Our Authors (in alphabetical order)
Author of Look At All The Women
Cathy Bryant was born in 1967 in Hampshire, but moved around a lot as a child. At the age of nine she moved to Lancashire and loved it; at the age of eighteen she moved to Manchester and settled there. Among the many jobs she has done are: civil servant, nursery assistant and life model.
She submitted her first pieces of work to magazines only because her best friend blackmailed her into it, seven years ago. She did it to prove to him that no one would want to publish them — and she was delighted to be wrong.
Cathy has won ten literary awards, including the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Prize in 2012 and a Creative Literary Futures Gold Award, and has also blogged for the Huffington Post. Her work has been published all over the world in such publications as Third Wednesday, The Rialto website and Popshot. She co-edited the anthologies Best of Manchester Poets Vols. 1, 2 and 3 and her first book, Contains Strong Language and Scenes of a Sexual Nature was published in 2010.
Working around her disabilities and health problems, Cathy writes whenever she can. Her current projects include a Jane Austen themed comedy novel, and a possible e-book about how to win writing competitions. The oddest thing that ever happened to Cathy was being struck by lightning and bitten by a poisonous spider on the same day, at a wedding in a field in Tennessee.
More about Cathy can be found here: http://cathybryant.co.uk
Author of Echolocation
Becky Cherriman is a commissioned writer, creative writing facilitator and prize-winning performer based in Leeds. Her work is informed by the belief that not only do writing and the spoken word help us to make sense of the world and our place in it but that they provide us with the tools to transform our lives. A culture junkie, she also enjoys country walks; running; cycling and wild water swimming, particularly under a full moon.
Becky’s writing has been published by Bloodaxe, Mslexia, New Walk, Envoi, Mother’s Milk; in Poets For Corbyn, on umbrellas and on the walls of a recording studio. A frequent collaborator, her work has been translated into opera, film, art and into Italian for the socialist magazine Internazionale. She was resident poet for Morley Literature Festival in 2013 and has had pieces commissioned by The Hepworth Wakefield, The Rotunda Museum, Humbermouth Literature Festival, Imove and Grassington Festival.
Shortlisted in international competitions such as The Fish Short Story Prize and The Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, she has won awards in several poetry competitions including first prize for The Speakeasy Open, second prize in the Ilkley Literature Open Mic and runner up in the Yorkshire Open.
For the last thirteen years, Becky’s main occupation has been facilitating workshops with various community groups and schools. She works regularly for a number of key organisations and charities including Ilkley Literature Festival and is well-respected locally for her work. A current project is Haunt, an Imove commission involving writer Steve Toase and people experiencing homelessness or vulnerable housing.
She is currently seeking an agent for her second, magical realist, novel.
Echolocation is published by Mother’s Milk Books and is her first pamphlet. Her first full collection, Empires of Clay was published in November 2016 by Cinnamon Press.
The image of Becky is by Layla Legard.
Author of Milestones of Motherhood (to be published in 2017)
Part of my personal philosophy is the understanding that we humans are physical, mental, emotional and spiritual beings living within, and supported by, the natural world. My writing explores the interactions between these various aspects of ourselves. The central passions of my work are transformation, connection, nurture and inspiration.
I hope my writing will inspire and empower others to explore and connect with the strength, peace and wisdom we all hold within ourselves.
Becoming a mother has, for myself, been a deeply transformative process. Experiencing pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and conscious mothering has inspired me to explore these ordinary, everyday miracles through my writing.
Through learning to love and meet the needs of my babies and children I have learned so much about myself, as well as having the blessed privilege of watching my children grow and unfold a little more each day.
It is this transformation of women as we become mothers which is the subject of my first book Milestones of Motherhood. I explore the ways in which having, loving and nurturing children leads to change and growth within mothers themselves.
More about Clare can be found here: http://www.beautifulbeginnings.org.uk/clareswriting/
Co-author of Hearth
Sarah James is a prize-winning journalist, fiction writer and poet, who also enjoys creative collaboration and poetry film. Hearth is her first poetry duet but she has three solo poetry collections (with Circaidy Gregory Press and Knives, Forks and Spoons Press). Her debut, Into the Yell, won third prize in the multi-genre International Rubery Book Awards 2011.
A regular guest poet at spoken word events and festivals, Sarah read alongside Bernard O’Donoghue at the 2013 Cheltenham Poetry Festival and was a guest poet in Cork and Limerick in July 2013, after being selected for that year’s Coventry-Cork twin city poets exchange. She also performed at Ledbury Poetry Festival 2013 and read in the Carol Ann Duffy and Friends series at the Royal Exchange in Manchester in 2014.
Currently based in Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, UK, Sarah runs the Poetry Society’s Worcestershire Stanza and she is secretary of Droitwich Arts Network. In 2013, she set up a small poetry press: V. Press.
Inspiration keeps her awake, her battered laptop keeps her company and her two sons keep her smiling.
More about Sarah can be found here: www.sarah-james.co.uk
Author of Maysun and the Wingfish
Alison Lock’s poetry and short stories have appeared in anthologies and journals in the UK and internationally. Her work has won prizes in The London Magazine, The Sentinel Literary Quarterly Review, and was semi-finalist in the Carve Esoteric Prize 2014. Her stories have been published in reviews, journals, and anthologies, including: The London Magazine, Firewords, The Copperfield Review, Deep Water Literary Journal, Momaya Annual Review.
Her first poetry collection, A Slither of Air, was winner of the 2011 Indigo Dreams Poetry Collection Competition. She was Poet-in-residence at Holmfirth Arts Festival 2012 and her poem ‘Eye of the Heron’ was performed at the launch the following year. Her poetry has also featured in anthologies including: Virginia Warbey (2010), Soul Feathers Macmillan Anthology (2012), Musings on Mothering (2012), and Hildegard: visions and inspiration (2014), amongst others. Her second poetry collection Beyond Wings (IDP 2015) connects an inner world with an exploration of the land and a love of nature, through poetry, prose, and haibun.
She has also published a short story collection, Above the Parapet (IDP 2013). She has an MA in Literature Studies and facilitates Transformative Life Writing courses.
More about Alison can be found here: http://www.alisonlock.com/
Author of Oy Yew
I love all things wild. I forage and grow anything that will survive the wild haven that is my allotment. Wild air is underrated as nourishment. I’m agitated in the absence of books and drained by the presence of TV. I’m a hoarder and I dress out of charity shops. I run a meditation group.
I left school at 16. I have worked as a waitress, a hospital technician and a tutor. While my children were small I did an arts degree with the OU. A family business pays the bills - just. I gave up on surplus some years ago to do what I love, roam the Mendips and write.
My father was a Tongan heavyweight boxer. He sparred with Rocky Marciano, mixed with the Krays, trained a ladies’ football team, got shot in the stomach and had countless children. My mother was an innocent. (There’s a book in there.)
More about Ana can be found here: http://anasalote.blogspot.co.uk/
Rebecca Ann Smith
Author of Baby X
I have been writing stories and poems my whole life, but working on it seriously for the last ten years. I write novels for adults, teenagers and children. My first novel, Baby X was published in 2016.
I’m interested in creativity, feminism and social justice; I blog about swimming, parenting, writing and random stuff I like…
I am a keen swimmer, though my technique leaves much to be desired.
More about Rebecca can be found here: http://www.rebeccaannsmith.co.uk/
Author of Letting Go and co-author of Hearth
Angela Topping writes for both adults and children and her work is family-friendly. She has run workshops and given readings for many years and performed at festivals including StAnza, Ledbury, Cheltenham Poetry, Wenlock Poetry, Sefton Arts and others. She has headlined at many poetry nights including at The Poetry Cafe in London, Word Soup in Preston, Zest! in Chester, The Bluecoat Chambers in Liverpool and many others. She loves doing library events, and led several for Time to Read, a North West reading development initiative. Among her ten solo publications with reputable publishers, two are for children.
Angela is a poetry expert, with a background in education (teaching English and Drama from 1992 – 2009). She has co-authored textbooks on poetry for Oxford University Press and written several critical books for Greenwich Exchange. She has carried about many poets in schools all over the country. Angela collaborated with artist Maria Walker and their work has toured Cheshire and appeared in Scotland. Some of the poems from The Lightfoot Letters exhibition are included in Letting Go. In 2013, she won first prize in Buzzwords competition and in 2012 was highly commended in the Cheshire High Sherriff’s prize for Children’s Literature. Her work has appeared in over 60 anthologies published by Macmillan, OUP, Red Squirrel, Collins and many others. She has edited and co-edited several anthologies, for example Sculpted, Poems of The North West (2013) and The Robin Hood Book (2012), which was a book of protest poems against the austerity cuts. In 2013, she was awarded a prestigious residency at Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden, where she led a workshop and led two evening events, as well as developing new poems.
More about Angela can be found here: http://angelatopping.wordpress.com