Authors at a glance

We have some varied and interesting authors and speakers lined up for the 2018 Penzance Literary Festival.

Will Coleman

Will calls himself a ‘cultural entrepreneur’ – author, film-maker, musician, director, performer and educational consultant. He is Artistic Director of Golden Tree Productions – delivering highest-quality cultural projects celebrating the distinctiveness and diversity of Cornwall. Yes, he is “that Man Engine bloke”.

Victoria Osborne-Broad

Victoria worked in libraries before moving to Cornwall, a border crossing which transformed her work. Her Jewels of the Rainbow trilogy is set in places she knows and loves. On giving up the day job she joined a writers’ group and never looked back, publishing her first book in 2018.

Tom Stockley

Tom Stockley is an organiser, performer, writer, designer and occasional statue based in the South West. Informed by a century of counter-culture, his practice is parasitic and flirts with the humour, beauty and sadness of every day life by any means necessary (including spoken word as t.s. idiot, video based collaborations and DIY venue Space 37). Among his influences […]

Timothy Dean

Timothy Dean, whose family hails from West Cornwall, studied music at Reading University, and then piano and conducting at the Royal College of Music. He has been Chorus Master and Head of Music for Kent Opera, the first Music Director of British Youth Opera, conductor of the London Bach Society, Music Director of The Opera […]

Tim Pears

Tim Pears is the author of ten novels, including In the Place of Fallen Leaves (winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Ruth Hadden Memorial Award), In a Land of Plenty(made into a ten part BBC series), Landed(shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2012 and the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize 2011, winner of […]

Telltales

Telltales is a night for writers, readers and listeners in Falmouth. Originally set up by Clare Howdle, Telltales is now run by the writing community itself, with regular reading nights taking place in Falmouth and beyond.

Sue Kittow

Sue Kittowsays, ”My Cornish roots have always been very important to me, ensuring I returned from working in London for 14 years. Since becoming a journalist at the age of 50, I have interviewed many authors including Bill Bryson, Ian Rankin, Lionel Shriver and Rosamunde Pilcher for the international writing magazine, Writers’ Forum, and have […]

Sue Ellery-Hill

Sue was born in Penzance in Cornwall to Brenda and John Wootton, and grew up with strong Cornish roots and influences. She only returned to creative writing in recent years, publishing a book of Brenda’s poetry, Pantomime Stew, and another containing probably the largest ever collection of Collective Nouns, Gallimaufry. In 2018, Sue was awarded […]

Steph Haxton

Steph Haxton, historian, author and wordsmith, is always inspired by place. Pendennis Castle is a site she worked at for many years, finding forgotten facts that begged to be put into stories. Her historical novels have all been nominated in the Cornish Gorsedh Holyer an Gof Awards, with To Untie A Sealed Knot being a […]

Spencer Smart

Born in Suffolk in 1966, Spencer Smart headed for a life in west Cornwall many years ago where he lives with his family. He has worked as a technical author and marketing consultant since the late 1980s. Spencer’s first thriller No Regrets introduced Dutch detective Pieter van Es, who fled Amsterdam for a not-so-peaceful new […]

Serena Trowbridge

Dr Serena Trowbridge is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Birmingham City University, where she teaches a range of topics including Victorian poetry, and Victorian Literature and Psychology. She has published on a wide range of related topics including Pre-Raphaelite poetry, ecological writing, Gothic, and lunatic asylums. She particularly enjoys talking about sex, death and […]

Sara McDonald

Sara lived in the Middle East as an army wife for many years, before moving to Cornwall and putting down roots.  Her first novel, Listening to Voices was followed by The Sleep of Birds, both set in Cornwall and published by Headline. Her acclaimed Sea Music was a change in direction and was  picked up by […]

Sally Crabtree

Sally Crabtree is an author and creative literacy expert as well as an international performance poet/artist who has been described as “Profoundly original – one of Britain’s richest inventions.” She has been invited to prestigious International poetry festivals and performed at diverse venues and events including the UN’s Palais des Nations, the opening ceremony of […]

Rose Tomaszewska

Rose Tomaszewska has been working in publishing since 2011 at Quercus, and now commissions fiction and non-fiction for the literary imprint riverrun.

Robin Lenman

Until his retirement in 2003, Robin was Senior Lecturer in History at Warwick University, specialising in German and European political and cultural history and publishing on the German 19th-century art world. He was commissioned to compile the Oxford Companion to the Photograph after his interests turned to photographic history. Robin has lived in Penzance since 2000, and in 2008 […]

Rob Barratt

Rob Barratt is a Dudley-born comic poet, humourist and singer from North Cornwall. “This is not only clever but I think it’s very funny” (Mike Harding) “His head is well and truly located in ‘Planet Barratt,’ clearly a place of wonderfully bizarre inspiration. “(Coventry Telegraph) “Mind-bending poetry” (Twickfolk, London) “One of the funniest performers yet. His […]

Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce is the author of the Sunday Times and international bestsellers The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Perfect and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and has been translated into 36 languages. Rachel […]

Pol Hodge

Pol Hodge and Bert Biscoe are Cornishmen. Bert was brought up in Stithians and Pol in Troon. They met before the Cornish were on the census, or a national minority, before the World Heritage Site, and before Kernewek was protected by a Charter, and before Objective 1, the University and hi-speed broadband. They read and […]

Philip Marsden

Philip Marsden is the award-winning author of a number of works of travel, fiction and non-fiction, including The Bronski House, The Spirit-Wrestlers, The Levelling Sea and, most recently, Rising Ground (Granta, 2014). His new book, The Summer Isles: A Sea Voyage, will be published by Granta in October 2019. He is a Fellow of the […]

Philip Hoare

Philip Hoare’s is the author of several books, including Serious Pleasures: The Life of Stephen Tennant; Noel Coward; Oscar Wilde’s Last Stand; Spike Island; England’s Lost Eden; and Leviathan, or, The Whale, winner of the 2009 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. He lives in Southampton.  

Petrus Ursem

Petrus grew up in the Netherlands and studied literature at the University of Utrecht; painting and printmaking at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, The Hague. He moved to Dorset in 1998, worked as artist and manager of the arts at Salisbury Hospital, until he and his partner, singer/composer Helen Porter, set up Gresham House […]

Penwith Local History Group

Formed in 1990, PLHG is a friendly group with a serious intent: we research and write up local history. We use old documents, oral history, books in and out of print, and investigate the landscape. Our books so far have included In and around Penzance during Napoleonic Times, Treasures of the Morrab based on Morrab […]

Penny Shutt

Dr. Penny Shutt qualified from Edinburgh Medical School in 2009 and practised as a doctor in the north of Scotland for three years before going on to specialise in psychiatry. She has extensive experience running Edinburgh’s student suicide helpline, Nightline, and working for The Samaritans. For Nightline, she developed and launched e-mail and instant messenger versions of […]

Patrick Gale

Patrick was born on 31 January 1962 on the Isle of Wight, where his father was prison governor at Camp Hill, as his grandfather had been at nearby Parkhurst. He was the youngest of four – one sister, two brothers, spread over ten years. The family moved to London, where his father ran Wandsworth Prison, […]

Nicholas Jubber

Nicholas is an award-winning travel writer, author of three previous books (The Prester Quest, winner of the Dolman Travel Book Award; Drinking Arak off an Ayatollah’s Beard, and The Timbuktu School for Nomads, which was a New York Times pick for 2016). He has talked previously at numerous festivals including the Oxford Literary Festival, Beyond […]

Michael Bird

Michael Bird is a writer, art historian and broadcaster. His books on modern British art include The St Ives Artists: A Biography of Place and Timeand studies ofSandra Blow, Lynn Chadwick, George Fullard and Bryan Wynter. His bestselling history of art for children, Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories, has been translated into twenty languages. Michael […]

Megan Chapman

Since leaving University, Megan Chapman has gone from strength to strength, carving out her reputation as a poet, working with local producers and rappers to make hip hop tracks, hone here freestyling skills and perform at spoken word gigs both locally and across the UK and Europe. Her love of poetry has led her to […]

Matt Watts

Matt grew up in Newlyn, before moving away at 21 to study a degree in Forestry & Conservation in Inverness. He worked as a countryside ranger for four years in the Outer Hebrides, then in a similar role for the Hertfordshire Council, before returning “home” to Penwith to take up his current job as Access […]

Louise Boland

Louise Boland is CEO and founder of Fairlight Books a small publishing house established to publish and nurture new writers of literary fiction. Seeing friends struggling to find good reads from under a deluge of photo-fit e-novels, and seeing writer friends struggling to find homes for quality fiction, she decided to set up Fairlight Books. Since […]

Liz Shakespeare

Liz Shakespeare has been writing for nearly thirty years and has published six books inspired by the landscapes, the people and the history of Devon. The family stories she has grown up with and the sense of being deeply rooted in the area have been a powerful influence on her writing. She is interested in social […]

Liz Fenwick

Award winning author of The Cornish House, A Cornish Affair, A Cornish Stranger Sky, Under A Cornish Sky, The Returning Tide, One Cornish Summer and a novella – A Cornish Christmas Carol. The Path to the Sea will be out on 6 June 2019. After ten international moves, she’s a bit of a global nomad. […]

Laurence Green

Like Charles Causley, Laurence Green lives in the place where he grew up and was employed as a teacher at his old school, where he worked for 30 years. He has had seven books published between 2009 and 2018. These include a novel set in Launceston and the Torres Straits, two collections of ghost stories, […]

Kate Clanchy

Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1965, poet Kate Clanchy was educated in Edinburgh and Oxford. She lived in London’s East End for several years, before moving to Oxford where she now works as a teacher, journalist and freelance writer. She is a regular contributor to The Guardian newspaper and teaches Creative Writing at the Arvon […]

Jonathon X Coudrille’s Gwelhellin

Cornwall’s unique 7-piece Trio GWELHELLIN stars multi instrumental Melody Maker Top Soloist Jonathon X Coudrille,  guitarist Anthonius Apple and Percussionist Dangerous David Painter. With skill, gravitas and occasional hilarity they splice Vintage Jazz guitars, Russian Balalaika, 7-string Banjo, Veteran Trumpet, Authentic Gypsy Songs, Blues, Boogie-Woogie and European Waltzes to conjure delight. “Clever and Entertaining” (St […]

John Lugo-Trebble

I am a Puerto Rican Bronx native exiled to the wilds of Cornwall by fate and circumstance. Having lived in New York, London, Berlin and Prague, my husband and I moved to West Cornwall where we live in a barn with our adventurous cats and lots of stars. I am heavily influenced by urban landscapes […]

John Harvey

John Harvey was born in London, where he now lives, while considering Nottingham his spiritual home. For many years he lived in Zennor, and remains a frequent visitor to the Cornish coast. Initially a teacher of English & Drama, he has been a full-time writer for more than forty years. The first of his 12 […]

Joanna Verran

Joanna Verran is Emeritus Professor of Microbiology at Manchester Metropolitan University. In addition to her laboratory-based research, she has always been keen to use arts and the humanities to help audiences engage with science. She is a National Teaching Fellow and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2019, she was awarded the […]

Jenny Kane

Former archaeologist and medieval historian Jenny Kane is the author of a series of romantic novels set in Cornwall (Sennen, St. Just and Truro featuring) as well as several historical novels published under the name Jennifer Ash and two children’s picture books. She has recently produced four audio scripts for the revival of ITV’s 1980’s […]

Jane Johnson

Jane Johnson is a Cornish writer and publisher. She has written several historical novels (including The Tenth Gift, about the Barbary pirate raid on Penzance) and as a publishing director for HarperCollins is the UK publisher of George RR Martin, Dean Koontz, Robin Hobb and many other bestselling authors. In 2005 while researching a novel […]

Jane Corry

Jane Corry is a Sunday Times best-selling author, published by Penguin. She is a regular contributor to The Daily Telegraph and writes the Diary of a Modern Granny column for My Weekly magazine. Jane’s experience as writer in residence for a high-security male prison helped to inspire her books. She also writes award-winning short stories. […]

Jak Stringer

Jak has lived in West Cornwall for 37 years. “If you cut her open,” she says, “I would have Penzance printed inside me, like a stick of rock.” For ten years Jak worked as a local music promoter, bringing to Cornwall national and international new music artists. The NME described her as part of the […]

Isabel Losada

Isabel Losada is a British author best known for her second book, ‘The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment’ which obtained a surprise cult status. Her narrative non fiction books combine humour with a serious look at their subject matters. Isabel has achieved wide recognition as a ‘spiritual writer’ but recently confused her readers by writing about […]

Horatio Clare

Travel writer, memoirist and children’s author Horatio Clare was born in London in 1973. He read English at the University of York and later worked as a BBC radio producer on cultural programmes ‘Front Row’, ‘Nightwaves’ and ‘The Verb’. As a freelance journalist he has contributed numerous travel pieces to newspapers and magazines, as well […]

Hanna Jameson

Hanna wrote her first novel at the age of seventeen. After travelling the USA, Hanna developed a particular fascination with the country which led to her studying for a BA in American History. She’s incredibly tuned in to the political climate in the US, particularly in recent years, and increasingly she was finding that the […]

Grace Vincent

Grace Vincent is Senior Publicity Manager at Little, Brown Book Group, working across the company’s literary imprints which include Virago, Fleet and Corsair. Grace has been at L,B for 5 years, working her way up from Receptionist at Constable and Robinson. Authors she works with include: Chris Brookmyre, Jane Harper, John Waters, Celeste Ng and […]

Frank Pickering

I was born in Sheffield, qualified in education at the University of Reading and was a teacher of English in Wiltshire and Dorset. I have lived in Cornwall over 20 years and have continued to write poetry, prose and music. My first novel, Ice, was published in 2017. I was a founder member of the […]

Fiona Vigo-Marshall

Fiona Vigo Marshall is a poet and writer of short fiction and non-fiction, and the winner of the 2016 V. S. Pritchett Memorial Prize. Her debut novel, Find Me Falling, is published by Fairlight Books. Her work has appeared in Ambit, the Royal Society of Literature Review and the London Journal of Fiction. Fiona has worked […]

Emma Timpany

Emma Timpany is an award-winning writer. Her publications include the short story pamphlet Over the Dam (Red Squirrel Press, 2015) and The Lost of Syros (Cultured Llama Press, 2015), a collection of sixteen short stories. Her short stories have won the Sara Park Memorial Short Story Competition 2013, the Society of Authors’ Tom-Gallon Trust Award […]

Elizabeth Buchan

Elizabeth Buchan was a fiction editor at Random House before leaving to write full time. Her novels include the prizewinning Consider the Lily, international bestseller Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman and The New Mrs Clifton.

DL Baylis

DL Baylis is a former journalist who lives in Cornwall with her family. She says ‘I’ve come to understand that while writing takes discipline and stamina, the desire to tell stories floats up out of your soul.’

Diana Dixon

Diana Dixon was born in Cornwall, into a family of poets – Daphne du Maurier was a family friend and a writing influence. Whilst at London University Diana joined the Poetry Society, reading and performing there, as well as at the Bush Theatre and the King’s Head, Islington Diana settled in West Penwith in 1996. […]

Des Hannigan

Des Hannigan is a travel writer and journalist. He came to Cornwall from Scotland in the 1960s and worked as a resident singer at the famous Count House Folk Club at Botallack. He then worked as a fisherman for fifteen years and later worked as a news reporter for Cornish newspapers and the Press Association. […]

Dan James

Dan is a Cornish born author and Postgraduate Philosophy of Science from Exeter University Worked as a copywriter and magazine article writer and has run his own design and web development agency Valles is his first popular science book

Damian Barr

Damian Barr’s memoir Maggie & Me was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and the Sunday Times Memoir of the Year, and won him Stonewall Writer of the Year. Damian writes a column for High Life magazine and hosts his celebrated Literary Salon at The Savoy. The Guardian, Observer and Financial Times put […]

Chris Higgins

Chris Higgins was born and bred in South Wales but has a Cornish grandfather and has lived in west Cornwall for the past 40 years. She taught English at various local schools including Penwith College, Humphry Davy and St Ives Secondary and has worked at the Minack Theatre. Nowadays, when she is not spending time […]

Catrina Davies

Catrina Davies was born in Snowdonia to Welsh parents and grew up around Land’s End, Cornwall. She has worked as a DJ, gardener, circus cellist, cleaner, TEFL teacher, dog walker, flower-picker, builder and waitress. Her first book The Ribbons are for Fearlessnessis a memoir about busking from Norway to Portugal.

Bridget Holding

Bridget Holding founded ‘Wild Words’ and ‘The Society of Writers-In-The-Wild’ in 2011. She is a writer and UKCP registered psychotherapist. She has been a tutor of creative writing for the Lifelong Learning Department of The University of Exeter

Bert Biscoe

Bert Biscoe and Pol Hodge are Cornishmen. Bert was brought up in Stithians and Pol in Troon. They met before the Cornish were on the census, or a national minority, before the World Heritage Site, and before Kernewek was protected by a Charter, and before Objective 1, the University and hi-speed broadband. They read and […]

Ben Cox

Ben Cox is a student of myth and story whose work traces along the boundaries in search of nourishment for our times. A keen attention, and careful listening, guide his approach to revealing images from below the surface of the planet and its peoples. Ben brings a fresh perspective through a linguistic phenomenology grounded in […]

Barbara Eaton

I have lived in The Lizard for 27 years. After a career teaching in  Cambridge language schools I began researching and writing historical biography, most of which are centred on European wives in India during the Raj. I love travelling with my husband, Tim, and experiencing different cultures: India, Tibet, Bhutan, Mongolia, Iran , Syria, […]

Barbara Armstrong

Anna Pincus

Anna Pincus is Director of Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group and works to end indefinite detention. She is the founder, co-editor and co-organiser of Refugee Tales, published by Comma Press.

Anna McClary

For the past seven years, Anna has been the one and only bilingual tour guide specialising in Penzance and Mousehole, travelling with cruise ship visitors on coaches through Penwith and hoping to entice them to return for a longer holiday. This year, she presented her virtual coach tour through Cornwall to a German Landfrauen (WI) […]

Angela Stoner

Angela Stoner is a poet and storyteller who has lived and worked in Cornwall for twenty years.  During this time she has led workshops in many settings, community, health , social care and educational.  Her work is regularly performed at festivals, and her stories, poems and articles appear in many literary journals. She has won […]

Amanda Harris

I am director of Kernow Education Arts Partnership and co-creator of The Story Republic and The Writers’ Block, the Writing Centre for Cornwall. I co-founded Scavel an Gow writers collective and have been writing short stories for many years. Behind the Lines is my first full-length novel which has been published through Scryfa.

Alex Woodcock

Alex Woodcock is a writer and stonemason. After completing a doctorate on medieval sculpture he worked at Exeter Cathedral for six years, where he helped repair the internationally significant west front. He has published work on Romanesque and Gothic stone sculpture, surrealist artists and the landscapes and geology of the south and southwest coasts of […]

Alan M Kent

Dr Alan M. Kent was born in St Austell and lectures in Literature for the Open University and is Visiting Fellow in Celtic Studies at the University of La Coruna. His latest works include the stage adaptation of The Mousehole Cat and The Festivals of Cornwall: Ritual, Revival, Reinvention. He has published extensively on the literature of Cornwall and is […]

Alan Hollinghurst

Alan Hollinghurst is the author of five novels, The Swimming-Pool Library, The Folding Star, The Spell, The Line of Beauty and The Stranger’s Child. He has received the Somerset Maugham Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction and the 2004 Man Booker Prize. He lives in London.

Adrian Rodda and An Gof

Adrian Rodda interprets Cornish history and folklore through his verse. He has performed at festivals and open mic sessions and leads guided walks in Penwith to present his verses in their original inspirational landscapes. The eight musicians, who form the band An Gof, are from a variety of backgrounds but came together through a shared […]

Adele Jarrett-Kerr

Adele is a Trinidadian writer living in the Falmouth area with her husband and three daughters, whom they home educate. She was born and grew up in Trinidad and Tobago, in theCaribbean, and moved to Brighton when she was nineteen. In the fourteen years since, she has moved further and further west: first to Bristol, […]