Ardella Jones

Ardella JonesArdella Jones grew up fast in North Kensington, London then read English at Bristol University.

On graduating, she worked for Lambeth Council whilst moonlighting as reggae correspondent for the NME, winning the Catherine Pakenham Award for her journalism about Jamaica.

Ardella switched to writing fiction and scripts including the Radio 4 comedy panel game The Labour Exchange, starring Rory McGrath, and the cult 3D animation, Bunny Maloney. As part of double act, Ken & Ard, she won the New Names of 92 award at the Edinburgh Fringe, and, as a solo stand up, she toured the comedy circuit from Up the Creek to Jongleurs.

Ardella taught creative writing in Adult Education; now she performs as a poet, writes novels and is one of Southerly Communications writing team. She also edits and writes for Bradwell Books who published her Book of Kent and London Walks in 2016. Her thriller Rolling Calf  was long-listed for Mslexia Novel 2017 and won The Virginia Prize for Fiction 2018.

Ardella is a cruise ship lecturer and engaging public speaker offering a range of entertaining talks on creative writing, books, Caribbean and Scandinavian culture. Public Speaking 

Ardella’s star sign is Scorpio; her hobby is buying shoes and her favourite food is expensive.

Ardella Jones, BA (Hons), DMS, PGCE is a member of  the National Association of Writers in Education.

Jo Hepplewhite

Jo HepplewhiteJo Hepplewhite left the not-so-grim north – Harrogate – to study Drama and French at Bristol University.

She pursued a career in television, as a producer and director, principally in the children’s sector. She became an expert in writing scripts for presenters such as Ant and Dec, Emma Freud and a couple of android glove puppets called Droib and Dreeb. She most recently worked on an animated film version of Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince.

She has taught  English for Academic Purposes at the University for the Creative Arts in Kent, Westminster University and the Media College in La Reunion.  She has also taught in HMP Belmarsh, on building sites and in care homes, and edited a collection of writing by domestic violence survivors, Stand in Love. Jo is currently running Chalk the Sun’s workshops in Gaucin, Andalusia.

Jo’s star sign is Sagittarius, her hobbies are removing superfluous apostrophes and deconstructing old movies.  Her favourite food is – oops! forgot to cook!

Jo Hepplewhite MA is a member of the National Association of Writers in Education.

Jonathan Wolfman

Jonathan WolfmanJonathan Wolfman grew up in Liverpool where he discovered anti-Semitism and Saturday morning pictures.

Jon is a producer and senior script developer for CBBC.  He script edits The Dumping Ground and Tracy Beaker Returns which won the Children’s BAFTA for Best Drama for series 1 in 2010, the Royal Television Society Best Drama and Best Children’s Drama 2012, the Hugo Award 2012 (Chicago) and a nomination for an International Emmy 2012. He was script consultant on series two of Scoop and the BBC’s executive script editor on Pet Squad.  He produced Wolfblood, an acclaimed drama series for CBBC and ZDF in Germany, which was nominated for four Children’s BAFTAs in 2014, with writer Debbie Moon winning the award. His brand new 3-part drama Katy is based on the Dame Jacqueline Wilson novel  and airs in 2018.

He was executive story editor on Bunny Maloney, a 52 part animation series for Moonscoop and France 2. He spent a number of years in development as a producer for Talent Television and Talent Kids in the UK across a wide range of genres and formats including Fazed, Skatoony (Cartoon Network) as well as creating and devising the hit CBBC show Best of Friends (96 episodes).

He has written scripts and plays for radio, TV, film and theatre, co-wrote, directed comedy shows for the Edinburgh Festival, and has acted as script consultant for a number of independent production companies.

Jon’s ambition is to play football for Liverpool and direct a major motion picture.

Jonathan Wolfman has a PGCE and BA Hons in Drama from the University of Bristol

Simona Sideri

Simona SideriSimona Sideri grew up in Holland and Chile of Italian parents then read English at the University of East Anglia followed by an MA in Modernism.

After four years studying, Simona had had enough of the adult world and regressed into children’s fiction. She headed for London, the global centre for children’s publishing, and has worked there ever since, liaising with a range of publishers on books for all age groups, CD roms, apps and websites. She has written board books for toddlers, home-study workbooks, a series of non-fiction books aimed at early years, and has co-authored two picture books. She has also translated nearly twenty books for children.

Simona currently edits three magazines, containing fiction and non-fiction, for children of different ages.

Simona’s star sign is Taurus, her hobby is reading and her favourite food is… pasta, of course!

Simona Sideri MA is an associate of the Institute for Learning

Simona has limited availability for developmental tutorials and editing commissions – for more information check our manuscript and editing services and Simona’s own website

To see Simona’s magazines Story Box, Adventure Box and Discovery Box

Claire McGowan

Claire McGowanClaire McGowan was born in 1981 in a small Irish village where the most exciting thing that ever happened was some cows getting loose on the road.

She is the author of The Fall and the Paula Maguire crime novels – the sixth in the series The Killing House was published in 2017. Under the name Eva Woods, Claire also write the women’s fiction: How to be Happy,  The Ex-Factor,  The Thirty List. She was previously Director of the Crime Writers’ Association and now runs the first ever crime-writing MA at City University. She has also taught for the Arvon Foundation and Guardian Masterclasses. 

Despite being steeped in crime, the worst thing she has ever done in real life is walk on some grass when the sign explicitly said not to.

Claire McGowan read English and French at the University of Oxford

Claire also offers manuscript feedback/editing services on adult fiction 

You can read more about Claire’s novels and short stories at Claire McGowan: Pains, Trains and Inkstains

Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis, crime novelist and screenwriter

Simon Lewis, crime novelist and screenwriter

Simon Lewis was born in Monmouthshire and studied art at Goldsmiths College. He wound up working as a guidebook researcher in China and India, before becoming a full time novelist and screenwriter.

His first novel GO (1999), a travel thriller about runaways, was written in a village in the Himalayas. The second,  a crime thriller BAD TRAFFIC (2008) about people smugglers, features jaded Chinese cop, Inspector Jian. The book has been published in the UK and the US and translated into German, French, Swedish, Italian, Japanese and Turkish. In 2009 it was nominated for the LA Times Book of the Year Award and for the French SNCF prize for crime fiction. A sequel is about to be published. His third travel-related thriller, BORDER RUN, was published in April 2012 in the US and the UK.

Simon has also written screenplays, three of which were shot as feature films in 2014: THE ANOMALY, a science fiction action film, TIGER HOUSE, a home invasion thriller and JET TRASH a travel noir, based on his novel GO.  

Simon lives in south London, but very wisely spends a good proportion of each year in Asia.

You can read more about his work here: and book one-to-one Story Doctor tutorials with him via Chalk the Sun.

Gillian Corderoy

Gillian CorderoyGillian Corderoy grew up on a farm in Oxfordshire where she learned about how to cross a muddy yard in heels.

She studied English and French at the University of Sussex then spent nine years in Italy where she wrote poetry, taught English and trained the Italian Fire Brigade.

She has been a children’s TV writer for over ten years – mostly in animation – working for CBeebies, Aardman, Little Airplane (New York), Al Jazeera, TF1 and Millimages. Recent credits include Postman Pat, Florrie’s Dragons, Timmy Time, and Wibbly Pig. Her second feature film, Proofing Ben, is under option with award winning Brazilian Director, Murilo Pasta.

She is currently writing a children’s novel, working on the latest series of Everything’s Rosie, 64 Zoo Lane and developing two new animation shows with Red Kite and Hit Entertainment.

Gillian taught creative writing at Goldsmiths University for six years. Her ambition is to outsmart her small daughter.

Gillian Corderoy (BA hons) holds an MA in Screenwriting from the London College of Communication

Danusia Iwaszko

Danusia IwaszkoDanusia Iwaszko -an Irish/Polish coproduction, premiered in Wembley, Danusia was born for theatre.

She studied drama at Manchester University, the Bolton Octagon and RADA, before going on to write and direct plays for her own enterprise, The Hal Company. One Glass Wall was staged at Theatre 503, short-listed for the Pearson Prize and published by Oberon Books. Still Life won London’s One Person Play Competition and ran successfully in London, Edinburgh, Sydney and Ireland. In 2006, she was attached writer at the National Theatre Studio.

She has completed numerous commissions and is a literary associate at The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and Menagerie Theatre, Cambridge. Her writing workshops include The Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh (2006); in prisons for Synergie Theatre (2009); The Theatre Royal York, (2011). She has also written a script for Forest Film Productions.

Danusia’s hobby is planning adventures in foreign lands that she can’t afford…

Danusia Iwaszko is a full member of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and Equity

Sheena Joughin

Sheena JoughinSheena Joughin grew up on the Yorkshire moors. She studied Comparative Literature at East Anglia then designed textiles in Paris before moving to London at the end of the 20th Century to write prize-winning short stories.

Since then, she’s published two novels Swimming Underwater and Things to Do Indoors and reviewed hundreds more for the TLS, the Telegraph, the Independent and The New Statesman (which has the best parties).

She’s been a tutor in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and now teaches on the MA at Oxford Brookes. She’s an editor at The Writer’s Workshop, and runs The Life-Writing Project in West London, as well as writing fiction.

Her star sign is Cancer. She eats more fish than meat and would pay not to go to a wedding.

 ‘Sheena Joughin has an unusual clarity of voice and a crafty duality, something both brooding and light, in her writing.’ Ali Smith

‘A major discovery.’ Fay Weldon  

 ‘I love this book.’ Julie Burchil

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