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HomeEventsNAWGFest ♦ NAWGFest 2016: Tutors & Speakers

NAWGFest 2016: Tutors & Speakers

Please note that the information given here relates to a previous event.

You can visit our NAWGFest main page for the latest information.

Here are photos and mini-biographies of the festival tutors and speakers. They're listed in the order that they appear in the NAWGFest brochure.

For more information about the festival, please also refer to the following articles:

Gervase Phinn

We welcome Professor Gervase Phinn to NAWGFest 2016. As a Patron of NAWG he is a very special guest and I would like to give a personal thank you to him for coming to speak after the Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Saturday evening. His talk, The Limits of my Language, will take a light-hearted look at our rich and powerful language.

— Pam Fish, Chairman.

Photo: Gervase Phinn

Photo © Richard Murphy

Professor Gervase Phinn taught for fourteen years before becoming an education adviser and school inspector. He is now a freelance lecturer, broadcaster and writer, a consultant for the Open University, honorary fellow of St. John's University, York, honorary fellow of Leeds Trinity University and fellow and visiting professor at the University of Teesside. He has numerous honorary degrees including Doctor of Letters from the Universities of Hull and Leicester, and Doctor of the University of Sheffield Hallam. He is president of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama and a former president of the School Library Association.

Gervase has published many articles and books and edited a wide range of poetry and short story collections along with many academic texts. Additionally he has published collections of his own plays, poems, picture books and short stories, including his anthologies of verse: Classroom Creatures, It Takes One to Know One, The Day Our Teacher Went Batty, Don't Tell the Teacher and Family Phantoms.

His books of stories for children, What's the Matter, Royston Knapper? and Royston Knapper: The Return of the Rogue were published by Child's Play and became best-sellers. His picture books Our Cat Cuddles, What I Like and Who Am I? are found in many a school library.

Gervase Phinn is probably best known for his best-selling autobiographical novels published by Penguin and set in the Yorkshire Dales, and his Little Village School series of novels published by Hodder.

Della Galton

Photo: Della Galton

Della Galton is a novelist, short-story writer and journalist and has been getting published for over twenty-five years. She's had over 1,500 short stories published in the UK alone and she's run out of fingers to count her books on.

Photo: Della Galton

She is also the agony aunt for Writers' Forum and the author of How to Write and Sell Short Stories and The Short Story Writer's Toolshed.

She's a qualified adult education tutor and a popular speaker and lecturer in the UK.

Stephen Booth

Photo: Stephen Booth

Best-selling crime novelist Stephen Booth is a former newspaper journalist and the author of 17 novels featuring Derbyshire police detectives Ben Cooper and Diane Fry. He has been shortlisted for CWA Dagger awards in the UK four times and is a Dagger in the Library winner. In the USA, Stephen has twice won the award for Best British Crime Novel of the Year.

His books are translated into 16 languages, and are currently in development for a TV series. Stephen also leads crime writing courses for Writing School East Midlands.

His latest novels are Secrets of Death and Dead in the Dark.

Steve Bowkett

Photo: Steve Bowkett

Steve Bowkett qualified as a hypnotherapist in 1991 and has worked with many hundreds of people since then on a wide range of issues. He is a member of the Hypnotherapy Association and has run his Learn Self Hypnosis course for a number of years at places like Writers' Holiday and NAWGFest.

Steve began writing for pleasure when he was twelve. He taught secondary English for twenty years and has been a fulltime freelance author and education consultant since 1994. Over the years he has visited hundreds of schools to do storytelling sessions, run creative writing and thinking workshops, give talks about writing and run INSET courses on thinking skills, creativity, writing and emotional resourcefulness.

His first book, published in 1985, was a fantasy novel for pre-teen readers. Further early published work consists of fantasy and SF for teenagers. He has since diversified into adult and teen horror, teen romance, mainstream fiction for pre-teens, fiction and non-fiction for younger readers, educational non-fiction, and poetry for all ages.

To date he has published 77 titles, including fiction for all ages, educational books, and numerous short stories and poems. His next book, Jumpstart Wellbeing, is being published by Routledge in early 2017.

He lives near Market Harborough with his wife Wendy and a menagerie of animals.


Adam Strickson

Photo: Adam Strickson

Dr Adam Strickson is a theatre director, environmental artist, poet, librettist, and teaching fellow in Theatre and Writing at the University of Leeds, where he has taught many successful young writers from Yorkshire, the northwest, and India. His graduates have won short story competitions, been commissioned by leading theatres and had plays produced on Radio 4.

In autumn 2015, Adam travelled to Taiwan to comment on the winners of an international competition for scripts describing the Chinese experience across the world. He is adapting a classic play by Tang Xianzu, The Chinese Shakespeare, for performances in Leeds, Edinburgh, Shanghai, Beijing and Fuzhou.

Photo: Adam Strickson

Three books of his poetry and libretti have been published and he has been poet in residence at Ilkley Literature Festival, Trinity Centre Leeds, and for the town of Boston in Lincolnshire. He has recently written prose about Greek tragedy and Fiddler on the Roof!

In 2014 he was artist in residence in Dewsbury Country Park, creating bird sculptures and bird poems in the woods, fields and sunshine to celebrate the Tour de France in Yorkshire.

His first collection, An Indian Rug Surprised by Snow, came out in 2005. His second, Tear Up the Lace, in 2011. He was lead artist for the imove Olympic cultural project Wingbeats, and a book of his poems and libretti focusing on the experience of the natural world for this project was published by Valley Press in 2012.

Marvin Close

Photo: Marvin Close

Day one of the NAWG Festival will mark the 30th anniversary of my Granny's death. She passed away at 6.17 p.m. precisely. The spooky thing is that her grandfather clock stopped at exactly the same moment. It fell on her.

Comedy, eh? It's a funny old business. From slapstick and silly, to black and satirical it comes in many forms and mediums. Personally, I've written and script-edited everything from radio sitcoms and sketch shows to comedy theatre plays like Crazy People about the early days of The Goons; the life story of Oliver Hardy, The Ton of Jollity; and the award winning black comedy, Dorothy Parker's Dead.

And having written and storylined over 100 hours of broadcast TV for shows like Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Tracey Beaker and Doctors, I possess all the drama skills needed to help you plot and storyline comedy and create different and exciting characters.

For the NAWGFest 2016 I will be offering four different comedy writing workshops. All are self-contained, but if you want to attend all four, I can promise you a totally laugh-out-loud weekend.


Marvin is currently writing the biography of Hope Powell for Bloomsbury Press.

He is also researching and writing a new book about football in Palestine, called More Noble Than War, and the script for a new movie, War Is The Cry, set in wartime Hull.


Photo: Marvin Close
More Than Just A Game: Football vs Apartheid

Currently on release worldwide, published by Harper Collins (St Martin's Press in the USA). Co-written with Professor Chuck Korr, it is the true story of how the political prisoners on South Africa's infamous Robben Island turned football into an active force in their struggle for freedom. Despite torture, regular beatings and backbreaking labour, the men defied all odds and played organized league football in one of the most brutal hellholes on earth for over 20 years. It was Book of the Week in The Independent On Sunday and The Irish Times, and the subject of a documentary made by ESPN in the United States, and a half hour long BBC Radio 4 programme in the UK. More Than Just A Game is currently out in Japanese, Korean, Italian, Czech and Dutch translations, plus editions in Canada, South Africa and Australasia – and now the USA in paperback.

As a dramatist and scriptwriter for British television, Marvin has written over 70 episodes of Emmerdale, scripted episodes for Tracey Beaker, Doctors, 24/7 and Three Seven Eleven, and storylined over 200 Coronation Street shows. He has also worked as Script Consultant on Nickelodeon children's TV series, House of Anubis.

For BBC Radio, he has written and co-produced two recent documentaries, Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus – the bizarre true story of how the Pythons ended up making two TV Specials in Bavaria – in German. A language that none of them could speak. And Your Starter For Ten – a one hour history of 50 years of University Challenge.

A former writer-in-residence at Manchester's Library Theatre, Marvin's stage plays include the award-winning comedy Dorothy Parker's Dead; the story of The Goons, Crazy People (co-written with John Chambers); an investigation of modern work, Working; a homage to Oliver Hardy, Ton of Jollity; and a political history of Hull dockers, No Surrender!

For BBC Radio Four, he co-wrote two series of the comedy, Arnold Brown and Company; and co-created and wrote two series of the nostalgia comedy series, Where Were You?

Photo: Marvin Close

For over 30 years, he has played extensively in bands as a singer and guitarist and written or co-written over 100 pop, rock and folk songs. No hits, but plenty of experience! And more than anything, a passionate desire to share the joys of songwriting.

Marvin has delivered numerous writing workshops and lectures at universities, colleges and arts festivals, has tutored for the Arvon Foundation and worked extensively as a writer for the Arts Council. From 2002 to 2007 Marvin was a part-time tutor and lecturer on Leeds Metropolitan University's MA in Screenwriting, and worked closely with the then Course Director Alby James, to develop new ideas and directions for the course.

In 2010, Marvin worked as writer-in-residence at Tweendykes Special School in Hull, England, helping children with autism and learning difficulties improve their communication skills. Marvin wrote and produced a BBC documentary short called Invisible Eddie, about his son's experience of growing up with autism.

A former journalist on The Sheffield Star evening newspaper, Marvin gained a BA (Hons) in Educational Studies and English at Lancaster University, and then undertook two years of postgraduate research into post war educational history at Leeds University.

Stuart Gibbon

Photo: Stuart Gibbon

Stuart Gibbon is a former senior police detective who has considerable experience in crime investigation, having served with the Metropolitan and Lincolnshire forces. As a Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) in major crime he was in charge of murder and other serious crime investigations.

Stuart now advises writers on police procedures and actions as GIB Consultancy. He also talks with writing groups about 'Murder Investigation' and appears on TV and radio as a 'policing expert'.

See his website: www.gibconsultancy.co.uk for further details.

There's also a guest article by Stuart on Bookaholic Confessions.

Stuart will be speaking after lunch on Saturday on the subject of 'Murder Investigation' and the challenges facing a Senior Detective in charge of such cases. His talk will provide us, as writers, with information which will help give our crime writing authenticity.

This talk is free to all. There is no need to book, just turn up to Engineering F107; Saturday 3rd September 1:20 pm—2:20 pm.

Joyce Worsfold

Photo: Joyce Worsfold

Joyce has been writing since the age of 3, yes really! She has now reached the ripe old age of 70 and is just beginning to get the hang of it. She writes novels and is a performance poet and has performed in all kinds of venues, on local radio and on radio 2.

Her first novel was published in 2014 and she is at present touring the North of England to promote that book. Her second novel, Paint me a Window is nearing completion and hopefully will be ready for the Christmas market.

She is married with 3 children and 3 very grown up grandchildren and lives is Cumbria and Yorkshire. She is a member of 4 writing groups and likes walking, reading and gardening. She was a teacher for nearly 30 years, has worked in a library and been a shepherdess.

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Posted by: Kevin Machin Date: February 12, 2016 2:23 pm
Categories: NAWGFest, People Tags: photos, NAWGFest 2016, past
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