top of page

Exhibitors from the 2021 Book Festival

Coventry Writers Group:

TellingTales cover crop.jpg

The CWG provides a friendly group for writers, poets, playwrights and dramatists in the local area. Our members range from those who write just for pleasure to multi published authors. We meet the first Tuesday every month at The Big Comfy Book Shop, Fargo Village, Far Gosford St., Coventry CV1 5ED.

The CWG's latest anthology is now available to buy in paperback or Kindle. Entitled, Telling Tales celebrating Coventry, UK City of Culture 2021.

Stories shape our world and the cultures within it. From the wandering bards telling tales of great battles, loves and music of a thousand years ago, to the last novel you read or movie you watched, stories are everywhere.

We hope you enjoy it and would be hugely grateful if you would leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads or any other platform you use. The beautiful cover has been painted by our very own Hilary Hopker.

CWG Facebook page

Ann Evans (CWG)

Ann Evans is a multi-published, award-winning writer with almost 40 books to her name and many published articles in newspapers and magazines. She writes for all ages, from children’s picture books to adventure books for KS1 and KS2, Young Adult books, books for reluctant readers, plus crime thrillers and romance. She also writes non-fiction.

  Ann has recently been busy creating some picture books, teaming up with photographer Rob Tysall. They feature Lazy, a British Bulldog cuddly toy who likes to visit places in the region, such as Kenilworth Castle and the British Motor Museum – but always lands in trouble! See what he’s been up to at the Southam Festival.

Lazy's Garden Adventure. small.jpg

Ann is a member of the Society of Women Writers & Journalists, the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Crime Writers’ Association and the Coventry Writers group.

Ann Evans crop.jpg

Margaret Mather (CWG)

Margaret's most recent work features two children’s picture books in rhyming verse: Monty McCory’s Christmas Story and Monty McCory’s Springtime Story. She hopes to publish two more this year and has nearly finished Monty McCory’s Summer Story, featuring Shirley, the selfish shellfish. Her books are all illustrated with lovely soft watercolour paintings by Hilary Morris.

They also have a colouring and drawing section at the back for children to use their imagination.


If Covid restrictions allow, Margaret will be reading from one of her Monty McCory books at the Southam Festival.

Margaret Mather IMG_20200910_230339.jpg
Margaret Mather Monty Front Page 300.jpg

Margaret Mather is a freelance writer and member of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists, writing articles, short stories and children’s books. She has had many articles and stories published by magazines such as ‘Yours’ and ‘People’s Friend.’ She has also had children’s stories published in ‘Ireland’s Own’ magazine. Margaret is pictured here with illustrator Hilary Morris.

Their books can be bought from Amazon at:

Monty McCrory's Springtime Story

Monty McCrory's Christmas Story

Margaret Mather and Hilary Morris signin

Margaret Egrot (CWG)

Coventry based writer and blogger, Margaret Egrot, will be on the Coventry Writer's Group stall, hoping to sell you a copy of the group's latest anthology Telling Tales. She will also have copies of her two books for teenagers that were first published in America, and her collection of Shakespeare themed short stories, Cast Off. With luck she will also have copies of her family saga, Coventry Echoes, available hot off the press.

Cast Off.jpg

Margaret Egrot is a novelist, short story writer, playwright, occasional best seller and prize winner.



Margaret Egrot.jpg

Andrew J Thomas - Entanglement

Nigel is confused when he finds an ordinary house brick floating in thin air. David’s fiancée worries when he drops out of contact. Liz doesn’t understand when her research subjects go missing. MI5 panics when a secret airbase vanishes. And a woman spends her life shifting between parallel worlds. But how can all these things be connected? Find out, as five friends unravel one mystery, only to discover something no-one had suspected, not to mention the cosmic importance of cakes. 

Entanglement is a quirky mystery with a sci-fi twist which reviewers say “blends the wit of Douglas Adams with the sci-fi genius of Terry Pratchett” and “If you’re a fan of Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, Kurt Vonnegut or Haruki Murakami, you’ll definitely love this book

Entanglement cover Andrew Thomas.jpg

too”. Poignant yet laugh out loud funny, Entanglement weaves between the surreal and the utterly normal while telling a story of people coping when they’re out of their depth and how the choices we make can nudge us in unexpected directions.

You can buy the book here:

Andrew J Thomas was born in Bristol, England, and after writing as a hobby all his life, he became a published novelist with Entanglement. He’s inspired by Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. He writes quirkily funny, sci-fi mysteries set in the current world, with characters you’d enjoy a drink with and events just strange enough to be believable. He’s written 2 other novels and 17 short stories (as yet unpublished) and is currently writing the sequel to Entanglement, Transference.

Andrew J Thomas.jpg

Jason Cobley - A Hundred Years to Arras

On a painful, freezing Easter Monday in 1917, Private Robert Gooding Henson of the Somerset Light Infantry is launched into the Battle of Arras. 

Robert is twenty-three years old, a farmer’s boy from Somerset, who joins up against his father’s wishes. Robert forms fast friendships with Stanley, who lied about his age to go to war, and Ernest, whose own slippery account betrays a life on the streets. Their friendship is forged through gas attacks, trench warfare, freezing in trenches, hunting rats, and chasing down kidnapped regimental dogs. Their life is one of mud and mayhem but also love and laughs.

A hundred years to Arras.jpg

This is the story of Robert’s journey to Arras and back, his dreams and memories drawing him home. His story is that of the working-class Tommy, the story of thousands of young men who were caught in the collision between old rural values and the relentlessness of a new kind of war. It is a story that connects the past with the present through land, love and blood.

J. M. Cobley was born in Devon of Welsh parents and now lives in Warwickshire with his wife and daughter. Jason studied English Language and Literature at university and is currently Head Teacher at a hospital school in Coventry. Jason is otherwise known for his work writing scripts for the long-running Commando comic and graphic novel adaptations of classics such as Frankenstein and An Inspector Calls, as well as the children's novel The Legend of Tom Hickathrift. Jason also hosts a weekly show on Radio Abbey in Kenilworth, where he indulges his passion for classic and progressive rock.


Jason Cobley.jpg
UTM screenshot.png

Sue Moorcroft

Christmas. A time for family, friends – and rekindling old flames…

When Laurel returns to the village of Middledip, she’s looking for a quiet life. Adjusting to her recent divorce, she’s ready to spend some time getting back on her feet amidst the glorious snow-dusted countryside.

Yet, life in Middledip is far from straightforward. Coming to the aid of her sister, Rea, as she navigates her own troubles, Laurel barely has a moment to think about where her own life is going.

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times best-selling, award-winning author, reaching #1 in the Amazon Kindle UK chart and top 100 in Kindle US. Her novels have appeared around the world, as have her short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and writing courses.


However, time stands still when she sees her old flame, Grady Cassidy – and it’s soon as if they’ve never been apart. But through her happiness, Laurel remembers why she left the village all those years ago, as she recalls a dark night and Grady’s once-wayward brother, Mac…

Can Laurel learn to forgive and forget? Or will her chances of Christmas under the mistletoe with Grady remain a dream?

Northants Authors
Northants Authors was started by five writers, all of whom had self-published books.

Although each was very different, they shared the same problem: how to promote and sell their work.

Without the backing of a traditional publisher, books could not be distributed to the wider audience they sought. They decided to try to do it together. So Northants Authors, a co-operative of authors living in Northamptonshire, was born.


Joy Burnett - Entwined

The idea of re-incarnation of the human soul has been part of the belief systems of most religions, for many thousands of years. We are indebted to Joy Burnett for this incredible work of fiction in which two disparate souls repeatedly come together in a series of five stories set within the backdrop of different periods of history. In each story she has aimed to create a world that is convincing and authentic, but each is the world of the two characters and theirs alone. Joy does not claim to be a historian but has tried to relate the events that affect the stories as accurately as possible.

She comments that, historical research and abstract ideas alone will not bring a novel to life, so it is the characters that have to be real. It was important for her to see the characters as on-going rather than leaving the void that often happens when the body ceases. The variations of human existence and experience could occur in many lives, but the lessons unlearned, the feelings unexplored, the potential never released are taken into the next incarnation.

Joy Burnett is a well-travelled, independent lady who loves new experiences. Having lived in Oman, Brunei, Abu Dhabi and Spain, she now lives in Northamptonshire, UK.

On retirement, she joined a local writers group, which inspired her to start writing her novels. Her professional life included fashion retail management, aromatherapy, reflexology and nutrition. For eleven years, she taught and practiced natural medicine in her own school in North Yorkshire. She now enjoys her pets, painting and local theatre.

The Sea General.jpg

 Tony Berry - The Sea General

Robert Blake is the Commander in Chief of Oliver Cromwell's navy. He is travelling from London to Portsmouth to take up his command. However his life is in danger from three Spanish agents. who have just arrived in England. John Ketch has the task of ensuring that he arrives in Portsmouth safely. It proves to be a very difficult assignment.

I write crime historical novels largely set in Northampton during the English Civil War (roundheads and cavaliers). The central figure is a cavalry trooper called John Ketch who through a series of events becomes recruited into Oliver Cromwell’s secret service. The books seek to parallel the work of Ellis Peters with her series centred on Brother Cadfael.

The Sea General is the most recent in this series, following on from:

The King’s Letter,  Cromwell’s Gold,  Mutiny at Burford,  The Golden Coins of Lombardy,  An Unwise Marriage. Sea General

Elephants dont sneeze.jpg
a quiet night at entebbe.jpg

Peter Wynn Norris - Elephants Don't Sneeze

Elephants Don’t Sneeze and Other Short Stories is a collection of short stories written over several years. Some of them are pure flights of fancy, but others draw on the author's experience of working as a police officer in the UK and in Uganda. Some have been prize winners in international competitions.

A Quiet Night at Entebbe.  It’s 1952 and African nationalism is gaining strength. King George VI has just died and the new young queen’s aircraft is stationed at Entebbe airport in Uganda for her to board in such an emergency. A perfect opportunity for an assassin. 

Rosemary feels she has lived too long in the shadow of her District Commissioner husband. She asserts her individuality with the help of Flora, an African sculptress, a route that leads straight to the would-be assassin.   


Iron Snake.   Luka Wamala was a model soldier. When he returns to his village from the army, he is a man seeking savage revenge. At first this is directed at the Railway Authority. He believed that the Railway Authority had killed his mother. When Independence from the British comes his power grows until no-one around him can feel safe.

Peter was born in Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire but has travelled extensively since his early days there, having lived in Uganda, Northern Ireland, and the North West of England.

His two novels – A Quiet Night at Entebbeand Iron Snake (originally called “The Long Train”) are both set in East Africa. Both were shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association’s Debut Dagger.

Peter Wynn Norris was a Detective Sergeant in the Royal Military Police; on demobilisation he served in the Hertfordshire Police leaving that Force to serve as an Inspector in the Uganda Police. He was responsible for organising the country’s first 999 patrol car system in the main city, Kampala and after that the country’s first Railway Police. quiet night at entebbe

Gideon the grape.jpg

Monica Withrington

Monica’s  latest children’s book tells the story of a grape, called Gideon, whose dream is to be a drop of wine in the King’s cup.  But there are obstacles to overcome: for one, he’s the smallest, greenest grape on the bunch. Then, when he is called upon to make a huge sacrifice, will that mean the end of his dream?                                                                                                                                                  

South African-born Monica is a writer of short stories for adults and books for children of all ages, from picture books to young adult. She illustrates her children’s books herself by knitting the characters and scenery, which she then photographs and uploads into the text. For the two years before Covid, she used to visit schools, where she would enlist the aid of her knitted ‘puppets’ to enhance her story-telling.
Some of her short stories have been published in magazines. Others have won awards, and she has twice been short- listed in Writing Magazine. She now has a

collection of her stories in book form.

Monica's Amazon bookshop can be found here:

Monica Withrington.jpg

Michael Leonard - Careering Through Careers

Careering through Careers tells the story of Michael leaving school at fifteen years of age, with no qualifications and in disgrace and follow his working life until taking early retirement thirty nine years later. All the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Other titles include:

Warts n All is an autobiography recounting the first twenty-three years of my life.

Two Mikes and Their 39 Stories is just what it says - a gallimaufry of tales embracing various genres, co-authored with Michael J. Lowis

Michael Leonard was born in Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire. At the age of ten, he moved to Wolverton, went to the local Secondary School and studied at Wolverton College of Further Education. During his first marriage to Elva, he lived in Sherington. He has been widowed twice and now lives in Northampton with Rosemary.

Throughout his retirement, he has been in demand as a speaker and has spoken at venues in England and in the United States. In 2012, he was awarded a Heart of the Community award for his work raising funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Two years ago, he joined a U3A creative writing group and a structured writers’ class specialising in flash fiction and short stories. He is also a member of a public speaking and storytelling group.

Claire Fell embroidery.jpg

Claire Fell Machine Embroidery and Techniques

Embroidering with a sewing machine is exciting, immediate and affordable; this practical book shows you how to do it. Packed with encouraging advice, it introduces the sewing machine before explaining how to design, plan and make your own embroideries and turn them into finished items to treasure. Topics covered include: learning how to set up the machine and carry out basic cleaning and maintenance; discovering which thread types,

fabrics and mixed media elements are most suitable for machine embroideries; exploring how to use the pressure foot to turn functional utility stitches into exciting surface decoration; working freely with dropped feeder teeth and an embroidery foot, and learning how to alter the tension to create different effects and finally, using soluble film to enhance your pictures, and stitch realistic thread paintings of landscape, animal and bird embroideries. With over 900 colour photographs and illustrations, it is the perfect companion for both those new to machine embroidery and those looking for new ideas and inspiration.

Copies of the book are available from The Crowood Press

Claire Fell is a local author who lives in Long Itchington. Claire has always been drawn to art or the act of creativity in its many forms. Claire fell in love with textiles after finishing her fine art degree at Chichester University. A chance meeting resulted in Claire training to become an ecclesiastical embroiderer. The discovery of this new skill led to Claire exhibiting her work and teaching small groups. Claire’s love for different techniques and subject matter is reflected in her first book published by The Crowood Press. The book came about through a chance meeting via email, life’s twists and turns can be stranger than fiction. Claire has always wanted to write and is glad that fate bought her this once in a lifetime opportunity.


You can find out more about Claire at her website

Claire has art and handmade gifts for sale at her Esty shop

IMG_5905 claire.JPG
Song of the Nightingale - Front

Marilyn Pemberton

Marilyn’s second novel, The Song of the Nightingale: a tale of two castrati, (The Conrad Press, 2019), is a historical novel, set in 18th century Italy that tells of two young boys who are bought from their families, castrated and then trained to be singers. It tells of passion, revenge, jealousy, love and redemption. This book won the Fiction category of the 2020 International Rubery Book Award and was a semi-finalist in the Chanticleer 2020 International Chaucer Book Award for pre-1750s Historical Fiction.

Marilyn is currently working on the third book of a trilogy that will tell of three generations of women who are story-tellers but who face sometimes insurmountable obstacles to getting their “her-stories” heard. Books one and two are with a literary agent, who is trying to find a publisher.

Marilyn Pemberton retired from being a full-time IT Project Manager in October 2019. During research for her PhD, Marilyn “discovered” Mary De Morgan, a Victorian writer. Marilyn wrote Out of the Shadows: The Life and Works of Mary De Morgan, (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012). There were still many gaps in her knowledge and she decided to write a fictional novel based on De Morgan’s life - The Jewel Garden (Williams & Whiting, 2018). This novel was a semi-finalist in the Chanticleer 2019 International Goethe Book Award for post-1750s Historical Fiction.

Marilyn's books can be found here




Marilyn Pemberton.jpg
Huntly the Hedgehog.jpg

Granny Violet

Granny Violet's first book, Huntly the Hedgehog, has been used in the classroom many times to educate and entertain. It appeals to reluctant readers because its a little bit gross! Huntly is a hedgehog, not a person, and he does hedgehog things, like eat slimy slugs!

Huntly is a proper little hedgehog who has been busy making himself a little bed of leaves to snuggle into in time for winter. But the leaves aren't just green, they are red and yellow and orange too. What time of year do we think Huntly is in?


As a teacher, I have had the opportunity to teach in many different schools with many different types of children. These include inner-city schools and schools for children with special needs. Although my specialism is primarily as an early years teacher, I have also taught children with autism and some lovely children with multiple and profound learning and physical disabilities, as well as young children with severe behavioural and emotional trauma. In the past, I have been an advisory teacher for both Warwickshire and Coventry.

My aim is to create short stories and video content that entertains and educates young children. Quality content that the busy teacher or parent can put on to entertain children without feeling guilty.

The Joy of Jars.jpg

Joanne Barker

When the lack of a man in her life – or her bed – becomes the teatime news, domestically challenged and VERY single mum, Sally, questions her trusted recipe for survival. Dare she add a dash of spice? Or will emotional leftovers sour everything?

“Heart-warming and amusing tale of the antics of a single mum, her friends and family. Would recommend to any woman who needs a reminder that you don’t need to be perfect to be a great person.” Amazon review.

A tale of heartburn, cooking sauces and second helpings of love, The Joy of Jars is part rom com, part memoir, part cookbook.  Debut author and former Southam School pupil, Joanne Barker, will be at Southam Book Festival to talk you through the fiction, fact and fantasy and hopefully sell the odd copy or two.

TJoJ Headshot.JPG

Joanne has written professionally for 30 years. Her first novel, The Joy of Jars, was shortlisted in a national competition, run by the single parent charity, Gingerbread, and publishers, Trapeze Books, in 2018.

You can buy the book at and follow Joanne on:

Facebook: @thejoyofjarsbook

Twitter: @joannebarker


Box cat.jpg

Julia Tedd

Learning through stories age suitable: 0-7 years

Night-time Cat is a children’s book based on a real-life mischievous cat named Ginger who is awake and playful at night when everyone else is trying to sleep. 

Box Cat is a children's book based on a real-life fun-loving cat named Tiger who can make any box an adventure.

Learning to read is a crucial time in a child’s life; Julia’s child development research has shown that some children struggle to learn and understand slightly more advanced grammar structures, which can lead to confusion and misinterpretation in everyday life and in education (especially in subjects such as science, history and maths).

Both Night-time Cat and Box Cat subtly include some slightly more advanced grammatical structures to help expose children to these structures from an early age, in a fun and engaging way. With exposure comes acquisition. Julia hopes that as many children as possible will enjoy Night-time Cat and Box Cat at home and in school, which will help them to reach their potential.

Julia Tedd lives in Leamington Spa but is a Researcher and Lecturer at the Universities of Oxford and Warwick under the name Dr. Julia Badger. Julia is a Developmental Psychologist who has worked closely with children for over 15 years. Her work focuses on helping every child reach his/her potential at school.


Margaret Holbrook

If your husband can't love you, what would you do? Christine returns home from a disastrous honeymoon with a secret she can't share with anyone. Everyone thinks that she's landed on her feet, that she and Phil are the perfect couple but nothing could be further from the truth. After a lot of soul searching Christine comes to a decision and decides to take a lover. Will her decision turn out to be the right one?

Barbara is missing diary dates, forgetting appointments. Her friends and family are worried. Something's wrong but no-one wants to think of the 'D' word, least of all Barbara

RWYLM front cover.JPG

Margaret is an author, playwright and poet. She has been published widely in magazines and anthologies. She is a member of the SWWJ.

Her novels to date are: About Us . . ., Broken Ties, Remember When You Loved Me? 

Cul de Sac Tales I and II. She has also published 3 collections of short stories, 'Watching and

You can visit her website:

follow on facebook:

twitter: @mgth6

The link to my Amazon page: 


other Stories', 'Picking The Bones', 'Afternoon Tea at Mum's'

Her 2 poetry collections are: Hobby Horses Will Dance,  Not Exactly Life.

Rugby Cafe Writers

Rugby Cafe Writers are a group of authors and book-lovers who meet regularly in the Midlands town of Rugby to discuss the craft of writing. 

Initially, they had got nothing in common except their love of books and their passion for writing. They are a mixed bunch: novelists, short-story writers, poets, journalists and playwrights. Becoming friends, they share advice and encourage each other. Some have never had a word published before.

All have one thing in common: the need for encouragement and advice, and enjoying sharing the journey along that hazardous road into print.

Get to the point.jpg

Get To The Point

In May 2020, the Rugby Cafe Writers published their first-ever anthology of work.

Get To The Point is the collected works of Rugby Cafe Writers; an entertaining, moving and occasionally shocking selection of original work. There are more than 60 stories, poems and articles to enjoy.

Buy it on Amazon here

Several of the Cafe Writers will be in attendance at the Festival, including:

Christine Hancock

When Wulfstan swore revenge on his enemy, he expected to die. Now that man is dead.
Far to the south, another body is found in an Essex wood.
Abbot Dunstan of Glastonbury is concerned. The victim ran the mint. Is the king’s coinage in danger of corruption?
Dunstan sends Wulfstan to Maldon to investigate.

Death at the mint.jpg

Originally from Essex, Christine Hancock has lived in Rugby for over forty years. A passion for Family History led to an interest in local history, especially that of the town of Rugby. In 2013 she joined a class at the Percival Guildhouse with the aim of writing up her family history research. The class was Writing Fiction and soon she found herself deep in Anglo-Saxon England. Based on the early life of Byrhtnoth, Ealdorman of Essex, who died in 991AD at the Battle of Maldon, the novel grew into a series. She has self-published three volumes and is currently working on the fourth.
Here is a link to Christine’s author page on Amazon.

Christine Hancock.jpg

Madalyn Morgan

Old Cases New Colours (A Dudley Green Investigation) (The Dudley Sisters Saga Book 9)

Sick of working in a world of spies and bureaucracy, Ena Green, nee Dudley, leaves the Home Office and starts her own investigating agency.
Working for herself she can choose which investigations to take and, more importantly, which to turn down.
While working on two investigations, Ena is called as a prosecution witness in the Old Bailey trial of a cold-blooded killer who she exposed as a spy the year before.

Old cases new colours.jpg

I was bought up in a pub in the market town of Lutterworth. My dream was to be an actress. My mother wanted me to have a ‘proper’ job, so I became a hairdresser. Eight years later, aged twenty-four, I gave up a successful hairdressing salon and wig-hire business for a place at Drama College and a career as an actress.

In 2010, after living in London for thirty-six years, I moved back to Lutterworth. I am currently writing my ninth novel, as well as putting together a memoir of short stories, articles, poems - photographs and character breakdowns, written when I was acting - and I present radio.

Link to Madalyn's Amazon Shop

Madalyn Morgan.jpeg
Shadow Man.jpg

Terri Brown

Toni returns to the town of her abusive upbringing for the funeral of her long-missing high school friend. She only has one thought on her mind - pay her respects and leave.  But a strange text has brought all of her high school friends to this one point and they soon realise that all is definitely not what it seems. There is more in the darkness here than just shadows. 

Coming to terms with her mother’s abuse and the terrors of her upbringing, the ghosts of Toni’s past become more than metaphorical – they become dangerous. Fighting them, a terrifying dark daemon and a serial killer that is closer to home than any of them suspected, Toni learns some steep lessons about friendship, love and just how much she is capable of. But will it be enough to save her friends?

Terri Brown – voice actor, artist and author – does not have a book that got her into reading because she doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t read. Her mother boasts that Terri was reading the likes of Jane Eyre at age seven. First published in a local newspaper aged nine, she caught the writing bug… she just had some things she needed to do first. A few decades, many adventures and a life less ordinary later, financed largely by freelance writing, she has now published her debut fiction novel, Shadow Man, which is now available from Amazon. 
Here is a link to Terri’s author page on Amazon.

Terri Brown.jpg

Bella Osborne

After years of dating losers, cheats and one guy who did something unrepeatable to her kettle, Ruby has all but given up on romance. But then a stranger sits next to her on a train to London and explains his plan to propose to the woman of his dreams. Maybe true love does exist after all?

When the man accidentally leaves the engagement ring behind, Ruby is determined to save the day. But she hasn't counted on fellow passenger Curtis stepping in and insisting he should be the one to track the stranger down.    
As summer closes in, the unlikely pair make a promise to reunite the ring with its owner. But can they find their own happy ever after along the way?

The Promise of Summer.jpg
Bella Osborne.jpg

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel.

In 2016, her debut novel, 'It Started At Sunset Cottage', was shortlisted for the Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year and RNA Joan Hessayon New Writers Award.

Bella's stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She likes to find the humour in the darker moments of life and weaves these into her stories. Her novels are often serialised in four parts ahead of the full book publication.

Bella believes that writing your own story really is the best fun ever, closely followed by talking, eating chocolate, drinking fizz and planning holidays.

She lives in The Midlands, UK with her lovely husband and wonderful daughter, who thankfully, both accept her as she is (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping).

For more about Bella, visit her website at or follow her on Social  Media.

Here is a link to Bella's author page on Amazon.

The Dark Nest.jpg

Lyndsay Woodward

Beth and Simon Bird have a wonderful life together. They’re rich, happy, powerful and literally want for nothing. That is until there’s a knock on their office door. The news that their secret little magical community isn’t so secret anymore and the whole world seems to have developed magical powers - powers that people can’t possibly have – is just the start of a chain of terrible events.Facing the biggest threat they’ve ever encountered, Simon feels he has no choice but to turn to dark magic. But this snap decision unravels all that is good in their life and begins to tear their family apart. With those closest to them now the enemy, what should they do? Should they risk losing everything? Or should they give way to temptation and let the darkness consume them? It's the people with all the power who have no power at all.The Dark Nest is the fourth book featuring Beth and Simon Bird and the secret magic community of the Malancy.​

Lindsay is a British author who lives in Warwickshire with her husband and cat. She's had a lifelong passion for writing, starting off as a child when she used to write stories about the Fraggles of Fraggle Rock.

Knowing there was nothing else she'd rather study, she did her degree in writing and has now turned her favourite hobby into a career.

Lindsay writes loves stories with a twist, always leaving her readers guessing right until the end.

Keep up to date with her new releases and promotions, and get some insights into her writing by visiting

Lyndsay's Amazon Authors page is here

Lyndsay Woodward.jpg
The Gifts.jpg

Cathy Hemsley

The Hued – the Gifted People – are rich, creative and content. Dressed in silks and jewels, with eyes, skin and hair of turquoise, purple, tangerine, emerald and other rainbow shades, they live in a city of white and grey walls. A city of vivid abundance, artistry, music and wealth. They create all that they need using their symbols: these emblems, fashioned from their own coloured blood, are the tokens of their powers.
But the Hued are surrounded and outnumbered by the oppressed and despised Talthen. As resentment increases and the Talthen grow poorer, the Hued do not see how fragile their peace and wealth is.

Berrena Rochale is born in the city but has no symbol and is exiled. She; her husband, Felde Sulvenor, an obscure Talthen; and their half-breed son Riathe hope that they could save the Hued and the Talthen from a vast and hidden evil. But she is believed to be giftless, Felde knows himself to be a coward and Riathe has been taken by the mysterious and beneficent Magi to become their apprentice.

In a world of exploitation and prejudice, where every plan they make fails, and evil and deceit are all-powerful, can their struggles make any difference?

I've been writing for about 10 years, inspired by my offspring Beck's imaginative ideas for a fantasy novel, shared while walking the Oxford Canal together. Fantasy is great fun to write, but I also like the challenge of family dramas, short stories, science fiction, and writing about faith and the opportunities and difficulties of living out the Christian life.

A friend suggested I pair up with the very wonderful Edwina Goodwin, author of the 'Red Wine Box' blog, who was also starting to write fiction. We've helped each other, drink G&Ts together, shared the struggles and joys of writing, and joined Rugby Writers, then founded the 'Rugby Association of Fictioneers'. Now there are 6 of us encouraging and commenting on each others work, and learning together how to write great fiction.

Cathy's Amazon authors page is here.

Cathy Hemsley.jpg

Phil Gregge

Quick as a lightning flash, I loosed off my first arrow. It was longer than I was used to and the pull was much heavier. But here, this was no disadvantage, for the fighting was close, and all that was needed was what I had, quickness and accuracy. I had already notched my second when I saw the first hit. I blazed away, I swear I had never shot so swiftly till that day... and nine of the ten arrows which found their marks were mine.

Meet Denua, a warrior woman of royalty, courage and faith. Set against the historical backdrop of the decline of Rome and the birth of England and France, Denua leads brave men into battle, travels across ancient Britain and Gaul, meets other intriguing travellers and obstacles along the way and rescues the original ‘Princess in the Tower’. Her gripping tale is filled with adventure, romance, pain and hope.

In his debut book, Philip Gregge expertly weaves historical facts with fictional characters so real, it's often impossible to tell the difference.

Phil Gregge.jpg

Philip Gregge studied Optometry in Birmingham, UK. He served as an optician in Rugby for over forty years. Shortly after qualifying as an optometrist, he went on to study Theology at Birmingham Bible Institute. He is currently part of the leadership team of a charismatic church in Rugby, UK. Philip enjoys teaching Theology and is the author of a Systematic Theology training manual which has been used successfully in study groups. He has a website called ‘Let’s Ask Phil’, in which he answers a range of theological questions. Philip’s novel writing journey started when he woke from an anaesthetic after a back operation with the germ of a plot in his head. He wrote an (unpublished) novelette about a murder mystery in Anglo-Saxon times. This whetted the fascination he already had for this historical period, and his research led him to write and publish this book, as he puts it, ‘based upon history, but with some of the intriguing blanks filled in’. Philip has been married to Anji for forty-seven years and they have three adult sons. In his spare time he plays dance music on the banjo in a small Irish Music band. 

Phil's Amazon Authors page is here

Denua Warrior Queen.jpg

Kev Hopgood - Illustrator

Kev Hopgood is a freelance illustrator and comic book artist.His best known comics credit is his three year stint drawing the Iron Man comic book for Marvel Comics. During his time on the book he designed the War Machine and Hulkbuster characters that have since made appearances in several Marvel Studios movies. Today he splits his time between working for comic books and children’s illustration.

Kev Hopgood.jpg
Iron Man cover.jpg
Kev Hopgood home.jpg
The painting in the attic.jpg

Unfortunately Kev has had to withdraw from the Festival through no fault of his own.

(hopefully he'll be back next year!).

Beercott logo.png

BeerCott Books - publisher

Beercott books is an independent publisher of craft and theatre related books. Based in Warwickshire, close to Leamington Spa and the Shakespeare town of Statford-upon-avon, our aim is to provide readers with quality books by passionate authors.

Beercott books was founded in 2017 by husband and wife team Kerry and Simon. The name is a combination of names from their ancestors – Beer and Medlicott, and the logo is a combination of animals from the corresponding coats of arms.

Kerry has a passion for all things craft (but especially knitting), and Simon a passion for theatre.

Intersecting Lines cover photo 2.jpg

Chris Burleigh - Poet

My first collection, Particles of Light, was published in 2017 and has been well received. It’s such a great feeling when you get good feedback and review comments, or when somebody chooses to take home a copy of your words from a bookshop. That’s communication!

My new collection, Intersecting Lines, is published by local indie publisher Beercott Books. It continues to reflect my interest in people, love, the natural world, and the human condition, and is written very much with the reader in mind. I hope readers will enjoy reading my poems, and will feel I am putting their own experiences and emotions into words. 

So what’s this with the ‘Chris M L …’? Well, when it came to publishing, I wanted to be uniquely identifiable as the writer of my poems. A quick search revealed 69 ‘Chris Burleigh’s on LinkedIn, and over 400 in US Yellow Pages. My parents thoughtfully gave me two middle names, and using them makes me unique in this World!

I have been writing poetry all my life as my response to scenes, situations, people and emotions. Over the years, as parenting took up less time, poetry took up more. I joined writers’ groups, and started entering poetry competitions with some success. I have been published in anthologies by Fish Publishing and Indigo Dreams. These days, as the pandemic permits, I read at open mics and local literary events, and give talks about my poetry to community groups.

Chris's author page on Amazon.

Beercott books author page

Photo Chris.jpg

Brian Pollitt - Bookbinder & Repairer.

Brian's passion is to breathe new life into books that are of personal value and have precious memories associated with them, as well as creating new books to capture new memories.

What books do you treasure? -Typically they are family bibles, granny's cook book, children's books, photo Albums;- they could be anything that have precious memories associated with them. 

Breathe new life into your treasured books - they could be those that have been well-loved, maybe from your childhood or passed down through the generations, but are now suffering from constant use (or misuse...) and are damaged or falling apart.

You may be afraid to use such books for fear of further damage, but worry not - most books can be returned to at least a functional condition and many can be restored to their former glory.

If your book is too delicate or valuable to repair, I can make a custom made clamshell box to protect it.

Bring your books along and Brian will examine the damage and explain what can be done to bring them back to life, whether it is a repair or designing a completely new binding to your requirements.

There will also be some of Brian's most recent new bindings, including blank notebooks for sale.

Brian is a book repairer and restorer who focuses on books of personal value, rather than

conservation of books with historical significance and high commercial value. This started off

as a hobby some years ago after having some old family books passed to him. Having worked

with a number of bookbinders to develop his skills, word of mouth has got around and now

has enough work coming in to keep him out of mischief.

hat selfie.jpg
Books for sale.jpg

Southam Heritage Collection 

Southam's museum is based in the town centre and has published several books by    local authors on themes related to the town's history.  All the books are priced          under £10 and cover a wide range of fascinating subjects.  Their short film will        present both authors and volunteers talking about the books and other merchandise  available to buy from the museum.  All proceeds from book sales go to support the    work of this small heritage charity.


SHC logo.jpg

Here is a short video showcasing some of our books and describing what we are about.

Southam Lions - second hand book sale.

bottom of page