Anita Naik is a freelance writer and the author of 50 books, as well as being a mum of two. She is currently the agony aunt on Woman's Own magazine, and a contributor to a number of parenting sites, including the Huffington Post, writing about education, bullying, sex education and teenagers. She can be found tweeting @AnitaNaik or at www.anitanaik.co.uk.
Sarah was born in Scotland and grew up in Norfolk. After attending Great Yarmouth College of Art and Design, Sarah moved to London with her boyfriend and her pet goldfish. Some years later, she found herself married to the boyfriend, still in possession of one of the original goldfish and the new owner of a cat and an accident-prone dog! And to complete the family there is Arthur, Sarah's young son. Sarah thinks her dyslexia spurred her on to become an illustrator. Believing herself to be no good at writing she compensated by concentrating on her drawing.Sarah's lively illustrations accompany award-winning Pat Moon's, Do Not Read Any Further, a Jacqueline Wilson style story of Finch and her friends and their school website, 'What's Your Problem?'. Set up to help kids share their problems, they get emails ranging from how to deal with the embarrassment of snorting pink milkshake all over the boy you fancy, to how to deal with bullying.Sarah now lives in Walthamstow with her husband and son and a variety of humorously named pets (Captain Scarlet, the goldfish!). Despite her fear of flying, Sarah has recently discovered a liking for travelling. This comes in handy when adding to her collection of snowstorms! When her feet are firmly on the ground back home she likes nothing better than taking the accident-prone dog for a long walk or just looking after her son and the rest of her pets.
Mark Nicholas was born and brought up near York. He was artistic from an early age and studied modelmaking at the University of Bournemouth. He began working as a modelmaker after graduating, but always had a love of children's picture books, inspired by Mick Inkpen's Kipper and a short stint as a playground designer. After a successful career which included working on the CBBC stop-motion animation 'Rubbadubbers', in 2012 he decided to seek a career in illustration and gained a place on the MA Children's Book Illustration Course at Cambridge School of Art. Whilst studying on the course, Mark won the Hachette Children's Group's Carmelite Prize for Illustration to illustrate Tantrum O'Furrily, by Cressida Cowell, as well as the Macmillan Lara Jones Award. When not illustrating children's books, you'll find Mark wandering the fields of Wales with his wife and daughter, picking up inspirational textures for his illustrations.
Maria Nilsson grew up in Sweden but moved to London in 2001. She studied BA Illustration at the University of Westminster, achieving a first class honours degree. After graduating she worked as a freelance illustrator until the birth of her children. When they started toddling, Maria took up her pencil again and in 2009 was shortlisted for the Picture This competition (Macmillan and Waterstones' search for a new illustrator for an exclusive Julia Donaldson story). She still loves illustrating her own stories, as well as illustrating for others. Maria is a debut talent whom we have great hopes for. She lives in south London with her husband and two children.