Friends of the Bay

Our Sponsors and Supporters

This event would not have been possible without the support of a lot of people and companies. We’d like to thank them all – and can recommend them all!

First and foremost, we’d like to thank Ann Cleeves

Ann has been a tireless supporter – of us, of local businesses and writers in the region and far beyond. It was Ann who ‘outed’ us during one of our virtual shows and said we should run a ‘live’ show and she has supported us ever since – financially and, more importantly, at Living North‘s Christmas Fair, in print and online.

Our Sponsor: Living North

We couldn’t have asked for a better sponsor for our inaugural event. We wanted someone who really represented the North East – and we couldn’t have found anyone more appropriate than Living North. If you want to know what’s happening and what to do, where to go for the best food, drink and events in the North, make sure you pick up a copy of Living North or visit their website.

Living North have given us space at their Christmas Fair, online and in their magazine – and we are very grateful to them for all their help.

Our Bookseller Partner

the bound opened in 2021 in Whitley Bay. As part of The Forum (Corbridge)/ Accidental Bookshop (Alnwick) trio of shops they provide the North of England with great quality independent book shops. As well as providing our on-the-day bookselling services they also facilitated our author reception and book signing session featuring all our panelists.

Publishing Panel Sponsors

It would have been a quiet event without the support from our publishing sponsors! We were blown away by the enthusiasm shown by the publishers we spoke to and suggested the idea. Before we could even finish our pitch they were in – and they have done us proud through sending the very best authors to our event – thanks to you all!

Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster UK is one of the leading general book publishing companies in the UK. The group is based in London with sister companies in the United States, Canada, Australia and India. Within the UK division, there are four imprints: Gallery, Scribner, Simon & Schuster; and Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, which publish a wide and eclectic mix of authors ranging across commercial fiction, literary fiction, general non-fiction and children’s publications. Home to bestselling authors and award winners, Simon & Schuster UK is a publishing house of quality writing and a proud home to its authors and their exceptional work. It also runs a sales and distribution service for a number of independent and international publishers including Andrews McMeel, Black Library, Boom! Studios, Elliott & Thompson, Gallup Press, Inner Traditions, National Geographic Adult Books, Rebellion and VIZ Media.

Simon & Schuster International is dedicated to publishing a broad and diverse range of books for everyone, representative of the world around us. They are committed to working with and supporting writers, illustrators and other creative partners from all walks of life, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, nationality, religion or belief, age, social or economic circumstance.

Find out more about Simon & Schuster here

Michael Joseph – Penguin Random House

Michael Joseph, our founder, was already a bestselling author before he turned publisher in 1935 – the same year Penguin paperbacks arrived. He loved authors. In particular, Michael Joseph loved guiding them towards commercial success, bringing their brilliant stories to the wider world. In 1985, exactly half a century after their mutual founding, Michael Joseph became the commercial imprint of Penguin Books. Our founder’s legacy – the nurturing of writers and making of bestsellers – remains proudly in our blood to this day.

Visit the website here

Quercus Books

Founded in 2004, Quercus has already won the prestigious ‘Publisher of the Year’ award and built a reputation as a hit-maker: daring, ambitious, socially conscious and collaborative. We publish under eight main imprints, including Quercus Fiction, the home of bestselling commercial and crossover fiction.

Visit the website here


For seven decades, Transworld has been at the forefront of Commercial Fiction publishing in the UK, with an unparalleled reputation for launching blockbuster debuts and building the biggest fiction brands in the market. Last year alone, Transworld Fiction titles spent a total of 70 weeks in the Sunday Times bestseller list. Across the list – spanning everything from dark mysteries and thrillers that excite and surprise to uplifting, thought-provoking stories for modern women – we seek out the most original and exciting new voices and turn them into household names. We believe that reading can bring joy to everyone and anyone, and strive to reach the widest possible audience for our books, guaranteeing entertainment, escapism and unforgettable stories. 

Visit the website here

Tote Bag Publishers

To make the event extra special, and to help raise some money for charities, we decided to produce tote bags, with books and merch not available elsewhere. A number of publishers agreed to help us fill our goody bags with the best of stuff…Orenda Books Viper Books Harper Collins Headline, Little Brown

Orenda Books is a British-based publishing house that publishes literary and crime fiction. The London-based publisher was established in 2014 and publishes debut and existing authors including Ragnar Jónasson, Thomas Enger, Michael Grothaus, Gunnar Staalesen, and Kati Hiekkapelto

Viper Books is a new crime imprint from Serpent’s Tail, publishing books with bite: crime, thrillers and mysterious gothic fiction. From renowned established authors to exciting new voices, we strive to publish the best and brightest in the genre.

With a history stretching back over 200 years, HarperCollins is the second largest consumer book publisher in the world. Here at HarperCollins UK, we publish around 1,500 books a year for readers of all ages and interests.

Headline has spent over three decades creating books people want to read and our passion for the commercial means we are home to some of the UK’s biggest-selling authors and continue to invest in new talent with bestseller potential.

Four-time winner of the Publisher of the Year award, Little, Brown Book Group is one of the most successful and dynamic publishers in the UK. Across our fifteen imprints, we publish as wide a range of titles as anyone in the industry, and pride ourselves on the quality, variety and diversity of our publishing output.

Local Businesses

If we were to start listing all the cafes, restaurants, shops and other outlets who let us put up posters and display leaflets we’d need a much bigger website, but we thank them all. In addition, a number of businesses provided us with special offers, deals, and promotions to add value to our event for our attendees. These include…

Rustic Cup

The venue for our ‘Vera’ cocktails, The Rustic Cup is one of our favourite places for coffee, cake & more in Whitley Bay

For the Love of the North

With a shop at Spanish City, Whitley Bay and a website packed with cards, gifts, prints and more, For the Love of the North is the place for all your North East mementos

Hepple Spirits

Hepple Spirits Company was founded to reveal the true, invigorating taste of wild juniper. Hepple, located high in the remote Northumbrian Hills, has one of the purest natural environments in Britain and as a result juniper thrives.

Tynemouth Coffee

Freshly roasted and lovingly prepared, the Tynemouth Coffee Company can deliver their award winning artisan coffee experience directly to your front door. Free delivery. With an unrivalled selection of global blends and tastes, you can enjoy the modern coffee shop escape, without having to lift a finger