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Deborah Maclaren

Managing Director of and Director of the LoveReading LitFest

Deborah Maclaren is a serial entrepreneur, business owner and strong leader who has been involved in market-leading media businesses for 25 years.

The majority of her career has been in senior commercial and board director roles within the media and publishing arena.

Since 2017 she has been involved in the LoveReading portfolio of brands, bringing together her media background, passion for books, her love of literacy, marketing knowledge and her commercial acumen.

She has been MD since mid-2018 and under her stewardship the LoveReading brand is flourishing.

Lyndy Cooke

Head of Finance

Lyndy has worked in the literature and publishing sectors for over 35 years, ranging from owning a chain of bookshops across the UK to being Managing Director of Hay Festival for 20 years.

She is a highly experienced events producer, creator and curator, and a freelance international consultant for arts and cultural events.

Now working closely with organisations across the UK and worldwide such as the National Trust, British Council, Commonwealth Foundation, Queens Park Book Festival, York Festival of Ideas, Jaipur Literature Festival and Ubud Writers & Readers Festival through her events company – Handheld Events.

She is currently also working on a major research project for the Arts Council Wales and the National Museums Wales.

To keep her grounded, Lyndy, also co-owns a small herd of ponies that are trained to be faithful pack ponies, leading guests and carrying their equipment across the Cambrian Mountains, to enjoy the stunning scenery and the great outdoors.

Lyndy retains an honorary role with Hay Festival and is a Trustee of Hay Castle.

Alex Hippisley-Cox

Head of PR & Communications

Alex Hippisley-Cox is Head of PR and Communications for the LoveReading LitFest.

She has over 30 years’ experience in the publishing and book world, and runs her own independent PR company.

She currently also holds roles as Head of UK PR for the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival, and Bitter Lemon Press, and works with key publishing houses on author campaigns.

Paul Blezard


Multi award winning broadcaster, poet, author and literary commentator, Paul Blezard has for over twenty years spoken to, written about and worked with many of the world’s finest authors, poets, thinkers and writers.

On radio or television, international literary festival stages and as a critic, judge and editor, he profoundly believes in the transformative power of a good story well told.

Daryl Crowther

Head of Digital Development at and LoveReading LitFest

Daryl is Head of Digital Development at LoveReading after joining the team in late 2017 and has spearheaded the redevelopment of all three sites. He has over 16 years of website development experience having worked as an in-house developer for a series of small publishers before landing at LoveReading.

Liz Robinson

Event Chair

Liz has been an Editorial Expert writing reviews for LoveReading since 2014. Reading has always played a huge part in her life and she can quite happily chat books all day. 

She previously spent twenty years working as a member of police support staff, including roles as Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Briefing Officer, and Crime Reduction Advisor. 

She relishes her time spent exploring all genres of fiction and non fiction. She video reviews her selections for the LoveReading LitFest Festival Favourites and is also a Presenter for their events. 

Liz has previously judged the Romantic Novelists’ Association Goldsboro Romantic Novel of the Year Award, the Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival Short Story Competition, the LoveReading Very Short Story Award, and the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Gold Dagger Award. Her next judging stint sees her joining the CWA Crime Fiction in Translation Award 2023-2025. 

She describes herself as a reader, a lover of all things books, and can be found on Twitter and Instagram as @LRLizRobinson.

Julia Wheeler

Event Chair

Julia Wheeler is an experienced chairperson and trusted interviewer for many of the best festivals in the UK and abroad; Cheltenham (Literature and Science), Stanfords Travel Writers Festival at London’s Olympia, the Stratford Literary Festival and the Emirates Literature Festival. 

She has chaired events at The British Library and mid-Atlantic onboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2. 

Julia hosts online conversations, webinars and panel discussions for UK and international organisations and audiences, including and the Global Association of Literature Festivals and the Singapore Book Council.

Julia worked for the BBC for more than 15 years including as the BBC’s Gulf Correspondent, based in the UAE and covering the Arabian Peninsula between 2000 and 2010. 

Her articles have been published in The Times, Telegraph, Guardian and Economist among others and she continues to work as a freelance journalist and writer.

Julia wrote the award-winning book ‘Telling Tales: An Oral History of Dubai’, capturing tales of court intrigue, pearl diving and gold smuggling, as well as the early days of education and banking.

Julia read Economic and Social History at university before post-graduate study in Broadcast Journalism.

She is a qualified management training instructor, founded a media training company with clients across the Middle East and North Africa and works with corporates and individuals to develop oral storytelling skills, helping to breathe life into their work and ideas.

Lea Sellers

Event Chair

Lea Sellers is a moderator, media trainer and writer. 

She moderates at the Wells Literary Festival, Emirates Airline Literary Festival, the British Library and Hot Topics.

She co-founded The Confidence People and draws on her television background to train people to communicate with confidence when they speak in public or to the media.

A former television producer, she has worked on Newsnight and Question Time for BBC TV and on Channel 4 News. 

Lea has a Bachelor’s degree in Russian Studies, an MA in International Relations and an MA in Screenwriting.

She writes feature film scripts and plays and lives in London.

Georgina Godwin

Event Chair

Georgina Godwin is Books Editor for Monocle 24  and the host of the flagship literary show Meet the Writers, and current affairs programme The Globalist. 

She chairs events worldwide and hosts a number of commercial podcasts. She is on the boards of the charities  English PEN and Developing Artists.  She tweets @georginagodwin

Joanne Owen

Event Chair

Joanne Owen was born in Pembrokeshire and read Archaeology and Anthropology with Social and Political Sciences at St John’s College, Cambridge. With over twenty years’ experience of the publishing industry, Joanne writes fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults, including the Martha Mayhem series, the Carnegie Medal-nominated Puppet Master, and You Can Write Awesome Stories. Alongside writing for children and hosting global writing workshops, Joanne is an Editorial Expert and content writer for, and a travel writer for Rough Guides.

Emma House

Event Chair

Emma House is an international publishing consultant with over 25 years’ experience in the global publishing industry. She has held senior positions with the London Book Fair and the Publishers Association (UK) and is now consulting clients on international business development, curating and producing events and seminars, mentoring and training, and strategic insight. She is a board member of PublisHer, the network for gender equality in global publishing and a trustee of the Publishing Training Centre. She is passionate about opening up the industry to under-represented communities and volunteers for LDN Apprenticeships.

Katie Mead-Green

Social Media Executive

Katie Mead-Green is our Social Media Executive and a Fashion Marketing with Management student, at the University of Southampton.

She has always been an avid reader, loving a wide range of genres, including contemporary fiction and non-fiction.

Katie uses her Instagram to display this love of books as well as photography.

Meet The Team

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