Kate Griffin is the name under which Catherine Webb writes fantasy books for adults. First published when a teenager, she's been writing for just long enough to have started to forget her early plots and characters. She likes big cities, urban magic, Thai food and graffiti-spotting, and is endlessly fascinated by such questions as who leaves copies of the yellow pages on top of bus shelters, how the hidden tunnels beneath the sorting office were built, and why anyone would ever dispose of perfectly good pairs of shoes by throwing them over the nearest telephone line. To keep herself occupied between chapters, she works as a theatre lighting designer in the happy expectation that two artsy careers create a perfectly balanced life.
Adam Roberts is a Professor in the Department of English at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has also published a certain number of science fiction novels. It is a matter of considerable regret to him that his two most recent titles, Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea (with Mahendra Singh; Gollancz 2014) and Béte (Gollancz 2014) are both ineligible for the submission to the Kitschies, which award he considers 'the most exciting and stimulating of all the many awards for Fantastic Fiction we have.'
Frances Hardinge was brought up in a sequence of small, sinister English villages. She studied English Language and Literature at Oxford, fell in love with the city's crazed archaic beauty, and lived there for many years. Whilst working as a technical author for a software company she started writing her first children's novel, Fly by Night, and was with difficulty persuaded by a good friend to submit the manuscript to Macmillan. She now has six published novels, all darkly speculative and aimed at children and young adults. Frances is seldom seen without her hat and is addicted to volcanoes.
Kim Curran is the award-nominated author of books for young adults, including Shift, Control, Delete and Glaze. She studied Philosophy & Literature at university with the plan of being paid big bucks to think deep thoughts. While that never quite worked out, she did land a job as a junior copywriter. She's worked in advertising ever since. She is a mentor at Bethnal Green Ventures, the Ministry of Stories and for the WoMentoring Project. And lives in London with her husband and too many books.
Glen Mehn is the new director of The Kitschies and writes speculative fiction during his very limited spare time. He can often be found on an aeroplane going somewhere unusual speaking about social innovation: he designs innovation programmes that help people use technology address social or environmental problems. He's been a lighting designer, investor, an IT architect, operations director, a dishwasher, a sometime writer.
Laura Grace is a writer and creative strategist, interested in mixing up stories and technology in exciting ways. She wrote and created the BIMA-nominated Mad World for Channel 4, was lead writer on New Year Revolution for C4, and was named a Broadcast Hot Shot by Broadcast Magazine. She won the inaugural Immersive Writing Lab prize with Blackout, and created Invisible Islands in collaboration with technologist Caden Lovelace - a narrative journey for mobile, funded by The Writing Platform Bursary. She's also the founder of The Bathory, where you can invent your perfect bath soak. She has all her best ideas in the bath.
Meg Jayanth is a freelance writer, game-maker and producer living in London. Her work includes the recently released 80 Days: a steampunk, anti-colonial, interactive retelling of Jules Verne's adventure classic, for iOS, and Samsara, a richly fantastical tale of dreamwalking and courtly intrigue set in 18th Century Bengal.
Philo van Kemenade combines video, data and the web to explore how technology can support engaging storytelling. His expertise in Artificial Intelligence and passion for filmmaking brought him to London, where he researched data-driven storytelling using user-generated online video as its building blocks. He leads Data & Analytics at Storygami, an interactive video platform that lets creators, brands and businesses make their online video stories smarter by adding interactive context. Philo is initiator of Popathon, an international series of hackathon events to encourage multidisciplinary collaboration in the field of web-native storytelling.
Clare Reddington is the Creative Director of Watershed. She joined Watershed in 2004 to work with HP Labs on utility computing animation project SE3D. Clare leads the Pervasive Media Studio, engagement and cinema teams in Watershed, working with industry, academic and creative partners to support talent and champion new ideas in the creative technology space. Clare was a finalist in the British Council's UK Young Interactive Entrepreneur 2009 and featured in Wired magazine's 100 people who shape the Wired world. Clare is also Executive Producer of REACT hub and a Visiting Professor at University of the West of England.
James Wallis runs the games consultancy Spaaace, where he specialises in interactive stories and game narrative. In the 1990s he created the story-game genre by accident with the Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen RPG, and in 2000 set up the Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming. He lectures at London South Bank University, and is setting up a new journal about storytelling in games, to be titled Playful Fiction. His current project is the novel-in-a-game/game-in-a-novel Alas Vegas.
Jim Kay is a full time illustrator currently scribbling pictures of Harry Potter for Bloomsbury Publishing. He has also provided concept work for the forthcoming BBC adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, and was awarded the Kate Greenaway prize for his work on previous Red Tentacle winner Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. Jim has no life, outside colouring things in. If he did have weekends off, he'd probably spend them prodding insects in the Kettering area, but he doesn't, and so it's mere speculation as to what he'd actually do.
Siân Prime is the Course Director for Goldsmiths' MA in Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship, lecturer on the MA Social Entrepreneurship and teaches across many of the Masters programmes and is a member of Goldsmiths Prospects of Innovation Studio. She has worked as a producer of visual, live and performance art. Siân worked at NESTA and was responsible for the content and delivery of The Academy - a training programme programme for highly talented individuals and managed a national seed fund for new business models in the Creative Industries. The progressive and groundbreaking approach to learning in that area led to an open source guide for creative start-ups. She travels and speaks at more events and in more countries than she ever intended. Her hobby is watching her hair grey.
Dapo Adeoloa a.k.a. Daps is an illustrator, character designer and visual development artist whose art work is as random as the variety of interests that make up the man himself. You can find anything from rollerskating crocodiles to basketball-playing samurai and children riding giant animals popping out of his imagination at any given time. A self confessed gym junkie with a sharp eye for composition and detail and a somewhat questionable obsession with black ink and the "lovely heavenly lines it produces" (his words, not ours). Likes to draw "Stuff" when not watching cartoons or running marathons.
Ed Warren is a Creative Director and founding partner of London-based advertising agency Creature. Over the years he's worked at agencies like Mother, DLKW and Lowe London and has been responsible for award-winning ads for PG Tips, Pot Noodle, adidas, Match.com, Frank and Amnesty International to name but a few. He is also a screenwriter. Ed previously judged the Inky Tentacle in 2012.
The Black Tentacle is a discretionary award, given by the board of The Kitschies. The current board consists of Chloe Healy, Jenni Hill, Glen Mehn, Mark Charan Newton, Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin.
Previous Judges of The Kitschies
The 2013 judges included Nick Harkaway, Annabel Wright, Anab Jain, Cat Webb and Will Hill (Red and Golden Tentacles) and Hazel Thompson, Emma Vieceli, Craig Kennedy and Sarah Anne Langton (Inky Tentacle).
The 2012 judges included Patrick Ness, Rebecca Levene and Jared Shurin (Red and Golden Tentacles) and Lauren O'Farrell, Gary Northfield and Ed Warren (Inky Tentacle).
The 2011 judges included Lauren Beukes, Rebecca Levene, Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin (Red and Golden Tentacles) and Catherine Hemelryk, Craig Kennedy, Darren Banks and Hayley Campbell (Inky Tentacle).