Skip to main content

The Business of Publishing: Myth Busting from Within Panel discussion

Working-Class Writers Festival

Watershed  |  Free

Share this

Join our panel as we bust common myths around the world of publishing and offer transparency on everything from how authors get paid to how retailers select which books to feature.

Listen to the recording on SoundCloud

supported by

Sarah Shaffi is a journalist, editor and interviewer with more than a decade of experience working at newspapers, magazines and websites. She has written for Stylist, Vogue Australia,, The New Arab and more. She specialises in books, but also writes about politics, race, and pop culture (and the intersection of all three). Sarah regularly chairs events with authors, and has interviewed authors including Booker Prize-winner Bernardine Evaristo, Jojo Moyes, Candice Carty-Williams and Liane Moriarty. She’s a regular interviewer at Cheltenham Literature Festival, Southbank Centre and Asia House Literature Festival. She has been a judge for several literary prizes, including the Jhalak Prize for Best Book by a Writer of Colour and The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2020, and is judging the 2021 Costa Novel Award.

Emily Ross is the co-founder of Storysmith bookshop in Bristol, which she opened with her husband Dan in 2018. The shop has since been shortlisted for Independent Bookshop of the Year twice, and in 2021 was named by Guardian readers as one of the UK’s best independent bookshops. Before opening Storysmith, Emily worked in production roles at children’s publishers including Hachette, Usborne and Bloomsbury.

Abi Fellows has incredibly broad experience in the industry having been a literary agent at Georgina Capel Associates prior to working as a literary scout at Rosalind Ramsay Ltd for seven years. She has also worked as a bookseller at Blackwell’s and on the sales team at Faber and Faber. Outside of her day job she has experience as a school governor, with a particular focus on working with disabled children and children with special educational needs. Abi’s clients include Musa Okwonga, Saima Mir, Lizzie Huxley-Jones, Penny Pepper and Eva Verde. To unwind, Abi loves yoga and open water swimming.

Gyamfia Osei began her career in publishing working as a Bookseller at Waterstones, before joining Caskie Mushens as Literary Assistant to Juliet Mushens and Robert Caskie. She returned to the U.K. after living in Amsterdam for two years, where she managed international sales for The Pepin Press and held the role of Editor at Plural Magazine. Gyamfia is now an agent at The Good Literary Agency. She believes that the books on our shelves should represent the streets that we walk down, and so is extremely passionate about finding new and diverse talent.

Lucie Sharpe is marketing manager at Little, Brown Book Group, part of Hachette UK, developing campaigns for commercial and literary fiction and non-fiction. She has been working in publishing for 9 years, starting out at Penguin Random House and joining Hachette in 2020.

Jade Chandler is Publishing Director for Baskerville, a brand new imprint for literary crime and thriller fiction within John Murray Press at Hachette. Her past publishing includes bestselling and award-winning authors like Abir Mukherjee, Denise Mina and Jo Nesbo. She is keen to commission a distinctive new list of writers who span the breadth and depth of this exciting genre. She is looking for high-quality writing, original perspectives and compelling, page-turning narratives that make a lasting impression on the reader.


Booking Information

Booking opens on 4 October.

Booking is managed by Watershed’s Box Office. Book online or call 0117 927 5100.

Events start punctually and, out of consideration to other audience members and speakers, our policy is not to admit latecomers. 

Keeping Everyone Safe

Watershed wants to ensure that it is a welcoming and inclusive place for all. Please note that:

  • You are required to wear a mask when moving around the building, and when seated in either the cinemas or Waterside spaces (unless exempt).
  • The capacity of the cinemas and event spaces is at 75%, ensuring there is space between you and other customers on your row.
  • You should not visit you’re feeling unwell and have COVID symptoms.
  • Watershed will continue with measures currently in place, including increased and enhanced cleaning regime, provision of hand sanitiser throughout the building, maintaining air flow management plans to ensure adequate ventilation throughout, staff wearing face coverings, perspex screens at the desks and bar, and keeping contactless payments. If you would like to check in via NHS Test and Trace please feel free to do so, although it will no longer be required to enter the building.


  • Watershed’s main entrance and Box Office are both on the ground floor which is accessible via a ramped, electronically assisted entrance door.
  • There are two Blue Badge parking spaces to the rear of Watershed on Canons Road.
  • Guide dogs and hearing dogs are very welcome.
  • The first floor of Watershed is accessible via lift from the main entrance and includes level access to all areas, including the cinemas and event spaces.
  • The cinemas and event spaces have induction loops.
  • There is an accessible toilet (with baby changing facilities) near Cinema 1. Follow the signs for the Cinemas and the accessible toilet is just on your left through the double doors before Cinema 1.
  • There are gender neutral toilets in the cinema corridor on the first floor.
  • We offer companion seats without additional charge if required.

Visit Watershed’s Access page for more information.

Image: Kimberley Farmer, Unsplash

Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.

Find out how to update