26 April - 9 May 2021

Festival Team

Dr Carolyn Jess-Cooke

Founder and Director

Carolyn Jess-Cooke is an award-winning poet, novelist, editor, and academic published in 23 languages. Currently publishing her fiction as CJ Cooke, Carolyn was awarded a PhD in Film and Literature from Queen’s University Belfast, and now convenes the MLitt Creative Writing by Distance Learning at the University of Glasgow. Carolyn has a particular expertise in online events. She founded the Stay-at-Home! festival and is passionate about inclusivity and engaging audiences with literature. Her latest novel, a gothic thriller named The Nesting, is published in the UK by HarperCollins and the US by Penguin Random House.


Professor Bambo Soyinka

Executive Producer

Bambo is an award-winning writer, director, curator, and the founder of creative incubator, Paper Nations. With more than a decade’s experience in multi-platform storytelling and production, she has initiated and directed projects across the UK and internationally. Bambo is Professor of Story at Bath Spa University where she leads the Research Centre for Transcultural Creativity and Education.

Carly Brown

Research Assistant

Dr. Carly Brown is an award-winning spoken word poet, writer and academic based in Edinburgh. She is the author of a bestselling children’s picture book, I Love St Andrews, and her second poetry pamphlet, Anastasia, Look in the Mirror, was published last year by Stewed Rhubarb Press. She believes in the power of literature to connect and inspire, and she’s thrilled to be the Research Assistant for the Stay-at-Home! Festival.


Joanna Nissel

Digital Advisor

Joanna Nissel is a writer and researcher who has been investigating the UK writing ecology for the past four years with Paper Nations. Her poetry has been published widely, including IambTears in the Fence, and Atrium. Her debut pamphlet is forthcoming with Against the Grain Press. Joanna will shortly begin an SWWDTP-funded PhD in Mentoring Practices in Poetry at the University of Southampton.


Françoise Harvey

Author Logistics Officer

Françoise Harvey is a writer who worked in-house in publishing roles for nearly 13 years before going freelance in early 2020. She regularly works with writers and musicians to organise music and literature events in the North East. She was awarded a Northern Writers Award in 2017, and was shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize in 2017. Her writing has appeared in publications including Best British Short Stories 2017, Black Static, Interzone, Confingo, and TSS.

Kris Haddow


Kris is a Scottish playwright, poet and performer. His work includes the play 2h:9m:37s which toured Scotland through 2011-12, and Haud the Bus, a comedy experiment that ran across social media from 2011-2015. He graduated from University of Glasgow’s MLitt Creative Writing programme in 2016 and is now a research candidate on their DFA programme. Alongside work on his first novel, his PhD thesis includes an investigation into Scots dialect representation and vernacular in Scottish literature.

Brandon Mooney


Brandon Mooney is an American fiction writer, currently completing an MLitt in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. He is assisting the Stay-at-Home! Fest with social media support, amongst other things. Originally from Atlanta, he now resides in New Orleans.

Erin Gannon


Erin Gannon is a biker chick, poet, and performer whose practice explores the border skirmishes between verse, performance, and music. She holds an MA in Poetry from Queens University and is currently writing a long-form poem / rock opera as part of her DFA in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow.

Naomi Knox

Events Manager, Paper Nations

Naomi has been working as an Event Manager for Paper Nations since September 2020. Most recently, she managed the Follow the Sun Conference - an international online writing summit. She is also an actor and writer particularly interested in bringing the two together as performance poetry.

Dr Kayla Rose

Creative Producer, Paper Nations

Kayla is an interdisciplinary researcher in history and art history, with a particular interest in identity and commemoration in visual and material culture and writing, knowledge exchange, and public engagement. Since completing her PhD in 2014, she has held a variety of academic and professional roles in the UK and the USA, including research, teaching, and international projects and partnerships development and management.

Laura Holdship and Louise Chapman

Administrative Management, Paper Nations

Laura and Louise keep the festival running smoothly by providing vital administrative support. Laura’s systems expertise allows the festival to navigate process, partnership management, and alignment with research aims, while Louise manages contracting, databases, events, and documentation.