Amy Mackelden is a writer and performer based on the Isle of Wight. She has a Northern Promise Award from New Writing North (2011), a New Buds Award from New Writing South (2015), and has received funding from the Arts Council on three occasions to produce spoken word projects. The most recent of these, Retail, was awarded the Bridging the Gap Development Opportunity from Arc in Stockton.
Amy’s an Entertainment Writer for Bustle, and her writing has featured in heat magazine, New Statesman online, xoJane, Hello Giggles, NANO Fiction, Kinkly, Versal, Inky Needles, Writing in Education, Poetry News, Social Alternatives and anthologies from the Emma Press and Cinnamon Press. She’s co-edited two issues of Arts Council funded poetry magazine Butcher’s Dog and is one of its co-founders. She runs feminist pop culture blog Clarissa Explains Fuck All with writer Amy Roberts, which has been featured in ELLE Magazine. She has an MA in Creative Writing, and recently spoke at the Houses of Parliament as part of an MS Society campaign. Amy is also part of an MS Trust Steering Group regarding MS services within the NHS.
Degna Stone is a poet and producer based in Newcastle upon Tyne. She currently works at Live Theatre, Newcastle and has over 14 years’ experience of working in theatre. She recently completed a secondment with leading producers China Plate as part of the National Theatre’s Step Change development programme. She has worked as a dramaturg, workshop facilitator and project manager, and in 2010 she directed Blood and Money a double-bill of work by Alison Carr and Roz Wyllie at Prague Fringe Festival.
As a poet, she has performed at Durham Book Festival, StAnza International Poetry Festival and was selected for the inaugural Verb New Voices development programme, which culminated in the performance of her poem Songs from Whenever was broadcast on BBC Radio 3s The Verb. She holds an MA in Creative Writing (Newcastle University), edits Deseeded an online poetry anthology and is co-founder and Managing Editor of Butcher’s Dog poetry magazine. In 2015 she won a Northern Writers’ Award from New Writing North.