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Room 204

2014-15 Cohort

Vim Ayadurai is a writer and street photographer from Stafford. He writes fiction and poetry. 

Lisa Blower is an award-winning short story writer and novelist. She won The Guardian’s National  Short Story competition in 2009 with Broken Crockery and Barmouth was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award in 2013. Her debut novel is Sitting Ducks, and she has published a short story collection, It’s Gone Dark over Bill’s Mother’s.

She has a PhD in Creative & Critical Writing from Bangor University where she teaches on their Creative Writing programme, and regularly hosts workshops on short fiction in her home town of Shrewsbury. 

Lisa’s website

Anna Bradley writes flash fiction, short stories, poetry and the odd monologue. She has always loved  writing but is at the beginning of her career and in the past few years she has been making an effort to hone her skills by networking with other writers, doing courses, taking part in local writers’ meetings and adding to her existing body of work.  She is extremely focussed and her ultimate ambition is to write a novel, having drawn inspiration from her travels, studies, her home town, motherhood, living in different countries as well as the interesting people she has met along the way.

She has been a teacher, translator, interpreter, executive PA and artist and is a graduate in Linguistics and Languages. Although ambitious, she has an endless desire to write and write, seeing it as an end in itself as well as a vehicle to achieve real, tangible success.

Adam Craig has been all sorts of things over the years — from photographer to office cog — but writing has cropped up somewhere all along. His short stories have or are due to appear in anthologies from Dog Horn Publishing, Alchemy Press, and Boo Books.

At present, he is working on a novel, Vitus Dreams, which combines prose and prose poetry, amongst other things. All being well, it should see the light of day next autumn, thanks to Cinnamon Press.

Sue Crowder writes fiction, poetry and nonfiction. Her work has been included in a number of  anthologies including The Manchester Anthology & Write on! Stoke-on-Trent. 

Alongside the novel, she is also working on a collection of short stories. A number of these stories have been short listed for national competitions including the Booktown Writers and the NAWG (National Association of Writers’ Groups). She lives in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

Sue’s website
Twitter: @crowderse

Rivka Fine is creative director and story maker at Rivka Fine Writes. She specialises in contemporary narratives for the ‘lit lite’ market. She has also been a finalist in a number of writing competitions, including BBC Radio Four’s Opening Lines and My Telegraph’s monthly short story competition.

She is working on a novel about the scandalous death of a baby (One Fell Out Of The Cuckoo’s Nest), a short story collection (Open Mouth Surgery), and a screenplay adaptation of her story, The Heart of Samantha Wilson.

When she’s not busy with her writing, she makes a living as a freelance landscape architect.

Nick Fogg has a background directing theatre. Nick’s first short films were broadcast as part of the BBC Local  TV pilot. Since then she’s written and directed drama and documentary shorts, with work broadcast on Current TV and the Community Channel, screened at film festivals, and on the BBC Big Screen. She won the DepicT! ’11 Award for her short documentary, Wake.

Nick is currently developing her first feature film ideas as a writer and director alongside other short film projects.

Nick’s website
Twitter: @nickfoggfilm

Emma George is a self-confessed obsessive reader of young adult fiction, and writes primarily for this age group.

She lives and works in Stoke-on-Trent, the city in which her first novel is set. Written for her MA, The Dark Sky looks at the rise of the British Union of Fascists in the Potteries in 1934. She is currently working on a second novel, also set in the 1930s, which takes capital punishment as its theme. Her short stories have been published in Manchester Writing School anthologies.

Emma is a librarian, and spends her working life encouraging children and adults to enjoy reading. She has devised and delivered writing workshops and courses for adults with learning disabilities, and believes that creative writing should be open to everyone.

Rob Jefferson-Brown is a freelance copywriter, and has worked in-house for financial institutions and also for advertising agencies. His words have been heard in radio ads and training videos and seen in print in various guises including advertising posters, direct mail packs and even on the packaging for supermarket own label organic tomatoes. He has written many lifestyle, financial and travel articles for a number of magazines in the UK and the Channel Islands.

Rob has recently turned his hand to writing fiction and has completed his first novel and several short stories, two of which have been published. He continues to write short stories while working on his second novel.

Liz Kershaw writes short stories and longer length fiction; her current work in progress is a crime  fiction novel set around the Midlands canal network, an exploration of the complex circumstances which drive ordinary people to cross a moral and criminal line.  Liz won the PanMacmillan/MR Hall competition in 2013 for the best opening of a crime fiction story and is hoping that the rest of the novel will meet with equal enthusiasm when it is completed in the autumn

Liz lives on the Herefordshire/Worcestershire border after thirty years in Shropshire and is a committed member of Bridgnorth Writers’ Group. When not writing, she works on the family smallholding and has volunteered for many years to promote literacy within prisons and with disadvantaged teenagers.

Twitter: @LizKershawWrite

Emma Purshouse is a writer, performance poet and workshop leader. She writes for children and adults and has led workshops with all age groups in a variety of locations including schools, libraries, canal festivals, writers groups and art groups.

Emma’s work is published in a variety of anthologies and small press magazines, her poetry plays and community plays have been performed at various venues across the West Midlands and her first novel Scratters, was shortlisted for the Mslexia Unpublished Novel Prize 2012. 

She has worked on Writing West Midlands’ Spark Young Writers programme for several years as a writer in schools and she has led the Stoke-on-Trent Young Writers’ group since 2013.

Emma’s website

Jacqui Rowe is a poet, publisher (co-editor of Flarestack Poets press), workshop leader, mentor,  independent literature producer, a tutor for the Poetry School and Poetry Editor for The Writers’ Workshop. Her published pamphlets are BlueApollinaire and Paint. In 2013 she was appointed Writer in Residence at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham. She works extensively as a poet with people with dementia in care settings all over the West Midlands region. Though poetry is at the heart of what she does, she has written in other genres and is keen to develop her work in new directions.

Jacqui’s website
Twitter: @jacquirowe

Sallie Tams was born in Yorkshire and is now permanently a resident in Staffordshire, by way of New York, Massachusetts and Seattle. Sallie came to fiction writing from a business background rather a little later in life than she intended. 

Her most recent work, a collection of short stories, What We Didn’t Say, was published in April 2013. In 2010 she was the winner of the Whittaker Prize for Fiction.  Her work can also be found in Body Parts & Coal Dust & To The Edge of There and Back anthologies. 

Sallie’s website
Twitter: @sallietams

Alex Townley is from Solihull, works in north Worcestershire and lives in south Staffordshire, just to avoid becoming biased West Midlands-wise. A playwright and local journalist, she has a bachelor’s degree in Drama, and a masters in Screenwriting. She has also worked with a number of young drama groups around the Midlands devising and directing work for the stage.

She was part of the Birmingham Rep’s Foundry scheme, and she is also one of the Cucumber Writers.

Alex is writing a novel for young adults.

Alex’s website
Twitter: @smalextownley

Gulara Vincent comes from Azerbaijan, a country which is a fascinating blend of East meets West,  whilst trying to shake off the remnants of the Soviet Union’s legacy. She has been teaching law since 2001 and has a number of academic publications to her name.  In 2011, she started working on her memoir, provisionally entitled, The Smell of Ganja, (Ganja is the name of her hometown!) which is about her experience of growing up in Soviet Azerbaijan.

Gulara’s website
Twitter: @gulara_vincent