Francesca Baker

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.

Aki Schilz

Aki Schilz is the Director of The Literary Consultancy (TLC), the UK’s longest-running editorial consultancy for writers, providing editing services, mentoring and events. Most recently, TLC has launched the ‘Being A Writer’ programme, which focuses on cultivating creativity and resilience in writers. Aki is also prize-winning writer, and a judge for a number of literary awards including the Bridport First Novel Prize. Alongside Influx Press publisher Kit Caless, she runs the Saboteur Award-shortlisted #LossLit digital literature project which they founded together, and is co-editor of LossLit Magazine. In 2018 Aki was named as one of the FutureBook 40 (a list of the top 40 innovators in UK publishing). In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize for Women in Publishing. She is also the founder of the Rebecca Swift Foundation charity, which runs the free-to-enter Women Poets’ Prize, a year-long programme of creative and professional support, plus […]

Dan Dalton

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

Vanessa King

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.

Louis de Bernières

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

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

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

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

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.