Gail has birthed an assortment of novels that are still living at home with her. They range from the mere infant, to the belligerent teen, and one is even a fully fledged adult with an agent on its CV. These labours of love were written mostly on trains or in the dead of night while bringing up two amazing daughters and owner-managing an ambitious graphic design business. With the girls now at uni, life doesn’t seem to be any less busy, but Gail is determined to bring her work, both pre-loved and shiny new, into the light.
Ali was born in Scotland but moved to Bristol in the 1970s. Her contemporary novel A Kettle of Fish, was published in 2013 by Thornberry Publishing, since when she has been wading in the depths of historical fiction. Despite this being the last thing she intended doing, In the Blink of an Eye, inspired by the work of an early photographer, has emerged from the waves and will be published in 2018 by Linen Press.
A lifelong bookworm and secret scribbler, Jean now occasionally gets paid to write. She studied at Exeter and Cardiff Universities and, after her marriage, lived in the USA, Canada and Mexico. Here in Bristol she has taught creative writing and worked as a jounalist and advertising copywriter. Following a year off to see the world, she published the travel book Vagabond Shoes, which won the book prize at Winchester Writers’ Conference. Her novel, Who Needs Mr. Darcy? was published in 2012 by Little, Brown. She is currently writing a sequel and also has a historical novel looking for a home. Website: www.jeanburnett.co.uk
Heather is working on a novel about the Big Data age with the working title of Smartface. Her fiction has been published in media including Mslexia, Under the Radar and Notes from the Underground online. Alongside writing, she is a Chartered Marketer and communications professional working in the charity sector.
After leaving university, Jane spent a couple of very tedious years working in financial services before training as a secondary school English teacher. Her last (as yet unpublished) novel, written in odd moments squeezed between paid work and the demands of raising a family, took ten years to complete; she hopes to finish the current one in less than half that time. A big fan of the classic English whodunit, she sees her own work as an updating of that tradition. Coincidentally but very conveniently, she married a forensic toxicologist.
Eleanor writes sparse and succinct copy for her day job, but has a secret predilection for big words and small fictions. Her short stories have appeared in various publications, including Elbow Room, Litro and Prole. She is currently editing her first novel.
Jo won the Daily Telegraph Travel Writing Competition in 2008, and her short story credits include Mslexia, Lancashire Magazine, The People’s Friend, The New Writer and Words with Jam. Her fantasy thriller Tyranny of the Blood was taken up by Wild Wolf Publishing in May 2009. Two more titles in the Blood Dancer series followed in 2011 and 2012. Jo also lectures in psychology, physiology and creative writing.
Nicola is currently working on a biography, though her writing to date has been freelance journalism and selling to magazines and broadsheets, most recently the FT. The inspiration behind her anthology entry was a true story told to her by the late Arthur Negus. As for the snippets of Library history, they are distilled from Bristol Central Library and Charles Holden by Anthony Beeson together with a behind-the-scenes tour by Andrew Cox, the Reading Manager at the Library.
Louise Gethin writes short fiction. In 2013, she self-published Anecdotes of Love and Death – a collection of short stories – with the help of fellow Bristol Writers Group member, Andy Gibb. In 2015, she self-published In Sane Moments – a pamphlet of poetic pieces – with the artwork and help of artist and graphic designer, Beth Hawkins. Most recently, in February 2016, she performed Ship’s Diary – a short fictional piece inspired by a visit to the SS Great Britain and narrated from the Ship’s point of view – as part of the Bristol Old Vic Open Stage event.
Sally completed the Bath Spa Creative Writing MA in 2006 and more recently undertook an eighteen month mentorship with the writer in residence at Exeter University. She is currently working on her third novel, and would not have completed nearly as much without the encouragement and support of the group members listed here. Extended fiction is her preferred genre, though she occasionally tries her hand at short stories and articles. A former pier-end novelty seller, reflexologist and carer support worker, teaching bellydancing when nine months pregnant has been one of her more interesting choices of career.
Nina was born, educated and raised her two children in the City of Bristol but now lives in west Wales with husband James, where she grows veg and keeps chickens. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. She works for the Open College of the Arts and is Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Nina is best known for her crime fiction series The Shaman Mysteries, published by Midnight Ink Books (Llewellyn Worldwide); In the Moors (2013) Unraveled Visions (2014) and Beneath the Tor (2015). Website: http://www.kitchentablewriters.blogspot.com
Jenni has a passion for writing, and has worked as a journalist and copywriter, as well as writing fiction and haiku poetry. Inspired by her time in the Caribbean, she has written a novel set in post-Independence Jamaica called Reach for a Different Sun, which was a quarter-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. She has also written a travel narrative set in the region, currently lodged in a drawer, called Turn Left by the Coconut Vendor. After leaving work to start her family, Jenni set up her own company, Kaiku Communications, specialising in copywriting for print and web.
Shirley is a poet and author. She has various short stories in print, and last year her novel Time out of Mind was published by ThornBerry Publishing. In 2008 she was the national winner of the Telegraph/Rose Theatre Poetry for Performance Competition, judged by the (then) Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion. More recently in Oct 2012 she won second prize in the Wells International Poetry Competition with ‘Reference Library’ which was specifically written for this anthology. Her first poetry collection The Last Green Field was published by Indigo Dreams in the summer of this year. Website: http://sswright.webplus.net