Doug Richards


Now in his 70s, Doug, a retired university lecturer and avid parkrunner, took up long distance running relatively late in life as a means of addressing declining physical fitness. Overcoming modern-life obstacles including a marriage breakdown, anxiety and depression, Doug’s initial one-mile run has now taken him to wider and wilder horizons, and he has recently become one of only a few hundred people worldwide who has run at least a half marathon on each of the planet’s seven continents, including Antarctica. Following the success of his first book, ‘Running Hot & Cold’, which won a Silver Award at the 2016 Running Awards in London, a sequel ,’Can We Run With You, Grandfather?’ was published in October 2018.

Susana Aikin


Susana Aikin is a writer and a filmmaker who has lived in New York City since 1982. She has a degree in law from the University of Madrid and a degree in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. In 1986 she started her own independent film production company, Starfish Productions, producing and directing documentary films that won her multiple awards, including a Rockefeller Fellowship and an Emmy Award in 1997. She started writing fiction full time in 2010. She has two sons, and now lives between Brooklyn and the mountains north of Madrid. Her debut novel, WE SHALL SEE THE SKY SPARKLING, is being published by Kensington Books, and will be launched in February 2019.

Frederick Lewis


Now based in Hamsterley Colliery, Frederick Lewis is perhaps best known for his bibliographical work on Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, and Rosamond Lehmann.
He has lectured for Newcastle City Library, The Lit & Phil, and for Bank Street Arts in Sheffield.

Founder of the Heddon Quarry Press, he has published a number of fine paper limited edition pamphlets of work by local poets such as Juli Watson and Harry Gallagher. A regular face on the north east poetry scene, Frederick’s poetry taps into contrasting images of industry and countryside, whilst also being poet in residence for Japan Railways Freight.

Scott Stevens


Scott grew up in New York and is an avid sports fan. He was s sportscaster and then a sportwriter for many years. He also contributed more than one hundred #1 most viewed articles for several online magazines. His work for those was enjoyed by more than 125 million readers. He started writing novels when an editor suggesed that he give it a try.

Rachel Coverdale


Rachel Coverdale was born and bred in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside in North East England. Raised with copious amounts of animals but without the distraction of a modern TV set, she turned to books and her own imagination for entertainment.

Animals were and still are a huge part of her life and inevitably they made their way into her stories. Believing strongly in fresh air, nature and outdoor play to give children a sense of fun and freedom, Rachel uses her books to encourage children to venture into the countryside.

Matt Beighton


Matt Beighton was born somewhere in the midlands in England during the heady days of the 1980s and continues to spend most of his days in the same shire. He is happily married with two young daughters who keep him very busy and suffer through the endless early drafts of his stories.

When he’s not writing, he teaches primary school (Kindergarten to some of you), messes around on canals in his inflatable kayak and supports his beloved Leicester City.

Jane Gulliford Lowes


Jane Gulliford Lowes , writer of historical non-fiction, has lived in County Durham her whole life. She has a real passion for the people, places and history of North East England, which is reflected in her work. In 2017 Jane established her popular blog,, which combines travel writing and social history, with a humorous twist.

Jane’s debut book, the best-selling The Horsekeeper’s Daughter, was published in November 2017, and tells the true story of a County Durham servant girl who travelled alone to Australia in 1886, to start a new life.

Jane is currently writing her second book Above Us The Stars – detailing the experiences of a young Bomber Command crewman during World War Two, and of the wartime struggles of the family he left behind in Seaham Harbour. The expected publication date is late 2019.

Noriko Matsubara

Author and artist

Noriko Matsubara is a children’s book author & illustrator born in Japan and Bocchi and Pocchi: A Tale of Two Socks is her first picture book. The inspiration for the story came from her childhood as she would watch her grandmother regularly darning socks and wondering what might happen to them.

The ‘Bocchi and Pocchi’ series has been published in the UK and translated into 5 languages including Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Catalonian and Vietnamese. Her new title Bocchi and Pocchi and Baby Sock will be published by Troika Books in autumn 2019.

Much of her childhood was spent daydreaming about imaginary worlds and doodling in notebooks. While art was her passion, she became a Japanese language teacher and taught Japanese in Lebanon, Canada and the UK. A consequence of her travels was her decision to follow her passion, and she went on to study visual arts at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada and completed a MA in Fine Art at Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design in the UK. She currently lives in Consett, County Durham with her husband and two children.

Lee Stoddart


Lee Stoddart has been writing speculative fiction part-time since 2012, but finally quit the corporate world to write full-time in late 2017. He has been published both online and in print, including in three anthologies. He has twice been short-listed in the HG Wells Short Story Competition and now sits on the judging panel.

Jamie Engle


JAIMIE ENGLE is the author of fantasy thrillers for teens and tweens, where magic turns ordinary into extraordinary. She weaves history, magic, and lore into her books, which take readers on wondrous adventures, like the ones she went on when she read books as a child. She loves coffee, cosplay, and making Wick Books® Candles inspired by scents from her novels so readers can Experience the Story! She lives in Florida with her awesome husband, hilarious children, and the world’s best dog.

Arthur Cole


Arthur Cole was born and bred in a small mining village called Caerau, at the top of the Llynfi Valley, Maesteg, South Wales. His father was a miner. At the age of 17, Arthur left his home village and joined the Glamorgan Police where he spent nearly 26 years investigating crimes ranging from murder to anti-terrorism. He began writing poetry in 2016 and responded to a social media shout out from Nigel C. Williams to co-author a book, and it was from there that the ‘Terry McGuire crime thrillers’ were born. They have published eight titles to date and are currently working on the ninth.

Nigel C. Williams


Nigel Williams was born in November of 1960 in Abercrave in the Swansea Valley, South Wales. In 1981, he joined the Metropolitan Police and was posted to Brixton. In 1984, Nigel transferred to South Wales Police and worked for the rest of his service as a traffic officer and an armed V.I.P and Special Escort Group driver involved in many of the Royal visits to the Principality. His police service was cut short in 1994 when he was hit by a stolen car and fractured his spine. He was forced to retire but had been awarded seven commendations during his service with the Welsh force. During his recovery, Nigel returned to education and achieved a first-class honours degree in fine art. This was followed by a teaching qualification at Cardiff University and a Masters degree.

Margaret Kirk


Margaret Kirk is a Highland Scot with an abiding fondness for Glasgow and its university, where she took an MA in modern languages. Germanophile, Runrig Fan and mad cat lady, she writes crime fiction set in Inverness and the Highlands (think the North Coast 500 with bodies…) featuring ex-Met DI Lukas Mahler. Margaret’s debut crime novel, ‘Shadow Man’, won the Good Housekeeping First Novel Competition in 2016 and came out in paperback in June 2018. She is currently working on book 2 of the Lukas Mahler crime series, to be published by Orion in summer 2019. The scenery and history of the Highlands play an important part in her novels (though she’d really rather you didn’t mention Outlander).

Drawing on her own family history, Margaret is also fascinated by the themes of absence and homecoming. How does it feel to come home after an extended absence? Can it ever truly feel like ‘home’?

Lesley Mountain


Lesley Mountain was born in Sheffield to restless parents and spent her childhood in Hereford, Guildford and Leicester, returning to Sheffield in school holidays. She has lived in the North-east of England longer than she has lived anywhere but people still ask where she comes from.

It is perhaps in an attempt to find this out that her poems show a preoccupation with place and a fascination for maps. A love of the natural world causes her to be very concerned about climate change and to campaign against fossil fuels. She currently lives in West Gateshead and spends a lot of time walking and writing in Derwentside and Weardale.

She has just published her 3rd poetry pamphlet “Vamoose” with Mudfog Press and has published two previous pamphlets “Hunting the Air” Vane Women 2004 and “Dance of the Disappointed” Red Squirrel Press 2010. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University and won the James Kirkup Memorial Prize, also in 2010.

Rob Holmes


Rob Holmes is a father of four and lives in South Devon, partly on land and also on his boat in the Salcombe estuary. Rob set up and ran his own businesses in his 20s and 30s – one business was a nightclub and the other sold baby sleeping products called ‘Grobags’. There was no direct link between the two businesses, except some couples met in the nightclub, went on to have children and then buy Grobags for their children! One of his inventions, the ‘Gro-Clock’. has over 5,000 five star reviews on Amazon.

Then in September 2011 Rob had a very unexpected spiritual awakening while driving along the M5 motorway in Devon – it was the 20 seconds that changed his life. He never went back into his office, put the business up for sale and eventually sold it in 2013.

Since then Rob has been writing children’s books with spiritual wisdom woven into the stories. His first book is called ‘The Little Drop of Water’. His next book features a character called ‘Master Owl’ and Rob is currently in touch with studios in Hollywood for this character to be turned into an animated cartoon series.

Sarah Northwood


Sarah is an award-winning British fiction author, a member of the World Nations Writers Union, and an honorary member of the “World Higher Literary Academic Council” of the WNWU. Living in a small village in the northwest of England with her husband and two children, writing books in different genres, she is best known for her unique narration methodology and precise delivery of fiction and poetic works.

The author of eleven books, these include: Poetry: Butterfly Dreams, The truths We Tell and Little Moments of Calm. Thrillers: The Unravelling, The Volunteer and She’s Not Gone. Children’s Books: Unicorns are real and other cool poems, Legend of the Night Unicorn and Aerwyn, the girl who dreams. Young Adult: The Westwood Witches. Short horror: The House that Evil Made.

Jennifer Gilmour


Jennifer Gilmour is a passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships. She has drawn on her own experiences to write her first novel. Isolation Junction details the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to finding the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again. Since publishing her book, Jennifer has gained a qualification in facilitating a recovery programme for those have been in abusive relationships. She also helps with running a family business from her home-base, and her blog posts have attracted a large readership of other young mums in business.

Margaret Manchester


Margaret Manchester lives in County Durham, England, with her husband and two sons. She was born in Weardale and spent her childhood there. Her research into family history showed many branches of her family had lived and worked in the area for centuries, and this sparked her interest in local history. Whilst she studied local history and archaeology, Margaret worked as a guide at Killhope Lead Mining Museum. She was awarded a Masters degree in Archaeology from the University of Durham and went on to teach archaeology, local history and genealogy.

As well as writing, Margaret is managing director of a multiple award-winning business; she is the chair of a charity that supports industrial heritage; and she enjoys spending time in her garden and with her dogs.

Her first novel ‘The Lead Miner’s Daughter’ was published in 2018.

Michael K Foster


Michael K Foster has been writing crime thriller novels since 2006, all of them based in and around the North East of England. His bestselling debut novel, ‘The Wharf Butcher,’ was released in 2015 and offers a unique insight into this rugged landscape. He has now written four full-length novels featuring the hard-hitting DCI Jack Mason and local criminal profiler David Carlisle. His fifth book in the series, ‘Back from the Dead,’ is scheduled for release in November 2019. 

Michael was born in Plymouth, England. After ten years’ service in the British Army, he moved to Newcastle where he gained a master’s degree. A former Magistrate, he now writes full time and lives with his family in County Durham.

J.A Baker


If you love edge-of-your-seat authors then J.A Baker is for you! J. A. Baker writes psychological thrillers and is published with Bloodhound Books. She has written six books to date, three of which made it into the Amazon Top 100 chart. She has been writing on and off since she was a child but only got published in 2017 after many years of submitting and being rejected. She was born and brought up in Middlesbrough and now lives in a small village on the outskirts of Darlington. Judith is married and has four adult children and one grandchild.

Matt Sparrow


I am a writer from Staffordshire, Stafford actually but I currently live in Stoke on Trent. I have been writing for as long as I can remember especially during high school when my weird sense of humour got me into all sorts of bother.

I have the ability to think of stories from the littlest of things that happen around me and one of the stories from The Forest Giant shows that.

I am now in my early 30’s and I decided to take writing seriously but the issue I had was what genre to concentrate on. After much thought and dabbles in anything from horror and even erotica to YA and children’s, I decided that I would concentrate on YA and picture books.

I wrote a story a while back called As I Am about a man dealing with depression and alcohol abuse and that was under my real name ‘Matthew Hughes’ so to separate the two I went with the name Matt Sparrow ( not because I look like the pirate from the films but because I have thin legs like the bird) to write those stories in.

I have a few projects coming up which I am excited about including my first YA novel which the first draft was completed during Nanowrimo in 2017.

Mark Scott


Mark Scott was born in Stafford in 1957. He studied Physics at Sheffield University and then went on to obtain a PhD in Physics from Lancaster University in 1982. He taught Physics and then progressed into Teacher Education. A lifelong hill walker and rock climber, Mark became a volunteer mountain rescuer in 2002. He retired from his university career in 2014 but continues volunteering as Assistant Team Leader of Bolton Mountain Rescue Team. Mark lives in Horwich, with his wife Megan. They have two sons and a granddaughter.

The idea for Mark’s first novel, Beyond the Witches’ Circle, arose while he was researching his family history. He discovered an interesting link between his ancestors – working class people from Northumberland and Tyneside – and one of history’s most important women, the remarkable Josephine Butler. In the book, Mark has tried to faithfully represent her character and actions at that time (the mid-nineteenth century). This was made possible thanks to a good range of excellent source material. Indeed, the whole story is based on extensive research and is highly accurate with regard to people, places and events. But what holds it together is a tender love story – a love made possible by Josephine Butler’s intervention.

Gary Heads


Gary Heads is a writer based in North East England. He founded one of the UK’s leading organizations delivering mindfulness services in the UK, and has a personal meditation practice spanning 30 years. A long-standing interest in all matters relating to Tibet has led to his appointment as trustee of a charity working to assist the Tibetan people. He can often be seen out walking with his two springer spaniels, if they are not meditating or studying the Buddha’s teachings that is. The Enlightened Spaniel, published in 2019 is his second book.

Nathalie Paris


Nathalie was a secondary languages teacher for 19 years with responsibility for outreach primary languages teaching and transition KS2-KS3; currently part-time primary languages teacher and owner of Nattalingo which features (among other things) a unique French mobile library bus available for storytelling sessions.

Maggie James


Maggie James is a British author who lives near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. She writes psychological suspense novels.

Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!

Ruth Estevez


Ruth Estevez lives in Manchester although she still travels frequently over the Pennines to her native, Yorkshire. Ruth has always worked in the arts, from Opera North to Emmerdale with a tour of the Yorkshire Dales with Harrogate Theatre-in Education Company in between. Her attitude of saying ‘yes’ to offers means Ruth has worked in places from Pitlochry Festival Theatre to Shakespeare’s Globe.

Ruth has also worked as a scriptwriter on the BBC animated series, Bob the Builder. She is the author of Meeting Coty, which is based on her great aunt who worked in the perfume industry in the 1920’s, and is currently working on her second YA novel, The Monster Belt which is set in Yorkshire and the Mediterranean island of Formentera.

Howard Linskey


Howard Linskey’s latest crime novel ‘The Chosen Ones’ is published by Penguin Random House. He is the author of ‘No Name Lane’, ‘Behind Dead Eyes’, ‘The Search’ and the Newcastle-based trilogy ‘The Drop’, ‘The Damage’ and ‘The Dead’; optioned for TV by Harry Potter producer, David Barron. He is also the author of two WW2 historical thrillers ‘Hunting the Hangman’ and ‘Ungentlemanly Warfare’. Howard’s books have been published in the UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

Originally from County Durham he now lives in Herts with his wife Alison and daughter Erin.

Samuel Bigglesworth


Sam’s writing career started in 2014 with a blog; in 2015, he decided to commit to writing fiction long term. Towards the end of the year, after a few online courses and a great deal of time writing, he self-published his first novella, a character based comedy about one man’s love affair with nature, entitled ‘The Woods, The Jungle, The Sea’. It was inspired by experiences he’d had visiting remote parts of Patagonia, Bolivia, and Colombia. Some of Sam’s stories are literal, but most of them have a hidden deeper meaning which take a little thought to understand.

Ed Cannon


Ed Cannon grew up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA and graduated college with a BS in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University. He moved from Oklahoma after college to get his first engineering job. His career has been associated with aviation and the certification of aircraft. He has a Third Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and taught for several years at a local YMCA. He enjoys camping, fishing, and photography. He is married to a Mechanical Engineer and his sons are both engineers. The original idea for this book began while in college. Fifty pages or so were written on an electric typewriter and then later transferred to a Apple. From there, a printout of the story sat, collecting dust, until it was eventually scanned page-by-page and transformed into The Kings’ Assassin. Additional stories are planned for this world.

A.M. Peacock


A.M. Peacock grew up in the North East of England before leaving to study for a degree in music technology at the University of Hull. A subsequent return to his hometown of South Shields saw him spend seven years as a teacher in a local college before changing careers to become a trade union official.

Having always been an avid reader, he took to writing after being encouraged to do so by his PGCE tutor. He has since gone on to produce a number of short stories, winning the Writers’ Forum Magazine competition on two occasions, as well as producing articles for both the local press and a university magazine.

A.M. Peacock is passionate about crime fiction and his debut novel, Open Grave, is the first in what will become a series of books featuring Newcastle-based detective, DCI Jack Lambert.

Away from writing, A.M. Peacock enjoys watching films, playing guitar and can often be found pavement pounding in preparation for the odd half marathon.

Brian O'Gorman


Brian O’Gorman was born in Ormskirk, Lancashire in 1974. He is most famously known for his novels Dawn of the Spiders and Day of the Spiders which have entertained and appalled readers all across the globe. He normally writes in the horror genre but he has written two contemporary novels The Final Wish of Maggie Bosworth and The Roland Sink Hour.

“I have been writing for what feels like my entire life. I was always writing just to amuse myself, I never even thought that there was any remote chance that I could get it published. Writing is a lot of fun. Getting a new idea to work as a story is a feeling unparalleled on this earth. I’m always eternally grateful when somebody chooses one of my scribblings to spend some time with. I just like to tell stories, ones that make you wonder if there is anything nasty lurking under the bed-covers as you slip your legs in, or perhaps they make you wonder, just as your hand hovers over the light switch, whether something is waiting for you in the dark….something with big teeth and bad intentions…..I grew up watching horror movies, and reading the delights of authors such as Stephen King, James Herbert and Roald Dahl.”

Brian lives in Stockport, England with his wife and her three children.

Owen Ryan


OMJ Ryan is the exciting new author of ‘Media Monster’, released in 2018 to 5-Star Reviews on Amazon. For twenty years he worked in radio and entertainment across the UK and Australia, collaborating with household names, celebrities and music icons, accumulating a host of international writing and radio awards. In 2018 he followed his passion to become a full-time novelist, writing stories for people who devour exciting, fast-paced thrillers by the pool, on their commute – or those rare moments of downtime before bed. Owen’s mission is to entertain from the first page to the last.

Hailing from Yorkshire, Owen has lived and worked in Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow, Sydney and Melbourne, before settling in the north east of England with his wife Kim and son Vaughan. Having attracted the attention of, this spring, Owen relaunches ‘Media Monster’ under a new title and an even sharper story-line, diving further into the entertaining world of UK radio, and dark underbelly of Manchester, experiencing the glamour and grime of this world-famous city in equal measure.

Richard Harries


Richard Harries is a pensioner who started writing and performing poetry as he retired 10 years ago. He is a veteran of festivals in Yorkshire having appeared for many years at Hull’s Freedom Festival, Cornucopia, Withfest and many others. He appears at many charity events and puts on a one man show for children’s events , WI and Church fellowship groups amongst many diverse appearances, His poem rang from adult and funny to those about his grand children His YouTube Channel rcpoems has had 113,000 poems a figure that rises every day.