Shoo Rayner should have been an astronaut, but he became an author and illustrator instead. He is the creator of more than 150 well-loved books, including the LITTLE HORRORS, RICKY ROCKET, VIKING VIK, AXEL STORM, SCAREDY CATS and the JUST SO STORIES series.
Leon Read has written several books and short stories for children, and is always coming up with wacky ideas for new ones. He lives in the three counties with his wife, son and daughter. He's currently developing an idea for a series of books featuring ninja hippos.
Martin lives in Cornwall with his wife and son. He is best known for his lively illustrations, and has just recently started writing. He is passionate about home-grown British legends, in particular those from his home island of Sark.
Although I've lived for most of my life in north London, I was born and grew up in South Wales. My mum read to me a great deal,and I think it was from her that I developed my love of language. I also enjoyed drawing and painting, and eventually won a scholarship to study at Dublin College of Art.When I came back from Eire, I first worked as a teacher in a Rudolf Steiner school. Then I came to London and took a number of strange jobs, including reading aloud to a blind writer and typing out his manuscript. The typewriter I'd hired to do this had some paid-for time left, so I used it to write a short story which I sold to a women's magazine. It became the first of many, and the beginning of a successful career. While my children were growing up, I stopped writing, and started a small design business, making screen-printed puppet theatres, flying saucers and playhouses that looked like medieval battle tents.Work took us to Paris, where we lived for two years, and where, incidentally, I first encountered the Romanian gipsy girl who features in my novel, FOR MARITSA WITH LOVE (Simon&Schuster).My first children's book, THE TIME TREE (Walker Books) grew out of a story I told my daughter and her best friend to pass the time on a very long walk (the original idea came from a TV programme I'd watched about teaching children with hearing problems). The girls begged me to write it down so that they could read it for themselves - so I did. This book is currently being marketed as a film series by Wild Thyme Productions.TO SUMMON A SPIRIT (Walker Books), was one of the Pick of the Year titles listed in the Children's Book Award. I'm now published in the USA and Australia as well as the UK, and my work has been translated into Danish, German and Japanese.My first book for Franklin Watts was PLOP CITY, a book about bird poo which continues to be loved, especially by small boys. I have two copies of the Arabic version
Lynne Rickards was born in Canada and now lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. She grew up writing and illustrating her own stories and actually went to art school at 18 to study illustration. However, she decided she was much happier writing the stories and loves to see artwork in her books, knowing it's so much better than anything she could ever have done.Keep up with her at: http://lynnerickardsauthor.wordpress.com/
Born in Suffolk, Sarah Ridley lives on the Suffolk/Essex border and is a writer and editor of educational books for children and young people. Recently, a life-long interest in history has led her to write books about the First World War, inspired by reading letters written by soldiers who served in the conflict. Brothers at War tells the story of uncovering the material held in her own family's archives. Dear Jelly sets letters written by soldier brothers to their younger sisters at its core. Teenage children keep Sarah busy when she isn't tied to her computer, and she relaxes by walking along river estuaries close to her home.
Kate is an experienced writer of children's non-fiction books.
Peter Riley was a science teacher for 25 years, 17 of them as Head of Science. His first book was published in 1981, and he has been a full-time author since 1996, with over 200 books published for children, students and teachers. He is the winner of the prestigious Schoolbook Award for Science in 2000, as well as being shortlisted for the Aventis Science Prize 2004 and nominated for the Educational Resources Award in 2009.
Penny Dolan is a children's writer and storyteller living in North Yorkshire. She is a popular speaker with both infant and junior children, and has visited many School Book Weeks and literacy events across the UK, with her enjoyable 'Author Talks' and lively story-telling sessions. She has also spoken and performed in libraries, bookshops, museums, art galleries, historic sites and outdoor locations, and has appeared on the children's programme of several literature festivals. She has a wide interest in children's books and has been Chair of the Federation of Children's Book Groups. Penny has a wide experience of schools. She was a primary advisory teacher for English and Drama but has been a freelance language arts worker for several years. She has also taught on residential writing courses for children, tutored both storytelling and writing courses for adults, and spoken at conferences. Penny has a degree in Education, specialising in Language and Literacy and an Advanced Diploma in Educational Drama. As well as working on her writing, Penny enjoys drawing, painting, reading, chatting and daydreaming. Her favourite colour is yellow. Her favourite food is strawberries-and-cream, and she is probably the world's slowest swimmer. She has three untidy desks, two grown-up children and one rather bad cat.
Arthur Robins is known and loved the world over for his witty and lively picture books and cartoons. He has illustrated numerous favourite books for Orchard, including the ever-popular 'Seriously Silly' series, written by Laurence Anholt, the 'Small Knight' series, written by Ronda Armitage, and the bestselling picture book 'My Granny is a Pirate', written by multi-award-winning, internationally bestselling author Val McDermid. Arthur lives in Surrey, near his two grown-up daughters.
Hilary Robinson is the author of over 40 children's books including the top selling Mixed Up Fairy Tales and The Copper Tree. She is also a broadcaster and freelance BBC radio producer. Hilary was born in Devon and brought up in Nigeria and England. Her books have been translated into a number of languages and are sold across the world.
Elizabeth is originally from London but moved to Cornwall many years ago. She loves making up stories as well as keeping the classic tales alive for today's children.
I write short books for short children and longer books for longer people. I've been writing fiction and non-fiction for young people, and non-fiction since the last millennium - luckily, the end of the last millennium and I'm not even nearly 1000 years old. I particularly enjoy reading and writing stories with a bit of a twist and, for older readers, an element of horror. I definitely have a Gothic streak. Writers I really admire include Minnie Gray, Oliver Jeffers, Shaun Tan, Edward Gorey, Tove Jansson, Marcus Sedgwick, Siobhan Dowd and Melvin Burgess. I love being a writer because (a) it gives me the chance to be enthusiastic about things and share my enthusiasm with other people (b) I get paid for telling lies and (c) I don't have to do as I'm told, unlike people with a real job. I like to listen to music when I'm writing, and usually pick a few pieces of music that go with each book and listen to them again and again - most of them are opera.Although I spend most of my time writing, I also spend some helping other people with their own writing - mostly young people, who are doing a degree at university. This is great fun as I get to read lots of stories by writers who are just starting. I live in Cambridge, which is a very ancient city in the east of England with lots of ornate and pointy buildings. It's very flat in Cambridge, so it's easy to go everywhere by bicycle, but it's also rather wet. If I could live anywhere at all, it would probably be in Venice, which is also flat, ancient and full of pointy buildings. It's even wetter than Cambridge, and people go everywhere by boat.
Angela Royston is an extremely well known writer of children's educational books. Her library of titles includes books about space, science, geography, history, social sciences and literacy, just to name a few! Angela regularly visits schools to find out what children are learning and exploring in the classroom, and discusses many of her book titles with children during these visits. Angela is married with children, and lives and works in London.