Sarah Lotz is a screenwriter and novelist with a fondness for the macabre and fake names. Incapable of holding down a ‘proper’ job, over the years she’s painted outrageous frescos for dubious casinos, written scripts for South Africa’s first full-length sci-fi cartoon show and lived homeless on the streets of Paris as a teenage runaway. Among other things, she writes horror/thriller novels under the name S.L. Grey with author Louis Greenberg, a YA pulp-fiction zombie series with her daughter under the pseudonym Lily Herne, and quirky erotica novels with authors Helen Moffett and Paige Nick under the name Helena S. Paige. Stephen King said her solo novel The Three was ‘really wonderful’ (which made her cry in a very very good way) and her latest novel, Day Four, has just been published in the U.K by Hodder & Stoughton. Pompidou Posse, a YA novel based on her experiences living rough and behaving badly in Paris, will be out in September 2015.

James Smythe is an award-winning writer of – amongst other things – novels, lectures, games, scries and haruspications. Last night – the night before writing this bio – he went to watch Fleetwood Mac, and between that occasion, the tinnitus endured during it, and the failings of his body, has really fallen into the mist of constantly fearing for his own mortality. He can be found on twitter @jpsmythe.

Nazia Khatun is a bookseller and head of All the Books track for Nine Worlds Geekfest 2015. With high hopes of becoming an archeologist, she obtained a postgraduate in Medieval Studies and then realised being an archeologist may bring her on contact with snakes… She now spends her spare time drinking tea, digging for the holy grail of books and talking to cats. She can be found on Twitter @gambit589.

Nikesh Shukla is the author of Meatspace, Coconut Unlimited (which was shortlisted for a Costa Book Award), The Time Machine (which won best novella at the Saboteur Awards 2014) and Generation Vexed (a non-fiction book co-authored with Kieran Yates). He wrote the multi-award winning short film Two Dosas, a Channel 4 sitcom pilot called Kabadasses and has contributed to Buzzfeed, Guardian, Independent on Sunday, BBC Radio 4 and many more.

Glen Mehn is the 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.


Sarah McIntyre writes and draws picture books and comics, and won last year’s Black Tentacle award for supporting fellow artists. She pushes for recognition of illustrators and cover artists in the #PicturesMeanBusiness awareness campaign and challenges publishers to be sure to include illustrators in all their data listings and publicity material. Her books include the comic Vern and Lettuce, picture books Dinosaur Police, There’s a Shark in the Bath and Jampires (with David O’Connell), and illustrated chapter books with Philip Reeve including Oliver and the Seawigs and Cakes in Space. Visit her blog, which she updates regularly: www.jabberworks.co.uk


Regan Warner is an American… insert shunned silence here. She’s been living in the UK for the past seven years and her accent thankfully has softened. She works in the advertising game as a creative/art director and prides herself on being a big idea thinker. From Clinque, Sega and Unilever through to her current gig at PokerStars her varied experience on brand building has been vast. Along with selling her soul the the advertising devil she does yoga to keep her enlightment in check. Her instagram @reganwarner shows her daily contortions which obviously bring great joy as she always has a smile on her face.

Dapo Adeola, Aka Daps, is an up and coming 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.


Lauren O’Farrell (a.k.a. Deadly Knitshade) is an author, artist, graffiti knitting pioneer and giant squid wrestler. She is best known for her crafty street art made under the Whodunnknit label, installed with and without permission in London and other cities worldwide. She is also the author of two city knitting books (Stitch London and Stitch New York), writes for various crafty publications, and founded Knit the City, the UK’s first knitting graffiti collective. She lives in Crystal Palace, London with her ancient cats and Plarchie, her 8-metre knitted squid. It is rumoured she never sleeps.

Twitter/Instagram/Vine: @deadlyknitshade Facebook Website


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. @jameswallis

Emily Short is a freelance consultant in interactive fiction, narrative design, and conversation modeling. She has worked with Telltale Games, ArenaNet, ngmoco :), and Failbetter Games among others, and was the creative director of the Versu project, building interactive iPad stories around AI characters. She has written over two dozen works of interactive fiction and is part of the design team for Inform 7, a tool for creating parser-based IF. Her blog can be found at http://emshort.wordpress.com.

Rebecca Levene is a writer and editor of all sorts of stuff, including games and books. Her four-part epic fantasy series, The Hollow Gods, is now halfway through being published by Hodder, and she’s currently working on scripts for the latest season of hit app Zombies,Run!. She also wrote the script for the Mickey Rourke voiced Rogue Warrior, though she prefers not to talk about that, and co-authored Grand Thieves and Tomb Raiders, How British Video Games Conquered the World with Magnus Anderson. She can be found sometimes on Twitter @bexlevene


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.


The 2014 judges included Adam Roberts, Cat Webb, Kim Curran, and Frances Hardinge (Red and Golden Tentacles); Ed Warren, Dapo Adeola, Jim Kay, and Siân Prime (Inky Tentacle); and Laura Grace, James Wallis, Phil van Kemenade, and Clare Reddington (Invisible Tentacle)

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).