Meet the team
ABCtales was launched in September 2000 by John Bird (The Big Issue founder), along with Gordon Roddick (The Body Shop co-founder) and Tony Cook (Chairman of Red Pepper and co-owner of the award winning independent TV production company Praxis Films). The idea then, as now, was to offer a forum where writers could share their work, critique their peers and grow their talent.
John Bird MBE, Chairman
John has been involved in publishing and writing all his working life. Starting off as a printer and writer, he began publishing with a magazine called Art Perspectives in 1975. In 1985 he won an Arts Council Award for new writing for Dreams on a Dancehall Floor and has had numerous plays performed across the UK. Among his published work is Dickens - The Socially Mobile Cat and Bills Wolf Burt, co-authored with his 6 year old son. His greatest publishing achievement so far has been The Big Issue, a social phenomenon that has grown to help thousands of homeless people in Britain and across the world.
Tony Cook, Chief Executive
Tony began his working career by founding his own newspaper back in 1975. Much to his delight, the Exeter Flying Post continues to this day - although he left to pursue other avenues in 1979. He went into radio with BBC South West and then on via Radio Trent in Nottingham, Centre Radio and Leicester Sound to IRN in London and then to presenting the hit show Tony Cook's Talking Sport on LBC. He is still a Director of the award winning TV company Praxis Films and is on the Board of the red/green political magazine Red Pepper. He's also stood for Parliament, written two (unpublished) novels, set up and run a whole raft of small businesses, been married for 25 years, helped raise three wonderful children and lost all of his hair.
Luke Neima, Editor
Luke became Editor of ABCtales in October of 2012. He also works with Review 31, Granta and the crowd-funding publisher Unbound. A writer as well as an editor, his fiction and journalism appears in the TLS, Prospect Magazine and The White Review.