Related to: 'Hometown Tales: Wales'

A.A. Gill

A. A. Gill (1954-2016) was born in Edinburgh. He was the TV and restaurant critic and regular features-writer for the Sunday Times, a columnist for Esquire and contributor to Australian Gourmet Traveller. His books include A. A. Gill is Away, The Angry Island, Previous Convictions, Table Talk, Paper View, A. A. Gill is Further Away, The Golden Door and Lines in the Sand, as well as two novels and the memoir Pour Me, which was shortlisted for the 2016 PEN Ackerley Prize. The Best of A. A. Gill, a collection of his journalism, was published in 2017.

Catriona Ward

CATRIONA WARD was born in Washington, DC and grew up in the United States, Kenya, Madagascar, Yemen, and Morocco. She read English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford and is a graduate of the Creative Writing MA from the University of East Anglia. Her debut novel, RAWBLOOD, won Best Horror Novel at the 2016 British Fantasy Awards, was shortlisted for the Author's Club Best First Novel Award and was selected as a Winter 2016 Fresh Talent title by WHSmith. RAWBLOOD is published in the US and Canada as THE GIRL FROM RAWBLOOD (Sourcebooks, 2017). She lives in London and Devon.

Jane McDowell

Jane McDowell's work spans theatre, film, television and radio. Screen work includes a leading role in the award winning British feature film Twelve In A Box, major roles in several Bollywood films, numerous short films and the BBC dramas Dustbin Baby and Daughters. She has recorded plays and poetry readings for BBC radio, works regularly for BBC Audio Books and Calibre Audio Library and for Interact, a company of actors who read to stroke patients in London hospital. Jane holds an MA in Performance Studies from Central School of Speech and Drama. She lives in London with her daughter Antonia.

Jeremy Wade

John Wade is a British television presenter and author of books on angling. He is known for his television series RIVER MONSTERS, JUNGLE HOOKS and MIGHTY RIVERS. Jeremy Wade has a BSc in zoology from Bristol University and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from the University of Kent. He has worked as a secondary science teacher, a newspaper reporter, and a senior copywriter at an advertising agency. He has written for publications including The Times, Guardian, Sunday Telegraph and BBC Wildlife magazine. He is the author of RIVER MONSTERS and the forthcoming HOW I FISH (2019).

Justine Pattison

Justine Pattison is the UK's favourite diet recipe writer. To date, her recipes have featured in books totalling over 3 million sales. She is a regular contributor to BBC GOOD FOOD and OLIVE magazines, and most recently the author of FREEZE and the WITHOUT THE CALORIES series. She has a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justine-Pattison and a Twitter account @JustinePattison.

Kate Nicholls

Kate was born in England in 1954 and raised in a theatrical family. Kate left home and school age sixteen, and supported herself working at numberless odd jobs, until she began a successful television and theatre career playing leading roles at the RSC and the National Theatre. In her thirties she read a book that changed her life and she gave up acting to study biology. Between 1976 and 1994, she had six children with whom she has travelled widely.

Katherine May

Katherine May writes fiction and memoir, and is also known as Betty Herbert (The 52 Seductions). She lives in Whitstable with her husband and son, is obsessed with Devon, and loves gin martinis, the sea and walking until her legs ache. She was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2016.Katherine began her literary career as a resident writer for Tate Britain's education programme, and until recently ran the Creative Writing programmes at Canterbury Christ Church University.Twitter: @_katherine_may_Instagram: @katherinemay_Website: http://how-to-walk.com/

Kerry Young

Kerry Young was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to England in 1965. She is the author of three novels, all available from Bloomsbury: PAO, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Book Prize; GLORIA, which was longlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and nominated for the international IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and SHOW ME A MOUNTAIN. Kerry is a reader for The Literary Consultancy, a tutor for The Arvon Foundation, and a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. She is also Honorary Assistant Professor in the School of English at the University of Nottingham and Honorary Creative Writing Fellow at the University of Leicester.

Kristen Ciccarelli

Kristen Ciccarelli (@SheLuresDragons) hails from Ontario's Niagara Peninsula where she grew up on her grandfather's grape farm. She's made her living as a baker, a bookseller, and a potter, but now writes YA fantasy books about bloodthirsty dragons, girls wielding really cool weapons, and the transformative power of stories.You can learn more at www.kristenciccarelli.com

Laura Freeman

Laura Freeman writes for the SPECTATOR, THE TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES, DAILY TELEGRAPH, TLS, EVENING STANDARD and APOLLO. She was shortlisted for Features Writer of the Year at the 2014 British Press Awards. She read history of art at Cambridge, graduating with a double first in 2010.

Leila Aboulela

Leila Aboulela was born in Cairo and grew up in Khartoum. She is the author of four novels: THE TRANSLATOR, MINARET and LYRICS ALLEY, all of which were longlisted for the Orange Prize, and THE KINDNESS OF ENEMIES. LYRICS ALLEY won Novel of the Year at the Scottish Book Awards and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, while Aboulela's collection of short fiction, COLOURED LIGHTS, won the Caine Prize. She lives in Aberdeen.

Maggie Hartley

Maggie Hartley has fostered more than 300 children while being a foster carer for over twenty years. Taking on the children other carers often can't cope with, Maggie helps children that are deemed 'unadoptable' because of their behaviour or the extreme trauma that they've been through. She's looked after refugees, supported children through sexual abuse and violence court cases, cared for teenagers on remand and taught young mums how to parent their newborn babies.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is a cofounder and board member of Malala Fund. Malala began her campaign for education at age eleven, when she anonymously blogged for BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Inspired by her father's activism, Malala soon began advocating publicly for girls' education, attracting international media attention and awards. At age fifteen, she was attacked by the Taliban for speaking out. Malala recovered in the United Kingdom and continued her fight for girls. In 2013, she founded Malala Fund with her father, Ziauddin. A year later, Malala received the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her efforts to see every girl complete twelve years of free, safe and quality education. She is currently a student at Oxford University, pursuing a degree in philosophy, politics and economics.

Maria Whatton

Maria Whatton was born in Liverpool and moved to the Midlands in the 1990s where she married a Birmingham firefighter and raised a family. She is a multi-award-winning storyteller who tours nationally and internationally telling ancient legends and folk tales. She lectures and performs in theatres, festivals and educational establishments.

Mark Kermode

Mark Kermode is Chief Film Critic for the OBSERVER and co-host of Kermode and Mayo's Film Review on BBC Radio 5 Live. He is the author of IT'S ONLY A MOVIE; THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE MULTIPLEX; THE MOVIE DOCTORS (with Simon Mayo); HATCHET JOB, hailed by Stephen Fry as 'the finest film critic in Britain at the absolute top of his form' and HOW DOES IT FEEL?, a memoir about his life in music. He plays double bass and harmonica in The Dodge Brothers, the award-winning skiffle-and-blues band, who also accompany silent movies. He has written and presented film and music shows on Channel 4 and across BBC radio and television. He holds two Sony Awards for his radio programmes, and The Dodge Brothers album The Sun Set was voted Blues Album of the Year 2013 by the roots music magazine SPIRAL EARTH.

Miss Read

Miss Read, or in real life Dora Saint, was a teacher by profession who started writing after the second world war, beginning with light essays written for Punch and other journals. She then wrote on educational and country matters and worked as a scriptwriter for the BBC. Miss Read was married to a schoolmaster for sixty-four years until his death in 2004, and they had one daughter. Miss Read was awarded an MBE in the 1998 New Year Honours list for her services to literature, She was the author of many immensely popular books, including two autobiographical works, but it was her novels of English rural life for which she was best known. The first of these Village School, was published in 1955, and Miss Read continued to write about the fictional villages of Fairacre and Thrush Green for many years. She lived near Newbury in Berkshire until her death in 2012.

Nicholas Crane

Nicholas Crane is an author, geographer, cartographic expert and recipient of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society's Mungo Park Medal in recognition of outstanding contributions to geographical knowledge, and of the Royal Geographical Society's Ness Award for popularising geography and the understanding of Britain. He has presented several acclaimed series on BBC2, among them Map Men, Town, Britannia and Coast. He was elected President of the Royal Geographical Society in 2015.Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nicholascrane.

Nicky Pellegrino

When Nicky Pellegrino's Italian father came to England he fell in love with and married a Liverpool girl. He brought to his new family his passion for food and instilled in them what all Italians know - that you live to eat instead of eating to live. This Italian mantra is the inspiration behind Nicky's delicious novels. When Nicky met and married a New Zealander she moved to Auckland where she works as a journalist and edits a woman's magazine.

Paul McQuade

Paul McQuade is a writer and translator from Glasgow, Scotland. His work has most recently been published in Structo, Little Fiction, the anthology Out There, and has been shortlisted for The White Review and Bridport prizes. He is the recipient of the Sceptre Prize for New Writing and the Austrian Cultural Forum Prize.

Rebecca Front

Rebecca Front is a BAFTA-winning actress and the author of CURIOUS and IMPOSSIBLE THINGS BEFORE BREAKFAST. She is best known for her work on television, both in comedies such as THE THICK OF IT, KNOWING ME, KNOWING YOU WITH ALAN PARTRIDGE, NIGHTY NIGHT and THE DAY TODAY, and in such dramas as LEWIS, WAR AND PEACE, QUEERS and POLDARK. With her brother Jeremy she stars in BBC Radio 4's INCREDIBLE WOMEN, and she is a frequent panellist on THE NEWS QUIZ. Her columns have appeared in the GUARDIAN, SUNDAY TIMES and many other publications. Born and raised in East London, she read English at Oxford and was the first female president of the Oxford Revue.