NSSF Festival Team is made up of individuals with a passion for the written word with a variety of backgrounds.

  • SJ Bradley – Festival Director
  • Fiona Gell – Festival Marketing Director
  • Jenna Isherwood – Festival Fringe Co-ordinator
  • Anna Chilvers – Academy Facilitator
  • Richard Smyth – Book Club Facilitator


SJ Bradley

SJ BradleySJ is a writer, editor, and organiser from Leeds, UK. She is a K Blundell Trust Award winner, a Saboteur Award winner (Remembering Oluwale, Valley Press: Best Anthology, 2017), and Director of the Northern Short Story Festival. Her short fiction has appeared in Litro, Disclaimer, Queen Mobs, and Conradology (Comma Press). In 2013 she was shortlisted for the Willesden Herald Short Story Prize. Her second novel, Guest, is out now from Dead Ink Books.

Fiona Gell

Fiona GellFiona is a founder member and Coordinator of the Leeds Big Bookend and Marketing Director of the Northern Short Story Festival. She has years of experience in putting on literary events in Leeds. She is a qualified Librarian and a Trustee of the Leeds Library.

Jenna Isherwood

Jenna IsherwoodJenna is a writer based in Leeds. She is the Festival Fringe Co-ordinator of the Northern Short Story Festival. With SJ Bradley and Claire Stephenson, she is co-organiser of the writers’ social night, Fictions of Every Kind. She has been a reader for Granta magazine and the Remember Oluwale Writing Prize, and has published fiction in Litro, Disclaimer and Long Story, Short.

Anna Chilvers

Anna ChilversAnna is a writer, a runner, a long-distance walker, a mother, a teacher and a reader.She is the Academy Facilitator of the Northern Short Story Festival. Her most recent novel, Tainted Love, was published in 2016, and her first, Falling Through Clouds, in 2010 (both Bluemoose Books). She has also published a collection of short stories, Legging It (Pennine Prospects, 2012) and her play, The Room was performed at the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival 2013. Anna is particularly interested in the links between writing, walking and the landscape. She is currently working on her next novel, as well as a PhD on writing and walking in woodland.

Richard Smyth

Richard is a writer and journalist based in Leeds. He is the Book Club Facilitator of the Northern Short Story Festival. He writes features, reviews and comment pieces for publications including The GuardianThe Times Literary SupplementThe New Statesman, The AuthorBBC WildlifeNew HumanistIllustration, NewScientistBird Watching, and more. He is the author of five non-fiction books and he also writes novels and short fiction.