Sir David Hare
Sir David Hare is one of Britain’s best-known screenwriters and playwrights, with over thirty plays and twenty-five screenplays for film and television to his name. His films include The Hours and The Reader, his television works includes Collateral and Page Eight, while his plays include Plenty, Skylight, Racing Demon, Amy’s View and Stuff Happens. In a millennial poll of the hundred best plays of the twentieth century, five were his.
Sir Don McCullin
One of the most renowned photojournalists of our time, Sir Don McCullin from Great Britain, first began his career at 23 when the pictures he took of a local gang was accepted by the Observer. Although initially based in London, for two decades, Sir McCullum documented war and human disasters in Congo, Biafra, Uganda, Vietnam, Iran, Northern Ireland and more, often at the risk of his own life. Sir McCullin’s work pushed for raw stories, embedded with feeling and sympathy for the poor and the soldiers from both sides. His work has been acknowledged to have contributed towards the anti-war movement. In 1993, Sir McCullin became the first photojournalist to have been awarded the Order of the British Empire. From the 1980’s, Sir McCullin moved away from war photography and travelled the world, documenting various topics such as the AIDS crisis and the ruins of the Roman Empire. His most recent work includes Landscape, a collection of the British countryside. Sir McCullin is also a talented essayist and is author to more than a dozen books.
Kamila Shamsie is the author of seven novels, which have been translated into over 20 languages. Home Fire won the Women’s Prize for Fiction, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and long listed for the Man Booker Prize; Burnt Shadows was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction; and A God in Every Stone was shortlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. Three of her other novels (In the City by the Sea, Kartography, Broken Verses) have received awards from the Pakistan Academy of Letters. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and one of Granta’s ‘Best of Young British Novelists’, she grew up in Karachi, and now lives in London.
Fatima Bhutto was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1982. She grew up in Syria and Pakistan. She is the author of four previous books, most recently Songs of Blood and Sword and the highly acclaimed The Shadow of the Crescent Moon which was longlisted in 2014 for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her latest novel, The Runaways, is published in South Asia by Penguin
William Dalrymple is a writer and historian who has won numerous accolades for his many books. He is the founder and the co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival. In 1986, Dalrymple wrote his first travel book, In Xanadu, written on Marco Polo’s journey from Jerusalem to Mongolia and his three subsequent travel books focused on India and the Middle East. His travel books earned his various awards including the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and Sunday Times Young British Writer of the year. Dalrymple then focused on writing books on various historical events and periods, which have also won several awards.In addition, Dalrymple has written three television series and been awarded three honorary doctorates of letters. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Geographical Society and of the Royal Asiatic Society. In addition, he is a contributor to the New Yorker, the Guardian and the New York Review of Books.
Madeleine Thien is the author of four books, including Dogs at the Perimeter, and a story collection, Simple Recipes. Her most recent novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize, the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and The Folio Prize; and won the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction. The novel was named a New York Times Critics’ Top Book of 2016 and long-listed for a Carnegie Medal. Madeleine’s books have been translated into twenty-five languages and her essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Brick, frieze, Granta, and elsewhere. She lives in Montreal and New York, and is a Professor of English at Brooklyn College
Romesh Gunesekera is internationally acclaimedfor his novels and short stories, including the Booker-shortlisted Reef. Romesh explores key themes of our times – political, environmental, economic- through stories ofwide appeal.Noontide Toll, his most recent book,captures a vital moment in the aftermath of civil warin Sri Lanka and was featured in The New Yorker. In addition to eight books of fiction, including the cricket-inspired novel The Match, he is also the joint author (with A L Kennedy) of The Writers’ & Artists’ Companion to Novel Writing. He was the chair of judges for the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and has also judged many other prizes including the Caine Prize and Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. Born in Sri Lanka, he lives in London and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Trinidian poet Vahni Capildeo has written 9 books which deal with the themes of linguistics, geography and proximities. A Rhodes scholar and a cousin of V. S. Naipaul, Capildeo won the Forward prize for the best poetry collection and the Poetry Book Society Choice. Capildeo’s work also has been shortlisted for several other awards. Capildeo’s multilinguistic abilities shine through in several poetry collections and Capildeo has also served as an editorial assistant for the Oxford English Dictionary and as a contributing editor for the Caribbean Review of Booksand. In addition, Capildeo held the Judith E. Wilson Poetry Fellowship.
Tishani Doshi is a poet, writer and dancer based in India. Doshi’s poetry books have won several awards including the Forward Prize, the Eric Gregory Award and the All-India Poetry Competition while her debut novel was short listed for the Hindu Best Fiction Award and long-listed for the Orange Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. A passionate and talented dancer, Doshi has been the lead dancer in the Chandralekha Troupe and has toured the world with her dance troupe, and hence, the human body plays an important role in her poetry. She is also a freelance journalist and has written for the Guardian, the National and the Hindu. Her collection of poetry, Dolce Marcescenza or Sweet Decay is a bilingual work, written with her writer husband, Carlo Pizzati.
Fiction and Non-fiction writer Carlo Pizzati is also an award winning journalist. His work includes two novels, three non-fiction books and a collection of short stories including a book called Mappillai: An Italian son-in-law in India, based on his own life in India where he met his wife. Pizzati has written for a prominent Italian newspaper La Repubblica for 16 years for which he was first based in New York, then Rome, then Mexico City and so forth. He won the Igor Man Prize for a story and then the Leonardo International Prix for a documentary. He now writes about Asia for the Italian national daily La Stampa and writes editorials for the The Hindu. He was the editor in chief for Kataweb Espana and Virgilio, and has produced and directed TV documentaries for Italian national prime time TV. At the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai, Pizzati teaches communication theory.
Thomas Bell is the author of Kathmandu, which is a history of the Nepali capital. He came to Nepal in 2002 to cover the Maoist insurgency which was then raging, and later reported for the Daily Telegraph, the Economist and others from various Asian countries. His next book, Human Nature, explores the history and culture of the Himalayan landscape. He lives in Kathmandu with his family.
Kavitha Buggana lives in Hyderabad. Her essays and short fiction have been published in River Teeth Journal, Tehelka, Out of Print, and Muse India Magazine. She won first prize at the 2011 Hindu Metroplus Theater Citizen’s Review Contest in Hyderabad. Her travel memoir, “Walking in Clouds” will be released November 2018 by Harper Collins, India. She is currently working on a collection of short stories. In previous avatars, she was a software engineer in Chicago and a developmental economist doing field work in Angallu village, South India.
Lucy Fleming has extensive performing experience in theatre, television and film. Theatre: When Did You Last See My Mother, As You Like It, Richard II, A Patriot For Me, Hay Fever, Middle-Age Spread, A Personal Affair, A Kind of Alaska, Our Song, That Good Night, The Constant Wife and most recently As Good a Time as Any at The Print Room. Her many TV appearances include Richard II, Smiley’s People, Pride and Prejudice, The Avengers, A Dance to the Music of Time, Mr Bean, Rosemary and Thyme and Law and Order. She played Jenny in the 1970’s series, Survivors. On film Lucy featured in Ken Loach’s A Misfortune, as well as The Sorrows, Katherine and The Boat that Rocked among others. She played Lady Wavell in Viceroy’s House. On Radio 4 she was Miranda Elliot in The Archers. She has just finished filming Gifts of the Heart written and directed by Chris Craymer.
Simon’s recent films are Viceroy’s House and Good Bye Christopher Robin. His last London stage appearance was in Alan Bennett’s Allelujah!Before that he was in Versailles at the Donmar and in the stage version of Chariots of Fire. Prior to that he starred as Sir Humphrey in Yes Prime Minister, and was in the David Hare play The Power of Yes at The National Theatre. TV credits include Sensitive Skin, Dr Who, Don’t Wait Up, Sherlock Holmes, Midsommer Murders, Spooks, Bletchley Park and EastEnders. Long ago he was Captain Bellamy in Upstairs Downstairs. He’s soon to be seen be in Poldark. He plays Justin Elliott in The Archers on BBC Radio 4. He has written six stage plays and two novels. He currently has a weekly column in The Telegraph Magazine. He has seven grandchildren and lives with his wife, Lucy Fleming and their cockapoo, in Oxfordshire.
Retired Senior Superintendent of the Police, Tassie Seneviratne served as in the police force for 37 years. His book Human Right and Policing – Reminiscences of my Police Days, recounts his days as a police officer and the stories of the various police officers he worked with during the Sri Lankan civil war. He occasionally writes articles on politics.
ANTHONY HOROWITZ is one of the most prolific and successful writers in the UK and is unique for working across so many genres. His many TV shows include MIDSOMER MURDERS, COLLISION, NEW BLOOD and the BAFTA-award winning FOYLE’S WAR. As a novelist, his Alex Rider books have sold over 16 million copies and he is the only modern writer to have been invited back to write two James Bond novels. His new novel, THE SENTENCE IS DEATH, continues the adventures of ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne and comes out in November 2018. He lives in London with his wife, how two sons and his dog, Boss.
Rachel Johnson was the first female graduate trainee at the Financial Times and has worked for national newspapers since the age of 23. She has written the Notting Hell trilogy – volume two won her The Bad Sex prize jointly with John Updike – a historical novel about English debs in Nazi Germany, Winter Games, and two volumes of diaries, all published by Penguin. She is a co-presenter on Sky News The Pledge topical debate show and makes all too frequent appearances on Question Time, Any Questions, Newsnight, Marr and other programmes. She writes a weekly comment column for the Mail on Sunday and a column for the new European newspaper and contributes to many other publications, especially The Times. She lives in London and has three children.
Charles Cumming was born in Scotland in 1971. Shortly after university he was approached for recruitment by the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), an experience that inspired his first novel, A Spy by Nature. He has written several bestselling thrillers, including A Foreign Country, which won the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller and the Bloody Scotland Crime Book of the Year. He lives in London.
Ramya Chamalie Jirasinghe
Ramya has written poetry, a few books of non-fiction, more than a few feature and op-ed pieces to newspapers and some copy for advertisements. Her first collection of poems, There’s an Island in the Bone won the 2011 Sri Lanka State Literary Joint Award. Ramya was long listed for the Fish Poetry Prize,, Ireland, 2011, and was a joint runner-up to the Guardian Orange First Words Prize, UK, 2009. The TimesOnline, UK, featured her in its 2009 selection of contemporary war poetry. Her most recent book of poems, Love Poems from a Frangipani Garden, is published by Mica Press, UK. She lives in Colombo.
Dinah Jefferies lives in the UK but was born in Malaysia and moved to England at the age of nine. Her South-East Asian childhood held a special place in her imagination, and when she began writing fiction in her 60s, she returned there on annual research trips for each new book. Dinah Jefferies is the author of several bestselling novels: The Separation, The Tea Planter’s Wife – a Sunday Times number one bestseller- set in Sri Lanka when it was known as Ceylon, The Silk Merchant’s Daughter, Before the Rains and The Sapphire Widow, also set in Sri Lanka but this time in Galle. Her upcoming book, The Missing Sister, will be published in March 2019 andis set in 1930s Burma. Her books are published across the world.
Nandana Sen is an award-winning children’s author, screenwriter, actor, maker of short films and children’s rights activist. Publishing her first story as a child, she went on to become a top literature student at Harvard University and has acted in more than 20 feature films. She has written five children’s books, mostly animal stories, and was literary editor at Houghton Mifftin Company. She has published a translation of her mother’s award-winning Bengali poetry and is presently working with her mother on a book titled Shamelessly Female.
Senthuran Varatharajah is an award-winning German novelist of Sri Lankan origin. His debut novel Vor der Zunahme der Zeichen was awarded the 3sat Prize, the Alfred Doblin Fellowship of the Berlin Academy of Acts, the Kranichesteiner Literaturforderpreis, the Bremer Literaturforderpreis, the Berlin Senate Fellowship, the Chamisso Award and the Rauriser Literaturpreis.
Anne Enright won the Booker prize for her novel The Gathering and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her writing includes novels, short stories and essays. She has received several other awards including the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Encore Award, the Irish Novel of the Year and Whitbread Novel Award. She was the inaugural Laureate of Irish Fiction, a post to which she was appointed in 2015. Her short stories have been published in magazines including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The London Review of Books and The Dublin Review. She also published a non-fiction book of humourous essays called Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood. She writes for The Guardian and was a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4.
Herve Le Tellier
Herve le Tellier is a writer, journalist, food critic and member of the international literary group Oulipo or Ouvroir de Litterature Potnetielle. He began his career as a scientific journalist and has published numerous books in French and English, which include novels, stories and essays. He is also one of the papous of France Culture, the French cultural radio station. He is also a daily contributor to Le Monde.
Justine Picardie is a fashion writer, a novelist and a biographer. She is currently the Editor-In-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar UK and Town and Country UK. She has authored five books including Coco Chanel, The Legend and the Life which was shortlisted for the Galaxy National Book Awards for Picardie’s inspection and research on the fashion icon. Picardie has held several editorial positions including at the British Vogue, Observer and the Independent. She was also a fashion columnist for the Sunday Telegraph. Her memoir My mother’s Wedding Dress: The Life and Afterlife of Clothes chronicles various clothing pieces in her life that why we care about clothing and fashion. Her talk on on Coco Chanel’s biography at the FGLF 2018 was wildly popular.