Carol Ann Duffy DBE is a Scottish poet and playwright. She was appointed Britain's Poet Laureate in 2009. Among her most notable collections of poetry are the prize-winning Standing Female Nude, Selling Manhattan, Mean Time and Rapture; Chris Riddell is a British writer, creator and renowned political cartoonist whose work appears in The Observer, Literary Review and New Statesman. He was appointed UK Waterstones Children's Laureate 2015-17; Leila Aboulela is a British Sudanese author. Her work includes The Translator, which was chosen as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times, Minaret and Coloured Lights, for which she was awarded the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2000; Alberto Manguel is an internationally acclaimed anthologist, translator, essayist, novelist and editor, and is the author of several award-winning books including A Dictionary of Imaginary Places and A History of Reading. He was born in Buenos Aires, became a Canadian citizen in 1982 and now lives in France, where he was named Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres; Sjon is a celebrated Icelandic poet and novelist. His novels have been translated into twenty-five languages and include From the Mouth of the Whale and The Whispering Muse (Telegram). He has won the Nordic Council Literary Prize and was nominated for an Oscar for the lyrics he wrote for Bjork's Dancer in the Dark; Bidisha is a British newspaper journalist, radio and TV broadcaster and presenter. She signed a deal for her first book with HarperCollins when she was just 16 years old. As of spring 2013, she is a trustee of the Booker Prize Foundation; Negin Farsad is an Iranian-American comedian, writer and filmmaker. Negin co-directed and co-starred in the documentary The Muslims Are Coming! and her first musical The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Romantic Comedy premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival. In 2013 she was appointed a TED fellow; Laila Shawa is a world renowned Palestinian artist. She is represented in public and private collections across the world, including the British Museum in London and the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington DC; Hassan Hajjaj is a British-Moroccan artist working across many platforms. He is a master portrait photographer and his work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the V & A, the Farjam Collection, Dubai, Institut des Cultures d'Islam, Paris and more; Chant Avedissian is an Armenian-Egyptian artist, he studied fine arts in Montreal and print-making at the Ecole National Superieure des Arts Decoratifs, Paris. Exhibited widely, his work is held by the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution; the British Museum; the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam; the National Museums of Scotland and the National Gallery of Jordan; Hassan Abdulrazzaq is an award-winning Iraqi writer, poet and playwright. Hassan's poems and articles have been widely published and his plays include Baghdad Wedding, The Prophet and most recently Love, Bombs and Apples which toured the UK in 2016; Joumana Haddad is a Lebanese poet, translator, journalist and women's rights activist. She has been selected as one of the world's 100 most powerful Arab women for three years in a row by Arabian Business Magazine for her cultural and social activism. She is founder of Jasad, a quarterly Arabic-language magazine and author of I Killed Scheherazade and Superman is an Arab; Karl Sharro is an architect, satirist and commentator on the Middle East. He is the author of Karl reMarks; a Middle East political and cultural blog with occasional forays into satire. The blog has been featured in The Guardian, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and Al-Jazeera, to name a few; Molly Crabapple is an American artist and writer. Her book Drawing Blood was published by HarperCollins. She has drawn in and reported from Guantanamo Bay, Abu Dhabi's migrant labour camps, and in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, the West Bank, and Iraqi Kurdistan. Molly is a contributing editor for VICE and has written for The New York Times, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, CNN and Newsweek; Kevork Mourad is a Syrian a multimedia visual artist. His work has been exhibited across the Middle East, Europe and the United States. His most recent exhibit was at Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris, with whom he was also presented at the Art Paris Art Fair in 2015; Mazen Kerbaj is a Lebanese graphic novelist, painter and musician. His art and drawings have been exhibited in galleries in Beirut and Berlin. In addition he has toured as a trumpet player and has published a number of different comic books, most recently Lettre a la Mere; Sabrina Mahfouz is an award-winning playwright, poet and author who was raised in London and Cairo. She received a Fringe First Award for Chef and won a Sky Arts Academy Poetry Award. Sabrina edited the literary anthology The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write; James Nunn is an artist, book designer and illustrator whose recent work includes The Corbyn Colouring Book. He lives and works in Bath; Moris Farhi is a Turkish author. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Vice-President of International Pen. He trained at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and after a brief acting career turned to writing. He was appointed an MBE in 2001 for 'services to literature'. His novels include Journey through the Wilderness, Young Turk and A Designated Man; Eli Valley is an American writer and artist whose work has been featured in The Nation, The New Republic, The Village Voice, The Nib, The Guardian, The Daily Beast, Gawker and elsewhere. The 2011 - 2013 Artist in Residence at The Forward newspaper, his art has been labelled 'ferociously repugnant' by Commentary and 'hilarious' by The Comics Journal; Sinan Antoon is an award-winning Iraqi poet and novelist. His articles have appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, The Nation, and in pan-Arab dailies including al-Hayat, al-Akhbar and as-Safir where he writes a weekly opinion column. His poems and novels have been translated to nine languages. He is also a co-founder and co-editor of the e-zine Jadaliyya.