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Cortina Butler

Cortina is on secondment to Deputy Director Arts, British Council until July 2020. 

Cortina studied Psychology and Philosophy at Somerville College Oxford. She has extensive experience working in the international publishing industry, most recently as Global Editor-in-Chief for the Reader’s Digest Association and before that for Dumont Buchverlag, Charles Letts and Conran Octopus. She is also a Director of the visual arts copyright organisation DACS and a Trustee of the DACS Foundation. She joined the British Council in 2013.

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Matt Beavers

Matt is Literature Programme Manager at the British Council where he is responsible for literature programmes in the Americas and Sub-Saharan Africa. He has managed partnerships with international literature festivals in several countries, has led the literature department’s collaboration with the UK City of Culture, and worked on skills development programmes for emerging writers and storytellers in South Sudan, Sudan, Colombia and Jamaica amongst others. Prior to this Matt was a project coordinator at British Council Germany where he coordinated the British Council’s Berlin Literature Seminar which has brought new literary voices from the UK to Germany for over 30 years.

Within the literature team Matt’s specialisms include poetry, spoken word and storytelling, and he is regularly on the lookout for exciting voices in the UK poetry scene and how to connect them with writers and audiences around the world.

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Swithun Cooper

Swithun joined the Literature team as Research and Information Manager in November 2014. He manages the library at the London offices, writes a monthly bulletin covering news and developments in UK literature, and researches authors, festivals, new projects and specialist areas for the team to focus on in their international events. He chaired the new writing panel on behalf of the British Council at the International Literature Showcase 2015.

Swithun previously spent five years as the library assistant and rare books archivist at the Poetry Library, Southbank Centre, during which time he ran site-specific reading and writing workshops and assisted with the organisation of Poetry Parnassus. He has also worked as the events manager at the Royal Society of Literature, where he programmed schools outreach workshops with the charity First Story and organised talks by writers including Hilary Mantel, Margaret Atwood, Ali Smith and Stephen Kelman. His writing has appeared in Intelligent Life, The TES, and The London Magazine.

Afshan2Afshan D'Souza-Lodhi

Afshan joined the Literature team as Programme Manager for South Asia in November 2018. She is based in British Council’s Manchester office. After studying Philosophy at The University of London, she went on to work at Dog Horn Publishing as Deputy Director of Publishing. Afshan has since worked at writer development organisation, Commonword and managed programmes such as Women in the Spotlight and the National Black and Asian WritersConference.

Afshan has most recently worked with Eclipse Theatre Company in artist development and with The Common Sense Network (a media company for millennials by millennials). She has just completed her Masters in Post-Colonial Literature and Cultures from the University of Manchester.

Afshan also sits on the board of Manchester Literature Festival and Pie Radio.


Rebecca Hart c James Gifford MeadRebecca Hart

Rebecca is a Programme Manager responsible for literature programmes in East Asia and the Market Focus partnership with The London Book Fair. Her specialisms include literature in translation, publishing and evaluation. In East Asia she has worked on seasons in Korea, Indonesia and Japan, and programmes involving short story writing in Myanmar, graphic novels in Korea and poetry in China amongst others.

After receiving a BA in History and English Literature from Queen’s University, Canada, Rebecca moved to the UK to study for an MA in History of International Relations from the London School of Economics where she focussed on cultural encounters between people from South Asia and Britain. After graduating, Rebecca worked at Foyles bookshops in London as a fiction specialist, Books Buyer and then as a Manager opening the shop in Westfield Stratford just before the London 2012 Olympics.

Jim Hinks

Jim Hinks

Jim Hinks is a Literature Programme Manager responsible for Wider Europe, The Middle East and North Africa. He’s based in the British Council’s Manchester office. Jim joined the British Council from Comma Press, an independent publisher based in Manchester, UK, which specialises in short stories in translation. There he worked as a translation editor and led on Comma’s digital projects, including eBook production, app development, and the MacGuffin self-publishing platform. Jim has over ten years of experience in the UK publishing industry, and for three years led the editorial module on the MA in Publishing at The University of Central Lancashire. He’s a graduate of Nottingham Trent University and The University of Manchester, and is a part-time PhD candidate at Edge Hill University, where his research specialism is narrative mechanisms of the short story. 

Liz Moon edit 99x102Liz Moon

Marketing Manager for Film & Literature. Liz joined the British Council in 2018 and is based in Edinburgh. Previously, Liz has worked on the marketing strategies for the London Literature Festival and Being A Man at the Southbank Centre, as well as for numerous productions at the National Theatre and The Old Vic.

sinead russellSinead Russell

Sinead Russell is Director Literature, job sharing with Rachel Stevens. Together they oversee our programme of work with writers and other literature professionals, building relationships between the reading, writing, translation, literature development and publishing communities in the UK and around the world.

Sinead has been a Trustee for spoken word organisation Apples & Snakes and an Artistic Assessor for Arts Council England, and her specialisms include work in reader development and learning English through literature.  Prior to the British Council, she read English Studies at the University of Durham, taught English as a Foreign Language in Japan, and worked for libraries in the London Borough of Hounslow.  

Rochelle Saunders ON 2.0 90x90Rochelle Saunders

Rochelle joined the Literature team as Literature Coordinator in January 2020.  She provides support for all aspects of British Council literature projects in the UK and overseas.

Rochelle has experience that covers the arts and education projects in both national and international contexts. She has previously worked as a producer at Renaissance One and Tilt live literature and spoken word organisations that support underrepresented writers. She holds a politics degree from SOAS and has recently completed her masters at Central Saint Martins (UAL) where she held an academic interest in sustainable and transformative social change frameworks in the cultural and creative industries.

Rachel StevensRachel Stevens

Rachel Stevens is Director Literature, job sharing with Sinead Russell. Together they oversee our programme of work with writers and other literature professionals, building relationships between the reading, writing, translation, literature development and publishing communities in the UK and around the world.

Rachel joined the British Council as an English Literature and Art History graduate, and previously worked for Counterpoint, the cultural relations think tank.  Since 2007 she has developed Literature programmes in many countries across the globe including Brazil, Egypt, Russia and Pakistan. As Senior Literature Programme Manager, she led on work with Europe and major programmes, including the International Literature Showcase and Drawing Words exhibition of children’s picture book illustration. Her specialist interest is literature in translation, and she is on the board of Modern Poetry in Translation

Harriet Williams resizeHarriet Williams

Harriet is the Literature Programme Manager for the Wider Europe and EU regions. Harriet joined the team in November 2014, working on the Market Focus programme from 2014-2019 in Mexico, Poland, the Baltics, Indonesia and Sharjah. Prior jobs include working in the membership team at the British Museum and as a Bookseller at the London Review Bookshop.

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