Beth O'Brien became the Editor of Mad Hatter Reviews in April 2019 and she is also a reviewer for Riggwelter Press. She studies English Literature at the University of Birmingham and as would be expected, she loves reading and writing. Having been born visually impaired, Beth grew up on audiobooks and audio-described theatre, and these loves are still going strong.
In her spare time, she likes to write. Her poetry and short stories can be found in a bunch of online journals, including Foxglove Journal, Nine Muses Poetry, Dear Reader Poetry, BellaOnline LIterary Review, Eunoia, Pulp Poets Press, Peculiars Press, Bonnie's Crew, and Picaroon Press. She has written a travel article for sheswanderful.com and many a blog for both the University of Birmingham and the Graduate Recruitment Bureau blog.
When not reading, writing, or listening to an audiobook at double speed, she will most likely be found snacking and / or planning a trip to somewhere or other.
Jonathan Squirrell is a Hull-based writer and reviewer who has penned (word processed) scripts, songs and short stories which have been published and performed everywhere from stages in village halls to BBC Radio 4. He doesn’t really have a style, but just enjoys putting words one after another, and seeing what happens next.
Jonathan has been lucky enough to be asked to review pubs, films and books, which is particularly fortunate, because these are a few of his favourite things. His literary heroes run from Jerome K. Jerome to David Mitchell and Susannah Clarke, and he is very slowly trying to write a novel of his own.
Ami Lait is an English Literature student at the University of Birmingham. Ami was born and raised in Lincolnshire, a rural county in the east of England that almost nobody has heard of. She loves animals and over the years has taken in and cared for many pets, the more unusual of which include stick insects and pigeons. As well as her love of reading, some of Ami’s other hobbies are creative writing, painting and playing the piano (badly). These more respectable, artistic pursuits are healthily balanced out by geekier interests such as reading manga or playing Dungeons and Dragons. At her core, Ami is a country bumpkin with a passion for worldbuilding, storytelling and artistic expression across a wide variety of mediums.
Michaela recently graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BA in English Literature. Since then, she has started working in administration at a company that sells toys to museums and zoos throughout the U.K. and Europe. Looking at images of cuddly toys everyday, and getting the odd freebie, are funky benefits to this role. However, her true passion lies in the creative sector and she hopes to pursue a career in Marketing within the arts or publishing sector. Whilst she holds a deep-
seated fondness for the short story, Michaela is excited to get stuck into reading, and reviewing, a range of artistic works from poetry to live performance. If she isn’t curled up reading with her cats pawing at the pages, Michaela can be found wandering around museums, volunteering at the local library or awkwardly taking photos of books for her bookstagram, @fairydustybooks.
Charley Barnes is a Worcester-based author, poet and reviewer. A former Editor of Mad Hatter Reviews, Charley is now the Director of Sabotage Reviews, which is a review website that specialises in spotlighting independent literature, featuring prose, poetry and spoken word.
Charley is a writer herself, having written two novels (Intention and Copycat), both of which were published earlier this year under the moniker of C.S. Barnes. She also writes, and enjoys reading, poetry and she’ll always have a soft spot for spoken word too.
When it comes to reviewing, Charley is especially fond of poetry collections and pamphlets that leave your heart feeling full, and crime/thriller/literary fiction novels. She also has a background in reviewing music, both live and released, so if you have a good tune for her to sing-a-long to then she’s always ready to listen.
If Charley isn’t working, then you’ll mostly likely find her wandering around Worcester coffee shops one-by-one to judge their tea selections, and/or browsing books somewhere. She’s especially fond of strong breakfast tea, Andrea Gibson’s poetry, and Carly Rae Jepson’s music (no shame, no shame at all).
Emily James is an English literature and Creative Writing graduate living in the Lake District. She is an avid reader of a variety of fiction, particularly in the fantasy, gothic, and classic genres. Emily has been a writer for a number of years, specialising in poetry and short stories; her current creative work-in-progress is a synaesthesia-inspired poetry portfolio, and she is also exploring with folkloric influences within Victorian literature in an academic endeavour. Her literary and writing background comes mainly from her undergraduate degree, however, as a Marketing Content Writer she is experienced in a vast array of different writing styles. Emily’s passion lies in fiction and it is her aim to work her way into the publishing industry as a proof-reader and editor.
Liv Beards is a graduate from the University of Birmingham with a BA in English Literature with History of Art. Armed with a strong Wolverhampton accent and penchant for the Bard, she'll soon be commuting to Stratford Upon Avon to complete an MA in Shakespeare Studies. In 2008 she appeared on the children's television show 'Trapped!' where she unsuccessfully performed dentistry on a werewolf and was locked in the tower. Upon re-entering public life she discovered boxed hair dye and Gardener's World, and developed a questionable taste in music. She is currently working on literature reviews.