2019 Speakers

  • James Daunt

    Managing Director, Waterstones & Chief Executive, Barnes & Noble

    James Daunt oversees 627 Barnes & Noble stores in the United States, and 293 Waterstones locations across the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands and Belgium. His rise to become one of the most powerful executives working across the book business has been meteoric since his appointment, in 2011, as m.d. of Waterstones. Under Daunt, Waterstones has been restored to profitability, with a majority stake in the business bought by Elliott Advisors in July 2018. Elliott also acquired Barnes & Noble in August 2019. After a stint in investment banking, Daunt opened his first bookshop Daunt Books in 1990. The mini-chain now has nine locations, mainly in London, and remains independently owned by Daunt.


  • Katie Espiner

    Managing Director, Orion

    Katie Espiner is Managing Director of the Orion Publishing Group, part of Hachette UK. Prior to joining Orion as MD in October 2015, Espiner spent sixteen years as an editor and publisher at HarperCollins and Penguin Random House. At HarperCollins, she was the founding publisher of The Borough Press.

  • Akua Agyemfra

    Cultural Strategist, Owner; bea.London

    Akua is a cultural strategist centred in sport and entertainment. Ex - adidas Global Entertainment and Influencer Marketing for almost 10 years, Akua worked on entertainment collaborations inc Rita Ora, Pharrell and Kanye West’s Yeezy line. Fusing sport with music - campaigns also included Chelsea FC and Manchester United launches, FIFAWC2014 and many more. Currently director of bea.London, a creative strategy consultancy working with Stormzy & #Merky Group (including #Merky Books, Stormzy Scholarship etc), Wretch 32, Spotify, NFL UK and more.


  • Paul Abbassi

    Founder and Chief Executive, Bookstat

    Abbassi is the founder and chief executive of Bookstat, which provides real-time, comprehensive title-level sales tracking and in-depth analytics covering the online and digital book consumer market. Bookstat’s daily title-level data encompasses e-book, audiobook, and online print book sales from traditional publishers, non-traditional publishers and self-publishers.

    Between 2014 and 2017, Abbassi was also the pseudonymous co-founder of the AuthorEarnings site "Data Guy", applying the same technology-driven approach to dissecting Amazon Kindle sales, Apple iBooks sales, and B&N Nook sales, and giving the industry visibility for the very first time into the hundreds of millions of consumer digital book purchases going unreported in traditional metrics.

  • Chris Duffey

    Senior Strategic Development Manager, Adobe
  • Steven Inchcoombe

    Chief Publishing Officer, Springer Nature

    Steven Inchcoombe is Chief Publishing Officer at Springer Nature. His responsibilities cover all Springer Nature’s research publishing and editorial activities, all services provided to its authors, peer-reviewers, editors and society partners, all its products and publishing platforms, and its non-institutional library revenues. Previously Steven was CEO at Nature Publishing Group and President of Scientific American. Prior to that Steven was Publisher at the Financial Times and spent 10 years in a variety of roles at financial database business IDC. Steven was awarded a scholarship to Merton College, Oxford, where he read Physics and later qualified as a chartered accountant with PWC

  • Aimée Felone

    Co-Founder, Knights Of

    Aimée Felone is co-founder of Knights Of – a commercial children’s publisher whose main focus is publishing inclusively by commissioning writers and illustrators from a diverse range of backgrounds, as well as hiring diversely. She was awarded the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize in 2019 for her "astonishing contribution" to the industry in just five years in publishing.

  • Vicky Williams

    CEO, Emerald Publishing

    Vicky has held a variety of senior roles in publishing, including Head of Publishing Development, Director of Business Development and Marketing, Group Director of People, and CEO of Emerald’s creative business, Research Media. She became Emerald Publishing’s CEO in January 2018, focussing on equipping the business to respond to the increasing challenges and many opportunities facing academic publishing today.

    Vicky is a keen advocate for gender diversity, launching Emerald’s workplace gender diversity programme in 2015.

  • Alice Lloyd

    Commissioning Editor, Original Audio and Podcasts at Trapeze/Orion

    Alice spent 12 years as a documentary-maker at BBC Radio 1 before joining the independent audio production company Wisebuddah in 2017.  Whilst there she oversaw all their speech content, including documentaries and podcasts for the BBC and Audible.  She joined Trapeze and Orion as their first original audio editor in May this year. 

  • Alice Lutyens

    Literary Agent and Head of the Original Audio & Podcasts Department, Curtis Brown

    After joining Curtis Brown in 2003, Alice began to handle the audio rights for authors, including Margaret Atwood and John le Carré. Having watched the audio market grow exponentially, she saw an opportunity to expand into new formats, and thus formed the Original Audio & Podcasts Department in 2019.

    As a book agent, Alice represents an eclectic and talented list of authors varying from lyrical literary fiction to the very best of crime.

  • Bec Evans

    Writer, Speaker and Startup

    Bec Evans is a writer, speaker and startup founder. While working in publishing she turned her side hustle Prolifiko -  a writing productivity coach - into a startup. As a consultant she helps businesses innovate and coaches people to build the skills and confidence to make their ideas happen. Her first book, How to Have a Happy Hustle: The Complete Guide to Making Your Ideas Happen was published by Icon Books in May 2019.

  • Carol Boswarthack

    Head of Barbican & Community Libraries, City of London Corporation

    Carol has spent 40+ years working in London’s public libraries. She is a Past President of London Libraries and currently represents this group on the national Libraries Connected Universal Offers Books and Reading Group. She is the author of “A report on Public Libraries and eLending”, written for the Libraries Taskforce: E-lending / PLR group in 2018 where she represented Libraries Connected. Carol is a passionate advocate for public libraries and the power of reading.

  • Danny Takhar

    Film and TV Executive and Screenwriter

    Danny Takhar is a film and TV executive and screenwriter who previously held posts at Film4 and Sky Drama, having worked with award-winning filmmakers such as Lenny Abrahamson (Room), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite) and Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham, Blinded By The Light). Together with his wife Helen Monks Takhar, he is adapting and executive producing her debut novel, the generation-gap thriller Precious You (HQ HarperCollins & Penguin Random House US) for Entertainment One (Green Book, Sharp Objects) for TV. Danny also runs Second Generation with Helen, a film and TV production company specialising in self-generated and book-to-screen content. Among their array of slate projects, they are producing and adapting Ashley Hickson-Lovence’s debut novel, The 392, for TV.

  • Dave Buonaguidi

    Co-founder, St. Luke’s, Karmarama & Unltd-Inc

    Dave Buonaguidi has worked in advertising for over 35 years, co-founding St. Luke’s, Karmarama and most recently Unltd-Inc.

    In 2014 he rediscovered his love for screen printing and is also a well-respected  artist.  In 2003 he created the iconic MAKE TEA NOT WAR poster for the anti-war march, which is part of the collection at the V&A and hangs in the Trento museum of modern art.

  • Derek Owusu

    Writer, Poet and Podcaster

    Derek Owusu is a writer, poet and podcaster from North London. Derek discovered his passion for the written word at the age of 23 while studying exercise science at university. Unable to afford a change of degree, Derek began reading vicariously and sneaking into English Literature lectures at the University of Manchester. Derek collated, edited and contributed to SAFE: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space, a timely anthology exploring the experiences of Black men in Britain and has recently signed a two book deal with Stormzy's #Merky Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. His novel-in-verse That Reminds Me will be published in November 2019.


  • Elise Italiaander

    Audio and Digital Manager, DK

    Elise Italiaander is the Audio and Digital Manager at Dorling Kindersley. Recently venturing into publishing audiobooks, Elise has been integral in setting up DK’s audio department. Previously, Elise spent five years at Audible UK and brings a wealth of knowledge to her new role. Elise is thrilled to be bringing DK’s well-known brand to the world of audio. DK launched their audio list in October 2019.

  • Ella Horne

    Co-founder, The FLIP

    Ella co-founded The FLIP in January 2019 alongside two colleagues from Transworld Publishers, where she works as a Marketing Manager. The FLIP is a newsletter and digital platform that aims, through sharing interviews and resources, to encourage more women in publishing to take up leadership positions. This year, The FLIP have interviewed industry leaders such as Rebecca Smart and Meryl Halls and they plan to run a series of events in 2020.

  • Ellis Moore

    Rights and Content Manager, Bolinda Publishing

    Ellis Moore has worked in the audiobook industry for five years to date, specialising in audiobook acquisitions across the trade and library market. Since being awarded a place in the Bookseller’s Rising Stars in 2017, Ellis currently works as Rights and Content Manager at Bolinda Publishing, the world’s largest independent audiobook publisher.

  • Emma Stuart

    Executive Producer, Kindle Entertainment

    As Executive Producer for Kindle Entertainment, Emma develops shows for the kids, YA and family market. Previous Script Editor and Producer credits include ‘Jamillah and Aladdin’ for CBBC as well as ‘Holby City’, ‘ Waterloo Road’ for BBC and ’Stella’ for Sky. Before moving to TV, Emma worked in theatre, including as Assistant Director on shows at the National, RSC, Edinburgh International Festival and the West End. 

  • Gaby Wood

    Literary Director, the Booker Prize Foundation

    Gaby Wood is the Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation. Prior to that she was Head of Books at the Telegraph, and for the previous 15 years a staff writer at the Observer.

    She is the author of Edison’s Eve, which was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle award, and a contributor to the London Review of Books, the New York Times and US Vogue. In 2012 the Royal Photographic Society awarded her its gold medal for her photographs, which have also appeared in some of the above publications.

    In 25 years of work as a journalist she has interviewed a wide range of people, including heads, former heads and future heads of state (such as Theresa May, Jimmy Carter, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson), a few of whom she now regrets finding funny.

  • Baroness Rebuck, DBE

    Penguin Random House

    Baroness Rebuck DBE sits on the Penguin Random House Global Board and Bertelsmann’s Management Committee.  Gail was Chair and CEO of Random House, 1991-2013, and a Director of BskyB, 2002-2012.

    Gail launched World Book Day, Quick Reads and more recently, Books Are My Bag.

    She is currently Senior Independent Director at the Guardian Media Group and Pro-Chancellor of the Royal College of Art. She was appointed to the House of Lords in September 2014.

  • Guy Gadney

    CEO, Charisma.ai

    Guy has been working at the intersection of media and technology for over 20 years, initially as the first Head of Digital for Penguin Books UK, then at the BBC and Guardian, before setting up his first games company developing massively multiplayer games. 

    More recently, he produced the official mobile games for Sherlock, Home & Away and other TV series around the world. He is CEO of To Play For, the media technology platform behind Charisma.ai which is producing new forms of storytelling powered by artificial intelligence. 

  • Helen Monks Takhar

    Helen has a two-book deal with HarperCollins imprint HQ in the UK and with Penguin Random House in the US. Her debut novel, generation gap thriller Precious You will be published in hardback as a lead title in Spring 2020. Helen’s background is in journalism and magazine editing, having graduated from Cambridge University in 1997. She is currently writing her second novel and adapting Precious You for TV with screenwriter/producer husband Danny Takhar. Together they run production company Second Generation which specialises in book-to-screen adaptations and self-generated film and TV.

  • Helena Gonda

    Co-founder, The FLIP

    Helena co-founded The FLIP in January 2019 alongside two colleagues from Transworld Publishers, where she works as an editor. The FLIP is a newsletter and digital platform that aims to connect and inspire women, through sharing interviews and resources, and to encourage more women in publishing to take up leadership positions. The FLIP has seen a phenomenal response since launch and they hope to continue to grow their audience with a series of events in 2020.

  • James Silver

    Writer & journalist.

    James Silver is a writer and journalist specialising in tech, media and business. He has written over 400 articles for UK titles including, most recently, WIRED, The Observer, and The Guardian. His career began at the BBC, where he was a producer, reporter and documentary-maker for Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live. His first book, Upscale, was published by Tech Nation in 2018. He is currently co-writing a second book on tech and ethics.


  • Jon Seaton

    Co-Founder and CEO

    Jonathan and his wife, Susie, founded Twinkl in 2010, with a simple goal: ‘to help those who teach’. As CEO Jonathan has led Twinkl’s growth from a start-up operated in a spare bedroom, to a global business with 4.6 million members. Twinkl now offers over 625,000 online resources and services to schools and educators worldwide. Passionate about bringing solutions to the sector, Jonathan is always looking for impact-led innovations to help educators further.

  • Lee Langford

    Harris Interactive

    Lee is a senior Research Director leading the Media and Entertainment practice at digital market research agency Harris Interactive. He works with a range of brands using innovative qual and quant tools and online communities to deliver actionable insights that keep clients ahead of what’s next.

  • Mark Pearson

    CEO and co-founder of Libro.fm

    Mark Pearson is the CEO and co-founder of Libro.fm, the digital audiobook platform for more than 800 independent bookstores. Prior to that he was the publisher at Pear Press. He lives in Seattle where he enjoys running in the rain, playing tennis when the sun makes an appearance, over and undercooking food, and reading The New York Times on paper

  • MC Angel

    MC Angel is a talented wordsmith performing as a spoken word artist and hip hop emcee as well as writing page poetry. She has been filmed by Red Bull TV, BBC3 and Channel 4 for the “Women in Hip Hop” project. She’s appeared on BBC 1xtra Live Lounge as part of their spoken word season and has performed up and down the country at festivals including Latitude, Secret Garden Party and Drop Beats Not Bombs. She is currently the resident MC for Morning Gloryville, a sober movement which has seen her share the stage with the likes of Fat Boy Slim and Basement Jaxx.

    Shauna O’Briain aka MC Angel is author of Moments of Significance, a non-linear memoir packed with poetry, prose, fragments of memories and mediations on life, philosophy and politics from an uncompromising voice. Told through Shauna’s personal experiences of growing up on an inner-city London council estate as a White Working Class Queer woman, Moments of Significance is an exploration of society and the political told through a very personal collage of experiences

  • Richard Fisher

    Deputy Chairman of Yale University Press and Vice-President of the Royal Historical Society

    Richard has worked in academic publishing for nearly four decades, and was Managing Director of Academic Publishing at CUP until he stepped down in 2014. He now works on publishing and policy issues in a variety of international contexts, and writes an acclaimed blog on these themes for the IPG. He may be the only man alive to have been published by the New Musical Express, the Times Higher Education Supplement, and the Newsletter of the Welsh Golfing Union.

  • Rose Cartwright

    Writer and Creative Director

    Rose Cartwright is a writer and creative director. She writes short films, short stories and screenplays, and consults for brands on their identity, tone and story. She is the author of Pure, a memoir about her life with intrusive sexual thoughts. Pure became a Channel 4 drama series of the same name. 

  • Vicky Williams

    CEO, Emerald Publishing

    Vicky has held a variety of senior roles in publishing, including Head of Publishing Development, Director of Business Development and Marketing, Group Director of People, and CEO of Emerald’s creative business, Research Media. She became Emerald Publishing’s CEO in January 2018, focussing on equipping the business to respond to the increasing challenges and many opportunities facing academic publishing today.

    Vicky is a keen advocate for gender diversity, launching Emerald’s workplace gender diversity programme in 2015.

  • John Bond

    CEO &co-founder, whitefox

    John Bond is the CEO and co-founder of whitefox, a full service creative agency who help writers, publishers and brands make books. Before launching in 2012, he had been Marketing Director at Penguin and on the Main Board at HarperCollins as Group Sales and Marketing Director and later, Managing Director of the Press Books Publishing Division. In 2019, whitefox opened their second office in Los Angeles.


  • Darren Buffonge

    Manager & Agent, Frank Lavine Group

    Darren Buffonge's pathway into talent management has been a non-traditional one but as a result allows him to operate in a fluid way to meet the needs of his clients and adapt to different industries and working environments. As a qualified electrician which was his main trade until early 2000, Buffonge travelled the world working on high profile projects including the Madar City, an emission free city in Abu Dhabi. During this time, Buffonge also began to enter the world of music management alongside his day to day and before long was also managing talented emerging football players, with one of his clients playing for: Arsenal, Fulham, Manchester United and currently at Spezia in Italy. In 2015 Buffonge founded the Frank Lavine Group which he now runs full time. As a manger and agent he currently has an eclectic roster of talented clients across the sports and music industry and consciously keeps the number of clients he takes on low to ensure that the quality of service is always high.

  • Crystal Mahey-Morgan

    Founder, OWN IT!

    Crystal Mahey-Morgan began her career as a freelance journalist at the age of 16 writing for publications such as the Guardian and The Face Magazine. While still 16, she promoted a series of open mic events which were a fusion of hip hop and more conventional forms of poetry and was a performance poet herself. At the age of 19 Mahey-Morgan became Marketing Manager for Raindance Film festival and soon after embarked on a career within Publishing, firstly working as Literary Assistant at Peter, Fraser and Dunlop (PFD), then joining Random House in 2009 working across contracts, sales, marketing and digital. Mahey-Morgan left Penguin Random House in 2014 to realise a long-held vision of bringing fresh voices and new stories to market in representative, inclusive and pioneering ways. In 2015 she founded OWN IT! – a storytelling lifestyle brand across books, music, art and film – which she runs with Creative Director Jason Morgan.

  • Anita Sethi

    Writer, journalist and critic

    Anita Sethi is an award-winning writer, journalist and critic and has written for publications including The Guardian and Observer. She has been published in several anthologies including Common People, and the Seasons nature writing anthology. She is author of two forthcoming books, I Belong Here (2020) and Nocturne (2021). She has been a Judge of the British Book Awards, the Society of Authors Awards, and Costa Book Awards. Twitter: @anitasethi. Website: www.anitasethi.com

  • Lucy Mills

    Head of Publishing [Education], English, Humanities and Languages

    In over 15 years in education publishing, Lucy has held a number of roles, working across Higher Education, Vocational and Schools sectors, for Wolters Kluwer, Cengage Learning and now Cambridge University Press. In her current role as Head of Publishing for English, Humanities and Languages, Lucy manages a commissioning team and publishing strategy for the UK and international schools markets. She is passionate about her work, and a strong advocate of both innovation and inclusion in organisations. She loves to ‘get out of the building’ and understand how best to serve and support teachers all over the world. 

  • Carole Tonkinson

    Publisher, Bluebird: Books for Life, an imprint of Pan Macmillan

    A non-fiction publisher for over two decades, I'm passionate about publishing books that are helpful to the broadest possible readership. Recent Number One bestsellers for Bluebird have included books by Jack Monroe, Joe Wicks, Pinch of Nom and Russell Brand. 

  • Priya Lakhani OBE

    Founder / CEO (CENTURY Tech)

    Priya Lakhani OBE is the Founder CEO of CENTURY Tech, the award-winning artificial intelligence teaching and learning platform for schools, colleges and universities.
    In 2008, Priya left her career as a barrister to launch a successful FMCG business, providing millions of meals and 35,000 vaccinations to the underprivileged.
    Priya was awarded Business Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009 and OBE in 2014. She has been a member of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Entrepreneurs’ Forum and sits on the UK government’s AI Council.
    Priya is a thought leader in education and AI and regularly appears on BBC News to comment on current affairs.

  • Sam Herbert

    67 Bricks co-founder

    Sam Herbert is co-founder of 67 Bricks, an Oxford based technology company that helps publishers build information products for the data driven world. Sam has taken a lead in exploring how technologies like AI, machine learning and natural language processing can deliver value in the information industry by challenging existing business models, strengthening user engagement and delivering new sources of revenue.

    Recent clients include The Royal Society of Chemistry, Emerald Publishing, SAGE, Wiley and many more. 67 Bricks were recently shortlisted for the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers Annual Award for Innovation for modernising medical information for the digital age with client British Medical Journal Best Practice. 

  • Kathryn Earle

    Managing Director, Bloomsbury Digital Resources

    Kathryn Earle is Managing Director, Digital Resources Division, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, where she is responsible for large-scale digital products for the academic library market. Prior to Bloomsbury, Kathryn was Managing Director of Berg Publishers, which she joined in 1993, leading its management buy-out in 2002 before eventually selling the business to Bloomsbury in 2008.

  • Molly Ker Hawn

    Director, The Bent Agency UK

    Molly Ker Hawn is Director of the Bent Agency UK, where her client roster includes Hilary McKay, Alwyn Hamilton and Mariam Khan, among others. Her time in the publishing industry has included editorial roles at Chronicle Books and Penguin USA and serving as National Programs Director at the Children’s Book Council, the trade association of American children’s book publishers. She is also a past board member of the United States Board on Books for Young People.

  • Ella Watts

    Podcast Producer, BBC Studios

    Ella is an audio fiction expert who works as a Podcast Producer for BBC Studios. She also works with drama commissioning at BBC Sounds, and on the independent podcast scene. Ella was the author of a landmark survey of audio drama podcasts over the last 10 years for BBC Sounds, and works across the field at all stages of production and creative management. 

  • Steve Connolly

    Group Publishing Director for Digital and Partnerships, Hodder Education

    Steve’s 25 years in industry has been spent in various commissioning and publishing roles, and he is currently responsible for developing and delivering Hodder Education’s digital strategy and partnerships.

    His recent focus has been the delivery of assessment platforms across the primary and secondary markets, and the development of online curriculum content services. He has also managed external partnerships with organisations including Apple, Microsoft, the BBC, subject associations and awarding bodies.

  • Sunny singh

    Writer and academic

    SUNNY SINGH is a writer and academic. She has published three critically acclaimed novels, two non-fiction volumes, and numerous short stories, essays, and articles. She is a co-founder the Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour and founder of the Jhalak Residency for artists of colour. She serves as a trustee and advisory board member for various programmes focussing on inclusion in publishing.

  • Rosie Beaumont-Thomas

    Events Manager, Waterstones Gower Street

    Rosie Beaumont-Thomas manages the on- and offsite events for Waterstones Gower Street, (previously for Waterstones TCR), and was awarded 2018 PPC Events Manager of the Year. Rosie co-founded The Feminist Book Society and literary film salon The Bluestocking Club. Prior to Waterstones, she worked in arts PR at Four Colman Getty.

  • Ruth Fitzsimons

    Managing Director, Podfront UK

    Ruth Fitzsimons is the Managing Director of Podfront UK, a joint venture between two of the world's biggest podcast companies, Stitcher and Wondery. Podfront UK represents Freakonomics, Dirty John, Super Soul Conversations with Oprah and NBC to name a few.

  • Stephen Wilks

    Founder & CEO at Seneca



    Stephen has worked for Seneca for the last 3 years. After launching in March 2018, Seneca is now used regularly by over 2 million students in 4 languages and more than 6 countries.

  • Ana Garanito

    Head of Scripted, Green Door Pictures

    Ana Garanito is the Head of Scripted at Green Door Pictures, a company founded by Idris Elba to champion diversity of thought and work with emerging and established talent to produce innovative, entertaining and thought-provoking content.  Ana works across the company’s scripted pipeline and oversees the creative vision for each project.  She was Associate Producer on ‘In The Long Run’ for Sky One and Co-Executive Producer on ‘Turn Up Charlie’ for Netflix.  She also oversaw GDP’s first feature film ‘Concrete Cowboys’ to be released in 2020 and ‘Tree’ a theatre production with Manchester Intl Festival and the Young Vic.

    Ana began her career working across Film & TV with a notable stint as Director of Scripted at FremantleMedia International overseeing development, production and international for projects such as Merlin (BBC), Hit & Miss (Sky Atlantic), The IT Crowd (C4) and Cuckoo (BBC3).

  • Caroline Bayley

    Director, Pinemarten Education Ltd

    Caroline Bayley is the founder of Pinemarten Education, a consultancy and software development company that creates assessment and workload management tools for teachers. A former English teacher and HoD, she is also the designer/developer behind SmartRubric—a formative assessment system for teachers of non-STEM subjects like English or Arts. She’s currently working closely with a partner school to develop a new progress and management tool specifically for teachers of students with special educational needs. 

  • Alexander Fane

    MD of Fane

    The 26 year old entrepreneur is MD of one of the UK’s fastest growing and most dynamic production companies, working with inspiring voices from the world of literature, podcasts, screen and stage.

    The company presided over sales of 450,000 tickets in their first two years and International offices have just been opened in Sydney. 

  • Dr Becky Sage

    CEO Interactive Scientific


    Becky is CEO at Interactive Scientific (iSci), an Innovate UK, Women in Innovation winner and Sunday Times, Maserati 100 innovator. She is passionate about using digital approaches to make science more accessible to a wider range of people.

    iSci’s immersive technology enables science learners to understand scientific concepts at speed and with ease and is used by schools, universities and science industry world-wide. It has shown increased understanding, confidence and enjoyment in science. 

  • Sharmaine Lovegrove

    Publisher, Dialogue Books

    Sharmaine Lovegrove is the Publisher of Dialogue Books, an inclusive imprint, part of Little Brown Book Group. She is inspired by innovative storytelling, and has worked in public relations, bookselling, events management and TV scouting as well as being the literary editor of ELLE.  She set up her own bookshop and creative agency when living in Berlin.  Home is London and her roots are Jamaican - Sharmaine is proud to be part of the African diaspora and books make her feel part of the world.

  • Asi Sharabi

    Co-Founder, Wonderbly

    Asi started Lost My Name as a DIY project with some close friends. Soon thereafter, the project changed from being a labor of love to a funded storytelling startup with the ambition of making millions of kids around the world more curious, clever and kind and turn personalised books into an exciting creative canvas. Rebranded to Wonderbly in 2017, they are building a global personal-publishing business that brings the power of meaningful personalisation into the hearts and homes of everyone in the world.

  • Andrew Franklin

    Founder and Managing Director, Profile Books


    Andrew Franklin is the founder and managing director of Profile Books, one of Britain’s leading independent trade publishers.  Now employing 50 people and publishing 100 books a year, when he started it on April Fool’s Day 1996 there were only three people and no books.  Before that he worked at (what was then) Penguin Books for 11 years. 

  • Kate Elton

    Executive Publisher HarperFiction, HarperNonFiction, Avon & One More Chapter


    Kate Elton is the Executive Publisher for four HarperCollins divisions: HarperFiction which comprises general fiction, crime and thriller, the prestigious HarperVoyager SFF list, the literary imprint The Borough Press and the literary estates of JRR Tolkien and Agatha Christie; HarperNonFiction which publishes autobiography, sports writing and memoir through to cookery, lifestyle and business; Avon, a boutique commercial fiction division with a particularly strong record in discovering and building new talent; and the recently formed One More Chapter division which specialises in digital-first publishing.

  • Amanda Ridout

    Founder and CEO, Boldwood Books

    Amanda Ridout founded Boldwood Books - an independent global multi-format fiction publisher - in February 2019.  Before that she was CEO of Head of Zeus which was named Independent Publisher of the Year in 2017.  Previously MD of Phaidon, HarperCollins and Headline she has over 35 years of experience in independent and corporate publishing.

  • Ahrani Logan

    CEO & Cofounder Peapodicity

    Ahrani is CEO & Co-founder of multi-award-winning Augmented Reality (AR) STEAM EdTech Peapodicity. Co-creator of AR STEAM brand AugmentifyIt®️ with its range of educational cards. Winners of Best Science Toy Gold 2017; Bronze 2018 & Gold 2019.

     A former BBC Science & Education TV Producer, Ahrani is on the Children's Media Conference (CMC) advisory committee & a STEM Ambassador. AugmentifyIt®️ Is an official partner of Guinness World Records & brought GWR 'WILD THINGS!' to life in October 2018.

  • Angela Robertson

    Director of Good Thinking PR and Founder of Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival

    Angela has worked in publishing for over 20 years.  Formerly Director of Publicity and Events at Canongate, and now freelance, she has produced tours for many authors including Nick Cave, Noel Fielding, Ray Winstone, Matt Haig, Colin Firth and Ian Rankin.  She also developed Letters Live into a worldwide phenomenon and ran Book Slam, the UK’s first and biggest ‘literary cabaret’. In 2018 she founded Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival which continues to grow each year.

  • Jodie Ginsberg

    Chief Executive, Index on Censorship

    Jodie Ginsberg is chief executive of Index on Censorship, one of the world's leading free speech campaign organisations. Prior to joining Index, Jodie worked as a foreign correspondent and business journalist and was UK bureau chief for Reuters news agency. She sits on the council of global free expression network IFEX and the board of the Trust for The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and is a regular commentator in international media on freedom of expression issues.

  • Rosamund de la Hey

    Mainstreet Trading Company

    Rosamund was formerly children’s marketing director at Bloomsbury Publishing where she worked for almost 14yrs, her role included launching Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and working on the series for all seven books. 

    In 2008, she and her husband, Bill, launched The Mainstreet Trading Company in the Scottish Borders.  Mainstreet has won various awards over the years, most recently Britain’s Best Small Shop 2018.  Rosamund served as President of the Booksellers Association from 2016-2018.

  • Caroline Michel

    CEO, PFD

    Caroline Michel has been the CEO of PFD since 2007. Before that she headed up the William Morris Agency in London for three years. She has over 25 years’ worth of experience in the industry and ran both Vintage at Random House and Harper Press at HarperCollins. She is Chair of the Hay Literary Festival, Chair of the BFI Trust, a Trustee of Somerset House, a Fellow of the RSA and Vice President London Library.

  • Cat Jones

    MD, Travel and Media, Founders Factory

    Cat Jones is responsible for the Travel and Media sectors at Founders Factory, where she leads a team that creates and invests in fourteen startups a year. She coaches founders across a portfolio of 40 companies and works with leaders at easyJet and The Guardian to unlock advantages for portfolio businesses.


  • Jeff Taylor

    Founder and editor-in-chief, Courier Media

    Jeff Taylor is founder and editor-in-chief of Courier media, a global print and digital media brand dedicated to enabling people to work and live on their own terms.

  • Victoria Loomes

    Head of Premium Content,TrendWatching

    Victoria Loomes is Head of Premium Content at TrendWatching. An experienced presenter, Victoria has delivered empowering keynotes, internal strategy sessions and innovation workshops for brands across the globe, and is passionate about helping businesses to understand, validate and apply trends.

  • Ben Saul-Garner

    co-founder, Rebel Book Club

    Ben Saul-Garner is the co-founder of Rebel Book Club, where every month in 5 cities over 700 subscribing members read one non-fiction book and meet-up to discuss and extract maximum value from it washed down with a book-inspired cocktail.


  • Catherine Thompson


    Catherine Thompson has worked in publishing for 30 years. She started as science editor on the then new Oxford Children’s Encyclopedia before moving to the Hutchinson Enyclopedia. Looking for a change Catherine moved to audiobooks in 2002 and has never looked back. She runs the studios and postproduction department for Ulverscroft’s Isis Publishing Ltd, which now has six studios and produces and publishes nearly 40 titles a month.

  • Tom Hall

    Vice President of Experience, Lonely Planet

    Tom Hall is Vice President of Experience at Lonely Planet, looking after its brand, editorial and creative teams. He is a long-time contributor to dozens of Lonely Planet books including their annual Best in Travel publication and Lonely Planet’s digital products and magazine. Tom has over 20 years experience in the world of travel publishing, content and marketing. He also writes for The Guardian newspaper in the UK and is a regular voice covering travel on CNN, BBC News, Sky News, BBC Radio 5 live and many other national and international broadcasters. 

  • Tom Clark

    VP, Global Publishing

    Tom Clark is presently Vice President, Global Publishing at De Gruyter, responsible for worldwide publishing and product development teams at the Berlin headquartered publishing house. Previously Tom held various publishing positions in the UK at Emerald Group, Wiley and Reed Elsevier.

  • Wade Lucas

    International Account Manager

    Wade Lucas is the international account manager at BookBub, where he works with publishers in the UK, Canada and Australia to promote great books and get new authors discovered. Before BookBub, Wade worked for both the HarperCollins and Penguin Random House speakers’ bureaus, helping authors reach new live audiences around the world. Among many others, he arranged speaking engagements for Gillian Flynn, Andy Weir, Wally Lamb, Mary Karr, and Marina Abramovic. Wade currently lives in Boston, MA.

  • Rhian Roberts

    Head of Content Commissioning, Digital – BBC Radio 4, 4 Extra and Radio 3


    I’ve worked in TV, Radio and am now devoted to all the new platforms that let us experiment even more with how we tell stories and share facts.

    We’re in the middle of an audio renaissance and it’s wonderful to see new audiences discovering it for the first time through podcasts and on demand content. I’ve worked at many BBC radio stations, and across a range of genre. I spent a lot of time in news and current affairs as a journalist and programme editor but I’ve also made shows with full orchestras, comedians and animals. My podcast commissions include: Forest 404, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, Beyond Today, Fortunately and You’re Dead To Me.

  • Stephen Page

    Chief Executive, Faber

    Stephen began his career in bookselling before moving into publishing. In 1994 he joined Fourth Estate, becoming Managing Director in 2000. In 2001 he joined Faber as CEO and in 2006 Faber won Publisher of the Year at the Book Industry Awards and has since won Independent Publisher of the Year in 2011, 2018 and most recently in 2019.

  • Rachel Mallender

    Head of New Content Development, Blinkist


    Rachel is an experienced and award winning creative leader who has worked extensively developing strategy to make content succeed in the audio, publishing and digital industries.    She currently leads the New Content team at Blinkist.


    In previous roles as Editor at BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra and as Group Audio Director at HarperCollins, Rachel pioneered many firsts. Including, audiobook and podcast innovation, visual radio programming and market leading radio shows.

  • Ruth Jones

    Director, Global Sales for Digital Services, Ingram Content Group

    Ruth Jones is Director, Global Sales for Digital Services at Ingram Content Group. Ingram’s digital services group provides publishers with digital asset management services, eBook and audiobook sales and distribution and tools to increase consumer sales of print and digital titles. Ruth represents Ingram on a number of industry groups, and chairs the BIC Operations Board.

  • David Roper

    MD, Heavy Entertainment

    Former journalist and BBC arts correspondent who founded Heavy in 1992, making it the leading digital content producer in the publishing world, with 7 studios in Soho. Also a crime fiction author with a TV series pending.

  • ​Videl Bar-Kar

    Global Head of Audio, Bookwire

    Videl Bar-Kar is Global Head of Audio at Bookwire, a leading provider of digital publishing services. He has worked in publishing for over a decade, first as Director of the Ways With Words Festival group, then as the first Audio Publisher at Penguin Random House UK. He is also the co-founder of Minotaur Productions, whose 5-part Johnny Cash audio series was commissioned by Audible and reached No.1 in the New York Times non-fiction audio chart. He is currently a member of the Cheltenham Literature Festival advisory board. 

  • Emma Barnes

    Emma Barnes is a publisher, programmer, and founding CEO of three companies: 16 year old independent publisher Snowbooks, publishing technology house General Products Ltd which produces the widely-used publishing management system http://consonance.app, and publishing for schools app Make Our Book Ltd. She is a longstanding and vocal supporter of technical literacy in publishing.

  • Natalie Butlin

    Commercial manager, Bookouture

    I was Bookouture’s fifth employee in August 2015. I have worked across all areas of the business and have been the commercial manager for two years. I manage promotions, account management, and our commercial review, in which I assess title performance and work with editors to improve sales, looking at all areas of the package and metadata, and discussing pricing and publishing strategy. I am also Bookouture’s copywriting specialist, on which I provide training and individual feedback.

  • Jonathan Chocqueel-Mangan

    CSO, Pearson

    Jonathan is CSO at Pearson, having joined in January 2018. He was formerly Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer at Kantar, the market research division of WPP. He was consulting partner at KPMG and Heidrick & Struggles, working with clients across a range of sectors including financial services, telecommunications, and media

  • Troy Juliar

    Chief Content Officer, RB Media

    Troy Juliar is Chief Content Officer for RB Media, Inc./Recorded Books, Inc., a global audio publishing company with a catalog of 45,000 titles and an annual publishing program of over 6,000 titles. He oversees all content acquisition functions for RB Media’s worldwide publishing companies, including Recorded Books, Tantor, HighBridge, Gildan, Christian Audio,  W.F. Howes in the UK, and Wavesound in Australia and manages the key partner relationships where the company’s content is sold and distributed. He has worked in audio and trade publishing for more than 25 years.

  • Sam Missingham

    Founder and c.e.o., The Empowered Author

    Sam Missingham is founder and c.e.o. of The Empowered Author, a membership service that gives authors ongoing advice, skills and insight to put them in a strong position for success. Before that she was for three years head of audience development at HarperCollins, and between 2008 and 2013 head of events & marketing for The Bookseller and FutureBook.

  • Sara O'Connor


    Sara O’Connor worked in children’s books for 13 years and is now a software developer. She was named a Bookseller Rising Star in 2014 for her innovative digital work at Hot Key Books and co-founded the wildly successful Undiscovered Voices project. She now works at Consonance, building the software she wished she could have used when she worked in publishing. On the side, she donates her coding skills to excellent children’s book projects like @BookPenPals

  • Jonathan Phillips

    Head of Penguin Connect, Penguin Random House UK

    Jonathan Phillips is Head of Penguin Connect at Penguin Random House UK: his team connect businesses and their people with world class authors and the ideas that make difference to inspire personal and professional growth. He has previously led Penguin Random House’s International Business Development team and education strategy.

  • David Prescott

    Chief Executive, Blackwells

    David started at Blackwell’s in Nottingham Trent in 1995. He was shop manager at various stores, climbing up the ladder as regional manager, then head of operations. In 2011 David became MD of retail divisions, since 2013 he has been chief executive. 

  • Alice Revel

    Founder, Ampersand Book Co

    Alice Revel is the founder of the Ampersand Book Co, which makes reading relevant and exciting for contemporary society by connecting people with real books and real experiences. Ampersand's stable of brands includes Reposed, Books + Beer and My Book Moment. Alice also writes about innovation and tech for The Bookseller.

  • David Roth-Ey

    Executive Publisher of the literary division of HarperCollins

    David Roth-Ey is Executive Publisher of the literary division of HarperCollins comprised of 4th Estate and William Collins.   He has recently overseen the creation and launch of two new imprints:  TLS Books in partnership with the Times Literary Supplement and HarperVia, an imprint dedicated to works in translation.     Prior to taking over as Executive Publisher in 2012, David served as Group Digital Director at HarperCollins UK and was instrumental in setting up HarperCollins’s digital programme.   Before moving to the UK, he worked at HarperCollins US, Scribner, Bookspan and International Creative Management (ICM) in New York.

  • Susie Warhurst

    SVP of Content, Acast

    Susie Warhurst is SVP of Content at Acast - the world's leading podcast platform. Acast hosts, distributes and monetises podcasts for media houses, publishers and independent producers including The Guardian, BBC Worldwide, The Economist, Penguin, Adam Buxton, My Dad Wrote a Porno and many others. A former speech radio producer she helps partners to launch new shows, grow an engaged audience and develop new revenue streams.

  • Jon White

    Business Development Director, Makematic

    Jon is Business Development Director at Makematic who make better educational media.  He has over 20 years’ experience in digital content and technology.   He is fascinated by the constantly changing current technological environment , how this affects all aspects of content consumption and whether or not parallels can be drawn across media sectors.  Prior to his current role, Jon senior positions at Ingenta and Semantico and has also held pioneering digital roles at Macmillan Education and Penguin.

  • Stephen Wilks

    Founder & CEO at Seneca

    Stephen has worked for Seneca for the last 3 years. After launching in March 2018, Seneca is now used regularly by over 2 million students in 4 languages and more than 6 countries.

  • Kate Worlock

    VP/Lead Analyst – Education & Training

     In her capacity as VP & Lead Analyst, Kate leads Outsell's coverage and research on education information solutions in all areas of the education marketplace, including K-12, higher education, and professional training. Kate has produced research on numerous topics including the digital textbook marketplace and the future of interactive education. Kate also serves as an executive-level advisor to Outsell's education-focused clients on issues such as new market entry, product development, and digital growth strategies.

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