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HomeEventsNAWGFest ♦ NAWGFest 2017: Tutors & Speakers

NAWGFest 2017: Tutors & Speakers

Please note that the information given here relates to a previous event.

You can visit our NAWGFest main page for the latest information.

Here are photos and mini-biographies of the festival tutors and speakers. They're listed in the order that they appear in the NAWGFest brochure.

Anita Loughrey

Anita Loughrey

Anita Loughrey was a primary school teacher for seventeen years. She decided to become a full-time writer after the birth of her third child. She now has over 80 books published in the UK and many more worldwide. She writes teacher resources, educational fiction and non-fiction on a wide variety of subjects for a wide range of publishers.

Anita also has two monthly columns in the national writing magazine Writers' Forum, one on 'Writing for Children' and another about 'Research Secrets'. She is also a consultant for a variety of educational publishers helping them to match resources to the current national curriculum.

Anita's favourite toy as a child was the typewriter she wrote her autobiography with at the age of ten. As nothing exciting ever happened, she made most of it up. Her interests include writing, reading children's books, knitting, dancing and camping with her family in their VW campervan. She reckons there is nothing better than sleeping under the stars and cooking in the great outdoors, as long as it isn't raining.

You can find out more about Anita Loughrey on her website: www.anitaloughrey.com.

Stephen Booth

Photo: Stephen Booth

Best-selling crime novelist Stephen Booth is a former newspaper journalist and the author of 17 novels featuring Derbyshire police detectives Ben Cooper and Diane Fry. He has been shortlisted for CWA Dagger awards in the UK four times and is a Dagger in the Library winner. In the USA, Stephen has twice won the award for Best British Crime Novel of the Year.

His books are translated into 16 languages, and are currently in development for a TV series. Stephen also leads crime writing courses for Writing School East Midlands.

His latest novels are Secrets of Death and Dead in the Dark.

Cressida Downing

Cressida Downing

Cressida Downing, The Book Analyst, has worked in publishing and bookselling for over 25 years. As a freelance editorial consultant, she works for literary agents, publishers and directly for authors.

She is a regular guest blogger at the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook.

She would buy books rather than clothes or food, and lives in East Anglia with two children, two cats, and one husband.

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Tim Wilson

Tim Wilson

Tim Wilson has enormous experience as both writer and teacher. He took the MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where he studied under Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter, and has been a professional writer since 1986.

He has had thirty novels professionally published and translated into eleven languages. His Robert Fairfax historical mystery series, written under the pen-name Hannah March, was twice shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger, and has recently been re-released in e-book by Headline. He has recently written on Shakespeare for the New York Times and the Huffington Post.

Tim with cat

His historical novels written under the pen-name Jude Morgan have attracted rave reviews from Hilary Mantel, Tracy Chevalier and Joanna Trollope. His novel about the Brontës, The Taste of Sorrow, was short-listed for the Portico Prize 2010 and has been optioned for TV serialisation by BBC Wales.

He has taught Creative Writing at City College Peterborough and elsewhere for 17 years, and is a Member of the Society of Authors.

Tim's latest novel, The Secret Life of William Shakespeare, written as Jude Morgan, is his 30th published book.

Alison Chisholm

Alison Chisholm

Alison Chisholm writes poetry columns for Writing Magazine and has written instructional, humorous and autobiographical articles for magazines and radio.

Author of eleven collections of poetry, a poetry correspondence course and a range of writers' textbooks, she has taught creative writing for 30 years, gives talks, readings and workshops, and works as an adjudicator and poetry consultant.

Steve Bowkett

Photo: Steve Bowkett

Steve Bowkett qualified as a hypnotherapist in 1991 and has worked with many hundreds of people since then on a wide range of issues. He is a member of the Hypnotherapy Association and has run his Learn Self Hypnosis course for a number of years at places like Writers' Holiday and NAWGFest.

Steve began writing for pleasure when he was twelve. He taught secondary English for twenty years and has been a fulltime freelance author and education consultant since 1994. Over the years he has visited hundreds of schools to do storytelling sessions, run creative writing and thinking workshops, give talks about writing and run INSET courses on thinking skills, creativity, writing and emotional resourcefulness.

His first book, published in 1985, was a fantasy novel for pre-teen readers. Further early published work consists of fantasy and SF for teenagers. He has since diversified into adult and teen horror, teen romance, mainstream fiction for pre-teens, fiction and non-fiction for younger readers, educational non-fiction, and poetry for all ages.

To date he has published 77 titles, including fiction for all ages, educational books, and numerous short stories and poems. His next book, Jumpstart Wellbeing, is being published by Routledge in early 2017.

He lives near Market Harborough with his wife Wendy and a menagerie of animals.


Fran Flint

Fran Flint

Fran is a member of the Coventry Writers Hub. She has been writing mainly short stories since her school days and enjoys the opportunity to "just be" with her fellow writers.

She has over 20 years experience of working in the mental health field as a counsellor and mental health practitioner, and finds meditation, writing, walking and having a good old day dream (something she was always told off about at school!) a great way keeping mentally healthy.

FootFall – reflexology, Indian head massage, stress management, reiki.

Peter Robinson

Peter Robinson is best known for his novels, set in North Yorkshire, featuring Inspector Alan Banks. The books form the inspiration for the popular television series, DCI Banks. His latest book is When the Music is Over. Intriguing, as his stories have strong threads of music and poetry. There is a podcast from The Next Track where Peter discusses his use of music.

I can highly recommend this internationally renowned author's work and am delighted that he is able to join us at NAWGFest before he flies back to Toronto.

— Anne Steward.

Longer biography below…

Peter Robinson

Photograph © Pal Hansen.

Peter Robinson was born in Yorkshire. After getting his BA Honours Degree in English Literature at the University of Leeds, he came to Canada and took his MA in English and Creative Writing at the University of Windsor, with Joyce Carol Oates as his tutor, then a PhD in English at York University. He has taught at a number of Toronto community colleges and universities and served as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Windsor, 1992—93.

His first novel, Gallows View (1987), introduced Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. It was short-listed for the John Creasey Award in the UK and the Crime Writers of Canada best first novel award. A Dedicated Man followed in 1988 and was short-listed for the CWC's Arthur Ellis Award. A Necessary End and The Hanging Valley, both Inspector Banks novels, followed in 1989, and the latter was nominated for an Arthur. Both received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly in the US.

Caedmon's Song, the first departure from the series, was published in 1990 and was also nominated for an Arthur. (It was reissued in the UK by Macmillan in September, 2003, and was published for the first time in the US by Avon Dark Passage in September, 2004, as The First Cut.) The fifth Inspector Banks novel, Past Reason Hated, won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel in 1992. The sixth, Wednesday's Child, was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Final Account (UK Dry Bones that Dream) appeared in 1994 and won an Author’s Award from the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters in 1995.

The eighth Inspector Banks novel, Innocent Graves (1996) was picked as one of Publishers Weekly's best mysteries of 1996 and selected as "page-turner of the week" by People magazine. Innocent Graves was also nominated for a Hammett Award for "literary excellence in the field of crime writing" by the International Association of Crime Writers, and won the author his second Arthur Ellis Award for best novel. In a Dry Season, the tenth in the series, won the Anthony and Barry awards for best novel and was nominated for the Edgar, Hammett, Macavity and Arthur Ellis Awards. In 2001, it also won France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière and Sweden's Martin Beck Award. It was also a New York Times "notable book" of 1999. The next book Cold is the Grave, won the Arthur Ellis Award and was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. In 2006 it won the Danish Palle Rosenkrantz Award. Aftermath appeared in 2002 and made the top ten in both the UK and Canadian bestseller lists, where it reached number one.

In 2002, Robinson was awarded the "Dagger in the Library" by the CWA. The thirteenth Banks novel, The Summer that Never Was (US Close to Home), appeared on the New York Times expanded bestseller list in February, 2003, and on both the UK and Canadian bestseller lists and was nominated for an Arthur Ellis and an Anthony award. Playing with Fire, published in January, 2004, was nominated for both the Arthur Ellis and Hammett awards. Strange Affair (January, 2005) was nominated for Arthur Ellis and a Macavity awards. The books have been translated into nineteen languages. Piece of My Heart appeared in 2006, and in 2007, Friend of the Devil reached Number One in the Sunday Times hardcover bestseller list. In January, 2008, Robinson was presented with the Celebrates Reading Award by the Toronto Libraries.

Peter Robinson with book

Peter presenting his latest book.

Robinson has also published many short stories. Innocence won the CWC Best Short Story Award, 1991. The Two Ladies of Rose Cottage, which appeared in Malice Domestic 6, edited by Anne Perry, in April 1997, won the Macavity Award and was nominated for both the Agatha and Arthur Ellis awards. It was also performed, with music and songs by Eliza Carthy, at the Beverley Folk Festival, Yorkshire, in 2006. His first collection of short stories, Not Safe After Dark and Other Stories, was published in 1998 by Crippen & Landru. An expanded version, including the Banks novella Going Back, was published by McClelland & Stewart in Canada and Macmillan in the UK in September, 2004. Murder in Utopia won Robinson his fifth Ellis Award in 2001, and the same year Missing in Action won the Edgar Award. In 2007, Robinson edited The Penguin Book of Crime Stories, which was published to great critical acclaim. His most recent stories appear in The Blue Religion, a Mystery Writers of America anthology edited by Michael Connelly, and Toronto Noir, published by Akashic Books and edited by Janine Armin and Nathaniel G. Moore.

Recent titles include: All the Colours of Darkness (2008), Bad Boy (2010), Watching the Dark (2012), Children of the Revolution (2013), Abattoir Blues (2014) published in the USA as In the Dark Places, When the Music's Over (2016), Sleeping in the Ground (2017).

Robinson now divides his time between Toronto and Richmond, North Yorkshire. In 2006 he was invited to join The Detection Club.

More on Peter's website

Hattie Grunewald

Hattie Grunewald

Hattie Grunewald graduated from University of East Anglia in 2013 with a BA in English and Creative Writing, and started work as an intern at Blake Friedmann the next week. She assists across the book department, handles short fiction and permissions on behalf of Blake Friedmann clients, and is now beginning to build her own list.

Specifically (but not exclusively), Hattie loves: love stories, especially slow-burners or ones disguised as something else; dysfunctional families (particularly step families, or dads who are neither deadbeats nor heroes); large sprawling casts of diverse and believable characters; authors from under-represented backgrounds; books that aren't afraid to call themselves feminist; books about mental health; blogs and tweets and writers that understand social media; pop culture; anything to do with food.

Hattie is also a poet. Her first pamphlet was published by Nasty Little Press in 2013, and one of her poems also appeared on tube trains across London as part of the Poems on the Underground scheme.

Kate Nash

Kate Nash

Kate started her working life in market research before moving into marketing and public relations where she became head of marketing and communications for a dot com before becoming co-director of an innovative marketing and publicity company that worked for a number of UK publishers, authors and book prizes.

Kate understands what it's like being an author; she's had a number of her own novels published. The stress of climbing the slush pile led her to found the UK's leading conference for aspiring novelists with Writers' Workshop: the York Festival of Writing. She founded the Kate Nash Literary Agency in January 2009.

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Posted by: Kevin Machin Date: January 31, 2017 11:30 am
Categories: NAWGFest, People Tags: photos, NAWGFest 2017, past
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