TLC Advisory Board

TLC is grateful for the expertise, support, and championing of our highly experienced Advisors, who support TLC’s strategic business planning.

Nick McMahon 

Nick McMahon Over 25 years founding and operating businesses in the design and technology sectors covering architecture, products, digital media, data, software and engineering. He has held Chair, CEO and board advisory roles with a range of companies and has particular experience in the identification and evaluation of commercial opportunity, development of commercial and intellectual property strategy, raising investment and building and operating from start-up through to revenue. He has operational experience in UK, Europe, Asia and the US. Nick holds a Masters in Engineering from the University of Leeds and is a chartered structural engineer.

Nick’s key areas of expertise: Company creation, development strategy, corporate governance, Intellectual Property development and management

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. Jacob also currently works as a manuscript assessor for TLC.

Jacob’s key areas of expertise: Writing, publishing, editing, diversity and inclusion

Tom Wilcox

Tom Wilcox is a Partner at Counterculture. Tom’s clients include the ICA, DACS, De La Warr Pavilion, Clore Leadership Programme, Hofesh Shechter Company and Frantic Assembly.

Tom was Managing Director at the Whitechapel Gallery where he oversaw the £13M expansion of the gallery. He previously worked at Arts Council England, the Poetry Society and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Tom is a Chartered Company Secretary and qualified accountant.

Tom was a contributor to the book Common Ground, a collection of writing about authorship and place. He is a musician and a music curator.

Tom’s key areas of expertise: Arts funding, finance, governance and strategic and business planning

Craig Pollard

Craig Pollard has been fundraising for nearly twenty years . He is a qualified accountant with an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development (SOAS), and in 2003 became a fundraiser with Turning Point, going on to successfully lead the fundraising at Amref UK and SOAS.  For the last four years, Craig has been an international fundraising consultant.  He is a Partner at More Partnership, a UK-based fundraising consultancy with a growing international reputation.

When not on various adventures with his family, from backpacking in Venezuela and Colombia to travelling around the Balkans, Craig advise a broad range of clients on everything from strategy and finance to training and coaching. Recent clients include big organisations like WaterAid, the Palestinian Museum, Medical Research Council, and Save the Children, and many smaller ones including North Northumberland National Park and Horizons Trust UK/Gambia.

Five years ago Craig and his wife set up the charity “Cycle Africa” and cycled more than 17,000 kilometres from London to Cape Town, South Africa.  The journey was “affirming, exciting and exhausting in equal measure; it took one year and one day to get to our destination and another year to recover”.   As a result of this adventure, Craig is now a regular speaker at the Royal Geographical Society on fundraising and expeditions. He is a trustee of Amref Health Africa (UK) and is very proud to support the small, inspiring and brilliant TLC.

Craig’s key areas of expertise: Fundraising, development, strategy management, charities work 

Julia Forster

Julia is a published novelist, a prize-winning poet and a writer development specialist specialist who has worked in publishing for over twenty years. She joined TLC as a reader in 2017, and with Aki Schilz, she co-devised Being A Writer. She has overseen year-long mentoring of several writers on the TLC Chapter and Verse scheme.
Julia has recently trained as an Analytic-Network Systems Coach and has also trained in Outdoor Intelligence for online coaching with Fi Mcmillan of Wild Leadership. She has a Diploma in Spiritual Development from the Brenda Davies UK School and, in the quest for life-long enquiry, she is currently training with the Wise Goose Coaching School. Her passion is for creating the conditions for writers to explore the inner qualities of their character which enable them to write without barriers. In 2023, she is opening a writer-in-residence and writer retreat cabin on the edge of Snowdonia in mid-Wales.

Julia’s key areas of expertise: Publishing, author services, marketing, creative communities

Rakhee Jasani

Rakhee Jasani is a creative leader and innovator who has worked in participatory arts for 25 years as a producer, manager, deviser, facilitator, educator and evaluator. She is the co-founder of leading London based arts education organisation Eastside Educational Trust and served as its Director for 23 years. Rakhee’s skills are broad ranging and include devising projects, project management, fundraising, charity governance, evaluation, social media, marketing, strategy & business planning, partnership development and education & training. Rakhee is an arts assessor for Arts Council, England and also teaches yoga and creates content and writes for Movement for Modern Life.

Rakhee’s key areas of expertise: project management, fundraising, charity governance, evaluation, social media, marketing, strategy & business planning

Peter McKay

Peter McKay was the Chief Executive of the Publishing Training Centre (PTC) until his retirement in 2018. He took on this role after a successful 34-year career in publishing. The PTC is a network of over 50 publishing and training professionals focused solely on delivering training courses for the publishing industry and developing publishing skills, including editorial skills training. Since joining the publishing industry in 1977 Peter worked in sales, marketing, operations and general management. In a career focused on educational, academic and professional publishing he always worked for companies leading the way in publishing innovation. He has also served on several industry committees at the PA and STM Publishers Association.

Peter’s key areas of expertise: Strategic review and change, Translating strategy into operational plans, Change Management, Portfolio Review, New product development, Employee engagement, Stakeholder engagement.

Kerry Young

Kerry Young’s first novel Pao was a TLC read that was later published by Bloomsbury in 2011. Pao was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, the Commonwealth Book Prize and the East Midlands Book Award. Since then, Kerry has published two further novels with Bloomsbury – Gloria (2013) longlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and Show Me A Mountain (2016). Kerry’s short story ‘Home Is Where the Heart Is’ was published in Hometown Tales: The Midlands (Orion, 2018). Tomorrow Is Another Day was published in the Wasafiri 35th Anniversary Issue (100, Winter 2019). Kerry is a Project Fellow at the Royal Literary Fund and an Arvon Tutor.

Kerry’s key areas of expertise: literature, writer development, teaching

Dr Helen Cosis Brown   

Helen Cosis Brown was TLC co-Founder Rebecca Swift’s partner. She was a Professor of Social Work at the University of Bedfordshire until 2018, and now chairs a local authority adoption and fostering panel, and is the agency decision maker for two independent fostering agencies. Her research and publications are in the field of adoption and fostering. She worked as a social worker, and a social work manager, in inner London before moving into social work education. She managed social work programmes at the University of Hertfordshire, South Bank University and Middlesex University. She has been a non-executive director of the Albert Kennedy Trust, and the London Gypsy and Traveller Unit, and currently sits on the CoramBAAF Publications Advisory Group

Helen’s key areas of expertise: review, evaluation, research