 2018. She's the co-founder of Hashtag Press, Hashtag BLAK, The Diverse Book Awards and ink! 

Natasha Bowen is a New York Times and Indie bestselling author of Nigerian and Welsh descent. She studied English and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University before moving to East London, where she taught for nearly ten years. Natasha’s debut book, Skin of the Sea, and its sequel Soul of the Deep, were inspired by her passion for mermaids and African history. Skin of the Sea won the YA Diverse Book Award in 2022, was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize, the Branford Bose Award, and the Young Quills Award. Skin of the Sea was also nominated for the Yoto Carnegie medal 2023. You can find her on Instagram at @natasha_bowen_ and on Twitter as @skinofthesea.

Polly Atkin (FRSL) is a poet and nonfiction writer. She has published three poetry pamphlets and two collections – Basic Nest Architecture (Seren: 2017) and Much With Body (Seren: 2021). Her nonfiction includes Recovering Dorothy: The Hidden Life of Dorothy Wordsworth (Saraband: 2021), a Barbellion-longlisted biography of Dorothy’s later life and illness, and a memoir exploring place, belonging and disability, Some Of Us Just Fall: On Nature and Not Getting Better (Sceptre: 2023). Her work is included in various anthologies, including Moving Mountains (Footnote: 2023).

She taught English and Creative Writing at QMUL, Lancaster University, and the Universities of Strathclyde and Cumbria before becoming a freelancer. In 2019 she co-founded the Open Mountain initiative at Kendal Mountain Festival, which sought to recentre voices currently at the margins of outdoor, mountain and nature writing. In 2023 she and her partner took ownership of historic Grasmere bookshop Sam Read Bookseller.

Davina is the founder and creative director of Sadé magazine, an independent quarterly publication. With inspiring and sophisticated editorial, it's perfect for confident readers who love to take on new challenges. Sadé, daughter of Davina, is head of editorial content. Davina has an MA in Photography and Urban Cultures, lives in London with her family. She enjoys reviewing and recommending books with her daughter on their YouTube at @sademagazine

Helen is the CEO and Founder of prize-winning publicity agency LitPR (, founded in 2012 when Helen had a baby and toddler, and decided life wasn’t quite busy enough.

Fast forward 650+ campaigns, the babies are teenagers, and LitPR is a team of 8 amazing women. Specialising in working with indie authors, and building long-term, sustainable and successful author brands, Helen is passionate about diversity and inclusion in publishing. A single mum, born and raised in Yorkshire, Helen is passionate about levelling the playing field for authors, and hopes that in the future, her daughters’ children won’t grow up reading all of the same books by all the same sorts of authors as she read when she was at school. Being the co-founder of The Diverse Book Awards, alongside the amazing author Abiola Bello, is one of her proudest work achievements.

Helen lives in the countryside in Kent, and although she’s a self-confessed workaholic, she also loves walking, travelling, yoga, and making memories with her family and friends

Davina Hamilton is a rhyming children’s author of four books: Riley Can Be Anything, Riley Knows He Can, Ella Has A Plan and Riley Finds His Beat. 

She has been featured by outlets including BuzzFeed, HuffPost, Made For Mums, BBC Radio London and The Independent, with the latter hailing Riley Can Be Anything as the Best Inspirational Book in their 2022 Black History Month list of 13 Best Children’s Books With Empowering Black Characters.

An exciting and engaging author, Davina has delivered a host of readings in schools and literary events, including the storytelling festival, Shakespeare’s Telling Tales, held at the renowned UK venue, Shakespeare’s Globe. 

The former Arts Editor for UK publication, The Voice, Davina has over 20 years of writing experience and has contributed to a host of publications, both in the UK and internationally. 

TRISH COOKE is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow and a founding board member and commissioning editor for the Royal Literary Fund initiative WritersMosaic. She is also on the board of the Society of Authors Scriptwriters Group Committee.

Trish Cooke writes for theatre, TV, film, radio, and she is also a children’s book author.

She was recently on attachment at the National Theatre and theatre writing includes Cinderella (the first pantomime to be nominated for an Olivier award); Running Dream, for the Theatre Royal Stratford East and Back Street Mammy, Temba Theatre.  Radio scripts include comedy drama Single Plus One (BBC Radio 4) and the mini-series Unspoken (BBC Radio 4). TV writing includes Doctors (BBC); EastEnders (BBC); PlayDays  (CBBC); The Tweenies (CBBC); Pop Paper City (Milkshake Ch 5);  JoJo and Gran-Gran (CBeebies). Trish has written more than twenty children’s books, including the multi-award winning So Much, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, and published by Walker Books. The book has been voted one of the 100 Best Children’s Books by Time Out and BBC Culture. Trish’s next book, ‘The Magic Callaloo’ will be published by Walker Books on April 4th 2024.

Yvonne Battle-Felton, author of Remembered, is an author, academic, host, creative producer, and writer. Remembered was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (2019) and shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize (2020). Winner of a Northern Writers Award in fiction (2017), Yvonne was commended for children’s writing in the Faber Andlyn BAME (FAB) Prize (2017) and has six titles in Penguin Random House’s The Ladybird Tales of Superheroes and The Ladybird Tales of Crowns and Thrones. Yvonne has received a British Library Eccles Centre and a Kimbilio Fiction Fellowship. Host of Write Your Novel with Yvonne Battle-Felton, a write-along podcast series, and Bookable Space, a book loving podcast, Yvonne creates and hosts literary and storytelling events and opportunities. She’s the host of Sheffield Draft Night and Telling it Like it’s Lived. Curdle Creek, her second novel, will be published in 2024. Yvonne is Senior Commissioning Editor (fiction) at John Murray.

Abie Longstaff is the Chair of the Children’s Writers and illustrator Group at the Society of Authors. She is the author of over 50 books for children (picture book to middle grade) including The Fairytale Hairdresser, The Magic Potions Shop, The Trapdoor Mysteries and a wide range of educational titles. Abie regularly appears at literary festivals and in schools. She gives mentoring and manuscript advice and sits on the Management Committee of the Society of Authors.

Twitter/Instagram @abielongstaff

Kevin Anderson is the founder and CEO of KAA (Kevin Anderson & Associates) – publishing’s fastest-growing ghostwriting and editorial service company. With offices in New York, London, Los Angeles, and Nashville, KAA’s in-house team of former Big-5 executive editors, literary agents, and bestselling writers has combined to produce over 200 New York Times and Sunday Times bestsellers. KAA also helps authors navigate their traditional and nontraditional publishing options and develop strategies to achieve their publishing goals. 

Kevin is also a #1 national bestselling author, editor, and entrepreneur. He is a contributing author by invitation to Publishers Weekly’s Book Publishing Almanac 2022 and the author of the #2 Wall Street Journal, #1 Barnes & Noble, and #1 Amazon bestseller, PhDone: A Professional Dissertation Editor’s Guide to Writing Your Doctoral Thesis and Earning Your PhD.

More information about Kevin Anderson & Associates can be found at

Adam Strange has been an editor, publisher and agent in the UK for 17 years, working with multiple #1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling authors, including Rafa Nadal, Seth Godin, JK Rowling, and Gwyneth Paltrow – among many others. As Executive Editor of KAA’s London office, Adam works closely with authors, guiding them through the writing process and helping to bring their stories to life.

Previously, Adam was a non-fiction publisher at Little, Brown (Hachette), before heading up the literary arm of talent management agency, Gleam Futures. Adam has collaborated with dozens of writers of all experience and abilities to ensure that the publishing projects they undertake are as creatively and commercially rewarding as possible, and has published multiple bestsellers. He has worked with a large number of high-profile authors across the celebrity, sporting, and business landscapes, along with lesser-known expert authors in a wide variety of fields. 

Jessica Sindler is Managing Executive Editor at Kevin Anderson & Associates, a ghostwriting and editorial services firm based in the US. She spent the first two decades of her publishing career at imprints of Penguin Random House and HarperCollins US, where she acquired, edited, and published numerous bestsellers and critically acclaimed titles in the areas of “big idea” prescriptive nonfiction, personal development, wellness, lifestyle, business creativity, narrative nonfiction, and memoir. Jessica is passionate about nonfiction that engages with a larger cultural conversation, and books by thought leaders who drive us toward change. She specializes in working with expert authors from a variety of fields, ranging from academics to journalists to scientists to wellness experts to entertainers, to help them translate their ideas for a general audience and share their stories with readers. Jessica’s notable titles include #1 New York Times bestsellers Daring Greatly and Rising Strong by Brené Brown; New York Times bestsellers The Education of an Idealist by Pulitzer Prize-winner Samantha Power, Find Your Path by Carrie Underwood, First, We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson, and Together We Rise by The Women’s March Organizers and Condé Nast. Jessica currently resides in Los Angeles, California and is a graduate of The University of Chicago.

Jess Molloy joined the literary department of Curtis Brown in October 2019 having previously worked in the talent and comedy department and within talent management for over eight years. She is an Agent in Cathryn Summerhayes’ office, co-agenting and assisting on Cathryn’s extensive and eclectic client list as well as building her own carefully curated list. She represents a mix of fiction and non-fiction authors including the Sunday Times Bestselling author Fern Brady, and winner of the Discoveries Prize 2022, Sui Annukka. She is one of the judges of the 2024 Women’s Prize Discoveries Prize.

Kiya Evans joined Mushens Entertainment as Juliet Mushens' assistant in 2021. She was promoted to Associate Agent in 2023, working across Juliet’s client list, which contains multiple Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers, and is actively building her own list of authors.

After graduating with a BA in History and English from Oxford, she completed two internships at Mushens Entertainment, before joining as a full-time member of the team. Kiya was a judge of last year’s Brick Lane Books Short Story Prize, and is judging this year’s inaugural Goldfinch Novel Award.

Liza DeBlock is the Foreign Rights Manager & Agent and Mushens Entertainment. She works to promote and sell the agency’s books internationally, as well as build her own list of talented authors. She started in publishing at the literary scouting agency, Eccles Fisher Associates before moving to work as an assistant to Juliet Mushens, working alongside her as she developed multiple Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling authors. In 2022 Liza was chosen as one of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars in the publishing industry. Liza also works with Black Girl Writers, and Jericho Writers, assessing submissions and mentoring authors.

Irish author and poet Orna Ross is co-founder and director of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) and a passionate advocate for self-publishing and author empowerment. An international bestseller, her books have won many awards, including the Goethe Grand Prize for Historical Fiction, a Gold Literary Titan Award for poetry, and her work for ALLi has seen her named one of the Top 100 people in publishing (The Bookseller). She was born and raised in Wexford, in the south-east of Ireland, and now lives in St Leonard's on Sea, in the south-east of England, within working reach of London. Her motto is: “When in doubt, be braver.” Find out more at