John Paul O’Neill
John Paul is a poet, writer, broadcaster, lecturer & founded & runs Farrago Poetry. He ran, the first poetry slam in the UK in 1994, the longest running in Europe and hosts regular SLAM poetry events. He has performed in Europe and USA. He has also had poetry, short stories and articles published extensively, as well as producing spoken word projects and presenting and setting up community radio shows.
A Further Education lecturer, he runs workshops for adults and children in creative writing and performance, as well as teaching English.
John Paul is acting as Creative Advisor to the competition and the Judges Panel
Lee Stuart Evans
Lee is the author of ‘Words Best Sung’, a novel set in Nottingham and London set in the 1960s. This was published by Arundel Books in 2017.
Originally from Nottinghamshire, Lee has lived in the Eltham area since 1998 with his wife and two sons, who go to local schools
Lee is a full-time TV and radio comedy writer. He has written for many well known and popular programmes including 8 out of 10 cats, Little Big Shots, The Jonathan Ross Show, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and a League of their Own
Jo is an actor, comedian and writer. She was brought up in Eltham and attended Middle Park Primary School. She studied Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths University and The Drama Studio, London.
Jo has written, produced and performed five, four star, Edinburgh Festival shows and was a ‘So You Think That’s Funny?’ Finalist.
In 2015 her debut comedy book/autobiography ‘iScream’ reached No.17 on the Amazon listings . In 2016 she entered the exciting world of children’s books. Her books ‘Standing on Custard’ and ‘A Squirrel’s Tail’ are a huge hit with, children, parents and teachers
Russell comes from South Wales, but has lived and worked in South London for many years . After gaining a first class honours degree and later a B Ed in Education he worked extensively in Secondary Education winning the most innovative teacher in the UK in 2004. He was the Director of Performing Arts for Ark Schools until 2012.
Russell has also worked extensively in theatre both in Regional Repertory and West End. He was the Artistic Director of Soapbox Community Theatre for ten years directing and writing over 20 professional touring productions.
Russell has been the proprietor of Biscotti’s coffee and sandwich bar in Eltham for the last four years, which has a remarkable selection of movie posters on the walls. He is a great business supporter of Eltham Arts and his café has been a venue for Eltham Arts Winter Festival arts trails. Russell is delighted to have been asked to be a judge in this exciting competition.
Eleanor lives in Dublin, but has spent time living in London and is a regular visitor. She is a researcher and writer who specialises in historical and current feminist issues. She has an MA in Women, Gender and Society from University College Dublin. In 2013 she was awarded the Keats-Shelley Essay Prize and was runner-up for the Biographers’ Club Tony Lothian Prize.
Her work has been published in a range of newspapers and journals including The Sunday Times, The Guardian, History Today and The Irish Times, and she is a regular radio and television contributor. Her book Wilde’s Woman was shortlisted for the Tony Lothian Prize in 2014 and was published by Duckworth Overlook on 16 October 2015.
Eleanor is working on a new biography of Edith Nesbit, which will be published by Duckworth Overlook in 2018. Edith Nesbit lived in Well Hall Eltham from 1899 – 1922 and wrote many of her famous books (including the Railway Children) in Eltham