Tom Drake-Lee managed bookshops, was a sales representative for Bloomsbury and then Penguin Random House, before becoming sales director at Vintage for twelve years, where he worked with writers such as Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Toni Morrison, and Michael Ondaatje. Tom also helped establish the commercial success of writers including Ocean Vuong, Edmund De Waal, Helen Macdonald, and Ottessa Moshfegh. In 2021 Tom joined the DHH Literary Agency as an Associate Agent and is starting to build a client list across fiction and non-fiction.
Irenosen Okojie is a Nigerian British author whose bold, experimental works create vivid narratives that play with form and language. Her debut novel Butterfly Fish and short story collections Speak Gigantular and Nudibranch have won and been shortlisted for multiple awards. Her work has been optioned for the screen. She is the co-presenter of the BBC’s Novels That Shaped Our World podcast, Turn Up for The Books, alongside Simon Savidge and Bastille frontman Dan Smith, the follow up to the TV series. A fellow and Vice Chair of the Royal Society of Literature, Irenosen is the winner of the 2020 AKO Caine Prize for her story, Grace Jones. She was awarded an MBE For Services to Literature in 2021.
Jessica Taylor is the co-owner of Max Minerva’s Bookshop independent bookshop in Bristol. She is also a Regional Sales Manager (South West) for Penguin Random House and was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2020. Previously, she helped develop collections for the Singapore National Library and ran an online bookstore in Australia.