About


BookSmoke reports on book events in London (‘The Big Smoke’). From interviews with best-selling authors and emerging talents to public debates on literature, our range of beautifully-written reports makes it feel as if you were in the room. We were also delighted to be finalists for the UK Blog Awards 2016.

‘BookSmoke is quickly turning into one of the very best contemporary guides to literary London.’  

Galley Beggar Press

‘BookSmoke is clearly committed to promoting brave and exciting new fiction in London.’ Cat Lucas 

English PEN

‘As an independent publisher it’s great to know that there are organisations like BookSmoke ready to get behind new and inventive fiction with such passion and verve.’ 

Red Button Publishing

‘Congratulations on your excellent work with BookSmoke. It brings honour to our name.’ 

Alex(ander) Masters – author

 

Alex Masters Editor BookSmoke

Alex Masters – Editor

Alexandra Masters – Editor

Alex is the founding editor of BookSmoke. She has worked in publishing and written reviews, articles and author interviews for a range of publications, including: The Guardian, The Observer, the Times Literary Supplement, The Economist and English PEN. She was a judge for The Guardian‘s Not the Booker Prize 2015.

 

 

 

Anealla Safdar - Deputy Editor

Anealla Safdar – Deputy Editor

Anealla Safdar – Deputy Editor

Anealla has worked with organisations including Al Jazeera, The National and Channel 4 and been published in a range of online and print magazines. She is a co-founder of Miniature Story, a project exploring the possibilities of very short fiction, and has an MA in Creative Writing – Prose Fiction from UEA.

 

 

 

Eleanor Baggley - Senior Contributor

Eleanor Baggley – Senior Contributor

Eleanor Baggley – Senior Contributor

Eleanor is a charity worker with a serious enthusiasm for literature. She writes about books and life in London on her blog, Lit Nerd. Most people know her for her slight obsession with Wilkie Collins, WW1 literature, and penchant for exploring London’s literary offerings.

 

 

 

 

Robert Selby

Robert Selby – Contributor

Robert Selby – Contributor

Robert is a poet, critic and journalist. He has a PhD from Royal Holloway and is the co-editor of Mick Imlah’s Selected Prose (Peter Lang, 2015). His poems and reviews have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, New Statesman, Oxford Poetry and elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

Malcolm Burgess

Malcolm Burgess – Contributor

Malcolm Burgess – Contributor

Malcolm is a writer and publisher of Oxygen Books‘ city-pick travel anthologies. His features and series have appeared in many newspapers and his Radio 4 plays include Fear and Loathing in Crouch End. He is passionate about London writers and London history.

 

 

 

 

Laura

L. P. Schwanbeck – Contributor

L. P. Schwanbeck – Contributor

L. P. Schwanbeck is a novelist, journalist and tour guide. She holds a Masters of Arts from King’s College London in modern day English Literature and dreams of the days when she is an accomplished writer. Favourite authors include Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter S. Thompson, J. M. Coetzee, Haruki Murakami and Aldous Huxley.

 

 

 

Jennifer Thomas

Jennifer Thomas – Contributor

Jennifer Thomas – Contributor

Jennifer is a freelance writer and contributor and has written on a range of subjects. She has a degree in Modern History from Oxford University and has a soft spot for historical fiction. Favourite authors include Graham Greene, Margaret Atwood and Hilary Mantel. When not reading ‘proper books’ she quite likes a good vampire tale.

 

 

 

Craig Ballinger

Craig Ballinger – Contributor

Craig Ballinger – Contributor

Craig Ballinger is a Mancunian living in London doing his best to make himself understood. He works as a cook to feed his writing habit and writes about beer to feed his drinking habit. ‘To some writers drink is a means to an end but for most it’s an end to his means.’

 

 

 

Isabella Cipirska

Isabella Cipirska – Contributor

Isabella Cipirska –  Contributor

Isabella is an English Literature graduate from the University of York, who’s back in London after travelling and teaching in South America. She is currently working at a human rights organisation. Passionate about reading and writing, she’s at her happiest when curled up with a cup of tea and a great book.

 

 

 

Neil Murray

Neil Murray – Contributor

Neil Murray – Contributor

Neil was going to be a lawyer but found journalism much more fun, if not so well-paid.  He edits a business food journal, freelances about motorcycles, and has even been known to sell feminist romantic fiction under a suitably feminine pen-name…

 

 

 

Alison Hill

Alison Hill – Contributor

Alison Hill – Contributor

Alison writes poetry and plays and her most recent collection, Sisters in Spitfires (Indigo Dreams 2015) celebrates the women who flew with the Air Transport Auxiliary during WW2. She founded Rhythm & Muse and has run poetry and music events in libraries, galleries and theatres and monthly at the Ram Jam Club in Kingston. More details at www.alisonhillpoetry.com

 

 

 

Julie Vuong

Julie Vuong – Contributor

Julie Vuong – Contributor

A partiality to the pen was evident from an early age for Julie, who started collecting writing accolades as a mere tweenie at school. It’s served her well; now as a lifestyle journalist she’s written for The Pool, Running In Heels and The Arbuturian. See her work on her website or follow Julie @julesvuong.

 

 

 

Contributor - Sam Pryce

Sam Pryce – Contributor

Sam Pryce – Contributor

Sam is currently studying English at University College London. He has written theatre reviews for Young Critics, Arts Scene in Wales and WalesOnline. His short story ‘The Concealed’ was shortlisted for the Robin Reeves Prize 2015 and published in a Parthian anthology. He also writes and performs his own comedy, most recently at the Edinburgh Fringe. Follow him on Twitter at @samofthepryce.

 

 

 

Thomas Gadd

Tom Gadd – Contributor

Tom Gadd – Contributor

Tom is an aspiring journalist and writer. He studied Geography at Royal Holloway University and regularly writes for his blog. Favourite genres include comedy, science fiction and historical fiction… particularly if they are about Romans.

 

 

 

 

Claire Chambers - contributor

Claire Chambers – Contributor

Claire Chambers – Contributor

Claire is a freelance writer and proofreader. She holds a Masters in Applied Linguistics from the University of Nottingham and now spends her time writing, travelling and drinking fancy teas. She is passionate about history, reading and watching tennis. Follow her on Twitter @heyclairemarie and Instagram @blueandredstars

 

 

 

Hannah Styles

Hannah Styles – Contributor

Hannah Styles – Contributor

Hannah holds an MA in English Literature from Queen Mary and dreams of a career in publishing. She spends her days working in marketing whilst writing articles and book reviews for various sites on the side, and of course making time to ramble on her blog. She is passionate about literature, creative writing, travelling, and photography. Also has a love-hate relationship with running. Follow her on twitter @hannahstyles6

 

 

joe

Joe Phelan – Contributor

Joe Phelan – Contributor

Joe is a writer and editor doing his very best to survive in London. He spends his work days writing about healthcare, charity and environmental technology, and his evenings attempting to conclude a series of half-finished novels. Follow him on his Twitter @acedece.

 

 

 

felix-todd

Felix Todd – Contributor

Felix Todd – Contributor 

Felix is an NCTJ-qualified aspiring journalist. He writes articles covering topics ranging from sport to politics (although only about politics when feeling particularly optimistic). Recently, however, he has begun to write about literature and is finding the process to be thoroughly enjoyable.

 

 

 

 

bryony-porter-collard

Brony Porter-Collard – Contributor

Bryony Porter-Collard – Contributor

Bryony is a photographer and writer who recently graduated from Kingston University where she studied photography. She has been writing from an early age, completing numerous novels, poems and songs. Her biggest love however has always been reading and she spends most of her time in bookshops and libraries, accumulating more books than she knows what to do with.

 

 

 

 

lucas

Lucas Cumiskey – Contributor

Lucas Cumiskey – Contributor

Lucas has been published for a variety of print and online magazines, but his leading experience to date was interning at the Big Issue, where he interviewed Benjamin Zephaniah. He graduated with a BA in English and Creative Writing from UEA, where he hopes to one day return and complete his MA in Prose Fiction. Lucas consumes books for pleasure and he knows that good writers must first be good readers. Follow him on Twitter @lucas_cumiskey

 

 

 

jenny-toni-andrews-contributor

Jenny Toni Andrews – Contributor

Jenny Toni Andrews – Contributor

Jenny is a graduate of Warwick University’s creative writing programme, and is currently working on books of her own (slowly but surely!). She loves Victorian history, anything involving Kevin Spacey, and stories that play around with time. When she’s not spending time with her family back home in Lancashire, she’s taking creative inspiration from London’s varied cast of characters. Her heroes are David Bowie and her mother.

Marianna Meloni

Marianna Meloni – Contributor

Marianna Meloni – Contributor

Marianna is a real culture vulture and she likes to transmit her passion by writing about it. She can often be found in a theatre, reviewing a show or interviewing cast and creatives. Books have always been her secret love and, in high school, she used to hide in the last row of her classroom to read novels during the lessons.

 

 

 

Anita Bruce-Mills - Contributor

Anita Laryea – Contributor

Anita Laryea -Contributor

Anita’s passion for books came to her after gorging on the works of Jacqueline Wilson at Secondary School. Jacqueline soon became Anita’s literary idol and out from the page turning sprung adolescent jottings on supply teachers and a great disdain for algebra. Anita holds an MA in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of Roehampton and is currently a Research Assistant at Spear’s.

 

 

 

 

Hailey Talbot-Tittle - Contributor

Hailey Talbot-Tittle – Contributor

Hailey Talbot-Tittle – Contributor

Hailey is an aspiring writer captivated by beauty in all its most vulgar forms. She holds an M.A. in Critical theory from the University of Sussex. She has worked on theatrical productions, film and currently has turned to the solitude of short stories. She tries to keep her work socially relevant, but it is often somewhat shrouded in adornment.

 

 

 

 

Aneesa

Aneesa Abbas Higgins – Contributor

Aneesa Abbas Higgins – Contributor

Aneesa is a writer and literary translator. Born in London, she has lived in Britain, France and the USA and holds degrees from Sussex University and the University of London. You can read more of her work here.

 

 

 

 

 

Jade Craddock – Contributor

Jade is a freelance proofreader and editor with a rather hectic, but always enjoyable, sideline in reviewing. She has a PhD in English Literature which allowed her to read constantly for several years and get away with it, and she hasn’t stopped since. The only time she’s not reading is when she’s watching her beloved Arsenal.

 

Thivija Sabanathan – Contributor

Thivija is a medical student, an advocate of creativity and a lover of books. However, the most important definition that she has ever placed on herself is that she is a Hufflepuff.