TLC Readers

At TLC we work with an excellent team of highly skilled editors, writers and poets, many of whom have received particular acclaim. Some specialize in very specific genres, like children’s stories, or fantasy, others read across a wider range of work, but all have the particular sensitivity and skills needed to critique the work of others.

Our readers form an incomparable team. Their many achievements are too numerous to list fully here, but between them they have published numerous books, won dozens of awards, commissioned work for leading publishing houses and literary agencies, produced award winning theatre and radio plays, tutored creative writing at UEA, Birkbeck, Goldsmiths and the OUP, worked as writers in residence around the world, and more.

Jane Adams

Jane Adams is the author of twenty novels, published by Macmillan, Allison & Busby and Severn House (also as Jane A Adams) and a number of short stories both in the UK and USA in the Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror genre. Ghostly and carefully subverted Sci-Fi elements frequently also find their way into her Crime novels, (Bird, The Angel Gateway, Like Angels Falling, for example). Her first novel, The Greenway, was nominated for both the CWA John Creasey award and the Authors’ Club award for most promising first novel. Her novels have been translated into a dozen languages. She has taught creative writing at all levels from beginner to MA and also mentored other writers. She was the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Leicester University and then at DeMontfort University from 2005-9 and is returning to the RLF this autumn, when she will be at Nottingham Trent. She is currently working on another Crime novel in the Naomi Blake series and also a Fantasy aimed at the Young Adult market. Jane runs hauntedstair.blogspot together with young adult author Stuart Hill and she also has her own blog at:

For TLC Jane reads fantasy, sci-fi, crime and thrillers


Kate Ahl

Kate Ahl is a freelance editor who has long inhabited two very different literary worlds: academic publishing, and commercial women's fiction, including romance and erotica.  Having worked with academic publishers Routledge and Pearson, where she commissioned and developed approachable humanities titles - including books in the Thinking in Action series,  a 'grown-up' list of York Notes for literature undergraduates, and Andrew Cowan's intimate and elegant The Art of Writing Fiction - she jumped rails and moved to fiction publishing, acquiring and developing titles for Harlequin Mills & Boon, Carina UK, Mira Ink and boutique digital publishers Bookouture.  While she maintains a lively interest in helping early career academics revise their PhDs for publication, and is a reader for OUP's Very Short Introductions series, the bulk of her work in recent years has involved coaching burgeoning romance and erotica authors through the twists and turns of world-building, characterisation, conflict, and writing good sex – an activity that is given a lively underpinning by her training as a psychotherapist.

For TLC Kate reads romance, erotica, and women's commercial fiction


Noga Applebaum

Noga Applebaum has a PhD in Children’s Literature from Roehampton University. Her book, Representations of Technology in Science Fiction for Young People, was published by Routledge in 2009. She currently lectures on Children’s Literature at the Open University and teaches creative writing for people wishing to write for children and teens at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute. Noga participated in the three volumes of the Ultimate Book Guide and regularly interviews children’s authors and reviews new titles for several websites. In the past Noga worked for Booktrust and piloted a national creative writing programme for teenagers. She is twice winner of the London Writers’ Competition and is busy working on her first YA novel.

For TLC Noga reads children's and YA fiction


Sue Atkinson

Sue Atkinson was a teacher and researcher in primary education for several years publishing academic books and articles, and also books for teachers and children, both fiction and non-fiction. She runs workshops on writing for children and tutors over the internet. She has written several ‘life writing’ books and Climbing out of Depression (Lion 1993) has been translated into 12 languages. Her book, Breaking the Chains of Abuse (Lion 2006), is about her journey of recovery from childhood sexual abuse. Her latest book Struggling to Forgive: Moving on from Trauma is due out later this year.

For TLC Sue reads children's fiction and non-fiction, life writing, and memoir


Frankie Bailey

Frankie Bailey began her scriptwriting career in 1989, successfully squeezing through the narrow aperture of “sitcom” (Birds of a Feather, Love Hurts, Lenny Henry Show) and surviving relatively unscathed to go on to write for medical and legal ‘precinct’ drama series (Casualty, Crown Prosecutor, Peak Practice and Heartbeat). Her recent Radio 4 drama (Signs and Wonders) received glowing press reviews.

She has a distinguished background in English Literature and History, but it hasn’t held her back in the least! She also specialises in historical fiction and biography and is currently writing a stage play about American novelist and playwright Carson McCullers.

For TLC Frankie reads non-fiction (scripts, screenplays, biography and autobiography) and fiction (historical)


Elspeth Barker

Elspeth Barker is a novelist and journalist. She was educated in Scotland and at Oxford. Her novel O Caledonia (Penguin) won four awards and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize. She has reviewed extensively and written features for the Independent on Sunday, Guardian, Sunday Times, Observer, LRB, TLS, Harpers & Queen, Scotland on Sunday, Vogue, and more. She edited the anthology Loss for Dent/Orion in 1997. Since 1992 she has worked as tutor and lecturer in creative writing at Norwich School of Art (MA and BA), and has tutored on over a dozen Arvon courses as well as other writing courses in the UK, Europe, and US. She has published short stories in numerous anthologies and was visiting professor of fiction at Kansas University in 1999. She has read and lectured at festivals and universities around the world. For three years she was a judge for the McKitterick and Sagittarius prizes. She is currently finishing a novel for Penguin and writing for the Independent on Sunday, Country Illustrated and The Literary Review.

For TLC Elspeth reads literary and commercial fiction, and short stories


Martyn Beardsley

Martyn Beardsley is a writer of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. His Sir Gadabout books have been published in several countries, and were turned into an award-winning series for CITV. He has also written Deadly Winter, a biography of the Arctic explorer and Trafalgar veteran Sir John Franklin, and co-edited Gratefull to Providence, the diary of an eighteenth century apothecary-surgeon. Several of his other children’s books, both fiction and non-fiction, also have a historical theme. Smuggler! and The Last Duel were both published by Barrington Stoke, who specialise in books for children who are reluctant readers, or suffer from dyslexia or other reading difficulties.

For TLC Martyn reads children's fiction


Dzifa Benson

Dzifa Benson has 9 years of creative writing teaching experience that covers storytelling, poetry, plays, songwriting, opera, journalism and life writing. Her own artistic practice embraces all these ways of writing and as such, she is very comfortable guiding people through the process of different forms of storytelling with constructive criticism and feedback. For 7 years, she led the Shepherds Bush Writers’ Junction and with her help and guidance one participant writer, Sade Adeniran, went on to win the Commonwealth Book Prize (Africa) while another, Hisham Matar, was long listed for the Man Booker Prize.

Dzifa regularly works with young writers in schools and other institutions such as Booktrust, Southbank Centre, the Royal Geographical Society, the University of East London, on tour with the British Council in South Africa and the UK and with older people in sheltered accommodation with Westminster Arts. She has extensive teaching experience in higher education, on community participatory arts projects and within the creative industries, most of it focused on Creative Writing and Applied Theatre.

Most recently she was a facilitator on English PEN’s Make My Day project where she worked with young people who recently arrived in the UK as immigrants and therefore have little or no English. She helped them to write poetry and stories that were published in a book for sale later this year. In addition to this, last year she was recruited as a long list judge for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and Commonwealth Book prizes.

For TLC Dzifa reads poetry and short stories


Kavita Bhanot

Kavita Bhanot grew up in London and lived for many years in Birmingham before moving to India where she directed an Indian-British literary festival and worked as an editor for India’s first literary agency. Kavita is enrolled on a PhD at Manchester University, and has Masters in Creative Writing and in Colonial and Post-colonial Literature, both from Warwick University. Her short stories and non-fiction have been published widely in anthologies, magazines and journals, two of her stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and she is the editor of the short story collection Too Asian, Not Asian Enough (Tindal Street Press, 2011). She is also a reader with The Literary Consultancy and teaches Creative Writing and Literature at Fordham University.

For TLC Kavita reads literary and commercial fiction


Fran Bigman

Fran Bigman is a PhD student in English at the University of Cambridge, where she gained a distinction-level MPhil in 2008. Prior to that she studied at Brown University and Columbia University and spent over three years in the editorial department of Alfred A Knopf, Pantheon, and Schocken Books at Random House in New York. She has also worked for W.W. Norton & Company in New York and the literary agents AP Watt and The Wylie Agency in London. Fran’s book reviews have appeared in the Times Literary SupplementWasafiriForbes.comWords Without Borders, where she also served as reviews editor, and the Jewish Quarterly. She is reviews editor of the website Fiction Uncovered.

For TLC, Fran reads sci-fi and fantasy


Sarah Bower

Sarah Bower is a novelist and short story writer. She has published two historical novels, The Needle in the Blood and The Book of LoveThe Needle in the Blood was Susan Hill’s Book of the Year in 2007. The Book of Love was published in the US under the title Sins of the House of Borgia in 2011 and became a Toronto Globe and Mail historical fiction bestseller.

Her short fiction has appeared in QWFThe Yellow RoomSpiked and Buzzwords among others. She has a creative writing MA from the University of East Anglia, where she now teaches. She is also a tutor in creative writing for the Open University. Sarah is currently working on a contemporary novel and a short story collection. She has a website here.

For TLC Sarah reads literary and historical fiction, and short stories


Matthew Branton

Matthew Branton is the author of four novels, The Love ParadeThe House of WhacksCoast and The Hired Gun, all published in the UK by Bloomsbury and translated into Japanese and Russian overseas. He was involved in the controversial New Puritans project (Fourth Estate, 2000) and his fifth novel was recently published in a groundbreaking online venture with the Independent on Sunday, for whom Matthew also reviews regularly. He has lectured in creative writing as far afield as the University of Hawaii, and has worked with The Literary Consultancy for several years.

For TLC Matthew reads literary and commercial fiction (historical, crime, thriller) and non-fiction (humour, guides, self-help, biography)


Tom Bromley

Tom Bromley has been working in publishing for over ten years, including five years as a commissioning editor for both Little, Brown and Anova Books. He is the author of eight books: the novels, Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Half A World Away (Pan Macmillan), We Could Have Been the Wombles (Penguin), The Encyclopedia of Guilty Pleasures and Shopping While Drunk (John Murray), Rock and Pop Elevens (Michael O’Mara), All in the Best Possible Taste (Simon and Schuster) and four ghostwritten works.

For TLC Tom reads fiction and non-fiction, specialising in crime/thriller, romantic comedy, commercial fiction, and memoir


Wayne Burrows

Wayne Burrows’ first collection, Marginalia, appeared from Peterloo Poets in 2001, and his work has featured in New Writing 12 (Picador, 2004) and New Writing 15 (Granta, 2007), as well as the Forward anthology for 2002Poetry Review and many other magazines and anthologies. He recently completed The Protein Songs, a sequence about genetics for use in Retina Dance Company’s Eleven Stories For The Body, Distance To Our Soul, which toured the UK and Europe over 2005/6. He was recently appointed editor of Staple New Writing and currently lives in Nottingham.

For TLC Wayne reads poetry and literary fiction


Stephen Carver

Stephen Carver is a writer and academic. He is the co-director of Green Door Designs, a graphic design company specialising in book layout and cover design, and until recently he taught creative writing for the University of East Anglia. Steve holds a Ph.D in English literature from UEA, where he also taught from 1994 to 2002, before taking up an associate-professorship in English literature at the University of Fukui, Japan. He returned to the UK in 2005, lecturing in critical theory and running an award winning student study skills service at the Norwich School of Art and Design until 2010, when he returned to UEA. He specialises in Victorian literature, Life Writing, Historical and Genre Fiction, Narratology, and the Gothic, and has been the recipient of several national and international research awards, most notably two from the Arts and Humanities Research Council of Great Britain. His biography of the Victorian novelist William Harrison Ainsworth, The Life and Works of the Lancashire Novelist, was published by Mellen in 2003, and he has also published extensively on literature, film, and comics, most recently contributing essays to the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Gothic, and The Works of Tim Burton: Margins to Mainstream (Palgrave MacMillan 2013). He has published short fiction in Cascando, Not Not, Birdsuit, and Veto, and is the founder of the ‘Bushy Park’ online writers’ group. He is presently running a new programme of online creative writing courses for the Unthank School of Writing, a subsidiary of the independent publishing group Unthank Books, and taking a year out from academia to edit the Jack Vincent papers. Steve is married to the graphic designer Gracie Carver, and the couple live in Norfolk with their young son, a cat called Sid, and three classic motorcycles. You can read his blog here and read more about Unthank here. The Bushy Park Writers have a Facebook group here.

For TLC Stephen reads literary and commercial fiction, genre fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, horror, Gothic), and Life Writing


Tim Clare

Tim Clare is a writer, stand-up poet and musician, who performs all over the UK. His memoir about having one last shot at chasing your dreams, We Can’t All Be Astronauts, won Best Memoir/Biography at the East Anglian Book Awards. He has written for the GuardianThe Times, and the Independent, presented the Channel 4 series How To Get A Book Deal, and has appeared on BBC2, and Radio 1, 2, 4 and 6. He also writes scripts for video games, including the English script for Nexus: The Jupiter Incident, on which he worked with voice actors as consultant director.

For TLC Tim reads sci-fi, fantasy and YA fiction


Amanda Cohen

Amanda Cohen has a distinguished background in publishing, having worked at Virago, and at HarperCollins for eight years where she worked in the editorial department of the children's fiction division. She is the author of two picture books, Two's Company (Viking Penguin, New York) in 1995 and That Baby (Books in the Attic, Israel) in 2010 under the name Amanda Benjamin. She has run creative workshops, as well as mentoring writers one-on-one. She currently works as a YA reader for Kinneret-Zmora, a leading trade publishing house in Israel, and as a freelance editor specialising in children's fiction and teen/YA books, with a particular interest in magic and fantasy related texts, and is working on her first Young Adult title.

For TLC Amanda reads picture books, children's fiction, and YA fiction


Kieron Connolly

Kieron Connolly has experience within film, journalism and publishing. He gained a Diploma in Screenwriting from the National Film & Television School. Two animation films that he co-wrote, Hourglass and Metalstasis, won, among other awards, the Royal Television Society Best Student Animation and the Public Choice Award at the British Animation Awards. Apart from screenwriting, he has worked as a script reader for FilmFour Productions and The Works, has written interviews for the Daily Mail WEEKEND MagazineThe TimesmovieScope Magazine and Writer’s Forum Magazine, and currently works in editorial for Amber Books and as a reader for the Mail on Sunday books serialisation department.

For TLC Kieron reads scripts, screenplays and treatments


Jude Cook

Jude Cook lives in London and studied English literature at UCL, where he graduated with a First. Originally a musician and songwriter, his first novel, Byron Easy, won the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook Competition in 2007, judged by The Literary Consultancy. It was bought by William Heinemann (Random House) and was published in February 2013. Along with writing fiction, he has six years' experience of tutoring English literature and language to A-level and undergraduate students. His essays and short fiction have appeared in Staple magazine.

For TLC Jude reads literary and commercial fiction, short fiction (novellas/short stories), memoir, and screenplays


Cherry Cookson

Cherry Cookson worked for many years as a Senior Radio Drama staff producer for
 the BBC, winning many national and international awards for her productions, including
 two Gold Sony Awards and directing several plays that won Writers’ Guild awards. 
She also directed the BBC entries for the Prix Italia and Prix Futura
 and won the New York International Programming award for a World Service Drama production.
She now works freelance as an independent radio producer, teaches radio acting and 
creative writing and works as a script consultant. She has recently directed two plays 
for BBC Radio 4 and is working on a play for BBC Radio 3 for the Olympics.

For TLC Cherry reads scripts, radio plays, and short stories


Stephanie Cross

Stephanie Cross was the ghostwriter for Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford's  memoir The Living Years (Constable, 2014), a Sunday Times bestseller.  She is also a highly experienced literary journalist, reviewing regularly for the Daily Mail among other publications. Stephanie was educated at the University of Cambridge and holds a BA in English and an MPhil in English Studies (Distinction). She has acted as a freelance manuscript consultant to the David Godwin Literary Agency, mentored writers through Shape Arts, a disability-led arts organisation, and in 2006 was recognised by the Arts Council, East “Escalator” talent scheme as one of the ten best emerging prose writers in the Eastern region.

For TLC Stephanie reads literary and commercial fiction


Heather Dyer

Heather Dyer writes picture books and novels for children aged 7-11. The Girl with the Broken Wing was one of Richard and Judy’s ‘Best Children’s Books Ever’, and The Boy in the Biscuit Tin was nominated for the Galaxy Best British Children’s Book Award. Her books have been broadcast on Radio 4, and are studied in schools at Key Stage 2. Heather also teaches creative writing at Aberyswyth University, where she is the current Royal Literary Fund Fellow.

For TLC Heather reads children's fiction


Gill Farrer-Halls

Gill Farrer-Halls is the author of eighteen published non-fiction books in the Mind Body Spirit genre, including The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Buddhist WisdomWorking with Karma and The Aromatherapy Bible.  She has also edited several published non-fiction titles. A practising aromatherapist, she has been a Principal Teacher and Examiner with the International Federation of Aromatherapists for many years. Gill occasionally works as Production Manager/Producer for The Meridian Trust Buddhist Film & Video Archive and has produced and directed many of their DVD programmes of the Dalai Lama and other Buddhist teachers.
Gill has a BA in English, Film and Drama, and has studied on two post-graduate courses: firstly in theories and teaching of composition, and deconstructionism applied to poetry, and more recently in creative writing and self-development. She has also attended several creative writing courses with the Arvon Foundation and is currently working on the second draft of a novel.

For TLC Gill reads MBS, literary fiction, and memoir


Nathan Filer

Nathan Filer lectures in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. His stand-up poetry has been a regular fixture at festivals and spoken-word events across the UK, and has been broadcast on BBC 3 television and radio 4, 7 and 5 Live. He is also a BBC Best New Filmmaker. His debut novel The Shock of the Fall was acquired in the UK by HarperCollins in an 11-way auction and has so far been translated into ten languages. In 2014, The Shock of the Fall won the Costa Book of the Year Award.

For TLC Nathan reads literary and commercial fiction


Peter Forbes

Peter Forbes is a science writer with a special interest in the relationship between art and science.   He has written numerous articles and reviews, many specializing in the relation between the arts and science, for the Guardian, Independent, The Times, Financial Times, Nature, Scientific American, New Scientist, World Medicine, Modern PaintersNew Statesman, and other magazines.

He was editor of the Poetry Society's Poetry Review from 1986-2002 and edited  Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the Twentieth Century in Poetry (Viking, 1999). The Gecko’s Foot, a book on the new science of bio-inspired materials, was published by Fourth Estate in 2005 and was long-listed for the Royal Society Prize. Dazzled and Deceived: Mimicry and camouflage (Yale University Press, 2009) won the 2011 Warwick Prize for Writing. His latest book is Nanoscience: Giants  of the Infinitesimal (Papadakis), co-written with the sculptor Tom Grimsey.  He teaches the Narrative Non-fiction short course at City University, London, and is RLF Writing Fellow at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

For TLC Peter reads poetry and non-fiction (popular science, arts, travel)


Jill Foulston

Jill Foulston holds an MA in English Literature from San Francisco State University. For many years a commissioning editor at Virago, Little, Brown and Penguin, she has worked with Michelle Lovric, Sarah Waters and Heidi Julavits, among others. Her two anthologies, The Joy of Eating and The Joy of Shopping are both published by Virago, and she has contributed short stories, reviews and features to the Times Literary SupplementSlightly FoxedWaitrose Food Illustrated and the anthology Primal Picnics (ed. Jennifer Heath). Jill has also been an invited speaker on the creative writing course at Bath Spa University.

For TLC Jill reads literary and commercial fiction


Karl French

Karl French has worked for the past 20 years as an editor, writer and journalist for various publishing houses, among them Simon & Schuster, Foruli, Bloomsbury and Faber and Faber, and national publications, including the Guardian, Hotdog magazine and the Financial Times. He has also worked on books by Tim Jeal, Andrew Boulton, Miranda Seymour, Jonathan Fenby, John Kampfner, Lance Price, Peter Hook, Simon Wilde, Glenn Hughes among many others. He was for several years a reader at Bloomsbury Publishing where he read over one thousand manuscripts, and his recommendations for publication included the collected letters of Hunter S. Thompson, the reissued novels of Terry Southern and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Peter Biskind’s history of Hollywood in the 1970s which became a major best-seller. Karl has worked on several memoirs and biographies, most recently he worked as an editor of Bill Bruford’s autobiography. He has also written and edited several books on the cinema and music – titles including Screen Violence, chosen by JG Ballard in the Sunday Times as his book of the year, This Is Spinal Tap – the Official CompanionCult MoviesArt by Film Directors and Abba Unplugged – and works for TLC and on a freelance basis as a reader, editor, mentor and editorial consultant.

For TLC Karl reads literary and commercial fiction, and non-fiction (biography, autobiography, memoir, travel, political histories)


Rose Gaete

Rose Gaete was an agent for six years at the prestigious Wylie Agency where she worked with authors such as Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis, Ahdaf Soueif, Jon McGregor and Paul Theroux. She is currently an editor and reader for a variety of publishers including HarperCollins, Bloomsbury and Atlantic Books. She has an MA in English Literature from Cambridge University. Her particular specialty is contemporary novels. Rose works as a manuscript consultant and mentor for TLC.

For TLC Rose reads literary and commercial fiction


Karen Godfrey

Karen Godfrey first read scripts at the BBC and then moved on to work at HarperCollins publishers.  She worked as an editor on the company’s prestigious crime list, working closely with authors such as Val McDermid, Reginald Hill and Iain Pears. Karen was involved in all stages of the editoral process and would also look at and report on new typescripts that came in. A manuscript that Karen worked on for TLC, Night Heron, by Adam Brookes, is forthcoming in May 2014 with Sphere.

For TLC Karen reads literary fiction, specialising in  crime and thriller, and women's commercial fiction


Helen Gordon

Helen Gordon’s first novel, Landfall, was published in 2011. After university she worked as an editor at Granta magazine before leaving to pursue a freelance career. She currently teaches creative writing at the London Metropolitan University and continues to work as a freelance editor. Her journalism has appeared in, among other places, the Independent, the Guardian and Intelligent Life magazine. In 2011 she received an Art’s Council grant to help fund the research and writing of her second novel.

For TLC Helen reads literary and commercial fiction


Karol Griffiths

Karol has a diverse background with years of experience working with playwrights, film and television writers as well as bestselling novelists. She has been Lynda La Plante’s script and copy editor and an integral part of her development team for the past three years.  In that time she edited the novels BacklashWrongful Death, and the quick read novel The EscapeShe also script edited Season 4 of the highly acclaimed ITV Television series Above Suspicion, and has helped develop numerous other film, television and theatrical projects.

Karol has a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Yale School of Drama, a BA in Drama and English Literature, and a Post Graduate Diploma from NFTS in Script Development.

For TLC Karol reads scripts, screenplays, and commercial and historical fiction


Vicky Grut

Vicky Grut started out on the staff of the independent publishers Lawrence and Wishart in the late 1980s. Titles she edited there, and subsequently as a freelance, ranged from academic texts to a political thriller by MP Peter Hain, ex-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Wales. She was a creative writing tutor for Birkbeck College for several years, and co-taught an Arvon Foundation course in 2001. Her short stories have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies, including Random Factor (Pulp Faction, 1997), Reshape Whilst Damp (Serpent’s Tail, 2000), Valentine’s Day: stories of revenge, (Duckworths, 2000), Resist (, 2005) and New Writing 13 (Picador, 2005), New Writing 14 (Granta, 2006) and Waving at the Gardener (Bloomsbury, 2009). In 2009 she was a finalist in the Asham Awards and in 2006 she was the winner of the Chapter One Promotions International Short Story Competition. She teaches creative writing at London South Bank University.

For TLC Vicky reads literary and commercial fiction, and short stories


Alan Harris

Alan Harris is currently under commission to BBC Radio 4 and Welsh National Opera. His The Opportunity of Efficiency played at the New National Theatre Tokyo (a collaboration with National Theatre Wales) and other writing credits include: The Future For Beginners (liveartshow/Wales Millennium Centre), Marsha (Capital Fringe, Washington DC), A Good Night Out in the Valleys (National Theatre Wales), Rhinegold, Manga Sister (both for liveartshow at The Yard, London), Façade (Crashmat Collective), Wolf, The Lighthouse (both for BBC Radio 4), The Gold Farmer (BBC Radio 3), The Journey (Welsh National Opera MAX), The Hidden Valley (Birdsong Opera/WNO) Cardboard Dad (Sherman Cymru), Miss Brown To You (Hijinx Theatre), Brute (Operating Theatre Company), Orange (Sgript Cymru) and was part of Paines Plough’s Come To Where I’m From tour. He is also a new writing tutor, working with organisations including Welsh National Opera and Sherman Cymru.

For TLC Alan reads theatre scripts and libretti


John Harrison

John Harrison is a freelance writer and traveller, and also a lecturer specialising in adventure cruise travel in Polar Regions, Latin America and other remote areas. He writes fiction, travel books, history, reviews and journalism. He has twice been a winner of the national travel writing competition: the Alexander Cordell Award. His travel book, Where the Earth Ends, was a Sunday Times Book of the Week. When not travelling, or swimming with icebergs in Greenland, he lives in Cardiff. A travel book, Cloud Road, won the 2011 Wales Book of the Year, and is about five months travelling through the Inca heartland in the Andes, walking 700 miles on old Inca roads. His second is Forgotten Footprints, out in May 2012, is a history of the exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula, based on the memoirs of little known sailors, sealers, whalers and explorers who slowly uncovered the last continent. He was recently elected a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers.

For TLC John reads non-fiction (travel)


Doug Johnstone

Doug Johnstone is a writer, musician and journalist based in Edinburgh. His sixth novel, The Dead Beat, was published by Faber & Faber in 2014. His previous novel, Gone Again, was a bestseller and Hit & Run, published in 2012, was an Amazon #1, as well as being selected as a prestigious Fiction Uncovered winner. His novel before that, Smokeheads, was nominated for the Crimefest Last Laugh Award. Before that he published two novels with Penguin, Tombstoning (2006) and The Ossians (2008), which received praise from the likes of Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin and Christopher Brookmyre.

Doug was writer in residence at the University of Strathclyde 2010-2012 and before that worked as a lecturer in creative writing there. He’s had short stories appear in various publications, and since 1999 he has worked as a freelance arts journalist, primarily covering music and literature. Doug is currently also working on a number of screenplays for film and television.

For TLC Doug reads literary and commercial fiction (thriller, crime, contemporary)


Sam Jordison

Sam Jordison is an author, journalist and publisher. He is a co-director of Galley Beggar Press, an independent publisher from Norwich which has published award winning books such as Eimear McBride's A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing. He regularly writes about books for the Guardian and has written for most other UK national papers. His own best-selling books include the Crap Towns series and Sod That: 103 Things Not To Do Before You Die.

For TLC, Sam reads literary fiction, non-fiction (humour, travel, religion) and books dealing with Ancient History



Michael Langan

Michael Langan is an editor and writer. He has taught writing for fifteen years and was senior lecturer and Programme Leader of Creative Writing at the University of Greenwich from 2002 – 2012, where he specialised in short story writing and the novel. He has a PhD from Liverpool John Moores University in contemporary creative writing and a background in performance poetry. His short stories and poetry have been anthologised and published in magazines, journals and online. From 2007 – 2010 he was managing editor of Brand Literary Magazine, responsible for selecting and editing the magazine’s fiction and non-fiction content. He currently writes on visual arts, film and literature for the online magazine Polari and has a particular interest in contemporary literary fiction as well as historical fiction.

For TLC Michael reads historical fiction, literary and commercial fiction


Sue Lascelles

Sue Lascelles has over 17 years’ editorial experience and has worked for some of the UK’s leading publishing houses, including Orion, Little, Brown, and Random House. In touch with current market trends – particularly in the areas of commercial non-fiction, literary fiction and MBS – she specialises in guiding new writers towards successful publication, as well as supporting established authors through the editorial process.

For TLC Sue reads MBS, literary fiction, and commercial non-fiction


Jonathan Lee

Jonathan Lee is a British novelist and editor. His first novel, Who Is Mr Satoshi? (Random House) was shortlisted for an MJA Open Book Award, nominated for the Desmond Elliot Prize for Literature, and translated into a number of languages. His second novel Joy (also Random House) was an Observer Book of the Year in 2012 and is being adapted for television. The BBC’s Culture Show programme recently featured him as being one of Britain’s ‘best new novelists’ & The Guardian has called him ‘a major new voice in British fiction’. He is an editor at Guernica Magazine and tutors writers for the Arvon Foundation. Click here for his website.

For TLC Jonathan reads literary and historical fiction, and short stories


Maxine Linnell

Maxine Linnell is a novelist, poet, editor, teacher and mentor, based in Leicester. Vintage (2010, Five Leaves) is a time-swap novel set in 1962 and 2010, and Closer (2012, Five Leaves) is a young adult novel about sexual abuse. She also retold three Thomas Hardy novels for ESOL and new readers (Real Reads), and Bloomsbury published Breaking the Rules (2011, Bloomsbury) in their Wired Up series for reluctant readers. She teaches memoir, the novel and editing skills for Writing East Midlands, mentors new writers and edits and proofreads novels. She is also a psychotherapist and bibliotherapist.

For TLC Maxine reads YA fiction and psychological fiction


Alan Mahar

Alan Mahar is the former Publishing Director of Tindal Street Press, responsible for a prizewinning list of 70 titles of literary fiction that earned three Man Booker listings, two Orange, three Commonwealth Writers, two Costa First novel winners, a Betty Trask, three Desmond Elliotts – a track record of one-in-three prize-listed. As a small publisher, his responsibilities in addition to the business side, included commissioning and editing many books and overseeing their production. He enjoyed working closely with authors (such as Gaynor Arnold, Raphael Selbourne, Maria Allen, Paul Wilson, Anthony Cartwright and many others) to prepare their work for the scrutiny of the market. He is the author of two novels, Flight Patterns (Gollancz. 1999) and After the Man Before (Methuen, 2002), His other publications comprise short stories, anthology editing, reviews and articles for Literary Review, London Magazine, Warwick Review, Observer, Bookseller and others. He has recently resumed working on a novel put aside due to the pressures and pleasures of publishing. He is now a freelance consultant editor, writer and creative writing lecturer at several universities in the Midlands.

For TLC Alan reads literary and commercial fiction, and short stories


Sara Maitland

Sara Maitland is a writer of considerable stature. Her first novel, Daughter of Jerusalem (1978) won the Somerset Maugham Award, and her fifth, Home Truths (1992) was short listed for the Scottish Writer of the Year Award. She has also published four collections of short stories – one story, A Fall from Grace, is anthologised in The Penguin Book of Modern Women’s Short Stories (Penguin 1990). Sara is also a theologian and has published a wide range of non-fiction, as well as writing for radio and television. In October 2001 her radio play, Other Voices, was broadcast on Radio 4. In 1995 she became the last writer to work with Stanley Kubrick on his AI project. Sara is currently exploring ways of being a modern ‘solitary’, and the contemporary meanings of silence. On Becoming a Fairy Godmother was published by Maia Press in June 2003 and she has a new collection of short stories also published by Maia, 2008. ‘Far North’, the title story of this collection, has been made in to a film directed by Asif Kapadia, starring Sean Bean and Michelle Yeoh and a new non-fiction title, A Book of Silence, was published by Granta in 2008.

For TLC Sara reads non-fiction and literary fiction, with an interest in spiritual and religious contexts


Melissa Marshall

Melissa Marshall worked for literary ‘super’ agent Ed Victor before becoming an editor at Simon & Schuster where she worked for five years on women’s fiction, literary fiction, crime and thriller. She commissioned, edited and published authors such as Jules Hardy, Annabel Dilke and Kate O’Riordan, and worked closely with many others including Adriana Trigiani, Will Rhode, Victoria Glendinning, Jennifer Weiner and Kathy Lette. She is now an independent editor and reviewer for books and film, freelance editing fiction and non-fiction for publishing houses including Canongate, Macmillan, Orion, Hodder and Atlantic. Melissa also assesses books for their small screen and big screen potential for the BBC, and does consultancy work for unpublished authors through an Arts Council initiative as well as TLC.

For TLC Melissa reads literary fiction, crime, thriller and women's fiction


Lesley McDowell

Lesley McDowell is the author of three books. Her latest historical novel, Unfashioned Creatures, is due to be published in October 2013. She also reviews regularly for the Independent on Sunday, the Herald and the Scotsman, and has worked as a freelance editor as well as teaching creative writing and devising workshops for writers.

For TLC Lesley reads historical fiction


Sheila McIlwraith

Sheila McIlwraith worked as a writers’ agent for many years, then as a commissioning editor with André Deutsch.  Authors she has worked with include Julian Barnes, Sarah Dunant, Sally Cline, Patricia Ferguson and Peter Mayle, and the books she has advised on and edited range from literary and popular fiction, through biography, history, popular medicine and science, travel, and all sorts of general nonfiction.  Latterly, she has been teaching creative writing and English literature in Scottish secondary schools and FE colleges.  She was educated in Glasgow and Oxford.

For TLC Sheila reads fiction and general non-fiction


Eloise Millar

Eloise Millar’s first novel, Wednesday's Child, was published by Virago in 2005 and went on to be shortlisted for the Young Minds Award. Elly also moonlights as a journalist, writing mainly for The Guardian, and has over ten years' experience in editorial work and publishing. In 2012 she co-founded Galley Beggar Press, an independent publisher that has since received many plaudits in the media and, in its first year, saw three of its authors receive national awards (including the inaugural £10,000 Goldsmith’s Award).  She is currently working on her second novel (Bleeding Heart Yard). Bleeding Heart Yard has been commissioned by Virago and has received awards from the Arts Council and the Authors' Foundation.

For TLC Eloise reads fiction (literary, chick-lit, thrillers, ghost stories) and non-fiction (memoir)


Miranda Miller

Miranda Miller's seventh novel, The Fairy Visions of Richard Dadd, was published by Peter Owen in 2013 and is part 2 of her Bedlam Trilogy. She has also published a book of short stories about expatriate life in Saudi Arabia and  a book of interviews with homeless women and politicians. Hilary Mantel said of her work, " Miller's intricate fictions are lit by the dark flicker of a strong and original imagination." She has been a TLC mentor for six years and is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the Courtauld Institute.

For TLC Miranda reads magical realist and historical fiction


Sam Mills

Sam Mills was born in 1975 and graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English Lang & Lit. Since then she has been a full-time novelist and has published 11 books to date. Her young adult novels, ‘A Nicer Way to Die’, ‘The Boys Who Saved the World’ and ‘Blackout’ are dark, crossover thrillers which are published in the UK by Faber & Faber. Her work has been translated into 5 languages. ‘The Boys Who Saved the World’, a satire on the War on Terror, is currently being made into a film with Tyger Drew-Honey, the star of ‘Outnumbered’ attached to star in the lead. ’Blackout’ has been nominated for the Carnegie prize and the Manchester Book Award and was recently shortlised for the Lancashire Book Award. Her debut adult novel as Samantha Mills, ‘The Quiddity of Will Self’, a quirky literary novel about sex, death, Will Self and the Great Vowel Shift, will be published by Corsair in 2012.

For TLC Sam reads YA fiction, women's fiction and literary fiction


Ewan Morrison

Ewan Morrison is the author of the novels Swung, Menage and Distance (Jonathan Cape/Vintage), the collection of short stories The Last Book You Read (Chroma) and the mixed genre abook/app Tales from the Mall (Cargo) which will be published in April 2012. His next novel Close Your Eyes (Jonathan Cape) will be released in August 2012. He has been a recipient of multiple awards and bursaries and was short listed for the Prince Maurice Prize in 2008 and an Arena Magazine Man of the Year Award in 2005. He also directs television and makes TV and radio appearances as a cultural critic. He lives and works in Glasgow.

For TLC Ewan reads literary and commercial fiction


Sally O-J

Sally O-J (Orson-Jones) is a freelance editor who has worked with a wide range of authors, from absolute beginners to an established TV scriptwriter. She is comfortable in genres as diverse as fantasy, biography, historical, romance and mystery, as well as non-fiction. She works closely with writer’s agent Meg Davis (formerly of MBA Literary Agents Ltd, now at Ki Agency) and has been the reader for award-winning novelist Sarah Waters (Fingersmith, Tipping the Velvet) on all her books. Previously, Sally was a journalist and editor in the music business, working for bands and record companies, and has written and edited scripts for broadcast, album sleeve notes, and online features.

For TLC Sally reads fiction and non-fiction, specialising in historical, literary, mystery/thriller and converted fan-fiction


Sanjida O’Connell

Sanjida O’Connell has had four novels published by Black Swan and John Murrays (Theory of Mind, Angel Bird, The Naked Name of Love and Sugar Island) and four works of non-fiction (Mindreading: How we learn to love and lie; Sugar: The grass that changed the world; Nature’s Calendar and Chimpanzee: The making of the film). She was one of the winners of the Betty Trask award, was short-listed for The Asian Award for Literature, was one of the winners of The Daily Telegraph’s young science writer’s award, and was short-listed for Asian Woman of the Year. She also writes feature articles on science and green issues for national newspapers and magazines and has had columns in The Times and BBC Wildlife Magazine. She teaches workshops on creative writing and science writing for the media and has presented wildlife programmes for the BBC with Chris Packham, as well as directing science documentaries for the BBC. She has a PhD in animal psychology.

For TLC Sanjida reads non-fiction (science/environment), fiction featuring scientific ideas or concepts, and women's fiction


Rebecca O’Connor

Rebecca O’Connor is the editor of a new arts & literature magazine called The Moth. Her chapbook, Poems, was published by the Wordsworth Trust, where she was writer-in-residence in 2005. Her poems have appeared in the Spectator, Stand, the GuardianPoetry Ireland and Poetry Review, and she is the recipient of the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, a Tyrone Guthrie Bursary and a New Writing Ventures Award. She was fiction editor at Telegram before becoming a freelance editor for Bloomsbury, Canongate, Granta, Serpent’s Tail and others.

For TLC Rebecca reads poetry, short stories and literary fiction 


Antonia Parkin

Antonia Parkin has worked for several years as a children’s book editor at Frances Lincoln Publishers. She has a wide range of expertise covering poetry, story books and fiction and non-fiction picture books. She is also a freelance writer of educational books for children and a translator. Among her recent publications are translations of Jacques Duquennoy’s award-winning French picture books, Ghost Party and Loch Ness Ghosts. She lives on the Wirral with her family.


Ben Paynter

Before becoming a professional fiction Editor, Ben worked for four years as a bookseller, at Daunt Books. He gained an extensive knowledge of the market and industry whilst working there, and a strong sense of what ultimately makes it to publication. He is also, in addition to the more traditional market, enthusiastic about the possibilities for literature in the new digital age and actively seeks to advance these.

Ben studied for his MA in Prose Writing at the Centre for New Writing in Manchester, under Martin Amis, M. J. Hyland and Geoff Ryman. Previously, he studied Literature and Philosophy at the University of East Anglia.

For TLC Ben reads literary fiction, YA fiction, children's fiction (including illustrated books) and short stories


Alex Peake-Tomkinson

Alex Peake-Tomkinson is a writer, editor and bookseller. She worked in book publishing for seven years, most recently as the Online Editor at Portobello Books. She has an MA in 20th Century English Literature and currently reviews fiction for the Daily Mail and the Times Literary Supplement. Her writing has also appeared in the books pages of the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Telegraph, the Metro and Time Out.
She specialises in contemporary fiction.

For TLC Alex reads literary and commercial fiction


Thomas Pemberton

Thomas Pemberton is a professional script analyst and editor. He currently reads scripts for Studio Canal and Northern Ireland Screen and has worked as a script editor across a range of styles and genres in both film and TV for Piccadilly Pictures, Jones Company Productions, Prescience Films and Quickfire Films. He also writes scripts himself, and is working on a screenplay for Twickenham Films. Previously, Thomas worked as a script analyst for Creative England and was the Literary Manager of Talent Scout, reporting to the development team and identifying talent from incoming scripts. He also analyses fiction, and has read both scripts and fiction manuscripts for Blake Friedmann Agency. He is currently studying for a PhD in Poetics and Narrative Theory, and holds an MA in Creative Writing from City University.

For TLC Thomas reads scripts, screenplays, and contemporary and YA fiction 


Kay Powell

Kay Powell has several decades of experience in book publishing. After working as a fiction reader for an agency, she joined Faber & Faber as an editor in 1979 before becoming senior education editor with Macmillan Zimbabwe. In 1985 she set up a publishing company in Zimbabwe to commission and publish titles in fiction, education, politics and general reference, including a major co-publication venture with John Murray Publishers. From 1990 to 2010 she worked as a UK-based publishing consultant to international aid agencies and launched a series of small-format business books, selling the rights to the leading title, What Not To Write (which she wrote under the name of Kay Sayce), to a UK/Singapore publisher in 2009. Since 2010 she has worked as a publishing consultant to a company providing digital services to UK book publishers and continues to do freelance editorial work.

For TLC Kay reads biography, autobiography, fiction, and general non-fiction


Jane Purcell

Jane Purcell used to work in children’s books at Random House, but left to go freelance.  She wrote for the Guardian, Mslexia, and New Woman before moving into script writing.  Since then she has written and performed sketch comedy for radio (The Way it Is on Radio 4) and television, (Smack the Pony for Channel 4 and The Sketch Show for ITV/Baby Cow).  Her first play was Beryl du Jour for Radio 4, followed by a five-part Woman’s Hour series for Radio 4, Cooking for Michael Collins.  The Guardian described it as ‘Gripping’, and the Financial Times said, ‘Jane Purcell’s retelling of the story of Pidgie Rigney (spy, gunrunner, cook and pre-eminently a member of the women’s branch of the IRA) is immediately gripping. Writing, production and acting deftly sketch in the complex, often contradictory feelings of post-1916. Riveting.’ Her next Woman’s Hour series was about the history of girls comics, 43 Years in the Third Form.  The Telegraph said it was ‘funny, ingenious and evocative.’ She has also adapted The Indian in the Cupboard for the Saturday Play and abridged numerous books for radio.  She is currently writing a television pilot comedy and teaching creative writing at the Open University.

For TLC Jane reads scripts, screenplays, children's fiction and general fiction


James Pusey

James Pusey studied English Literature at the University of Bristol and subsequently worked in the publishing industry for over a decade, most recently as a literary agent at Aitken Alexander Associates in London, whose client list includes successful authors such as Mark Haddon, Sebastian Faulks, Catherine O’Flynn and Robert Wilson. He is now a freelance editor.

For TLC James reads literary and commercial fiction (crime, thriller) and short stories


Aisha Rahman

Aisha Rahman previously worked in the editorial department at HarperCollins Publishers for several years.  Before moving to London, she was a lecturer at a university in Pakistan, where she taught a range of multidisciplinary courses, including a course on Pakistani Literature.  Aisha particularly enjoys writing from the Indian subcontinent.

For TLC Aisha reads literary and commercial fiction, and YA fiction


Ray Robinson

Ray Robinson first won attention in 2006 with his debut novel, Electricity (Picador, 2006). It was shortlisted for both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Authors' Club First Novel Award. The feature film of Electricity, starring Agyness Deyn as Lily, will be released in the summer of 2014.

Robinson's other novels are The Man Without (Picador, 2008), Forgetting Zoe (Heinemann, 2010), and Jawbone Lake (Heinemann, 2014).

Forgetting Zoe was selected for the inaugural Fiction Uncovered promotion and was the Observer's 'Thriller of the Month'. Robinson was hailed as 'among the most impressive voices of Britain's younger generation' by the Irish Times.

Robinson is a post-graduate of Lancaster University, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in Creative Writing in 2006. He has appeared at literary festivals around the world, including La Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara, Mexico, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

For TLC Ray reads literary and commercial fiction, and short stories


Cynthia Rogerson

Cynthia Rogerson has published four novels and a collection of short stories. These include Upstairs in the Tent (Headline Review), Love Letters from my Deathbed (Two Ravens), I Love You Goodbye (Black & White), and Fly & other stories (Salt Publishing). She won the V.S. Pritchett Prize in 2008, and her stories have been broadcast on Radio 4 and 2, as well as included in anthologies and literary magazines. Her novels have been nominated for the Saltire Prize and the Scottish Arts Council Book Prize.

Cynthia is Program Director of Moniack Mhor, the Arvon creative writing centre near Inverness. She also teaches creative writing to adults and children, and is a part-time lecturer in Creative Writing for the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee. She has a website here.

For TLC, Cynthia reads short stories, poetry and fiction


Jacob Ross

Jacob Ross has been hailed as ‘a writer of formidable technical range and emotional depth’. His novel Pynter Bender was published in September 2008 to much critical acclaim. It was shortlisted for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Regional Prize and chosen as one of the British Authors Club’s top three Best First Novels (2009). Jacob is also the author of acclaimed short story collections, Song for Simone and A Way to Catch the Dust. He has edited and co-edited numerous anthologies of short stories and is a committed and highly gifted creative writing teacher. He has taught, amongst other places, at Arvon and Goldsmiths University and currently lectures in Narrative Craft and International Literature in England and abroad. Jacob has mentored many promising writers through to successful completion of their manuscripts. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been a judge of the V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize, the Olive Cook, Scott Moncrieff and Tom-Gallon Literary Awards.

For TLC Jacob reads literary and commercial fiction


Imogen Russell Williams

Imogen Russell Williams is an arts journalist and editor, with a BA in Classics and English and an MA in Text and Performance Studies. She writes a regular blog on contemporary and classic children's literature for The Guardian, as well as articles about reading in general. She also reviews books, usually YA and fantasy/SF, for The Metro. Imogen has worked for three years as a freelance editor and as a consultant to the Andrew Nurnberg Agency, helping writers refine their manuscripts.

For TLC Imogen reads children's fiction, picture books and YA fiction


Sibyl Ruth

Sibyl Ruth’s first poetry collection, Nothing Personal, was published in 1995 by Iron Press. A chapbook, I Could Become That Woman (Five Leaves), followed in 2003. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and have been broadcast on radio and TV. She lives in Birmingham and is a former Laureate of the City. Sibyl has taught creative writing for the Open College of the Arts and at the University of Birmingham. For five years she organised the literature programme at the Midlands Arts Centre. She is a member of the editorial advisory panel of Tindal Street Press and an assessor for the Arts Council of England. Currently she is working on a set of audio pieces about Birmingham’s Central Library.

For TLC Sibyl reads fiction and non-fiction (memoir) and poetry


Hannah Sheppard

Hannah Sheppard is a Branford Boase Award nominated editor who has worked in trade publishing for over a decade. She started her career at Macmillan Children’s books she worked on authors such as Judy Blume, Meg Cabot, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Frances Hardinge and Eva Ibbotson. Most recently she ran the YA and crossover list at Headline Publishing Group where she commissioned books by Julianna Baggott, Cathy Brett, Tanya Byrne, Andrew Hammond, Jennifer E. Smith and Cecily von Ziegesar amongst others. She edits children’s fiction from 9 upwards with a specialism in young adult and crossover fiction.

For TLC Hannah reads children's, crossover and YA fiction


Amanda Smyth

Amanda Smyth is Irish-Trinidadian and was educated in England.  Her first novel, Black Rock (Serpent’s Tail), won the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger 2010, and was selected for Waterstones New Voices in 2009. It was also chosen for Oprah’s Summer Reads for 2009, shortlisted for NAACP award and the McKitterick prize.  Amanda’s second novel, A Kind of Eden was published in July 2013 by Serpent’s Tail. She teaches Creative Writing at Arvon and Skyros.

For TLC Amanda reads women's fiction, and general fiction


Anna South

Anna South has worked in publishing for over twelve years and is as experienced with fiction as she is with non-fiction. During her seven years at Penguin UK she worked on all the adult imprints – from Michael Joseph to Viking – latterly as a Commissioning Editor at the Penguin Press. The authors she published there include top ten best-selling writer Simon Jenkins, journalist Stephen Glover, the late Ian Hamilton and the movie critic Gilbert Adair. She also worked extensively on the Modern Classics lists commissioning dozens of translations of works by authors such as Marcel Proust, Sigmund Freud and Albert Camus. Anna now works as an editorial consultant and reader (in both English and French), and her clients have included Chatto and Windus, Picador, a number of different Penguin imprints, Constable Robinson and Portobello. In addition she’s written a number of introductory pieces for a new hardback series, Collectors’ Classics, and edited the best-selling Penguin anthology Poems of the Great War, and was one of the judges for A & C Black’s 2007 New Fiction Competition. Several of the TLC submissions that Anna has worked on in recent years have gone on to become published books.

For TLC Anna reads literary and commercial fiction (historical, women's fiction) and non-fiction


Cynthia Stamy

Cynthia Stamy holds a D.Phil. in English from the University of Oxford and an M.Phil. specialising in the Modernist period.  Her book, Marianne Moore and China: Orientalism and a Writing of America, was published by Oxford University Press in 1999.  Cynthia as long been interested in the literary crosscurrents between East and West and, following Wellesley (A.B. English), she explored Chinese culture in graduate work at Harvard (Special Student), Yale (A.M. East Asian Studies) and Princeton (Graduate Fellow) universities.  She was a freelance fiction manuscript consultant for Virago Press and has worked as a researcher with scriptwriters to adapt novels into screenplays.  Cynthia taught English literature and writing courses in America at Brown University, from which she also holds a Master’s degree specialising in American literature.  As an experienced freelance editor, Cynthia is comfortable across genres in both fiction and non-fiction, and with supporting authors during the editorial process. Currently a literary/arts reviewer for The Global Dispatches, she is attentive to the international market for fiction in English.

For TLC Cynthia reads literary and commercial fiction, women's fiction, and poetry


Joel Stickley

Joel Stickley is a writer and performer. His work has been featured on Radio 4, Radio 3, BBC7, BBC Scotland, ITV and BBC Choice. As a member of critically acclaimed poetry collective, Aisle16, he has performed at Glastonbury, the Edinburgh Fringe, Port Eliot Lit Fest, the Latitude festival and a whole clutch of literary events across the country. Aisle16′s comedy theatre show, ‘Poetry Boyband’, was named as Time Out’s Critics’ Choice of the Year in 2005. His first book, Who Writes This Crap? was published in hardback by Hamish Hamilton in 2007 and is scheduled for a Penguin paperback release in 2008. The Guardian described it as “an inspired piece of parody.” Joel has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and specialises in comic fiction.

For TLC, Joel reads humorous fiction


Ashley Stokes

Oxford and the University of East Anglia (where he took an MA in Creative Writing). He is Head of School of the Unthank School of Writing and teaches creative writing for the OU. His stories have appeared in The Warwick ReviewStapleLondon MagazineFleeting Magazine and Fwriction Review among others. He also contributed a chapter to The Creative Writing Coursebook (MacMillan, 2001). He won a 2002 Bridport Short Story Award for The Suspicion of Bones. His first novel, Touching the Starfish was published in 2010 by Unthank Books. His 2013 short story collection, The Syllabus of Errors was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Fiction Award. He is also co-editor of the short fiction series Unthology. His personal website is:

For TLC Ashley reads literary and commercial fiction, genre fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, horror) and non-fiction (memoir/autobiography)


Julia Stoneham

Julia Stoneham began writing in the late 1970s, after an early career as a stage designer, and over the following twenty years wrote mainly for television and radio. Two original films [Phoebe and The Bell-Run] were produced by BBC Television Drama and Julia was also a regular writer on The House Of Eliott series. In excess of a dozen original plays were commissioned and broadcast by BBC Radio Drama as well as features and dramatisations including a serialisation of Susan Howitch’s novel Penmarric and for the Classic Serial slot, Patrick White’s novel, Voss. It was during that period that Julia began to move into fiction.  Originally this took the form of short stories commissioned by the BBC. The most recent was Blue Afternoon which was produced and read by Martin Jarvis. Fourteen From Four, a collection of previously broadcast short stories, was published in 2005 by the Elebana Press and 2008 saw the publication [Allison & Busby Ltd] of Muddy Boots And Silk Stockings, the first of a trilogy of novels set in rural England during World War two. The second, The Girl At the Farmhouse Gate, came out in 2010 and the third, Alice’s Girls, in 2011. Current commissions include a dramatisation for BBC Radio 4 of Julian Barnes’ novel “Talking It Over” which will be broadcast in 2012.”

For TLC, Julia reads literary fiction, radio plays, and short stories


Mary Tomlinson

Mary Tomlinson was Fiction Editor at Bloomsbury Publishing for nearly twenty years. For much of that time she worked with Liz Calder on her distinguished list, editing writers such as John Berger, Will Self, Patricia Highsmith, Brian Moore and Joanna Trollope. Since 2007 she has been editing fiction on a freelance basis, and is writing a novel. She has reviewed fiction for the Literary Review and literary biography and literary criticism for the Times Higher Education Supplement.

For TLC Mary reads literary and commercial fiction


Patsy Trench

Patsy Trench has a Masters degree in Theatre Text and Performance at RADA and Birkbeck College. A former actress, scriptwriter, script editor, lyricist and children’s theatre director, she now teaches and lectures on British Theatre at Kingston University, and organises theatre tours for overseas students. She has had three books published, the latest titled The Worst Country in the World, the story of colonial Australia in the early 1800s as seen through the eyes of her ancestors. She has published a practical guide to producing ebooks and paperbacks and she also teaches self publishing writers how to convert their own manuscripts.

For TLC Patsy reads theatre scripts, screenplays, and non-fiction (memoir, life writing)


Rachel Trezise

Rachel Trezise was born in the south Wales valleys in 1978 and studied journalism at the University of Glamorgan and University of Limerick. Her first novel, In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl, won a place on the 2001 Orange Futures List, while her debut collection of short fiction, Fresh Apples, won the EDS Dylan Thomas Prize. Her latest novel is Sixteen Shades of Crazy. She also writes non-fiction and drama.

For TLC Rachel reads short stories, literary and commercial fiction, and memoir


Saskia Vogel

Saskia Vogel is a literary translator, writer and editor. She holds an MA in Comparative Literature from UCL and a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. She is the Swedish series editor and translator for Readux Books, and has previously worked as a magazine editor, journalist, and publicist for Granta magazine, working on their events series and press campaigns as well as contributing to the magazine.

Saskia has written for a number of publications including The White ReviewLos Angeles Downtown News,, Citizen LA, LArt magazine, SCARF and Severni Bunker (Serbia). She is a co-founder of the international communications collective Dialogue Berlin and her translation of Katrine Kielos’s Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner? is due for release in 2015.

For TLC Saskia reads high concept literary fiction, women's fiction, and fiction dealing with feminism, gender and sexuality


Ahren Warner

Ahren Warner's first book, Confer, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for both the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. His second collection of poems, Pretty, was published in June 2013 and also received a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. He received a Society of Authors Eric Gregory Award in 2010, Arts Council England Awards in 2008 and 2012 and was also the recipient of the Arts Foundation Poetry Fellowship in 2012. Ahren's poems appear in various major anthologies, including London: A History in Verse (Harvard University Press, 2012), Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010) and Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century (Bloodaxe, 2009) and he is the editor of various works including the Best British Poetry 2013 anthology (Salt). He is currently Poetry Editor of Poetry London, and a tutor in the English Department of Queen Mary, University of London.

For TLC Ahren reads poetry


Shelley Weiner

Shelley Weiner is the author of five novels. South African-born, she  worked as a journalist, PR writer and editor in a publishing house before  turning to fiction. She is widely known as an inspirational creative writing tutor and nurturer of new talent, and tutors regularly for Guardian Masterclasses, the Faber Academy, Peirene, and Skyros Writers’ Lab. She served as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow for five years and has subsequently been appointed Advisory Fellow.  Shelley has lectured on the Creative Writing MA at Anglia Ruskin University, as well as for Birkbeck College, the Open University, the Taliesin Trust, the British Council in Israel, and Durham University Summer School.

For TLC Shelley reads literary and commercial fiction, and non-fiction (memoir)


Tessa West

Tessa West’s professional career has been spent largely in prisons. She was an assistant governor and, later on, an Independent Member of the Parole Board. Her non-fiction book Prisons of Promise was published by Waterside Press. The first creative writing she did was poetry, but she has successfully self-published three novels, The Estuary, The Reed Flute and Companion to Owls. Each of these is set in East Anglia, where she has lived all her adult life. Landscape is a feature in Tessa’s writing, as is her interest in identity and belonging.

Tessa was one of the first mentors at TLC, work she enjoys greatly and is able to combine with her own writing. Two years ago, as the final project for her MA in Writing the Visual (at the Norwich School of Art and Design), she created The Other Vikings, a hand-made book containing poems about or in the voice of Viking women. While writing The Curious Mr Howard, her biography of the prison reformer which was published in 2011 by Waterside Press, she was awarded the Arthur Welton Award. She has had short stories published in Unthology 1 and 2 and is currently working on a series of poems inspired by maps.

For TLC Tessa reads literary and commercial fiction


Alan Wilkinson

Alan Wilkinson has specialised in non-fiction and historical subjects. He has written three company histories and compiled two collections of Great War correspondence, including, “Thank God I’m Not A Boy!”, The Letters of Dora Willatt, 1915-18 (Hull U Press, 1997). He has also scripted commentaries for 200 TV documentaries, and written a number of Emmerdale episodes. His travel features have appeared most recently in the Wyoming-based American Cowboy. In 2004 he was appointed Jack Kerouac Writer in Residence in Orlando, Florida. His ghosted biography of Warwickshire batsman Wasim Khan, Brim Full of Passion, was Wisden’s Cricket Book of the Year, 2007. For the past four years he has been ghosting the Mike Pannett series (Now Then, Lad etc.) for Hodder. In 2011 he was awarded a Wingate Scholarship and spent six months on a cattle ranch in western Nebraska, studying the life and work of Mari Sandoz. He is currently completing a narrative account of his experiences there. His blog is available at

For TLC Alan reads a broad range of non-fiction


Evie Wyld

Evie Wyld is a novelist and bookseller. Her first novel After the Fire, a Still Small Voice won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize as well as a Betty Trask award, and she was also short listed for the Orange prize for New Writers and the IMPAC award. She has written short stories, essays and articles for, amongst others, Granta, Vogue, the Guardian, The Observer, and The Telegraph.

She was educated at Bath Spa, and then at Goldsmiths University London for her MA in Creative Writing. She was recently listed as the one of the Culture Show’s 12 of the Best New Novelists.

For TLC Evie reads literary and commercial fiction


Kerry Young

Kerry Young was born in Kingston, Jamaica to a Chinese father and mother of mixed African-Chinese heritage. Her first novel Pao, was published by Bloomsbury and Bloomsbury US in 2011. It was described by The Independent On Sunday as `A pacy but absorbing saga of domestic struggle and gangland manoeuvring set against the violent backdrop of post war Jamaican politics’. Pao was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, Commonwealth Book Prize and East Midlands Book Award. Kerry’s second novel, Gloria, was published by Bloomsbury and Bloomsbury US in 2013. It was longlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award. Kerry’s third Bloomsbury novel in her Jamaican trilogy, Fay, is scheduled to be published in spring 2015.

For TLC Kerry reads literary and commercial fiction