Registered charity 1059047 (unmaintained legacy site – official site: www.nawg.co.uk)

The National Association of Writers' Groups

HomeEventsNAWGFest ♦ NAWGFest 2018: Tutors & Speakers

NAWGFest 2018: 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.

Milly Johnson – After-Dinner Speaker

Milly Johnson

Milly Johnson is a Sunday Times bestselling novelist of 14 books, with over 1 million sales worldwide, and was nominated for the Melissa Nathan award for romantic comedy in 2012.

She is also a joke writer, after dinner speaker, poet, newspaper columnist and winner of Come Dine with Me.

Milly is a born and bred Yorkshire lass but is half Glaswegian, so don't mess. She lives in Barnsley with her family and other animals.

Her latest book, The Perfectly Imperfect Woman was published in February 2018.

millyjohnson.co.uk • @millyjohnsonfacebook

Jay Margrave – Saturday Speaker

Jay Margrave

Jay Margrave has always written, including textbooks, modern novels, short stories and poetry, but since being involved in setting up the small publishing house, Goldenford Publishers Limited, has now published five historical novels, all in different periods.


Title for the talk: From Jamaica to the Crimea – a research journey. Further details on the talks page.

Julie Bokowiec – Tutor

Julie Bokowiec

Julie is an award winning playwright and theatre artist. She has written and directed original drama and music theatre works in association with Opera North and Trestle Theatre Company and has been commissioned by the Royal Theatre of Bath, Bradford Theatres, Harrogate International Festival, and the Lawrence Batley Theatre among others.

Her critically acclaimed play, The Last Cuckoo starring Paul Copley and Olivia Vinall was nominated for the 20th Meyer-Whitworth Award 2011 (Royal National Theatre). Commissions include Lost Boy Racer for the Yorkshire Festival 2014, touring as part of the Tour de France, Grand Depart, and two film shorts (Screen Yorkshire & UK Film Council).

Julie regularly teaches script writing and performance skills at a number of universities, including MMU, Manchester University and has developed courses for UCLAN, USCD and LIPA. She is currently a visiting research fellow at the University of Huddersfield. With a strong international reputation for pioneering interactive performance practices, Julie has been artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre, Canada and recently at the AniMart Festival in Delphi, Greece. She will be developing new work in residency at the Arsenic Foundation in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2018. In addition, Julie is currently working on a series of radio plays and a new touring theatre production for 2019.


Morgen Bailey – Tutor

Morgen Bailey

Morgen Bailey (Morgen with an E) is a multi-genre author, freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor, Writers' Forum magazine columnist, blogger, speaker, competition judge/host, and co-founder of Northants Authors.


At NAWGFest 2018 she'll be giving her Editing Fiction weekend residential course.

James Nash – Tutor

James Nash

James Nash is writer and a poet. A long-term resident of Leeds, his third collection of poems, Coma Songs was published in 2003 and reprinted in 2006. He has two poems in Branch-Lines (Enitharmon Press 2007) among fifty contemporary poets, including Seamus Heaney and U. A. Fanthorpe.

He is a well-known provider of creative writing workshops in schools, universities and in the community, and is regularly called on as a host of literary events.

Some Things Matter: 63 Sonnets is the fourth collection of his poetry, published by Valley Press. Highlights from the three previous collections, along with some non-sonnet material, were also published by Valley Press as an ebook in April 2012, under the title A Bit of an Ice Breaker: Selected and Uncollected Poems.

James Nash

Most recently he has a poem in Spokes, an anthology produced by Otley Word Feast to celebrate the Grand Depart of the Tour de France from Yorkshire.

Cinema Stories written with poet Matthew Hedley Stoppard was published in August 2015. It celebrates the history of cinema and the picture house in Leeds, in a series of poems and photographs. His next collection A Bench for Billie Holiday will be published in 2018.


Ken MacLeod – Tutor

Ken MacLeod

Ken Macleod was born in Stornaway and lives in West Lothian.

He has Honours and Masters degrees in biological subjects and has worked for some years in the IT industry.

Since 1997 he has been a full time writer. He is the author of 16 novels from The Star Fraction (1995) to the Corporation Wars trilogy: Emergence, the final instalment (2017), plus many articles and short stories. His novels and stories have received three BSFA awards and three Prometheus Awards and several have been short-listed for the Clarke and Hugo Awards.

In 2009 he was Writer in Residence at the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum at the Creative Writing Course at Napier University. He was guest selector for the Science Fiction Strand of the Edinburgh Book Festival.

Blog: The Early Days of a Better Nation

Twitter: @amendlocke

Simon Hall – Tutor

Simon Hall

Simon Hall is an author of crime fiction and a BBC Television News Correspondent.

His books – the tvdetective series – are about a television reporter who covers crimes and gets so involved in the cases he helps the police to solve them. Seven have been published.

Simon has also contributed short stories to a range of magazines, written plays, and even a pantomime.

Alongside his novels and stories, Simon is a tutor in creative writing, teaching at popular writers' schools, on cruise ships and overseas. Dozens of former students say he helped to get their work published.

Simon has become sought after as a speaker, appearing at a variety of prestigious literary festivals. His talks combine an insight into his writing work, along with some extraordinary anecdotes from the life of a television reporter, including the now notorious story of: What to do when you really need a dead otter?

He also regularly contributes articles to publications such as Writing Magazine and Writers' Forum.

Now 48 years old, he began a broadcasting career as a DJ on the radio and in nightclubs, then moved into radio and TV news. He worked in Europe, London and Ireland before settling in Devon.

Simon is married to Jess, Director of Libraries at Cambridge University, and has an adopted daughter, Niamh. She's an army officer, which makes her father both very proud and very nervous.

Simon lectures on careers in the media at colleges and universities, as well as giving talks about the industry at schools. Amongst his proudest achievements, Simon includes the number of young people he has helped into jobs in broadcasting, and aspiring writers into publication.

As for his likes, Simon lists beer – he judges at real ale festivals – walking the countryside, solving cryptic crosswords, composing curious tweets and studying pop lyrics.

www.thetvdetective.com • @SimonHallNews

Steve Bowkett – Tutor

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.


Early Bird Workshop

Look out for Steve's early bird workshop, when you arrive on Friday afternoon.

There will be an 'open to all' session to get the creative juices going and give you a kick start for the weekend of learning.

Steve will be in the Chancellor's Suite, another floor up from the Bar Fusion area, in the Rootes building to welcome you to this fun workshop. Open from 3:30 pm — 4:30 pm, you are welcome at any time, no official start.

No need to book, just come with a pen and writing pad.

Article Actions
Article Information
Posted by: Kevin Machin Date: October 11, 2017 2:25 pm
Categories: NAWGFest, People Tags: NAWGFest 2018
Comments: 0 – permitted Article: 5903 – public
Legacy copy – all further commenting is disabled site-wide.

article as:

Get Creative logo

Competition & Mentorships

We are proud to be associated with the Highlands & Islands Short Story Association.



  • Book Printing
  • Self Publishing
  • Anthologies
  • Hard and Soft Back Book Production
  • Free guide and sample book

CMP (uk) Ltd

G3 The Fulcrum, Vantage Way, Poole, Dorset, BH12 4HU

Telephone: 01202 739993