Louis de Bernières

Author, poet, musician

Novelist Louis de Bernières was born in London in 1954 and spent some of his school years in Brichington. He joined the army at 18 but left after spending four months at Sandhurst.

In 1993, Louis was selected as one of the 20 ‘Best of Young British Novelists 2’ promotion in Granta magazine. His fourth novel, Captin Corelli’s Mandolin, was published in the following year, winning the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Best Book). It has become a worldwide bestseller and has now been translated into over 30 languages. A film adaptation of the novel was released in 2001,and the novel has recently been adapted for the stage.


Alison Weir

The best-selling female historian in the UK

Alison Weir is the top-selling female historian in the United Kingdom, and has sold over 2.7 million books worldwide. She has published eighteen history books, including Elizabeth the Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Lady in the Tower and Elizabeth of York, and seven historical novels.


Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell’s books include Ralph’s Party, Thirtynothing, After The Party and most recently The House We Grew Up In, The Girls in the Garden, and Then She Was Gone

After being made redundant, Lisa accepted a challenge from her friend to write three chapters of a novel in exchange for dinner at her favourite restaurant. Those three chapters were eventually developed into Jewell’s debut novel Ralph’s Party, which then became the UK’s bestselling debut novel in 1999.

Jewell is one of the most popular authors writing in the UK today, and in was awarded the Melissa Nathan Award For Comedy Romance for her novel 31 Dream Street.


Mark Billingham

The UK’s best-selling crime novelist

Mark’s first novel, Sleepyhead, was an instant bestseller in the UK. The series of crime novels featuring London-based detective Tom Thorne continued with Scaredy Cat and was followed by a huge list of bestsellers including Lazybones, The Burning Girl and The Killing Habit. Mark is also the author of the standalone novels In The Dark, Rush Of Blood and Die Of Shame.

An acclaimed television series based on the Thorne novels was screened on Sky One in Autumn 2010, starring David Morrissey as Tom Thorne. A series based on the novels In The Dark and Time Of Death was screened on BBC1 in 2017.


Inua Ellams

Slam headliner, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, performer and playwright

Born in Nigeria in 1984, Inua Ellams is an internationally touring poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist & designer. He is an ambassador for the Ministry of Stories and has published four books of poetry: ‘ Inua is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.


Elise Valmorbida

Award-winning Faber author and creative writing teacher

Elise Valmorbida is the author of several titles including NY Times best-seller The Madonna of the Mountains. She teaches creative writing at Central Saint Martins and Arvon, and fis ounder-director of communications consultancy word-design.


Tom Jackson

Author behind the cult twitter feed and book Postcard From The Past

Tom Jackson quickly gained a cult following with his popular twitter feed and book Postcard From The Past, which curates the funniest, weirdest and most moving real messages from the backs of old postcards. Now he digs deeper into the personal stories behind old postcards.

Tom’s welcoming two guests to his podcast – Karen Shepherdson and Scott Pack


Renée Knight

Author of Disclaimer, a Sunday Times number one bestseller

Renée Knight was a documentary-maker before turning to writing. She is a graduate of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course, where she began her first novel Disclaimer. Disclaimer went on to become a Sunday Times number one bestseller.


Travis Elborough

Author, broadcaster and cultural commentator

Travis Elborough has been described by The Guardian as ‘one of the country’s finest pop culture historians’, His acclaimed books include Wish You Were Here, a survey of the British beside the sea, and The Long-Player Goodbye, a hymn to vinyl records.


Karen Shepherdson

Photography theorist and practitioner, co-author Seaside Photographed

Karen is a photographer, curator and writer. Karen recently co-authored Seaside Photographed with Val Williams and co-curated – again with Val Williams – the 2019 Seaside: Photographed exhibition at Turner Contemporary. This exhibition goes on national tour throughout 2020.


Richard Skinner

Author, Poet, Workshop Leader

Richard Skinner is a novelist and Director of the Fiction Programme at Faber Academy. In this workshop, Richard will be sharing novel-writing insight, tips, strategies and stimuli, drawing upon his bestselling writing guide Writing a Novel.


Annie Sutton

Theatre practitioner, writer, deviser, actor and director from Ramsgate

Annie Sutton trained with Desmond Jones in Mime and Physical Theatre, Ecole Jacques Lecoq and has a PGCE in Film and Drama (distinction). With 30 years working globally as a theatre practitioner, writer, deviser, actor and director, young people remain the vein that runs through her career.

Her collaborations with inspiring award-winning international theatre practitioners and makers, culminated in co –writing a second edition publication of Theatre in Practice – A Students Handbook (July 2018) published by Routledge.

Adrian Cross

Vanguard Compere and Market Bookie Trustee

Adrian Cross lives in London and loves Margate. He works in an advisory role with children in care and writes for the Times Educational Supplement and does live music reviews for Gigwise. He co-edited the #1 Vanguard Readings Short Story Anthology and is a Margate Bookie trustee.


Aimee Lewis

Brand expert and whisky enthusiast

Boozer, lover, fighter and desperately in need of a new bio.

Alarms and Excursions


Chloe Timms

Novelist from St Nicholas at Wade, currently editing her debut novel

Chloe Timms is a writer from St Nicholas at Wade who is in the process of editing her debut novel, The Seawomen. Chloe completed a scholarship with the Faber Academy in 2018 and an early version of her novel was a runner up in Stylist Magazine’s novel prize.


Connor Sansby

Poetry Entrepreneur

The Bookie Slam, Whisky and Beards, Tongue Punch

Connor Sansby is a Poet, Producer and Editor-in-Chief for Whisky & Beards Publishing.  In 2016, Connor released his first short story collection, “I am not a well person”. His first collection of poetry, “Promise Me The Journey Back” was released in April 2018.


Dale Shaw

TV and radio writer, journalist, screenwriter and producer

Dale Shaw’s first book, Letters Of Not, was published by The Friday Project in 2014, followed by F*** This Journal (Headline) in 2016 and Last Minute Rooms in Bethlehem (Boxtree) in 2017. His sketch show, What The Future was recently broadcast on BBC Radio 4.


Dan Dalton

A writer and journalist based in Margate. First novel just out in paperback

Dan Dalton is a writer and journalist. Born and raised in Huddersfield, he now lives in Margate. Johnny Ruin is his first book.


Dr Sketchy

The drawing event that became a global movement

Dr. Sketchy’s brings artists a rule-breaking cocktail of dames, drinking and drawing. Dr. Sketchy’s branches draw in over a hundred cities around the globe, from Akron to Zagreb. Dr Sketchy’s is the brainchild of artist Molly Crabapple.


Elspeth Penfold

Artist, workshop facilitator, leader of The Waste Land walking group

Elspeth’s art is concerned with origins, journeys and destinations. She has e a background in sociology as well as art which is reflected in her practice. Her family’s background as emigrees to Argentina and her own reverse emigration from South America to the UK, has had a great influence on her work.


Francesca Baker

Writer, wellness expert, Margate Bookie head of programming

Never happier than when in a library or clutching a notebook, Francesca Baker is a writer, reader, and word lover. As Virginia Woolf said ‘my head is a hive of words that won’t settle.’ So she puts them to use, exploring the world and then writing about it. Francesca also curates Write UP!, the Bookie’s regular creative writing weekend.

Helen Young

Author and Digital Editor

Helen Young is an author and digital editor. Breakfast in Bogotá, her second novel, was published in August with Unbound.  Set in 1940s Colombia, the novel is about a broken architect trying to build something new. She will be reading from the first chapters.


Jeff Hilson

Author of four poetry books

Jeff Hilson has written four books of poetry: Stretchers (Reality Street, 2006), Bird bird (Landfill, 2009), In The Assarts (Veer, 2010) and Latanoprost Variations (Boiler House Press, 2017). He runs the Xing the Line poetry reading series.

Lesley Kara

Debut novel The Rumour was a Sunday Times Top Ten hardback and paperback bestseller

Lesley Kara is an alumna of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. Her debut novel The Rumour was a Sunday Times Top Ten hardback and paperback bestseller. Her second novel, Who Did You Tell?, is coming soon.


Maggie Harris

Poet, prose writer, and visual artist

Maggie Harris is a poet, prose writer, and visual artist. Originally from Guyana, South America, she recently re-located to Kent after 10 years in Wales.


Marianne Dissard

Singer-songwriter, musician, and now an author.

French chanteuse Marianne Dissard is a singer-songwriter, musician, and now an author. She has spent many years writing and performing around the world, and has now come to settle in Ramsgate. Her book Not Me is gripping literary read about recovery.


Meirion Jones

Executive coach and trainer – and graphic novelist

Meirion Jones is executive coach and trainer – and graphic novelist. Graphic Experience brings together his passion for transformative learning and development with his love of visual storytelling.


Mel McGrath

Non-fiction writer, novelist, radio broadcaster

Melanie McGrath is the author of critically acclaimed, bestselling non-fiction about the East End of London (Silvertown and Hopping). She can trace her family back 300 years in the East End and City of London. She also writes for the national press and is a regular broadcaster on radio.


Nicci Cloke

Author of psychological thrillers, host of literary salon Speakeasy

Phoebe Locke is the pseudonym of full-time writer Nicci Cloke. She previously worked at the Faber Academy, and hosted London literary salon Speakeasy. Phoebe Locke is the author of two psychological thrillers, The Tall Man and The July Girls, which was published this summer.


Owen Lowery

Poet, film-maker, academic

Owen Lowery was a British Judo champion who suffered a spinal injury while competing and is now a tetraplegic. He has a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and a PhD from Bolton University, His poetry has been listed in the Bridport Prize, the Welsh Open Poetry Competition, the Virginia Warbey Prize, and the International Sonnet Competition.

PJ Whiteley

Third novel coming out via Unbound this autumn

PJ Whiteley is an experienced author of nonfiction and fiction. A Bookie regular, his third novel, A Love of Two Halves, is published by Unbound.


Scott Pack

Author, publisher.

Scott Pack has worked in the book world for two decades. He was head of buying for Waterstones, spent several years as a publisher at HarperCollins and is now editor-at-large at Eye & Lightning Books. He runs a regular Guardian Masterclass on How to Perfect Your Submission.


Sebastian Baczkiewicz

Writes for theatre, radio and television.

Sebastian Baczkiewicz writes for theatre, radio and television. He has written over 40 plays for Radio 4 since being their first writer in residence. He also has co-commissions with Somethin’ Else, CBC Canada, World Service and Radio 3. Sebastian has also written for TV series Holby City.
Sebastian’s long-running series for Radio 4, Pilgrim, drawing on the myth and folkore of the British Isles and starring Paul Hilton as the immortal protagonist, was nominated for the Prix Italia and awarded silver at the Prix Europa.



The UK’s leading publisher of Graphic Novels

Emma Hayley launched SelfMadeHero in 2007, after spotting a gap in the market for high quality graphic novels.


S J Watson

Author of Before I Go to Sleep, currently writing third novel

S J Watson’s first novel, Before I Go To Sleep, was a bestseller around the world.  It won The Crime Writers’ Association Award for Best Debut Novel and The Galaxy National Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year. The film of the book stared Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong


Vanessa King

Writer, board member of Action for Happiness

Vanessa King is a leading expert in positive psychology and the author of 10 Keys to Happier Living  and, for children, 50 Ways to Feel Happy. She is a board member of Action for Happiness and a trustee of the Margate Bookie.


Sam Gayton

Sam Gayton lives by the sea in Margate. In 2009 he completed the Writing for Young People MA at Bath Spa University and not long after published his first book, The Snow Merchant. He loves American novels, Italian food and the English countryside. When he’s not writing, he likes playing old board games, strumming his guitar and joining as many rock bands as possible (currently at seven)…

 Since his first book, Sam has had three more books published in the UK all with Andersen Press, Lilliput, Hercufleas and his most recent, His Royal Whiskers. Sam is currently working on this 5th book, The Last Zoo.

Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen is the author of five psychological thrillers, including the bestselling When She Was Bad. She also wrote three commercial women’s fiction novels debuting with The Mistress’s Revenge which was published all round the world. In addition, she has written two historical fiction novels under the pseudonym of Rachel Rhys. The first, Dangerous Crossing, was a Richard & Judy book club pick in Autumn 2017. The most recent, Fatal Inheritance, was published in hardback in July 2018. She is a member of the Killer Women crime writing collective and lives in North London with her partner and three (allegedly) grown up children and her highly neurotic dog.   


Amanda Jennings

Amanda Jennings writes dark contemporary fiction, set mostly in Cornwall, published in the UK and in translation. In Her Wake was a WHSmith Fresh Talent selection in 2016. The Cliff House came out in hardback last year, and the paperback was released in July, and was described in The Times as ‘beautiful and sinister’.

Amanda is a regular guest on BBC Berkshire Book Club. She lives in Oxfordshire with her husband, three daughters, and menagerie of pets. Her fifth book, The Riptide, will be published in summer 2020.

Andrew Dennis

Andrew is a freelance consultant, who delivers the innovative Love Where You Live project with Ben Bowles, using film and photography to improve community cohesion and connection to place.

He also delivers a variety of young peoples’ engagement activities, focus groups and project evaluation reports, and has been commissioned by The Prince’s Trust, Medway Youth Council and the National Citizen Service in 2019 for all of the above.

Andrew began his career as a primary school teacher, moved into careers advice and mentoring, and has a passion for helping young people reach their full potential in life.

When not tutoring or working on bids and delivery, Andrew can be found on his allotment, in a café, or generally finding creative ways of escaping his fatherly duties.

Ben Bowles

Ben is a freelance photographer and film maker who runs Love Where You Live with Andrew Dennis.

Love Where You Live was set up to change people’s perceptions of their local community through photography and film. This is done by practical and interactive sessions which improve the skills of the participants and bring about a fresh view of their surrounding environment.

Ben’s been the official snapper for Margate Bookie since 2016. On the rare occasions he’s not holding a camera, he enjoys playing the drums and watching Newcastle United. Both of these can be painful experiences.

Combining my passion for the local area and visual arts is such a privilege and I’m thrilled to be collaborating with Bookie!

Marianne Cheesecake

Marianne Cheesecake is an international burlesque performer with a name that brings smiles and sudden cravings for dessert.

A forbidden treat, she is not only elegant eye candy but also the embodiment of provocation and humour. Born and raised in Canada with a Hong Kong history, Marianne is a classically trained performer with over 15 years of experience in theatre and creative movement.

An accomplished performer, Marianne has graced many well-known stages in London including Bush Hall, Café de Paris, Leicester Square Theatre and even Wigmore Hall. She has performed at prestigious private members clubs such as The Brompton Club, Crazy Bear and Home House; luxury hotels such as The May Fair and The Westbury; and exclusive casinos such as The Empire, The Palm Beach and Crockfords.

Marianne has featured at Gok Wan’s lingerie launch party and the Henley Royal Regatta. Entertaining and working alongside celebrities, she has made appearances on the Soulwax / 2ManyDJs Tour in the UK and The Kills After-Show Party in Paris.

Marianne has toured around several European hot spots like Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Arhus and Stockholm. Her reputation stretches across the Atlantic and has brought her all the way to New York, Hollywood, San Francisco, Toronto and Montreal.

And now she comes to Margate!


Pen to Print

Pen to Print publishes the quarterly magazine Write On!

Now on its third issue, Write On! links local writing communities to the publishing industry by showcasing the work of emerging writers. Backed by Arts Council England and the London Brough of Barking and Dagenham, the magazine presents homegrown voices.

10,000 copies of the magazine are distributed across East London and Essex. Pick up a free copy at the Margate Bookie. And talk to the Pen to Print team about how to submit your work for their Margate edition!

Julia Wheeler

Mark Billingham will be interviewed by Julia Wheeler.

Julia is an experienced journalist and interviewer who worked for the BBC for more than 15 years, including 10 years as the BBC’s Gulf Correspondent, based in the UAE.  She continues to work as a freelance journalist, for broadcast and print, in London.

Julia is chair and interviewer at several festivals including Cheltenham (Literature and Science), Stratford, Dubai and the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival at Olympia.  She has chaired panels at The British Library and will do so on-board Cunard’s inaugural Queen Mary 2 Literature Festival at Sea, which sails from New York to Southampton. This is Julia’s second time at Margate Bookie.

Julia wrote the award-winning book ‘Telling Tales: An Oral History of Dubai’, capturing stories of court intrigue, pearl diving and gold smuggling, as well as the early days of education and banking.  She is an alumna of the Faber Academy and writes fiction. More details here.

Elizabeth Scrase

Elizabeth Scrase; poet, writer, artist and historian; has just graduated with a BA (Hons) in Creative and Professional writing (2019).

Elizabeth has written and performed across the UK and Europe for a long time. She has written for English Heritage, a variety of international magazines and historic sites and museums across the continent. Elizabeth is currently working on her Master’s in Creative Writing and a children’s book on British nature. Her other projects have taken a neo-Victorian twist with a series of short tales, but her poetry is still silly. Her current plan is to aim for a PhD exploring historic writing as entertainment and finish writing a joint TV script.

Pauline Holmes

Pauline Holmes is a performance poet and storyteller. She is a past winner of the LicKitySpit

Poetry Slam, has supported Anthony Anaxogorou and is a regular contributor to Mind the Gap Audio Anthology. She took her show Talk to The Paw to the Faversham Fringe and is well known locally for her poems about dogs. This is a subject she can easily relate to, as she is very dog like herself, being small, a bit hairy and prone to making a mess in the corner if she’s not exercised regularly.

Alex Brand

Alex Brand is a poet, author and an English Literature student who has just finished his MA in the subject. Since 2017, Alex has performed across Kent, which include: The Margate Bookie slam, Tongue Punch in Margate, Speakeasy and Lickity Spit in Canterbury, as well as performing in several other events surrounding the area. His work focuses on a range of topics; most importantly, mental health, social and political issues, how writing works as a form of release etc. In 2019, Alex has had a few of his poems published in journals and websites, including, Readable run by CCCU, soon to be Thanet Writers and Lapidus International (words for wellbeing association).

Callum Beesley

Callum Beesley lives with his family in Deal, Kent where you’ll find him writing by the sea or in the haunted chair at his local Pub. Fixated by tales of the supernatural, Callum fell in love with the classic Victorian-Edwardian Ghost Stories of MR James, Edith Wharton and EF Benson from a young age. He won first prize at Faversham Literary Festival’s short story competition this year with ‘Little Toffee Apple’, third place in Streetcake Magazine’s Experimental Writing Prize 2019, and soon starts an MSt in Creative Writing at Cambridge University. Tease him on Twitter @callum_beesley.

Janet Witts

Janet Witts is writer, and currently doing a master’s in creative writing at Canterbury Christchurch University. Having recently completed a BA. She also works part time at a Monumental Mason’s where she sees the whole gamut of life and society pass through her doors looking for a headstone!

She loves comedy, sitcoms, and is influenced by Monty Python, Victoria Wood and Caroline Aherne, for their observational humour. Janet likes to find comedy, and a sense of the ridiculousness in most situations, which comes through in her poetry monologues.

In 2017 she won the Sydney Cooper art writing prize for the exhibition “Shell lit Siambr” by Bethan Lloyd Worthington which led to a commission to write a chapbook for Dan Worthington for his exhibition  Transmissions” and came 1st in a competition in Mental Health Awareness day in 2018

Tommy Carver-Chaplin

Tommy Carver-Chaplin is a poet, performer and event host, based in Canterbury. After hosting some of Kent’s most talented poets at his event Rad(ish) Rhymes, Tommy decided that maybe he, too, could perform and entertain on top of producing. This delusion is one he has refused to let go of since. Now also the host of DIY Canterbury slam Your Bard, he is also a one time co-winner, having coasted on the coat tails of his much more talented Two Thicc Bois writing partner, Dylan Stallard. Come see him as he undercuts themes of drinking, mental health and masculine identity with insecure jokes about his penis and asymmetrical boy body, as you begin to explore the true extent of privilege having a double-barrelled name entitles you to

H. B. O’Neill

H. B. O’Neill is a London born writer on a mission to forge his beloved borough of Barking and Dagenham indelibly onto the literary map.

He is a prize-winning short story writer and his soon to be released novel, According to Mark, describes in comically tragic detail Mark Twain’s return to this world to aid a heartbroken man yearning for existential answers and the correct blueprint for tantric sex.

In previous guises H. B. O’Neill has made a cup of tea for Tina Turner, has fought on the picket line alongside Bill Nighy and currently resides in a two bedroom flat overlooking the Asda carpark.

Oisin Harris

Oisin Harris is a Poet, Librarian and aspiring literary fiction editor. Oisin has performed across Kent, including Margate’s very own Bookie Slam, Canterbury’s Lickity Spit and You’re Bard.

He finds beauty in reading Rumi and listening to Nas or Joanna Newsom. His work tends to be highly poetic and likes to explore themes of nature, decay, our bodies’ relation to time and finding the wondrous in the daily grind. Oisin has been published in Ariadne’s Thread, the Sussex Badger and Ripple. He is a shadow judge on the Man Booker International Prize and is currently pursuing scholarly research on Women in Translation and on T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and its rape of Philomela.

David Blagden-Gibson

David Blagden-Gibson is a poet and songwriter based in Margate. Since April 2019 he has made poetry the focus of his attention and output.

In October 2019 his poem “Ok, Hello” was published on Thanetwriters.com and he performs regularly at Tongue Punch poetry night at the Tom Thumb Theatre.  He is also one of the “poets in residence” for the micro-residency project, part of the Margate festival.

His work is primarily observational and focuses on Politics, Philosophy and Love. Recently his work has been focussing on his personal relationship with each of these.

Nina Telegina

Nina Telegina is a writer and performer who believes in the narrative power of poetry. Her story-poems often feature a cast of unlikely characters: space pirates, anthropomorphic farts, and the occasional manic animal. While Nina’s work tends toward the lyrical and the humorous, she is constantly exploring new forms.

Nina’s solo show Llama on the Loose is currently galumphing on stages around Kent, and her first poetry collection is due by the end of the year from Whiskey & Beards. She has appeared at a number of festivals in the UK, including Fire in the Mountain in Wales, and has previously won the LicKitySpit and You’re Bard slams in Canterbury, as well as the Margate Bookie Slam.

Henry Madd

Henry Madd is a spoken word artist, theatre maker and workshop facilitator. After cutting his teeth on the Californian poetry circuit he returned to his native England and firmly entrenched himself in the poetry community in Kent. He won the 2017 Apples and Snakes/ Wise Words Festival Emerging Artist Contest and has since gone on to perform around the country, highlights include: City 451, Brighton Fringe, Nozstock,  CSP in the Park main stage and supporting Lemn Sissay in Canterbury Cathedral. He is the reigning Kent Poetry Champion.

Sam Rapp

Sam Rapp is dyslexic and performs around the UK/internationally as “Sam Rapp the dyslexic poet”.  An award -winning writer, performance poet, playwright, inspirational speaker, winner of  Crisis UK poetry slam 2017 and positive about dyslexia competition 2018. 

Sam has completed a run with her show at the Edinburgh fringe festival 2019  called “The Amazing Dyslexic poetry show”. Her debut collection is called Rant, Dyslexic Me, published by Whisky and Beards.

David Chitty

David Chitty – Author – Single – Performer – Beard – Poet. . It has been said and written that David Chitty is better than Shakespeare. Maybe he is, but what cannot be contested is that David has the better beard.