Three new Trustees announced for Manchester City of Literature

9 July 2024 - News

Manchester City of Literature are pleased to announce new members of the Board of Trustees this month.

We would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to the three Trustees standing down who have shaped the literature scene in Manchester over the last four years: Hafsah Aneela Bashir, Zahid Hussain and Karline Smith. All three have been involved with Manchester City of Literature since 2019/2020 and have helped launch and secure charitable status for the organisation.

Joining our Board are Michelle Collier, Reshma Ruia and Rochelle Saunders who bring a wealth of experience and ideas to our team. Existing Board member Katie Popperwell is acting as our Interim Chair going forward, with a recruitment campaign for a new Chair to be announced later this year.

About the new Trustees

Michelle Collier

Michelle is a writer, artist and narrative designer born and raised in Greater Manchester. Her work spans animation, games, printmaking, immersive digital experiences and more. As a writer, she’s worked on projects for the BBC, the National Gallery, the British Museum and the BFI, as well as charitable organisations such as Syria Relief, Children in Need and the Mental Health Foundation. In 2023, she was accepted into BAFTA Connect in recognition of her contribution to the UK screen industries.

Michelle’s practice is often playful and participatory, encouraging communities to create new stories together. She’s invited people to hunt for old gods in the Dark Peak, grow mushrooms on books and commune with ghostly distant librarians… among other things! She’s exhibited prints at HOME, NOMA and Manchester Print Fair; screened work at DepicT!, London Short Film Festival and Manchester Animation Festival; and published creative writing with Lune, MsLexia and the Glossop Winter Story Trail. She’s currently part of Channel 4’s New Writers Scheme, one of York Mediale’s Immersive Assembly artists, and is working on her first short fiction collection with support from Arts Council England. Michelle especially loves stories about the strange and unusual – from our newly emerging myths to folklore that endures through the ages.


Reshma Ruia

Dr. Reshma Ruia is a Manchester based British writer of Indian origin. She has a PhD and Master’s in Creative Writing from Manchester University. Her first novel, Something Black in the Lentil Soup, was described in the Sunday Times as ‘a gem of straight-faced comedy’. She has published a poetry collection, A Dinner Party in the Home Counties, winner of the 2019 Word Masala Award and a short story collection, Mrs Pinto Drives to Happiness, shortlisted for the 2022 Eastern Eye ACTA Awards. Her new novel, Still Lives, won the 2023 Diverse Book Readers’ Choice Award. Reshma’s work has appeared in anthologies and journals, and commissioned by the BBC, University of Cumbria and Manchester Literature Festival. She is the co-founder of The Whole Kahani – a writers’ collective of British South Asian writers. Her writing explores the preoccupations of those who possess a multiple sense of belonging.

Rochelle Saunders

Rochelle is a cultural producer, curator, and project manager with over 10 years of work experience spanning the arts, education, and community leadership. Her particular expertise in literature has led to focused work on projects in both national and international contexts. A politics graduate from SOAS, she recently completed a master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Enterprise at the University of Arts London, where she developed an academic interest in transformative social change frameworks. Rochelle has built a portfolio career and is currently a Producer at Factory International in Manchester. She also serves as an Executive Producer and sits on the Advisory Board for the Black British Book Festival. Her previous roles include positions within the British Council’s literature team, Penguin Random House’s Social Impact team, and as a Senior Producer at Renaissance One.