Facilitators

Catherine Johnson - Author

Catherine Johnson has written many novels for young readers and won best historical fiction for Sawbones, and was shortlisted for the YA Prize for The Curious Tale of The Lady Caraboo. She has also written for film TV and radio.

Fen Coles

Fen Coles is co-director of Letterbox Library, a 32-year-old children's booksellers and workers' cooperative, specialising in inclusive, diverse and representative children's books. Fen has worked at Letterbox Library since 2005 and she is primarily responsible for sourcing new titles and coordinating a review team of 25 volunteer readers. Prior to this, she worked for 12 years in the charity sector, largely in the areas of women’s, LGBTQ and prisoners’/ex-offenders’ rights. She has an MA and PhD in Interdisciplinary Women’s Studies from Warwick University where she also taught 'Lesbian Cultural Studies' to adult returners.

Sita Brahmachari

Sita Brahmachari is an award winning children's author of novels, short stories and plays. She has a background in diversity in theatre and an MA in Arts Education. Sita's novels have been endorsed by Amnesty and recently honoured by IBBY for their inclusive depiction of diversity and human rights. Sita wrote a blog on diversity as online Writer in Residence for BookTrust (2015). She is Writer in Residence at Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants and is an Amnesty Ambassador.

Nikki Marsh

Nikki Marsh worked in higher education outreach and marketing before moving to BookTrust where she worked for six years on education and children's book related programmes including the Children's Laureate.  She is a member of the IBBY UK committee.  

Sarah Shaffi

Sarah Shaffi is a freelance books journalist. Sarah review books of all genres monthly for Stylist Magazine online and also regularly chairs author events. She was online editor and producer at The Bookseller, the UK publishing industry's trade magazine, for two years, and a reporter at the magazine before that. In 2016, she co-founded networking group BAME in Publishing, a regular meet up for people from ethnic minorities working in UK publishing. She reads widely and especially enjoys discovering new writing. She can be found tweeting @sarahshaffi.

Ken Wilson Max

Ken Wilson-Max was born and educated in Zimbabwe and in 1986 travelled to the UK to study graphic design, but ended up working instead. Book success came in 1995 when Big Yellow Taxi was published, quickly followed by Little Red Plane, Big Blue Engine and eventually seven vehicle books in the series. Ken has worked on over fifty books since then for major publishers around the globe, and been published in nine languages worldwide.

Joanna Sholem

Joanna trained as a primary school reading specialist, and has worked for Barnes and Noble in the US, for Cheeky Monkeys in London where she was a book buyer and presently is a Volunteer Reading Helper with Beanstalk. Scope's 'In the Picture' campaign introduced her to Alex and Beth and since then shehas loved contributing to Inclusive Minds' work.