Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947. His first novel Hell Archives was published in 1982 and since then he has gone on to write over twenty book, many of which have gone on to become international bestsellers. His books include The Alchemist, Veronika Decides to Die, The Zahir and The Witch of Portobello. He wrote an autobiographical work The Pilgrimage based on his 1986 walk of the 500-mile pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The Alchemist has been translated into 71 languages, making it the most widely translated book by a living author, and has sold over 65 million copies.
Best-selling Turkish author Elif Safak was born in Strasbourg, France in 1971. She is a graduate of the Middle East Technical University in Turkey and majored in political science, gaining a PhD from the same university. Her first novel Pinhan was awarded the 1998 Rumi Prize and has since written eleven novels in Turkish and two in English. Her 2009 novel Ask, translated as The Forty Rules of Love, is the highest selling novel ever in Turkey, with over 550,000 copies sold. Ms Safak continues to write for such publications as The Guardian, Time, The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Born Mahoko Yoshimoto in 1964 in Tokyo, Japan, she adopted the pseudonym Banana after her love of Banana flowers. Ms Yoshimoto graduated from Nihon Univeristy’s Art College, majoring in literature. She is the author of twelve books, eight of which have been translated into English, and has sold over 6 million copies worldwide. Her latest novel, The Lake, was shortlisted for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize.
Russian playwright, artist, author and singer Ludmilla Petrushevskaya was born in Moscow in 1938 and is regarded as on of Russia’s most prominent contemporary authors. Ms Petrushevskaya has twice been short-listed for the Russian Booker Prize and was awarded the 2003 Puskin Prize in Russian Literature, the 2004 Russian State Prize for Arts, the 2005 Stanislavsky Award and the Triumph Prize in 2006. Her latest work There Once Lived a Woman who Tried to Kill her Neighbour’s Baby was published in the US in 2009 and became a New York Times Book Review bestseller, winning the 2009 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection.
Kenyan novelist, essayist and playwright Ngugi wa Thiong’o was born in Kamirlithu in the Kiambu district of Kenya in 1938. After studying at the Makerere University College in Kampala, Uganda and at Leeds University in England Mr Thiong’o published his first novel Weep not, child, in 1964. Since then Mr Thiong’o has gone on to write over 30 novels, volumes of essays and plays, and has taught at Yale University, New York University and the University of California. Mr Thiong’o currently lives in the US and is one of the world’s foremost African writers.
Terry Pratchett was born in 1948 in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. After working as a journalist, his first novel, The Carpet People, was published in 1971. He is best known as a fantasy writer, and has produced 39 installments of the Discworld series since 1983. Sir Terry has sold over 65 million books worldwide is 37 different languages and was the UK’s best selling author of the 1990s. Sir Terry was knighted in the 2009 New Years Honours list for services to literature, and remains of of the UK’s most popular authors.
Shaun Tan, who comes from Perth, Western Australia, is best known for illustrated books that deal with complex subjects through dazzling imagery. Books such as The Rabbits, The Red Tree, Tales from Outer Suburbia and The Arrival have been widely translated. He worked as concept artist for the films Horton Hears a Who and Pixar’s WALL-E. In 2011, he won an Academy Award for his short film The Lost Thing. The same year, he received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, for his overall contribution to literature for children.
Born in 1956, Osman Sınav is a leading Turkish director, producer and screenwriter. He studied art at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul, before founding his production company, Sinegraf, in 1984. Since then, the company has produced multiaward winning feature films and TV series Wildheart, Guerilla, Liar, and Opening Doors. He is a member of the Director’s Association, Cinematic Right Owner’s Society, and a member of the executive committee of the Turkish Cinema and Television Producers Association.
Kyung-Sook Shin is one of South Korea’s foremost writers, now gaining worldwide attention following her Man Asian Literary Prize win in 2012, for Please Look After Mother. Having studied creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts, she has produced an acclaimed body of award-winning novels and short stories. Prizes she has won include the Dong-in Literary Award, the Yi Sang Literary Award, and France’s Prix de l’Inapercu. Having sold two million copies in her native country, Please Look After Mother has now been published in 19 other countries.
Born in 1952, Nilgün Öneş is a Turkish screenplay writer who has written scripts for both TV and cinema. After studying interior design at university, Ms Öneş worked as a graphic designer for twenty years. Süper baba, Yabancı Damat, Ihlamurlar Altında and Hatırla Sevgili are a few of the hit TV series she has worked on.
Kenyan novelist, essayist and playwright Ngugi wa Thiong’o was born in Kamirlithu in the Kiambu district of Kenya in 1938. After studying at the Makerere University College in Kampala, Uganda and at Leeds University in England Mr Thiong’o published his first novel Weep not, child, in 1964. Since then Mr Thiong’o has gone on to write over 30 novels, volumes of essays and plays, and has taught at Yale University, New York University and the University of California. Mr Thiong’o currently lives in the US and is one of the world’s foremost African writers.
Shan Jiang is originally from Shanghai, a city in China where tower buildings, bungalows, contemporary concepts, traditional superstitions and communistic ideology mix with flourishing subcultures. Having completed his M.Des at Edinburgh College of Art in 2004, Shan worked at one of UK’s leading design studios ILoveDust for 7 years before joining London based design company Shotopop as a partner in mid 2012. Shan currently lives and works in London.
Warren Ellis is the award-winning graphic novelist, author and columnist. Some of his recognitions include the National University of Ireland, Galway Literary and Debating Society’s President’s Medal for service to freedom of speech, the EAGLE AWARDS Roll Of Honour for lifetime achievement in the field of comics & graphic novels, the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire 2010, the Sidewise Award for Alternate History and the International Horror Guild Award for illustrated narrative. His NYT-bestselling novel, Gun Machine, is being developed for television by Chernin Entertainment and FOX while RED 2, the sequel to the Bruce Willis-Helen Mirren film RED based on his book of the same name, will be released in August 2013. His first non-fiction book is due in 2014.

Muhtar Kent was born in New York in 1952 where his father, Necdet Kent was the Turkish consul-general. After completing high school in Tarsus American College in Mersin, Turkey he earned an MBA at Cass Business School in London. In 1978, Mr Kent found a job touring the US in a truck to sell Coca-Cola. Seven years later he was general manager of Coca-Cola Turkey and Central Asia. Another three years passed before he was put in charge of 23 countries as the Coca-Cola Company’s East Central Europe Division. In 2009, 31 years after joining the company, Mr Kent became the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company. As well as being an active member of the global business community and serving on several boards including Special Olympics International, Mr Kent was recently appointed as a member of the Eminent Persons Group for ASEAN by President Obama.
Born in Greenock of Scottish and Irish parents, and a graduate of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Napier Universities, Lin Anderson’s publications include eight novels and one novella in her best-selling forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod series, short stories published and broadcast on radio, film scripts, and one non-fiction book. She is the co-founder of Bloody Scotland, Scotland’s international book festival dedicated to crime-writing, and is the Chair of the Society of Authors in Scotland.
Liam Kruger is a twenty-three year old student and writer, currently living in Cape Town and pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing. He has had works published in The Newer York, Thought Catalog, and Itch. He is currently working on a novel.
Shanta Acharya was born in India; she won a scholarship to Oxford, where she completed her doctoral thesis in English before going to Harvard as a Visiting Scholar. Her study, The Influence of Indian Thought on Ralph Waldo Emerson, was published in the USA in 2001. The author of nine books, her latest poetry collection is Dreams That Spell The Light (Arc Publications, UK; 2010). Her poems, articles and reviews have appeared in major publications in the UK, USA, and India including Poetry Review, London Magazine, The Warwick Review, Red: Contemporary Black British Poetry among others in the UK, The Little Magazine, The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry, India International Centre Quarterly in India, Cimarron Review, Fulcrum, Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia &Beyond in the USA. She is the founder director of Poetry in the House, Lauderdale House in London, where she has been hosting monthly poetry events since 1996. She was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Poetry Society, UK, in 2011.
Bina Shah is a Pakistani writer from Karachi. The author of four novels and two collections of short stories, her novel Slum Child was a bestseller in Italy and she has been published in English, Spanish, German and Italian. She writes a monthly column for Dawn, the biggest English-language newspaper in Pakistan, and a bimonthly column on literature and freedom of expression for Sampsonia Way, while her personal blog, 21st Century Woman, is the first Pakistani blog to be syndicated by Al Bawaba Media in the Middle East. She has contributed essays to Granta, The Independent, Wasafiri, Critical Muslim, and the International Herald Tribune. Her fiction has been published in Wasafiri, InterlitQ, the award-winning collection And the World Changed, and Asian Cha. She is an alum of the University of Iowa’s International Writers Program and the International Writers Workshop at the Hong Kong Baptist University. Her novel A Season For Martyrs will be published early 2014 by Delphinium Books.
Stephan Delbos is a New-England-born writer who divides his time between Prague and Massachusetts. He edits the web journal B O D Y. His poetry, essays, and translations have been published most recently in Atlanta Review, BlazeVox, Born Magazine, Fourteen Hills, Ping Pong, Poetry Salzburg Review, Rakish Angel, Tygerburning Literary Journal and Zoland Poetry. Previously, he edited the anthology From a Terrace in Prague: A Prague Poetry Anthology (Litteraria Pragensia, 2011), for which he translated a number of poems from Czech. His first full-length play, “Chetty’s Lullaby,” about the life of trumpet legend Chet Baker, is currently in production in San Francisco.
Born in Nigeria in 1988, Godspower Oboido is a poet, playwright, writer, social entrepreneur, inventor and IT enthusiast whose style is greatly influenced by classical literature as much as it is influenced by the vibe of modern society. He was a finalist in the Future Nigeria Awards in 2010 where he was among 100 of the best and brightest Nigerians under thirty years. He became a Kairos Global Fellow in 2013. Godspower Oboido’s works have been published in Saraba Magazine, and Nathaniel Turner, amongst many other print and online journals. He lives and writes in England. He is the author of Shut Up and Sit Down, a Drama. Songs of a Chicken Bone is his second published book, his first full length poetic offering, that will be released in 2013. He has performed his poems in England, Nigeria and Russia.
Susan Nalugwa Kiguli was born on the 24th of June, 1969 in the Luweero District of Uganda. A senior lecturer at Makerere University, Ms Kiguli is a poet and a literary scholar who has long been an advocate of creative writing in Africa. A founding member of FEMRITE, a judge for the African Region of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and an advisory board member of the African Writers Trust, Ms Kiguli is best known for her poetry collection entitled The African Saga.
Kaya Genç is a Turkish novelist and a doctor of English literature. He specializes in late-Victorian authors and wrote a doctoral dissertation on Conrad, Wilde and Stevenson. Newsweek Turkey named him as one of Turkish literature’s 20 under 40. His essays appeared, both in print and online, in The Guardian, London Review of Books, Songlines, Sight & Sound, Index on Censorship, The White Review, the Rumpus, Los Angeles Review of Books, the Millions and many others. He has translated ten books into Turkish, writes both in his native tongue and in English and lives in Istanbul.
Name Details about author will go here. Details about author will go here. Details about author will go here. Details about author will go here. Details about author will go here. Details about author will go here. Details about author will go here. Details about author will go here. Details about author will go here. Details about author will go here. Valentina Cano Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends her free time either writing or reading. Her works have appeared in Exercise Bowler, Blinking Cursor, Theory Train, Cartier Street Press, Berg Gasse 19, Precious Metals, A Handful of Dust, The Scarlet Sound, The Adroit Journal, Perceptions Literary Magazine, Welcome to Wherever, The Corner Club Press, Death Rattle, Danse Macabre, Subliminal Interiors, Generations Literary Journal, A Narrow Fellow, Super Poetry Highway, Stream Press, Stone Telling, Popshot, Golden Sparrow Literary Review, Rem Magazine, Structo, The 22 Magazine, The Black Fox Literary Magazine, Niteblade, Tuck Magazine, Ontologica, Congruent Spaces Magazine, Pipe Dream, Decades Review, Anatomy, Lowestof Chronicle, Muddy River Poetry Review, Lady Ink Magazine, Spark Anthology, Awaken Consciousness Magazine, Vine Leaves Literary Magazine, Avalon Literary Review, Caduceus,White Masquerade Anthology and Perhaps I’m Wrong About the World. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Web and the Pushcart Prize.
Gavin Francis is a Scottish writer and physician and the author of two travel narratives: Empire Antarctica - Ice, Silence & Emperor Penguins (Chatto) and True North - Travels in Arctic Europe (Polygon). He has contributed to The Guardian, Granta, Times of London, Scotsman, Sunday Herald and the London Review of Books. He is currently writing a book about the Himalayas, and though based in Edinburgh, dreams of living in Istanbul one day...
Judith O’Brien has published three volumes of poetry: Mystic Places; By The Grace of Ghosts, and Everything That Is, Is Connected. She has also published a memoir, Crossing a Different Bridge, and many individual poems. She is now in her 80s, and much of her current writing is inspired by the life in the retirement center where she lives.
Barrie Wayne Sherwood is a novelist and assistant professor of English at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. His previous publications include The Pillow Book of Lady Kasa (DC Books, Canada, 2000) and Escape from Amsterdam (Granta, UK and St Martins Press, USA, 2007). Their settings and topic-matters stems from a four-year period when he lived in rural Japan. He is currently at work upon a novel about economic migration between Africa and Canada.
Aldo Nove was born in Viggiù in the province of Varese in 1967. In 1996 he published his first collection of short stories, Woobinda and Other Stories Without a Happy Ending (Woobinda e altre storie senza lieto fine). His first novel, Puerto Plata Market, was published the next year. A poet, author and musician, Nove is famous for writing works with ‘shock effect’ and is often noted as being part of a group of young Italian writers referred to as the ‘Giovani Cannibali’ (Young Cannibals).
Andrew Sclater is a poet and drystane dyker with Scottish and Norwegian blood. He has worked as an actor, gardener, crop scientist, landscape historian, college lecturer, editor of Charles Darwin’s letters, and co-founder of the National Botanic Garden of Wales - all jobs connected to plants and places. After writing unread poems for years, he brought some out in 2009. He has since received awards from New Writing North and the Scottish Book Trust, been shortlisted for the inaugural Picador Poetry Prize, and gained residencies from the Brownsbank Trust and Planning Aid for Scotland. Andrew is based in Edinburgh
Emrah Yucel was born in Turkey, in 1968, as the son of a screenwriter mother and a film director father. While his father worked for the BBC, he began elementary school in London. Those years influenced him to follow the path of a designer. After returning to Turkey, he continued his education and graduated from Hacettepe University. He subsequently received a master’s degree in Art, Design and Architecture from Bilkent University. He also began his professional career during those formative years, representing his country in international exhibitions and poster biennials which culminated in his winning two “Designer of the Year” awards in the field of graphic design.
Patricio Pron was born in 1975 in Argentina. The author of several short story collections and five novels including My Father’s Ghost is Climbing in the Rain, Pron also works as a translator and a critic. The winner of a number of prizes, including the Juan Rulfo Short Story Prize and the Jaén Novel Award, Patricio lives and writes in Spain.
Kate Mosse is a novelist, non-fiction writer, playwright, short story writer and broadcaster. In 1996, she co-founded the annual Women’s Prize for Fiction, of which she is also the Honorary Director. From 1998 to 2001, she was the executive director of the Chichester Festival Theatre. In 2000 she was named European Woman of Achievement for her contribution to the arts. Her 2005 novel Labyrinth has been translated into more than 30 languages. Her latest work, a short story collection, The Mistletoe Bride & other Tales of Haunting was released in October 2013.
Philip Reeve is an author and illustrator, best known for his works for children and young adults. His first novel, Mortal Engines, was published in 2001, and spawned four sequels, the last of which, A Darkling Plain, won both the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. His novel Here Lies Arthur won the Carnegie Medal 2008. Oliver and the Seawigs is the first of a series of books to be co-written with Sarah McIntyre.
Sarah McIntyre makes comics and picture books from her studio with friends in an old police station in south London. Her comic Vern and Lettuce features sheep and a rabbit best friends who live in a neighbourhood very much like her own. Her books Morris the Mankiest Monster, You Can’t Eat a Princess! and You Can’t Scare a Princess! have won several awards including the Leeds Graphic Novel Award, the Sheffield Picture Book Award and the Bishop’s Stortford Picture Book Award. Her latest venture with author Philip Reeve is Oliver and the Seawigs. Visit her blog, which she updates with drawings and event photos almost every day:
Simon Sebag Montefiore is a journalist and historian. Montefiore’s books have been world bestsellers, published in more than 30 languages. His book Young Stalin won the LA Times Book Prize for Best Biography, the Costa Book Award, the Bruno Kreisky Award for Political Literature, the Prix de la Biographie Politique, and was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. His latest novel, One Night in Winter, is out now in the UK, and will be out in the USA in May 2014.
Julia Donaldson is a writer, playwright and performer, and was the Children’s Laureate from 2011 to 2013. She is best known for her stories for children, especially those illustrated by Axel Scheffler, including The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom. She has published over 180 works, including a phonic reading scheme, “Songbirds”. She is a popular performer at book festivals around the world, where her background in singing and songwriting often forms part of her interactive shows.
Kirsty Logan is a writer, editor, teacher and reviewer. She is the literary editor of The List, co-editor of the flash fiction magazine Fractured West, and writes reviews for We Love This Book.

Her short fiction and poetry has been published in print and online, recorded for radio and podcasts, and exhibited in galleries.

In 2013, she won the last ever Scott Prize and the first ever Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship.

Her debut, The Rental Heart & Other Fairytales, will be published by Salt in early 2014. She lives in Glasgow.
Sylva Fischerová was born in 1963 in Prague. She grew up in the Moravian town of Olomouc as a daughter of non-Marxist philosopher whose works were banished under communist rule. She returned to Prague to study philosophy and physics, and later Greek and Latin, at Charles University where she now teaches ancient Greek literature and philosophy. She has published eight volumes of poems in Czech. An earlier selection of her poems, The Tremor of Racehorses, translated by Ian and Jarmila Milner, was published by Bloodaxe in 1990. She recently began to write prose, and two books of her stories (Miracle and Passage), as well as two books for children, appeared since 2005. The Swing in the Middle of Chaos: Selected Poems, co-translated with Stuart Friebert, was published by Bloodaxe in 2010. Translations of her poems have appeared in a number of journals, including The New Yorker, World Literature Today, FIELD, Pleiades, The Literary Review, Great River Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Jewish Currents, Descant et al. She has also been a featured poet at a number of literary festivals in Europe, among them the “Poetry Parnassus” in London in 2012.
Jonathan is a postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh reading American History, previously a student of History and German at the University of Birmingham and University of Vienna, Austria. His primary research deals with the early diplomatic and cultural encounters between Austria and America as well as more general issues f sovereignty and identity through the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. He hopes to continue his studies further at PhD level at Edinburgh and some day to return to living in Vienna.
Following a transient childhood, Elosham came of age as a stranger in the surreal spaces of the American Midwest and west coast. He now lives and writes in the United Kingdom, Asia, and the Americas. His interests include Russian formalists, fine whisky, the wicked art of Biblical revision, and the anthropological sciences.
A writer of fiction, essays, and translations, J. T. Townley has published in Vagabondage Press LLC’s, Experienced: Rock Music Tales of Fact & Fiction, Harvard Review, Metamorphoses, Prairie Schooner, The Threepenny Review, and other places. His short story “A Christmas Letter” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has won fiction residencies and research travel grants from the Fulbright Program, Fundación Valparaíso, Spain, and the University of Virginia Vice President for Research/Dean of Arts and Sciences. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and an MPhil in English from Oxford University, and he teaches at the University of Virginia.
Mike Saunders was born in Norfolk, and has recently moved to Scotland, via a short stay in India. He is both a poet and sound recorder. His most recent work is concerned with the origins of a recorded space. His work has appeared in several magazines and journals, including Poetry Review, Lighthouse, and Dactyl. He lives in Edinburgh.
Claire Askew’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including the anthologies Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam (Cinnamon/Eyewear 2012), Where Rockets Burn Through: Contemporary Science Fiction Poetry from the UK (Penned in the Margins, 2012), and The Salt Anthology of New Writing 2013 (Salt, 2013). In 2012 she was awarded the inaugural International Salt Prize for Poetry, and poems from her debut pamphlet collection The Mermaid and the Sailors (Red Squirrel Press, 2011) won the 2010 Virginia Warbey Poetry Prize and were twice shortlisted for an Eric Gregory Award (2010, 2012). In 2013 Claire completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh, and was appointed Young Adult Project Co-Ordinator at the Scottish Book Trust. She blogs at
Born in Istanbul, Gizem Saka studied drawing and sculptural form in the historic city. In 1999, she moved to the U.S to attend graduate school in economics at Cornell University, where she also continued painting at the Department of Art & Architecture. Having combined her two interests in painting and economics, she developed the course “Economics and Art” at Wellesley College and taught it at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University (2014). She currently teaches at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2005, her work has been shown in over 15 national and international venues. She is the recipient of and Experimental Course Grant for Art and Economics at Wellesley College; and two exhibition grants from the Turkish Cultural Foundation. She is a reviewer for the Journal of Cultural Economics.
Daniel Roy Connelly is a theatre director, writer and academic. He lives in Rome, where he is an assistant professor of English, Theatre, and Public Speaking at John Cabot University and The American University of Rome.
Emily Dodd is a freelance writer, storyteller and science communicator based in Edinburgh. She has written science shows, workshops and stories for Edinburgh University, The National Museums Scotland, The Scottish Seabird Centre and Our Dynamic Earth. She is a screenwriter for Children’s BBC Science Show ‘Nina and the Neurons’. Emily was the 2012/2013 Reader in Residence at Leith Library in Edinburgh. Her debut children’s picture book, Can’t Dance Cameron - A Scottish Capercaillie Story, was published by Floris Books in 2014.
Elif Shafak is an award-winning novelist and Turkey’s most-read female writer. She writes in both English and Turkish, and has published 13 books, nine of which are novels, including: The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love, Honour and her nonfiction memoir Black Milk (by Penguin/Viking). Her books have been translated into more than forty languages. 

Alongside her literary work, Elif Shafak has contributed material to many international daily & weekly publications, including The Guardian, The New York Times International Weekly, The Financial Times, Time, Newsweek, Die Zeit, La Repubblica and The Independent.
Sara Sheridan is an Edinburgh-based historical novelist who writes two different kinds of books. One is a series of cosy crime noir mysteries set in Brighton in the 1950s –Brighton Belle, London Calling and England Expects - and the other is a set of novels based on the real-life stories of late Georgian and early Victorian explorers and adventurers (1820 - 1845) – The Secret Mandarin and Secret of the Sands. She has also written for children – her picture book I’m Me has appeared on CBeebies three times. She is a member of the Historical Writers Association, the Historical Novel Association, the Crime Writers Association and BAFTA. She is a board member of the UK-wide collective ‘26’ which coined the term sestude - a new form which is exactly 62 words long and can be in any genre.
Lesley Glaister is the author of thirteen novels including Honour Thy Father (which won both a Somerset Maugham and a Betty Trask Award); Limestone and Clay (which won Yorkshire Post’s Author of the Year Award); Easy Peasy (which was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction prize); Nina Todd has Gone and, most recently, Little Egypt (which has been awarded a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize. She has written drama for Radio 4 and her first stage play was performed at the Crucible Studio Theatre in 2004. Lesley has also had numerous short stories anthologised and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and has edited a book of women’s short stories. Lesley is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has taught creative writing at several universities. She currently works at St Andrews. She lives in Edinburgh - with frequent sorties to Orkney – with her husband, the writer Andrew Greig, and dog.
Canan Berber was born in 1967 in Merzifon, Turkey. She began painting as a child and graduated with a degree in textile technology before moving to the UK to study art and design at London City University. Working with many different media, Canan Berber’s work has been exhibited in galleries in Turkey, Italy, England and Switzerland. In 1997, her novel Chikka Boo was published in Istanbul where she lives.
Nasim Marie Jafry was born in the west of Scotland in 1963 to a Scottish mother and Pakistani father. She has an MA and MSc from Glasgow University but her studies were severely disrupted when she became ill with ME in the eighties. Her semi-autobiographical novel The State of Me was published by The Friday Project, an imprint of HarperCollins, in 2008. She believes that writing fiction is often a response to catastrophe. Over the years, she has had short stories in various Scottish literary magazines, and has been shortlisted for the Asham Award (2001), the RLS Award (2005), the Bridport Short Story Prize (2011) and the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize (2012). She appeared in a BBC Alba documentary in 2012 in which she discussed her novel and her illness, and in 2013 she read at ‘Dissecting Edinburgh’, a Medicine and Literature event at Surgeons’ Hall in Edinburgh. More recently, she had a short story in The Write Stuff feature in the Scotsman. She lives in Edinburgh. Her blog can be found at And she tweets as @velogubbed.
Tom Holmes is the editor of Redactions: Poetry, Poetics, & Prose and the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently The Cave, which won The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013 and will be released in 2014.
Nesset’s book of poems, Saint X (Stephen F. Austin University Press) was published in 2012; his book of poems in translation, Alphabet of the World: Selected Work by Eugenio Montejo (University of Oklahoma Press) appeared in 2010. He is also author of two books of short stories, Paradise Road (University of Pittsburgh Press) and Mr. Agreeable (Mammoth Books), a book of prose in translation, Disappearances (Calypso Editions, forthcoming), and a nonfiction study, The Stories of Raymond Carver (Ohio University Press). Nesset was awarded the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, a Pushcart Prize and the Perry Poetry Prize, as well as grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He currently teaches creative writing and literature at Allegheny College, and serves as writer-in-residence at Black Forest Writing Seminars (Freiburg, Germany).
Jessica Zbeida grew up in Texas. She studied with several writers during her education, including Zulfikar Ghose, Steven and Frederick Barthleme, Mary Robison, John Tait, and Barbara Rodman. Jessica teaches English at Florida Polytechnic University and directs the Writing Center. Her hobbies include bicycling, live music, and gardening. She lives in Lakeland, Florida, with her husband and son.
Jyotirmoyee Sen was born in 1894 in the kingdom of Jaipur, Rajasthan, where her family worked at the royal court. She spoke Bengali, Hindi and English and wrote under the pen name Jyotirmoyee Devi during her long widowhood. Her stories are based on her personal observations and experiences and deal with the timeless challenges faced by women and men in all walks of life. She won several awards including the prestigious Rabindra Puraskar for Bengali writing in 1973. Her work is part of the Women’s Studies curriculum at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She died in 1988.
Apala G. Egan grew up in India and is fluent in Bengali and English and also speaks Hindi. A former community college instructor, she devotes her time to translating and writing. She has attended the Squaw Valley Writer’s Conference in the USA and was awarded the Jeannie Wakatsuki Houston scholarship. She has won awards for her writing and has written articles and essays for newspapers and magazines. She has visited Rajasthan numerous times to research the backdrop of the stories.
Andrew Najberg teaches creative writing and other classes for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. His chapbook of poems Easy to Lose (2007) was published by Finishing Line Press. His individual poems have appeared in North American Review, Louisville Review, Yemassee, Nashville Review, Artful Dodge, Bat City Review, and various other journals and anthologies. He is a winner of an AWP Intro award and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Christopher Bakken is the author, most recently, of a book of culinary action-adventure travel writing called Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek Table, as well as two earlier books of poetry: Goat Funeral and After Greece. He also co-translated The Lions’ Gate: Selected Poems of Titos Patrikios.
Stephen Mason earned his BA in English in 2010 and his MA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing in 2012 from East Carolina University. After graduating, he moved to Istanbul in the summer and began teaching at a language school. He currently teaches English at Ozyegin University in Cekmekoy. In the future, he hopes to earn his MFA in fiction and teach creative writing.
Benjamin Wood’s debut novel The Bellwether Revivals (Simon & Schuster, 2012) was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Book Prize. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London, where he teaches and convenes the undergraduate writing programme. Having spent time researching in Istanbul as the British Council’s Writer in Residence last year, his second novel The Ecliptic will be published by Simon & Schuster in spring 2015. For more information, please visit:
Rich Ives lives on Camano Island in Puget Sound. He has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines for his work in poetry, fiction, editing, publishing, translation and photography. His writing has appeared in Verse, North American Review, Dublin Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly West, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, Fiction Daily and many more. He is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander. In 2013 he has received nominations for The Pushcart Prize (2), The Best of the Net and Story South. He is the 2012 winner of the Creative Nonfiction Prize from Thin Air magazine. Both Tunneling to the Moon, which is being serialized with a new story each day on the Silenced Press website for 2014, and Light from a Small Brown Bird (poetry--Bitter Oleander Press) are scheduled for paperback release in 2014.
Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He has a wife, Vickie and a daughter, Sage. His work has appeared in hundreds of publications including Poetry Salzburg Review, Prime Mincer, Sheepshead Review, Sierra Nevada Review, The William and Mary Review, Two Thirds North and The Red Cedar Review.