As a child Tamara Macfarlane practically lived in Blackwell's Children's Bookshop in Oxford. Later in Cambridge she read more children's books whilst studying English and Education and specialising in Children's Literature. After a number of years spent as a literacy co-ordinator trying to persuade children in schools that the world inside books was generally a lot more interesting than the real world, Tamara had her first child and decided she would like to live in a children's bookshop again. As she couldn't find one that she liked she founded the award winning Tales on Moon Lane bookshop in Herne Hill, subsequently opening a second shop in Primrose Hill, filling it with even more of her favourite books.
Sabrina Mahfouz was raised in London and Cairo and has recently been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and is the recipient of the 2018 King's Alumni Arts & Culture Award for inspiring change in the industry. She was also nominated for the Inspiring Change Award at the 2018 Women in the Creative Industries Awards and her Snapchat series for C4's Ackley Bridge won a Broadcast Digital Award. She has been shortlisted for the Arts Foundation Award for Performance Poetry and has won a Sky Arts Academy Award for Poetry and a Westminster Prize for New Playwrights. Sabrina's theatre work includes Chef, a Fringe First Award winner; Dry Ice, for which she was nominated in The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence; With a Little Bit of Luck, which has been performed at the Roundhouse main space and was the first radio drama commissioned for BBC Radio 1xtra. She is currently adapting Malorie Blackman's celebrated novel Noughts & Crosses for Pilot Theatre.She also writes for children and her play Zeraffa Giraffa (based on the book by Diane Hofmeyr) won a 2018 Off West End Award. Her poetry collection, How You Might Know Me, was a 2017 Guardian Best Summer Read.Sabrina is the editor of The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write, a 2017 Guardian Book of the Year and currently nominated for The People's Book Prize. She is an essay contributor to the multi-award-winning The Good Immigrant and is currently writing a biopic of the legendary 'Godfather of Grime', rapper and producer Wiley, for Pulse Films.
Geoffrey Malone spent his early life in Africa and did not receive any formal schooling until the age of eleven. He later spent sixteen years as a soldier, then left the UK for Toronto, where he joined a Canadian advertising agency. An encounter with a colony of beavers in the Ontario wilderness during his stay in Canada, led to his first book - Brunner. He returned to Britain determined to write for children. He has now had eight books published, most of which are about wild animals. They are all closely observed and describe the struggle for survival among differing species, in today's man-dominated world.He won the (prestigious) French Children's Book of the Year, TamTam Prize, for Torn Ear, the story of a fox. This was followed soon afterwards by the award of the, Prix d' Enfants et Grand-Parents Europeen. In England, he was shortlisted for the 2001 Stockton Children's Book of the Year, with Elephant Ben, a story about ivory poaching. His subjects have included badger baiting in England; the slaughter of Indian tigers, and life inside a wolf pack, in Wyoming, USA. His latest book, Dead Boys' Club, sees a return to Africa and a vivid description of the horrors of modern day slavery, as a Child Soldier.
Jan Mark was one of the most distinguished writers for children of recent times. She won the Carnegie Medal twice - for Thunder and Lightnings (1976) and Handles (1983). Other acclaimed titles include They Do Things Differently There, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award and The Eclipse of the Century, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. Her science fiction novels - The Ennead, Divide and Rule and Aquarius (all Hodder) - are acclaimed as masterpieces. A former teacher, Jan came from a London family, spent many years living in Norfolk but, for the last twenty years of her life, made her home in Oxford, where she died in 2006.
Lindsay Mattick, the great-granddaughter of Captain Harry Colebourn, grew up thinking of Winnie-the-Pooh as her own great-grandbear. She has shared Winnie's story as a radio documentary, spearheaded an original exhibition, and traveled to the UK to commemorate Harry and Winnie's experience in World War I. She works at Narrative Public Relations, and lives with her family in Toronto, Canada.
Sarah McConnell grew up in the Leicestershire countryside and spent her childhood drawing on every surface she could find, from the footpath in her parent's garden, to tiny storybooks that she kept under her pillow.
After taking an art foundation course she became very interested in the way images could suggest stories and studied Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University, going on to do an MA in illustration at Brighton.
Sarah has been both writing and illustrating for children for nine years. She now lives in Nottingham with her partner Rich, who is a musician and her extremely mischievous cat Mewdy. She spends most of her time painting and writing in her studio, which sits on a hill overlooking the city.
Allegra McEvedy MBE is a highly respected chef, writer and broadcaster whose philosophy is that good food should be available to everyone. In 2004 she co-founded the multi-award winning healthy fast food chain LEON and recently re-opened Albertine, a wine bar/restaurant that her mother set up in the 70s. Allegra was a judge on CBBC's Junior Bake Off with Nadiya Husain, has presented several TV series across various channels and is a regular guest on BBC Radio London and Radio 4.She is a patron of the Fairtrade Foundation and a spokesperson for Compassion in World Farming.A longstanding fan of Enid Blyton since the age of 7, she has enjoyed revisiting Enid's complete works to give a proper account of food in Blyton's era.She lives with her daughter in West London, where they love getting creative and messy together in the kitchen.
While a student at Plymouth Art College, David began selling his cartoon drawings to newspapers. Since 1964 he has published a number of successful books for children throughout the world, and many of them have been adapted for television. David is one of the leading contemporary children's book creators.
David Melling has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Smarties Book Award and the Independent Booksellers Award. His Hugless Douglas books have sold over 1.4 million copies worldwide, and the loveable brown bear has starred in a World Book Day book as well as his own theatre show. Before becoming an internationally acclaimed author-illustrator, David worked as an animation artist for films including the much-loved Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs. One of his most popular picture books The Tale of Jack Frost was animated and shown on BBC1 on Christmas Day.
Chris Mould went to art school at the age of sixteen. During this time, he did various jobs, from delivering papers to washing-up. Chris loves his work and writes and draws the kind of books that he would have liked to have on his shelf as a boy. He has won the Nottingham Children's Book Award, has been shortlisted for the Greenaway Award and commended for the Sheffield Book Award. Chris has also worked for the RSC, the BBC, the FT and many other famous initials, as well as for Aardman Animations, where he did character and environment development work on the film Flushed Away. Chris is married with two children and lives in Yorkshire.