Aisha Bushby (MG/Teen)

Aisha was born in Bahrain and has lived in Kuwait, England and Canada. The first novel she ever worked on was a piece of fan fiction, based on her favourite book series, which she stayed up all night to work on when she was thirteen. Aisha now writes children’s books, sometimes with a little bit of magic in them. Her next novel, Moonchild: Voyage of the Lost and Found, is out in August.

A.J. Sass (MG/YA)

A.J. Sass is a fiction-writing figure skater, inclined toward adventures of a traveling nature. He is autistic, non-binary, and keen on exploring how gender identity and neurodiversity impact character narratives. An avid figure skater, A.J. is a US Figure Skating double gold medalist in Moves in the Field and Free Skate, a silver medalist in Ice Dance, and a member of the 2018 national bronze medalist and 2019 national silver medalist Masters synchronized skating team, IceSymmetrics. A.J. grew up in the Midwestern US, came of age in the South, and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his boyfriend and two cats who act like dogs. A.J. is represented by Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. His middle grade debut, ANA ON THE EDGE, will be published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in Fall 2020.

Alexandra Sheppard (MG/YA)

Alexandra Sheppard is an author based in North London. Her debut YA novel OH MY GODS was published by Scholastic in Spring 2019 and she’s currently working on her next Teen novel. When she isn’t writing teen fiction, Alexandra runs creative writing workshops for teens at schools around the UK. She is represented by Lauren Gardner.

A M Dassu (MG/YA)

A M Dassu is a magistrate and a freelance writer. Her first piece for The Huffington Post, for whom she was a featured writer, was published on the front-page, alongside Barack Obama and Lenny Henry. She is the Deputy Editor for Words & Pictures, the magazine for the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, British Isles. A M Dassu’s previous work experience includes project management, marketing and editorial work at Reader’s Digest. She writes children’s fiction and nonfiction. Her MG novel is due to be published in 2020. 

Carolyn Ward (MG/YA)

Carolyn Ward writes MG and is represented by Northbank Talent. Living near Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, Carolyn has an English degree and works in retail. She became a mentor in Write Mentor’s first year, working closely with three talented writers and enjoying every second. She went on to develop her editing skills and now freelances for Bamboo Editing. Three years ago she co-founded a local writing group based in a community pub and is also on YouTube as half of the Word Witches writer support duo. Between the MG edits she writes flash fiction and can be found all over the internet and on LingoBites foreign language app.

Chio Zoe (YA)

Chio Zoe received a BA in Architecture and left that world for a life as a fashion designer and a freelance writer. Her first published book earned her a finalist badge at the Breakthrough Novel Awards. Chio Zoe writes YA fantasy novels and a varying genre of short stories. She enjoys polishing synopsis and organising plot.

Danielle Jawando (MG/YA)

Danielle Jawando is a writer and Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. In 2015, Danielle worked on Coronation Street as a storyline writer and has had several short plays performed at the King’s Arms in Manchester and Stratford Circus in London. Her short story ‘Kyle’s City’ (for children aged 5 to 7) was commissioned by the BBC and broadcast on iplayer in 2017. She has also written several short stories for both adults and younger readers. Danielle’s first nonfiction book for children (about the life of Maya Angelou) was published by Laurence King in 2019. Her debut YA novel ‘And The Stars Were Burning Brightly’ was published by Simon & Schuster this year.

Julie Marney Leigh (MG/YA)

Julie Marney Leigh writes contemporary novels for teens about fun, friendship and feminism. She grew up in Lancashire, and now lives in Scotland where she gained a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh, and fell in love with the city. She lectured in English at the university for many years, as well as being a Director of the Scottish Universities’ International Summer School. More recently, she is an alumna of the Curtis Brown Creative Writing for Children Course with Catherine Johnson. She is represented by Hannah Weatherill at Northbank Talent Management. Follow @jules_leigh for updates. 

Emma Finlayson-Palmer (MG/YA)

Emma Finlayson-Palmer has been writing for most of her life, with her first publication at the age of 8 on the now ancient artefact known as CeeFax. She is represented by Laura West at the David Higham Agency, and mainly writes for children, but also writes short stories and flash fiction, with numerous pieces online, in magazines and anthologies. An active member of multiple writing groups and organisations, including SCBWI and NAWG, Emma is also the creator and organiser of the fortnightly writing chat called #ukteenchat on Twitter. An active member of the online writing community, she can usually be found loitering on Twitter when she should be writing. Emma is a mentor on both the WriteMentor summer programme and Spark, as well as a reader for the WriteMentor children’s novel award. Emma lives in the West Midlands with her husband, a multitude of children, cats and chickens and hundred of notebooks! Follow Emma on Twitter: @FinlaysonPalmer and Instagram: finlayson_palmer

Emma Read (MG/YA)

Emma Read is the author of Middle Grade debut, Milton the Mighty – shortlisted for the Bath Children’s Novel Award, published by Chicken House in 2019. The sequel will be out in spring 2020. She is a mentor with WriteMentor Sparks and runs creative writing workshops for children in KS2.

Emma Smith-Barton (MG/YA)

Emma is the author of YA novel The Million Pieces of Neena Gill (July 2019, Penguin Random House). She has a BA in English and Creative Writing from Warwick University and a Creative Writing MA from Bath Spa University. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies such as Mslexia and The Bristol Short Story Prize 2016. 

Kathryn Clark (MG/YA)

Kathryn has worked in a wallpaper shop and a call-centre; as an aromatherapist and a researcher. All that time she made up stories in her head, and one day she began to write them down. Her short stories and flash fiction have been published online, in writing magazines and anthologies. She regularly edits, critiques and proofreads for fellow YA and MG writers, in a variety of genres. She is a writing mentor with #WriteMentor, and is a reader for a couple of writing competitions. Kathryn has a degree in English Studies, and an MA in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University. She was one of three co-editors of the 2016 course anthology. Works-in-progress include her second YA novel and a Middle Grade fantasy. Website: Twitter: @KClarkwriter

Lindsay Galvin (MG/YA)

Lindsay’s first book The Secret Deep came out in the UK in 2018 and the next is to be published in early 2020. She writes YA, MG and has adult and younger fiction works in progress. She reads in all genres and loves to edit, she is an experienced mentor plus a critique partner of published authors. Lindsay came late to writing, self-taught, after a career teaching which is now part time. She is a slush-pile (talent pool!) conqueror who came from nowhere and had no contacts and – although it took a while – had the first ever book she wrote published by the excellent Chicken House. An experienced teacher, Lindsay’s workshop style is upbeat, constructive and focuses on the practical. She is sensitive to those at different stages of their writing journeys and the courage it takes to share work. Her workshops have a positive supportive atmosphere, intended to empower writers. All questions are welcome.

Lydia Massiah (MG/YA)

After studying English at Exeter College, Oxford, I trained to be an English teacher, and was lucky enough to have Philip Pullman as one of my tutors! I taught at Secondary level for many years and more recently had the chance to work with younger kids in a Middle School. The best part of my job was encouraging others to love reading and creativity as much as I do. In 2016 I completed the Curtis Brown Writing for Children online course, but it was being selected as a Mentee for WriteMentor in 2018 which made all the difference. Now I’m represented by the very supportive Jo Williamson, from Antony Harwood. My Upper MG horror adventure is in the pipeline, but not yet announced! Since 2017 I have also been running a SCBWI South West critique group for MG and YA writers, and I have recently volunteered to be a SCBWI Network Organiser. 

Marisa Noelle (YA)

Marisa Noelle is the writer of middle grade & young adult novels in the genres of science-fiction, fantasy & mental health. Her books include The Shadow Keepers and The Unadjusteds. The Mermaid Chronicles – Secrets of the Deep is due out Spring 2020. She is a mentor for the Write Mentor program that helps aspiring MG & YA authors. When she’s not writing or reading or watching movies, she enjoys swimming. In the pool she likes to imagine she could be a mermaid and become part of some of her make-believe words. Despite being an avid bookworm from the time she could hold a book, being an author came as a bit of a surprise to her as she was a bit of a science geek at school. She lives in Woking, UK with her husband and three children. You can find her on Twitter @MarisaNoelle77 or her website

Melinda Salisbury (YA)

Melinda Salisbury is the bestselling author of YA fantasy The Sin Eater’s Daughter series, the political fantasy Sorrow duology, and most recently Scottish folk-horror, Hold Back The Tide. Her books have been licensed in fourteen countries to date, and she’s been nominated and shortlisted for numerous awards, including the Carnegie Medal twice, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, and the Edgar Awards in the US. She is a fierce advocate for working-class writers. 

M. Dalto (YA)

M. Dalto is a fiction author of adventurous romantic fantasy and her bestselling debut novel, Two Thousand Years, was a 2016 Watty Award winner on She continues to volunteer her time as both a Wattpad Ambassador and a #WriteMentor mentor, where she hopes to engage, assist, and inspire new writers. She spends her days as a full-time residential real estate paralegal, using her evenings to pursue her literary agenda. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named Loki.

Nicky Browne (MG/YA)

Nicky Browne (N M Browne) has had a varied career. After a BA in Theology and Philosophy at New College, Oxford she completed a PGCE at King’s College, Cambridge, and taught briefly before taking an MBA from Manchester Business School. She worked for Shell International oil company in marketing for a few years, before beginning a career break from business which never got fixed. She published eight books for young children with Bloomsbury as Nicola Matthews, then nine novels for young adults as N M Browne, a tenth is due out this year with Kristell Ink. She has been long listed for the Carnegie twice as well as for other regional awards, but is yet to win. She has taught Creative Writing at Kingston, Manchester Metropolitan and Middlesex universities, the Arvon Foundation, The British Council and is currently working for Oxford University continuing education. She recently completed a PhD in Creative Writing.

Simon James Green (YA)

Simon is the author of YA novels Noah Can’t Even and Noah Could Never, both published by Scholastic, and optioned for TV by Urban Myth Films. His short story, Penguins, is part of the forthcoming Proud Book anthology from Stripes. Simon is also a screenwriter, with credits including Rules of Love for the BBC. 

Yasmin Rahman (MG/YA Contemporary)

Yasmin Rahman is a British Muslim born and raised in Hertfordshire. She loves issue-led books with heart and humour, especially ones that experiment with form, and include death. Her debut novel All The Things We Never Said was published by Hot Key Books in July 2019, and was nominated for the Carnegie award. She has an MA in Creative Writing and an MA in Writing for Young People, both with Distinction. When she’s not writing, she makes bookish fan art; her designs are sold worldwide on behalf of John Green.