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.
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.
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.
Raised in London, Timothy Spall showed great promise at RADA where he portrayed the title roles in "Macbeth" and "Othello." He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company before moving into TV roles in the early 80s. Timothy's appeared in a number of award-winning Mike Leigh features, particularly Life Is Sweet and Secrets & Lies. More recently, he appeared in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as Peter Pettigrew, and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events as Mr. Poe. Timothy Spall is also the reader of Billy's Beetle.
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.