Barrie has had a long and successful career in education, first as an English teacher, then as Professor of Education in English at the University of Birmingham, where he is now Emeritus Professor. He is also a published author of over 150 books and a tireless fundraiser and supporter of the charity Mencap and governor of the Mencap College in the UK.Barrie encourages young writers around the country in his numerous author visits and writing workshops. He has published a huge variety of poems, stories and non-fiction.
A Canadian, Karen Wallace gained a degree in English from London University. Shortly afterwards she and her husband went to Toronto and worked in the publishing business. A few years later they moved to Ireland with their two young sons, and returned to England in 1982. She now writes full-time for children and for children's television. She and illustrator Mike Bostock won the TES Information Book Award for THINK OF AN EEL (Walker Books). Her novel RASPBERRIES ON THE YANGTSE was short-listed for the Guardian Award. She is married to novelist Sam Llewellyn.
Anne Walter is a freelance children's book writer with a passion for fairy tale and fantasy stories. She has retold many famous fairy tales for reluctant readers, including a set of Hopscotch Fairy Tales. She lives and works in London.
Jackie Walter has written and edited many books for children. She never gets tired of listening to and telling a good story. Jackie lives in Cornwall with her husband and young daughters.
Sam Watkins is a freelance writer and editor, who was formerly a publisher at a small educational publishing company in Cambridge. She is author of Nick Knight (Race Ahead with Reading), Puss in Football Boots (Hopscotch Twisty Tales) and the Creature Teacher series with OUP. She currently lives in Worthing with her son, Owen.
Franklin Watts is well-known for its high-quality and attractive books. We aim to give children of all abilities a life-long love of learning and reading.
After a degree in modern languages Mick taught French and Spanish in the UK and English in Venezuela. He then joined the BBC as a producer, making radio programmes for the education department before moving to general programming, then TV and finally BBC online. He worked on many of the BBC's major language courses in the 1980's and from 2001-2011 was Editor of the BBC Languages website, winning a BAFTA for the interactive drama, Mi Vida Loca, which taught Spanish to beginners. He now works as a freelance consultant in language learning and as a travel writer. He lives in multi-cultural South London with his family, and as well as learning Croatian, is trying to understand the language used by their two cats.
Sheryl lives in Liverpool with her husband Phil and four children Sean, Bethany, Joey and new arrival Katy.
Having completed a degree in English and Psychology she enjoyed working as a Primary School Teacher before going on a career break to bring up her young family. This also allowed more time for her passion of writing.
Sheryl's literary influences include Enid Blyton -whose books she loved as a child and now enjoys reading to her own children. She also admires the work of Julia Donaldson.
However her greatest influences are her children - who provide the inspiration and ideas for most of her stories.
Ellen combines writing for children with teaching speech & drama skills and piano playing. She loves living on the Isle of Wight, surrounded by the sea. Her family has been traced back on the Island to before 1563.
Carrie Weston lives in a village in Kent with her partner, 2 children, 2 dogs and 3 cats. She lectures at the University of East London in Children's Literature and also Special Educational Needs.Carrie is in the process of completing her PhD, to be submitted in summer 07. She is then looking forward to spending more time on her favourite pastime - writing!Her hobbies include skiing, watching West Ham, listening to Melvyn Bragg and being in Port Isaac, Cornwall. If only she could do them all at once.
Jane Winstanley is an author with a wealth of experience in children's non-fiction and is the author of the bestselling Oxford Merry Christmas Book.
Kevin has written technical computer manuals and user-guides for grown-ups, and is expert at breaking down the complicated to the manageable. He is part of a husband and wife publishing team producing children's books on many different subjects. His hobbies include programming, writing computer games and renovating houses. Kevin is currently renovating a barn in Cornwall in his spare time, to house his family and four chickens!
Peter Wood is a primary school teacher in Canada with a speciality in community arts education. He is a professional painter and artist of more than twenty years experience. He has exhibited in Abu Dhabi, Montreal and more. His paintings are in private collections in the United States, England and Germany. He has created many large-scale works and also enjoys whimsical explorations in snow and building magnificent tree houses. Peter studied Philosophy and Visual arts at universities in Canada. He has also taught in international IB schools abroad.
Richard Wood is a Cambridge history graduate and a former secondary school English and History teacher. He is an Education Officer with the Norfolk Museums Services at the Castle Museum, Norwich. He lives with his wife Sara who is a trained journalist and who now writes freelance.
Kay Woodward was born in Barrow-in-Furness, grew up in Carlisle, lived in Brighton and spent two years in Kinsale, Co Cork. After working as an editor in children's publishing, she became an author. She wrote the SKATE SCHOOL series - Ice Princess, On Thin Ice, Stars on Ice, Going for Gold - published by Usborne. Andersen Press have published JANE AIRHEAD (2009) and also the brand new WUTHERING HEARTS (2011). Kay is married with one daughter and lives near the New Forest. Visit www.kaywoodward.co.uk to find out more.