Sarah Perry – David Lammy – Robert Webb – Maya Goodfellow – Stanley Donwood

Nikesh Shukla – Lola Olufemi – Paul McVeigh – Intisar Khanani – Max Porter

Daniel Mallory Ortberg – Renée – Caleb Femi – Margarita García Robayo – Michelle Paver

Pip Adam – Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett – Will Harris – Jasbinder Bilan

& many more


Scroll down for the full and final list of BookBound 2020's speakers.

Pip Adam
Author and festival speaker Pip Adams
Pip’s forthcoming novel is Nothing to See (VUP, 2020). Her previous books are a short story collection, Everything We Hoped For (2010), which won the NZ Post Best First Book Award, and novels I’m Working on a Building (2013) and The New Animals (2017), which won New Zealand's top fiction prize in 2018, the Acorn Foundation Prize for Fiction. Pip facilitates writing workshops in universities and other settings, including with people in prisons. She makes the Better Off Read podcast.

Patience Agbabi
Patience Agbabi
Patience was born in London in 1965 to Nigerian parents, spent her teenage years living in North Wales and now lives in Kent with her husband and children. She has been writing poetry for over twenty years, The Infinite is her first novel. Like its main character, Elle, Patience loves sprinting, numbers and pepper soup, but disappointingly, her leaping is less spectacular.

Sarah Allely
Sarah is a Sydney-based audio producer and award-winning journalist from New Zealand. Her 20-year career has spanned print, TV, radio and digital but she now focuses on audio. Sarah created, wrote and produced Brain on Nature - the critically acclaimed documentary podcast series about how going out into the natural world helped her recover from a mild traumatic brain injury. Sarah’s scoping a second season, Your Kids’ Brain on Nature. She currently produces audio stories at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Malú Ansaldo
Malú Ansaldo
Malú is an international programmer and producer; currently Head of Performing arts at London’s iconic Roundhouse, working on Performing Arts events and shows. She leads on the Resident Artists and Associate Artists programmes and the Performing Arts and Street Circus Young People’s programmes. Her major projects have been for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre: Globe to Globe Hamlet world tour (2014 - 2016) and the world famous Globe to Globe Festival in 2012, part of the Cultural Olympiad.

Guy Bass
Guy Bass
Guy is an award-winning children's book author, whose books include the best-selling Stitch Head series, Skeleton Keys, Spynosaur, The Legend of Frog, Dinkin Dings, Anna Gain, Laura Norder, Noah Scape and Atomic! Guy won a Blue Peter Book Award in 2010 for Dinkin Dings and the Frightening Things and has won a number of local awards, including twice winning the Portsmouth Book award. His book Aidan Abet, Teacher’s Pet won the Lancashire School Library Service's Fantastic Book Award 2018.

Jasbinder Bilan
Author and Bookbound speaker Jasbinder Bilan
Jasbinder was born in a stable close to the foothills of the Himalaya and until she was a year and a half, lived on a farm inhabited by a grumpy camel and a monkey called Oma. Asha And The Spirit Bird was inspired by Jasbinder’s majee (Grandmother) and the wonderful stories she told. Asha And The Spirit Bird was nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2020, shortlisted for The Waterstones Book Prize 2020 and won the Costa Children’s Book Award 2019.

Holly Bourne
Holly Bourne
Holly's books are inspired by young people, her own experiences of blatant everyday sexism, and her passion for getting everyone talking about the importance of mental health. Her works include the trailblazingly feminist Spinster Club series and The Places I’ve Cried in Public, which led to her becoming an ambassador for Women’s Aid’s youth project, Love Respect. Holly is also the author of two adult novels, the Sunday Times best-selling adult novel, How Do You Like Me Now? and Pretending.

Octavia Bright
Octavia Bright
Octavia is a writer and co-host of the New York Times and Guardian-recommended literary podcast Literary Friction. She holds a PhD from UCL, where her research focused on hysteria and desire. She has written criticism, fiction, journalism and essays for a variety of publications including Elephant, Orlando, Somesuch Stories, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar and The White Review. She has written librettos for several musical collaborations, which have been performed at Snape Maltings, Kings Place London and LSO St Luke’s.

Emma Byrne
Author and festival speaker Emma Byrne
Emma is an honest-to-goodness robot scientist who, when she’s not developing intelligent systems, writes for Forbes, the FT and Global Business Magazine. She also frequently appears on Sky News and the BBC talking about the future of artificial intelligence and robotics. Her interest in neuroscience led to her first popular science book: Swearing is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language.

Ernesto Cisneros
Ernesto Cisneros
Ernesto was born and raised in Santa Ana, California, where he still teaches.
As an author, he believes in providing today’s youth with an honest depiction of characters with whom they can identify. The real world is filled with amazing people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. His work strives to reflect that.
Efrén Divided is his first book.

Horatio Clare
Author and Bookbound speaker Horatio Clare
Horatio Clare’s books include Running for the Hills (Somerset Maugham Award), A Single Swallow, Down to the Sea in Ships (Standford Dolman Travel Book of the Year), Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot (Branford Boase Award), Icebeaker: A Voyage Far North, The Light in the Dark and Something of his Art: Walking to Lubeck with J S Bach. Horatio broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio, writes for various papers and magazines, and lectures in nonfiction at the University of Manchester.

Georgie Codd
Georgie Codd
Georgie has worked behind the scenes at a funeral parlour, taught English in a Himalayan nunnery and shadowed drug dealers in Florida City. Her non-fiction debut, We Swim To The Shark, was released in January 2020, and featured on BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour. Georgie lives in London, and is the founder of BookBound 2020.

Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
Author and festival speaker Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
Rhiannon is a Welsh author and journalist living in North London. Her work explores trauma, class, and femininity. Her debut novel, The Tyranny of Lost Things, was published in 2018 and she is now in the process of writing her second. She is a regular writer and columnist for The Guardian.

Freya Daly Sadgrove
Author and performer Freya Daly Sadgrove
Freya is a writer, performer and theatre maker from Pōneke / Wellington. She has a Master of Arts from the International Institute of Modern Letters, and her work has appeared in various publications in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and the US. Head Girl (VUP, 2020) is her first book.

Rijula Das
Author and Bookbound speaker Rijula Das
Rijula’s debut novel A Death in Shonagachhi (Picador India) will be published in late 2020. She is a recipient of the 2019 Micheal King Writer's Centre Residency in Auckland and the 2016 Dastaan Award for her short story Notes From A Passing. Her English translation of Nabarun Bhattacharya's novel Kangal Malshat is forthcoming from Seagull Books in 2021. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing, and her research examines the relationship between public space and sexual violence in urban India.

Stanley Donwood
Artist and festival speaker Stanley Donwood
Stanley Donwood is an artist and writer. He is best known for his association with Radiohead and has made all their artwork since 1994. He has had exhibitions worldwide, and his monograph, There Will Be No Quiet, was published last year.
His latest book, Bad Island, was published in February 2020, by Penguin.

Judith Eagle
Judith Eagle
Judith grew up in London with her librarian parents, two sisters, a gang of guinea pigs and a cat called Reepicheep. Her first love was fashion but her dream job is her current one - writing in the mornings and working in a secondary school library in the afternoons. She is the author of two books: The Secret Starling (2019) and The Pear Affair (2020).

Caleb Femi
Caleb Femi
Caleb is an acclaimed London artist. Featured in the Dazed 100 list of the next generation shaping youth culture, he uses music and film to push the boundaries of poetry. Stream SLOG, Caleb’s latest body of work, and preorder his debut collection POOR (Penguin, July 2020).

CJ Flood
Writer and Lecturer CJ Flood
CJ (Chelsey) is the author of Infinite Sky and Nightwanderers. She is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Falmouth University, and creator of Beautiful Hangover, a blog about overcoming unhelpful drinking habits. You can also find her writing about addiction and wellbeing on Medium. She is currently working on a memoir about getting sober in the Arctic.

Margarita García Robayo
Margarita García Robayo
Margarita was born in 1980 in Colombia, and now lives in Buenos Aires. She is the author of three novels, a book of autobiographical essays and several collections of short stories, including 'Worse Things', winner of the prestigious Casa de las Américas Prize (2014). Her books have been published widely in Latin America and Spain and have been translated into several languages. In English she’s published Fish Soup (Charco Press, 2018) and Holiday Heart (forthcoming, 2020).

Emma Glass
Novelist and Bookbound speaker Emma Glass
Emma was born in Swansea. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Kent and Children’s Nursing at Swansea University. Her debut novel Peach was published by Bloomsbury and long listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Her second novel Rest and Be Thankful was published by Bloomsbury in March 2020. She lives and works in London.

William Goldsmith
William Goldsmith
William is an illustrator and writer based in Moscow, where he teaches illustration at the British Higher School of Art and Design. His books include The Bind and Vignettes of Ystov, which was nominated for a Newton First Book Award. He was also included in Canongate’s list of Top 40 Future Storytellers. He was selected as a mentee on Scottish Book Trust’s mentorship scheme, and has just released his first children's book, Mark Anchovy: Pizza Detective.

Maya Goodfellow
Writer and academic Maya Goodfellow
Maya is a writer and academic. She has written for the New York Times, Guardian, the New Statesman, and others. She recently completed a PhD at SOAS, University of London, where she examined the role of race and processes of racialisation in British international development discourse. She is the author of Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Became Scapegoats.

Niven Govinden
Novelist and speaker Niven Govinden
Niven is the author of four previous novels, most recently All The Days And Nights which was longlisted for the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize. His second novel Graffiti My Soul is about to go into film production. His third novel Black Bread White Beer won the 2013 Fiction Uncovered Prize. He was a judge for the 2017 4th Estate/Guardian B4ME Prize. This Brutal House was shortlisted for the Gordon Burns Prize 2019.

Guy Gunaratne
Guy Gunaratne
Guy’s first novel In Our Mad and Furious City won the International Dylan Thomas Prize and the Jhalak Prize as well as the Authors Club Best First Novel Award. It was longlisted for the Booker Prize as well as the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize, Gordon Burn Prize and Writers Guild Awards in 2018. In 2019 he was appointed Fellow Commoner in the Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge.

Romesh Gunesekera
Romesh Gunekesera pic by Yemisi Blake
Romesh was born in Sri Lanka (1954). Before coming to Britain he also lived in the Philippines. He now lives in London. His widely acclaimed first novel, Reef (1994) was short-listed for the Booker Prize. In 1997 he was awarded the prestigious Italian prize: Premio Mondello Five Continents. Romesh has judged a number of literary prizes including the Caine Prize for African Writing and the Granta list of the Best of Young British Novelists.

Will Harris
Poet and critic Will Harris
Will is a poet and critic from London. He has had work published in The Guardian, The White Review, the TLS, and the London Review of Books. He is also the co-editor of the Spring 2020 issue of The Poetry Review.
His debut collection RENDANG (Granta) is the Poetry Book Society Choice for Spring.

Samantha Harvey
Samantha Harvey
Samantha (born 1975), is an English author and a lecturer at Bath Spa University. She has published four novels: The Wilderness (2009), All Is Song (2012), Dear Thief (2014) and The Western Wind (2018). Harvey published The Shapeless Unease: A Year of Not Sleeping, in 2020. It is a memoir of insomnia, grief, resistance and recovery, and was longlisted for the Booker Prize.

Philip Hoare
Award-winning author Philip Hoare
Philip’s books include biographies of Stephen Tennant and Noel Coward, Wilde’s Last Stand, Spike Island, and England’s Lost Eden. His book Leviathan or, The Whale won the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, followed by The Sea Inside (2013) and RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR (2017). Films include The Hunt for Moby-Dick, and I was a dark star always, celebrating Wilfred Owen’s love of the sea. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the Southampton University.

Soniah Kamal
Novelist and BookBound speaker Soniah Kamal
Soniah is an award-winning novelist, essayist, and public speaker. Her recent novel Unmarriageable is a Financial Times Readers’ Best Book of 2019, a 2019 Georgia Center For The Book “Book All Georgians Should Read”, and shortlistee for the 2020 Townsend Prize for Fiction. Her novel, An Isolated Incident (out July 2020), was finalist for the KLF French Fiction and Townsend prizes. Soniah’s writing has appeared worldwide, in publications including the New York Times. Her TEDx talk is about second chances.

Esther Kent
Esther Kent pic by Vicki McLean
Esther is an illustration and printmaking graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. She lives and works in Kinross, Scotland, drawing inspiration from childhood and everyday life and creating colourful work that communicates a sense of movement and joy. Her debut picture book Molly’s Circus is a story about the magic of an adventurous girl and a special mother-child relationship, told through vibrant, pattern-filled illustrations.

Intisar Khanani
Author and Speaker Intisar Khanani
Intisar grew up a nomad and world traveller. She has lived in five different US states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Her works include The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn.

Richard Lambert
Poet and short story writer Richard Lambert
Richard has had many different jobs including teaching medieval history. Based in Norfolk, he works for the NHS and writes stories and poems. One of his stories was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Short Story Award and another won the Fish Short Story Prize. His poems have been in the TLS, The Spectator, and The Forward Prize Anthology. Richard’s second poetry collection, The Nameless Places, was published in 2017. The collection was shortlisted for the East Anglian Book Awards.

David Lammy
MP and author David Lammy
David was born in London to Guianese parents and has served as the MP for Tottenham since 2000. He was the first black Briton to study at Harvard Law School and before entering politics practised as a barrister. David served as a minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. His first book, Out of the Ashes: Britain after the Riots, was published to widespread acclaim. Tribes: How Our Need to Belong Can Make or Break Society, is out now.

Georgina Lawton
Georgina Lawton pic by Alicia Canter/The Guardian
Georgina is a 27-year-old author, journalist and travel writer. A former Guardian Weekend columnist, her first book, Raceless, a memoir on family and identity, will be released in September 2020 with Sphere (UK) and Harper Collins (US). Her writing and speaking has been featured in: The Independent, Sky News, Ref29, Stylist, BBC Newsnight, Travel + Leisure, VICE, Suitcase, and Time Out London.

Winnie M Li
Winnie M Li
Winnie is the author of Dark Chapter, a fictional retelling of her own rape from both victim and perpetrator perspectives. Translated into ten languages, it won The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize, and was nominated for an Edgar Award and the Best First Novel Award. Winnie has appeared on the BBC, Sky, Channel 4, The Guardian, and TEDx London. She holds an honorary doctorate from the National University of Ireland in recognition of her writing and activism.

Becky Manawatu
Becky Manawatu pic by STUFF/Stewart Nimmo
Becky of Māori (Ngāi Tahu) whakapapa is a novelist and journalist who lives on the West Coast of Aotearoa New Zealand. Becky’s short story ‘Abalone’ was long-listed for the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and her essay ‘Mothers Day’ was selected for Landfall anthology Strong Words. Auē is her first novel and it is a finalist in the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction 2020.

Amber Massie-Blomfield
Creative non-fiction writer Amber Massie-Blomfield
Amber Massie-Blomfield is a creative nonfiction writer and arts producer. She has written for titles including The Independent, The Guardian, The Stage and Exeunt. Her first book, Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die was published in 2018 (Penned in the Margins).

Malachi McIntosh
Malachi McIntosh
Malachi is Editor and Publishing Director of Wasafiri magazine. Along with his books Emigration and Caribbean Literature, and Beyond Calypso: Re-Reading Samuel Selvon, his writing has appeared in the Caribbean Review of Books, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, the Guardian, The Journal of Romance Studies, Research in African Literatures, Under the Radar, and The Cambridge Companion to British Black and Asian Literature, among others. Prior to joining Wasafiri he was co-lead of the three-times award-winning Our Migration Story project.

Paul McVeigh
Prize-winning novelist Pail McVeigh
Paul won The Polari First Novel Prize for The Good Son and has twice received The McCrea Literary Award. His short stories have appeared in anthologies including Common People and Faber’s Being Various, as well as in The Irish Times and The London Magazine, on BBC Radio 4 and Sky Arts. He is co-founder of London Short Story Festival and editor of The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working Class Voices. Paul’s writing has been translated into seven languages.

Daniel Mella
Daniel Mella pic by Mauro Martella
Considered to be the ‘Dostoyevsky of the River Plate’, Daniel (Uruguay, 1976) published his first novel aged 21, followed shortly by two more, quickly gaining the reputation of a cult writer. After a decade without writing, he returned with a short story collection which won the Bartolomé Hidalgo Prize, Uruguay’s most prestigious literary prize. Older Brother first appeared in 2017, garnering jubilant press internationally and winning him the Bartolomé Hidalgo for the second time. It's his first book in English.

Paul Mendez
Writer and actor Paul Mendez
Paul was born and raised in the Black Country. He is studying for an MA in Black British Writing at Goldsmiths. He has been a performing member of two theatre companies, and worked as a voice actor, appearing on audiobooks by Andrea Levy, Paul Theroux and Ben Okri, most recently recording Ian Wright's A Life in Football. As a writer, he has contributed to the TLS and the Brixton Review of Books. Rainbow Milk is his debut novel.

Azadeh Moaveni
Azadeh Moaveni
Azadeh is a journalist, writer and academic who has been covering the Middle East for nearly two decades. She is the author of one of the defining books on Iranian youth culture, Lipstick Jihad, the memoir Honeymoon in Tehran, and co-author, with Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, of Iran Awakening. Azadeh is a lecturer in journalism at New York University. Her latest book, Guest House for Widows: Among the Women of ISIS is out now.

Sam Mills
Author and publisher Sam Mills
Sam is the author of the forthcoming memoir about being a carer, The Fragments of my Father (4th Estate July 2020), and essay Chauvo-Feminism (Indigo Press 2020). Her previous books include The Quiddity of Will Self and several award-winning YA novels. She is the co-founder of indie press Dodo Ink. She lives in south London with her father and cat.

Lola Olufemi
Writer, organiser and researcher Lola Olufemi
Lola is a black feminist writer, organiser and researcher from London. Her work focuses on the uses of the feminist imagination and its relation to liberated futures. She is the co-author of A FLY Girl's Guide to University: Being a Woman of Colour at Cambridge and Other Institutions of Power and Elitism (Verve Poetry Press, 2019), author of Feminism Interrupted: Disrupting Power (Pluto Press, 2020) and a member of 'bare minimum', an interdisciplinary anti-work arts collective.

Daniel Mallory Ortberg
Daniel Mallory Ortberg
Daniel is the co-founder of the Toast and the current Dear Prudence at Slate.
He is author of Texts From Jane Eyre, The Merry Spinster, and Something That May Shock and Discredit You.

Abi Palmer
Abi Palmer
Abi is an artist and writer exploring the relationship between linguistic and physical communication. Her work often touches on themes of disability, queerness, and multisensory innovation. Her debut book Sanatorium (Penned in the Margins) is a fragmented memoir that jumps between a luxury thermal spa and an inflatable bathtub. Leading up to her bathtub-based book launch on 20 April, she'll be live-streaming a bathtub-based variety show with very special guests every Monday evening on Instagram.

Michelle Paver
Michelle Paver pic by Anthony Upton
Michelle was born in Malawi and came to England as a child. She studied Biochemistry at Oxford University. Known for her meticulous method-approach to researching her novels, Michelle writes for both adults and children. It is for her prize-winning Wolf Brother series for children that she is best known. Wolf Brother was named one of The Times 100 Best Books of the Decade and the series has sold millions of copies across the globe.

Sarah Perry
Bestselling author and BookBound speaker Sarah Perry
Sarah’s first novel After Me Comes the Flood was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Folio Prize, and won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was a number one bestseller in hardback, Waterstones Book of the Year 2016, the British Book Awards Book of the Year 2017, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and Dylan Thomas Award, and longlisted for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction 2017.

Samuel Pollen
Samuel Pollen
Samuel grew up in Cheshire and now lives in London. He’s a writer, runner, crocheter and serial dog-botherer who recently ran the London Marathon for the first time, completing it in under three and a half hours. He works as a copywriter and in his spare time photographs his fiancée’s cookery creations, and writes teen and YA novels. The Year I Didn’t Eat came out of a post he wrote for Medium about managing Christmas with an eating disorder.

Clare Pooley
Blogger and Memoirist Clare Pooley
Clare graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge and spent twenty years in the heady world of advertising before becoming a full-time mum. She is the author of the hugely popular blog, Mummy was a Secret Drinker, under the pseudonym Sober Mummy and her memoir, The Sober Diaries was published by Hodder in 2017 to critical acclaim. Clare’s debut novel The Authenticity Project will be published in April 2020.

Max Porter
Award-winning novelist Max Porter
Max's first novel, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, won the Sunday Times/Peters, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year, the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Europese Literatuurprijs and the BAMB Readers' Award, and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize. His second book, Lanny, was longlisted for The Booker Prize 2019, and will be out in paperback in April 2020.

Renée pic by Doug Lilley
Renée, aged 90 and still writing, is regarded as a living legend in Aotearoa New Zealand. A novelist, poet and playwright of Māori (Ngāti Kahungunu) and Scottish/Irish descent, she has described herself as ‘a lesbian feminist with socialist working-class ideals’. Renée has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement and the Playmarket Award for significant artistic contribution to New Zealand theatre. Recent publications are the memoir These Two Hands and her first crime novel The Wild Card.

Cathy Rentzenbrink
Cathy Rentzenbrink
Cathy is author of The Last Act of Love and A Manual for Heartache. Her next book Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books will be published in September. Cathy chairs literary events, reviews books, runs creative writing workshops, and speaks and writes on life, death, love, and literature. Despite being shortlisted for various prizes, the only thing Cathy has ever won is the Snaith and District Ladies’ Darts Championship, aged 17. She is now sadly out of practice.

Dan Richards
Travel Writer Dan Richard
Dan writes about travel, culture and art. His first book, Holloway (Faber), written with Robert Macfarlane and Radiohead artist, Stanley Donwood, was a Sunday Times Bestseller. His latest book is Outpost: A Journey to the Wild Ends of the Earth (Canongate). He recently wrote for The Guardian about European night trains, and travelled to Finland to explore Tove Jansson’s life and work on the isle of Klovharun for the Economist’s 1843 Magazine. Dan is a co-curator of BookBound 2020.

Monique Roffey
Monique Roffey
Monique is an award-winning Trinidadian-born British writer of novels, essays, a memoir and literary journalism. Her latest novel is The Mermaid of Black Conch. Her novels have been shortlisted for several major awards. In 2013, Archipelago won the OCM BOCAS Award for Caribbean Literature. Her essays have appeared in The New York Review of Books, Boundless magazine, The Independent, Wasafiri, and Caribbean Quarterly. She is a founding member of XRWritersRebel, and a lecturer in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Susan Rudy
Susan Rudy
Susan is Director of the Centre for Poetry in the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London. Her research investigates the intersections between experimental writing, radical feminist theory, and gender ontoformativity. With Dr Georgina Colby, she founded SALON - LONDON: a site for responding to the present through women's experimental writing, and is currently working with collaborators across the UK to establish a Queer Poetics Research Network at Queen Mary's Centre for Poetry.

Annabelle Sami
Annabelle Sami pic by Alex Legge
Annabelle is a writer, director and performer. Reading children’s books when babysitting, she noticed a lack of representation of funny girls and diverse characters in children’s books. She decided to do something about it. Growing up mixed-race, she never found her own life reflected in a book. Now it’s her mission to make sure that every spirited, witty and adventurous girl has her own special book to relate to. Her middle-grade mystery series, Agent Zaiba Investigates, is published by Stripes.

Kim Sherwood
Kim Sherwood
Kim is an award-winning author and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing. Her debut novel, Testament (2018), explores the impact of the Holocaust on three generations of a family. Testament was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize, and won the Harper’s Bazaar Big Book of the Year. In 2019, Sherwood was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. Born in London, she now lives in Bath.

Nikesh Shukla
Novelist and screenwriter Nikesh Shukla
Nikesh is a novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of Coconut Unlimited (shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award), Meatspace and the critically acclaimed The One Who Wrote Destiny. Nikesh is a contributing editor to the Observer Magazine and was previously their columnist. Nikesh is the editor of the bestselling essay collection, The Good Immigrant, which won the reader's choice at the Books Are My Bag Awards. He co-edited The Good Immigrant USA with Chimene Suleyman.

Jamie Trower
Jamie Trower
Jamie is an Auckland poet and journalist who has published two poetry collections: A Sign of Light (The Cuba Press) and Anatomy (Mākaro Press) that take the reader into the world of a person living with a physical disability that is by turns thoughtful, angry and surreal. His poem ‘Stop/move’ was selected for Best New Zealand Poems 2017. He works for M2 magazine. ‘Fierce and untamed… inspirational without adjunct soppiness’ — Elizabeth Morton.

Anna Vaught
Novelist and poet Anna Vaught
Anna Vaught is a novelist, poet, essayist, short fiction writer, reviewer and editor; she is also a secondary English teacher, tutor and mentor to young people, mental health advocate, volunteer and mum to a large brood. Anna's third novel Saving Lucia, about Violet Gibson, the Irish aristocrat who shot Mussolini, was published by Bluemoose in April 2020. An update: sadly, Anna has needed to withdraw from the festival due to family illness. We leave her bio on this page in order to link to Saving Lucia, which she would have been discussing. Copies can be ordered directly from Bluemoose here.

Eleanor Wasserberg
Novelist and Bookbound speaker Eleanor Wasserberg
Eleanor Wasserberg is a graduate of the Creative Writing Programme at the University of East Anglia. Originally from Staffordshire, she now lives in Norwich. Her first novel, Foxlowe, was longlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and shortlisted for the 2016 East Anglian Book Awards. Her second novel, The Light At The End Of The Day, out in July 2020, is a story of exile, survival and how we remember what is lost.

Robert Webb
Memoirist and Actor Robert Webb
Robert is best known for his work as the Webb half of Mitchell and Webb in the Sony award-winning That Mitchell and Webb Sound and the Bafta award-winning That Mitchell & Webb Look, and as permanent man-boy Jeremy in the acclaimed Peep Show. His 2017 memoir How Not To Be a Boy was a number one Sunday Times bestseller. Robert has been a columnist for the Daily Telegraph and the New Statesman. Come Again is his first novel.

Alex Wheatle
Alex Wheatle
Born in 1963, Alex spent most of his childhood in social services care. A huge fan of reggae, in his mid-teens he was a founder member of the Crucial Rocker sound system, writing lyrics for performances in community halls, youth clubs and blues dances. His first novel, Brixton Rock (1999), was published to critical acclaim. His debut play Shame & Scandal (2015) was a sell-out success. Home Girl (2019) is the fourth in his award-winning Crongton series for young adults.

Jennifer Wong
Poet and BookBound speaker Jennifer Wong
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Jennifer is the author of two collections and a pamphlet, Diary of a Miu Miu Salesgirl (Bitter Melon Poetry 2019). Her new collection, Letters Home (Nine Arches Press 2020), which explores the complexities of history, migration and translation, has been named the PBS Wild Card Choice by Poetry Book Society. She has a creative writing PhD from Oxford Brookes University. Her poems have appeared in World Literature Today, Oxford Poetry and The Rialto.