Rising Writers

Jennifer Bell

Londoner Jennifer Bell began working in children’s books as a specialist bookseller at Foyles, Charing Cross Road. Here, she looked after the shop’s five not-so-deadly piranha fish as well as recommending children’s books to celebrities, royalty and even astronauts. After having the privilege of listening to children talk about their favourite books for many years, she started writing one of her own. Jennifer came up for the idea of The Crooked Sixpence while packing for a holiday and wishing she could just disappear inside her suitcase and be there already. The world of Lundinor is inspired by sayings from traditional English nursery rhymes.


Jo Spain

Jo Spain has worked as a journalist and a party advisor on the economy in the Irish parliament and lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children. With Our Blessing is her first novel and was one of seven books shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition 2015. Jo's own family history gave her the idea for the background to 'With Our Blessing', it is based around her father who was the product of a mother and baby home, and covers a lot of the atypical topics surrounding this.


Simon Booker

Novelist and screenwriter Simon Booker writes prime time TV drama for the BBC, ITV and US TV. He has written many plays for BBC Radio 4, worked extensively as a producer in TV and radio and as a journalist. Without Trace has been optioned by Mainstreet Pictures, a leading production company specialising in high quality TV drama. Simon lives in London and Deal. He is a volunteer facilitator in restorative justice, working with offenders at HMP Brixton. His partner is fellow crime writer Melanie (MJ) McGrath. They often discuss murder methods over breakfast.


Simon Cherry

Simon Cherry is an experienced television producer, writer and director who worked in Melvyn Bragg’s Arts Department at ITV for almost twenty years. When Simon was a lad, he went on annual holidays just along the coast into Cornwall. It was there he used to see the Eddystone lighthouse beaming out every night, and where Eddy gets his name from. In his mind, Tidemark Bay is a mixture of two places that he visited regularly, Looe and Polperro, both on the south Cornish coast.Simon lives in Surrey with his wife, two teenage sons and a ginger cat, and hopes that one day his shed might also turn into a sailing ship.