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A.L.Kennedy was born in Dundee. She lived for almost 30 years in Glasgow and now stays in North Essex. She has won a variety of UK and international book awards, including a Lannan Award, the Costa Prize, The Heinrich Heine Preis, the Somerset Maugham Award and the John Llewellyn Rees Prize. She has twice been included on the Granta Best of Young British Novelists list. She has written nine novels, six short story collections, three books of non-fiction and three books for children. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of the Akademie der Kunst. She also writes for the stage, screen, TV and has created an extensive body of radio work including documentaries, monologues, dramas and essays. She also performs occasionally in one person shows and as a stand up comic.

Irvine Welsh is the best-selling author of  Trainspotting, Ecstasy, Glue, Porno, Filth, Marabou Stork Nightmares, The Acid House, Skagboys, and, most recently, The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins. He currently lives in Chicago, IL.

Ian McEwan is the critically acclaimed author of seventeen novels and two short story collections. His first published work, a collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His novels include The Child in Time, which won the 1987 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award; The Cement Garden; Enduring Love; Amsterdam, which won the 1998 Booker Prize; Atonement; Saturday; On Chesil Beach; Solar; Sweet Tooth; The Children Act; Nutshell; and Machines Like Me, which was a number-one bestseller. Atonement, Enduring Love, The Children Act and On Chesil Beach have all been adapted for the big screen.

Michelle Robinson, a hugely popular author in her native UK,  has written over 40 children’s books, including The World Made a Rainbow, She Rex, How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth, the Do Not Disturb the Dragons series and many more. Her books have been translated and published all over the world. One was even read to Earth from the International Space Station! In 2021, Michelle moved to the village of Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia with her husband and two children.

Tom Gauld was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1976. He studied illustration at Edinburgh College of Art. Tom works as an illustrator and cartoonist and has contributed work to The Guardian, The New Yorker, The Believer, The New York Times and Granta. He illustrated the children’s book The Iron Man by Ted Hughes and made a comic-strip cover for Penguin Books’ deluxe edition of The Three Musketeers. He has created a number of short comic books including Guardians of the Kingdom, Hunter and Painter and The Gigantic Robot. His comics have appeared in the three most recent editions of the comics anthology Kramers Ergot. Since 2005 Tom has made a weekly cartoon about the arts which appears in the Guardian’s Saturday Review section. He lives in London, England, with his partner and two daughters.

Michael Pedersen is a prize-winning Scottish poet, author, scribbler, stitcher. He’s unfurled two acclaimed collections of poetry (Polygon Books) with a prose debut, Boy Friends, published by Faber & Faber in 2022. He won a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, the John Mather’s Trust Rising Star of Literature Award, and was a finalist for the 2018 Writer of the Year at The Herald Scottish Culture Awards. With work anthologized by Pan MacMillan and Canongate Books, and fans that range from Stephen Fry and Shirley Manson, to Kae Tempest and Ian Rankin, Pedersen also co-founded the infamous Neu! Reekie! literary production house.

Liam Hendrikse was born in Nassau, Bahamas, and raised in the Toronto area. He graduated from McMaster University in 1995, and King’s College University of London in 1998. He was a British Home Office Forensic Scientist from 1998 until 2006, where he specialized in firearms and ballistics. He now resides in Hamilton, acting as a consultant to criminal lawyers in North American and beyond, on matters relating to firearms and ballistics, in addition to working with post-secondary institutions on developing and delivering their Forensic Science programs.

Luca Veste is the author of several police procedurals and standalone crime novels including The Bone Keeper and The Six. He is the host of the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast and the co-founder of the Locked In festival. He plays bass guitar in the band The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers. He lives in Liverpool, with his wife and two daughters. @LucaVeste

Paula Hawkins is the author of the #1 New York Times–bestselling novels Into the Water and The Girl on the Train. An international #1 bestseller, The Girl on the Train has sold 23 million copies worldwide and has been adapted into a major motion picture. Hawkins was born in Zimbabwe and now lives in London.

Mohanad Elshieky, a NYC-based stand-up comedian who made his national TV debut on Conan, and is now co-host of the I’m Sorry podcast.