Ellie loved drawing from an early age and has a passion for picture books (she keeps her collection in a huge wardrobe in her studio!) After competing a degree in Graphic Design at Bath Spa University, she became interested in drawing and writing specifically for children, and went on to achieve a Master's degree in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art. As a child, her favourite picture book was The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and she still loves the work of Eric Carle. In her spare time Ellie loves to get stuck into some DIY or go out in her kayak, and she dreams of one day owning her very own sausage dog.
Lorna Scobie is a London-based illustrator and book designer. Growing up surrounded by nature in the English countryside has heavily influenced her illustrations - her work almost always revolves around the natural world and Animal Kingdom. Lorna illustrates her work by hand, primarily using ink pens, watercolour and coloured pens.
Andy Seed is an experienced writer with a background in primary schools, having been a teacher - and deputy head - for 17 years. He has written a large number of successful educational books, articles, games and web-based materials, including several covering the basics of English at 7-11. He is an e-learning consultant for schools; and also a writer of comic poems for children.
Nick graduated from St Martin's School of Art in 1984 and has been working as an illustrator ever since. His work encompasses books for babies through to books for earlyteens and he has produced around 150 books to date. He is perhaps best-known for his illustrations for the multi-million selling author Jacqueline Wilson, but as well as this, he writes his own picture books and collaborates with various reputed picture book writers, on books such as PANTS and EAT YOUR PEAS.Recent awards include the Children's Book Award, Sheffield Children's Book Award, The Stockport Schools Award, the Experian Big Three Award. He has also been nominated for the 2003 Kate Greenaway Prize.
Robin Shaw is an award-winning animator and illustrator known for his beautifully lyrical hand-drawn work.As well as fifteen years as a director of animated commercials, he has worked closely with children's author and illustrator Raymond Briggs on a number of film projects. He was part of the directing team behind the hit Channel 4 TV special The Snowman and The Snowdog, and was the natural choice for art director on Ethel & Ernest, the feature-length adaptation of Briggs' graphic novel telling the story of his parents' lives together. 2016 saw his debut as a director on an animated feature film with We're Going on a Bear Hunt, adapted from the children's classic by Michael Rosen and Helen OxenburyHis inspiration for Me and My Dad came partly from his love for the little corner of Southeast London where he grew up and now lives and works.
Gillian's love of books led her to read English at St Catharine's College, Cambridge. After university she studied acting in London. She then taught in a drama school for several years. She recently taught English and Drama before becoming a full-time writer.
Nikesh Shukla is the editor of British Book Award-shortlisted anthology The Good Immigrant, a collection of essays by British writers of colour about race and immigration in the UK. His debut novel, Coconut Unlimited, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and his debut YA novel, Run, Riot, was shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Award. Nikesh has written for The Guardian, Observer, Independent, Esquire, Buzzfeed, Vice and BBC2 and BBC Radio 4. Nikesh was one of Foreign Policy magazine's 100 Global Thinkers and The Bookseller's 100 most influential people in publishing in 2016 and in 2017. He is the co-founder of the literary journal, The Good Journal and The Good Literary Agency.
Nicky Singer is an author and playwright. She has written a number of books for children and adults, across fiction and non-fiction. Her first children's novel Feather Boy won the Blue Peter 'Book of the Year' Award, was adapted for TV (winning a BAFTA for Best Children's Drama) and commissioned by the National Theatre as a musical.
After graduating from high school, Rebecca Sky set out on a five-year, twenty-four-country exploration to find herself. She returned home captivated by the world and ready for another adventure: writing!
Nicola Slater has been an illustrator for over 15 years. She has worked extensively in advertising, web and print with clients including Eurostar, Aviva and The Times. She has produced a broad array of picture books and fiction covers, including the hugely successful 'Princess Diaries' and the classic Enid Blyton series 'Malory Towers'.Nicola Lives in Manchester with her partner and son, with the occasional appearance of an ill-tempered cat.
Alex T. Smith
Author-illustrator Alex T. Smith is the award-winning creator of the bestselling Claude series, which is published in 16 languages worldwide, and is now a TV show on Disney Junior. Alex's newest series, Mr Penguin, launched in 2017, to widespread praise. Alex's quirky, witty writing and illustrations are instantly recognisable, critically acclaimed and as popular with adults as children. Alex is also widely praised for his work illustrating children's classics: he won Children's Book of the World Illustration Award for his illustrations in a new edition of Dodie Smith's The Hundred and One Dalmatians; he has created new art for books by Enid Blyton, Eva Ibbotson and Richmal Crompton. Alex has collaborated with Watership Down author Richard Adams on his last book, Egg Box Dragon, as well as David Almond and Juno Dawson. Alex has won the UKLA Picture Book Award and the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award, and been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award. He has also been the official World Book Day illustrator.
Singer/songwriter Craig Smith performs at gigs around New Zealand. He has lived in Australia for 4 years and Vietnam for 6 years, and says Spike Milligan and his mum are his greatest influences.
Jim Smith is the author of the Barry Loser fiction series. I am not a Loser by Barry Loser was published in 2012, having already sold rights to nine countries. The sequel, I am Still Not a Loser, was the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2013 and declared the funniest book for children aged seven to fourteen. Jim has now written six Barry Loser books and begun a spin-off series Future Ratboy, the first insltalment of which won the 2017 Laugh Out Loud Award for 6-8 year olds. He has also designed a hugely successful range of stationery and gift products under the name Waldo Pancake.
L J Smith is the author of more than twenty books for young adults, including the bestselling Night World and Vampire Diaries series (now a hit-series on ITV2). She lives in Northern California, in a rambling house in a small town.Lisa knew that she wanted to be a writer since she was about six, when a teacher praised a poem she'd written. She wrote her first book in high school, finishing it in her first year of college. Then she became a special education teacher before she was able to become a writer full-time.
After working with teenagers for more than a decade, Carla decided to start writing for and about them. Having had a lifelong obsession with dark literature, it only seemed natural to write stories that would thrill, scare and maybe make her readers think twice about reading alone in the dark. Carla lives in Hampshire with her husband and two children. She still enjoys working with teenagers, although she finds it harder and harder to understand why the music they like has to be quite so loud.
Andy Stanton has written eight books about Mr Gum, along with further successful fiction and picture book titles. He was overall winner of the Red House Children's Book Award for You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum! and won the inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize for Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear. He has twice won the Blue Peter Book Award for Best Book With Pictures, and been shortlisted for a host of other awards.
Alison Steadman OBE is a national treasure. Her illustrious and wide-ranging career includes roles in Abigail's Party, Pride and Prejudice, Secrets & Lies and Gavin & Stacey.
Kristina Stephenson studied costume and set design, and had a successful career in theatre and children's television, before turning her hand to writing and illustrating picture books when she had her children. She was inspired to create the much-loved Sir Charlie Stinkysocks by her own son Charlie (who doesn't have stinky socks!).
Paul Stewart is the author of many books for children and with Chris Riddell is the creator of the hugely successful EDGE CHRONICLES series. He lives in Brighton with his wife and two children.