4 Brown Girls Who Write


Roshni, Sunnah, Sheena, and Sharan are poets and performers who make up the collective 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE. They are a poetry sisterhood based in London. They have published a book, a zine and will each have a pamphlet published by Rough Trade Books in September 2020.

Paula Akpan


Paula is a journalist, speaker and founding director of Black Girl Festival and co-founder of the ‘I’m Tired’ Project’ a photography campaign and international workshop programme. Paula’s work – mainly focuses on race, queerness, and social politics and she regularly writes for a variety of publications including Teen Vogue, The Independent, Stylist and Al Jazeera.

Nafisa Bakkar


Nafisa is the CEO of Amaliah.com and Halal Gems. In Feb 2019, her essay on the representation of Muslim women in media was published in “It’s Not About The Burqa”, an Amazon bestseller. Nafisa’s work gained recognition in Forbes 30 under 30, Ad Age Women to Watch 2019, Evening Standard Progress 1000 Most Influential in Media, FT & Inclusive Boards #IB100 Bame Leaders and Kindness in Leadership supported by Unilever.

Nicole Crentsil


Nicole is a London-based Ghanaian born curator, cultural producer, public speaker and festival director. In 2018, Forbes listed Nicole as one of 100 women to follow on Twitter and LinkedIn. In the same year, TimeOut named Nicole as 1 of 50 Londoner’s shaping the city’s cultural landscape. Nicole is the co-founding director of Black Girl Festival, the UK’s first festival for Black British women and girls.

Sharan Dhaliwal


Sharan founded, developed and now runs the UK’s leading South Asian magazine  Burnt Roti. Her particular interests focus on discussing the representations of young womxn, South Asian womxn and queer womxn. She is the Director of Middlesex Pride and creator of Oh Queer Cupid, a queer speed dating and comedy night. She has had bylines in i-D, HuffPost, the Guardian and was on the list of global influential women for the BBC 100 Women 2019.

Deidre Finnerty


Deirdre is a multi-media journalist for the BBC. She joined in 2012 and has had stints in the BBC’s Brussels, Westminster and Washington bureaux. Her work has been recognised by the British Journalism Awards and shortlisted for the Amnesty and One World Media Awards. Deirdre has a keen interest in stories about social affairs and inequality. Originally from Ireland, she now lives and works in London.

Nadia Gilani


Nadia is a London born Pakistani writer and yoga teacher. A hard-news journalist, she has appeared in Metro, MailOnline, The Independent, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Huffington Post and Dazed and Confused. Nadia left news desks to work as a communications manager at petition’s website Change.org and crowdfunding platform GoFundMe. She is currently working on a book of non-fiction.

Judy Hepburn


Judy is a playwright and actress and a Jamaican brought up in Sarawak. “Sitting in Limbo”, co-written with Dawn Penso, played at The Tricycle and the Caribbean. It was abridged by the BBC World Service. Her novel extract was short-listed for The Borough Press and The Good Literary Agency’s 2019 open submission competition.

Lizzie Huxley-Jones


Lizzie Huxley-Jones is a writer and editor based in London. She can be found editing at independent micropublisher 3 of Cups Press, and she also advises writers as a freelance sensitivity reading and consultant. In her past career lives, she has been a research diver, a children’s bookseller and digital communications specialist. She tweets too much at @littlehux, taking breaks to walk her dog Nerys.

Sophie Jai


Sophie’s debut novel Wild Fires (spring 2021) is the 2019 winner of The Borough Press & The Good Literary Agency’s open submission competition. Sophie was born and raised in Trinidad and grew up in Toronto, Canada. She is a 2020 Visiting Fellow and Writer-in-Residence at Oxford University, and Sangam House. She has studied with Olive Senior at the Humber School for Writers in Toronto.

Raj Khaira


Raj is a lawyer, author and activist. Her first book Stories for South Asian Supergirls was published in May 2019 and was selected as Children’s Book of the Week and Children’s Book of the Month by the Times and The Guardian. Raj is also the founder of the Pink Ladoo Project, a global gender equality campaign which has been reported on by various news publications including The Guardian, BBC, Vice, Metro, Stylist Magazine and CBC News. Raj was born in England and raised in Canada.

Eleni Kyriacou


Eleni Kyriacou was born and raised in London to Greek Cypriot parents. She’s an award-winning editor and journalist and she has appeared in publications such as the Guardian, the Observer, Marie Claire and Red and Stella. She’s written on a wide range of topics including adoption, relationships, travel, self-development, the arts and women’s health. Her first novel She Came to Stay is published by Hodder in 2020.

Elijah Lawal


Elijah Lawal is a writer, communications manager and spokesperson for Google. His debut book The Clapback: Your Guide to Calling Out Racist Stereotypes was published by Hodder in June 2019.

Saima Mir


Saima is an award-winning journalist. She started her career at the Telegraph & Argus and went on to work for the BBC. She is a recipient of the Commonwealth Broadcast Association’s World View Award, and has written for numerous publications including The Times and The Independent. Saima’s essay for “It’s Not About The Burqa” appeared in Guardian Weekend and received over 250,000 hits over two days.

Zeena Moolla


Zeena is a journalist, editor, and blogger. As a journalist, Zeena has written for OK! magazine, The Mirror, TV Choice, All About Soap, amongst other publications. Her blog wordtothemothers.com. has been commissioned by The Telegraph, Good Housekeeping, The Mirror and The Sun. Word to the Mothers was also turned into a TV series for Made Television, in which Zeena hosted a parent-specific chat show.

Musa Okwonga

Fiction & Non-Fiction

Musa is a poet, journalist and musician. He is the author of two non-fiction books about football (A Cultured Left Foot, Will You Manage?) and one collection of poetry (Eating Roses For Dinner). He left law to pursue a career as a writer. His first book was nominated for the 2008 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, and he has written essays for ESPN, The Economist and The New York Times. He is one half of the electronic music outfit BBXO and co-hosts the Rabona football podcast. He lives in Berlin.

Penny Pepper

Fiction & Poetry

Penny Pepper is an acclaimed wheelchair-using author, poet, performer & disabled activist. A genre-defying and versatile writer, Penny Pepper’s work is a blend of the quirky and the saucy, with a focus on the examination of difference, inequality and identity. She tells stories we haven’t heard, connecting her experience of the world to the universal experience, making others see the world differently.

Monika Radojevic


Monika is half-Brazilian and half-Montenegrin and has lived in London her whole life. She has a degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Bristol, and a Masters in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies. Her debut poetry collection will be her first published work, having won the inaugural #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize. Monika works in the humanitarian and non-profit sector.

Anna Starkey


Anna brings a mix of influences from previous work adventures, she is a BAFTA nominated children’s animation writer, UK Particle Physics Outreach Officer, and a Producer in TV for the BBC Proms. Anna is a TEDx speaker, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, trustee of Paraorchestra and Friends, and Chair of theatre producing company MAYK.

Clare Weze

Middle Grade Fiction

Clare writes novels, short stories and microfiction for adults and children. She grew up between London and Yorkshire, worked in the fields of biological sciences, philosophy and hairdressing. Her short fiction has been widely anthologised and shortlisted in several prizes, including the Bridport, Northern Writers’ Award, Commonword, Fish, Bath Flash and Galley Beggar Press.

Hafsa Zayyan


Hafsa is a co-winner of the inaugural 2019 New Writer’s Prize. Her debut fiction novel, We are all Birds of Uganda, explores themes of belonging, generational divides, race and faith, and will be published by #Merky Books, Penguin Random House in July 2020. Hafsa currently works as a dispute resolution lawyer in central London.