Michelle Dee is a tireless ambassador for the arts, known for her words charting cultural change in Hull. Since graduating with a first class honours degree in Interactive Media/Digital Media Journalism from Hull School of Art and Design, she’s worked with many acclaimed, local and national media projects and programmes, including writing and performing at BBC’s Contains Strong Language for Women of Words debut show Queens of the North and again for CSL18 Home Town Story She wrote and performed the text for Gary Clarke’s Into The Light (Yorkshire Dance) for LGBT50. Michelle enjoys experiential projects which test her limits, such as in the Fighting 4 Queerz project for Pride 2018 for which she surprised herself – and everyone else – by learning to box. And immersing herself in the fantastical costume-led theatre works with artist Bluebeany. Michelle has been festival blogger for many years at Humber Mouth Literature Festival and Heads Up Festival and was one of the first wave of contributors for BBC Radio 4 Listening Project. Michelle collaborated with visual artist Anna Bean to write and perform her first one woman show at East Riding Theatre for Shefest 2019 – together they created a stylised poetry history of surrealist Leonora Carrington.
Lynda Harrison is an award winning actor and commissioned writer whose performance career began in the 60’s when she sang with Hull’s first all-girl band, Mandy and the Girlfriends. Her work is both funny and thought-provoking, tackling challenging subjects with humour, insight and a delicate touch. Over the years she has written and produced several of her own plays. In 2015 through a collaboration with Lighthouse (a Hull charity supporting street-workers) Lynda learned how, prostitution for most women hadn’t come first – but rather it was the deprivation of the most basic of human rights that pre-empted a life on the streets. She wanted to tell this story. In 2017 Lynda took her show, Dirty Bitches, to the Edinburgh Fringe. Also in 2017 Lynda along with her Women of Words sisters was commissioned to write for a show devised by celebrated poet Kate Fox. It was part of the BBC’s Contains Strong Language event. Then in 2018 the sisters again were commissioned to write with Louise Wallwein MBE for Hometown Story BBC’s C.S.L. Lynda’s website is lyndaharri.wordpress.com and she tweets as @muckingfuddle .
Louise Beech has been writing since she could hold a pen. It’s where she escapes, finds adventure and therapy. But it took eight years, four novels, thousands of rejections, and a few tears to get a book deal. Orenda Books published How to be Brave in 2015. Louise’s second book, The Mountain in my Shoe, came out last year, and her third novel, Maria in the Moon, will be released in September 2017. Her fourth, The Lion Tamer Who Lost, will be published in 2018, and she is working on number five.
Cassandra Parkin is a Hull-born writer with a passion for fairy-tales. Her short story collection New World Fairy Tales won the 2011 Scott Prize, and her debut novel The Summer We All Ran Away (Legend Press) was shortlisted for the Amazon Rising Stars award. She has since published The Beach Hut and Lily’s House, and her fourth novel The Winter’s Child will be published in October 2017. She was also accidentally funny for a while, when her blog post “Fifty Things That Annoy Me About Fifty Shades Of Grey” went viral in 2012.