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Val McDermid is an award-winning Scottish crime writer and recipient of the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year (The Mermaids Singing). Her bestselling Tony Hill and Carol Jordan crime series was adapted for six seasons of popular British TV drama Wire in the Blood. 

Samantha Harvey is the author of three novels; Dear Thief, All Is Song and The Wilderness, which won the Betty Trask Prize. Her books have been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Guardian First Book Award, and the James Tait Black Prize, as well as longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize. She lives in Bath, UK, and teaches creative writing at Bath Spa University.

John Freeman was the editor of Granta until 2013. His books include How to Read a Novelist, Tales of Two Cities, Tales of Two Americas and Maps, his debut collection of poems. He is executive editor at the Literary Hub and teaches at the New School and New York University. His work has appeared in the New Yorker and the Paris Review and has been translated into 20 languages.

Douglas Stuart was born and raised in Glasgow. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in London, he moved to New York City, where he began a career in fashion design. Shuggie Bain, his first novel, has been shortlisted for the The Booker Prize and longlisted for the National Book Award.

Mark Bowden is the author of 13 books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down. He reported at the Philadelphia Inquirer for 20 years and now writes for the Atlantic and other magazines.