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Who’s Who at the festival

We are happy to announce the ‘Headline’ and ‘Featured’ writers at this year’s festival.  Fourteen writers rose to the challenge of providing a residency or workshop event (we include Derek the Weathersheep in our fourteen because we don’t want to be unlucky 13 in 2013!) These writers will introduce you to the works of many other writers; some you’ll know, some you may not be so familiar with.  And supporting them we have some twenty five other ‘featured’ writers who are taking one or two slots during the festival fortnight.   Over fourteen days we are offering you more than 170 event slots and the chance to ‘meet’ nearly 40 contemporary writers in the free for all festival that comes to you. 

Here’s the final festival line up:

Mari Biella is our festival Horror Writer in Residence at 9pm  on Sat 17th and Sun 18th August. 

 immagine001Mari Biella was born in Wiltshire and grew up in Wales, and lives in Northern Italy.

She is the author of The Quickening, a psychological ghost story set in Victorian England, and the free short story The Song of the Sea.

She is currently working on a novella, Loving Imogen, and a gaslight romance, Otherworld.

Jo Carroll is our festival Travel Write in Residence at 8pm from 16th – 18th August. 


Ten years ago, JO CARROLL was a successfully helping to protect abused children and restore the health of those who had been traumatised. Then a headline in a newspaper recalled adolescent dreams of travelling, and within two years she’d give up work, sold her car, let her house, bought a rucksack and set off round the world.

She came home, nearly a year later, with thirteen notebooks and more stories than she had time to tell them. With the support of a mentor she shaped them into a book: OVER THE HILL AND FAR AWAY.  Not only was she infected with the travelling bug, she couldn’t stop writing. The funny side of her close encounter with a tiger in Nepal can be found in HIDDEN TIGER RAGING MOUNTAIN, while the gentle monks of Laos comfort her in BOMBS AND BUTTERFLIES.

She has also had short stories published in Scribble, The Yellow Room, The Lemon Tree and through Persimmon Press. You can find out links to her books, more of her writing and photographs from her journeys on her website:


Catherine Czerkawska is our festival Mid-List Writer in Residence at 2pm from 12th – 16th August 

Author Catherine CzerkawskaCatherine Czerkawska  is a Scottish based novelist and playwright. She has written many plays for the stage and for BBC Radio 4 and has published novels, historical and contemporary, and short stories in magazines, anthologies and as eBook collections. Catherine has taught creative writing for the Arvon Foundation at Moniack Mhor and spent four years as Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of the West of Scotland. She blogs regularly at and contributes a monthly post to Authors Electric at  When not writing, she collects and deals in the antique textiles which often find their way into her fiction. She is currently working on a trilogy of novels about a cross cultural relationship, set mainly in the Canary Isles: The Golden Apple, Orange Blossom Love and Hera’s Orchard.


Brendan Gisby (aka Mr McStoryteller) hosts the festival’s regular morning Short Story slot at 11am

Brendan GisbyBrendan Gisby was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, halfway through the 20th century, and was brought up just along the road in South Queensferry (the Ferry) in the shadow of the world-famous Forth Bridge.  He and his long-suffering wife and muse, Alison, presently live in splendid isolation in the wilds of Strathearn in Scotland.

Retiring from a business career in 2007, Brendan has devoted himself to writing.  To date, he has published three novels, three biographies and several short story collections, details of all of which can be viewed on his author’s website, Blazes Boylan’s Book Bazaar.

Brendan is the founder of McStorytellers, a website which showcases the work of Scottish-connected short story writers.  He is also a co-founder of McVoices, an online community of Scottish-connected authors of independently published ebooks.

You can find him on Facebook and Twitter. He’s all over the internet like a rash: from Blazes Boylan’s Book Bazaar to McStorytellers and McVoices.  And you can link to his Author’s Page on and

Dennis Hamley is our ‘Ghost’ writer in residence at 9pm from Monday 12th through to Friday 16th August. 


Dennis Hamley was born in Kent in 1935 but spent most of his childhood in Buckinghamshire.  After leaving the local grammar school and experiencing two fairly inglorious years in the RAF, he went up to Cambridge in 1956, to read English.  He gained a PhD in 1980 from Leicester University. His working life was spent in education. In 1985 he founded the Lending Our Minds Out creative writing courses for children, which ran until 2004.    His first book was published in 1962 but he only started  writing seriously in 1971 publishing his first children’s novel, Pageants of Despair in 1974.  After that he wrote in the moments free from teaching and advising until 1992, when he took early retirement to become a full-time author.

His novels Spirit of the Place and Out of the Mouths of Babes, and his sequence of six medieval murder mysteries, The Long Journey of Joslin de Lay, are now available on Kindle. These will soon be joined by Ellen’s People and Divided Loyalties. He has a son and daughter and five grandchildren. After his wife died in 2006 he moved to Oxford.  He has been tutor for short fiction on the Oxford Creative Writing Diploma, worked for The Oxford Editors and mentored new writers.  Earlier this year he was married again, to Kay, an artist from New Zealand

He can be visited on

Jian Qiu Huang  hosts the festival’s  ‘Conversations with the Universe’ slot each night at 11pm 

steven (1)Jian Qiu Huang is a second generation Chinese with an evangelical interest in fostering understanding between the East and the West. Migrated from Asia to Australia in the 70s to complete his tertiary education he spent the next 30 years living, travelling and working within the two cultures.

Jian Qiu is the indie author, of a non-fiction ebook The Yellow Banana, written and published in 2011.  A humorous yet poignant ebook telling the story of a migrant student’s 30-year life changing experience. 

To bridge the cultural gap between the West and East, he has a blog “The Silk Road” covering various topics about the East in a humorous yet informative way.  Jian Qiu’s other blog “Conversations with the Universe” looks at spirituality from a light hearted and practical perspective.

Jian Qiu Huang lives in Australia with his wife. Apart from his day job, he spends his time being in the moment, spending time with his wife, researching topics for his blogs and working on his second ebook.


Bill Kirton is running a Comedy Fringe Workshop with a difference at the festival at 8pm on 12th, 15th, 19th and 24th August.

mugshotBill Kirton  was born in Plymouth, England but has lived most of his life in Scotland. He’s written stage and radio plays, songs and sketches for revues, flash fiction, short stories, novels, stories for children and books aimed at helping students with their writing and study skills. He’s been a university lecturer, actor, director, TV presenter, visiting professor and artist at the University of Rhode Island and spent a few years as a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow in universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews.

Most of his books have a crime element but he’s also written parodies, satires and spoofs of other genres.

He’s won two Forward International Literature Awards (2011): Gold for The Sparrow Conundrum in the Humor category and Silver for The Darkness in Mystery. The Figurehead was long-listed for the 2012 Rubery Award. The Sparrow Conundrum also won the 2013 Readers’ Choice Award for Humour on the review site Big Al’s Books and Pals.

His short stories have appeared in many anthologies and one of them, Love Hurts, was chosen for the 2010 Mammoth Book of Best British Crime and has been optioned by a film company in Los Angeles.

Kathleen Jones  will be running a Life Writing Workshop at the festival daily at 4pm. 


Kathleen Jones is a poet, biographer and fiction writer, author of seven biographies including  A Passionate Sisterhood [Virago], a group biography of the sisters, wives and daughters of the lake poets, and Margaret Forster:  A Life in Books. Her controversial book,  Catherine Cookson: The Biography, was in the top ten best seller lists for 8 weeks. Her most recent biography is Katherine Mansfield: The Story-Teller, [Penguin and EUP].  She has also worked in broadcast journalism and has won awards for her short fiction and poetry. A collection of poetry, Not Saying Goodbye at Gate 21, and a novel The Sun’s Companion were published in 2012.

Kathleen has taught creative writing in a number of universities, including online with the Open University, worked in the creative writing department at Lancaster University as a  Royal Literary Fund Fellow, and is also a Fellow of the English Association.

Chris Longmuir is our festival Crime Writer in Residence, every day at 7pm. 

Chris LongmuirChris Longmuir was born in Wiltshire and now lives in Angus. Her family moved to Scotland when she was two. After leaving school at fifteen, Chris worked in shops, offices, mills and factories, and was a bus conductor for a spell, before working as a social worker for Angus Council (latterly serving as Assistant Principal Officer for Adoption and Fostering).

Chris is an award winning novelist and has published three novels in her Dundee Crime Series. Night Watcher, the first book in the series, won the Scottish Association of Writers’ Pitlochry Award, and the sequel, Dead Wood, won the Dundee International Book Prize, as well as the Pitlochry Award. Missing Believed Dead is the third book in the series.

Her crime novels are set in Dundee, Scotland, and have been described as scary, atmospheric, page turners. Chris also writes historical sagas, short stories and historical articles which have been published in America and Britain. Writing is like an addiction to me, Chris says, I go into withdrawals without it. She is currently working on a further 2 crime novels.

Chris is a member of the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers Association and the Scottish Association of Writers. She designed her own website and confesses to being a techno-geek who builds computers in her spare time.

Roz Morris hosts ‘Undercover Soundtrack’ at the festival at 10pm from 12th through till 23rd August

RozMorrishighresRoz Morris is a bestselling ghostwriter coming out of the shadows with novels of her own. Her debut as herself channels her love of music into an unsettling tale of spiritual disquiet: My Memories of a Future Life    Her second novel under her own name is Life Form Three, a fable in the tradition of Ray Bradbury, and will be released later this year.

She is also an editor and writing coach, and has a successful series for authors and a writing blog, Nail Your Novel

Her writing books are Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence and Nail Your Novel: Bring Characters to Life.

More Nail Your Novel books are under construction. To get news about them, and to hear about Life Form Three when it’s released, sign up to Roz’s newsletter  Connect with Roz on Twitter @ByRozMorris and @NailYourNovel


Cally Phillips is the ebook Festival Director and will be running a Drama Retrospective residency at 3pm each day of the festival (and popping up in a few other places) 


Cally Phillips has had a varied professional writing career spanning 20 years. Stage plays and screenworks form the bulk of her output and she has been broadcast on BBC and ITV as well as on Radio 4. She was Dramatist in Residence in Dumfries and Galloway 2002-2004 as well as holding other residencies and facilitation posts.

She has published novels, short stories and her back catalogue of stage plays variously in print and ebook format. She also publishes ‘advocacy’ work through the Guerrilla Midgie Press imprint.  She writes in English but also in Scots.

Having fully embraced the digital revolution, she spent a year as editor of the Indie ebook Review site and came up with the notion of an online ebook festival last year. Cally likes to ‘push the envelope’ of what is possible both in her writing and in her approach to ‘market forces’. When this year’s festival is but a memory she will be ready to launch her next exciting ‘good idea’ project on the world – but you’ll have to wait till spring 2014 for that.

You can keep in touch with Cally’s goings on at her website  or her Facebook page. You can find out more about her published works at HoAmPresst Publishing and Guerrilla Midgie Press.


Ingrid Ricks will host an Advocacy residency at the festival from 12th- 16th August at 5pm 

Ingrid-RicksIngrid Ricks is a Seattle-based journalist, author, and teen mentor who leverages the new world of digital publishing to give teens a voice. Using her New York Times bestselling debut memoir Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story as a catalyst, she recently co-launched, a nationally recognized mentoring/publishing program that helps teens find their voice by writing and publishing their personal stories.

Ingrid’s essays and stories have been published in Salon, Ladies’ Home Journal, The Advocate and a variety of other publications. She has also written extensively for The African Children’s Choir, an international relief organization that has been featured on CNN International, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and American Idol.

In addition to Hippie Boy, Ingrid is the author of Focus, a memoir about her journey with the blinding eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa, and a memoir story collection, A Little Book of Mormon (and Not So Mormon) Stories. She is currently working on Determined to See, a memoir about her yearlong quest to heal her eyesight. She’s blogging about her journey at

Ingrid lives in Seattle with her husband and two daughters

David Wailing is our festival Sci-Fi writer in residence at 2pm between Mon 19th and Friday 23rd August


David Wailing was born in Nineteen Davidey-Dave (all the best people were born that year) and lives in London. He writes contemporary fiction, which can include mystery, thriller, science fiction and humour.

The key theme of all David’s novels is ‘identity’, as he is fascinated by people pretending to be something they’re not. He has a strong suspicion you are doing this right now, with someone. But rest assured, David will keep your secrets!

David’s current project is the Auto series, which looks at how social media will evolve in ten years time. The first full-length novel, Auto, was recently published as a Kindle eBook. This also incorporates five previously published stand-alone stories: Relationship Status, Timeline, Friend Request, Backup and Copy.

Two other novels are available as Kindle eBooks: Fake Kate and Bang: Memoirs of a Relationship Assassin.

You can stay up to date with David via his website at, chat to him on Facebook at or follow him on Twitter @davidwailing.


These ‘Headline’ writers will be ‘introducing’ you to many other writers and ebooks over the duration of the festival.

Other ‘featured’ writers (those with one or two slots) are as follows:  Stuart Ayris, Peter Tarnofsky, Mark Frankland, Dan Holloway, Angus Shoor Caan, Patric Morgan, Sue Price, Alan Hess, Mike Schneider, Allan Watson,  Jack MacRoary,  Alasdair McPherson, Andrew McCallum Crawford, Pat Black,  Jan Needle,  Kirsty Eccles, Andrew Velzian, Garry Stanton,  Fiona Johnson, John McGroarty,  Joan Barbara Simon, Jasmine Gifford, Valerie Laws, Mr If and yes, we even have a visitation from ‘Anonymous.’ 

and let’s not forget the festival’s runaway star

derekDerek the Weathersheep will be presenting the ‘sheeping forecast’ at High Noon each day of the festival.  Believe me it’ll be worth coming just for that alone!

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