Featured Authors

Harriet Knock

Favourite genres: mental health, poetry

Harriet has always had a passion for writing from a young age and it was a life-long dream to get her book published. Putting pen to paper serves as a release and focus, to turn any negative energy into something positive and creative. By sharing her experiences of battling with mental health problems through poetry, it gives Harriet a unique way to express her story and connect with others that may be struggling.

Harriet notes: “Always remember – no matter what the weather now, a storm can’t last forever.” Her book, Emerging from the Storm, was published by Arkbound in 2020.

Shaun Clarke

Favourite genres: poetry, spoken word, social inclusion

A journalist and author, Shaun writes widely about current events and cultural developments. He has worked alongside Ujima Radio, BBC, DMAK UK and other national publications to cover a wide range of issues.

Shaun has published three poetry books in collaboration with other poets: ‘Lyrically Justified’. He is also co-founder of the Urban Word Collective, which seeks to provide a platform for talented spoken word artists from under-represented backgrounds.

Jen Gale

Favourite genres: young adult, romance

J M Gale was born in Ayrshire and grew up in Stirling. She enjoys writing the familiar characters who often pass unnoticed. To be inspired by their stories allows her to celebrate the brilliance and resilience  that exists all around us, even when we don’t take note of it. Directly experiencing social exclusion from a young age has allowed her to explore narratives that don’t otherwise reach the mainstream.

Her debut novel, ‘Cupid’s a Psycho’ (published 2022) is for adolescent readers, exploring issues around love and coming of age.

Tom Burgess

Favourite genres: poetry, environment, mental health

For Tom, writing charts an ongoing effort to respond to the up-welling of wonder and uncertainty that make up his existence. The subject of his work  gravitates around nature, spirituality and mental health. Essentially Tom is inspired to write at his most confused, most excited or most reverent.  Tom explores adversity, celebrates life and makes lunges for meaning. This is done in the hope that his work will resonate with others, promoting connection and wholeness. 

Tom has published two books: ‘Paint Yourself’ (2016) and ‘Tangled Yet Coiled’ (2021).

Mojgan Azar

Favourite genres: gender equality, biographies, true stories

Mojgan is from Iran and lived in Kurdistan, Iraq for almost a decade. She has been writing since she was a little kid. As she grew up, her writing changed from simple children’s stories and fairy tales to the most important subject: the truth. When deciding to write, one thing pushed her forward: the pain. Pain may stop some, slow down others, or force a few down a different path. For Mojgan, she allowed it to open her eyes. Everything she sees fills her with responsibility, to women everywhere, even from different places and different backgrounds. She writes: “I don’t want other humans to suffer what I’ve suffered.”

Jonathan Watts

Favourite genres: fantasy, sci-fi

Bristol based, Jonathan was inspired to start writing at age 13 when he read “Ravenheart” by David Gemmell. Always fascinated by ancient folklore, he incorporated mythic figures and archetypes from his study of Classics into a fantasy framework to produce a tense and subversive tale.  This became his first novel, a dark twist on fantasy and mythology titled ‘Bury Me Where They Fall’,  published in 2019.

His other inspirations include Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore and the music of Nick Cave, Greg Dulli and Leonard Cohen.  When not writing, Jonathan enjoys yoga, cooking, visiting historical ruins and seeing every live band he can manage to. 

Lauren Smith

Favourite genres: poetry, mental health

Lauren lives in North Somerset and has a diagnosis of High Functioning Autism. She recently completed a degree in Special Education and has founded an autism company supporting young people on the spectrum, their parents, and professionals. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, travelling, and going hiking.

As a young person with autism, Lauren has faced misunderstandings and adversity, particularly during mainstream education. Writing poetry was a strategy she used to channel her anxieties and frustrations, as well as to communicate gratitude towards those who supported her.

Henry Palmer

Favourite genres: social justice

Henry Palmer grew up in Whitehall Easton in inner city Bristol. Some of his biggest inspirations when it comes to writing are George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, Lenny Bruce, and “any of the angry young men writers from the mid-21st century”.  He first heard the expression, “one’s reality is the extent of one’s vocabulary” from Oscar Wilde, and has found that to be the key motivation of his writing and literature: to convey thoughts that revolutionise and change the mindset of readers and writers alike. His book, ‘Voices of Bristol’, explores how gentrification impacts communities.

Odiri Ighamre

Favourite genres: illustrated, childrens’, environment and social

As co-founder of KORI youth charity and Daughters of Africa, Odiri has long been passionate about empowering young people in Africa to gain a voice and access opportunities. Through story-telling and engaging with communities at a grassroots level, it is possible to preserve traditions and encourage living in harmony with nature, whilst challenging  colonial-rooted forms of exploitation. 

Odiri’s book, ‘Arcadia’, is a beautifully illustrated account of a young boy who undertakes a journey to reconnect with nature and learn about the world.

Giles Dawnay

Favourite genres: adventure, young adult

Dr Giles Dawnay is a 40-year-old GP trainee from Hereford, UK. He came into the medical world later on in life, having worked in Latin America, Africa and the South Pacific until he was 27. It was on these adventures that he discovered his fascination for human nature and the myriad of ways our lives can play out. Since starting practicing as a doctor, he has found the act of writing as healing as it is a chance to share stories. In the words of Hemingway: ‘just sit at the typewriter and bleed.’ His first published novel, ‘The Rising of the Son’, was published with Arkbound in 2020.

Jema Fowler

Favourite genres: mental health, self-help

Jema was always interested in helping people get the most out of life. She notes that she was in a really bad place throughout 2019 and was adamant she wasn’t going to resort to medication.  So she started a journey in learning how the human mind works, studying endless online courses, reading books, practicing meditation and listening to podcasts. After a time, she found it easier to have full control over her thoughts and emotions, beginning to learn how to overcome negative situations. As she notes: “I know that when we are suffering, we can’t get stuck into a complex book, so I began writing an easy read book to help people through hard times.”

Séamus Foxx

Favourite genres: homelessness, poetry

Séamus Fox has been writing in multiple formats since his mid-teens. He wrote ‘No Homeless Problem’ after visiting several Emmaus communities throughout England and getting stories from other people who experienced homelessness. The idea was to provide a lived account of homelessness from multiple perspectives.

Séamus believes that we all need to do something to help one another by getting involved in our local community and fostering more diverse and inclusive methods of living. He notes: “we all need to contribute to make society a better place for all, no matter where they are from or who they are.”

Morgan Phillips

Favourite genres: environment, climate change

Dr Morgan Phillips is Co-Director of The Glacier Trust, a UK charity that enables climate change adaptation in Nepal. He is also Head of Insight at environmental charity Global Action Plan, Trustee at National Association for Environmental Education, and Associate Director at Green Schools Project. Morgan is the designer of multiple environmental education initiatives, lectured on the politics of climate change at Brunel University, and led the Eco-Schools programme for England for three years. Morgan is passionate about raising awareness of climate change and empowering communities to make adaptations to the impacts.

David Onamade

Favourite genres: homelessness, poetry, social issues

David dedicated his life to  racial equality in the UK and later had first-hand experience of homelessness, living on the streets in Bath. His book ‘Sorrow, Tears and Blood’ explores what he encountered, at a time when services were underfunded (and continue to be so), along with the outbreak of Covid-19. He was supported to get accommodation and work by the Arkbound Foundation and Emmaus Bristol. In early 2021, he sadly passed away, and proceeds of his book now go to his family.

Jan Oakley

Favourite genres: health and wellbeing

After many years since being diagnosed with M.E, Jan recovered but subsequently relapsed in  2006. It made her realise it wasn’t enough to get physically better. She went on to run a clinic for M.E and CFS / Post Viral Fatigue and has worked with people to enable them to recover.

Jan notes that she is deeply grateful every day to have her health back and will never get M.E or CFS / Post Viral Fatigue again because she knows what to do to stop it.


John McGlade

Favourite genres: satire, poetry, social issues

John is a freelance writer in Glasgow who has written for radio, scripting many satirical and comedy shows, and his work has been nominated for a BBC Audio Drama Award. He has also published poems, short stories, and flash fiction, with written performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and elsewhere. His forthcoming first novella, Invisible Schemes, is a satire on the ways in which working class communities are marginalised.


Elika Ansari

Favourite genres: social issues, refugees

Elika is a humanitarian worker, writer, yoga instructor and the founder of Little Lotus Learning Centre. Elika has been working with refugees and asylum seekers for the past five years, and has heard their stories about hardship and perseverance, which she touches upon in her writing. She is currently working with refugee youth in London and continues to write books, particularly for children. 

Stephen Lytton

Favourite genres: animal adventure

Stephen was born in Epping Forest and brought up by his grandparents after being abandoned by his mother. He struggled at school due to severe dyslexia, and only discovered his life passion after learning to ride horses. From hereon animals became the centre of Stephen’s life. Later, he set out to walk around the UK coastline with his dog, Czar, but it ended in the midst of the Covid pandemic. No work was available Stephen didn’t even have a place to live. As a consequence, he ended up in a trailer on a field. With nightly temperatures sometimes plunging to minus 8 degrees, it was a struggle just to survive. That’s when Stephen turned to writing. Diary of Czar: Vinnie’s Odyssey is one of three book’s that Stephen has written, inspired by the innate loving nature of dogs.

Ros Martin

Favourite genres: poetry, history, social activism

In public platforms, near and far, over the past 20 years, Ros Martin has raised her voice to honour the lives of the invisible black woman, man and lowly other – past and present. BEFORE I AM RENDERED INVISIBLE is a personal archive of performance writings in spoken word, social commentary, play, essay and memoir that charts black struggle and resistance from the margins.

Ros notes: ‘In remembering, I am countering the silence, bringing to the fore and celebrating marginalised lives of struggle and resistance.’


Rebecca Buxton

Favourite genres: illustrated fiction, children’s fiction, art

Rebecca is an artist and illustrator from Nottingham. Born profoundly deaf, autistic and dyslexic, she felt her dream of becoming an author was unattainable and overwhelming. Her main language is British Sign Language (BSL), and the sentence structure and grammar are entirely different to English, making writing a book a daunting prospect. Through Arkbound, she is publishing Prickelus Gets Caught, about hedgehogs and how children can help them.


Ndaba Sibanda

Favourite genres: poetry, social activism, environment

A poet, novelist, educator, columnist and nonfiction writer, Ndaba is inspired by many things. For him, the earth is an intriguing symbol of wealth and a stage on which life plays out. He is passionate about delving into environmental issues, development, democracy and justice – as reflected in his book, ‘When Wealth Dissipated Like Morning Dew’.  Ndaba’s previous writing has received nominations with the National Arts Merit Awards, Pushcart Prize and Restless Book Prize for New Immigrant Writing in Nonfiction.

Stephen Easterbrook

Favourite genres: Fiction, homelessness, social issues

Stephen is an author from the North of England, born in York and raised in Manchester. He is inspired to write socially conscious literary fiction, with a particular focus on homelessness, poverty and the underrepresented in society. He works in Manchester and has witnessed the Spice epidemic there at its height. His aim is to raise the profile of important social problems within an interesting story with memorable characters. His debut novel, Beggar Bee Nameless, is being published by Arkbound.

Nasha Solim

Favourite genres: Poetry, social issues and activism

Nasha Solim is a pharmacist and writer. Nasha was previously a music TV journalist and also  worked as a youth worker with disadvantaged residents in London. She is the child of Bengali immigrants and a first-generation Brit, born and raised in London. Her varied experiences have inspired her debut poetry/prose collection, ‘The Shadow of My Ancestral Tree’.  

Lauren Hayhurst

Favourite genres: Fiction, poetry

Lauren Hayhurst is a creative writer, lecturer and narrative designer. She had baby Alicia two weeks before the UK first went into lockdown in March 2020. As a way to survive an isolated maternity leave, she created a lit-mag – Lockdown BabyBabble – which collected poetry, fiction and non-fiction on caregiving during the pandemic. Rainbow Punch is Lauren’s way of leaving a creative artefact for Alicia and all other children born in this time to show that strength and compassion will always prosper in the face of adversity. 

Alan Oberman

Favourite genres: History, Environment

Alan’s twin careers have been in the Co-op movement and teaching at college. He was inspired to write ‘Ellie and Sapiens’ from his first hand experience of climate anxiety that many young people face. A leading member of the Hay-on-Wye Writer’s Circle, he has published a retelling of Shakespeare and a collection of short stories. His great love is music, particularly that of Sibelius and playing saxophone in a ceilidh band.


Charly White

Favourite genres: Poetry, Environment

Charly is a Welsh writer whose writing has been crafted during travelling. She began writing A Collection of Wildflowers whilst living in Paris during the 2020 pandemic, as a response to coping with the challenges of daily life and still wanting to capture the beautiful moments amidst it. With a strong belief in the power of nature and mindfulness as a means to support wellbeing, Charly aims to encourage this connection via her words. Visit Charly’s Instagram here.


Kelsie Stoker

Favourite genres: Fantasy, romance, young adult

Kelsie is a young writer with a degree in English Literature and English Language and Linguistics from the University of Glasgow. Inspired by the restrictive nature of identity and society’s apparent need for us to define every aspect of our person, she is passionate about finding the grey area of existence. A passionate feminist, Kelsie believes that embracing our own ignorance is the true path to peace, equality and understanding.

Caroline Thomason

Favourite genres: Fantasy, romance, young adult

Caroline was born in the German-speaking region of Belgium to two Flemish parents. She speaks four languages and holds a PhD in Engineering Technology. After she lost her mother at the age of twelve, she found it hard to blend in with her peers at school and often relied on writing fiction to cope with emotions. She started writing her debut novel Crown and Scalpel when she was only sixteen years old. But it was years later that a YouTube video of Daniel Kish demonstrating human echolocation inspired her to write a blind protagonist. 

André Rostant

Favourite genres: Poetry, spoken word, social issues

André Rostant was born and raised in London, of Irish West-Indian parentage. Both heritages inform his work. André is a published poet. He writes music including calypso, has performed at the Exile Festival in Derbyshire and sings regularly at the London Calypso Tent in Notting Hill. ‘The Muffin Man’ is his first book, released in June 2024.

Diana Finch

Favourite genres: Economics, social issues

Diana has worked mainly in the charity sector since the turn of the century. The experience started to make her question the economic system, which seemed to be creating unintended negative consequences in society and in the environment. She took over the management of the Bristol Pound in 2018 and decided to share the story of the organisation she loved. Diana lives in Bristol, has two adult daughters, and enjoys walking and dancing in her spare time.

Donna Taylor

Favourite genres: Mental health, social issues, biography

Never shying from the harrowing truths of living with Bipolar, experiencing psychosis and attempting to take her own life, Donna`s aim is to inspire others in similar circumstances or just purely to educate the many diverse disadvantaged topics covered by her memoir. She currently works at the local psychiatric hospital in Reading, Berkshire where she was previously an inpatient.

Maria de Fatima Santos

Favourite genres: Poetry, environment

Maria lives between Portugal and the United Kingdom. Serendipity is her debut book inspired by the Celtic culture, the landscape and the people of Scotland, where she lived for some years. Her profound interest to photograph the natural world and learn from it has been a seed of inspiration for start writing poetry and children’s stories, aiming to pass on a message of love to protect our mother Earth.