Elaine was born in Felling on Tyne and started writing poetry in 1985 aged 15. Her first book, Bed and Breakfast with Lydia Lunch was published the following year. Since then her poems have won numerous awards and appeared in various collections as well as on national TV and radio. Elaine has been writing, publishing and performing for over 30 years. She’s worked as a newspaper, magazine, broadcast and online journalist and critic for the BBC, The Times, Mojo and more. She’s fronted indie pop bands and collaborated with artists. She’s written non-fiction as well as autobiographical work. Elaine knows what it’s like to fail as well as succeed with writing and shares her considerable experiences in workshops, one to one mentoring and during performances.
Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating. Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the North-East reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her debut novel Kindred Spirits: Tower of London was published by Crooked Cat Publishing in October 2015. Her second novel will be published in June 2017.
Sandy Chadwin was born at home in 1964. He attended schools, college and university – the last in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. He has lived and worked in Sheffield, London and Edinburgh but keeps returning to the North East and has now accepted that this is where he’s staying. He has done a number of jobs including landscape gardening, being a lawyer, the civil service, being a barman, acting, stage managing, labouring, being a press officer, running a charity shop and dealing in second hand books. He has been on University Challenge (his team being beaten by the largest point margin in Bamber Gasgoine’s reign) and has been asked to finish his drink at gunpoint. He has had taken tea with a murderer and spent a lot of time in various police cells. These days he tells stories, writes short stories and poetry and is working on a Young Adult novel. He has published a novella, The Fernal Files and is a regular storyteller at Pure Fiction. In 2016 he joined the Next Page.