Tierney Acott


Tierney Acott has an M. Phil in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin and has written several screenplays. Some were finalists in the UK Film Festival and Lonely Seal International Film Festival. She was longlisted for Mslexia’s Children’s Novel Competition with I Francis.  She studied sketch comedy in Chicago and produced stage shows. She made a comedy web series about thyroid cancer, The C Word, which won a writing award at LA Web Fest.

The Longlisted Unpublished Authors

Zahra Barri

"The Bird in the River"

Zahra Barri is a writer and stand-up comedian who loves addressing taboo subjects. Her jokes have been on Radio 4, Radio 4 Extra, Radio 2, BBC Asian Network and BBC Period Dramas online. She’s half-Egyptian and half-Irish, living between Saudi Arabia and Bracknell. Attending both Muslim schools and Catholic schools, she is now atheist. "A buzzy fluffball of comedy unafraid to take risks " - Mumble Comedy


Faye Brann

"Tinker, Tailer Schoolmum, Spy"

Faye Brann is a forty-five-year-old writer/performer. She lived in Dubai, giving up any semblance of corporate life in favour of being part of an improv comedy troupe and blogging about being an expat. This led her to a career in writing, and an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University. Faye runs her own copywriting company, but her real passion is for writing novels about (and for) kick-ass middle-aged women. 

Nancy Peach


Nancy Peach is a practicing GP working within the NHS. Her job has provided her with an insight, and she’s fascinated by the people she meets. Nancy’s sense of humour is quite dark and she prides herself on finding comedy in really quite inappropriate scenarios - an essential skill for dealing with the shock of her mum's dementia. She feels that laughter is the best medicine and channels this into her blog www.mumhasdementia.com  

Annette Gordon

"Everything is Under Control"

Annette is a Senior Edit Producer. Credits include Katie Price: My Crazy Life; Old People’s Home for Four Year Olds series (BAFTA nominated); The Restaurant that Makes Mistakes (a series about people with early-onset dementia). In 2014, she was short-listed for the Lucy Cavendish Women’s Fiction Prize and recently, longlisted for the Mslexia Adult Novel Prize, 2019. In 2017 she took the Curtis Brown three-month novel writing course in London.

Janey Preger

"The Lady's Companion"

Janey Preger started her writing career at 15 with a feature in the Guardian. She has worked for TV and radio, combining writing for soaps (Coronation Street, Casualty, The Archers and others) with her own TV and radio comedy series (Two Up, Two Down; No Frills; England’s Glory; Who Me?). She won the RTS Best Regional Drama Award.  More recently Janey trained as a counsellor and has worked for a bereavement charity.

Sarah Scally

"New Members welcome"

Sarah Scally writes light-hearted comedy fiction and short plays. She won a competition in 2013 to have a 45-minute radio play produced and that play was the beginning of New Members Welcome. She writes short comedy sketches collaboratively with two friends and has seen these performed at arts centres in Dorset, the Shaftesbury Fringe Festival and at a scratch night in Brighton. Sarah is married with two children and currently works in HR for the NHS.

Karen Vivers

"Kassie McKinnon is Starving"

Originally from the Isle of Bute, Karen graduated from Napier University and the University of the West Coast of Scotland with a business degree.  After a host of corporate jobs in London and Amsterdam, she decided to go it alone.  Karen founded one of the best delicatessens in the Netherlands, gave cooking lessons and food tours of Amsterdam before admitting all she really wanted to do was write funny stuff.

Elaine Simmonds

"The Club for Mature Indulgence"

Elaine Simmonds has two passions: writing and travel. She’s lived in many countries working in Public Relations. Elaine lives in Maidenhead and works as a freelance tour manager taking tours across Europe and the UK. She has always written in her spare time and can’t imagine not having a writing project on the go. She’s currently studying for a Creative Writing Degree with the Open College of the Arts.

Julia WaLter

"You Can Drop Me Here"

After a lifetime of working in jobs not even remotely connected to writing, Julia found herself on the Curtis Brown three-month novel writing course in 2018.  Her comedy writing role models include Elinor Lipman, Anne Tyler, Katherine Heiny, Maria Semple and Nora Ephron.

Lindsey Symonds

"Plan C"

Lindsey Symonds grew up in a suburban South London borough. After graduating in law from Exeter University, she worked in insurance and risk management for over twenty-five years before leaving in 2016 to try new things and finally get to the bottom of her ironing pile. She lives in a village near Tunbridge Wells with her husband and two children.

Kathleen Whyman

"Second Wife syndrome"

Kathleen Whyman is an NCTJ-trained journalist and writes for magazines, including Writers’ Forum. She has always aspired to be a novelist but got side-tracked. She took the Faber Academy course and was mentored by author Jill Dawson through Gold Dust. She attended the Writers’ Workshop Festival of Writing in York where she won the competition for Superb Blurb. Kathleen is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and on the New Writers Scheme.

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