Dorothy Koomson is the award-winning author of fifteen novels including the Sunday Times bestsellers My Best Friend’s Girl, The Ice Cream Girls, and Goodnight, Beautiful. My Best Friend’s Girl (2016) was selected for the Richard & Judy Summer Reads Book Club and went on to sell half a million copies. Dorothy’s novels have been translated into over thirty languages, sold millions of copies, and a TV adaptation based on The Ice Cream Girls was produced in 2013. She has been described as “Britain's biggest selling black author of adult fiction” by The Independent. Dorothy was recently named one of the UK’s most influential Black figures on the Black Powerlist 2021. She has also recently joined the Society of Authors’ board of directors, as well as launching her own Happy Author podcast on her writing life, tips, tricks, and insights.
Joelle Taylor is an award-winning poet, playwright, author and editor. Joelle has performed in a diverse range of venues internationally and is the author of four plays, three full collections of poetry and one of short stories. From 2020-2022 she is undertaking a tenure as Editor of Out-Spoken Press. Her most recent collection Songs My Enemy Taught Me (Out-Spoken Press) was inspired by fusing her own story of surviving sexual abuse with masterclasses engaging groups of vulnerable women across the UK. Joelle has been awarded a Southbank Centre Change Maker prize and a Fellowship of the Royal Society of the Arts. Her fourth collection of poetry CUNTO is forthcoming in Summer 2021.
A former UK slam champion, she founded the national youth slam championships SLAMbassadors in 2001 for the Poetry Society, founded and is Artistic Director of Borderlines—an international spoken word project that links ten UK cities with seven European countries.
Aki Schilz is the Director of The Literary Consultancy, the UK’s longest-running editorial consultancy. She is a Trustee of Poetry London, and sits on the advisory board of Penned in the Margins. Aki is a judge for the Bridport First Novel Award and sits on its steering committee. She is also a prize-winning writer of poetry and fiction, and co-founder of the Saboteur Award-shortlisted #LossLit digital literature project. In 2018 Aki was named as one of the FutureBook 40 (a list of the top 40 innovators in UK publishing), and nominated for an h100 Award for her #BookJobTransparency campaign and her work to improve representation and accessibility in the literature sector. She is also the founder of the Rebecca Swift Foundation, in memory of TLC’s founder and her boss and mentor. In 2019 Aki was shortlisted for the Kim Scott-Walwyn Prize.
Sarala Estruch is the MA and Editorial Manager at the Poetry School, the UK's largest provider of poetry education. She is also a writer, poet and critic. Her poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and reviews have appeared in journals and newspapers including The Poetry Review, Wasafiri and The Guardian, and have been featured on BBC Radio 3. Sarala is a former winner of the Poetry School/Nine Arches Press Primers competition and a member of the Ledbury Poetry Critics. Her poetry short ‘The English Dream’ appears in Primers: Volume Three (Nine Arches Press, 2018). @poetryschool @saralaestruch