Our faculty for SWF19 will inspire, teach, listen, and support writers with open minds and a shared love of words.

2017 Jane Friedman-hirez.JPG

keynote author, nonfiction

Jane Friedman

has twenty years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She’s the cofounder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and the former publisher of Writer’s Digest. In addition to being a professor with The Great Courses and the University of Virginia, she maintains an award-winning blog for writers at JaneFriedman.com.

Paul McVeigh Side Cropped-hirez (1).jpg

author, fiction

Paul McVeigh

debuted with the novel The Good Son, currently Brighton’s City Reads and shortlisted for The Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize. His short fiction has been published in journals and anthologies and been commissioned by BBC Radio 4. Paul’s short story blog shares writing opportunities and advice and has had over one million hits. Paul is cofounder of the London Short Story Festival and associate director at Word Factory, the UK’s leading short story literary salon.

Cassie Gonzales-lorez (1).jpg

author, fiction

Cassie Gonzales

is a creative writing fellow at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Cassie holds a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Oxford. Her work has been featured in several literary journals including the Kenyon Review. Her play REX has been published and staged throughout the United States.

Julie Cohen lorez (1).jpeg

Author, fiction

Julie Cohen

grew up in Maine and studied English at Brown University and Cambridge University. Her award-winning novels have sold over a million copies worldwide, and she has twice been selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club in the UK. Her bestselling novel TOGETHER has been translated into eleven languages and optioned for television adaptation. Julie runs an oversubscribed literary consultancy which has helped many writers go on to be published. She is a Vice President of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and a Patron of literacy charity ABC To Read. Her most recent novel is LOUIS & LOUISE (January 2019).

Jess Lourey-hirez (1).jpg

author, mystery & nonfiction

Jess Lourey

(rhymes with dowry) is an Agatha, Anthony, and Lefty nominated author best known for her critically acclaimed Mira James mysteries, which have earned multiple starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, the latter calling her writing “a splendid mix of humor and suspense.” Jess also writes sword and sorcery fantasy, edge-of-your-seat YA adventure, magical realism, and feminist thrillers. She is a tenured professor of creative writing and sociology, a recipient of the Loft’s Excellence in Teaching fellowship, a regular Psychology Today blogger, and a TEDx presenter. When not teaching, reading, or dorking out with her family, you can find her dreaming of her next story.


Jennifer Dahlberg2-hirez (1).jpg

author, fiction

Jennifer Anglade Dahlberg

grew up in suburban New York and graduated from Columbia University. Her first novel, Uptown & Down (Penguin/NAL), was published in 2005. Her latest book, Lagging Indicators, was published independently. She lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with her husband and two teenage children.


Eira A. Ekre-hirez (1).jpg

author, fiction

Eira A. Ekre

is the coauthor of Stockholms Undergång (2014) and Zonen Vi Ärvde (2017), and is a pioneer in teaching narrative game design for game studios and universities. Cofounder of the author’s collective Fruktan, Eira has worked with producing the collective’s horror podcast, as well as done copywriting, PR, and translation work for their creative projects.

Nick Rankin-lorez.jpg

author, nonfiction

Nicholas Rankin

worked in broadcasting at Bush House in London for twenty years. He is the author of five books: Dead Man’s Chest, Travels after Robert Louis Stevenson; Telegram from Guernica, the Extraordinary Life of George Steer, War Correspondent; the bestselling Churchill’s Wizards, the story of British intelligence and deception in the two world wars; Ian Fleming’s Commandos, about the author of the James Bond books in Naval Intelligence, and Defending the Rock, a history of Gibraltar at war from 1935 to 1945.

Maggie on the cliffs above Dover 2018 copy (1).jpg

author, fiction

Maggie Gee, OBE

has written eleven acclaimed novels, including The Ice PeopleMy Cleaner, My Driver and The White Family, a collection of short stories, The Blue, and a memoir of her life as a writer, My Animal Life (2010). She has judged many prizes including the Booker and has been short-listed for the Orange Prize and the International Impac award. Maggie was the first female Chair of Council of the Royal Society of Literature, 2004–2008. An international conference about her writing was held at the University of St Andrews in 2012, and a study of her work, Maggie Gee: Writing the Condition-of-England Novel, was published in 2012 (Bloomsbury Academic). She is a professor of creative writing at Bath Spa University.

Ayeshe Pande.jpg

literary agent, us

Ayeshe Pande

has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years. Before launching her boutique agency, Ayesha was a senior editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux. She has also held editorial positions at HarperCollins and Crown Publishers. She is a member of AAR (Association of Authors’ Representatives), PEN, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and the Women’s Media Group. Among her many wonderful clients are National Book Award Winner Ibram X. Kendi, PEN/Bingham Prize winner Danielle Evans, PEN/Bellwether Prize winner Lisa Ko, NYT Bestseller Shilpi Somaya Gowda, and PEN/Hemingway finalist Patricia Engel. Her interests are wide-ranging and include literary as well as popular fiction, young adult, women’s, African American, and international fiction. She is also seeking authors of nonfiction, including biography, history, popular culture, cultural commentary, and memoir. She is particularly drawn to distinctive, original voices.


Author, Nonfiction

Paul Rapacioli

is the founder of Swedish news company The Local, which provides Europe’s news in English to five million readers each month. His book, Good Sweden, Bad Sweden, draws on more than a decade of news coverage to explain how the story of this unique country is being told in a post-truth world.

Caroline Hardman.jpeg

literary agent, uk

Caroline Hardman

co-founded Hardman & Swainson in 2012, after working at the Christopher Little Literary Agency and The Marsh Agency. She represents a stable of critically-praised, up-and-coming and bestselling authors. Caroline is looking for all kinds of fiction, where great writing meets broad appeal; novels that combine beautiful writing, plot and pace, distinctive characters, emotional depth and a strong hook. She accepts submissions of literary fiction, upmarket commercial fiction including uplifting and book group fiction, historical, crime, suspense and thrillers, and narrative non-fiction including memoir.


literary agent, uk

Hayley Steed

is an agent at Madeleine Milburn Agency in London. She works closely with Madeleine’s clients and actively seeks new talent for the agency. She also coordinates digital rights and film & TV rights, focusing on book-to-screen adaptation and scripts written by existing clients. She is actively looking for: commercial fiction across all genres, including smart women’s fiction; contemporary women’s fiction; uplifting love stories; high concept novels; grounded sci-fi; speculative fiction; feminist reads; magical realism; tense crime and thrillers; cross-genre books; 14+ YA; nonfiction focused on sports.

Free_Ingelman-Sundberg_2014_photo_Mirella Hetekivi .jpg


Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg

is a Swedish journalist and author of 20 books. Before she became a writer, Inelman-Sunderg was a marine archaeologist and did scores of expeditions to excavate shipwrecks around the world. In 2012, after deciding, "I'm going to write a best seller," Ingelman-Sundberg did with, The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules. The book went on to sell more than 1.2 million copies internationally and was a #1 bestseller in Canada, Italy and England. The Little Old Lady Strikes Again and The Little Old Lady Behaving Badly are also bestsellers.



Catherine Coe

is a children's book editor and author with seventeen years' editorial experience and over thirty books published, including the popular Blossom Wood series. Formerly senior commissioning editor at Hachette Children's Books, Catherine has been freelance since 2011 and has lived in Stockholm since 2016. She works for many major and independent UK-based publishers and agents, and also enjoys mentoring talented writers on their journey to publication. She edits children's books of all genres, from picture books to Young Adult, and has worked with top authors including David Almond, Malorie Blackman, Mary Hoffman and Nikesh Shukla. She’s passionate about sharing knowledge and advice with writers to help ease and demystify the path to publication, and is volunteer co-editor of Undiscovered Voices, a biennial competition for unpublished and unagented children's book writers.