MORGEN BAILEY (Morgen with an E) is an author (of novels, short stories, writing and editing guides), freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor (in person and online), Writers’ Forum magazine ‘Competitive Edge’ columnist, blogger, speaker, and co-founder of Northants Authors. The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, RONE, as well as the BBC Radio 2, BeaconLit, and Althorp Literary Festival children’s short story competitions. She also runs her own monthly 100-word competition. Morgen can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and many others.
AIDAN COTTRELL-BOYCE was born in Liverpool in 1987. He completed his PhD at the Divinity Faculty of the University of Cambridge in 2018, during which, he ran as
a Parliamentary candidate for the Green Party. His short fiction has appeared in
The White Review and Granta. He currently works as a Post-doctoral Research
Fellow at St Mary's University in London. The End of Nightwork is his first novel.
Author photograph by Kit Buchan
JACQUELINE CROOKS grew up in 70s and 80s Southall, part of London's migrant community carving out a space through music, culture and politics. Immersed in the gang underworld as a young woman, she later discovered the power of writing and music to help her look outwards and engage differently with the world - a power that has driven her ever since, from her work with charities to her short stories, which have been nominated for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, the Wasafiri New Writing Prize and the BBC National Short Story Award. Her first novel is Fire Rush.
HEATHER J FITT was born in Scotland and, after moving around Europe with her parents and sister, settled in Hampshire where she met her husband, Stuart. After leaving the rat-race in 2018, Heather re-trained as an editor and proof-reader and entered the world of publishing. These days she works as a part-time freelancer and a part-time Commissioning Advisor for Bloodhound. Heather was inspired to start writing her first novel, Open Your Eyes, by the authors who have become her closest friends. Now the ideas are flowing she has plans to write several more over the coming years. Her latest novel is The Flight.
NATASHA HASTINGS was selected to join The London Library’s Emerging Writers Programme in 2019. Currently working as a fundraiser, she started developing The Frost Fair while studying History at Cambridge University, where she focused on gender and mental illness. She became determined, while exploring these topics, to have the lives of working women form the heartbeat of The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair.
KATE HOGARTH worked for over thirty years as a professional actress - first based in New York, then London where she worked in film, television and on stage in the West End. Married with three grown children, she now finds herself (mostly) in Tring, where she presents the Tring Today talk show and Sounds of the States on Tring Radio. She is also passionate about children's charities, devoting much time to IntoUniversity in London and the NSPCC.
CARA HUNTER is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling crime novels Close to Home, In the Dark, No Way Out, All the Rage, The Whole Truth and Hope to Die, all featuring DI Adam Fawley and his Oxford-based police team. Close to Home was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick (as is her latest) and was shortlisted for Crime Book of the Year in the British Book Awards 2019. No Way Out was selected by the Sunday Times as one of the 100 best crime novels since 1945. Cara's novels have sold over a million copies worldwide, and the TV rights to the series have been acquired by the Fremantle group. She lives in Oxford. Murder in the Family is her first stand-alone crime novel. The Fawley series will also continue.
Author photograph by Justine Stoddart
ANNIE PAYNE is a pen name for Candy Denman, who has written extensively for television programmes such as The Bill, Doctors and Heartbeat as well as six medical thrillers featuring Dr Callie Hughes, a police doctor in Hastings. She spent most of her life as an NHS nurse but now concentrates on writing full time. As Annie Payne, she writes psychological/medical thrillers, the first of which – The Doctor – will be out in May 2023.
AJ Pearce’s Emmy Lake series was inspired by a chance bargain buy of a 1939 copy of Woman magazine on eBay – in particular, the ‘agony aunt’ advice columns, which were rich with the stories of real women living through the challenges of the home-front. Her debut novel Dear Mrs Bird was a Sunday Times and international bestseller, translated into 15 languages, and shortlisted for the British Book Awards Debut of the Year and the Historical Writers' Association Debut Crown. Her second novel, the Times bestselling sequel Yours Cheerfully, was published in 2020. Mrs Porter Calling is the third novel in the Emmy Lake series, published in hardback on 25th May by Picador.
Photograph by Alexander James
HARRIET QUERALT combines a lifetime of teaching English with experience on the local literary scene, both in book retail and as an interviewer at festivals and other events.
LAURA SHEPHERD-ROBINSON has worked in politics for nearly twenty years before re-entering normal life to complete an MA in Creative Writing at City University. Her debut novel, Blood & Sugar, was a Waterstones Thriller of the Month and won the Historical Writers’ Association Debut Crown and the Specsavers/Crimefest Best Debut Novel prize. Her second novel, Daughters of Night, was shortlisted for the Theakstons Crime Book of the Year, the Goldsboro Glass Bell Award, and the HWA Gold Crown. The Square of Sevens is her third novel. She lives in London with her husband Adrian
DAVE SIVERS grew up in West London and has been writing all his life. His books include two popular crime series featuring the Aylesbury Vale detectives, DI Lizzie Archer and DS Dan Baines, and Hertfordshire DCI Nathan Quarrel. The first two Archer and Baines novels, The Scars Beneath the Soul and Dead in Deep Water were both top three bestsellers in the Amazon Kindle Serial Killers chart. His latest book, In Ice is the second in the DI Nathan Quarrel series. His other works include the Lowmar Dashiel crime fantasy novels. Dave also writes plays and other material for the amateur stage and is a BeaconLit founder.
Author photograph by Cliff Hide
EVE SMITH writes speculative thrillers, mainly about the things that scare her. Longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize and described by Waterstones as "an exciting new voice in crime fiction", Eve’s debut novel, The Waiting Rooms, was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize First Novel Award and was a Guardian book of the month. Her second thriller, Off-Target, set in a world where genetic engineering of children is routine, was a pick of the month in the Times who described it as “an astute, well-researched and convincing novel of ideas.” Her latest thriller, ONE, takes place in a near-future Britain whose climate crisis has spawned a One-Child policy, ruthlessly enforced by an authoritarian regime, and is out summer 2023.
CLARE SWATMAN is the author of seven women's fiction novels. Her latest, The World Outside My Window, is a story about love, friendship and the power of community. Before writing books, Clare spent 20 years writing for women's magazines in the UK. Clare lives in Berkhamsted with her husband and two boys. Even the cat is male, which means she's destined to be outnumbered forever.
REBECCA WAIT grew up in Oxfordshire. Alongside her writing she teaches in a London secondary school. She has written for the New Statesman, Independent and The Pool on subjects as diverse as suicide, cults and autism and appeared on Woman's Hour. Her previous novels, The View on the Way Down, The Followers and Our Fathers attracted widespread praise. I’m Sorry You Feel That Way was one of the hits of summer 2022 and a Book of the Year in The Times, Guardian, Daily Express, Good Housekeeping and BBC Online among others.