Director – Ruth Harrison joined Spread the Word in 2015. Her working life has been in the field of the arts and particularly in literature. She has been Director of Apples and Snakes, a literature development officer and programme manager at The Reading Agency. She is passionate about not only widening people’s engagement with writers and writing but also in developing writing talent. Widening participation and engagement alongside developing and building awareness of new voices has been core to her work.
Ruth is a trustee of Little Green Pig – a charity working to inspire children and young people to get creative with writing, sits on the steering committee for The Literary Platform’s Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize and is part of the team developing EmpathyLab – a start-up using words and stories to build young people’s empathy skills.
At Spread the Word, Ruth is responsible for leading the company artistically and strategically and working with our highly skilled and dedicated team to make a difference to and for writers and their audiences in London. Her favourite spread, if she had to choose, is marmite with lots of butter.
Programme Manager - Paul Sherreard joined Spread the Word in 2012, and has been working in arts engagement and literature development since 2003. Paul helped build the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company with MOBO award-winning rapper Akala, and established the Keats House Poets Forum for emerging poets. At Spread the Word, Paul is responsible for managing a programme of writers’ workshops and events, as well as delivering longer-term writer development projects. Paul also manages partnership programmes with organisations such as Cardboard Citizens, Southbank Centre and StorySlam, and leads collaborative projects in heritage spaces, libraries and hospitals across London.
Paul writes and performs poetry, and is currently working on three screenplays, two detective novels and the occasional haiku. His favourite spread is currently marmalade, but this is subject to change depending on which sort of bread is on offer (Paul takes food seriously).
Communications and Projects Manager Laura has worked with a diverse range of audiences within the arts. After studying a BA in English Literature at Cardiff University, she gained an MA Distinction in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She has produced innovative live art, comedy and theatre shows in London and at the Edinburgh Festival. She has also worked for Arts Award and Artsmark, The National Literacy Trust, as a local authority arts officer and a youth worker. She is passionate about enabling access to high quality writing opportunities and nurturing writing and creative talent. At Spread the Word, Laura is responsible for developing new and nurturing relationships with current audiences, manages our communications and produced the London Short Story Festival 2015. In her spare time she pursues her own fiction, script and poetry writing. Her favourite spread is honey from her parents' beehives.
Writer Development Manager - What Eva doesn’t know about the literature scene in London probably isn’t worth knowing. She has over 20 years’ experience in the sector and brings all that knowledge to her coaching and Professional Development Planning sessions for writers (you can book a 1-2-1 with her). Eva leads on research and writer development initiatives including currently our BBC Performing Arts Fellowship with Jasmine Cooray and Spread the Word’s research into diversity in the publishing industry and the publication of Black and Asian and minority ethnic fiction writers. She works Wednesdays to Fridays. Her favourite spread is tahini with sliced cherry tomatoes on top.
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Shreeta is a fiction writer and freelance editor with a passion for working with other writers. Previously, she had many adventures working in television, until she left to pursue an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. She reads widely and is an avid seeker of new voices. Shreeta is energised by tea and 90s’ soul and hip hop. She loves yoga and finds walking awakens her writerly mind.
Flight 1000 Associate
Sara wrote her first full-length novel, Zara Freej & The Monopoly of Magic, a YA fantasy novel featuring a British Asian protagonist, when she was sixteen years old. Since then, she has written a novella and multiple short stories. She graduated with a BA in English & Comparative Literature from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2014.
Whilst being a keen reader of most genres/forms, Sara particularly favours YA fiction and comic books/graphic novels. Sara has completed work experience at major fiction publishers, and last year worked as a Marketing Executive at a law publisher.
Sara is currently editing her first novel, six years after writing it, and is writing short stories that are featured on her blog (www.sarajafari.wordpress.com). Her favourite spread is hummus.
Flight 1000 Associate
Marianne started life sniffing books in Brussels' flagship (only) Waterstones; she has yet to stop, but now also buys and/or reads them. In addition to her BA in Comparative Literature with Film Studies from King’s College London, she holds an MA in Publishing from University College London. A coordinator by trade, she doubles up as a blunt literary Swiss army knife: constant reader; regular writer; sporadic editor; budding talent scout.
Marianne has written for The Guardian, The Bookseller, The YA Book Prize, Konbini and, most eminently, Google Docs. Last year, she co-edited the UCL Publishers' Prize for Student Writing 2015 Anthology and did a brief stint in Holland Park, learning the do's and don'ts of magazine and book publishing with Granta. She is currently plotting the Great Belgo-Cameroonian novel. Her favourite spread is love.
Jasmine Ann Cooray
BBC Performing Arts Fellow - Jasmine is a poet, facilitator and therapist from London, of British and Sri Lankan heritage. Spurred by a silent adolescence, she designs and implements a variety of projects that cultivate confidence, written skill and emotional literacy through poetry. She has recently worked on the Barbican Young Poets programme as co-facilitator, and also co-founded emerging poets' collective, Burn After Reading. She returned in 2014 from a six-month post as Writer in Residence at the National University of Singapore.
Jasmine's poetry is known for its vivid imagery, grapple with the gristly bits of humanity, and storytelling through personal experience. Her first pamphlet, everything we don’t say, awaits reprint this year. Her current projects include a first full collection of poetry, and research and development for a cross arts show featuring spoken word and aerial movement. She has just been awarded the first ever BBC Performing Arts Fellowship granted to a poet, hosted by Spread the Word. Her favourite spread is marmite, or peanut butter and jam.