Nick graduated from St Martin's School of Art in 1984 and has been working as an illustrator ever since. His work encompasses books for babies through to books for earlyteens and he has produced around 150 books to date. He is perhaps best-known for his illustrations for the multi-million selling author Jacqueline Wilson, but as well as this, he writes his own picture books and collaborates with various reputed picture book writers, on books such as PANTS and EAT YOUR PEAS.Recent awards include the Children's Book Award, Sheffield Children's Book Award, The Stockport Schools Award, the Experian Big Three Award. He has also been nominated for the 2003 Kate Greenaway Prize.
Jessica Shirvington hails from Australia and is the hugely talented debut author of EMBRACE. She is married to Matt Shirvington, a successful Commonwealth sprinter.
Before Jane could walk she was painting and drawing. She cried after her first day at school because they hadn't taught her to read and write in one day. From then on she hasn't stopped. Jane moved with her family and many animals around the world, living in houses, flats and camper vans moving from school to home education and back to school. Jane has continued to travel, write, draw and paint, always with animals, living in squats, tents, vans and boats. As a mature student she studied a BA in illustration at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge and won the highest awards given in the Macmillan Children's Book Prize for both her final two years. Jane shot to fame with the success of her DAISY picture books, all about an irresistible little duck with big feet. More success followed with EBB AND FLO, whose characters were brought to life on television. Jane, her husband, and her menagerie of rescued animals travelled to and around the Mediterranean on her ex-fishing boat home and her adventures have provided the inspiration for many of her books. Most recently Jane has turned her hand to fiction, with the exciting adventures of BERYL GOES WILD and SHIP'S CAT DORIS. Jane is currently living in France with her boat not far away.
Nicola has written and illustrated many books for children, including the delightful George books. She lives in Essex, with her family.
Mark Sperring was born in 1963 in Swindon but grew up in Weston-Super-Mare. He became hooked on books after reading 'Gobbolino the Witch's Cat', and 'The Chronicles of Narnia'. He left school at 16 and worked at a printers for a few years, before moving to Bristol and working at a bookshop. He started writing, receiving the usual slew of rejection letters (with some lovely encouraging letters and near misses along the way) before getting published. Although a published author now, Mark still loves his day job - if he's not writing a book he's unpacking one! He loves running, going to the cinema and music (anything from hip hop to country!). Favourite books include 'Where the Wild Things Are', ' To Kill a Mocking Bird' , and 'The Little Prince' or anything by Tove Jansson, Paul Auster, Richard Yates and Haruki Murakami. And of course 'Gobbolino the Witch's Cat'!
Jerry Spinelli started out wanting to be a cowboy. Luckily for young readers, he later decided to become a writer, even though he's still not sure he can call himself one (he does other things too, like picking berries and skipping stones).
Keris was born in Winnipeg, Canada, but moved back to the UK when only four months old and then grew up on the Wirral. Working as a bookseller, usher at Wembley Stadium and PA to Bob Geldof, Keris finally sat down to write her first novel in 2004. She is also a freelance journalist and the co-editor of teen books blog, Chicklish.
Ali Standish, author of the critically acclaimed The Ethan I Was Before, split her time growing up between North Carolina and several imaginary worlds. The only award she ever won in school was for messiest desk, but that didn't stop her from going on to get degrees from Pomona College, Hollins University and the University of Cambridge. She still spends most of her time in her imagination, but you might just spot her walking her two rescue dogs with her Finnish husband around her neighbourhood in North Carolina. You can visit her online at www.alistandish.com.
Lisa Stasse graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Government and English literature, and is currently a digital librarian at UCLA. She lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband and their one-year-old daughter.
Ellen Stoll Walsh
Ellen Stoll Walsh is the author-illustrator of many acclaimed books for young children, including Mouse Paint, Mouse Shapes, Mouse Count, and Hamsters to the Rescue. She lives near Rochester, New York.