BritMums Live! pushes the envelope with riveting keynote speakers and panelists, discussants and presenters who are specialists in their fields, drawn from the most influential blogging circles. Alongside their experiences and insight, we showcase brilliant, inspiring speakers from the charity, journalism, TV and political worlds.
Last year’s speakers included Ruby Wax, Sarah Brown, Katy Hill, Cherry Healey, The Huffington Post’s Carla Buzasi, Camila Batmanghelidjh and bloggers from School Gate, Red Ted Art, Left Foot Forward, I Carried a Watermelon, Feeding Boys, Maison Cupcake, Cook Sister, Her Melness, WitWitWoo, MsMarmiteLover and many more.
We’re busy putting together a leading edge agenda for BritMums Live! 2013. That means we’ll be looking for speakers soon. If you would like to suggest a topic, or know someone (you?!) who would be a great speaker, please email [email protected]
Meanwhile, to give you an idea of the quality of speakers, listed below are speakers for our conference last June.
Ellen Arnison is a mother, wife and freelance writer and journalist. Since she began her blog In A Bundance in 2007, it has gone from being a small-time diversion in the work-at-home days to a real passion. She credits it with helping her through some really bad times – depression, miscarriage and bereavement. It has also helped her earn money, gain work, make friends and figure out what she really thinks about things. Her experience was the spark for Blogging For Happiness in which she explores the various benefits blogging can bring.
Ruth Arnold is a geeky, technology-loving mother of two pre-schoolers (a daughter aged four and a son aged one). She has been blogging since 2005 and podcasting since 2007. Ruth launched her geekmummy blog in August 2010 as a maternity leave project, as looking after a newborn and a toddler clearly wasn’t enough to keep her busy!
In early 2011 Ruth started working with her husband John to bring his experience of video production to her blog, and geekmummy.tv was born. Shortly afterwards Ruth joined the BritMums video blogging team, and she regularly features in the BritMums featured topic discussions. Ruth is very proud that geekmummy.com recently won the MAD blog award for Most Innovative Blog.
Melitsa is a former teacher, mother of three boys and military wife who specialises in sharing Early Childhood play information from practitioners and experts into the hands of parents and carers to improve their under 5 play opportunities. She hosts a weekly podcast called Raising Playful Tots that is packed with practical activities to encourage a playful journey with our under 5s along with points for discussion, challenge, laughter and inspiration.
Melitsa has been blogging since 2007 sharing forgotten play activities, promoting discussion and community to encourage parents to have fun with their children intentionally and make choices about play the way we remembered from our childhood. She celebrates the journey of early childhood playtime through her play activities newsletter, blog, recent ebooks and her collection of playdough masterpieces only a mum could love!
Responsible for adding to the world’s population, blogging about it and then writing a book telling others how to do it, Tim Atkinson has accidentally become something of an authority on child care.
His status as an author (five books and counting) is also something that owes more to chance than planning. Having given up full-time paid employment to stay at home and keep an eye on the children, he was looking for part-time work-from-home opportunities when a publisher approached him and asked if he’d like to write some text books.
The rest, as they say, is history. Or it would be if he wasn’t still doing it. Current projects include a book on Creative Writing and a new novel.
Tim Atkinson has an MA in Education and a Diploma in Creative Writing. Oh, and a certificate for swimming.
Camila Batmanghelidjh is the founder and director of Kids Company and has been a psychotherapist for more than twenty years. In her early twenties Camila founded her first charity: ‘‘The Place To Be’ which is now a national organisation reaching thousands of children. In her early thirties, Camila founded Kids Company in six converted railway arches in London. During the first few months, the team spent time integrating with the local young people, who tested their resilience and commitment with the challenging behaviour that had given them the label ‘hard to reach’.
Christine is a practical visionary and marketing innovator. Before launching VCCP Content she spent the last 11 years pioneering the use of both branded content and social media at the world’s largest digital agency, Digitas. She was also a driving force behind the Digital Content NewFronts — the premier digital content event held in New York each summer.
A graduate of The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, Christine’s rare mix of creative, tech and media skills, plus an entrepreneur’s gift for innovation, have led her to invent hugely impactful and ground-breaking projects for major brands like Kraft, American Express, IHG, and Samsung. Not surprisingly, her work has contributed to the winning of many top industry honours, including Cannes Cyber Lions, Webbies, Caples, Effies, and OMMA Awards.
Christine’s practical vision for the new partnerships that technology makes possible between brands, content creators and, most important of all, audiences themselves has made her a much sought after speaker and panelist at major industry conferences from Digital Hollywood to SXSW. Her popular column on ClickZ in 2009 remains a valued source of thinking on branded content strategy.
I am a working mum with three lovely loud children, my twins are five-years-old going on 15 and my beautiful baby just turned one this year. Despite being born and bred in the North I have chosen to raise my family in the South meaning my children are incapable of pronouncing ‘bath’ and ‘grass’ correctly.
Before I started blogging I found myself striving for the work/life balance. I have been blogging since August 2010 and now find myself striving for the perfect work/blog/life balance…
Recent winner of the Mad Blog Awards about family life I try to present a humorous view of parenting in order to preserve sanity in my home!
A proud father of two and the social media manager for a national animal welfare charity by day, Tom started blogging his happy yet bewildered musings about parenthood shortly after the arrival of his first son, Dylan, in 2010. In its first full year his blog, Diary of the Dad, won the Best Baby Blog category at the MAD Blog Awards. He is still in a pleasant state of shock at this. With 2011 fast drawing to its conclusion, he edited an anthology of blog posts written by dads and entitled Who Let the Dads Out? Somehow, it was ready in time for Christmas. His second son, Xander, was born at the end of March this year. He hasn’t slept properly since…
Jennie Bristow is the author of Standing Up To Supernanny and co-author of Licensed to Hug. She blogs for Parents With Attitude, is a columnist for spiked, and is editor of the BPAS publication Abortion Review. Jennie is an associate of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies at the University of Kent, where she is studying the problem of generations.
Sarah Brown is the Founder and President of PiggyBankKids, Global Patron of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and a former public relations executive. Sarah is committed to a range of charities and campaigns focused primarily on the health and wellbeing of women and children.
Julia Boggio is one of the UK’s leading wedding and portrait photographers. She is a regular, popular columnist for Photo Professional magazine and, in the past few years, Julia has achieved over 30 magazine covers, including Cosmo Bride and You & Your Wedding – the magazine that gave her the Brides’ Choice award in 2010. Julia and her husband run a family, couple and boudoir portrait studio based in Wimbledon (www.juliaboggiostudios.com). Known for their fun and boutique style, their images decorate the walls of hundreds of homes across the southeast of England. Julia has won admiration not just for her photography, but also for her business acumen; she was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in Merton in 2010 and 2011, the latter while she was on maternity leave after giving birth to her first child in May.
Julia and her husband, James, are also internationally infamous for posting their first dance from their wedding on You Tube. Their Dirty Dancing video spurred a worldwide trend in choreographed first dances and they’ve appeared on news shows across the globe, including Richard & Judy, BBC Breakfast, and GMTV in the UK, Sunrise TV in Australia, and The Oprah Winfrey Show in the US – where Julia danced with Patrick Swayze. Considered to be one of the first “You Tube phenomena”, Julia writes about what happened next to the Dirty Dancing couple in her successful mummy blog, www.icarriedawatermelon.co.uk
Dawn is a Chartered Accountant with the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountant in England and Wales) who runs her own practice, ABC North East, specialising in small business accounting and tax advice. She set up her own business after spending 10 years working for major companies and accounting firms in roles such as Finance Manager, Internal Audit Manager and Head of Risk Management.
Katie left her job as a producer at BBC Newsround two years ago to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. She now writes features and edits recipes for a variety of websites including parentdish.co.uk, lovefood.com, and the goodfoodchannel.
Katie’s family food blog Feeding Boys and A Firefighter is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea! The blog is regularly in the top 20 Wikio gastronomy rankings and has been shortlisted in the best food blogger category for the MADS 2011 awards. Katie lives in West London with her two young boys and yes, her firefighter husband.
An award-winning editor and writer, having contributed to titles such as Marie Claire, the Guardian, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, GQ.com, Vogue.com and the Metro, Carla Buzasi is editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post UK (which she thinks means her parents might finally give up on their dream for her to return home and edit The Stroud News & Journal).
Emily Carlisle is a freelance writer living in the Cotswolds with her husband, four year old son Joshua and three-year-old twins Evelyn and Georgia. Her ‘extreme parenting’ blog www.morethanjustamother.com has been shortlisted for a number of blogging awards and regularly appears in the national press.
Emily runs blogging workshops for writers and journalists, illustrating how social media can be successfully used to pitch for work, find agents, and attract publishers by demonstrating a writer’s online influence. Having found her own literary agent via Facebook, Emily is currently working on the rewrites of her first novel, an extract of which can be found on her freelance site, www.allaboutemily.com.
Michelle is an employment partner at Kingsley Napley LLP and co-founder and co-chair of the Association of Professional Working Parents (APWP). The APWP is a networking and support group for likeminded professional working fathers and mothers who have children across a broad spectrum of ages from birth up to early adulthood, who balance their professional working lives with their family commitments. The APWP provides professional working parents with the opportunity to network in a relaxed, supportive, informal and friendly atmosphere. The APWP arranges dynamic speakers from diverse industry sectors who cover wide ranging topics of a legal, psychological, medical, educational or financial nature of interest to professional working parents.
As a mother of two young children who works flexibly to enable her to do school drop-off and collections, Michelle has a particular interest in family-friendly employment law issues and advises both employers and senior executives in this field. Michelle frequently writes and is quoted in the press about family friendly issues including in the Evening Standard, HR magazine, The Huffington Post, People Management and Maternity Coaching.
Michelle has been described by the leading legal directories, Chambers and Partners UK and Legal 500 over the past five years as “A real star”, “Extremely intelligent and driven.” “First class and reliable” with “Exceptional ability” “A very good, capable, charming person, who is easy to get on with” “Clients admire her tenacious and committed approach”. Michelle “has a great reputation for acting on behalf of both partnerships and individual partners on contentious issues.
Antonia Chitty is an award winning entrepreneur and author, with a passion for helping mums make money and work flexibly. She is the author of 15 books, including Start a Family Friendly Business, Family Friendly Working, The Mumpreneur Guide, Blogging the Essential Guide and Marketing the Essential Guide.
She started blogging about Family Friendly Working in 2007 and still blogs about business and flexible work. Alongside writing books and blogging, Antonia helps women in business through ACEInspire and Become a Mumpreneur. Antonia is mum to D, 10, J, 6 and K, 3, and lives on the Sussex coast.
Janis is the Creative Lead for the Health team at Story Worldwide, the world’s first post-advertising agency, applying established storytelling techniques and talent to marketing and communications.
Her 20 years of experience feature a rather unique blend of biomedical research, senior management, and digital media, with a little cocktail bartending thrown in for good measure.
Aside from regular featured posts on BritMums, Janis is best known in the blogging world for her popular family-focused website, ReallyKidFriendly.com, which was nominated for several awards last year including the Good Web Guide’s Website of the Year 2011.
A self-confessed “cheery web geek”, Janis is also a problem solver and knows how to make the most of a small or non-existent budget. We’ve asked her to join us at BritMums Live! to share her tips on how to use free marketing tools like Facebook Fan Pages to grow, understand and connect with your audience. If you were inspired by her Time for a Blog Rethink feature, she’ll also be on hand throughout the conference to help talk though ideas for breathing fresh life into your blog.
If you’re interested in joining her session, please email [email protected] with links to your blog and Facebook page so she tailor the workshop to suit each blogger’s needs.
Kate Davis-Holmes was raised by her adoptive family in Yorkshire. After studying Law at Cambridge, she joined the third sector. She has experience of working with local, national and international charities. In her early career, she specialised in debt counselling.
Later, she devised media strategies for organisations, promoted volunteering and facilitated learning groups and multi-sector partnerships. Kate currently lives with her husband, elderly father, three school-age children and a range of pets on a smallholding. Kate enjoys writing, reading, cookery, bargain-hunting and family life. She blogs at kateonthinice.wordpress.com.
Lisa De Bonis was born in the US, raised in Italy, and educated in the UK. For over 12 years she’s offered strategic guidance to a wide range of UK, European and global brands. Currently a Strategy Partner at Work Club she is helping Google with the launch of Google+ amongst influential groups. One of the key communities she is talking to is mum bloggers and being a mum herself, is particularly passionate about discovering new ways Google+ tools can benefit our slightly exhausting day to day lives.
Erica Douglas is one of the UK’s leading parenting bloggers. She writes on life and parenting at www.littlemummy.com and is mum to Erin, 6. Over the last few years Erica has made the journey from mum blogger to business owner. She founded the Mum Blogger eCourse, which has helped over 1,000 mums start or improve their blogs.
She now works with Antonia Chitty to help women in business by offering flexible and affordable training through ACEInspire and helping mums start earning through Become a Mumpreneur. Alongside this, Erica is studying for a degree in Enterprise and Marketing.
Sarah Ebner began her career as a graduate trainee on the Daily Express, where she was twice shortlisted for young journalist of the year. She then became a feature writer on the Daily Mail, before moving into television as a producer and occasional reporter on Newsnight.
After having children, Sarah freelanced for a variety of newspapers and magazines. She was shortlisted for the British Press Awards’ specialist writer of the year in 2003 (for her family features) and feature writer of the year in 2008. She also moved online, as editor of Supernanny.co.uk.
In July 2008 Sarah joined The Times as editor of their new education blog, School Gate, which was subsequently named as one of the 20 best education blogs in the world by the Washington Post. She has made a number of media appearances – including Woman’s Hour and BBC1’sThe Big Questions – as a parenting and education expert.
Her first book The Starting School Survival Guide is published by White Ladder.
Daniel Elton is the Managing Director of Left Foot Forward. He read political science at Cambridge University, and is a trained journalist and fundraiser. Left Foot Forward is a political blog for progressives. They provide evidence-based analysis on British politics, policy, and current affairs. Left Foot Forward is Britain’s No.1 left-wing blog and Will Straw was named one of the “best political pundits on the web” by the Observer. We have been cited in The Economist, Financial Times, Guardian, Times, and Spectator among many other print and online publications.
Melinda is the widowed parent to four young people (two boys, two girls) aged 23, 20, 16 and 13 and blogs most days about ‘The Gibberish Generation’ (teenagers). When she’s not writing about their antics, she writes about life and occasionally bereavement.
HerMelness is Melinda’s black and white, back to basics, ‘old school’ don’t-let-me-get-the-hose alter ego. She is from the parenting world of ‘Because I Said So’ where children don’t rule the world because they do not yet have the experience to do so. HerMelness is an amalgamation of every strong woman and no nonsense mother Melinda ever knew growing up.
“All of this madness would usually have been lovingly absorbed by Bronnie, my late husband,” says Melinda, “in lieu of that… I blog”.
Paul is a highly experienced and qualified Social Media Networks and Digital Marketing specialist, marketing director and consultant. He publishes academic research on social media marketing and communications with Oxford Brookes University.
Paul is also lecturing MBA business managers at Henley Business School on social media marketing and communications. As a recognised specialist, Paul often speaks and host panels at Digital Marketing and Social Media conferences. He has been a Course Director at the Chartered Institute of Marketing and is a member of the eConsultancy.
Liz Fraser is the best-selling author of the internationally-successful books The Yummy Mummy’s Survival Guide, The Family Handbook, and A Spoonful of Sugar, funny, sexy, sassy looks at how to survive motherhood and family life without going insane or becoming incontinent.
She also writes a much-loved and popular blog about her life as a writer/mother/runner/presenter/wife/Tweeter/laundry-folder/general dogsbody, and is a Mumsnet Blogger.
Liz appears frequently on BBC Breakfast, News 24, Daybreak and This Morning, but only after lots of make-up has been slapped all over her knackered face. Liz is a regular guest on BBC FiveLive, BBC London, Woman’s Hour and the BBC World Service.
Liz guest presents the 3-hour Afternoon Show for BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, has a weekly parenting spot on BBC Radio Oxford and has written for many publications including The Sunday Times, Red, SHE, Grazia, The Daily Mail and Marie Claire.
She lives in Cambridge with her husband of 15 years – gulp – and their three children.
Being a father of five means that Andy spends an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen trying to keep up with the constant demands for something else to eat. Happily married to Zoe for fourteen years, he is a recent, mature apparently, History graduate and spends much of his time playing a supporting role to his wife’s home based business.
His blog, Dad’s Cooking Tonight, is a dads eye view of the world, mainly from the kitchen, which includes a lot of cakes and various other ramblings about life and his journey through the maze that is parenthood. In his spare time he can often be found on the beach training the next generation of stone skipping experts and when he grows up he hopes to become Indiana Jones.
Polly Gowers is the CEO and Founder of Everyclick Ltd, the award winning fundraising technology company responsible for creating Give as you Live. Give as you Live is able to unlock the hidden millions available to UK charities through their supporter’s online shopping. Every day millions of pounds are made through affiliate marketing commissions. By redirecting a portion of the commissions generated when people shop online, Give as you Live can raise millions of pounds in additional income for deserving UK charities.
With Give as you Live thousands of leading brands will donate to any charity the shopper chooses when they shop online – all at no cost to them or to their charity. For every 100 people who do their shopping online through Give as you Live, over £2,500 is raised for charity in just one year. Polly’s ambition is to share these “hidden millions” with all UK charities and raise over £1billion for deserving causes.
Simon Halberstam is a partner in Kingsley Napley’s corporate and commercial team, specialising in IT / IP Law. Before joining the firm in 2010, he previously worked at Sprecher Grier Halberstam LLP and Slaughter and May.
In recent years, both IP and IT have been evolving faster than the legal frameworks that regulate them, which makes an exciting but demanding area of law, as the conventional legal concepts are adapted to cope with new media and new concepts of intellectual property.
Simon is well known and highly respected in this complex field of law, and acts for IT providers, ISPs, Domain Name registrants and web designers. He also acts for users, providing legal advice to both the IBM Computer Users’ Association and SOCITM.
Julie Hall is the founder of the fabulous community for women entrepreneurs, Women Unlimited (www.women-unlimited.co.uk), small business web design agency Springmedia (www.springmedia.co.uk) and soon to be launched blog to help small business owners get familiar with web marketing, www.JulieHallOnline.com. She is a self-confessed internet geek and loves all things to do with social media, WordPress and marketing on the web. She not only builds WordPress websites, but has taught over 300 small business owners how to build their own website from scratch. Feel free to connect with her @JulieHallOnline or @women_unlimited.
Toni is a Brit who lives in Chicago, with her American husband, three Geordie/Yank kids and a mutt with selective hearing. Toni is the author of “Rules, Britannia; An Insider’s Guide to Life in the United Kingdom”, (St. Martin’s Press) and writes regularly for a variety of web sites, including Expat Focus and Chicago Now. She has blogged as Expat Mum since January 2008.
She has appeared several times on TV and radio in the US (as well as BBC 5 Alive) to discuss Brit things such as the 2011 Royal Wedding. Toni is also the President of a registered charity, Caring Kid Connections, which funds the Tuskegee International School in Ghana, West Africa.
In a past life, Diane was a high powered City executive who spent her days shouting orders for multi-million pound deals. When she became a parent to three feral children, she traded life in the fast lane for life on the hamster wheel and subsequently spent her days shouting orders about tidying bedrooms and finding lost items of school uniform.
Her salvation came in the form of online writing, which allowed her to release her Inner Git without being arrested for civil disobedience on a daily basis. Her experiences led her to co-found the website In the Powder Room a place for women across the globe to exchange their wants, likes, desires, trials and tribulations in an open and honest forum.
Following the success of the website, In the Powder Room launched its ecommerce platform – the WeShop marketplace in June 2012. The result of 18 months of R&D, it represents a committed assurance that social commerce – in the form of referral based micro-endorsement – is the future of online transactions, mirroring the natural way that we shop and providing an authentic model for bloggers to monetise their online influence.
Best known for her hugely successful BBC3 documentaries, Cherry is insightful, witty, challenging and compassionate about the subjects she covers, with a genuine desire to give voice to the true character of the contributors she encounters. She is now working on three new projects for BBC One and BBC Three.
With a Degree in Drama Education/Drama for Social Change from Central School of Speech and Drama, Cherry has a particular interest in women’s ever-changing roles in society – giving light to new cultural trends in a (sometimes painfully!) honest and entertaining way. Whilst studying, she set up a company teaching dance to kids at risk of exclusion in community centres and Cherry has written for several publications including Grazia, You Me Baby magazine, and Cellardoor online.
She is a drama, hip-hop and break-dance teacher, having herself competed in several national competitions (and has also been a backing dancer for the infamous Ice T!). She also played lacrosse for the county whilst at school!
To read more about Cherry see www.cherryhealey.com.
Katy Hill has over 2,000 hours of live broadcasting to her name, a BAFTA Best Presenter Award, a National Television Award and an extensive fanbase including her two biggest fans – and proudest achievements to date – 5 year old daughter Kaya Sky and 2 year old son Akira Seven!
2012 started busy. Katy was honoured to front C-Beebies Bedtime Stories and she also covered as co-anchor on the sofa for ITV’s Daybreak where she’s a regular. She’s also a presenter on Channel 5‘s Live With…
Katy’s passionate about parenting. She’s never had a nanny and instead juggles work and motherhood with her husband. Every week she writes a sometimes-a-bit-too-honest blog on I-Village UK about her experiences. She’s also written for Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast, and Hello.
Craig Hodgson, founder of dadzclub, is a father to two children – a 10-year old daughter and 3-year old son. He is married to Kathryn who is a nurse with the NHS and whose unusual working hours often mean Craig, as with so many dads, is the primary carer of their children.
Craig launched www.dadzclub.com in August 2011 with the aim to become the social hub for dads online – a trusted peer network offering dads impartial advice and information on parenting, products and services.
Jeanne Horak-Druiff is a born-and-bred South African who has been living in London since 2002. Her internationally recognised blog CookSister! has appeared on the Times Online’s list of top 50 food blogs in the world and Saveur’s 55 top global food blogs list. She is a four-time winner of Best Food Blog in the South African Blog Awards.
Her writing has been published in National Geographic’s 500 Food Journeys, 500 Secret Journeys, and Creating a Meal You’ll Love, as well as various magazines. She speaks regularly at blogging, writing and photography workshops and conferences in Europe and South Africa. Her blog encompasses her three obsessions: food, travel and photography.
Steve Keenan is online travel editor for The Sunday Times and is an expert in travel social media, video and site curation. He was travel editor of The Times online for five years and deputy travel editor of The Times for five years before that. Dubiously credited with being the first national travel journalist to make the transition to online, he now regularly speaks on digital travel trends to travel companies and at conferences. But he still retains a healthy love and respect for print journalism, enabling him to see both sides of the fence – and occasionally having to moderate between the two.
Alice is the Essex Girl behind An Essex Wife. A blog that started one Sunday morning just ‘to see what all the fuss was about’ has become a way of life. Through blogging, and the wonderful people she meets, a new place in the working world has reveled itself and a new career path has been found.
Her Essex based lifestyle and family blog is slowly becoming an informal Essex tourist guide and even though still relatively new to the world of social media she has jumped straight in with two feet and is loving every moment of the journey. Find her on Twitter @AnEssexWife or Pinterest An Essex Wife.
Adrian Lovett is European Director of ONE. ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organisation backed by more than 2.5 million people from around the world dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.
Prior to joining ONE Adrian was as Global Campaign Director at Save the Children International, where he led their global campaign for newborn and child survival, Every One. Before joining Save the Children, Adrian spent six years as Director of Campaigns & Communications at Oxfam. He was one of the organisers of Make Poverty History and Deputy Director of Jubilee 2000. Adrian tweets at @adrianlovett and blogs at Huffington Post: huffingtonpost.co.uk/adrian-lovett.
Lucy, from Family Affairs and Other Matters, became a blogger 4 years ago and is a leading parent blogger. She was awarded second place in an American Best of Blogs competition and was recently nominated for a Best of British Travel Blogger Award. She also gives talks to PR companies about the development of social media and the influence of blogs in general. Lucy was educated in Hong Kong and began her career in marketing and promotion for EMI Music in the UK. From there, she moved to Australia in 1990 and worked as promotions manager for Mushroom Records before leaving to have three children. She has retrained as a Method Putkisto and Pilates instructor and currently teaches part-time. She’ll be leading our Saturday morning gentle “Blogercise” class to get the blood flowing before the full-day of workshops, discussions and sessions.
Clare Macnaughton started the blog A Modern Military Mother to help explain life from the other side of the British military. There are so many mis-conceptions about military life that she felt it was time to put the record straight. Her husband over the next 2.5 years will be deploying on several occasions to Afghanistan. The blog is the voice of that journey and also to some extent the marriage that has gone before. Clare writes a bi-monthly column with Wiltshire Life magazine as A Modern Military Mother and ghost wrote a battlefield memoir, called ‘Immediate Response’, in-conjunction with a serving Royal marine Major, which was published by Penguin, in September 09, and in the second week of sales entered at number 9 in The Sunday Times hardback non-fiction top 10 bestseller list.
Rebecca is a full-time mum to troublesome, but extremely photogenic, twin toddlers, Tilly and Jasper. two become four was started in 2009 to keep family and friends in touch with their busy new life but has evolved to cover pretty much anything and everything… but mostly it’s about family fun and food, sharing lots of family-friendly recipes and crafts… with plenty of photos of the twins thrown in for good measure!
Her delicious Earl Grey Cupcake with Lemon Buttercream recipe – inspired by her father, who sadly passed away from lung cancer earlier this year – has been chosen to be included in The Little Book of Treats in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, available later this summer. You can also find her on twitter and pinterest.
Eleanor Mills is Associate Editor of The Sunday Times. She writes a weekly column in the News Review section of the paper on social affairs as well as one in Home on how we live now.
She appears regularly on television, reviewing the papers on Sky News, Lorraine, This Morning etc and on radio – Woman’s Hour, BBC London, LBC etc.
In 2009 she was appointed Saturday Editor of The Times in charge of a major relaunch of the paper’s weekend edition, creating six new sections while running the Saturday paper day to day.
In 2011, after returning to The Sunday Times she was shortlisted for Feature Writer of the Year at the British Press Awards for her long-form writing in the Sunday Times magazine (the commended entries were an interview with Banksy, an intimate portrait of Samantha Cameron and a piece about women in China).
Kate Morris has published three novels, The Single Girl’s Diary, The Seven Year Itch and Seven Days One Summer, which is out now. Kate is currently working on two more books, one fiction and one non fiction. She is also a journalist, contributing to magazines such as Conde Nast Traveller, You Magazine, Vogue, and The Times. She wrote two columns for Tatler Magazine, and more recently a column on Marriage for the Times. She loves writing, reading, having friends for supper, going to the theatre, walking along the river, stroking the cat, and snuggling up with her two children, Jude and Belle.
Kate lives in London, but often wishes she lived in the country. Her husband Luke White is a photographer. Kate blogs at www.writingandmoaning.blogspot.com and writes a beauty and health blog at www.mindbodybeautyhealth.wordpress.com and wastes too much time on Twitter at KateMorris1. Kate has had some experience mentoring new writers and is happy to discuss the idea.
Erin has worked in publishing for over 20 years. She started as an editorial assistant at Simon and Schuster in the Touchstone/Fireside paperback division for several years; then moved over to Harper Collins as an editor. She then went to Avalon Books as the Editorial Director for nearly 10 years. Finally she changed gears and became an agent at Folio Literary Management in New York.
Erin has edited many authors including Leon Uris, Stuart Woods, Buddy Valastro (the Cake Boss), Jeremy Wade (River Monsters), Hillary Rodham Clinton, Phyllis Richman, Michael Lee West, Debbie Fields (Mrs. Fields cookies), Erica Jong, Brenda Maddox, Lawrence Otis Graham, cowboy romance queen Carolyn Brown, and Joan Rivers. She has 27 NY Times bestsellers to her credit. She is also a mum to two children and an avid blogger at Cross the Pond.
In this instance ‘Typecast’ is an oxymoron. Breaking the mould is what it is all about. Nickie started her blog to release a few demons and tell the world about her difficult and unusual experiences of parenthood. Once she started, she couldn’t stop.
With one finger on the pulse and the other on the keyboard, Nickie is not afraid to say it as she sees it. She works hard, is a true procrastinator, drinks wine, is occasionally published and is a Nana in her spare time. In the words of Raymond Babbitt: “She’s all sparkly. She looks like a holiday.”
Michelle is wife to one, mummy to three adorable but loud terrors (JJ age 8 and 4 year old twins Miss M & Miss E), a part-time HR Manager and full-time grafter. She started her blog, Mummy From The Heart… in 2008 on a whim and 3 years later it has become her sanctuary where she takes time out of her busy life….. to write about her busy life! Michelle’s blog is a very honest place where she shares tales of imperfect parenting, being a Christian and recovering from compulsive overeating. She also takes time each week to be thankful for all the blessings she receives by hosting the weekly #R2BC (Reasons to be Cheerful) blog hop. Life is a journey, join Michelle on hers…
Lisa Pearson is a 42-year-old mum of two kids, who works part-time as ‘The Mummy Whisperer’ helping Mums feel more contented. She won a MADs award for her blog in 2011, and published her book ‘Six Steps To A Sparkling You And Enjoying Being A Mum’ to the Kindle.
Lisa feels that we often start at the ‘wrong’ place with parenting techniques, teaching Mums to rely on ‘gurus’ to ‘fix’ the kids, rather strengthening the Mum so they can use their own innate knowledge of the family. She is full of unusual but effective ways of dealing with bullying!
Kerstin Rodgers aka her blogging name of Ms. Marmitelover was the pioneer of the underground restaurant movement in the UK. She blogs about all kinds of things (politics, film, astrology, dating) but mainly about food. Her blog marmitelover.blogspot.com is one of the most read food blogs in Britain. She has developed new ways of marketing events and promoting food via social media. Her Underground Farmers’ and Craft Market, which takes place at her house, encourages entrepeneurs to start up food businesses via a ‘dragon’s den’ talent panel.
Although she trained as a photographer, cooking has become her job. Her supper club The Underground Restaurant specialises in highly researched original menus. She’s the author of ‘Supper Club: recipes and notes from The Underground Restaurant’ published by Harper Collins in 2011. She’s appeared on TV (The One Show, News 24, Vanessa), radio (Woman’s Hour, Bob Elms Show, Chris Evans show) and in the national press. She’s also singlehandedly raised an 18 year old daughter. She agrees with Roseanne Barr who once said “I figure if my kids are alive at the end of the day, I’ve done my job.”
Cari worked as a TV producer for (what felt like) several hundred years and became a writer after the birth of her daughter in 2008.
She is a columnist for the Jewish Chronicle and her first book – The Secret Diary of A New Mum (Aged 43 ¼) – was published by Ebury in 2011. She has learned the hard way that by choosing this title she has destroyed any further opportunity to lie about her age for all eternity.
She has written for a number of publications and websites (including The Times, The Express, Irish Tatler etc) as an expert on older motherhood and spends far too much time in Tesco.
Her favourite thing from her career to date is this review from one of her readers: “I laughed so much I almost wet myself. But then I do have a urine infection”.
Jane Sanderman is the Director of Finance for Design and Artists Copyright Society. She set up the Institue of Ideas Parents Forum in October 2006 with two other parents. It was created to examine why the family and the intimate relationship of parent and child has become such a social issue in the 21st century. Jane and the two other founders wanted to understand why they weren’t just left to get on with bringing up their children but were constantly being told by outside experts what they should do and were always getting it wrong! The forum has gone from strength to strength and has looked at everything from are turkey twizzlers bad for your kids through to discussions about developmental psychology.
She is a fixture at the Institute of Ideas’ Battle of Ideas, speaking on and moderating panels on a variety of social and parenting topics. Jane has written the foreward to Standing up to Supernanny by Jennie Bristow, published in September 2009 which was written as a result of the Battle for the Family strand at the Battle of Ideas in October 2008. She is also the Chair of the Association of Photographers.
Andrew Solomon joined Kingsley Napley in 2008 as a trainee solicitor, having previously spent a year as a paralegal in the corporate department of Ashurst LLP. He qualified in September 2010 after seats in Corporate and Commercial, Employment, Private Client and Family.
Prior to this, he studied American History at Sussex University (including a year spent at the University of California, Irvine), before embarking on the GDL and LPC at the University of Westminster.
Andrew specialises in advising companies and entrepreneurs on corporate transactions and commercial matters, often dealing with companies in the technology sector.
Annie Spratt is a blogging, vlogging mother of eight. Annie started blogging in June 2011 and has a seven blogs to date with Mammasaurus and Love All Blogs being the most well known of those. Annie supports Save The Children, firmly believing in blogging for good she recently undertook a five day journey across England fundraising and spreading awareness amongst the blogging community. Annie has also written for The Huffington Post and for mental health charity Black Dog Tribe.
Andrea Stuart was born and raised in the Caribbean and the US. She studied English at the University of East Anglia and French at the Sorbonne. Her first book, Showgirls, a collective biography of showgirls from Colette, to Marlene Dietrich to Madonna, was adapted into a two-part documentary for the Discovery Channel in 1998 and has since inspired a theatrical show, a contemporary dance piece and a number of burlesque performances. Her second book, The Rose of Martinique: A Biography of Napoleon’s Josephine was translated into several languages and won the Enid McLeod Literary Prize in 2004. Her current book, a family history/memoir called Sugar in the Blood was published in June 2012 by Portobello Books. She is writer in Residence at Kingston University and teaches at the Faber Academy. She also mentors private clients who are working on family history projects.
Kate Sutton writes at the wonderfully eclectic lifestyle blog, WitWitWoo.
A mother to two boys, (aged seven and sixteen,) she has a knack for making the most banal things much more interesting than they actually are.
Normally found talking about cake, sausages and Riverdance on Twitter (@iamwitwitwoo,) her considerably sized, Titian hair can be seen a good five seconds before the rest of her.
Kate started blogging in July 2010 and has written for the Huffington Post, Tescos online, In The Powder Room and Dropout UK – a music and entertainment website, where she likes to pretend she’s 18 years old and totally cool. At WitWitWoo, she talks about the loss of her Mum, getting stuck on childrens’ rides and posts the occasional, slightly tipsy karaoke video.
She has been known to street dance, wrote a radio play about Shakespeare and laughs a lot. Her fiercely competitive streak has now earnt her the title of world record breaker. She has added this to her existing list of assorted accolades, which include Apprentice interviewee, Smirnoff model and ex-majorette. You can also follow Kate’s entertaining tweets @IAmWitWitWoo.
Sarah Trivuncic packed in her 10-year trade union career after maternity leave thinking “if I go back, my life will never change”. Soon after in 2009, she started blogging after making cakes for her Big Lunch street party and then threw herself into learning about food photography and web design.
Maison Cupcake is now one of the best known and longest established baking blogs in the UK; frequently a Top 3 Wikio Gastronomy blog, named number one in the annual Cison Top 10 Baking and Confectionery blog chart, nominated as best family food blog in the MADS 2011 and named “best for good advice” amongst Channel Four Food’s “Best Baking Blogs”.
Sarah’s site – full of her own recipes, videos and reviews – has brought her to the attention of sugar craft publishers David & Charles who commissioned her to write a book to be published in summer 2012.
Ben Wakeling is dad to two boys, who lives with his wife and kids in the sleepy town of Kenilworth, which during the day is infested by old people.
Ben started writing his blog – ‘Goodbye, Pert Breasts’ – when his wife fell pregnant with Noah, giving a dads-eye view of the sticky nine months of pregnancy. He published his entries in a book once his son was born, with a bunch of other dad-related stuff to pad it out a bit. This book was swiftly followed by ‘Teething Pains’, which deals with fatherhood and parenting for the first four years of a child’s life.
In a change from his usual humorous writing, Ben is currently writing a book for the charity SANDS, with all royalties from each copy sold going directly to this worthy cause.
Laetitia Wajnapel aka Mademoiselle Robot is a journalist and consultant. Originally from Paris, she is now living and working in London. She launched her blog in 2007. It is a space for her to showcase her sources of inspiration, personal style and also to share her various adventures. Wajnapel currently works full time on freelance projects and writes for the Huffington Post and Glamour UK.
MademoiselleRobot.com has been featured in numerous UK and international publications such as The Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, Grazia, Vogue, ELLE Girl, Company, Marie-Claire, Stylist, The Sunday Times Style, MTV, Channel 4.
Marianne Whooley is a BritMums Blog editor, our resident foodie round-up writer and the author of the popular Mari’s World blog, where she blogs and vlogs about everything from sex after children to her passion for good food. She write a monthly food column for BritMums, and make us very hungry. Find her on Twitter at @Maris_world.
Zoe Williams has been a columnist on the Guardian since 2000 – previously, she wrote a column for the London Evening Standard. She contributes to various magazines and news weeklies, including Marie Claire, Glamour, New Statesman, Good Housekeeping, Red, Grazia and Cosmopolitan. Broadcasting includes the Daily Politics, The Politics Show and Newsnight for the BBC; Dispatches and the Channel Four news for Channel Four; a weekly paper review for Sky News; and appearances on the Today programme, Woman’s Hour, PM and the World Tonight for BBC Radio Four.
She was last year’s Columnist of the Year at the Workworld awards and is shortlisted for Feature of the Year for this year’s One World Media Awards. She is the author of one non-fiction book, Bring It On, Baby, about the politicisation of motherhood.
Maggy Woodley is an Austrian mum of two living in the UK and married to a Brit. She started her craft blog Red Ted Art in order to share her craft ideas for both children and adults – hoping to inspire others to ‘have a go’ and ‘have fun’ with their children or to discover new crafts and ideas for themselves.
Passionate about crafts, she feels that crafting is something for all and that everyone can have a go! Her weekly How Tos are aimed to be ‘easy to follow’ and inspirational for both adults and teens, whilst her Kids Craft aims to please toddlers to 10-year-olds!