Katharine Quarmby is a writer and journalist specialising in social affairs and science with an investigative and campaigning edge. She is production editor at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. She was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the London School of Economics (2015-2017), is a contributor at Mosaic Science magazine and has worked as a Britain correspondent at the Economist, as well as a contributing editor for Newsweek Europe.
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 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. She also freelances regularly for other papers, including a stint providing roving political analysis for The Economist, where she has worked as a Britain correspondent, during the 2010 general election.
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.
Katharine has been interviewed frequently about her work on numerous media outlets, including BBC TV and radio in the UK, the BBC World Service and the Australian Broadcast Corporation. She is also regularly invited to speak at conferences, for organisations such as the Crown Prosecution Service, local police forces, trade unions, charities and Westminster Briefing, the conference arm of the House magazine.
She has also served on an expert advisory committee on disability hate crime to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the College of Policing.