Founder Members


Gail Aldwin

Gail Aldwin is a prize-winning writer of flash fiction, short stories, and poetry. Her work can be found online at Ink, Sweat & Tears and Slamchop and in print anthologies including What I Remember (EVB Press, 2015) Dorset Voices (Roving Press, 2012) and The Last Word (Unbound Press, 2012). Gail works collaboratively with other women writers to develop comedy for the screen and stage. With the Dorset Writers’ Network, Gail supports isolated writers in rural communities. She is an experienced teacher who delivers workshops to young people and adults in community settings. You can find Gail @gailaldwin and http://gailaldwin.wordpress.com

Sandy Bennett-Haber

Sandy Bennett-Haber is an Edinburgh based Australian writer. Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Creative Writing- Monash University. Sandy became a backpacker at thirty and blogged her way around the world in 2011 before coming to rest in Scotland. She has a husband and two young sons and is the editor of ‘You Won’t Remember This- travel with babies’ – published under her own publishing platform Flamingo Rover.

Liz Champion

Liz Champion works as a writer, teacher, and communications specialist. Her work has been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies. She has degrees in journalism and English Literature and is currently on the Sheffield Hallam University MA Writing course, where she is writing her first novel. She loves running and writing about running in her blog www.championrunning.co.uk, which was nominated for best blog in the 2017 Running Awards. Her writing website is www.lizchampion.co.uk.

Anne Charnock

My writing career began in journalism and my reports appeared in New Scientist, The Guardian, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune and Geographical. I was educated at the University of East Anglia where I studied environmental sciences, and at The Manchester School of Art where I gained a Masters in Fine Art. Despite the many column inches of factual reporting, I didn’t consider writing fiction until my career had turned to visual art

My first novel, A Calculated Life, was shortlisted for the Philip K. Dick Award 2013 and The 2013 Kitschies Golden Tentacle Award (Debut Novel).

My second novel, Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind (2015), is set in the past, present and future. The research for this novel took me to Shanghai and Suzhou in China, and to Florence and Bologna in Italy. The Guardian included this novel in “Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2015.” And my third novel, Dreams Before the Start of Time (18 April 2017), got off to good start with a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

Lynn Davidson

Lynn writes fiction, essays and poetry; most recently a novella, The Desert Road,  published by Rosa Mira Books andCommon Land, a collection of poetry and essays published by Victoria University Press. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies including Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite, PN Review, Best of Best New Zealand Poems, Essential New Zealand Poems and Another English: Anglophone Poems from Around the World.  Last year Lynn was the recipient of a Bothy Project Residency and spent a week in the Cairngorms. In 2013 she had a writing fellowship at Hawthorden Castle in Midlothian, Scotland. Lynn teaches creative writing and recently completed a PhD in Creative Writing through Massey University, Wellington, and has recently relocated to Edinburgh. You can learn more about Lynn at her website.

Jane Davis

Jane Davis is the author of seven thought-provoking novels. Her debut, Half-truths & White Lies, won the Daily Mail First Novel Award and was described by Joanne Harris as ‘A story of secrets, lies, grief and, ultimately, redemption, charmingly handled by this very promising new writer.’ The Bookseller featured her in their ‘One to Watch’ section. Six further novels, which straddle contemporary, historical, literary and women’s fiction genres, have earned her comparisons to more seasoned authors such as Kate Atkinson and Maggie O’Farrell. Writing Magazine and the DSJT Charitable Trust have named An Unknown Woman their Self-Published Book of the Year 2016 by Writing Magazine and the DSJT Charitable Trust. You can read more on her website: www.jane-davis.co.uk

Maria Donovan

Maria Donovan writes fiction and non-fiction. Her collection of short stories, Pumping Up Napoleon, is published by Seren. Her debut novel, The Chicken Soup Murder, part mystery, part meditation on grieving, was a finalist for the Dundee International Book Prize and will be out in September 2017. Past career choices include training as a nurse in the Netherlands, busking round Europe, and nine years as a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Glamorgan. She has an MPhil in Writing, speaks fluent Dutch, loves Wales and her native Dorset and is keen on keeping an international perspective. Visit Maria at www.mariadonovan.com

Rita E. Gould

Rita E. Gould is a US-based writer, editor, and avid reader. In addition to writing short fiction and poetry, she blogs about writing and reading at An Artful Sequence of Words. Her writing interests include family dynamics, travel, literature, and the environment.

Rita has worked as a freelance editor since 2009, specializing in medical and academic editing. She previously worked as a developmental editor for an independent medical publisher.

Rita received her MA in English (Creative Writing Track) at Rutgers University. Her undergraduate degrees, BA in Literature and BS in Environmental Studies, were completed at Stockton University.

Kathleen Jones

Kathleen Jones is a poet, biographer and novelist, whose subjects include Katherine Mansfield, Catherine Cookson, Christina Rossetti, and the pioneering 17th century writer Margaret Cavendish. Her account of the lives of the women who lived with the Lake Poets, ‘A Passionate Sisterhood’ was a Virago Classic.  Kathleen worked in broadcast journalism and is the author of two novels and an award winning collection of poetry. She has taught creative writing in a number of universities, is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow, and in 2012 was elected a Fellow of the English Association for services to literature.

Maria McCann

Maria McCann is a historical novelist and short story writer.  Her first novel, As Meat Loves Salt (HarperCollins, 2001, reissued by Fourth Estate, 2011) was an Economist Book of the Year.  The Wilding (2010), longlisted for the Orange Prize, was one of eight novels selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club out of a hundred and sixty titles submitted by publishers.  Ace, King, Knave (Faber, 2013) was a Times Book of the Year.  She has contributed to Teaching a Chicken to Swim (Seren, 2000), New Writing 12 (Picador, 2003) Cúirt Annual (2008), Why Willows Weep (IndieBooks 2011), Beacons (One World Publications, 2013) and is currently working on a short story for the anthology Kiss and Part, to be published by the Hosking Houses Trust.

Petra McNulty

Having trained as an architect, interior designer, sculptor and milliner, Petra finally decided she had enough life experiences to start writing. She’s currently researching for a PhD in Creative Writing at Lancaster Uni where she spends her time designing imaginary houses, sculptures and hats. She’s a devoted oenologist, inveterate imbiber of fine wines and believes herself to be something of a gastronomist. She travels extensively (to avoid writing) and lives between the perfectly sized city of Lancaster and a small village in the forest of Fontainebleau. She’s been shortlisted for the Fish and the Hourglass Literary magazine prizes.

Lynn Michell

I founded Linen Press 10 years ago. It is currently the only independent women’s press in the UK. We publish mainly literary fiction and writing by women from minority groups. I work chapter by chapter with my writers to achieve a poised, polished book. www.linen-press.com
I also write and have fourteen books, fiction and non-fiction, published by mainstream and indie publishers including The Women’s Press and HarperCollins. Recently I’ve written three novels but am about to write the biography of the painter, Rosa Branson. My debut novel, White Lies, was runner up in Scotland’s Robert Louis Stevenson award.

Nastasya Parker

Nastasya Parker writes contemporary literary fiction, including two stories published in Bristol Short Story Prize anthologies. In 2016 her first one-act play, A Night at the Armoured Cars Sub-Division, was performed in Ledbury and Abergavenny, while her story The Apocalypse Alphabet was selected to headline the November 2016 Stroud Short Stories event. Mostly, though, she works on novels because she can’t bear to part with her characters too quickly. She blogs at http://nastasyaparker.com/ about the bits and pieces encountered in daily life which sometimes grow into stories.

Una Rose

Hello everyone my name is Una Rose. I am an Anglo-Irish author, journalist, editor and publisher living in a coastal town not far from London. My debut novel is The Tokyo Express set in post-war Tokyo and the modern day charting the lives and loves of Owen and his grandson Conor. I also run a small publishing company specialising in local history and I am currently writing a young adult novel called The Wizard of Old Leigh. I also write for national newspapers on finance and health issues. You can visit my website here.

Katharine E. Smith

Katharine E. Smith is a writer, editor and publisher. An avid reader of contemporary writers such as Kate Atkinson, David Nicholls and Anne Tyler, Katharine’s aim is to write books she would like to read herself. She has three novels to her name, and one non-fiction guide, written with fellow indie authors in mind.

Katharine runs Heddon Publishing from her home in Shropshire, which she shares with her husband and their two children.

Karen Sullivan

Karen Sullivan is founder and publisher of independent publisher Orenda Books, which publishes literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers and about half in translation. Her award-winning authors include Ragnar Jonasson, Kati Hiekkapelto, Agnes Ravatn, Michael J. Malone and Amanda Jennings. Orenda Books has been shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Newcomer Award at the Independent Publishing Awards for two years running, and Karen was a Bookseller Rising Star for 2016.

Helen Taylor

My first novel, The Backstreets of Purgatory (in which Caravaggio wreaks havoc in modern day Glasgow) will be published later this year by Unbound after a successful crowdfunding campaign. I’ve had an eclectic career history that has spanned the highs and lows of (among other things) tatty picking, cooking in a factory canteen, medicine and research science. Recently I added a collection of creative writing qualifications to my CV to indulge my passion for writing and feed my craving for academia but which ultimately (and very happily for me) served to make me take my writing seriously. You can read more at https://helenmtaylor.com

Sarah Tinsley

Sarah is a writer, teacher, runner and drummer who lives in London. She is prone to musing over gender issues and eating cheese. She won the Segora Short Story competition in 2015and was Highly Acclaimed in the Aurora Short Fiction Competition in 2016. Her short fiction, reviews and blogs have been published on a variety of platforms. You can find her on Twitter @sarahertinsley or on her blog at http://sarahtinsley.com.

Valeria Vescina

Valeria Vescina is from Puglia, was educated in Switzerland and the UK and lives in London.  After a Sloan Master from London Business School and a successful career in management, she gained an MA in Creative & Life Writing at Goldsmiths.  Her first novel, set in Puglia, is a tale of love, loss, and the perils of self-deception.  Her second novel, also set in Puglia but in the late 1500s, will explore the challenges facing women’s lives from an angle that will cut through the centuries. Valeria speaks four languages and reviews fiction for the European Literature Network.  She also teaches creative writing.   See her website: https://valeriavescina.com/