Andrew Sachs has performed widely in stage, film and television including the famous Manuel in FAWLTY TOWERS, Einstein in HORIZON SPECIAL: EINSTEIN, Peter Pryce in JACK OF HEARTS, and Joseph in SILENT WITNESS. He also does commentating, radio work, voice-overs and has read numerous audiobooks including The Magical Children's series for Orion.
Ellie loved drawing from an early age and has a passion for picture books (she keeps her collection in a huge wardrobe in her studio!) After competing a degree in Graphic Design at Bath Spa University, she became interested in drawing and writing specifically for children, and went on to achieve a Master's degree in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art. As a child, her favourite picture book was The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and she still loves the work of Eric Carle. In her spare time Ellie loves to get stuck into some DIY or go out in her kayak, and she dreams of one day owning her very own sausage dog.
Fabi Santiago is the author of Tiger in a Tutu, shortlisted for the Waterstones Picture Books Prize. Fabi was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and has been making pictures ever since she could hold her first crayon. After studying art and design, Fabi went travelling and came across the MA in Children's Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art, from where she graduated in 2014. Fabi's illustrations are full of movement and bold limited colours, and her media of choice is screen-printing. She likes the outdoors, cycling, dance and theatre, all of which are inspiration for her stories. Fabi lives in London with her ginger fellow and her cat, Porridge.
Marcus Sedgwick used to work in children's publishing and before that he was a bookseller. He now happily writes full-time. His books have been shortlisted for many awards, including The GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S FICTION AWARD, the BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD, the CARNEGIE MEDAL and the EDGAR ALLAN POE AWARD. Marcus lives in Cambridge and has a teenage daughter, Alice.Find his website at www.marcussedgwick.com and follow him on Twitter @marcussedgwick
With a keen eye for beautiful colours, Kathryn has an ability to capture that special child-like charm that makes her illustrations unique. She grew up in Connecticut, USA, and as a child developed a deep love of picture books. To feed this obsession, she worked as an intern in the children's department of Sterling Publishing and received her BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. Now living on the Yale campus in New Haven, Connecticut, Kathryn hikes, reads the newspaper, bicycles poorly and cooks elaborate meals daily. Her artwork is cheerful, colourful and features a lot of very happy children. She will always prefer the countryside, even if is filled with hateful mosquitos.
Lisa Shanahan is an award-winning writer of picture books and fiction for young people. Some of her well-loved books include GORDON'S GOT A SNOOKIE, illustrated by Wayne Harris, and BEAR AND CHOOK and DADDY'S HAVING A HORSE, illustrated by Emma Quay. Her picture book BEAR AND CHOOK BY THE SEA, illustrated by Emma Quay, won the CBCA Book of the Year for Early Childhood in 2010 and BIG PET DAY, illustrated by Gus Gordon, won the Speech Pathology Book of the Year Award for the 5-8 age group in 2015. Lisa loves moon-gazing, making up words, mint slices, mock orange blossom, black cockatoos, shouts of unexpected laughter, the weight of a scruffy dog resting on her knee and cups of tea. She lives in Sydney, close to the river of her childhood, with her husband, their three sons and one bouncy spoodle.
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.
Robin Shaw is an award-winning animator and illustrator known for his beautifully lyrical hand-drawn work.As well as fifteen years as a director of animated commercials, he has worked closely with children's author and illustrator Raymond Briggs on a number of film projects. He was part of the directing team behind the hit Channel 4 TV special The Snowman and The Snowdog, and was the natural choice for art director on Ethel & Ernest, the feature-length adaptation of Briggs' graphic novel telling the story of his parents' lives together. 2016 saw his debut as a director on an animated feature film with We're Going on a Bear Hunt, adapted from the children's classic by Michael Rosen and Helen OxenburyHis inspiration for Me and My Dad came partly from his love for the little corner of Southeast London where he grew up and now lives and works.
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.
Francesca Simon worked for 12 years as a freelance arts journalist, writing for the Sunday times, and The Guardian amongst others. Francesca wrote her first children's book in 1989 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. She lives in London with her husband and son.Francesca Simon spent her childhood on the beach in California, and then went to Yale and Oxford Universities to study medieval history and literature. She now lives in London with her family. She has written over 50 books and won THE CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE YEAR at the Galaxy British Book Awards for HORRID HENRY AND THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN. Visit Francesca's website at www.francescasimon.com and keep up-to-date with Horrid Henry at www.horridhenry.co.uk. You can also follow her on Twitter @simon_francesca
Nicola Slater has been an illustrator for over 15 years. She has worked extensively in advertising, web and print with clients including Eurostar, Aviva and The Times. She has produced a broad array of picture books and fiction covers, including the hugely successful 'Princess Diaries' and the classic Enid Blyton series 'Malory Towers'.Nicola Lives in Manchester with her partner and son, with the occasional appearance of an ill-tempered cat.
Singer/songwriter Craig Smith performs at gigs around New Zealand. He has lived in Australia for 4 years and Vietnam for 6 years, and says Spike Milligan and his mum are his greatest influences.
Jim Smith is the author of the Barry Loser fiction series. I am not a Loser by Barry Loser was published in 2012, having already sold rights to nine countries. The sequel, I am Still Not a Loser, was the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2013 and declared the funniest book for children aged seven to fourteen. Jim has now written six Barry Loser books and begun a spin-off series Future Ratboy. He has also designed a hugely successful range of stationery and gift products under the name Waldo Pancake.
Maudie Smith began her career as an actor. She spent years perching on scenery in the back of a van, while touring with a small-scale theatre company. In children's theatre, she played well-known characters such as Piglet and the Snow Queen. She co-devised many of the plays in which she performed and has written lyrics for musicals, cabaret and a libretto. She recently graduated from Bath Spa University with an MA in Writing for Young People. Maudie lives in a village near Bath with her screenwriter husband, two daughters, two cats, two chickens and far too many stick insects.Visit her website http://www.maudiesmith.co.uk/ and follow her on Twitter @MaudieSmith
Lemony Snicket is the author of numerous bestselling books, including those in A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Wrong Questions. You can learn more at www.LemonySnicketLibrary.com
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'!
Lauren St John
Lauren St John is the author of several books on sports and music, as well as the award-winning children's series THE WHITE GIRAFFE, the BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD-winning LAURA MARLIN series and THE ONE DOLLAR HORSE trilogy. Her first adult novel, THE OBITUARY WRITER, was published in 2013. Visit Lauren's website at www.laurenstjohn.com, like her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Lauren-St-John/120957211278399 and follow her on Twitter @laurenstjohn
Emer Stamp is the bestselling author of The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig and three follow-up books. She started out as a graphic designer before moving to a career in advertising, where, among her roles, she was Creative Director for the advertising agency behind the iconic John Lewis Christmas adverts. Daddy Fartypants is Emer's first children's picture book. She lives with her family in London.
Andy Stanton has written eight books about Mr Gum, along with further successful fiction and picture book titles. He was overall winner of the Red House Children's Book Award for You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum! and won the inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize for Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear. He has twice won the Blue Peter Book Award for Best Book With Pictures, and been shortlisted for a host of other awards.
Alison Steadman OBE is a national treasure. Her illustrious and wide-ranging career includes roles in Abigail's Party, Pride and Prejudice, Secrets & Lies and Gavin & Stacey.