TEAM

THE STAFF

Henderson Mullin – Chief Executive

Henderson Mullin is the Chief Executive of Writing East Midlands. Before setting up WEM in 2008, Henderson worked for Index on Censorship, the campaigning NGO which publishes books and magazines in support of freedom of expression. He was a Regional Artist Advisor for Artists taking the lead, and a member of The Rhythm Writers performance collective, based in London.

Henderson Mullin is the Chief Executive of Writing East Midlands. Before setting up WEM in 2008, Henderson worked for Index on Censorship, the campaigning NGO which publishes books and magazines in support of freedom of expression. He was a Regional Artist Advisor for Artists taking the lead, and a member of The Rhythm Writers performance collective, based in London.

 

Contact Henderson on: henderson@writingeastmidlands.co.uk

Aimee Wilkinson – Head of Artistic Development

Aimee is a writer, experienced performer and workshop leader, and holds a First Class Honours Degree in Creative Writing. She is WEM’s Head of Artistic Development including Coordinator of Writing School East Midlands.

Aimee Wilkinson is a writer, experienced performer and workshop leader, and holds a First Class Honours Degree in Creative Writing. She was also on the steering group of the new writing and spoken word collective, Hello Hubmarine. Aimee is our Head of Artistic Development and is responsible for managing our creative & career development programmes, including Routes to Writing, Write Here, the Writers’ Conference and Write Here:Sanctuary. She is the Coordinator of Writing School East Midlands across Nottingham and Leicester.

Contact Aimee on: aimee@writingeastmidlands.co.uk

Sian Tower - Education Manager (Maternity cover)

Education Manager, Emma Baxter, is now on maternity leave and proud mum to little Arya. We are delighted to report that both are doing well. Sian Tower will cover Emma’s role until next summer, which means looking after all the Young Writer’s Groups and the 2018 Writer’s Den. As well as being a qualified teacher and Young Writer’s Group leader herself, Sian runs writing workshops for all ages as well as a copywriting business from her base in the Peak District.

Education Manager, Emma Baxter, is now on maternity leave and proud mum to little Arya. We are delighted to report that both are doing well.

Sian Tower will cover Emma’s role until next summer, which means looking after all the Young Writer’s Groups and the 2018 Writer’s Den.  As well as being a qualified teacher and Young Writer’s Group leader herself, Sian runs writing workshops for all ages as well as a copywriting business from her base in the Peak District. Sian says, ‘I love working with young people and hope to create more WEM writing groups for young people. I also want to create more chances for young people across the East Midlands to work with professional writers in order to grow their confidence and skill as the writers of the future.’

Sian can be contacted at education@writingeastmidlands.co.uk

Direct Line 01159 597 929

Gary Huddless – Marketing Officer

Gary Huddless grew up in Chesterfield, in the shadow of the miner’s strike, at a time when the town was changing from the ‘Centre of Industrial England’ to an ex-mining town and eventually (with some pain) to a new centre for business. “Writing East Midlands feels like a homecoming, working professionally in the writing world, and combines several of my passions – connecting people with the arts, nurturing new talent, championing literature and helping to develop infrastructure for creativity in the region”.

“I grew up in Chesterfield, in the shadow of the miner’s strike, at a time when the town was changing from the ‘Centre of Industrial England’ to an ex-mining town and eventually (with some pain) to a new centre for business. For generations my family has had links to the coal industry, so the cataclysm of the end of that industry meant my own path would be one untrodden by my kin. I read history at Sheffield Hallam University and along the way developed a love of storytelling – leading me to a move to London to study for a Master’s in Creative Writing. I graduated in 2010 having started a novel as part of my thesis – a journey that I am only now finishing (having written ‘The End’ on a second full draft). After graduating, I migrated towards the creative industries and worked my way into the Assistant Director department on feature films, spending the next few years on film sets in the UK and beyond. I returned to the East Midlands in 2012, to commit more time to writing and built skills in communications, audience development and marketing. In 2014, I began working for First Art, an Arts Council Creative People and Places project – where I looked after the marketing and communications – and helped bring inspiring cultural opportunities to Ashfield, Bolsover Mansfield and North-East Derbyshire.

Writing East Midlands feels like a homecoming, working professionally in the writing world, and combines several of my passions – connecting people with the arts, nurturing new talent, championing literature and helping to develop infrastructure for creativity in the region.”

 

Heather Wright - Finance and Admin Manager

Heather is the Finance and Admin Manager for Writing East Midlands. She was previously the Finance Manager for Crowdicity Ltd, a fast growing online software business and Project Manager for East Midlands NTI, a grant giving consortium of regional FE/HE institutions. 

Heather is the Finance and Admin Manager for Writing East Midlands. Heather is responsible for all things financial and administrative across all of the Writing East Midlands activities and business. Heather has previously been the Finance Manager for Crowdicity Ltd, a fast growing online software business and Project Manager for East Midlands NTI, a grant giving consortium of regional FE/HE institutions.

 

Contact Heather on: finance@writingeastmidlands.co.uk

Anne Holloway - Fundraising Manager

Anne Holloway is the Fundraising Manager for Writing East Midlands. She writes and performs poetry. She is one of the directors of Nottingham-based poetry collective The Mouthy Poets. In 2015 she set up Big White Shed, a not-for-profit, enabling company and independent press.

Anne Holloway is the Fundraising Manager for Writing East Midlands. She writes and performs poetry. She was one of the directors of Nottingham-based poetry collective The Mouthy Poets, and has been supporting the development of the company alongside the founder since 2010. In 2015 she set up Big White Shed, a not-for-profit, enabling company and independent press, publishing her own novel Korakas and continuing to publish other new writers. She is a life coach, and teaches creative writing in schools and community settings. She worked in sales management for over 25 years before completing a degree in English and pursuing a career as a writer. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.

Contact Anne on: anne@writingeastmidlands.co.uk

Clare Speller - Administrator of Writing School East Midlands

Clare Speller is the part-time Administrator of Writing School East Midlands in Nottingham and Leicester.

Clare Speller is the freelance Administrator of Writing School East Midlands in Nottingham and Leicester. She works part-time for the School and is a writer & film director and on the committee of the Leicester Writers Club.

THE BOARD

Martin Molloy (Chair)

Martin is the Chair of the Board of Writing East Midlands. He enjoyed a long career in Local Government and for much of that time was employed by Derbyshire County Council. Before his retirement he was Strategic Director for Cultural and Community Services. Martin is currently Chair of Governors at St Mary’s RC High School in Chesterfield.

Martin is the Chair of the Board of Writing East Midlands. He enjoyed a long career in Local Government and for much of that time was employed by Derbyshire County Council. Before his retirement he was Strategic Director for Cultural and Community Services. Martin is currently Chair of Governors at St Mary’s RC High School in Chesterfield.

He served on and chaired many bodies regionally, nationally and internationally.  In the East Midlands he was a member of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and subsequently served as a member of the East Midlands Regional Council of the Arts Council.  He was Cultural Champion for the MLA on the Arts Council Cultural Leadership programme.

Martin was a member of two Advisory Boards of the British Council.  He participated in Public Library Reviews in both the UK and abroad.  He was President of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP); President of the Society of Chief Librarians; Chair of the Advisory Council for Libraries.  Martin was the first Chair of the Board of the Reading Agency.

Martin was a member of the Advisory Board for ‘Reading is Fundamental’ at the National Literacy Trust.  He was also a member of the Advisory Board for Library Services at the RNIB.  He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield.

He has been a recipient of the Library Association Centenary Medal and was awarded the OBE for Services to Public Libraries in Derbyshire in 2004.

Judith Allnatt

Judith Allnatt is an acclaimed novelist and short story writer, the author of ‘A Mile of River’, a Radio 5 Live Book of the Month. She is a member of the Royal Society of Literature, the Society of Authors, the Historical Writers’ Association and The National Association of Writers in Education.

I joined the Board of Writing East Midlands in 2014 because my work with writers and readers has shown me the transformative power of the written word to encourage thought and increase empathy. WEM grows new writing and brings writers and readers together. It’s my pleasure to be part of that conversation.

Judith Allnatt is an acclaimed novelist and short story writer. Her first novel was a Radio 5 Live Book of the Month and her fiction has been variously shortlisted for the Portico Prize for Literature, the EMBA, the Commonwealth Short Story Awards and the Bridport Prize. Judith has lectured widely on Creative Writing for universities and freelance for over two decades, and has worked with a wide range of literature organisations and festivals as a speaker or writer in residence. She has lived in the region for the last thirty years and is working on her fifth novel.

Judith is a member of the Royal Society of Literature, the Society of Authors, the Historical Writers’ Association and The National Association of Writers in Education.

 

Stephen Booth

Stephen Booth is a best-selling crime novelist, the author of 16 novels featuring two Derbyshire police detectives, whose books have won awards on both sides of the Atlantic. He is a member of the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers’ Association, the International Thriller Writers Association, the British Fantasy Society, and the Newstead Abbey Byron Society.

I strongly believe that both writing and reading have the power to change people’s lives for the better. As a child, reading transformed my life. As an author, I see it happening to others all the time. I support Writing East Midlands because it has the ability to make that happen throughout society.

Stephen Booth is a best-selling crime novelist, the author of 16 novels featuring two Derbyshire police detectives. His books have won awards on both sides of the Atlantic, and his fictional detective DS Ben Cooper was a finalist for the Sherlock Award for the best detective created by a British author. The Crime Writers’ Association presented Stephen with the Dagger in the Library Award for “the author whose books have given readers most pleasure”. His novels are published all around the world, and are translated into 15 languages.

Stephen has lived in Nottinghamshire for the past 30 years and is a former newspaper journalist, as well as Regional Secretary of the Guild of Editors. He has been a Reading Champion for UK libraries and represented the British Council at the Helsinki Book Fair. He also teaches crime writing courses and leads writing workshops in local prisons. He is a member of the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers’ Association, the International Thriller Writers Association, the British Fantasy Society, and the Newstead Abbey Byron Society.

Shruti Chauhan

Shruti Chauhan is a writer, poet and performer based in Leicester. She has performed at Royal Albert Hall, the US Embassy’s American Centre in New Delhi, and at poetry festivals and events across the UK.

I have always found immense value, meaning and inspiration in the written and spoken word, and am delighted to be part of an organisation whose work is driven by the same sentiments.

Shruti Chauhan is a writer, poet and performer based in Leicester. She has performed at Royal Albert Hall, the US Embassy’s American Centre in New Delhi, and at poetry festivals and events across the UK. In 2015 she toured Three the Hard Way – Part 2 nationally with Jean Binta Breeze MBE and Lydia Towsey. She holds a First Class degree in English, is an experienced workshop facilitator in schools and community settings, and works within Leicester Libraries. She has edited regional and national publications including Rangoli and Hum, and is currently working on her debut solo show as one of Curve Theatre’s Breakthrough Artists.

 

Grace Kempster OBE

Grace Kempster is a freelance consultant specialising in customer services and transformational leadership, based in Matlock, Derbyshire. She has been a trustee with the Book Trust, member of the Man Booker Advisory Committee, judge for both the Orange Prize for fiction and the Independent Foreign Fiction prize, and was honoured in 1998 for services to librarianship and information provision.

Writing East Midlands inspires me through the talent and drive of the staff to make impossible things happen – and it richly deserves to be sung loudly in other spheres so that word power to connect and transform is writ large in local and digital lives – it’s a contagion of wordsmithery waiting to be ignited and to spread wildly across lives and places in misnamed ‘mid’lands. I joined in 2015 because I want to be part of that story as WEM re-ignites its future and tracks the evidential impact writing can and does have.

Grace Kempster is currently a freelance consultant specialising in customer services and transformational leadership, based in Matlock. Recent commissions include advising a police force on customer services and sorting the budget challenge in a large county council. She led library services in Leeds, Essex and most recently in Northamptonshire and spent two years as director of a community based literacy initiative in Derbyshire and 4 years working across the world leading information   management with the British Council – including co- producing Under the Skin – a manifesto for the power of words in cultural relations. Previously a trustee with the Book Trust, a member of the Man Booker Advisory Committee, and judge for both the Orange prize for fiction and the Independent Foreign Fiction prize, Grace is passionate about the power of words to transform lives. She was honoured in 1998 for services to librarianship and information provision. She makes powerful connections between the worlds of work and business and culture, winning three national awards for innovative economic support through libraries in Northamptonshire in 2014.

Rakesh Parmar

Rakesh Parmar is a creative producer and project manager from the East Midlands who joined the Writing East Midlands board in 2008. He has been a Fellow of the RSA, Visiting Lecturer in Arts Management at DMU, and Head of Marketing at Phoenix Square Film & Digital Media.

In 2008 the region needed to provide access, careers, communities and more. I helped form WEM to fill that gap, which was good news for anyone who loved words, or could.

Rakesh Parmar is a creative producer and project manager from the East Midlands. He develops and advises on fringe ideas and cultural programmes. Rakesh has promoted events for a host of writers including Ben Okri, Sue Townsend, Will Self and Andrew Motion. He created the region’s first urban slam for the Bass Festival, staged ‘Beatroot’ the poetry hour for the Big Session Folk Festival for five years, and was treasurer of Leicester’s longest running spoken word night – WORD! Rakesh has been a Fellow of the RSA, Visiting Lecturer in Arts Management at DMU, and Head of Marketing at Phoenix Square Film & Digital Media.

 

Geeta Pendse

Geeta Pendse is a reporter and presenter with a decade of experience working for BBC News outlets including BBC Breakfast, BBC Three and BBC East Midlands Today. She grew-up in Nottingham, and is a Patron for the Rosie May Home in Sri Lanka.

Storytelling has been at the heart of everything I’ve done to date and it all began with the epic Indian stories of my childhood. I believe writing has the power to connect seemingly alien worlds, to entertain, inspire and transform.

Geeta Pendse  is a reporter and presenter with a decade of experience working for BBC News outlets including BBC Breakfast, BBC Three and BBC East Midlands Today. She has cultivated a specialism as an Arts reporter, with coverage ranging from high profile interviews to community arts projects. Geeta studied English Literature and Theatre at the University of Leeds and has never lost her love of words. She regularly hosts events for charities and organisations and is a Patron for the Rosie May Home in Sri Lanka. Geeta grew-up in Nottingham and has travelled the region as a roving reporter.

 

Christopher Walker

Christopher is the course leader for De Montfort University’s MA in Television Scriptwriting. He was Head of Central Television’s Script Unit and Creative Executive of CTCP (Columbia TriStar Central Productions) and produced the ITV sitcom The Upper Hand.

I have been involved with the story of WEM since the first chapter. Working to encourage and nurture writing talent, I believe in the importance of WEM’s work, enabling different regional voices to be heard. We all need stories and we need to do all we can to help anybody and everybody to tell us their stories.

Christopher Walker is programme leader for DMU’s MA in Television Scriptwriting. He was the Head of Central Television’s Script Unit and produced the ITV sitcom The Upper Hand. He  has contributed to screenwriting courses at the Phoenix in Leicester, Broadway in Nottingham and the Metro in Derby and has lectured on situation comedy in the United States and Germany. He has been an adviser to East Midlands Arts and a board member of Nottingham Playhouse and of Dance 4, the regional dance agency. He wrote The Insider’s Guide to Writing for Television with literary agent, Julian Friedmann.