Sir Mo Farah was born in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1983. As a young child he spent time in Djibouti before moving to England at the age of eight. Mo initially struggled with the language barrier, but his PE teacher at Feltham Community College, Alan Watkinson, quickly spotted his potential as a runner and encouraged him to join Borough of Hounslow Athletics Club. After attending St Mary's Endurance Performance and Coaching Centre in Twickenham, Mo became a professional athlete. At the 2012 London Olympic Games he won gold in the 10,000m - Britain's first gold in this event. He followed this up with a stunning victory in the 5000m to become, in the words of Dave Moorcroft, 'the greatest male distance runner that Britain has ever seen.' Mo was appointed CBE in the Honours List in 2013 and in December 2016 he was awarded a knighthood in the Queen's New Year's Honours list. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Tania, and their three daughters Rhianna, Aisha and Amani.
Jim Field is a lead-driven, pencil-pushing, 25-frames-per-second Led Zeppelin fan. He is also a hugely talented illustrator and animation director. His first picture book Cats Ahoy! won the Booktrust Roald Dahl Funny Prize and was nominated for the Kate Greenaway award. He has since illustrated a string of bestselling, multi-award-winning children's books, including Oi Frog! and The Lion Inside, as well as young fiction series Rabbit and Bear.
Catherine Fisher is an award-winning fantasy writer and author of the New York Times bestseller Incarceron. The Oracle was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award 2003, The Conjuror's Game for the Smarties Award, The Snow-Walker's Son for the WH Smith Mind Boggling Award, The Candle Man won the Tir-Na-n'Og Award, and Corbenic was shortlisted. Author of many books for children and two volumes of award-winning poetry, she is particularly well-known in Wales and has been named as the first Welsh Young People's Laureate.
Having studied English Literature at university , Charlie began his career in the film business carrying cans of film round Soho and making very bad cups of tea on the principal that he'd then be asked to do something a bit more interesting, a strategy that he recommends to anyone starting out as a tea-boy. He progressed to the BBC where he worked in film editing on everything from Drama to Current Affairs. He then went to California where he morphed into a screenwriter, having been awarded a Warner Brothers Fellowship in Screenwriting at USC School of Cinema and TV. He's written screenplays for Tri-Star, MGM, Paramount and Warner Bros among others. He continues to write for the movies, and also television. He still thinks that being a film editor is a pretty damn fine way to learn about story-telling in general, and narrative structure and pacing in particular. Charlie also moved into other types of writing including magazine features, a computer game and as both a national Sunday newspaper columnist and restaurant reviewer. Finally he found the way to combine all those writing strands and produced some rattling-good children's books! The Stoneheart trilogy has been a massive international hit and Charlie has recently sold the movie rights of Stoneheart to Paramount. He has also been asked to write the screenplay himself, which just shows you should never make plans, since he actually wrote the books to get away from Hollywood for a bit... In his personal life, Charlie met and married his wife, a fellow Scot, in LA. They have two children, whom Charlie calls his first, most important, and toughest audience. They've all now returned from California and live in Edinburgh with a terrier called Archie.
Lara Fox is the pseudonym for a published author living in the UK. A runner up in the Lit Idol competition in 2005, this author has published one other teenage title and is currently working on the follow up to My Year in Agony - again featuring Miss Understanding as a beleaguered publishing intern who enthralls her blog readers with the inside scoop on publishing ...
Echo Freer was born and brought up in Yorkshire. After training to be a teacher, she moved to London, where she taught Special Needs in one of London's social priority areas. When her son was diagnosed as severely dyslexic, she completed a specialist training course to teach and diagnose specific learning difficulties. She now assesses and teaches under-achieving children. She lives in London.
Vivian is a writer of both books and plays; she has written more than 250 children's books, including the very successful Tiara Club series, and is consistently one of the top 30 most borrowed authors from UK libraries. She has had plays performed both in London and throughout Scotland; her audiences include young adults as well as children. She has won many awards for her books, and is regularly invited to festivals including Cheltenham and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. (2012 Guest selector for the children's programme.) Vivian teaches part time at Edinburgh College of Art, and is one of the two founding members of the PictureHooks programme supporting Scottish illustrators. She is married with four grown up daughters and three grandchildren, and lives in Edinburgh. She'd like a cat, but lives up 66 steps and has no garden ... maybe one day. Her favourite book is an empty notebook.Since 1990, Vivian French has published more than 100 books for children of all ages. She has been a reviewer and has worked in the theatre - she is also well-known as a playwright. Among her most popular books are the Tiara Club titles for Hachette. Married with four grown-up daughters, she now lives in Edinburgh.Visit her website at www.vivianfrench.com.
Charles Fuge's picture book debut won both the Macmillan Prize and the Mother Goose Award. Since then he has illustrated more than thirty picture books, including the bestselling Little Wombat stories. He lives in Dorset with his partner, Sarah, and their son Ollie.