A highly-qualified hypnotherapist and life coach, Amanda Craven is well-versed in helping individuals get ready for change, overcome obstacles and exceed their goals. After a breast cancer diagnosis at 41, followed by a difficult divorce, Amanda ‘`re-created' herself. With her life experiences and her qualifications, she truly believes in the message she's sharing and wants to go on the journey with people to help them make a change, no matter how big or small that might be.
Bridget Westaway lives a few miles from the sea in Sussex and, as a child, spent long summers on the North Devon coast. She has four children. Her husband, when they first met, was working as a merchant seaman – and since the children were small, the whole family has been visiting both mainline Greece and some of the many islands each year. Drawn by the sand and rocks, the sea, the food, the people and a sense of home.
For 15 years Pen to Paper has met monthly. As well as the occasional raucous performances, the hallmarks of its session are tuition, writing, critique and encouragement. They were meeting in a busy pub. Beer was never far away. Nor was the brewing of the creative mind when a literary gauntlet was thrown down. Which was often. Starting work in 2019 the title, Something Brewing, became an obvious choice. Lockdowns forced the nation to become virtual prisoners. Groups withered. Businesses died (including their beloved meeting place), contact became problematic. They went online and continued the process of group critique for each submission. The scope of their writing is appealing due to the diverse subject matter, the variation of forms, the range of emotional impact, the emphasis on the effect of professional zeal on the editing process and for the intent to produce the best writing possible from a mixed bunch of writers who pulled together to rejoice, despite adversity, in the written and spoken word.
Sarah Barr was born in London, studied English at London University, has masters degrees in social sciences and creative writing from Southampton University, and now lives in Dorset where she writes fiction and poetry, leads writing groups, and works as a mentor. She has worked as a counsellor and as an Open University tutor of social sciences and creative writing. Her short stories have been published in anthologies, including in The Cinnamon Review of Short Fiction, The Momaya Press Short Story Review and Wooing Mr Wickham (Honno Modern Fiction), and in magazines including The Yellow Room, Woman’s Weekly, The Lady and online with Fairlight Books. Her poetry pamphlet January was published in 2020.
Robert Graham is the author of the novel Holy Joe; the short story collections The Only Living Boy and When You Were a Mod, I Was A Rocker; and the novella A Man Walks Into A Kitchen. His play about fans of The Smiths, If You Have Five Seconds To Spare, was staged by Contact Theatre, Manchester. He is co-author, with Keith Baty, of Elvis – The Novel, a spoof biography; and, with Julie Armstrong, Heather Leach, Helen Newall et al, of The Road To Somewhere: A Creative Writing Companion; Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Creative Writing; and How To Write A Short Story (And Think About It). He grew up in Northern Ireland and for most of his adult life has lived in Manchester. He teaches Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University.
Belinda Roberts has worked as a designer and illustrator, a musical theatre teacher and a filmmaker. She has written a number of plays, children’s books and poetry. Belinda lives in Warwickshire with her family. Precious Matter is her first novel for adults and was longlisted for the 2019 Mslexia Prize. You can follow Belinda on Twitter @belinda_lou.
Stories We Tell Our Children is Marc Nash’s sixth novel. His previous novel, Three Dreams in the Key of G, was deemed 'a truly unique book a tour de force of advanced literature' by The Guardian, and was shortlisted for the Not the Booker Prize in 2018. The experimental and critically British novel at its most innovative and animated. Comprised of 31 interlinked short stories, it collides literary aesthetics with contemporary British culture and attitudes, explores themes of embodiment, emancipation and play, and interrogates virulent social practices with unflinching vision. For fans of Jennifer Egans A Visit From The Goon Squad, Deborah Levys The Man Who Saw Everything, Denis Johnsons Jesus Son, Isabel Waidners We Are Made Of Diamond Stuff and Rosie Snajdrs A Hypocritical Reader.
Matthew Cook was born in 1979 in Chelmsford, Essex. He studied Psychology at the University of Manchester before becoming a freelance writer. His short and non-fiction has been shortlisted for Writing on the Wall’s Pulp Idol and the Cambridge Short Story Prize, and he has featured in The Stockholm Review, Oblong Magazine, Number Eleven, Spelk, The Pygmy Giant, Boneshaker, Tusk, Small Doggies and Imbroglio. Life on Other Planets is his first novel. He lives in Liverpool with his family.
Aaron and Susannah Rickard are passionate home cooks who began cooking with alcohol for a themed dinner party with friends. Susannah works in the international business team for a herbal tea company. Australian-born and now UK-based, she spent a number of years working for a recipe kit company, writing and testing hundreds of recipes from around the world. Taking every opportunity to pick up brand-new techniques, Susannah is responsible for Cooking with Alcohol’s meticulously researched recipes, produced specifically for the home cook. Aaron is a web developer in London and a keen food photographer. With American heritage and a multicultural upbringing, a love of food from all over the world was encouraged from an early age. As well as creating recipes, Aaron’s stunning photography and typesetting ensures Cooking with Alcohol brings something truly special to the table.
Nada Holland is a former culture critic and reporter for the leading newspaper in Holland, NRC Handelsblad, where she wrote about art, books and digital culture. She grew up between the progressive schools of the Seventies Dutch countryside and her Indo grandmother's toasty little flat in The Hague, full of Indonesian flowering plants. She now lives on the fourteenth floor of a tower block in east London, somewhere between the crashed UFO of West Ham stadium and the houseboats dotting the Hertford Union Canal. She’s probably out there some place, taking a walk.