In his own words, ‘JS Adams is amazing and writes stuff all the time’, though what he writes is usually science fiction. Inspired by his father’s interest in astronomy, he is a direct descendant of John Couch Adams, who single-handedly discovered the location of the planet Neptune in 1845 using only one calculation. Born in Portsmouth, and having failed miserably at school, the latest Mr Adams has ping-ponged in and out of colleges and universities for the last twenty odd years, studying computer programming, physics and more predominantly the creative arts. While earning a degree from South Bank (second lowest-ranked university in England), he lived in London and toured in a rock band to Manchester, Dublin and Austin, Texas.
While in London he experienced a creative spark which set him on to writing. He has penned several short stories and two science fiction novels, The Revolt of the Machines and The Recession Creatures, plus a treatment for a third novel called The Bulge. His other interests include campaigning for ecological sustainability, economic stability and radical alternatives to the status quo such as a resource-based economy and unconditional basic income for all. His illustrations of a derelict Portsmouth, were part of an exhibition called Keeping Up with the Gardening, which took place in Portsmouth in 2013. Currently Mr Adams is working on props, sets and scripts for a self-funded TV series called Thundermaus. Find JS Adams here.
Robert Angus is a writer and student at the University of Portsmouth.
Dr Dave Allen was born and raised in Portsmouth and has spent most of his working life in the city. He was briefly a professional ‘pop’ musician and ever since an active semi-pro. He spent ten years as an art teacher in and around Portsmouth and after a period in arts education research in London, came home to work at the Poly/University. He retired in 2010 and divides his time between home, music and Hampshire Cricket, where he is the Archivist.
Barney Arathoon specialises in writing autobiography and has had several travelogues published in the London Magazine. In 2014 he published a full-length non-fiction book about playing the drums. Arathoon also enjoys screenwriting and hopes to direct a self-written short film in the coming months. He is a consulting writer in a Portsmouth-based film company that is currently in the early stages of its first feature, in which he is also eager to star. Arathoon eats to live and hopes to bring a youthful, hungry element to his gastronomic writing.
Tim Backhouse was a tireless chronicler of Portsmouth history who researched and wrote about everything from local cricket in the nineteenth century to the city’s role in World War I. His websites include History in Portsmouth and Memorials and Monuments in Portsmouth.
Victoria Baker, or “CiCi” as she is known by her toddler niece, is a Portsmouth girl born and a Havant girl bred. Although now living in London, she lived in Southsea for a number of years, boxing for Portsmouth ABC and working in the dockyard.
John Oke Bartlett trained as an actor at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama and worked extensively in the professional theatre for ten years, performing principally in the West End and in repertory theatre. He subsequently lectured at Highbury and South Downs Colleges. During his teaching career, John published a number of plays with Stagescripts, which can be viewed here. John has directed many classic plays including Romeo and Juliet and Larkrise, one of the first productions to be staged at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth after the fire that nearly destroyed the theatre. More recently, he wrote and directed Hess, a play about the conspiracy theories on Rudolph Hess and his flight to Britain during World War II. As a folk singer-songwriter, John was a founder member of Ramskyte and currently performs as part of the duo Wholehearted. His book of songs, Patterns in the Sand, is available from his personal website. John has also been working with The Portsmouth Shanty Men on a CD entitled The Tin Bath Sailor.
Denise Bennett, MA in creative writing, runs poetry workshops in community settings in Portsmouth. Her collections Planting the Snow Queen and Parachute Silk are published by Oversteps Books. A pamphlet collection, Water Chits is to be published by Indigo Dreams. Read more of Denise’ work at Poetry PF.
Oriana Bevan is a student at the University of Portsmouth studying International Relations and Politics with a particular interest in Middle Eastern Studies, in particular Palestine. In her spare time she writes her blog, reads, runs and enjoys travelling.
James Bicheno is a writer of historical fiction and poetry and has dabbled in microfiction, short stories and scriptwriting. He holds a BA (Hons) in History, an Undergraduate Diploma in Literature and Creative Writing and an MA in Creative Writing. James has written two novels, one is the beginning of a series set during the Viking Age and the second is a standalone book set shortly after the Russian Revolution. He is currently seeking representation while writing his third novel, set in an alternative history. James keeps a blog called Read Through History.
Isabelle Bilton is a poet, musician, aspiring journalist and third year Creative & Media Writing student at the University of Portsmouth. She is the deputy editor of the opinion section of the student newspaper The Galleon. She has also been published in Pugwash Magazine, The Tab, Trash Arts and The Randwick Runner. She has written for the University of Portsmouth official blog since the beginning of her second year and has also kept her own blog since December 2014 in which she writes mostly about sexual health and education, mental health, university life and travel. She is heavily involved with local organisation Trash Arts who organise music, film and poetry events in and around the city.
Sophie Bramley is in her third year at the University of Portsmouth, studying English and Creative Writing. This is her first publication and she hopes to have a career in writing fiction.
Rosy Bremer is 43 years old. She was born near Palmerston Road and now lives near the pitch at Fratton Park. In between, she lived in Liverpool and in various temporary structures on Greenham Common. Rosy is implacably opposed to war as a means of communication and nuclear weapons as a means of world domination. She likes people from all over the world and spent seven years non-stop freeing people from arbitrary detention in Gosport. She is now working in the University Library after having tried and failed to halt the decline and fall of the Public Library Service in Portsmouth.
Richard Brooks is a freelance author living in Southsea. His latest book The Knight Who Saved England is a biography of William Marshal (c.1147-1219), Earl of Pembroke, Regent of England, and a frequent visitor to Portsmouth.
A published author, academic coach and former editor of The New Criminologist, Tony Brown is a practising hedonist who spends his days in constant pursuit of a sybaritic lifestyle. He is the current chairman of the Southsea Association , striving to raise people’s awareness of the town’s unique identity and its manifold needs. Follow the Southsea Association on Facebook.
Chris Campbell is a retired driver who now spends much of his time writing.
Andrew Carter is a 44-year-old Portsmouth resident, former pupil at St John’s College and graduate in History and Politics from Portsmouth University. Married with a young son, he gave up working for money in 2009 to become a “househusband” (the wife earned so much more than he did!) Two things he heartily recommends are cycling (with lights!) and leaving Facebook. He has been playing in the Portsmouth snooker league since 1990 and am ashamed to say have never had a century break. He also loves non-fiction (things which have actually happened are so much more interesting), and follows West Ham United and National Hunt racing avidly. Oh, and he is blocked from Donna Jones’ Twitter account. 🙂
Nick Cabuy is the Gaming and Technology Editor for The Galleon and has recently taken up Japanese in order to gain greater insight into the industry he loves. Born and raised in Germany, his passion for the English language has led to an early flight from the confines of his home country. He now enjoys life in Portsea whilst studying for a degree in Creative Writing and Film at the University of Portsmouth.
Dale M Chatwin is a writer of bizarre fiction, poetry, and short stories. His literary repertoire includes two novels, one poetry collection, and two short stories. He lives in Portsmouth and is currently working on his third novel and a new short story.
Sarah Cheverton is a freelance writer and researcher born and bred on Portsea Island. Her research work is based in arts and culture and women’s rights, and she works predominantly in the public and voluntary sector. Sarah is the Writer in Residence for Aurora New Dawn, a Hampshire charity working with victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. She occasionally blogs for the Huffington Post and has contributed over 400 articles to feminist news site, Women’s Views on News.
Lisa Churchyard is originally from Southampton and recently completed her second year of Media Studies at the University of Portsmouth. This is her first publication, which has inspired her to continue with creative and journalistic writing.
Born and raised in Manchester, Siobhan Coleman has now left the north and is studying English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth. She loves writing satirically on topics such as religion, politics and gender inequality. This is her first publication and she intends to pursue a career in journalism.
Mick Collins is a published author and collector who, along with his wife, has published several books on collectable ceramics. He was born in Winchester and has lived both in Fareham and in Horndean but currently works in Portsmouth. He has had a lifelong interest in Art Deco cinema buildings and, when his local cinema in Fareham closed and was demolished, he sought out other similar buildings and discovered that a local Portsmouth architect was responsible for the design of a number of them. In 2010, believing that his book-writing days were over, Mick suddenly found another subject, in Art Deco cinema, worth putting pen to paper again. One of his other hobbies, photography, proved to be of immense use in the compilation of this and other publications. In his spare time, he enjoys keyboard-playing and listening to music.
Charlotte Comley is a writer, creative writing tutor and professional storyteller. Her fiction has been published by Ether Books, Darwin Evolutions, Flash Flood, Chuffed Books, Dagda Press and 1000 words. Her non-fiction work has appeared in magazines such as The Green Parent, Take a Break, Woman’s Weekly, The Motion Online and Grow It. She has written and published ten educational resources books. Find out more about Charlotte at her website.
Cal Corkery is a Homelessness Support Worker working with disadvantaged and vulnerable young people in the city. Having grown up in Pompey he moved away to attend university but after graduating was drawn back to the city he considers home. Cal studied Politics and Economics at the University of East Anglia after previously attending Southdowns College and Priory Secondary School. His experiences of the social ills afflicting the communities in which he has lived and worked have instilled a strong interest in radical politics and social change. He is involved with several local activist organisations such as Portsmouth Against the Cuts Together (PACT) and Momentum Portsmouth.
Jon Crout is a Portsmouth native and resident with an enthusiasm for words and stories that saw him graduate from the University of Portsmouth in 2006 with a degree in English Literature. He regularly reminds his pub quiz colleagues that this does not mean he has read absolutely every book ever written. Brief opportunities to write are grabbed gratefully when work, family and fatigue align cosmically in unlikely ways. He has a very occasional blog, and has performed on stage at both Basin’s Dancehall in the Tricorn and the Gaiety Bar on South Parade Pier. As a boy he was winked at by the comedian Dave Allen in the toilets at Twickenham.
Scott Daly has lived in Portsmouth all his life, and is currently a student at the University of Portsmouth. His interests include history, literature and cycling.
Jackson Davies was born in Portsmouth thirty odd years ago, and apart from a brief stint in suburbs and down the coast, has lived there for ages. He has done some designing, some cartooning, some acting, some spoken word poetry and used to design t-shirts. He loves Pompey and Southsea and considers it his home for life. He has written this in the third person for some reason.
Portsmouth illustrator Owen Devine became a published author at the age of 26. His first folio of cartoons, Devine Comedy, aims to fill a gap in the market. The cartoons range from the whimsical to the dark and cover topics ranging from arachnophobia through to popular family word games. His work has been described as ‘sophisticated and professional humour worthy of any newspaper’.
Francis Davis is Professor at two UK universities and a regular contributor to BBC Radio Solent. He is a volunteer with the Portsmouth based Hampshire Festival of the Mind.
Tessa Ditner is a writer of fiction & non-fiction. Past and present writerly activities include: contributing editor of Skin Two Magazine, editor and creator of the Portsmouth Fairy Tales project, author of fashion romcom Charlie and the Latex Factory, blogger as Culture Kiddo, contemporary art reviewer for atractivoquenobello and the toughest one of all: hunk selector for Playgirl Magazine UK. For more info go to her website or get in touch@CultureKiddo or at [email protected]. Tessa is also the current Portsmouth Literature Worker – join the facebook group here to be kept in the loop of upcoming writerly events.
Dianna Djokey is a SOCL (Strengthening our Common Life) trainee at the National Museum of the Royal Navy (Historic Dockyard), Community Advisor and Co-editor of the Voice of Diversity Blog. Follow Dianna on Twitter.
Laszlo Dumitrescu is a Romanian businessman who lives in Portsmouth. His essays have appeared in Dazed & Confused, New Statesman and Salon. Since submitting his work to Star & Crescent, he was arrested by counter-terrorism police on suspicion of plotting to shave UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage’s head, but was released without charge.
Susie Edmonds was born in Portsmouth and grew up on Hayling Island. After a 10 year stint in Essex, she was very happy to move back to Southsea where she belonged. She has passion for reading, writing, travel and all things Pompey. Follow Susie on Twitter.
Helen Elliott is a born and bred Glaswegian poet, now living in Portsmouth with her ‘Pompey’ family. She has spent almost all of her working life to date in the Financial Services industry. In 2014 she decided to make a change and she is now studying Childhood and Youth Studies through the Open University. Her poems have featured in several anthologies and she will have 3 poems featured in a charity anthology, due for release this summer. The collaboration between The Poetry Forum and Dagda Publishing will aim to raise funds for JDRF (UK), a charity that is very close to her heart, following her son’s diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes back in 2012, age 19 months. Read more of her work at her blog, LittleladyPoetry.
Steve Evans is Portsmouth born and bred and a lifelong Pompey fan.
Charlotte Farhan is an international visual artist, a published illustrator, feature writer, the Editor and chief of ASLI Magazine and Managing Director and co-founder of Art Saves Lives International. Charlotte is an active campaigner and activist for many issues, such as mental health awareness, women’s rights, anti-capitalism, and anti-war and for breaking down rape stigma and fighting against rape culture. With her own mental illness Charlotte wants to prove that a person such as herself does not have to be deemed unemployable or incompetent as she works against the odds every day, speaking out about her struggles to break down stigma and show that mental illness is like any other physical illness.
Jenifer Flintoft is the organizer for the Portsmouth & South Downs Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSDPSC), a local branch of the national Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which campaigns for peace and justice for Palestinians, in support of international law, human rights and working against racism. Follow PSDPSC on Facebook.
Tess Foley is an aspiring writer and an administrator at the University of Portsmouth where she previously gained her MA in Creative Writing. In 2013, she won the Live Canon International Poetry Competition, judged by Glyn Maxwell under whose guidance she attended a six week poetry class in London last year. Semi-idly working on a novel about alcoholism, she devotes most of her time to poetry on a range of subjects, including a long-term desire to become Brett Anderson of the band Suede and the grumpiness of cats. You can see more of Tess’ work on her website.
Lisa Foote is from Cornwall and studies Creative and Media Writing at Portsmouth University. She enjoys journalism and review writing for films, TV and books and has her own personal blog. She also loves to write fiction and uses the beautiful Cornish setting she grew up in as inspiration for lots of her work. She hopes to one day become a travel writer and explore more of the world.
Andrew Foster is a locally-based singer-songwriter.
Cathy Fox is an independent blogger and researcher based in the Portsmouth area. Her website primarily publishes ‘officially released historic reports on child sexual abuse’ and ‘relevant information obtained from Freedom of Information requests’.
David E. Gates has published a number of books and short stories. He recently won first prize (gold) for The Roots of Evil and third prize (bronze) for Access Denied in the 2015 AuthorsDB Cover Contest, and has made a film about the First World War memorials in Belgium called Ypres – The Battlefield Tours (available at www.shelleyshow.co.uk). David has previously written film reviews for Starburst and Samhain magazines and interviewed the likes of Clive Barker, Terry Pratchett, James Herbert and many others. He has also written a number of short stories, a full-length motion picture screenplay, a short film script and in his spare time hosts a rock radio show.
Angus Geddes is a writer and Palestinian rights activist.
Hannah Gibson is a poet and student at the University of Portsmouth who loves dancing and hates sweetcorn. She has a brain, organs and other various paraphernalia of the human experience which she occasionally shares on the internet.
Abigail Gilchrist and Jo Willoughby are members of Stair/Slide/Space, a Portsmouth based group of artists and curators that work collectively to foster research and concept-led artistic practice. They explore individual and collaborative ways of working, often conducting experimental visual conversations and supporting critical discussion. They aim to develop projects and opportunities for artists within their immediate and wider network whilst engaging with the wider ecology of our city.
Mike Gumbrell is a 50 year old who was born and grazed, sorry, raised on Portsea Island. Mike works full time in Portsmouth, running a health care charity based in North End. Mike studies Politics, Philosophy and Economics with the Open University and has fond memories of ‘spare time’. Mike upped sticks from living in Buckland in 2015, and moved into the suburbs. Mike now resides over his new gentrified home in the rolling green and pleasant lands of Leigh Park. Born a cynic and having spent 50 years refining his skills Mike considers himself a patient and reasonable man, his only pet peeve is….writing about himself in the third person.
Dr Alison Habens is Course Leader for Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth. She is the author of Dreamhouse, Lifestory, Pencilwood and The True Picture, as well as academic articles, poetry and plays. She lives in an old church on the Isle of Wight and commutes to work by hovercraft. See her writing at www.alisonhabens.com, www.thetruepicture.co.uk, and www.pencilwood.com @AlisonHabens
Christine Hammacott is a novel writer and graphic designer who started her career as a book designer for a publishing company. She has seen a lot of negative changes in the industry, but has become excited by the opportunities indie publishing now has to offer. Along with two writing colleagues, she set up a co-operative, called Pentangle Press, to self-published their novels. Christine’s debut novel The Taste of Ash, which is set in Portsmouth, was published in 2015. Christine has been a writer for twenty years and although she lives near Fareham, Portmouth is her ‘writing home’ having been member of Portsmouth Writing Group at Reginald Road Arts Centre for many years and now New Writing South Portsmouth Hub. Christine will be giving a talk with her Pentangle Press colleagues, Carol Westron and Wendy Metcalfe, on self publishing at the Portsmouth’s Bookfest on Saturday 27 February 2016.
Dr Stephen Harper is Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Portsmouth. He has written dozens of academic articles and several books about literature, politics, film and television, focusing on the subjects of mental illness and military conflict. He is currently writing a book for Bloomsbury Press about the representation of the Bosnian war in cinema and television.
Tom Harris is a 42-year-old writer with an MA in Creative Writing from Portsmouth University, where he also works as a sports administrator at the Students’ Union. His publications include two middle grade children’s fantasy novels, The Amber Room and The Amber Antidote. The final part of the trilogy, The Amber Moon, will be out in 2017. He is a member of SCBWI and the Portsmouth Writers’ Hub and collaborated in the anthology Portsmouth Fairy Tales. All his titles are available at Blackwells Bookshop on Cambridge Road and via Amazon.
Pauline Hawkesworth has written poetry since leaving school. First book published 1969, Dust and Dew, followed by Developing Green Films (Redbeck Press 1998), Bracken Women in Lime Trees (Indigo Dreams 2008), both from competitions. Another collection is due this year. High imagery and surrealism prioritise her work.
John Haynes is a poet, teacher, lecturer and winner of the Costa Award for Poetry 2006 and the Troubadour Poetry Prize 2007. John teaches creative writing for the Workers’ Educational Association in Portsmouth.
Margaret Jennings earned an MA in creative writing at the University of Chichester in 2001 and reads widely at poetry events. A published short story writer and poet, she is currently working on her second novel Ten Tricks. Margaret was longlisted for the Bare Fiction Literary short story prize 2014.
Kieran Judge is a locally based author.
Chris Kennett has been campaigning for a better world for 20 years. This campaigning has taken various forms including direct action at events like Climate Camp. For the last 10 years he has been an organiser of The Festival of Life in London and of the Portsmouth Summer Fair in Portsmouth. Together with other friends he set up the Portsmouth arm of Positive Money and has been running events about the monetary system for a number of years. He has also been running a Sustainable Energy Technologies Company called Veggiepower since 2005.
Megan Langdon is a student at the University of Portsmouth studying Creative and Media Writing. She has a love of novels, puns and history.
Judith Langridge studies English Literature at the University of Portsmouth, and enjoys engaging with and commenting on local events and politics, as well as asking herself big questions about life and philosophy. She is also the Reaction Editor for Portsmouth’s student newspaper, The Galleon, and at one point worked as an editorial assistant to a published Portsmouth writer.
Alice Lawrence is a writer and equestrian who holds a National Diploma in Horse Management and a foundation degree in Science in Equine Studies.
Christine Lawrence was a psychiatric nurse for most of her career before studying for an English Literature and Creative Arts BA (Hons) and completing an MA in Creative Writing at Portsmouth University. The first half of her novel, Caught in the Web, was her MA dissertation. Christine is passionate about writing, playwriting, acting, directing and thoroughly enjoys performing her writings. She also runs the wardrobe at Titchfield Festival Theatre. She writes a blog which is a forum for poetry, short stories and other writings. Christine has facilitated Creative Writing groups at a local drug and alcohol rehabilitation unit and at St. James Hospital in Portsmouth.
Christine self-published her first novel at Completely Novel and as a Kindle ebook. She is now working on her next novel as well as compiling a series of short stories. She was one of the authors involved in the Portsmouth Bookfest 20×12, and has three short stories published in Portsmouth Fairy Tales for Adults.
Zach Lockwood loves film. It’ll be a rare occasion when you don’t find him in a screening and actually doing something to benefit his degree. Living in Gosport and commuting to university, Zach Lockwood writes for the Galleon newspaper and his own personal blog, and hosts a weekly film review show on Pure FM whilst also studying for a BA Honours in Film and Creative Writing. Follow Zach on Twitter.
Abigail Lofthouse is a Creative and Media Writing student at the University of Portsmouth. She is an aspiring journalist who writes on topics such as feminism, travel, politics, animal rights and environmental issues. She is the Copy Editor for both the university’s print publications, The Galleon and Pugwash Magazine. She has written and interned for many publications, such as: The Enquirer, The News, The London Magazine, Portsmouth Review and the National Union of Journalists’ magazine, The Journalist.
Francis Lovering is a Chartered Engineer who graduated from Portsmouth Polytechnic in the 70’s and subsequently spent his career working on the design of process automation systems for a variety of large manufacturers. The first 24 years of this was spent at a company originally called CJB, which was a large engineering business that employed a lot of engineers and other staff and worked on projects around the world but was almost unknown in Portsmouth apart from among airport taxi drivers.
He is semi retired but he still runs his own small company providing software to clients around the world for designing the specialist software that controls the manufacturing of products such as chocolate, baked beans, insulin and chemicals.
Daniel Malice is a former University of Portsmouth student and a citizen of Norfolk. He has a unique passion for things that come on discs. Follow him on Twitter.
Chris Martin is an art historian who has written about CRW Nevinson and other British artists active during World War I. He is also a poet and book reviewer. His collection of poems, Chicken Factory, was published by Peter Way in 1972 and his work has appeared in Poetry, Rare Book Review and the Journal of British Cinema and Television, and in various anthologies. He grew up in Wiltshire and worked as a librarian at Portsmouth University. He is currently secretary of Portsmouth Film Society.
Rikki May is a keen writer on the topics of mental health and wellbeing. He lives in Portsmouth where he works full-time for the University of Portsmouth in their Sport & Recreation department as a Recreation Assistant. It is Rikki’s goal to reduce the stigma often attached to mental illness through his writing, often reflecting on his own experiences, and through public speaking. Rikki has contributed work to the University’s student newspaper, The Galleon, as well as to UK mental health organisations Time To Change and Mind. Outside of this, his main interests are exercise and mixed martial arts.
Piers McEwan is a writer and photographer currently based in Portsmouth where he was also born, on a balmy 1987 spring day. Primarily a travel writing enthusiast, Piers has since spread his portfolio to write on a number of topics including personal development, philosophy and observations on day to day life. He is also currently working on a debut coming-of-age novel due for release 2017. Piers is a fan of raw, honest and heartfelt art; the kind that could force you to drop a tear or two in an instant. You can keep up to date with his work via his blog, One Thinking Man, or via Instagram and Twitter.
Peter McIver is a local resident.
Hannah McKellar-Ricketts is a second year Journalism with English Language student at the University of Portsmouth. Originally from London, she has a keen interest in writing, presenting and video editing. Before beginning her studies at university she lived in Rome for several months and then went on to backpack around India, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore where she gained inspiration for travel writing and opinion pieces. Her articles have appeared in various publications such as Vice magazine and she has undertaken a multitude of work placements and internships at the BBC, Lonely Planet Traveller, Rough Guides, London Live TV and Dorling Kindersley publishers.
Rosy Moorhead is a features writer for Newsquest, covering the arts and entertainment in Hertfordshire, Middlesex and north London. She is the Features Editor of the feminist news site Women’s Views on News and Deputy Editor of Watford Area Arts Forum magazine. Rosy’s special areas of interest are art, culture, entertainment, feminism, writing and books, lifestyle and Buddhism.
Sir Eugene Nicks MA, QC, KBE is Policy Adviser to the All-Portsea Conservative, Regressive and Imperial Association (established 1799). He was born at some point in the early part of the twentieth century but cannot remember precisely when. His hobbies include practical Social Darwinism and waving £50 notes in the faces of Portsmouth’s vagrants.
Stephanie Norgate lives in Sussex and is a Reader in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, where she ran the MA in Creative Writing for 19 years. Her radio plays have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Her two books of poetry with Bloodaxe Books are Hidden River (2008, shortlisted for both the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize), and The Blue Den (2012).
Jacqui Pack holds an MA in Creative Writing (Distinction) from the University of Chichester, and was among the winners of The London Magazine’s 2013 ‘Southern Universities Short Story Competition’. She was shortlisted in the West Sussex Writers/Worthing WOW Festival’s Flash Fiction Competition, and awarded a Highly Commended certificate at this year’s Winchester Writers’ Festival.
Jon O’Pompi is a retired dockyard meat recycler, and maternal violin trainer. He has lived in all parts of the world, including Eastney and Copnor and is renowned for his 2014 one man circumnavigation of Asda.
His time is spent these days picking flowers and twiddling his thumbs. Do not feed him after dark, and he is dangerous when wet.
Jordan Osborne is a writer and studying English and Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth. Jordan is Head of Culture at the university’s official student newspaper, The Galleon, and as part of the university’s self-employed placement scheme, has also just started running his own culture-focused website Vendor.
Conor Patrick is an American writer living in the heart of Southsea. His fiction has appeared in literary journals in both the United States and the United Kingdom. His debut collection of short stories, Goodbye Crocodile, was published in 2013. He runs a free local writing workshop under the moniker Portsmouth Creative Writing, plays father to two nefarious white cats and is engaged to marry a blonde who’s far too good for him. As Fiction Co-editor for Star and Crescent, he is looking for sharp, authentic writing and stories he can turn over and over in his palm like a flat, white stone.
William Payne is 18 years old, previously lived in Gravesend, Kent, and recently moved to Portsmouth to study BA Honors Journalism at the University of Portsmouth. From a young age, he always loved playing and watching rugby, and rugby has always been a big passion of his. In his spare time William enjoys playing rugby, running a blog, socializing and reading. He has joined the S&C team to build towards a career in sports journalism.
John Pearson is a chiropodist, artist, musician and poet born and bred in Portsmouth.
Son of a naval transport driver and a Tyrolean mother who arrived in England shortly before World War II, Richard Peirce was born in Gosport one month before the birth of the NHS. With a varied education including electrical engineering, teacher training and psychotherapeutic counselling, he has taught mathematics and numeracy in Portsmouth and Hampshire for more than forty years. A teacher, trades union activist and poet, he has travelled in Western Europe, Russia, Turkey, Thailand, the Philippines, China (for afternoon tea), Tanzania, Kenya, the USA and the Isle of Wight. Since its birth in 2003 he has supported and sometimes hosts or reads poetry at Southsea’s Tongues and Grooves poetry and music club.
His favourite pastime? Walking the hollow lanes of the South of England or snorkeling off the pristine beaches of Palawan and Camiguin. One day he will pause to update his travel blog. Having become a great fan of the slow journalism of Paul Salopek, he realises that he has to speed up just a tad.
Tom Phillips is a freelance writer and lecturer. His work encompasses poetry and theatre, journalism and travel writing, and has been published in a wide variety of magazines, anthologies, pamphlets and in a full-length poetry collection Recreation Ground (Two Rivers Press, 2012). His plays include Coastal Defences (Brewery Theatre, Bristol, 2014), 100 Miles North of Timbuktu (Alma Tavern, Bristol, 2013) and I Went To Albania (Ferment, Bristol Old Vic, 2012). He is co-founder of Anglo-Bulgarian online visual art/poetry project Colourful Star and of an informal network of writers and artists across SE Europe and the UK interested in translation and collaboration.
Steve Pitt has been a cultural activist in Portsmouth for a number of years, working as a theatre director, music programmer, event organiser, agent and tour manager. He studied earned a degree in Political Studies at Portsmouth Polytechnic. After leaving the venue he helped run for 18 years, The Cellars at Eastney, Steve has returned to his political roots and is currently the Liberal Democrat candidate for Central Southsea Ward, whilst still working part time as a music agent.
Sindy Prankard was born and raised in Portsmouth and currently lives just outside the city in Denmead with four of her six sons. She is a mature student in her second year at Portsmouth University where she is studying Creative Writing and Film Studies. Sindy completed her first novel, a thriller called Every Breath just before she started university and is in the process of sending it out to agents. She appreciates it is a very tough and competitive field, but if nothing else it helped secure her a place on the degree course which she thoroughly enjoys.
Tarn Prothero was born and raised in Portsmouth but lived in Spain for three years where she managed to pick up her pidgin Spanish! She has worked in many places in Portsmouth, including a local senior school as a Dyslexia Intervention Specialist and the Historic Dockyard. She is very proud of the city and its rich history and have been known to drag people on ghost walks and pub crawls to follow the routes of the old Arundel-Portsmouth Canal and the Southsea railway line. Tarn enjoys writing fiction and has more time to do so now that her children are older – but she can’t decide whether she is happier writing humorous stories or very dark ones.
Kathleen Price was born in Portsmouth in the early years of World War II. Following her school years in Portsmouth she trained as a nurse in London. Her career since then has been in the field of health. After nursing in New York, USA and London, Kathleen went with her husband to Yorkshire where her career progressed to Health Visiting, then subsequently, following teacher training, she became a lecturer in nursing and sociology. Kathleen is now retired in her home town of Portsmouth after much world travel.
Gareth Rees experiences Southsea as his village, or as a camping place on his greater journey to the Land of Peace of Mind. He gets inklings of that destination when he looks at the crocuses adorning the lawn surrounds of Portsmouth cathedral. The son of a Welsh clergyman, Gareth Rees has travelled throughout the US and Europe. Through a foundation that he has since suspected of being a front for MI6, he got a job on an Israeli kibbutz at the outbreak of the Six Day War. He went on to be arrested in Baghdad, work on a Libyan oil camp during the Qadaffi era and teach music at a secondary school in Gosport before working as a cleaner at a naval base. Gareth has recently published a collection of his writing, Read Rees, published by 137 Albion Road.
Sue Roome is a former soldier and locally based writer.
Roz Ryszka-Onions is a full-time novelist currently working on her sixth title. Her previous novels include Hidden Evil, Deceit in May, Foam and a volume of short stories. Coming soon is The Easter Bunny and a Bottle of Cointreau. She was born in Manchester and studied German and Politics at Salford University. After obtaining her degree she trickled down to the south coast, first to work in Stoke editing computer manuals, then London in media sales and finally co-run a small cosmetics company with her husband in West Sussex. She now lives and writes in Hampshire with her husband, daughter and three warring house bunnies.
John Sadden was born and bred in Portsmouth. He is a writer and local historian who has published many books about the Portsmouth area, including The Portsmouth Book of Days and Keep the Home Fires Burning. He is also the compiler of The Hampshire Index and, under the nom de plume John Sedden, the author of the novel Mudlark (Puffin), set in Portsmouth during the First World War and described by The Independent as “expertly paced…gripping and entertaining”. A qualified teacher and librarian, he currently works part-time as an archivist for Portsmouth Grammar School.
Rebecca Shaw is a Creative Writing student at the University of Portsmouth.
Tina Shaw graduated in 2012 with a Degree in English and Creative Writing from Chichester University at the grand old age of 60! She is an amateur artist who exhibits her work in the Hampshire area. She has had a long love affair with poetry and writes when she is inspired.
Shelagh Simmons was born, brought up and still lives locally. She spent most of her working life in the public and voluntary sector. For several years she was involved in a campaign against the death penalty in Caribbean countries. A strong opponent of the US/UK invasion of Iraq, Shelagh’s comments were included in the Parliamentary Inquiry into Foreign Policy Aspects of the War Against Terrorism. She has occasionally troubled the letters page of the Portsmouth News. Shelagh is currently in her second year reading English and Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth. She loves reading, writing, travel and living by the sea.
Rebecca Slack is a second year Creative and Media Writing student at Portsmouth University with a love for travel, writing, socialising and all that life has to offer. This is her first publication in a Portsmouth website.
Andrea Smikle is a student at the University of Portsmouth studying Creative and Media Writing. In her spare time she is a blogger, lyricist and copy-editor.
Michael Smith is a writer and musician hailing from Portsmouth. From a young age, he aspired to be a musician. His influences include Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello. Yet it wasn’t until he began writing his own songs that Michael’s love of music and literature combined. This led him into writing his own fiction, in the form of the short story and creative non-fiction, with literary journalism. His work comes from the perspective of creative and critic, and is heavily involved with music and its role within society. Michael also has a blog – Subterranean Homesick Blog – which he regularly updates.
Sue Spiers’ poem ‘Fanny Farts’ is in the Bloodaxe anthology Hallelujah for 50ft Women. Her collection Jiggle Sac is available from Lulu. She has poems on ink, sweat and tears and in South, Under The Radar, Orbis and Prole magazines.
Sue Stokes loves Southsea so much she raised her family here rather than London or elsewhere. Working with the Partnership’s Business Champions she met visionary community leaders; officials at the council; and professionals with a genuine understanding of ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’, and in the social reforming days of the noughties, worked in Hampshire delivering the Children’s Fund and Children’s centres, which wrap care around families like all good communities should, and are sadly diminishing in areas who need that extra support. Currently her family are reviewing whether to relocate out of the city. Yet with open eyes and ears to local friends and colleagues, they anticipate greater local investment in their community where people have a passion for the city and the generosity to share. Sue has returned to study aged 55 in the school of childhood and continuing studies and is in her 2nd year of a BA Honours in Childhood and Youth with Psychology, with the view to increasing her understanding of people and the issues which they face.
William Sutton is a novelist, musician and Latin teacher living in Southsea, and dedicated to redistributing his Surrey teaching income into the Portsmouth cafe economy via the medium of cake. His historical mysteries are published by Titan Books. Allan Massie in The Scotsman called Will’s first novel Lawless and the Devil of Euston Square “extravagant and thoroughly enjoyable”. The story unearths the stink beneath the cobblestones of Victorian London, while the latest, Lawless and the Flowers of Sin, dallies amid a different kind of dirt. For help with this Lawless story, he would like to thank Tom Harris, Matt Wingett, Tessa Ditner, Zella Compton, the Portsmouth City Museum, and Caroline Morrison at the Victory Museum in the Historic Dockyard. He writes for international magazines about language, music and futurology, delivers workshops in Creative Writing, Greeks, Romans and Victorians, and plays accordion with chansonnier Philip Jeays. He has written for The Times, for radio and stage, acted in the longest play in the world and played cricket for Brazil.
Simon Sykes is the co-editor of the travel books, No Such Thing as a Free Ride? (UK and North American Editions), and The Hitchers of Oz, as well as Fog in Channel.., a book exploring the UK’s relationship with Europe. For some years Simon was responsible for cultural integration, process re-engineering and communications programmes within the first ever Franco-British commercial joint venture. Simon is an occasional freelance specialist in the integration of joint ventures in the European construction sector. He is also a translator, editor, lecturer, musician, designer, carpenter and boat builder.
Born and raised in Portsmouth, Tom Sykes is a writer, editor and lecturer with interests in international relations and development, radical politics, postcolonial literature and history, community journalism and the British new wave of science fiction literature. His fiction, features, book reviews, travelogues and works of creative nonfiction have appeared in Private Eye, The Times, The Scotsman, New Statesman, The Daily Telegraph, New Internationalist, New African, Red Pepper, The London Magazine, The Journalist and Travel Africa. He has co-compiled and co-edited five nonfiction books including No Such Thing As A Free Ride? (2005) with Cassell Illustrated which was serialised in the The Times and named The Observer’s Travel Book of the Month. Tom is currently Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth. He is currently working on an autobiographical novel entitled Blood is Thicker in Manila and his new book, The Bradt Guide to Ivory Coast, is co-published in the UK and US on July 5th 2016. Tom’s personal website is here.
Moshe Tasky is a freelance photographer with connections to Portsmouth.
Suzanne Toogood has written prose and poetry over a long period, benefitting from the rich source of workshops and poetry venues abounding in Portsmouth City. She is a member of the Voices from The Kings writing group.
Toxic Buddha became an official YouTube partner after some of his videos started to hit thousands of views. He was later recruited by a talent scout for Total Gamer Network (TGN) who are part of Broadband TV. TGN are the second largest Multi-Channel Network (MCN) on YouTube, second only to BroadBand TV and as they’re run by gamers for gamers it seemed the most logical fit. Toxic streams video content via his Twitch channel and YouTube channel on Fridays and Saturdays. He has been an active community member of the ever awesome midlifegamer.net since he joined in early 2011. He is also an official partner to Green Man Gaming, CDKeys.com, and NoScope Gaming Glasses.
Toxic invented the question mark and the letter ‘Y’ on a Thursday (which he also rebranded from Thorsday as it made people sound like they were from the West country). Toxic Buddha is the favourite alternative to both the Holy Trinity and Lucifer, Morning Star and requires the same level of obedience and constant worship. You can also find Toxic Buddha on Twitter.
Claire Denise Udy is a busy mother of two as well as being an activist for local Labour and Momentum. She is due to start a degree as a mature student here in her home town in September. Her favourite things about Portsmouth are: The Three Cooks Bakery, Monster Mania and the Heineken Festival. You can read more of Claire’s work at her blog: parentfeministlocalactivist.wordpress.com.
The son of a Portsmouth policeman and the grandson of a Portsmouth headmaster, Guy Walker was born and bred in the city. He runs a Modern Languages Department at a secondary school in the city. Some of his poems were recently published in the New York-based Columbia Literary Journal‘s online arm Catch and Release. His blog includes essays, opinion pieces and poetry. He lives in Southsea with his muse, Charlotte.
Dr V Wagner is a local NHS doctor. EU- trained, she has worked in Portsmouth for over fifteen years. She enjoys the seaside and (sometimes) the British weather.
Maddie Wallace is a Southsea based blogger who writes about her experiences with breast cancer and the challenges of raising sons as a single mother. You can also follow her Mum vs Sons blog on Facebook. She has a degree in English Literature and has taught both English Literature and Language at A Level in Portsmouth.
Richard Warburton settled in rural West Sussex four years ago after two decades in London selling wine and working in the city. His interest in art was sparked by winning the National Gallery’s poetry competition under thirteen category. The verses, based on a work by Turner, have thankfully been lost. He is currently writing a western and a radio play while studying creative writing and film at the University of Portsmouth.
Sam Ward is a twenty-three year old writer and recent graduate in American Studies. Sam’s academic focus is on cultural representations of oppressed groups and their resistance. He moved to the city when he was sixteen and lived in various levels of supported housing before he made it to university, benefitting from the Access to HE course that existed then.
Nothing makes Paul Watt happier than capturing a beautiful image with his camera. Paul is based in Southsea, which gives him easy access to the ocean and all the other varied and interesting locations in the area. His favourite subject is only 15 minutes’ walk away from his front door. This makes the early morning shoots a lot easier! He loves the challenge of landscape photography, unlike taking photographs in a studio you can’t control the ambient lighting conditions – and has to work with whatever Mother Nature has given him that day. This makes for lots of cold and early mornings but it’s worth it and Paul wouldn’t have it any other way.
Joe Wells’ writing career began when his first book Touch and Go Joe about his experiences of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder was published. Since then he has made a name for himself as a stand-up comic, writer and speaker. Joe now focuses mainly on his unique brand of political comedy. Joe has toured with Alexei Sayle, appeared on Amnesty International’s Human TV and No Pressure to be Funny, and written for The Revolution Will Be Televised (Series 2). He is currently the organiser for ThinkTank, a new series of live events based on Portsmouth politics, bringing together politicians with stand-up comedians, soon to be available as a podcast. Follow Joe on Twitter @joewellscomic or visit his website (http://www.joewells.org.uk/). You can also follow ThinkTank @tweetthinktank.
Leigh Tora Westmore works as a Recovery Broker in Portsmouth. He is also a tutor on Portsmouth City Council’s Working with Addictions and Recovery Course. Follow Leigh on Twitter.
Sian White is a third year English and Creative Writing student at the University of Portsmouth. With a passion for writing and hoping to gain a career in publishing, Sian also writes for the Portsmouth student blog where she shares her thoughts on the best things to do around the City.
Lizzie Wildgoose was born in Derby and initially moved to Portsmouth to study history at the Polytechnic ‘a very long time ago’. After living in London she moved to the Peak District where she studied for an MA in Library and Information Management at Manchester Metropolitan University. While she was there she wrote for a children’s website about researching house history. She then returned to Portsmouth after 16 years and found herself employed at the same library she had used as an undergraduate.
Lizzie has always enjoyed writing. At the age of eight she wrote a series of adventures about a witch called Wingalina. How she wished she hadn’t thrown her stories away! At 11 years she wrote the school Christmas play. She has also written many poems but unfortunately they all rhyme: a compulsion she inherited from her father and was ‘poet-in-residence’ at Battersea Children’s Zoo whilst working in London. After moving back to Pompey she studied for a part-time qualification in Magazine and Newspaper Journalism at Highbury College and now writes on the University Library blog, mostly book reviews for Creative and Cultural Industries, as their Assistant Faculty Librarian. She is also a keen photographer (mostly travel, buildings and interiors) and is a bit of an obsessive. Why take one when you can take 50?
Chad Wilkinson is an aspiring freelance journalist and musician studying Film and Television at the University of Portsmouth. Primarily writing on subjects of technology and culture, his features have been published in Digital Filmmaker Magazine and online magazine Eevee Life.
Claire Willcox is a freelance journalist, PR and marketing specialist with over ten years’ experience. If you have a story or would like to engage her services please contact [email protected]
Richard Williams is a poet and photographer whose family come from Portsmouth, although he was born in Birmingham in 1965 and grew up in Frome, then lived in London and is now back in Portsmouth (don’t mention that song from the Lion King). In his other life working in recruitment, he has had some success with poems in magazines such as Acumen, Orbis, Envoi, Brittle Star, South, Frogmore Papers and Poetry Monthly. He hopes to publish a collection one day. He has been involved in Tongues & Grooves since 2007 and has sat on the committee since 2009. He helped with the selection of poems for the Portsmouth poetry anthology and organised and hosted the Poetry of Exile evening.
Ben Williets is a first year Journalism student at the University of Portsmouth, with a keen interest in sports journalism. He hopes to build a career writing about sports, in particular football. Originally from Bournemouth, Ben recently moved to Portsmouth to study at the University.
Matt Wingett has written episodes of Thames TV’s police drama The Bill, as well as national newspaper articles and stories. He is the publisher of Portsmouth Fairy Tales for Grown Ups and has written stage shows that have been performed around the country. He also worked with Portsmouth University graduates The Three Belles and has written a novella starring the singing trio. He has lived and worked in Egypt as an English teacher for the British Council, ran a successful rare book dealership for 10 years, has worked in publishing, copywriting and advertising. Pompey born, Matt has a passion for the city’s history and is currently working on a series of stories all using Portsmouth not only as the backdrop, but also as an integral character. As well as his Portsmouth stories, he is also working on a book on Arthur Conan Doyle’s spiritualist writings. His latest novella, to be published on Amazon in early February will be called Heaven’s Light Our Guide.
Sophia Wood is Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Portsmouth. A self confessed “Pompey Girl”, Sophia grew up in North End and attended/survived education at St Edmund’s School and Highbury College. After graduation in 1996 with a BA in Cultural Studies from Portsmouth University, Sophia completed the MA in Jewish History and Culture at Southampton University. Alongside mature student jobs as a bookseller, bridal shop assistant, and professional ironing person, Sophia completed her PhD thesis entitled The Holocaust and Popular Culture in 2005 and has taught at the university since 2006.
Kinnan Zaloom is a third year Mathematics student at the University of Portsmouth. Born in Leeds and brought up in London, Kinnan’s family is originally from Palestine. His interest in writing and journalism began when he founded and wrote for The Hampstead Trash, a blog which gained national coverage for criticising and satirising his secondary school and sixth form. Following this, he became Reaction Editor for Portsmouth’s student paper, The Galleon. Kinnan takes special interest in writing about education, and international and national politics. His background in theatre and art spurs on his interest in dark comedy, Middle Eastern visual culture and experimental music.