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MADDY ANHOLT

Maddy Anholt was an actress, comedian and writer. She trained at ALRA and as a performer, she appeared in Jerk, BBC Three, The Emily Atack Show, ITV, for Sport Relief 2020. She wrote and performed four sell-out one-woman shows at the Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and at the Soho Theatre. Her show, Herselves was nominated 'Best New Show' at the Leicester Comedy Festival, 2017. She performed it at Underbelly, Edinburgh where she was shortlisted for The Voice's 'Pick of the Fringe'. 

She was the speaker for International Women’s Day 2020 for the Guardian, Facebook and AllBright. 

As a writer she wrote and performed in the BBC Radio 4 comedy, No Smoke with Hardeep Singh Kohli and wrote for Sketchtopia, BBC Radio 4. She also wrote for Warner Bros, ITV, BBC Three, Metro, the Guardian, and more. ​

Maddy amassed over 7 million views online for her sketches, and was a regular guest on ITV's This Morning, BBC Radio 2 and TalkRADIO.

Her book, How To Leave Your Psychopath, was published by Bluebird in 2022. 

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ANNALISA BARBIERI

Annalisa has been a Guardian columnist for the last 20 years and their Agony Aunt for the past 15.  She is also a feature writer for the Guardian as well as the Chocolate correspondent for the Observer.

She was previously fashion editor of the Independent on Sunday, their Dear Annie columnist as well as Contributing editor and also the fishing correspondent of the Independent.

 

Prior to journalism she was a Norman Hartnell seamstress, apprentice chef and fashion PR.

She is the author of Dear Annie: A No-Nonsense Guide to Getting Dressed (Faber and Faber).

 

Born in London to Italian parents, Annalisa started work as 'child labour' in her parents' cafe, making cakes.

She now lives in Suffolk with her man and kids and chickens.

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ISABEL BERWICK

Isabel Berwick is a Financial Times journalist and host of its Working It podcast, which helps listeners navigate the new world of work. Every week, she and her guests dig into the latest trends in workplaces, as well as giving advice on management, leadership and the messy reality of working with tricky colleagues.

She has been the FT's Work & Careers editor since 2018 and previously held senior editing positions on the Comment desk and for FT Weekend. She chairs a lot of events, reviews a few books and lives in north London. Isabel wants everyone to know she was a cold water swimmer before it was fashionable. 

Her first book, The Future-Proof Career, was published by Pavilion Books in April 2024.

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GILLIAN BEST

Gillian Best is a writer. Her debut novel, The Last Wave, is published in Canada and the USA by House of Anansi Press, in the UK, Australia and New Zealand by Text Publishing, and in Germany by Dromer Knaur as Martha und das Meer.

She was chosen by CBC Books as one of 17 Writers to Watch in 2017. Her writing was shortlisted for Wasafiri’s New Writing Prize (2015), and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize International Creative Writing Competition (short story, 2013). Her work won the Bronwen Wallace Award for Short Fiction (2003).

 

She works full-time as a philanthropy writer at UCL, and has previously worked at King’s College London, the University of Bristol, and the University of Cambridge.

 

She was awarded a PhD in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Glasgow. Originally from Waterloo, Canada, Gillian lives in Bristol. She has ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, and is hearing-impaired.

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CATHERINE BLACKLEDGE

Dr Catherine Blackledge is the internationally-acclaimed author of The Story of V, a cultural history of the vagina (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) which was first published in 2003 and has sold over 100,000 copies in thirteen countries and ten languages. An updated edition Raising the Skirt: the Unsung Power of the Vagina launched in 2020 in the UK, in Poland as Wagina (2019) and in Spain as El Origen del Mundo (2020).

Women describe Raising the Skirt as their bible and say it has changed their lives. Catherine has been described as a visionary for her prescience in presenting her radical view of the vagina nearly 20 years ago when the subject was still taboo.

In 2015, Catherine published The Man Who Saw the Future, a biography of the first celebrity astrologer William Lilly whose popular forecasts changed the course of the English Civil War. 

By background, Catherine is a journalist and scientist. She lives in the north west of England with her husband and daughter.

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KELLY BOWERBANK

Kelly is writing her first book, but this is not her first publishing rodeo. By trade she is a digital journalist, editor and content strategist with more than 15 years experience in the women’s lifestyle sector. For six years she was Digital Global Editor of woman&home,leading an international team across multiple time zones. She has also worked for Stylist Group, The Guardian, Time Inc and ASOS. In 2013 she was nominated for New Section Editor of the year at the PPA awards, and in 2020 she was nominated for Digital Editor of the year at theAOP awards. Kelly has provided expert advice and comment for the BBC and Channel 4 about feminism and fashion, and she occasionally guest lectures about digital media at the University of the Arts London and Goldsmiths.

Before she started in lifestyle journalism Kelly studied fashion design at London College of Fashion, which explains why she believes wearing things like gold leather bloomers and parrots on her head are good ideas. Sadly, since 2015, most of her interesting ensembles have been relegated in favour of sturdy, machine washable garments that can hold up to the sticky hands of her two children.

These days Kelly is living the freelance life, mainly taking on commissions and projects about parenting, feminism, travel and life, while also writing a memoir about female rage.

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NATASHA DEVON

Natasha Devon MBE is a writer, presenter & activist. She tours schools, universities and events throughout the UK and beyond, delivering talks as well as conducting research on mental health, body image, gender & equality. She presents on LBC 7-9pm every Saturday.

Natasha is a trustee for the charity Student Minds, an ambassador for the Reading Agency a patron for No Panic, which helps people experiencing anxiety. She is a member of the Men & Boys Coalition, specifically advising on reducing male suicide rates, as well as a certified instructor for Mental Health First Aid England and eating disorder charity Beat. 

In 2018, Natasha co-founded ‘Where’s Your Head At’, a campaign aimed at improving the mental health of British workers through education and law change. She is also founder of the Mental Health Media Charter, which scrutinises media reporting on mental health with the aim of reducing stigma. 

A Beginner’s Guide to Being Mental: An A-Z was published by Bluebird in 2018, and Yes You Can: Ace School Without Losing Your Mind was published by Macmillan Children's Books in April 2020.  

 

Her debut YA novel, Toxic, was published by Uclan in July 2022.

Clicks: How To Be Your Best Self Online was published by Macmillan Children's Books in May 2023, and Babushka, a prequel to Toxic, was published in October 2023.

Find out more at www.natashadevon.com 

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NICHI HODGSON

Nichi Hodgson is a journalist, broadcaster, and author living in London.  She is a regular contributor to the Guardian, the Telegraph and the BBC on sexual politics, technology, health and dating.
Nichi was one of the first British journalists to court-report via Twitter, including the 2012 obscenity trial, 
R v Peacock. She is a regular commentator on BBC Radio 2’s and Channel 5’s The Jeremy Vine Show, BBC R4 Woman’s Hour, and BBC World Service, and has written and presented two documentaries for BBC radio, Can Porn Be Ethical? and Being Bisexual, for which she was nominated for DIVA Journalist of the Year.

Nichi is the author of Bound To You (Hodder and Stoughton, 2012) and The Curious History of Dating: From Jane Austen to Tinder (Little, Brown, 2017).

 

RACHEL HOLMES

Rachel Holmes is an experienced freelance writer and editor who has worked for the Guardian, Marie Claire, Woman and Home and fashion brand, Asos. For three years she had a weekly blog with parenting website, Babycentre, covering everything from practical advice to feminist parenting issues. Most recently, she worked for Mumsnet as Head of Commercial Content, helping brands to reach parents. 

 

Prior to writing, Rachel worked in TV as an assistant producer making documentary programmes like Time Team, Who Do You Think You Are? and Balderdash and Piffle

 

Rachel enjoys wild swimming, poking in rock pools with her two children, reading sci-fi, and building small, sensible fires in her tiny Walthamstow garden.

 

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ELLEN JONES

Ellen Jones is an award-winning campaigner, writer and speaker on LGBTQ+ and disability inclusion. 

 

As a teenager, she was named Stonewall’s Young Campaigner of the Year and later was the first-ever recipient of the MTV EMA Generation Change Award. Ellen was also named one of London’s most influential people by the Evening Standard and included in Attitude Magazine’s inaugural list of ‘101 LGBTQ Trailblazers’.  By day, Ellen work’s with the world’s leading organisations to build inclusion and meaningful representation for LGBTQ+ people and disabled people. 

 

With articles in The Guardian and Huffington Post and featured everywhere from Sky News and the BBC to Vogue Business, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan, Ellen has contributed to several essay anthologies on the subject of LGBTQ+ inclusion, including Instructions for a Teenage Armageddon and The Book of Hope. 

 

A prominent speaker dedicated to LGBT+ justice and inclusion, Ellen has spoken everywhere from Cambridge Speaker’s Union to the British Film, Institute and Stylist Live to The Guilty Feminist.

 

Her debut book, Out-Rage: Why The Fight for LGBTQ+ Equality Is Not Won And What You Can Do About It will be published by Bluebird in Spring 2025. 

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