Anna Burtt has worked in publishing for almost a decade and is currently Head of Events at global writing consultancy, Jericho Writers. 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.
Anna co-wrote Little Book of Ick and has recently finished her first novel, which is set in Yorkshire and explores grief, sexuality, intergenerational friendships and drag.
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 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.
Anna is a communications consultant, mentor, charity leader and linguist. Alongside a marketing career in the corporate sector, Anna trained as a Relate counsellor and NLP Master Practitioner and went on to establish two consultancy businesses, specialising in internal communications and wellbeing and maternity management. She now focuses on change and effective communications and her clients include HR and Wellbeing professionals in large organisations, and she also supports charity leaders locally through mentoring.
Anna is a novelist and flash fiction writer and is currently editing her second novel, Broken Madonna. With her first novel, she was part of New Writing South’s 10 for talented emerging writers, received Arts Council funding and set up a long-standing writers’ development group. As a child of Italian immigrants, she is drawn to stories of belonging, identity and different cultures.
Anita has delivered theatre and writing workshops for 25 years working extensively with a huge variety of communities including elders, families and young offenders, predominantly in the areas of mental health and learning disabilities. She has in-depth experience of accessibility, participation and inclusion.
Anita is also a writer of poetry, plays, graphic novels and short stories. Writing as Anita Karla Kelly, her stage play, Buzzing, was part of Bristol Old Vic’s Rep season 2020. She has been part of the new writing groups at Royal Court Theatre and Graeae, and her monologue Flesh, was voted as one of the top eight monologues written in lockdown by The Guardian. Her poetry and short stories have been published in Dangerous Women, Comma Press, Bath Flash Fiction and more.
Anita is currently writing a graphic novel Land of the Pretty funded by the Arts Council.
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 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.
David Sheppeard – Chair of Trustees
David co-founded the Marlborough Productions in 2009. His work for the company has encompassed a wide range of projects from the groundbreaking national LGBTQIA+ touring theatre project New Queers on the Block to the heritage project Queer in Brighton. He specialises in work made for unusual contexts that challenges notions about how and where queer led work can be presented.
David continues to develop his own artistic work as a writer and performer.
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.