Anna Hayward head shot

Anna Hayward – Chair of Trustees

Anna’s leadership career spans both business and charities. Over 30+ years, she has worked in health, travel and professional services, headed up two charities and now works as an independent consultant, focusing on strategy and communications. She is also a trained counsellor and supports charity leaders locally through mentoring.

Anna is a novelist and flash fiction writer. Her historical fiction, Broken Madonna, will be published late 2024. Like many writers, this is not her first novel, and her original connection with New Writing South was as part of the NWS10 scheme for talented emerging writers. Anna has received Arts Council funding for her writing and set up a long-standing writer’s development group. As a child of Italian immigrants, she is drawn to stories of belonging, identity and different cultures.

Anna Burtt headshot

Anna Burtt

Anna Burtt has worked in publishing for almost a decade. She is the host of the Brighton Book Club, a podcast dedicated to all things literary and bookish in Brighton & beyond, on Radio Reverb. She founded the West Hill Writers group which has run successfully for the last four years and extensive experience in organising, running and hosting events and writing retreats.


Petal Felix

Petal Felix

Petal Felix is a Journalist with over thirty years experience. She has produced and presented Radio 4 and BBC world service and also produced documentaries for the BBC and indies.

She was a contributing editor for a Woman’s press book, The Female Gaze, a non fiction book which looked at the role of women in popular culture.

She is particularly interested in books by black writers.


Abi Fellows headshot

Abi Fellows

Abi is a literary agent with over 20 years’ experience in the publishing industry, having started in bookselling at Blackwell’s in 2001. After a stint on the sales team of Faber and Faber, Abi began her agenting career with Georgina Capel Associates, spent several years as a literary scout at RR Ltd and returned to agenting at The Good Literary Agency, building a list focused on amplifying and championing writers from backgrounds that had traditionally been marginalised. In 2023, Abi joined DHH Literary Agency. Abi also has experience as a school governor with particular involvement in the schools literacy programmes and their work with children who have special educational needs and are disabled.

Katy Massey

Katy Massey


Are we home yet? Katy Massey’s childhood memoir was published in 2020 by Jacaranda and shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize in 2021. She worked as a journalist for many years before completing a PhD on memoir and race at Newcastle University. Alongside her own work, she has guided and published numerous emerging writers and initiated her own Arts Council-funded literature projects. She has published two anthologies of memoir: Tangled Roots: True Life Stories About Mixed Race Britain, featuring 30-plus contributions, and Who are we now? a collection of first-person experiences of the 2016 Brexit referendum. She lives in East Sussex with her family and has just finished writing her first novel.

Facebook.com/katymasseyauthor Twitter: @Tangledroots1 Katymassey.com.

Akila Richards 


Akila is an award-winning poet, writer and spoken word artist, performing and collaborating nationally and internationally. Her work features in collaboration with artists and genres for theatre, film, visual arts and digital platforms. Her portfolio includes facilitating and initiating creative and cultural events, offering creative workshops, managing projects and providing mentoring and coaching to writers.

Akila’s poetry and prose are published in Covert Magazine, Creative Future, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Peepal Tree, Penguin, Waterloo Press, Brighton Festival and online platforms. Her latest fiction is included in the speculative anthology Glimpse at Peepal Tree Press. She is currently completing her first poetry pamphlet Ritual for a Mango and first novel for publishing.



Vedrana Velickovic

Vedrana Velickovic  

Dr Vedrana Velickovic is Principal Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Brighton where she convenes modules on Queer Writing, Black British, Postcolonial and European Literatures. She is the author of Eastern Europeans in Contemporary Literatures and Cultures: Imagining New Europe (Palgrave 2019) and several articles on Black British and post-Yugoslav women’s writers, BrexLit and post-communism. She is also a member of the New Writing South’s Executive Board and co-founder (with Dr Vy Rajapillai) of the DeCol Collective.