The people who make our work happen:

Our Team

  • Helen worked as a publishing PR in London before moving to Devon and becoming National Director of Arvon, which is known for its residential creative writing courses. From there she went to Farms for City Children, a charity connecting inner city school children to the countryside through a week on a working farm. Helen is principal short story reader for the Bridport Prize. She lives in West Devon on the northern edge of Dartmoor.

    What are the three books you’ll love forever?
    • A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry – “I found this traditionally-structured and epic tale about life on the streets of 1970s Mumbai hugely moving and humane.”
    • Another Country by James Baldwin – “I read this as a student and its rich exploration of love, creativity, sexuality and race bowled me over.”
    • Precious Bane by Mary Webb – “This speaks to the incurable romantic in me – and the lover of historical fiction.  Prue Sarn is one of the great, spirited female protagonists.”
  • Heather studied BA English Literature with Creative Writing at University of East Anglia and MA Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Sussex. Before coming to Literature Works she worked for the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and Tobacco Factory Theatres. Heather is the Project Officer, coordinating Quay Words at Exeter Custom House and other Literature Works projects.

    What are the three books you’ll love forever?
    • Howards End – E. M Forster. “Forster is one of my absolute favourite writers, and the sentiment only connect is something I try to live by.”
    • Dart – Alice Oswald. “Beautiful poetry about the place where I grew up, it’s like someone designed this book just for me!”
    • The Dispossessed – Ursula K. Le Guin. “There’s nothing like a bit of radical, feminist, political sci-fi to make you see the world in a different way.”

Board of trustees

  • Pippa studied English and Related Literature and has taught in the past, teaching writing and drama in an FE college and with families escaping domestic violence in Women’s Aid refuges. She set up a disabled artists organisation and DAISI – Devon Arts in Schools. She is currently working as a business advisor for the West of England Creative Economy Growth scheme. Pippa enjoys writing (short stories) and is an accredited coach, working especially with women and young people. She has a background in the arts, culture, creative industries, social enterprise and charitable sectors, she worked for Arts Council England until 2018 leading on strategic partnerships including Local Authorities and Universities and led on a number of literature and library development projects throughout the South West. Pippa brings her knowledge of these sectors to the Board of Literature Works.

    What are the three books you’ll love forever?
    • Daniel Deronda by George Eliot – “this influenced me when I was a student because it was a powerful story of inner rebellion and desperate resistance, it actually awoke me to feminism.”
    • Myra and Dan by Doris Lessing – “an extraordinarily prescient dystopia, I read it when climate change wasn’t on the agenda.”
    • A La Recherche du Temps Perdu by Marcel Proust – “it’s got comedy, sadness and moments when everything makes sense as well as powerful insights about the nature of embodied memory, stories within stories and an incredibly unreliable narrator.”
  • Suresh Ariaratnam is the founder of Sprung Sultan a literary agency that predominantly represents authors from Black and Asian communities, including Jay Bernard, Priyamvada Gopal, Jonathan Nunn, Johny Pitts and Roger Robinson. He is the manager for the performance storyteller Jan Blake and the commercial director of her artistic company the Akua Storyteller Project, that shares traditional storytelling from Africa, the Caribbean, and Arabia, and which works with organisations like the UNHCR in helping to find and tell stories of diversity and inclusion. As a trustee he also sits on the board of Bath Festivals and the Theatre Royal, Bath.

    What are the three books you’ll love forever?
    • The Cartographer (Poetry Translation Centre) – Mohan Rana, translated by Lucy Rosenstein and Bernard O’Donoghue – “Deftly written, contemplative verse, that is in part an expression of advaita, the philosophy of non-dualism, translated here from Hindi into English. A glimpse of the ocean of literature that exists beyond the shores of the English language.”
    • The Old Woman, the Buffalo and the Lion of Manding (Adverse Camber & Akua Storytelling Project) – as told by Jan Blake, Kouame Sereba and Raymond Sereba – The story of the birth of Sundiata Keita, the hero-king of Mali, passed down orally from generation to generation and here retold by a female griot from the perspective of the three women who have a formative influence on Sundiata as a young boy.
    • In Praise of Shadows (Random House) – Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, translated by Thomas J. Harper and Edward G. Seidensticker – On the surface, an essay on aesthetics, and the collision of values between traditional Japan and the modern West. But more so, I would suggest embracing it as a guide to finding beauty outside of the light, wherever that might be for you.
  • Paul Bradley-Cong is the founder and director of Out on the Page, a UK-wide LGBTQ+ writer development project funded by Arts Council England. He is a published emerging author and an Associate Member of The Society of Authors. Paul also brings over 20 years’ expertise in working with marginalised groups and social engagement through culture and entrepreneurship.

    What are the three books you’ll love forever?
    • The Rings of Saturn by W G Sebald – for it’s psycho-geography and refusing to be classified.
    • Up Above my Head by James Baldwin – for it’s empathy and humanity.
    • Orlando by Virginia Woolf – for taking me where I didn’t know I wanted to go
  • Anthony Caleshu is the author of 4 collections of poetry and 3 books of criticism on contemporary poetry .His most recent book is , A Dynamic Exchange between Us (Shearsman, 2019). In 2007, he started Short Fiction: The Visual Literary Journal (an annual), and edited it until 2015. In 2016,he founded the new poetry venture, Periplum, dedicated to publishing pamphlets, broadsides, books, and digital videos of the best contemporary poetry. Anthony represents the University of Plymouth on the Board of Literature Works.

  • Madhu’s current research explores the dynamics of literary activism on the African continent. She is also a literary producer with a particular emphasis on live literature productions, and has collaborated with organisations including Africa Writes and Speaking Volumes on events and promotion of contemporary writers. She is an active member of Bristol’s vibrant literary scene, and is particularly interested in working with writers from Black and Asian backgrounds.

    What are the three books you’ll love forever?
    • Beloved by Toni Morrison: – “This is just a brilliant novel. Every word is so carefully crafted and Morrison does things with narrative form and style that no one else has ever tried. I think everyone should read this book. The final chorus gives me chills no matter how many times I read it.”
    • The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta: – “Emecheta is sorely underrated as one of Britain and Nigeria’s most important writers. I love everything about this book. It’s a masterclass about gender, coloniality and capitalist accumulation (and their destructive legacies), and the writing is so dynamic.”
    • Lumières de Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou: – “A travelogue recounting Mabanckou’s first trip back to his home country of Congo-Brazzaville after twenty-three years absence, this book combines reminiscence, observation and photography in a lushly poetic prose. The texture of the language is incredible.”
  • Kate has worked in libraries most of her career, enjoying the challenge of people, spaces and books. As a trustee of Literature Works representing the 15 library authorities in the South West, Kate hopes to connect writers from the South West and authors from further afield with libraries and audiences.

    What are the three books you’ll love forever?
    • The Hanging Tree by David Lambkin: – “A fascinating mix of fact and fiction and an unusual love story.”
    • Salem’s Lot by Stephen King: – “I have loved this vampire story forever and read it again and again”.
    • A Book of Bones by John Connelly: – “This represents my other love of crime and murders (Jo Nesbo and Stuart MacBride in particular).”
  • After 20+ years in international marketing communications at Reuters, I found a 2nd career in literature at the British Library and, later, at English PEN. An avid reader, book collector and talker about all things bookish I bring to Literature Works skills in governance, bid writing, fundraising, programming, strategic thinking.

    What are the three books you’ll love forever?
    • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce: – “first read at an impressionable age, this book made me realise that innermost thoughts can become the stuff of fiction.”
    • Sämtliche Erzählungen by Franz Kafka: – “often terrifying insights into human consciousness and behaviour.”
    • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie: – “the puzzle in fiction, a perennial favourite by a master of clear prose.“