WHO WE ARE
The authors and illustrators on this page are passionate about the natural world and preserving it for future generations. We hope that you'll join us in committing to rid our lives and communities of plastic and unsustainable fish wherever possible, and inspiring our young (and old) readers to do the same.
AUTHORS & ILLUSTRATORS
DAME JACQUELINE WILSON
Born in Bath, Jacqueline Wilson spent most of her childhood in Kingston-on-Thames. She always wanted to be a writer and wrote her first “novel” when she was nine, filling countless Woolworths’ exercise books as she grew up. She started work as a journalist for DC Thomson in Scotland where JACKIE magazine was named after her. She has been writing full time all her adult life.
Penguin Random House publish a host of books by Jacqueline Wilson including THE STORY OF TRACY BEAKER, which was a major children’s drama series on CBBC and resulted in a subsequent series called THE DUMPING GROUND. Her recent series about a Victorian Foundling called HETTY FEATHER has proved hugely popular with her fans. Hetty Feather has been adapted for the stage and by CBBC and both received huge critical acclaim. A fourth series of the CBBC adaptation is currently in production.
In the autumn of 2014, Penguin Random House published Jacqueline Wilson’s 100th book, OPAL PLUMSTEAD, set just before WW1. Since then, eight more novels have been published. A further two will publish during 2018. Jacqueline has been on countless shortlists and has won many awards, including the Smarties Prize, and the Children’s Book Award. THE ILLUSTRATED MUM won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award and the 1999 Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards. It was also shortlisted for the 1999 Whitbread Children’s Book Award. THE STORY OF TRACY BEAKER won the 2002 Blue Peter People’s Choice Award.
As well as receiving an OBE in 2002 for Services to Literacy in Schools, Jacqueline was awarded a DBE in 2008. Over 40 million copies of Jacqueline Wilson’s books have now been sold in the UK alone and they have been translated into 34 different languages. She is one of the UK’s best-selling authors of the past decade.
From 2005-2007 Jacqueline was privileged to be the Children’s Laureate during which time she led an immensely successful campaign to encourage adults to read aloud to children long after they can read for themselves. She is the Chancellor at the University of Roehampton where she is also visiting Professor of Children’s Literature In addition, Jacqueline also holds Honorary Doctorates from Universities in Dundee, Kingston, Winchester and Bath.
Katherine Rundell grew up in London, Zimbabwe and Brussels; the first time she fell in love was at age nine, in the East of Zimbabwe, with a baby elephant who sneezed on her face. She is the author of ROOFTOPPERS, THE GIRL SAVAGE, THE WOLF WILDER and THE EXPLORER which won the 2017 Costa Children's Book Award. She is also a Fellow in English Literature at All Souls College Oxford where she works on research into the Renaissance poet John Donne and occasionally goes climbing on rooftops late at night.
Gill Lewis is an award winning children’s author whose books, WHITE DOLPHIN, MOON BEAR, GORILLA DAWN and SKY HAWK, reflect her passion for the natural world. Her stories are inspired by the people and animals she has met during her work and travels as a vet, in both wild and not-so-wild places. She writes from a tree house in the company of squirrels.
Elizabeth Laird was born in New Zealand of Scottish parents, and came to Britain as a child. She has lived and worked in many countries, including Malaysia, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Lebanon and Austria. The folktales she collected on journeys throughout Ethiopia are now available at www.ethiopianfolktales.com, in English and Amharic and www.ethiopianfolktalesforkids.com. Laird’s books are realistic and explore war, homelessness, environmental issues and the experience of refugees. Her ten WILD THINGS novels follow the adventures of three children who are engaged with conservation projects in Africa. To research these stories, Laird worked closely with the Kenya Wildlife Trust and other conservation organisations. In March 2018, her novel SONG OF THE DOLPHIN BOY concerns the impact on dolphins from plastic rubbish in the ocean.
Holly Smale is the author of the million-selling GEEK GIRL series. She fell in love with writing at five years old, when she realised that books didn’t grow on trees like apples. A passion for travel, adventure and wearing no shoes has since led her to over 31 countries: she spent two years working as a teacher in Japan, has ridden a motorbike through Vietnam and slept on a series of trains across China.
As a teenager, she also did a little modelling in the hope that eventually she would be sent somewhere exciting. She wasn’t.
Holly has a BA in English and an MA in Shakespeare from Bristol University. GEEK GIRL was the number one best-selling young adult fiction title in the UK in 2013. It won the Teen category of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the series has now been translated into 27 languages.
Patrice Lawrence was born in Brighton and lives in east London. Orangeboy, her debut book for young adults was shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award, won the Bookseller YA Prize and Waterstones Prize for Older Children's Fiction and has been shortlisted for many regional awards. Indigo Donut has been shortlisted for the YA Bookseller Prize 2018 and was book of the week in the The Times, Sunday Times and Observer and one of The Times top children's books in 2017. Both books have been nominated for the Carnegie Award. Outside of writing, Patrice ahs worked in the voluntary sector promoting equality and social justice.
Lisa Glass is the author of the Blue trilogy of YA novels, featuring the surfers of Fistral Beach. She’s always been interested in marine conservation and is lucky enough to live in the coastal town of Newquay, Cornwall.
Maz began her writing career in journalism as a TV critic and feature writer and has also been a university lecturer. Most recently she founded Story Stew; a creative writing programme that visits primary schools and literary festivals around the UK. This creative and inventive business is one that Maz is hugely passionate about, and was her personal answer to finding a creative outlet and role that fitted in around her family life. The WHO LET THE GODS OUT? series grew from Maz’s experiences with Story Stew, and her daily interactions with young people: their connection to and creativity and spontaneity with storytelling. Maz has spoken to thousands of children and has never heard the same story twice. Maz lives with her family in Bournemouth. Beyond the Odyssey, the third book in her series, is out in April and published by Chicken House.
Jasbinder Bilan won The Times Chickenhouse prize 2017 for her debut novel SONG OF THE MOUNTAIN, to be published in Spring 2019. Her story is set in the harsh but beautiful landscape of the Himalayas and explores our connections with nature and our ancestral animal spirits. According to family stories, Jasbinder was born in a stable in the foothills of the Himalayas. Until she was a year and a half, she lived on a farm inhabited by a grumpy camel and a monkey called Oma. She is passionate about nature and conservation and proud to be part of the Authors4oceans initiative.
I was born in Boston, Lincolnshire, very luckily for me into a family of readers and natural history lovers. These two passions have shaped my life, right through University where I studied Botany and Zoology with a large extra of English literature, and on to working in labs in Cambridge and the Derbyshire Dales while I built up my writing career. I now live in the lovely Peak District where I write books, and volunteer for my local wildlife trust. I spend part of each day reading and writing and part either in woodland, meadow or moorland and every where I go I pick up litter! What makes me sad is that the litter is there, in ever increasing quantities. What gives me hope is the number of people I see every day pausing to pick it up.
Geraldine McCaughrean has written over 170 books and had far too much fun ever to call writing a job. She has been published around the world. She writes for every age level, from first-readers and picture books to adult novels, and has won lots of lovely awards.
In this year’s Carnegie Awards she is shortlisted for WHERE THE WORLD ENDS, an adventure set in St Kilda an abandoned Scottish island which is nowadays kept perfectly free of pollution – and would like to stay that way, if the sea around it allows. As well as 16 or so children's novels and five for adults, she has done many retellings of myths and legends from around the world and adapted classic books to make them more accessible. Born in 1951, she worked in TV and magazine publishing for ten years before becoming a full-time writer. She now lives in Berkshire with her husband John. Her daughter Ailsa is an actress.
Yaba Badoe is an award winning documentary filmmaker. A graduate of King’s College Cambridge, she worked as a civil servant in Ghana before becoming a General Trainee with the BBC.
In 2010 she set up an NGO, Fadoa Films, through which she made THE WITCHES OF GAMBAGA and a feature-length documentary, THE ART OF AMA ATA AIDOO , about the life and work of iconic, African feminist writer, AMA ATA AIDOO. Her short stories have been published in Critical Quarterly, and in AFRICAN LOVE STORIES: AN ANTHOLOGY, AFRICAN SEXUALITIES: A READER, PUMPKIN SEEDS, and SHORT STORIES SOUTHERN AFRICAN AND BEYOND. Her debut novel for adults, TRUE MURDER, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2009. Her debut YA novel, A JIGSAW OF FIRE AND STARS, published in 2017 by Zephyr an imprint of House of Zeus, is longlisted for the Branford Boase Award for a dazzling debut. THE SECRET OF THE PURPLE LAKE, a collection of fairy tales for younger readers was published by Cassava Republic Press in October 2017. Yaba Badoe was nominated for a Distinguished Woman of African Cinema Award in 2014. She has taught in Spain and Jamaica and spent several years making documentaries as a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana.
SIR MICHAEL MORPURGO
Michael Morpurgo, began writing stories in the early '70's, in response to the children in his class at the primary school where he taught in Kent. One of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers, Michael was appointed Children’s Laureate in 2003, a post he helped to set up with Ted Hughes in 1999. He was awarded an OBE in 2007 and a Knighthood in the New Year’s Honours in 2018 for services to literature and charity. He has written over 130 books, including THE BUTTERFLY LION, KENSUKE'S KINGDOM, WHY THE WHALES CAME, THE MOZART QUESTION, SHADOW, and WAR HORSE, which was adapted for a hugely successful stage production by the National Theatre and then, in 2011, for a film directed by Steven Spielberg. His book, PRIVATE PEACEFUL, was adapted for the stage by Simon Reade and a film, directed by Pat O'Connor. He has won numerous awards including those voted for by children themselves, the Blue Peter Book Award and the Children’s Book Award. His latest books to be published in Spring 2018 are both set during the second World War: FLAMINGO BOY, a novel set in the Camargue region of France, and In the Mouth of the Wolf, the true story of the lives of Michael Morpurgo’s uncles.
A son and grandson of actors, Michael has acting in his blood and enjoys collaborating and performing live adaptations of his books at festivals, concerts and theatres. Michael's books have been translated into many languages including Chinese, Bulgarian and Hungarian, Hebrew and Japanese. He travels all over the UK and abroad talking to people of all ages at literary festivals, telling his stories and encouraging them to tell theirs.
With his wife Clare, he set up the charity Farms for City Children, which offers children and teachers from inner-city primary schools the chance to live and work in the countryside for a week on one of the charity’s three farms in Devon, Gloucestershire and Wales. Over 100,000 children have visited the three farms run by the charity since it began in 1976. Teachers frequently comment that a child can learn more in a week on the farm than a year in the classroom. HRH The Princess Royal is Patron of the charity. The couple were awarded MBE's for their work in education.
Abi Elphinstone grew up in Scotland where she spent most of her childhood building dens, hiding in tree houses and running wild across highland glens. After being coaxed out of her tree house, she studied English at Bristol University and then worked as a teacher. She is the author of SKY SONG, THE DREAMSNATCHER, THE SHADOW KEEPER and THE NIGHT SPINNER. When she's not writing, Abi volunteers for Beanstalk charity, speaks in schools and travels the world looking for her next story. Her latest adventure involved watching orcas dive for herring in the Arctic.
Piers’s award winning books include THE LAST WILD. (Shortlisted for Waterstones Children’s Book Prize), THE DARL WILD (Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize), and THERE MAY BE A CASTLE. (Nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2018). He is a judge for the 2018 Costa Book Awards. His world premiere stage adaptation of John Masefield’s THE BOX OF DELIGHTS recently opened at Wilton’s Music Hall. His latest book, THE LOST MAGICIAN, will be published in 2018. A Beanstalk Reading Helper, he is also a Trustee of the Pleasance Theatre and the Ministry of Stories, and an Artistic Associate at Wilton’s Music Hall.
Nicola Davies is the author of more than 50 books for children, fiction, non fiction and poetry. Her work has been published in more than 10 different languages and has won major awards in the UK, US, France, Italy and Germany. Nicola trained as a zoologist, and studied whales and bats in the wild. Her work focuses on nature and human relationships with the natural world. She has been a senior lecturer in Creative Writing, and now regularly runs workshops for children and adults to help them find their voices as writers and advocates for nature. In 2017 she was the first recipient of the SLA’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Non Fiction and in 2018 had four picture books longlisted for the Greenaway Award.
Nicolette Jones is a writer and journalist, and among her publications is the Mountbatten Maritime Prize-winning THE PLIMSOLL SENSATION: THE GREAT CAMPAIGN TO SAVE LIVES AT SEA. She has been the children’s books reviewer of the Sunday Times for more than two decades, and was nominated for the Eleanor Farjeon Award for an outstanding contribution to the world of children’s books.
Chris Riddell, the 2015-2017 UK Children's Laureate, is an accomplished artist and the political cartoonist for the Observer. He has enjoyed great acclaim for his books for children. His books have won a number of major prizes, including the 2001 and 2004 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals. GOTH GIRL AND THE GHOST OF A MOUSE won the Costa Children's Book Award 2013. His work for Macmillan includes the bestselling GOTH GIRL books, the OTTOLINE series, THE EMPEROR OF ABSURDIA, WENDEL AND THE ROBOTS and, with Paul Stewart, the MUDDLE EARTH books, the SCAVENGER series and the BLOBHEADS series. Chris lives in Brighton with his family.
LAUREN ST JOHN
Lauren St John grew up on a farm and game reserve in Zimbabwe, Africa with a pet giraffe and numerous horses, dogs, and warthogs. She is the bestselling author of the WHITE GIRAFFEseries, which includes DOLPHIN SONG. KIDNAP IN THE CARIBBEAN, the second in the Blue Peter-Award-winning Laura Marlin Mystery series, is about the illegal trade in marine species. As a journalist for The Sunday Times, Lauren did an investigation into dolphin trafficking. An ambassador for the Born Free Foundation, she has helped rescue dolphins from Turkey (see pic above!) and return them to the wild. Intense campaigning by Virginia McKenna and Born Free ended the dolphin captivity industry in the UK. Lauren's latest book is KAT WOLFE INVESTIGATES, which is set in an idyllic seaside town on the Jurassic Coast. She is the founder of Authors4Oceans.
Robert Macfarlane is well-known for his writing about nature, landscape, language and human history. His books - which include LANDMARKS, THE OLD WAYS, THE WILD PLACES, MOUNTAINS OF THE MIND and, with Jackie Morris, THE LOST WORDS: A SPELL BOOK, have won numerous prizes and become bestsellers in Britain and abroad. His work has been widely translated, and frequently adapted for film, television, music, and radio. He is the founding trustee of Action For Conservation and a patron of Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination [likewise]. He is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.'
Jackie Morris is an author, illustrator, artist, living within sight and sound of the sea, in a small house on the coast of West Wales. Her books include THE SNOW LEOPARD, THE ICEBEAR, THE SEAL CHILDREN and the bestselling LOST WORDS ( written by Robert Macfarlane, illustrated by Jackie Morris). She has two children, Hannah and Tom, one who studies Marine Biology and one who studied navigation. Her early work included many designs to raise money for Greenpeace.
Liz Kessler has written twenty books for children and young adults. Her EMILY WINDSNAP books, about a girl who is part-mermaid, have been translated into twenty-five languages, appeared on the New York Times Bestseller list, and are currently in active development with a Hollywood producer. Liz lives by the coast in Cornwall where much of her life revolves around the sea. When she is not staring out at the ocean to get inspiration for her books, she is likely to be found out on her body board, in her boat, rowing with the local Gig Club or swimming across the bay. Other than when she is writing, Liz is at her happiest when she is on the water, and recently shot these two videos of local dolphins in and around St Ives Bay.
Alom Shaha is author of MR SHAHA'S RECIPES FOR WONDER and THE YOUNG ATHEIST'S HANDBOOK. He was born in Bangladesh but grew up in London. He has worked as a TV producer and director, making programmes about subjects ranging from particle physics to mathematics. He now works as a science teacher and writes about science and education for a number of print and online publications.
Rachel Hickman is the
Deputy Managing Director of Chicken House Publishing Ltd. Rachel founded Chicken House Books with Barry Cunningham in 2000 – a professional relationship that successfully combines her creativity and lateral thinking with his boundless enthusiasm and publishing experience.
Rachel has wanted to be in children’s publishing her whole life since joining the Puffin Club as a child. After a degree in Publishing at Oxford Brookes, she began a career that has now spanned more than 25 years. At Penguin Children's Books and later Harper Collins she worked with some of the most famous names in children's books including the late Roald Dahl. In 2016, her first novel for young teens, ONE SILVER SUMMER, was
published by Scholastic Inc. NY and Old Barn Books. She lives in Hampshire with her family and horse.
CATHERINE HYDE is a Cornish artist and award winning Illustrator. She trained in Fine Art Painting at Central School of Art in London and has shown her atmospheric and symbolic paintings successfully in galleries for over thirty years. Her acclaimed illustrations for Lauren St John's novel, THE SNOW ANGEL, were described as 'sublime'. She is currently represented in Cornwall by The Lighthouse Gallery, Penzance and in London by Foss Fine Art, Battersea.
KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE
Kiran Millwood Hargrave is the bestselling author of THE GIRL OF INK & STARS, which won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017, and the British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year 2017. THE ISLAND AT THE END OF EVERYTHING has been shortlisted for the Costa Award, the Blue Peter Book Award, and the Jhalak Prize. She loves wild swimming, and her daemon would most likely be an otter.
Natasha Farrant is the author of the Bluebell Gadsby books (Faber), LYDIA: THE WILD GIRL OF PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Chicken House) and most recently THE CHILDREN OF CASTLE ROCK (Faber), an adventure story set in the wilds of the Scottish islands. Natasha grew up in London, but her family hails from the Atlantic coast of France’s south west, and she is never happier than walking along an ocean’s shoreline, unless she is actually in the ocean, or sitting on a cliff top looking at puffins.
Jonathan is the author of supernatural adventure series LOCKWOOD & CO, and of the BARTIMAEUS novels, which have sold seven million copies in 36 languages around the world. He was born in Bedford in 1970, and soon discovered he had an itch to write. His first stories were composed on scraps of wallpaper; through his teens he created comics, gamebooks and boardgames. After taking a degree in English Literature at York University, he worked as an editor in London while continuing to scribble in his spare time. His first book was published when he was 23. The BARTIMAEUS SEQUENCE, about a sarcastic genie, won the 2006 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature, the 2006 Corinne Award, Germany, and the 2007 Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire. Jonathan lives in Hertfordshire, UK, with his wife and two children.
In 2014, Jonathan launched a children’s creativity campaign called Freedom To Think. The campaign encourages parents and carers to safeguard time in their children’s lives for creativity.
PROFESSOR JULIA GREEN
Julia Green lives in Bath, but her favourite places are wild remote islands, beaches, cliffs and hilltops. She has spent many happy times on the islands of the Outer Hebrides. She has two grownup sons who inspire her with their wild spirit of adventure. One of them recently sailed with a friend in a small boat across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Panama Canal and across the Pacific Ocean, and lived for six months on a tiny island. Julia is the Course Director for the MA Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University, which has launched the careers of many children’s authors. She has written more than seventeen books for children and young adults.
After years of teaching English to secondary school students, Emma now writes full time. She is the author of FROST HOLLOW HALL, STRANGE STAR and others, and more recently the Books Are My Bag award-winning LETTERS FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE. She lives in the Somerset hills with her husband and two terriers.
Tamsyn Murray writes a lot, from picture books to adult fiction (as the bestselling author, Holly Hepburn). Titles include the Afterlife books for teens, the STUNT BUNNY series for younger readers and three cringe-along COMPLETELY CASSIDY misadventures, plus the award-winning INSTRUCTIONS FOR A SECOND-HAND HEART. She also writes the fur-filled TANGLEWOOD ANIMAL PARK series. She owns many pets and two children and is usually found at the zoo.
James Mayhew is a children’s illustrator, author, artist and storyteller. From the classic best-selling KATIE series, to ELLA BELLA BALLERINA, he has been enchanting children with books full of art, stories and music for over 25 years.
Alongside his work in publishing, James works with a variety of musicians and with many ensembles and symphony orchestras, presenting concerts that incorporate narrative and art created live on stage. His collaborators include the Carducci Quartet, Dockland’s Sinfonia and the Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra at venues ranging from Saffron Hall to the Royal Albert Hall.
He has exhibited widely, most recently at the National Gallery of Scotland, and in 2014 he was Illustrator in Residence at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. In 2015 the National Gallery in London launched an exclusive range of merchandise based on the KATIE picture-book character. His latest illustration project is GASPARD THE FOX for a series of books inspired by a real urban fox, written by BBC broadcaster Zeb Soanes. A passionate advocate of art, music and culture for children, James is in demand internationally as a speaker, performer and educator, at museums and galleries, and both literary and music festivals.
Annabel Pitcher is an award-winning young adult novelist, whose work has been published in over twenty five countries. Her first book, MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTELPIECE was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Book Prize, the Red House Book Award and the Carnegie Medal, going on to win The Branford Boase Award for most promising debut in 2012. Her second novel, KETCHUP CLOUDS, was named Waterstones Children's Book of the Year in 2013 and won an Edgar Award in USA for Best Young Adult Fiction. Her third novel, SILENCE IS GOLDFISH, was published to great critical acclaim in 2015 and 2017 saw the arrival of her first novella, THE LAST DAYS OF ARCHIE MAXWELL. She is currently working on her fifth book, a series of picture books and the film adaptation of MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTLEPIECE.
Laura Dockrill is an author, illustrator and performance poet whose wonderfully inventive and vibrant approach to life is reflected in the rich and vividly imagined worlds she creates. Laura grew up in Brixton and attended the Brit School and still lives in London. She has always had a vivacious spark, finding creativity in words – from poetry to novels and scripts to song lyrics.
She is author of CILIP Carnegie Medal nominated YA novel LORALI and its sequel AURABEL, as well as the DARCY BURDOCK series for younger readers, which was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2014. Other books include ECHOES a collection of poems and short stories and a number of adult poetry collections. Her debut children’s poetry collection, MY MUM'S GROWING DOWN, was published in August 2017 by Faber & Faber. Children’s books are at the heart of her work. She curated The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl exhibition at the Southbank Centre and loves to visit schools and festivals and meet young readers who are as spirited as her. Laura has appeared on Blue Peter and CBeebies and is a frequent poet performer at festivals including Glastonbury, Hay, Edinburgh, London Literary Festival and Latitude.
Lee Weatherly has written over 50 books for children and young adults, including the bestselling Angel series, and is published in 20 different languages. Awards for her work include the Sheffield Children’s Book Award, the Stockport Children’s Book Award, and the Leeds Book Award; she was also shortlisted for the Edgar Allan Poe Award. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Lee lives with her husband and cat on the edge of a Scottish nature reserve, where she enjoys all sorts of wildlife in her garden.
SIR QUENTIN BLAKE
Quentin Blake was born in the suburbs of London in 1932 and has drawn ever since he can remember. He went to Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, followed by National Service. Then he studied English at Downing College, Cambridge, going on to do a postgraduate teaching diploma at the University of London, followed by life-classes at Chelsea Art School.
He has always made his living as an illustrator, as well as teaching for over twenty years at the Royal College of Art, where he was head of the Illustration department from 1978 to 1986. His first drawings were published in Punch while he was 16 and still at school. He continued to draw for Punch, The Spectator and other magazines over many years, while at the same time entering the world of children's books with A DRINK OF WATER by John Yeoman in 1960.
He is known for his collaboration with writers such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, John Yeoman and, most famously, Roald Dahl. He has also illustrated classic books, including A Christmas Carol and Candide and created much-loved characters of his own, including Mister Magnolia and Mrs Armitage.
Since the 1990s Quentin Blake has had an additional career as exhibition curator, curating shows in, among other places, the National Gallery, the British Library and the Musée du Petit Palais in Paris. In the last few years he has begun to make larger-scale work for hospitals and healthcare settings in the UK and France where his work can be seen in wards and public spaces. Most recently he has completed a scheme for the whole of a new maternity hospital in Angers.
His books have won numerous prizes and awards, including the Whitbread Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award and the international Bologna Ragazzi Prize. He won the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, the highest international recognition given to creators of children's books. In 2004 Quentin Blake was awarded the 'Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres' by the French Government for services to literature and in 2007 he was made Officier in the same order. In 2014 he was admitted to the Legion d'Honneur, an honour accorded to few people who are not French nationals. In 1999 he was appointed the first ever Children's Laureate, a post designed to raise the profile of children's literature. His book Laureate's Progress (2002) recorded many of his activities and the illustrations he produced during his two-year tenure. Quentin Blake was created CBE in 2005, is an RDI and has numerous honorary degrees from universities throughout the UK. He received a knighthood for 'services to illustration' in the New Year's Honours for 2013, and became an Honorary Freeman of the City of London in 2015.
FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE
Frank Cottrell-Boyce is a successful British screenwriter whose film credits include WELCOME TO SARAJEVO, HILARY AND JACKIE and 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE. MILLIONS, his debut chidlren's novel, won the 2004 Carnegie Medal and was shortlisted for the Guardian Childrens Fiction Award. His second novel, FRAMED, was shortlisted for the 2005 Whitbread Children's Fiction Award and has also been shortlisted for the 2005 Carnegie Medal. His third novel, COSMIC, was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Frank has also written a sensational sequel to the much-loved CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG and the heartwarming RUNAWAY ROBOT.
Elissa Elwick is a children's book illustrator and author. Conjuring up oddities from London's Fleece Station studio that she shares with Sarah McIntyre. Owns way too many toys. One half of children's book collaborating duo, Ardagh and Elwick. Her latest books are: LITTLE ADVENTURERS: LEAFY THE PET LEAF and LITTLE ADVENTURERS: WHAT BEAR? WHERE?
DR BEN GARROD
Ben is an evolutionary biologist, conservationist, broadcaster and author. He has lived and worked all over the world, as a conservationist and biologist. In Uganda, he developed a chimpanzee conservation field site for the renowned chimpanzee scientist Dr Jane Goodall, where among other things, he habituated wild chimps. He has also worked extensively across South East Asia for an orangutan conservation charity, has witnessed the world's largest dinosaur being excavated in Patagonia, studied marine life in Madagascar and conducted research into introduced Caribbean monkeys. He has also repeatedly traveled to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, encountering walruses, polar bears and elusive white whales.
Ben has a BSc in Animal Behaviour from Anglia Ruskin University, an MSc in Wild Animal Biology from the Royal Veterinary College and a PhD, which looked at monkey evolution on tropical islands, entitled 'Primates of the Caribbean' with the University College London and the Zoological Society of London. In addition to his role as Teaching Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University, he has presented a number of television programmes, including Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur with Sir David Attenborough on BBC One, The Day the Dinosaurs Died on BBC Two, Hyper Evolution on BBC Four and the award-winning series Secrets of Bones. Ben is involved with many conservation and science education charities, including the Marine Conservation Society, as an Ambassador. He has also written a six part series of books for young science enthusiasts, called 'SO YOU THINK YOU KNOW ABOUT DINOSAURS?'
M. G. LEONARD
M. G. Leonard is the award winning, bestselling author of the BEETLE BOY books and an insect conservationist. She has a first-class honours degree in English literature and an MA in Shakespeare Studies from Kings College London. She works as a freelance Digital Media Producer for clients such as the National Theatre, and Harry Potter West End, and previously worked as a Senior Digital Producer at the National Theatre, the Royal Opera House and Shakespeare’s Globe. She lives in Brighton with her husband and two sons, and is currently working on a book about the oceans and an active contributor to Authors4Oceans
Tom Moorhouse is a strange hybrid being, half children's author and half research ecologist (an entity probably not called an "authologist"). He has spent rather a lot of his life working on river creatures, most of which tried to bite him. His debut novel THE RIVER SINGERS (2013) won the 2015 Quality Fiction NSTBA award, was nominated for the 2015 Carnegie Medal, longlisted for the 2015 UKLA and 2014 Branford Boase awards, and shortlisted for the 2016 Stockton Children's Book of the Year. Its sequel THE RISING was published in 2014. TRICKSTER (2016), nominated for the 2016 Carnegie Medal, is a “ratrospective”. (No, he won't stop making that joke.) In 2016 he joined ten other authors and Lantana Publishing to create A Wisp of Wisdom, giving Cameroonian children back their stories. In 2017 his first follow-ups to The Wind in the Willows (A RACE FOR TOAD HALL and TOAD HALL IN LOCKDOWN) came out. 2018 sees the publication of the next in the series: TOAD IN TROUBLED WATERS and OPERATION TOAD.
SF Said's first book, Varjak Paw, was about a cat learning how to survive on his own, and becoming a great warrior. It won the Smarties Prize for Children's Literature, and has sold over half a million copies worldwide. It has been adapted as a stage play and an opera, and a film version is in development. The sequel, The Outlaw Varjak Paw, won the BBC Blue Peter Book Of The Year; while his third book, Phoenix, represents the UK on the IBBY International Honour Book List, and was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award. All three books are currently being taught widely in classrooms around the UK and elsewhere. SF Said has also written about children's and young adult literature for both the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph, and has given talks at the British Library, British Film Institute and on BBC Radio 4.
MARCUS SEDGWICK was born and raised in East Kent in the south-east of England. He now lives in the French Alps. He is the winner of many prizes, most notably the Michael L. Printz Award for 2014, for his novel MIDWINTERBLOOD. Marcus has also received two Printz Honors, for REVOLVER in 2011 and THE GHOSTS OF HEAVEN in 2016. Other notable awards include FLOODLAND, Marcus’ first novel, which won the Branford-Boase Award in 2001. MY SWORD HAND IS SINGING won the Booktrust Teenage Prize for 2007, and LUNATICS AND LUCK won a Blue Peter Book Award in 2011. His books have been shortlisted for over forty other awards, including the Carnegie Medal (six times), the Edgar Allan Poe Award (twice) and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize (four times). He has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award three times, in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Marcus was Writer in Residence at Bath Spa University for three years, reviews for The Guardian newspaper and teaches creative writing at Arvon and Ty Newydd. He is currently working on film and book projects with his brother, Julian, as well as a graphic novel with Thomas Taylor. He has illustrated some of his books, and has provided wood-engravings for a couple of private press books.
Christopher Edge is an award-winning children's author whose books have been translated into more than twenty languages. His novel THE MANY WORLDS OF ALBIE BRIGHT won several children's book awards including the Brilliant Book Award and was also nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, as was his novel THE JAMIE DRAKE EQUATION, which was also selected as one of the best new children's books of 2017 for Independent Bookshop Week. His latest novel, THE INFINITE LIVES OF MAISIE DAY, was recently chosen by The Times as their Children's Book of the Week, whilst his other books include the critically-acclaimed and award-winning TWELVE MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT trilogy of historical mysteries. He is also the author of HOW TO WRITE YOUR BEST STORY EVER! and HOW TO BE A YOUNG WRITER, inspirational guides to creative writing for children and teenagers.
Linda Newbery has written for young readers of all ages and won the Costa Children's Book Award for her young adult novel SET IN STONE. She is a long-standing supporter of environmental and welfare organisations including Greenpeace, Compassion in World Farming, PETA and the League Against Cruel Sports.
Catherine was inspired to write her first book THE STORY OF LIFE by her children, for whom she searched in vain for the story of evolution. After studying ecology, Catherine began writing for Greenpeace where she campaigned on wildlife issues. She trained as a journalist and became Editor at the Natural History Museum. She then worked with Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop and environmental organisations on campaigns and communications.
Catherine now lives on the Welsh borders, is a local Patron of Reading and writes non-fiction stories to spark questions, interest and action to care for the natural world.
Victoria Eveleigh lives near Lynmouth, on the North Devon coast, where she farms with her husband, Chris. For several years she self-published children’s books, written by her and illustrated by Chris, including a book set on the island of Lundy (MIDNIGHT ON LUNDY) which was inspired by her love of Lundy, its people, its ponies, its unique wildlife and the sea. It was this book that caught the attention of the publishing world and secured a contract with Orion to re-write her existing self-published books plus five more stories.
My career in children’s publishing spans many years – first as an editor for international publishers in the UK and Australia, and as an author, writing over 80 books. I was born in Tunbridge Wells and grew up in Kent and Sussex by the sea and now live in rural North Cornwall. When I'm not writing, I love walking the North Cornish coastal paths and Dartmoor.
Robin Stevens was born in California and grew up in an Oxford college, across the road from the house where Alice in Wonderland lived. She has been making up stories all her life. She went to boarding school, studied crime fiction at university and then went on to work in children's publishing. She is now the bestselling, award-winning author of the MURDER MOST UNLADYLIKE Mysteries and
THE GUGGENHEIM MYSTERY , and she is a full-time writer who lives in Oxford with her family.'
At 2-metres tall and heaven-knows-how-wide, Philip Ardagh is the only children's author to have been declared an Area of Outstanding Beauty and his beard a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, he has written over 100 books, been translated into around 40 languages, collaborated with Sir Paul McCartney on the ex-Beatle's only children's book, and wrote the BBC's first truly interactive radio series. His natural beauty is matched only by the beauty of his prose. He wrote this biog himself.
Vivian French was first published in 1990, a natural progression after careers in the theatre, in counselling and in storytelling. Since then, she has established an enviable reputation as a writer of integrity and imagination, a writer illustrators love to work with, and a writer her readers want to meet. Vivian was awarded an MBE in the 2016 honours list for services to literature, literacy, illustration and the arts.
Despite publishing well over 270 titles, Vivian has led a very busy life away from her keyboard conducting writing workshops for both children and adults, teaching at Edinburgh College of Art. In 2012 she and Lucy Juckes (jennybrownassociates.com) set up PictureHooks, a mentoring scheme for new illustrators that resulted in a hugely successful exhibition at the National Gallery of Scotland.
During the late 90s, Vivian was a stalwart of a groundbreaking Scottish project, The Readiscovery Book Bus, visiting schools throughout mainland and island Scotland where she established a very devoted readership, and was inspired to write even more stories. She now travels less ... or so she says. Her family are not convinced.
Vivian has lived mainly in London, Bristol and now Edinburgh. She is married with four daughters, and has four grandchildren.
Chris is the author of YA novels, KOOK, and STORMS, published by HarperCollins in the UK and US, Giunti in Italy and Gottmer Becht in the Netherlands.
‘I’m obsessed with the sea; the beauty, the danger, the un-knowable nature of the ocean. It’s why I work in conservation. It’s why I surf. It’s what I write about.’ Chris’s books explore the blurred lines between safe and dangerous, tame and un-tamed, urban and wild; the wild space between being young and so-called ‘growing up.’
He is a graduate of the Bath Spa MA in Writing for Young People. He has appeared on BBC radio 4, and written about YA subjects for newspapers and websites. Chris lives near Bath with his wife, daughter and surf-rat-of-a-dog, Toffee. He splits his time between writing, teaching and working for WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation (whales.org)