Patrons

Mark Billingham

Mark Billingham is one of the UK’s most acclaimed and popular crime writers whose series of novels featuring D.I. Tom Thorne has sold over five million copies worldwide and twice won him the Crime Novel Of The Year award. His standalone thriller In the Dark was chosen as one of the twelve best books of the year by the Times and his debut novel, Sleepyhead was chosen by the Sunday Times as one of the 100 books that had shaped the decade.

A television series based on the Thorne novels starred David Morrissey as Tom Thorne and a major new drama based on In The Dark and Time Of Death was screened by the BBC in 2017.

Mark Billingham’s latest novel is The Killing Habit.

Fanny Blake

Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer. She has written various non-fiction titles, acted as a ghost writer for a number of celebrities and is also books editor of Woman & Home. She has written seven novels including House of Dreams and Our Summer Together. Her latest novel An Italian Summer is out now.

Sue Cook

Sue Cook – writer and broadcaster – is one of the UK's most experienced live television and radio broadcasters, and a successful novelist. 

Sheila Crowley

John Dougherty

John Dougherty has always loved reading, so it’s not surprising that he became a writer. With around twenty published books to his name so far, he’s probably best known for the critically acclaimed and very silly Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face series, inspired by his own children. He is also a poet; his first collection, Dinosaurs & Dinner-Ladies, was published in 2016.

Born in Larne, Northern Ireland, John now lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire. He once harboured ambitions to be a professional musician, and with his band supported acts as varied as Bad Manners, Cast, and Hank Wangford. These days his song writing talents are often put to use writing silly songs for his school and festival appearances, and protest songs for campaigns he supports.  

John is very proud to be a patron of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival and in 2016, alongside Jo Cotterill, he was a guest director of the children’s programme. 

Graeme Garden

David Graeme Garden OBE is an English comedian, actor, author, artist and television presenter, best known as a member of The Goodies and for being a cast member on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.

Prue Leith

Prudence Margaret "Prue" Leith, CBE, DL has been a restaurateur, chef, caterer, television presenter/broadcaster, businesswoman, journalist, cookery writer and novelist. 

Clare Mackintosh

Clare Mackintosh is the founder member of ChipLitFest. She is also a Sunday Times bestselling author.

Clare spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant, and now writes full time.

Clare’s debut novel, I Let You Go, was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller for 12 weeks, and was the fastest selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It was selected for both the Richard and Judy Book Club and ITV’s Loose Women’s ‘Loose Books’, and has sold more than a million copies worldwide. In July 2016 Clare received the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award, and won the Cognac Prix du Polar for International Novel of the Year that autumn.

Clare’s second book, I See You, was published in the UK in July 2016, charting at number 1 in the Sunday Times hardback bestseller list. I See You was a Richard & Judy Summer Read in 2017, and won the readers’ vote. Clare’s books are translated into more than 35 languages.

Clare is patron of the Silver Star Society, a charity based at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford which supports parents experiencing high-risk or difficult pregnancies. She lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.

Korky Paul

Korky Paul was born in Zimbabwe and studied Fine Arts and Animation.

Among his many picture books is the multi-million selling Winnie and Wibur series.  Known only to himself as the 'World's Greatest Portrait Artist', he visits schools promoting his passion for drawing. Winner of Supporter of the Year for Summertown Stars Football Club.   He is a patron of The Art Room, Pegasus Theatre, ARCh, Reading Quest, The Stratford Literary Festival and ChipLitFest.

He works in Oxford.

SF Said

SF Said's first book, Varjak Paw, won the Smarties Prize for Children's Literature.  It has since been adapted as a stage play and an opera, and a film version is in development.  The sequel, The Outlaw Varjak Paw, won the Blue Peter Book Of The Year.  His third book, Phoenix, was selected to represent the UK on the IBBY International Honour Book List, shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award, and nominated for both the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals.  All three books were illustrated by Dave McKean.  He is currently working on a book called Tyger.

Sarah Shaffi

Sarah Shaffi is a freelance books journalist. She reviews for Stylist, is co-founder of BAME in Publishing and was previously online editor and producer for The Bookseller.

Robin Stevens

Robin was born in California and grew up in an Oxford college, across the road from the house where Alice in Wonderland lived. She has been making up stories all her life.

When she was twelve, her father handed her a copy of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and she realised that she wanted to be either Hercule Poirot or Agatha Christie when she grew up. She spent her teenage years at Cheltenham Ladies' College, reading a lot of murder mysteries and hoping that she'd get the chance to do some detecting herself (she didn't). She went to university, where she studied crime fiction, and then worked at a children's publisher. Robin is now a full-time author who lives in Oxford with her husband and her pet bearded dragon, Watson. She is the author of the bestselling, award-winning Murder Most Unladylike series and the Guggenheim Mystery.