Phil always wanted to write a book. He started early: at age 6 he penned a short story about an alien befriending a human and attempting to make a cup of tea in the oven. While this story didn’t receive critical acclaim, Phil enjoyed the writing process and carried this passion forward through his formative years.
He went on to study English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Gloucestershire in 2012. While studying, Phil published short stories in literary magazines and anthologies in the UK, US, Canada and Germany. After graduating, Phil spent time in Europe and the US, working and volunteering in various roles and settings: repairing boats at Lake Como, housekeeping at a mountain lodge in California and working with charity Care4Calais in the former Calais ‘jungle’ refugee camp.
Cows Can’t Jump is Phil’s debut novel, which he worked on while managing a bar in London. Phil now works as a writer for The Wombles, a children’s entertainment brand. He also works on a number of independent writing projects, including a musical set in 1970’s Soho and a sitcom set in a failing leisure centre.
Hafsa Lodi is an American journalist who has been covering fashion in the Middle East for the past decade. She was born in New York City, and at the age of 14 relocated to the United Arab Emirates with her family, where she attended Dubai American Academy while interning after school with one of the region’s leading publishing houses, ITP.
After completing her undergraduate studies at the Ryerson School of Journalism in Toronto, Hafsa moved to London for a year, where she earned her master’s degree in Islamic Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies. The relationships between religion, culture and modernity have always fascinated Hafsa, who covered topics like honour killings in Canada’s South Asian communities, the use of DNA evidence in rape cases in Pakistan and the industrialization of the Holy city of Makkah, before turning to the fashion journalism beat. While living in Dubai, Hafsa has written for The National newspaper, Luxury Magazine, Mojeh Magazine, Velvet Magazine, Savoir Flair and Vogue India, in addition to working as an online fashion editor for one of the Middle East’s largest luxury retailers, Boutique 1. She is a freelance stylist, and also has a part-time clothing line, creating whimsical maxi-cardigans and kaftans during Ramadan, and statement hand-embellished sweatshirts for the winter seasons.
Ahmet Yorulmaz was a Turkish a journalist, author and translator. He was born in Ayvalik to a family of Cretan Turks deported to mainland Turkey as part of the Greek/Turkish population exchange decreed in the Treaty of Lausanne. He was fluent in modern Greek and translated novels and poems from contemporary Greek literature to Turkish. Most of his original works were written with the aim of making people learn about Ayvalık, the city where he grew up. He dedicated himself to Greek-Turkish friendship and rapprochement.
Scott Lauder was born in Ayrshire, Scotland. Having taught in Greece, Japan, and England, he now lives with his wife and four cats in the UAE where he teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and drinking good coffee. His other books include The Right Thing, A Single Shot, and The Boy-King Tutankhamun.
David Scott Ross has traveled and taught throughout Asia since he first moved there in 1987. He currently teaches in upstate NY, where he lives with his wife and two sons. When David is not writing or teaching, he dreams about becoming a chef, a rock star, maybe an actor, but probably not all at once. At present, he is wrapping up two projects: Pastimes, encounters with a Stone Age people, and Dim, a detective novel.
Anne Richter was born in 1973 in Jena, in the former German Democratic Republic. Her degree in Romance languages and English included study periods in England, Italy and France. In 2011, Anne was nominated for the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, a highly regarded German-language literary award. Her debut novel, Distant Signs, was published in Germany in 2013. Anne is currently writing her second novel.
Born in Scotland, he read Economics at Cambridge, taking a First in 1981 when he was elected a Scholar. He worked as an investment banker before going straight and running a small pharmaceutical company. Now a writer and business consultant he enjoys travel, politics and economics, reading and writing, languages, music and meals with family and friends. Keith suffered a spinal cord injury in March 2018 and since rides a wheelchair.
Ahlam Bsharat is a Palestinian writer who grew up in a village in Northern Palestine. She completed her Master’s Degree in Arabic Literature at An-Najah National University in Nablus. Besides poetry, picture books, short stories, novels, and memoirs, she has written a number of television and radio scripts. Her books have received many awards and recommendations. Ismee Alharakee Farasha (translated into the English as Code Name: Butterfly) was included in the IBBY Honor List for 2012, a biennial selection of outstanding, recently published books from more than seventy countries. Ismee Alharakee Farasha and Ashjaar lil-Naas al-Ghaa’ibeen (translated into English as Trees for the Absentees) were both runners up for the Etisalat Award For Children’s Arabic Literature in 2013. Code Name: Butterfly was shortlisted for the UK-based Palestine Book Awards in 2017.
Ahlam has been active in numerous cultural forums, and her craft has taken her to Belgium, France and Spain. where she was artist in residence. She has also led many creative writing workshops for children and adults, including at the Emirates Literature Festival in Dubai.
A journalist and author who has a staunch commitment to culture, art and the environment, and the majority of his career has been focused on these three topics. He spent 10 years at Spanish newspaper El Pais and 15 years at their weekly supplement. He has written numerous children’s books and he co-directs the Mad is Mad art gallery in Madrid which gives a space to up-and-coming artists. He is also one of the partner-founders of the Press Association for Environmental Information (APIA).