4 Brown Girls Who Write

Poetry

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.

Tasneem Abdur-Rashid

Fiction

Tasneem Abdur-Rashid is a British Bengali writer born and raised in London. A mother of two, Tasneem has worked across media, PR and communications both in the UK and in the UAE. Today, Tasneem spends her days working in PR for a national charity and her nights studying for her Masters – and in between, she’s busy trying (and often failing) to be super mum, super wife and super chef. She also co-hosts an award-winning podcast called Not Another Mum Pod. Having previously published a bestselling novel under a pseudonym, Finding Mr Perfectly Fine is Tasneem’s first book written under her own name.

Sofia Akel

Non-Fiction

Sofia Akel is an education activist and researcher, campaigning and leading work to tackle institutional racism in education. Currently, she is leading London Metropolitan University’s race equity work for the Centre of Equity and Inclusion, as well as working in a number of public facing roles such as: journalism, historical and race-related research and consultancy. She also founded the Free Book Campaign – a community interest company which aims to provide books by authors of colour to those who cannot access them due to financial or other systemic barriers.

Paula Akpan

Non-Fiction

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

Non-Fiction

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.

Khairani Barokka

Non-Fiction

Khairani Barokka is a writer and artist from Jakarta, whose work has been presented in 16 countries. She is currently Researcher in Residence and Research Fellow at UAL’s Decolonising Arts Institute, and Associate Artist at the National Centre for Writing (UK). Among her honours, she has been a UNFPA Indonesian Young Leader Driving Social Change, and an NYU Tisch Departmental Fellow, Modern Poetry in Translation’s Inaugural Poet in Residence. Her books are Rope (Nine Arches) and Indigenous Species (Tilted Axis), and she is co-editor of Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (Nine Arches).

Kim Bussey Chamberlain

Non-Fiction

Kim is an ex-paramedic and lecturer in paramedic science currently taking a baby break. While raising her two wild things she decided to write a book about the other time in her life she was permanently tired, covered in bodily fluids and responsible for keeping the human in front of her alive.

Mireille Cassandra Harper

Non-Fiction

Mireille is an award-winning editor, writer, sensitivity reader and PR. She heads up Square Peg, an imprint of Penguin Random House UK, is the author of Timelines from Black History and has contributed to Timelines of Everyone, The Black History Book, Migrations (all DK) and This Is How We Come Back Stronger (And Other Stories). Her work has been published in British Vogue, Digital Spy, Good Housekeeping, Nation of Billions, GUAP, Nataal and more. Mireille has worked with Punch Records, BYP Network, Content is Queen and Bad Form on press campaigns.

Nicole Crentsil

Non-Fiction

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

Non-Fiction

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.

Preeti Dhillon

Non-Fiction

Preeti is a researcher and historian, whose work tells stories hidden from the mainstream narrative. She works in the international development and humanitarian sector, and has a BA in History and Politics from the University of Oxford, and an MA in International Development and Public Policy. Preeti has written for Shout Out UK and The Rights Collective and was longlisted for Penguin WriteNow 2020.

Emily Dinsdale

Non-Fiction

Emily Dinsdale is a London-based writer who covers art & photography at Dazed & Confused, interviewing illustrious artists such as Marina Abramović and Judy Chicago. She has also contributed to the likes of AnOther, Italian Vogue, Index and Under The Influence and is currently working on her first book, due for publication in early 2022.

Deidre Finnerty

Non-Fiction

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.

Hanna Flint

Non-Fiction

Hanna is a London-based critic, journalist and broadcaster writing on arts, culture and issues of diversity and representation within the entertainment industry. She is the co-chair of Time’s Up UK Critic Circle and a member of the London’s Critic Circle Film Section. Her work has been published by The Guardian, Empire, British GQ, Elle magazine, paper and BBC Culture among others. She is of mixed British and Tunisia heritage.

Joy Francis

Non-Fiction

Joy’s diverse career covers journalism, policy development, academia, executive coaching, digital enterprise, curation, production, film, PR and creative entrepreneurship, both here and abroad. She is the founder and executive director of Words of Colour Productions, co-founder and lead of Digital Women UK and also a co-founder and co-director of the award-winning Synergi Collaborative Centre.

Nicola Garrard

Fiction

Nicola Garrard spent fifteen years teaching in challenging schools in London where she worked with both the victims and perpetrators of knife crime. She is a lesbian and a parent of three children with English and Indian-Trinidadian heritage. She writes poetry, YA and adult fiction. Her poetry was awarded a prize by Carol Ann Duffy in the 2018 PBS Poetry Competition. Her debut novel, Twenty-Nine Locks, was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize 2019. It will be published by Hope Road in June 2021.

Nadia Gasper

Fiction

Nadia is a writer and story consultant with a repertoire of stage, screen and online scripts, page and performance poetry, articles, blogs and essays land marking her career. Her work has been commissioned by institutions such as Manchester’s Contact Theatre, the BBC, Kori Arts and the BFI. She is the founder of Scribble Ink – a story consultancy dedicated to mentoring writers throughout their creative process. Her deep and abiding interest in the fusion of literature and new technologies shapes her passion as an avid short-story writer who sees the cross-pollination of digital media and traditional art forms as ‘millennial punk.’

Nadia Gilani

Non-Fiction

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.

Alexis Gregory

Fiction

Alexis Gregory is a playwright, performer, director and producer. His work explores queer themes and his plays include ‘Riot Act’ (Duchess Theatre – West End, Arcola Theatre, Kings Head Theatre and UK tours), ‘Sex/Crime’ (Soho Theatre, The Glory), ‘Safe’ (Soho Theatre, Norwich Theatre Royal, London Theatre Workshop and directed by Alexis; Norwich Theatre Royal and in a digital online version for Hackney Empire) and ‘Slap’ (Theatre Royal Stratford East and Channel 4’s first ever onsite theatre performance). His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing.

Judy Hepburn

Fiction

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

Fiction & Non-Fiction

Lizzie Huxley-Jones is a writer and editor based in London. They can be found editing at independent micropublisher 3 of Cups Press, and advising writers as a freelance sensitivity reader and consultant. In their past career lives, they have been a research diver, a children’s bookseller and digital communications specialist. They tweet too much at @littlehux, taking breaks to walk their dog Nerys.

Kenny Imafidon

Non-Fiction

Kenny is the co-founder and Managing Director of ClearView Research Ltd, a leading-edge research company who specialise in research focusing on millennials and social impact evaluation. Described by Huffington Post as a ‘young rising star making waves in UK politics’, Kenny has led on innovative partnerships with global brands such as Uber, Tinder and Deliveroo, on campaigns to get young people registered to vote. Kenny is a trustee of several charities such as BBC Children in Need, Strength Within Me Foundation, City Gateway and Spark Inside. Kenny is also on the advisory board of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.

Sophie Jai

Fiction

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.

Zara Janjua

Non-Fiction

Zara Janjua is a journalist, presenter and screenwriter. She won a spot in the BBC Comedy Writersroom 2020, The BBC Children’s Indie Mentorship Writersroom 2021 and ITV Comedy 50:50’s Female Pilot Club 2021. Zara was also shortlisted for the Funny Women Comedy Writing Award 2020. She was a finalist for The Women of The Future Award and is currently working on several screenplay commissions.

Angela Jariwala

Fiction

Angela was born in West London to parents from Surat, India. She is a published author of two young adult novels: ‘Pardesi’ (1994) and ‘Fatty Rati’, (1997.) Angela is a digital communications professional, managing the content for websites, intranets and social. She is a volunteer story minister with the Ministry of Stories (MoS) in Hoxton and a member and volunteer with the Royal Society of Literature (RSL). She feels most at home being immersed in the creative word. Angela’s new novel The Cat Share will be published by Simon & Schuster UK in March 2022.

Raj Khaira

Non-Fiction

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

Fiction

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

Non-Fiction

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.

lisa luxx

Non-Fiction

lisa luxx is a queer poet, theatremaker, essayist and activist of British and Syrian heritage. Published in i-D, Dazed, The Telegraph, The International Times, and in anthologies by Hatchette, Saqi, Comma Press. Broadcast on Channel 4, BBC Radio 4, VICE TV, TEDx, and ITV. luxx was winner of the Out-Spoken Prize for Performance Poetry. Founder of The Sisterhood Salon in Beirut, her work and life is concerned with sisterhood as an act of resistance. Her debut collection Fetch Your Mother’s Heart is out now.

Frances Mensah Williams CBE

Fiction

Frances Mensah Williams is an award-winning author, Human Resources/Business Consultant, and Executive Coach. The founder and Chief Executive of Interims for Development, a UK-based Human Resources, training, and coaching consultancy, she has consulted on and led projects in the UK and for international clients in Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and other parts of Africa. She is also the founder and Managing Editor of ReConnect Africa.com and was awarded a CBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List for services to the African community in the UK and in Africa.

Saima Mir

Fiction

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

Non-Fiction

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.

Yen Ooi

Non-Fiction

Yen Ooi is a writer-researcher whose works explore cultural storytelling and its effects on identity. She is currently working towards her PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, specialising in the development of Chinese science fiction by diaspora writers and writers from Chinese-speaking nations. She is also author of Sun: Queens of Earth (novel) and A Suspicious Collection of Short Stories and Poetry (collection). When she’s not writing, Yen lectures at Westminster University’s MA Creative Writing course, and is a mentor in marketing and publishing.

Halima Olalemi

Non-Fiction

Halima Olalemi is an Art Director living and working in London, with a focus on fashion advertising and editorial. The @adarchives curator has been cataloguing magazine ads from the 80s, 90s and 00s and the archive showcases dozens of advertising campaigns from youth culture and fashion magazines, including i-D, The Face, Dazed and Sleazenation. @adarchives is bold, funny, gritty and provocative. Halima’s clients include Simmonds Ltd, National Theatre, Dazed, Vogue and LOVE Magazine.

Bronwen Parker-Rhodes

Non-Fiction

After graduating from Slade School of Fine Art with a 1st, Bronwen has produced and directed films for Channel 4, BBC, The New York Times, Tate, Christies, Nowness, Vice, and has exhibited her films and photography worldwide.

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.

Anis Qizilbash

Non-Fiction

Motivational speaker, coach and founder of Mindful Sales Training, Anis Qizilbash has helped 1000s of freelancers and founders overcome self-doubt, gain courage and clarity to grow their impact. As the creator of Mindful Sales philosophy, she is one of the few ethnic minority women keynote speakers in the world on sales and mindfulness and has been booked by companies to speak at conferences to inspire their sales and leadership teams. Anis has appeared The Guardian, Forbes, Psychology Today and more, for her insights.

Monika Radojevic

Poetry

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.

Jon Ransom

Fiction

The Whale Tattoo is Jon Ransom’s first novel. Winner of the National Centre for Writing 2019 Escalator mentoring scheme for early career fiction writers. Jon was the recipient of an Arts Council England TLC Free Reads Prize, and an excerpt of his writing was selected for the inaugural TLC Free Reads Anthology. In 2018 Jon was awarded an Arvon grant to attend the residential course Fiction: Work in Progress. His short stories have appeared in SAND Journal, Foglifter Press and Five:2:One, among others. Jon’s writings have been nominated for Best of the Net, Best Microfiction, and 2019 Lambda Literary LGBTQ Anthology. Jon grew up in Norfolk and is currently at work on his second novel.

Zoe Rosi

Fiction

Zoe Rosi has a background in journalism and copywriting. She worked as a reporter for local and national newspapers before moving into the fashion industry as a copywriter. Zoe had four romantic comedies published before writing her debut thriller. It was while working as a fashion copywriter that Zoe had the idea for her latest novel, which she describes as ‘The Devil Wears Prada meets American Psycho.’ Zoe created a ‘Me Too vigilante’ main character and considers her thriller to be darkly feminist.

Anna Starkey

Non-Fiction

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.

Vasundra Tailor

Fiction

Vasundra Tailor is a consultant pharmacist who was born in India, brought up in Zimbabwe, then moved to the UK to further her studies. She travels widely and loves to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures, learning from them about their hopes and passions, their way of life. She is curious about relationships within families, communities and the way people connect with others in the wider world. Her novel extract won the second runner up prize for the Mo Siewcharran Fiction Competition in November 2019.

Eva Verde

Fiction

Eva Verde is a writer from Forest Gate, East London. Identity and class are recurring themes throughout her work as she studies towards an MA in Prose Fiction. Her love song to libraries, I Am Not Your Tituba forms part of Kit De Waal’s Common People: An Anthology of Working-Class Writers with Unbound, and her work has featured in Marie Claire, Grazia and Elle. Eva’s debut novel Lives Like Mine, is published by Simon and Schuster. Eva lives in Essex with her husband, children and dog.

Scarlett Westbook

Non-Fiction

Scarlett is a sixteen-year-old leading climate justice activist. Aged thirteen, she became the youngest person in the world to achieve an A-level in Government and Politics. She was selected as one of Greenpeace’s ‘30 under 30’ activists and is the 2020 recipient of the Women of the Future Young Star award. Scarlett is a leading member of the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN), Head of Political Engagement for the ‘Teach the Future’ campaign and was the keynote speaker at the 2020 International Women’s Day march in London. Her work has been published in the Independent, i-D, the Metro, gal-dem magazine and Verso, amongst others.

Clare Weze

Middle Grade Fiction

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

Hafsa Zayyan

Fiction & Non-Fiction

Hafsa Zayyan 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 Penguin Random House (Merky Books) in July 2020. Hafsa currently works as a dispute resolution lawyer in central London.

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