A Leeds (BA) and York (MA) University graduate, Sharmilla has worked in publishing since 1994, including at Virago and at Heinemann’s African and Caribbean Writers series. She was Deputy Editor at Wasafirimagazine for eleven years, working with writers from the world-famous, like Ngugi wa Thiong’o, to the newly published, like Christie Watson, who the magazine published prior to her current literary success. Sharmilla is a Trustee of the George Padmore Institute, a black archive based in north London, as well as of Carcanet publishers and Modern Poetry In Translation. In 2010 Sharmilla’s first novel, Echoes of a Green Land, was published in translation in Spain as Ecos de la tierra verde. She edited Continental Shifts, Shifts in Perception: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe (2016) and, with Sarah White and Roxy Harris, co-edited A Meeting of the Continents: The International Book Fair of Radical Black and Third World Books (2005). Her work has been published in various journals and translated into Finnish. She continues to freelance as an editor of fiction and non-fiction. In 2019 Sharmilla became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
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Sarah has worked in literature for 24 years. After graduating from Leeds with a specialism in Political Theatre, she took various permanent positions at large organisations including The National Theatre and BBC Education as well as marketing jobs at several publishers, running her first national book tour for The X Press in 2001, one of the only black-led, black fiction house sat the time. She ran the first few years of the Arts Council Writers’ Awards and a series of poetry tours around the UK featuring artists such as Francesca Beard and Skorpio the Nemesis. As the Literary Events Director of PEN International she and Sharmilla promoted writers whose languages were being lost, authors and journalists who appeared on stage at great personal risk, as well as world-renowned writers such as Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood.
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Nick started working in the literary sector and first met Sarah and Sharmilla tenyears ago, interning at PEN International. He has since worked in the British Council’s Literature Team organising international visits for British authors, run projects including International Translation Day, and was Communications Coordinator for the visual arts organisation Artangel, overseeing and implementing marketing and press strategy. He is currently Events and Workshops Manager for the Poetry Translation Centre, programming tours for international and UK poets and planning the logistics of the translation workshop series, alongside working with Speaking Volumes.
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