Speakers

An A–Z of all our wonderful speakers and contributors

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Nels Abbey
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@Nelsabbey
He/Him
Panel: Sharing the Password
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Nels Abbey is a British-Nigerian satirist, writer and media executive. He started his career as a writer working for Hip-Hop magazines and websites in the early 2000s. 

His first book Think Like a White Man (Canongate, 2018) is an eviscerating satire of modern racial discourse and politics in the corporate world. Endorsements have come from Reni Eddo-Lodge, The Guardian, The Independent, Cosmopolitan, Benjamin Zephaniah, and many more.

Abbey co-founded The Black Writers’ Guild in 2020 with the mission to introduce sweeping reforms across the publishing industry for inclusivity at all levels. He is one of the Bookseller’s 150 most influential people in UK publishing of the same year.

He is a former BBC executive and a former banker. 

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Nyla Ahmad
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@nylanylanyla
She/Her or They/Them
Panel: IRL URL
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Nyla Ahmad is Reading Communities Manager at Scottish Book Trust, leading on programming Book Week Scotland. Nyla was the inaugural awardee of Literature Alliance Scotland's Next Level programme and currently serves on the Glasgow Zine Library board of trustees. She previously co-led the BHP Comics project, Full Colour, a mentoring programme for young comics creators from BAME backgrounds. She has also worked for the Glasgow Women’s Library on their museum access project, Equality in Progress. Nyla’s MPhil thesis examined South Asian and Muslim representation in comics. She served as chair of the Scottish Independent Comic Book Alliance Awards for three years.​

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Madelene Andersson
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@agentmadelene
She/Her
Panel: World Wide Web
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Madelene started her BA in English Literature and History at the University of Edinburgh, before transferring to Umeå University to read Swedish literature and history. She then went on to study Comparative Literature and Publishing Studies at the University of Uppsala. Since 2020, Madelene has worked as Literary Agent for Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction at Bonnier Rights. Madelene represents Swedish, Finnish and Danish authors worldwide, and has a personal affinity for ‘big think’ non-fiction, women’s fiction, multi-generational sagas, and contemporary fiction by traditionally marginalised voices. 

Bonnier Rights is a leading literary agency selling translation rights across all genres, and one of Sweden’s biggest agencies – home to debuts, bestsellers and award-winners.

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Nick Barley
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@nickbarleyedin
He/Him
Panel: IRL URL
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Nick Barley is a publisher, editor and festival organiser. He has been director and chief executive of the Edinburgh International Book Festival since 2009. During that period, he has introduced various innovations including late-night programming with the Unbound live literature nights; Playing with Books, a strand which transforms books into new scratch theatre projects; and Citizen, a major community engagement project. Barley has judged a variety of literary and cultural prizes, and in 2017 he chaired the judging panel for the Man Booker International Prize. In 2018 he became a trustee of the Booker Prize Foundation. 

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Davinder Bedi
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@davbedi
@BookSource1
Panel: More Than (Trade) Words
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Dav is Managing Director at BookSource, the trading arm of Publishing Scotland, and a full-service international book distributor servicing almost 100 client publishers. He has been part of the Scottish publishing scene since 1996, and during his time he has developed the BookSource offering into one that is now vital for publishers to be successful in today’s marketplace, especially small publishers. He has a particular interest in sustainability within the book business supply chain and is keen to make BookSource ‘Net Zero’ by the end of 2023. Dav studied Maths at Glasgow University and later went back to take an MBA. He sits as a Board Member or Trustee on various charity boards, including Publishing Scotland, and can often be found shouting at Partick Thistle on Saturday afternoons.

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Ain Bensenouci
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@AinChiara
She/Her
Panel: IRL URL
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Ain is the Partnerships and Events Manager at Penguin Random House, where she works on B2B author events. She is also the Founder and Co-chair of PRH International Community. In her spare time, she creates content across multiple digital channels such as Instagram and YouTube on all things books and career. Her work to support the publishing industry and her career achievements have earned her a nomination as a Bookseller Rising Star in 2018, and she was recently shortlisted for the London Book Fair Trailblazer Awards in 2021. 

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Jo Biggers
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@joanna_biggers
She/Her
Panel: More Than (Trade) Words
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Jo Biggers is Marketing Executive at Bright Red Publishing, Scotland’s leading independent educational publisher of award-winning books. She is responsible for all aspects of marketing, broadcasting a brilliant range of study resources for Scottish students and schools, from BGE to Advanced Higher level.

 Jo joined Bright Red Publishing in 2017 after working for a primary education publisher in London. Before that, she taught in America and in a primary school in Surrey.

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Jenny Brown
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@agentjenny
She/Her
Panel: More Than (Trade) Words
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Edinburgh-based literary agency Jenny Brown Associates was established in 2002. Jenny works with 50 writers of literary fiction and narrative non-fiction, mostly based in Scotland. She was previously first director of Edinburgh International Book Festival (of which she’s now vice-chair), Head of Literature at Creative Scotland and one of the Founders of Edinburgh as first UNESCO City of Literature. She is Chair of Bloody Scotland crime writing festival.  Jenny was shortlisted as Agent of the Year in 2014 and 2020.

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Gray Crosbie
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@GrayCrosbie
They/Them
Closing Performer
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Gray Crosbie is a queer poet who performs regularly at poetry events and cabaret nights around Scotland. Their writing has been published in various anthologies and literary magazines, and as poetry films on BBC The Social. Their pamphlet of flash-fiction Love, Pan-Fried was published in 2019 by Knight Errant Press. Find them at  facebook.com/plantpoweredpoet

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Camilla Elworthy
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@camillaelworthy
She/Her
Panel: Publishing Shuggie Bain
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Camilla Elworthy is Publicity Director at Pan Macmillan, working chiefly on Picador titles. She has been a publicist for 25 years, most of that time at Picador. She started her career in publishing in the marketing department of the long-defunct Reed Consumer Books, and before that lived in France where she taught English, before deciding that maybe, just maybe, an intense love of reading and talking about books was enough to try to get into the industry! Among the many authors whose books she has worked on include Alan Hollinghurst, Carol Ann Duffy, Bret Easton Ellis, Helen Fielding, Edward St Aubyn, Sarah Moss, Garth Greenwell, Jon Ronson, Jackie Kay, James Salter, Alice Sebold, Don DeLillo, Elizabeth Macneal, Aravind Adiga and Douglas Stuart.

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Julie Farrell
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@WeeRedWriter
She/Her
Panel: Sharing The Password
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Julie Farrell is a queer, disabled, neurodivergent author. Her novel, ​We Are Fractals, won a place on the Write Mentor Summer Mentoring Programme 2020. Julie is a participant in the Diverse Critics Scheme delivered by Creative Scotland in partnership with Disability Arts Online and The Skinny. Her essays and features have been published in various publications. Mental health and illness, disability and diversity feature prominently in Julie's work and she is an advocate for diverse representation. Through her consultancy, Julie aims to improve access to development opportunities for disabled writers and raise awareness of the barriers to development. She consults with organisations on access, including Cymera FestivalPaisley Book FestivalScottish Book Trust and Magfest. She has recently been longlisted for the Write Mentor Children's Novel Award 2021 and shortlisted for the Owned Voices Award 2021..

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Lyndsey Fineran
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@Lyndsey_Fineran
She/Her
Panel: IRL URL
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Originally from the North East and now Bristol based, Lyndsey is the Programme and Commissions Manager for Cheltenham Literature Festival – the oldest, and one of the largest, book festivals in the world. In her time with the Festival she’s been responsible for building a live literature programme, talent development, commissions and international partnerships, and helped to deliver a pioneering hybrid edition of the 2020 Festival that won ‘Event of the Year’ at The Bookseller’s FutureBook Awards. She holds degrees in Literature from Durham and St Andrews Universities, is on the board of the British Arts Festivals Association, chairs events and is a Society of Young Publishers Mentor. In 2019 she was selected for The Bookseller's Rising Stars programme, which identifies and champions the future leaders of the book trade.

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Anna Glazier
She/Her
Panel: More Than (Trade) Words
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Anna Glazier is Head of Marketing at Edinburgh University Press where she has spent much of her career. She completed a Masters in Publishing at Oxford Brookes and gained experience at Heartstone, a small educational publisher, and as a PA at Christian Focus Publications, before taking on the hybrid role of Sales Administrator and Journals Subscriptions Assistant at EUP. Seventeen years later, she has worked mostly in sales and marketing with a brief stint in the production team.

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Donna Greaves
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@doncarmello
She/Her
Panel: Alt. Routes
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Donna Greaves has been an agency assistant at Jo Unwin Literary Agency since 2017. She trained and worked as a speech and language therapist for 6 years, before changing careers aged 30. She is working towards acquiring her own list of clients across fiction and non-fiction and is interested in the stories of what makes us who we are.

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Ned Hartley
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@nedhartley
He/Him
Panel: Alt. Routes
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Ned Hartley is a commissioning editor working on Ladybird licensed books at Penguin Random House. He is also a writer, and has created comics for the Beano, 2000 AD and Wallace and Gromit Comics, among others. Ned has written several books including a graphic novel biography of Albert Einstein, The Marvel Museum and The Ladybird Big Book of Dead Things. Ned was a magazine editor before he moved to books publishing, but he has always worked in licensed publishing. 

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Tom Hodges
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@typewronger
They/Them
Panel: Dear Publishing
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Tom Hodges is the founder of Typewronger Books, Edinburgh's smallest bookshop. Typewronger specialises in small press and independent publications, but stocks a range of titles from across the publishing industry. Tom also organises the Edinburgh Zine Fair, which promotes small press publishers and book artists alongside the zines. The shop has its own imprint and has published a variety of pamphlets, from cocktail recipe books to surreal cartoons, from new poetry to a lost Robert Louis Stevenson novella, and Tom often acts as a first stop for new publishers setting up their imprints and gives advice on approaching bookshops and the nitty-gritty of the business side of things. Before founding Typewronger, Tom worked at Desperate Literature in Madrid, Shakespeare and Company in Paris and Heywood Hill in London.

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Noelle Holten
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@nholten40
She/Her
Panel: Alt. Routes
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Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR and Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for 18 years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has 3 Hons BAs - Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice - and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle's hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog.

Dead Inside - her debut novel with One More Chapter/HarperCollins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

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Laura Jones
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@laurafjones
She/Her
Panel: With Best Regards
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Laura Jones is the Co-owner and Publisher of the award-winning 404 Ink and also currently Interim Publisher at Dead Ink. She is on the board of Publishing Scotland and is also a publishing freelancer who has worked for the likes of Scottish Book Trust, Charco Press, Knights Of, and many more. 

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Regina Kammerer
She/Her
Panel: World Wide Web
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Regina Kammerer is the publisher of Luchterhand Literaturverlag & btb Verlag (part of Random House Germany). She studied German, Politics and Social Sciences in Heidelberg and Munich and is also a graduate of The German School of Journalism in Munich. She lives in Munich and has two daughters. Always looking for new voices and unusual stories, her special interest is in Northern European literature, specifically Scandinavian and Scottish.   

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Ann Landmann
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@annofbooks
She/Her
Panel: IRL URL
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Ann Landmann has been working in books since she was 19. With an undergrad in Book Trade and Publishing under her belt, she joined Blackwell’s, Edinburgh’s oldest bookshop, first as the buyer for the school’s department, and then as the Events Manager. After 9 busy years of events big and small, she changed sides and now works for Edinburgh-based publisher Birlinn Ltd as a sales representative. In her spare time, she runs Cymera: Scotland’s Festival of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Writing. 

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Sharmaine Lovegrove
@sharlovegrove
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She/Her
Keynote Speaker
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Sharmaine Lovegrove is the Publisher of Dialogue Books, an inclusive imprint, part of Little, Brown Book Group and Hachette UK. Dialogue Books is a home for a variety of stories from illuminating voices often missing from the mainstream. Sharmaine was the recipient of the Future Book Publishing Person of the Year 2018 and is inspired by innovative storytelling, and has worked in public relations, bookselling, events management and TV scouting. She was the literary editor of ELLE and set up her own bookshop and creative agency when living in Berlin. Sharmaine serves on the boards of The Black Cultural Archives, The Watershed and is a founding organiser of The Black Writers' Guild. Home is London, she lives in Berlin and her roots are Jamaican - Sharmaine is proud to be part of the African diaspora, and books make her feel part of the world.

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Samuel McDowell
@TravelnSam
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He/Him
Panel: Alt. Routes
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Samuel McDowell initially trained as a commercial pilot, before embarking on a career in information technology, working for a number of global across the finance and services sectors. In 2017, along with his partner Carolina Orloff, he founded  Edinburgh-based Charco Press, an independent publisher focused on bringing the best in contemporary Latin American fiction to English-speaking readers. Charco has gained significant attention in the short time it has been operating for its innovative approach to publishing, the quality of authors being produced and their championing of both translation and translators. In 2018, one of Charco’s first-ever titles was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and in 2019 they won Best Scottish Small Press at the British Book Awards. In 2020 another Charco title was shortlisted for the Booker International Prize.

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Paul McNamee
@pauldmcnamee
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He/Him
Panel: The Lockdown Issue
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Paul McNamee is UK editor of The Big Issue across national and online editions. 

He started on local newspapers in Northern Ireland, before co-founding Irish music magazine Blank with broadcaster Colin Murray. Following several years on the NME in London he wrote for a number of newspapers and magazines, amongst them the Daily Mirror, The Guardian and The Irish Times.
He has been named Magazine Editor of the Year four times by PPA Scotland and was named British Editor of The Year twice by the BSME (British Society of Magazine Editors). He is a regular voice on BBC radio and TV and on Sky News.

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Ravi Mirchandani
@RavindraM
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He/Him
Panel: Publishing Shuggie Bain
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Ravi Mirchandani is Editor-in-Chief of Picador. After a degree in History, he began his publishing career at Macmillan as a Graduate Recruit in 1984, becoming Commissioning Editor for Academic Reference in 1985, before moving over to trade publishing in 1987, joining Penguin as Editor, where he was responsible for reference books, popular science and history. Over the course of stints at Weidenfeld, Wm. Heinemann and Atlantic, he has worked with titles, authors and characters ranging from The Macmillan Dictionary of Genetics and The Time Out Guides to The White Tiger, Crazy Rich Asians and Atomised; from Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker, Sir Ian Kershaw and Tony Judt to Garry Kasparov, Muriel Spark and Lenny Henry; from Hannibal Lecter and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Shuggie Bain and A Little Life’s Jude St. Francis.

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Georgina Moore
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@PublicityBooks 
She/Her
Panel: IRL URL
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Georgina Moore is Director of Books and Publishing at Midas PR. Before that she was Communications Director at Headline Publishing, running the Press Office. Recently Georgina won the FutureBook Lockdown Campaign of the Year for Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet. Current campaigns she is working on include The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex from Picador and Animal by Lisa Taddeo from Bloomsbury.

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Tina Narang
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@HarperCollinsIN
She/Her
Panel: World Wide Web
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Tina Narang is the Children’s Publisher at HarperCollins India. She joined HarperCollins India in 2017 and launched the children’s imprint, HarperCollins Children’s Books. Tina has published across genres from picture books and chapter books for younger readers, to fiction, non-fiction and graphic novels for middle graders and young adults. She has worked with some of the finest names in Indian children’s literature such as Ruskin Bond, Sudha Murty, Ravi Subramanian, Paro Anand, Venita Coelho, Ranjit Lal and Sampurna Chattarji, among many others. Prior to HarperCollins, Tina was with Scholastic India from 2005-17. Tina started her career with The Times of India in 1987.

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Sha Nazir
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@Sha_nazir
@BHP_comics
He/Him
Panel: More Than (Trade) Words
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Sha is the publisher at BHP Comics, Scotland's only graphic novel publisher and rights agent for 9 Panels Agency (@9panelsagency). He produces Glasgow Comic Con and Edinburgh Comic Art Festival and is the founding chair of the Scottish Independent Comic Book Alliance (SICBA), the UK's longest-running comic book awards. He occasionally writes and draws comics.

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Jamie Norman
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@normantweets
He/Him
Panel: With Best Regards
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Jamie Norman is a Campaigns Executive at Canongate, where he’s worked for 4 years. Jamie manages marketing campaigns across the Canongate list, and publicity and marketing campaigns across their Black Thorn crime imprint. He’s been lucky enough to work with some incredible authors, including Alan Parks, Ambrose Parry, Courttia Newland, Kathleen Jamie, Gavin Francis, George Alagiah and Susannah Cahalan. 

In 2019, he was highly commended for the Saltire Society Award for Emerging Publisher of the Year.

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Mairi Oliver
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@lighthousebks
She/Her
Panel: Your Cart Is Full
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Mairi runs Lighthouse: Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop, which won Scottish Bookshop of the Year 2019 at the Nibbies. She has been in the book trade over a decade; having worked as a bookseller at the likes of Constant Reader in Sydney and Topping & Company Booksellers in St Andrews, she opened Lighthouse as a queer, feminist, anti-racist community bookshop in 2017. Lighthouse, which is a reincarnation of the radical Word Power Bookshop that first opened in 1994, continues to host and organise Edinburgh's annual Book Fringe and Radical Book Fair. In 2020 they launched lighthouse online, with a new digital events and author programme that is still growing and evolving.

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Sally Pattle
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@furtherfrom
She/Her
Panel: Your Cart Is Full
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Sally Pattle is Manager of Far From The Madding Crowd bookshop in Linlithgow, West Lothian. She’s been running the shop full-time since 2015, when her mum – who owns the shop – stepped back into semi-retirement, though Sally has been a bookseller there for about 10 years. Prior to that, Sally worked for Birlinn Publishers Ltd in Edinburgh as a publicist, she taught English at the Pablo de Olavide University in Sevilla for several years and she began her career as an Anti-Social Behaviour Officer for Plymouth City Council, a job that has been surprisingly helpful while working in the book world!

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Arusa Qureshi
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@arusaqureshi
She/Her
Panel: The Lockdown Issue
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Arusa Qureshi is a writer and editor based in Edinburgh, with a particular focus on music, diversity and accessibility within arts and culture. She was formerly the Editor of UK entertainment and events guide The List, and her work has appeared in Bella Caledonia, gal-dem, the Guardian, GoldFlakePaint and more. She is also on the board of the Scottish Music Centre and in the Scottish Music Industry Association’s Advisory Group.

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Melanie Ramdarshan Bold
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@ILoveCopyright
She/Her
Panel: Sharing The Password
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Melanie Ramdarshan Bold is an Associate Professor of Publishing and Book Culture at University College London. Her research centres on contemporary book culture (readers, authors, publishers) with a focus on children's and YA books. She has published widely on inclusive youth literature; alongside numerous publications about contemporary book culture. She was a judge on the UKYA book prize, and is on the Advisory Boards for the CLPE Reflecting Realities project and the Pop-up Pathways into Children’s Publishing project.

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Vikki Reilly
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@bookyvikki
She/Her
Panel: Your Cart Is Full
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Vikki is the Marketing, Events and Sales Support Manager at Publishing Scotland, the trade and network body for Scottish publishing. She has worked for nearly 20 years in the book industry, first as a bookseller, then in the sales and marketing departments of Mainstream Publishing, Mercat Press and Birlinn Ltd, where she was also a member of the editorial board. She has just published her first book, The Beatles 101: A Pocket Guide in 101 Moments, Songs, People and Places, with Polaris Publishing.

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Anamik Saha
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@anamik1977
He/Him
Panel: Sharing The Password
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Anamik Saha is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. His research explores issues of race and media, with a particular focus on cultural industries and ‘diversity’. He has been the recipient of two ESRC and AHRC fellowship awards and has been a Visiting Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As well as being published widely, his research has featured across a range of media, including BBC Radio, The Guardian, Times Education Supplement and The New Statesman. 

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Ross Sayers
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@sayers33
He/Him
Closing Speaker
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Ross Sayers is an author for both adults and young adults, originally from Stirling, now based in Glasgow. His first novel, 'Mary's the Name', was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book of the Year Award. This was followed by 'Sonny and Me' in 2019, a Scottish Book Trust Book of the Month, and 'Daisy on the Outer Line' in 2020, which received one of the first Scots Language Publication Grants.

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Scottish BAME Writers Network
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@ScotBAMEwriters
Panel: Dear Publishing
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Scottish BAME Writers Network (SBWN) provides advocacy, literary events and development opportunities for BAME writers based in or from Scotland. Run by Black and PoC (people of colour) writers, SBWN was co-founded by poets Alycia Pirmohamed and Jay G Ying in 2018. In 2019, the Network received funding from The Royal Society of Literature to host a series of visiting writer workshops and won the 2019 Creative Edinburgh Awards (Social Category). SBWN has since received funding from Creative Scotland for their 2020 pilot year and their 2021 ‘Staying Connected’ programme. Guest writers, facilitators and curators have included Leila Aboulela, Chitra Ramaswamy, Nadine Aisha Jassat, Raman Mundair, Maisie Chan, Martha Adonai Williams, Mary Jean Chan, Courtney Stoddart, and Hannah Lavery, who facilitates the Writers of Colour writing group. SBWN is represented by their co-directors, Jeda Pearl Lewis and Dean Atta, at the SYP conference.

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Nikki Simpson
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@MagazineCentre
She/Her
Panel: The Lockdown Issue
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Passionate about magazines and publishing, Nikki has worked in the industry since 2006 and founded the International Magazine Centre in Edinburgh in 2018. The International Magazine Centre connects publishers, shares expertise, supports internationalisation, nurtures new talent, promotes magazine innovation, inspires consumers and celebrates the wonderful world of magazines.

Previously Nikki ran the Scottish arm of the magazine trade association PPA; worked at political magazine publishers Holyrood Communications as their Marketing Manager; at content marketing company White Light Media as their Business Manager; and as the Regional Director of IoIC Scotland, the trade body representing the internal communications industry. She has also held roles with the Scottish Print Employers Federation, Scottish Newspaper Publishers Association and the Scottish Daily Newspaper Society.

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James Spackman
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@Blackpooltower
He/Him
@Spareroomproj
Panel: Sharing The Password
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James Spackman is a publisher, agent and coach. As a literary agent, he is one third of The bks Agency. His cycling imprint, Pursuit, is part of Profile Books. He set up The Book Pitch Doctor to help publishers improve their presentation skills and Copy Lab to create book blurb more effectively. He is also founder of The Spare Room Project, which has been finding free accommodation for interns in London since 2016. The Project, sponsored by Penguin Random House, has recently launched an online version: The Spare ZOOM Project, which connects job seekers with people already working in the publishing industry, for a supportive and informative 30m online chat.

His publishing career started in the postroom of Bloomsbury, before progressing through sales & marketing roles there, then at John Murray and Hodder & Stoughton, then as MD of Watkins, a division of Osprey Group.

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Claire Squires
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@ClaireSquires
She/Her
Panel: With Best Regards
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Claire Squires is Professor of Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling, and Director of the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH). She is the author of Marketing Books: The Making of Contemporary Writing in Britain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), with Beth Driscoll The Frankfurt Book Fair and Bestseller Business (CUP, 2020), as Blaire Squiscoll The Frankfurt Kabuff (Kabuff Books, 2019), and is Co-editor of The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain Volume 7: The Twentieth Century and Beyond (CUP, 2019). She previously worked at Hodder Headline.

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Ross Stewart
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@ra_stewart
He/Him
Panel: More Than (Trade) Words
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Ross Stewart is a Project Leader at Prepress Projects, where he edits for national and international clients. He has worked in publishing for 8 years, previously as a Publishing Assistant at the Royal Society of Chemistry and as a Content Manager at Cambridge University Press. Ross studied literature and creative writing at the universities of Edinburgh and Dundee, and first gained publishing experience as editor of a student creative writing magazine, through an internship and as a freelancer.

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Euan Tait
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@Taaait
He/Him
Panel: Publishing Shuggie Bain
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Euan Tait is the Events Manager at The Portobello Bookshop. His bookselling and event management experience was gained over six years working for Waterstones. Prior to this, he worked as a Front of House Assistant at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. He has worked on events for many authors including Marian Keyes, Armistead Maupin and Ian Rankin.

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Hannah Taylor
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@_liltinker
@delicaterebels
She/Her
Panel: The Lockdown Issue
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Hannah Taylor is founder, editor and art director at Delicate Rébellion. An independent print magazine that shares stories and inspiration from the art and creative industry.  

A thoughtful publication with community and collaboration at the forefront of all they do, Delicate Rébellion is a warm, insightful and playful look into creativity. Featuring interviews with both well-established and fresh-faced grads in the art world. By opening conversations and welcoming their readers into the fold of both their beautiful online and offline events, they are taking the reader/magazine relationship to new levels. 

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Nathan
James Thomas
@IntrepidTimes
He/Him
@ExisleBooks
Panel: World Wide Web
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Nathan James Thomas is the Vice President of Marketing and Publicity for Exisle Publishing, focused on North America and the United Kingdom. Born in New Zealand, Nathan studied at the University of Otago, and now spends much of his time in Europe, the UK, and the United States. Nathan’s broad range of responsibilities include coordinating marketing and publicity campaigns across the UK and North America for Exisle’s many imprints, including their children’s imprint, EK Books. He also works closely with their Northern Hemisphere distributors, Quarto, to support their sales activities. During the 2020 pandemic, Nathan launched an in-company start-up, Exisle Academy, which offers training and mentorship to aspiring authors, several of whom have already been offered publishing deals with Exisle.

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Alexandria Turner
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@editor_turner
She/Her
Panel: The Lockdown Issue
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Alexandria Turner is Editor-in-Chief of Kids’ Magazines and Comics at DC Thomson Media. Working closely with the creative teams, she’s responsible for publishing multi-platform brands, including Beano, The Broons, Oor Wullie, Commando, 110% Gaming and Animal Planet.  

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Kelly Urgan
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@editegrity
She/Her
Panel: Dear Publishing
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Kelly Urgan is a freelance editor and writer based in London. She is the founder of Editegrity, which provides a variety of editing services. She specialises in fiction of all kinds: historical, fantasy, sci-fi, and dystopian, and she also loves to edit memoir and travel writing. She’s the editor who reads too much and is developing a blog that will provide authors with great examples of world-building, character development, language usage and the craft of writing she collects when she escapes from reality.

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Raakhi Vadera
She/Her
Panel: With Best Regards
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Raakhi Vadera is the HR manager at Pan Macmillan, and has been there for just over 5 years. She went to Aston University in Birmingham to study Sociology, International Relations and Business for undergrad, and completed her Masters in Human Resources Management there too. She grew up in Manchester and then Nottingham, and after her Masters moved straight to London and has been there for 7 years. She started her career in HR in financial services but even with the supposed big bucks you can earn in that world, she couldn’t quite hack the cutthroat, boys club nature of it so chose to make the move into the creative industry where she has found that her job satisfaction is much higher - the two industries couldn’t be more different. 

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Laura Waddell
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@lauraewaddell
She/Her
Panel: World Wide Web
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Laura Waddell is UK Publishing Director at Tramp Press. In her spare time, she is a Visiting Lecturer in Publishing Studies at City University of London, a board member of the co-operatively owned Gutter Magazine, and writes a weekly columnist for the Scotsman newspaper. In 2019 and 2020 she was the winner of Write to End Violence Against Women Awards, and took part in the inaugural Emerging Critics scheme funded by Creative Scotland, returning the following year as a mentor herself. Her writing has appeared in publications including the TLS, Guardian, and Kinfolk, and she was praised by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as 'a wonderful writer.' Her first non-fiction book, Exit, an exploration of the theme of exits in art and everyday life, was published by Bloomsbury in 2020.

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Bushra Wasty
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@bibliobushra
She/Her
Panel: Dear Publishing
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Bushra Wasty is a book blogger, children’s bookseller and a mum of two boys. With a cup of coffee in hand, she now shares her book musings on her blog, bibliobushra.com, and @bibliobushra on both Instagram and Twitter. 

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Samantha Williams
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@thisisbooklove
Panel: Your Cart Is Full
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After 15 years of working in the media and with no publishing experience whatsoever, the frustrations Samantha encountered regarding the lack of diversity and cultural representation in TV and books motivated her to create “Book Love – The Travelling Multicultural Book Carnival”. The award-winning Book Carnival represents the beautifully diverse and bilingual communities around us; sourcing some of the best multicultural content there is from across the world, for both children and adults. The carnival travels to schools, markets, festivals and places of work up and down the country, helping teachers and people in general to source some of the best culturally diverse books and toys out there. Their new community interest company “BookLove and Beyond’ is raising money to give free multicultural and anti-racist books to educational settings across the country and recruiting BookLove Ambassadors to join them on their mission.

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Claire Withers
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@claireimogen
She/Her
Panel: Alt. Routes
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Claire Withers is the Managing Editor at Hodder Gibson, Scotland’s top educational publisher, leading a team of editors in creating print and digital resources for Scottish schools. She was a secondary English teacher for seven years before undertaking an MSc in Publishing in 2017. In her (fairly lengthy) career, she has also worked as an optician’s receptionist, theatre usher and student support assistant, proving that there is no ‘correct’ route into publishing.

During the pandemic, Claire added to her already dubious crafting skills by learning embroidery. She is terrible at it and enjoys it thoroughly.

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Natalie Whittle
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@nataliewhittle
@outwiththe
She/Her
Panel: Your Cart Is Full
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Natalie Whittle worked for the Financial Times in London for more than 15 years, mostly as a commissioning editor for FT Weekend. Her first book, The 15-Minute City, will be published by Luath Press in 2021. She runs the independent Outwith Books in Glasgow's Govanhill.

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Amy Wong
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@_amywong
She/Her
Panel: With Best Regards
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Amy is a Production Controller in the adult division at Bloomsbury Publishing. She was the first Secretary for Bloomsbury's Diversity and Inclusivity Working Group as well as the 2020 UK Vice-Chair of the Society of Young Publishers.

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