Fantastical Creatures Panel

We are delighted to share with you that as part of Golden Jubilee Celebration on the 26th of February, we will be hosting a panel on Fantastic Creatures, featuring authors Anna Smith Spark, RJ Barker and Juliet E. McKenna, moderated by Juliet Mushens. The panel will run at 10:15am GMT and is sure to be both fun and informative. Tickets are free for members and £5 for non-members, and are valid for the full day of events. Get yours here: Buy tickets / Join the guestlist for Golden Jubilee on Zoom, Sat 26 Feb 2022 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (

Anna Smith Spark is the author of the critically acclaimed, Gemmell and British Fantasy Awards shortlisted Empires of Dust grimdark epic fantasy series The Court of Broken Knives, The Tower of Living and Dying and The House of Sacrifice, described by the Sunday Times as ‘literary Game of Thrones’ and the Daily Mail as ‘howls like Moorcock, converses like Le Guin’.Her favourite authors are Mary Renault, R Scott Bakker and M. John Harrison. Previous jobs include English teacher, petty bureaucrat and fetish model. You may know her by the heels of her shoes.

Twitter: @queenofgrimdark

Facebook: Anna Smith Spark

RJ Barker is a critically acclaimed and award-winning author of fantasy fiction. He won the 2020 British Fantasy Society (BFS) Robert Holdstock award for Best Novel for his fourth novel, The Bone Ships.

His debut trilogy The Wounded Kingdom (Age of Assassins, Blood of Assassins and King of Assassins) was nominated for the David Gemmel Award, the Kitschie Golden Tentacle, The Compton Crook and the BFS Best Debut and Best Novel awards. It was called ‘Thoroughly entertaining and constantly impressive’ by the Fantasy Hive, ‘One of the best fantasy series you will ever read’ by the BFS, and ‘A singular sensational new voice in epic fantasy’ by Kings of the Wyld author Nicholas Eames.

He followed this with the award-winning Tide Child Trilogy: The Bone ShipsCall of the Bone Ships and The Bone Ships Wake. These books have been hailed as “One of the most interesting and original fantasy worlds I’ve seen in years” by Adrian Tchaikovsky, and “Brilliant” by Robin Hobb, alongside rave reviews in Starburst, SFX, and a starred review in Bookslist: ‘A unique and memorable world – harsh and brutal and full of fully realized, powerful female characters. Barker has managed to craft a story inspired by Moby Dick, Game of Thrones, and pirate lore, and readers will be drawn in and fascinated.’

RJ lives in Leeds with his wife, son and a collection of questionable taxidermy, odd art, scary music and more books than they have room for. He grew up reading whatever he could get his hands on, and has always been ‘that one with the book in his pocket’. Having played in rock bands before deciding he was a rubbish musician, RJ returned to his first love, fiction.

Juliet E McKenna is a British fantasy author living in the Cotswolds, UK. Loving history, myth and other worlds since she first learned to read, she has written fifteen epic fantasy novels so far. Her debut, The Thief’s Gamble, began The Tales of Einarinn in 1999, followed by The Aldabreshin Compass sequence, The Chronicles of the Lescari Revolution, and The Hadrumal Crisis trilogy. The Green Man’s Heir was her first modern fantasy rooted in British folklore in 2018, followed by The Green Man’s Foe, The Green Man’s Silence, and The Green Man’s Challenge. She writes and comments on book trade issues, has served as a judge for major genre awards, and reviews online and for magazines. She writes diverse short stories and novellas enjoying forays into darker fantasy, steampunk and SF. She has also written murder mysteries set in ancient Greece as J M Alvey. There are other interesting projects in hand, but she can’t talk about those just yet… Visit or follow @JulietEMcKenna on Twitter to keep up to date.