About Katharine Quarmby

Award-winning writer, editor and journalist with extensive knowledge of writing and editing across print, TV, radio and online.

You can view a portfolio of her selected journalism here:

Her reporting has appeared in the Guardian, the Economist, the Atlantic, Newsweek, The Times of London, the Telegraph, the New Statesman, the Spectator and other outlets. She has worked as a senior editor at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Liberty Investigates and Disability Now, and as an associate editor for Newsweek and Prospect magazine. She has written for the magazine Private Eye since 2007.

She writes and is interviewed on social affairs, home affairs and education, most recently mostly on disability, adoption, violence, hate crime and race relations. She has appeared and been interviewed by ABC, BBC (Woman’s Hour, Front Row, Sunday Morning Live, BBC Breakfast, 5 Live, local radio), Channel 4 News, CBC, ITV and Sky.

Katharine also chairs and takes parts in panel discussions, most recently chairing a Wellcome Collection event on disability in 2019 and taking part in a panel discussion on life writing with English Pen. In November 2020 she was a guest speaker at the National Gallery, talking about the theory and practice of scapegoating marginalised groups as part of its Sin Exhibition. Katharine is also regularly invited to speak at conferences and at literary festivals. She has spoken about her work at Hay, Edinburgh, Bath and Bristol Festivals, and abroad, including at the Council of Europe in Rome, Italy.

She also serves as a director of the Society of Authors, sitting on its management committee for a three year term from 2018 onwards. She also sits on the finance sub-committee, the membership sub-committee and its editorial advisory board. This follows successful committee experience in a number of advisory roles, including serving as an expert advisor to the EHRC from 2010-2011 on its report and manifesto on disability hate crime, Hidden In Plain Sight (2011). She then advised the Association of Chief Police Officers and the National Policing Improvement Agency on their response to the EHRC’s report. She then joined the National Police Chiefs Council’s Deaf and Disability Forum in 2016. Since 2018 she has served as a committee member on the Crown Prosecution Service’s External Consultative Group on Hate Crime (ECG) and will join a National Scrutiny Panel on victim rights in 2021.

She writes books, which are mostly investigative non-fiction. She recently launched a new investigative journalism unit at the human rights organisation Liberty, following working as engagement lead at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. She was previously production and digital editor till September 2018.

She was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the London School of Economics (2015-2017), was a contributing writer for Mosaic Science magazine and has worked as a Britain correspondent at the Economist, as well as a contributing editor for Newsweek Europe. She has spent most of her working life as a journalist and has made many films for the BBC, as well as working as a correspondent for The Economist, contributing to British broadsheets, including the Guardian, Sunday Times and the Telegraph.

Her latest books include Romani folk tales (cowritten with a Romani storyteller) and a chapter in a book about England as a place of refuge. Her latest non-fiction book was Hear My Cry, (Hachette Poland, 2015) written with the honour violence survivor, Diana Kader. She published the non-fiction book, No Place to Call Home: Inside the Real Lives of Gypsies and Travellers two years earlier (One World Publications, UK, 22 August 2013). She is currently writing a non-fiction book about female aggression, has finished a ghost-writing project, a novel and a picture book for publication in 2021.

In 2007 Katharine started to investigate a number of violent killings of disabled men and women across the UK. As news editor of the disability magazine, Disability Now, she was able to put together the first national dossier of such crimes that year, following it up with an investigative report on disability hate crimes, Getting Away with Murder, for the charity Scope and the UK’s Disabled People’s Council, in 2008.

Her first book for adults, Scapegoat: why we are failing disabled people (Portobello Press, 2011), won a prestigious international award, the Ability Media Literature Award, in 2011. In 2012 Katharine was shortlisted for the Paul Foot Award for campaigning journalism, by the Guardian and Private Eye magazine, for her five years of campaigning against disability hate. Katharine and her fellow volunteer co-ordinators of the Disability Hate Crime Network, were honoured with Radar’s Human Rights People of the Year award, for their work on disability hate crime in 2010.

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