I’m an author, editor, freelance journalist and editorial consultant specialising in social affairs. Made Possible is my anthology on human rights and neurodiversity, influenced by my sister Raana.
I collaborate to tell untold stories – like Elliott’s, in this Tortoise Media podcast. I’m a long time contributor to The Guardian, where I’ve also commissioned and edited. You’ll find my work in The Independent, Byline Times and various magazines and journals. In summer 2022 I began editing Community Living, a magazine about inclusion, with a remit to develop the magazine and website.
I was a reporter then news editor on London local papers, I reported for The Times and the Evening Standard, where I was local government and social affairs correspondent. I’ve written for Marie Claire, Cosmo, She and Time Out, I’ve covered community affairs and deputy edited a housing magazine.
I chair the charity Sibs, I’m an ambassador for the National Development Team for Inclusion, an RSA fellow and a member of the Society of Authors. I’m a Press Awards winner, a finalist in the British Journalism Awards 2022, the Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2020 and the European Diversity Awards 2016.
More on LinkedIn or via my poetry and find me posting on Mastodon
Portrait: Nicola Bensley
Click the images or find my work in The Guardian, The Independent or Byline Times, or ask me for examples.
Speaking, chairing and events
I’m an experienced interviewer, speaker, chair of the charity Sibs and ambassador for inclusion non-profit NDTi. I’ve spoken live on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 4’s Today and World At One, regional BBC radio and podcasts including with Tortoise Media and Byline Times. I’ve hosted debates and Q&As including events for the Chipping Norton Literary Festival, Voluntary Organisations Disability Group, British Academy, Portcullis House, City Lit Institute, British Institute of Human Rights, Disability Rights UK and Learning Disability England and I was thrilled to join the judging panel at Dance Westminster
Do contact me about event bookings (ChipLitFest pic credit: Silver Apples UK).
Editorial support and mentoring
My coaching and mentoring sessions enable organisations to elevate their editorial content. I write and edit human interest print and digital material, from reports and press briefings to thought leadership pieces .
Voluntary Organisations Disability Group
Disability Rights UK and Advance Housing & Support
Get in touch for more examples.
My book: Made Possible
Stories of success, by people with learning disabilities – in their own words
reviews on Amazon, GoodReads and Waterstones
Sally Phillips: ‘A bold wake-up call’
Sir Norman Lamb: ‘A call to arms to confront continued discrimination’
Sir Simon Baron-Cohen: ‘A gem of an anthology.’
Charles Fernyhough: ‘A timely and essential collection’
Made Possible, influenced by my disabled sister Raana, features life stories from successful people in the arts, sport, campaigning and politics.
Press includes Radio 4’s Today programme, the Guardian, The Week Junior, gal-dem, Eastern Eye , London and Sussex newspapers, regional BBC radio, The Psychologist
Talks include City Lit college, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kindness Fest, Manchester Histories Festival (from 4:04:19), Disability Rights UK, British Institute of Human Rights, RNIB Radio
Find my book at local bookshops or in Waterstones, Foyles, Blackwells, Hive or Amazon.
Pro bono work
Regular unpaid commitments include roles as the chair of Sibs and as an ambassador for NDTi (the National Development Team for Inclusion). As a freelance, self-employed person, I have to limit my not-for-profit or reduced rate work, but if possible, I contribute to projects related to disability and neurodiversity issues.
Testimonials and awards
What people say about my work
‘Salman’s work drives awareness of the devastating impact of Covid-19 on neurodiverse people.’ The Press Awards judges.
‘Good quality reporting and a passion for crusading journalism.’ The late Brian MacArthur, veteran Fleet Street editor.
‘An authoritative writer.’ Sarah Jewell, Guardian supplements and microsites editor.
‘A talent for turning complex issues into powerful stories.’ John Adams, OBE, independent social care and charity advisor.
‘A talented news reporter and writer.’ Mike Leese, ex-Evening Standard news editor.
‘Saba’s guidance, knowledge, research skills and writing abilities delivered informative resources of the highest quality.’ Bob Green OBE, Stonewall Housing ex-chief executive.
Finalist – British Journalism Awards 2022 Social Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion Journalism
Winner – Press Awards 2020 Reporting Diversity
Finalist – Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2020 Media
Finalist – British Journalism Awards for Specialist Media 2018
Finalist – European Diversity Awards 2016 Journalist of the Year
Runner-up – Commission for Racial Equality Race in the Media Awards
Specialist press awards for Housing Today, where I was deputy editor
Best writer award – postgrad journalism course