Layn Marlow gained a first class degree in Illustration from Southampton Solent University, and has been writing and illustrating picture books ever since. Layn's titles have sold over a million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 20 different languages. A Very Strange Creature was shortlisted for the Red House Book Award and Hurry Up and Slow Down won the Never Too Young Coventry Inspirations Book Award in 2010. Layn lives in Hampshire with her family.
Christoph Marzi is the successful author of many books for teens in Germany, including the prize-winning Ancient City series. He works as a teacher and lives in Saarbrucken with his wife and three daughters.
Andrew Matthews is a celebrated children's author, who has written over fifty books and has twice been nominated for the Smarties prize.
Lindsay Mattick, the great-granddaughter of Captain Harry Colebourn, grew up thinking of Winnie-the-Pooh as her own great-grandbear. She has shared Winnie's story as a radio documentary, spearheaded an original exhibition, and traveled to the UK to commemorate Harry and Winnie's experience in World War I. She works at Narrative Public Relations, and lives with her family in Toronto, Canada.
James Mayhew studied at Maidstone College of Art and his first children's book, Katie's Picture Show was published in 1989. It's been firmly in print ever since, recognised universally as the original and best introduction to art for children. Many more titles have followed, and the series sells in museums and galleries all over the world, from the Met in New York, to the Uffizi in Florence, the Louvre in Paris and beyond. He is also the creator of the much-loved Ella Bella Ballerina series, and many other titles. Alongside his work in publishing, James has devised and performed in a hugely successful series of concerts for children, combining live classical music, storytelling and live art. From Peter and the Wolf, to Scheherazade, James has worked internationally with many different orchestras and musicians, creating illustrations in time to music. James grew up in Suffolk but now lives in Hertfordshire.
Margaret Mayo is an acclaimed storyteller and author who has been creating stories for children for over 35 years. She has written more than 50 books, including the bestselling Dig Dig Digging, Choo Choo Clickety-Clack! and Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp! A former teacher, Margaret uses her wide-ranging experience with children in her writing. She lives in Brighton.
Geraldine McCaughrean has written over 140 books and plays for both adults and children, including Peter Pan in Scarlet, the official sequel to J M Barrie's Peter Pan, which was one of the most talked about and successful children's titles of 2006. Geraldine McCaughrean has won the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Children's Book Award (three times), the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Smarties Bronze Award (four times), the Blue Peter Book of the Year award and the Blue Peter Special Book to Keep Forever award. Geraldine is the first author to have been short listed, by librarians, for the Carnegie Medal six times, on at least one occasion in each of the past four decades, thus once again recognising the quality of her writing over the years.Geraldine McCaughrean's novels and retellings for children have won her the CARNEGIE MEDAL, GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S FICTION AWARD, WHITBREAD AWARD and THE BEEFEATER AWARD. A prolific author who writes for all ages, she lives in Berkshire with her family.Visit her website at www.geraldinemccaughrean.co.uk
Working together as a crack author-illustrator team, Knife and Packer have written and illustrated more than 30 books for children.
Val McDermid is the author of 22 bestselling novels, which have been translated into 30 languages, and have sold over 10 million copies. She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009. My Granny Was a Pirate is Val's first children's book.
Katharine McEwen has been illustrating since graduating from Kingston University in 1996. To date she has illustrated around 40 titles and is fortunate to have worked with some fantastic authors, such as Allan Ahlberg, Michael Rosen and Giles Andreae. She is currently embarking on becoming an authorstrator (or should that be illustrauthor?!), but finds the writing part enjoyable, but very tricky!When not illustrating books, Katharine attempts to throw pots (in a making them way, not an angry way) and is endeavouring to get better at it. She also loves a good movie, rummaging in a junk shops, chin-wagging with her chums and taking photographs.
Eoin McLaughlin was born in Ireland, moved to the UK and now lives in London with his wife and their new baby. Secret Agent Elephant is his second picture book, following The Hug, illustrated by Polly Dunbar.
Shelagh McNicholas was born and grew up in Liverpool. She went on to study at Kingston University where she graduated with a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design & Illustration. Apart from a short time spent teaching life drawing, Shelagh has always worked as an illustrator as well as being a full time mum to her daughter, Molly.'The Ballet Class' written by Adele Geras, was Shelagh's first picture book for Orchard Books. Her realistic and endearing illustrations perfectly complement the story of Tilly and her ambitions to become a top ballerina. Shelagh is passionate about drawing and is happiest with her sketchbook and pencils. Her favourite subject is her daughter and it was her sketches of Molly as a ballerina that inspired her illustrations for 'The Ballet Class'.Shelagh lives in Surrey with her daughter.
The Rainbow Magic and Magic Animal Friends books are written by a small collective of authors under the name Daisy Meadows. Rainbow Magic is the no.1 bestselling series for girls aged 5 and up with over 30 million copies sold worldwide!Learn more about the books at www.rainbowmagicbooks.co.uk (where you can download the Rainbow Magic Reading Challenge poster) and www.magicanimalfriends.com (where you'll find fun animal activity sheets)
Amy Mebberson is a comic artist, illustrator and designer. She has worked on some of the world's most beloved brands, from ponies to princesses.
Jonathan Meres is a former merchant seaman, ice-cream van driver and Perrier Award-nominated stand-up comedian. As a writer he's written for TV and radio, but is best known for being the author of over 30 books for children and in particular his best-selling, award-winning series, The World Of Norm, which has so far been translated into 16 languages worldwide. Jonathan's hugely entertaining live performances ensure that he's in constant demand at school and book festivals throughout the UK and beyond. Find out more at www.jonathanmeres.com
Jess Mikhail studied at Loughborough University, graduating with a degree in Illustration. She uses lots of different techniques in her artwork; drawing, scanning, printing and scribbling to create bright illustrations that are full of colour and texture. Jess' first picture book, I Love You, Little Monster was published by Orchard Books in 2012. She lives and works in Birmingham.
Kita Mitchell wrote and illustrated her first work, Cindersmella, at the age of six. It was cruelly and swiftly rejected by publishers. The sequels, Repunsmell and Mouldilocks, were equally badly received.Disheartened, she turned her attention to making stuff, and, luckily, they did degrees in that. After getting one, she built sets for TV shows - but the feeling she should write funny books for children never went away.Eventually, she decided to have another go. This time, things turned out a little better. Now, she can tell people she is a proper author, which is great.Kita currently lives in Oxfordshire with four daughters and a hamster.
Adrian Mitchell was born in London and studied at Oxford University where he passed most of his time learning to write poems. After leaving University, Adrian spent several years as a journalist and his great claim to fame is that he was the first reporter on a national paper to interview the Beatles.Adrian became a full-time writer of plays, stories and poems and was regarded as one of the country's finest poets and playwrights. He was also a regular performer for adults and children and gave over a thousand poetry readings throughout Britain, Europe, USA, Africa and Asia.Adrian's plays included The White Deer, The Wild Animal Song Contest, Mowgli's Jungle, The Snow Queen and The Pied Piper for children, and for adults, Tyger (The National Theatre) and Man Friday. Adrian's version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was premiered by the Royal Shakespeare Company for whom he also adapted Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass for the stage. He also wrote three Beatrix Potter plays which were staged with great success by The Unicorn Theatre for Children - Tom Kitten, Jemima Puddle-Duck and Peter Rabbit and His Friends. Adrian passed away in December 2008 and is survived by his wife, who runs the bookshop Ripping Yarns, in Highgate. www.adrianmitchell.co.uk
Highly-respected poet Tony Mitton has written many titles for children, including the picture books illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees: Bumpus Jumpus Dinosaurumpus!, Down by the Cool of the Pool, Spookyrumpus (winner of the Sheffield Book Prize, the Dundee Book Award and the Portsmouth Book Award) and Jolly Olly Octopus among many others. In 2014 Tony won the prestigious CLPE Poetry Award for his retelling of Wayland. Tony spends his time writing, giving poetry performances and visiting primary schools. He lives in Cambridge.
Sarah Mlynowski started writing books when she was three years old. Kind of. She would tell them and her mom would transcribe them. They were all about Princesses named Sarah. After learning to use her own pencil, she continued scribbling stories throughout elementary and high school, and studied English literature in college.When she was twenty-four she published her first chick lit novel, Milkrun. Since then she has written five novels for teens, four additional novels for adults, co-written a guide to writing chick lit (See Jane Write), co-edited two bestselling charity collections, and contributed to various anthologies. Originally from Montreal, Sarah now lives in Manhattan.