Jane Ray's exquisite artwork has gained acclaim both in the UK and internationally, and she regularly shows her work at galleries and exhibitions. Jane won the Smarties Prize with The Story of Creation; The Story of Christmas was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award; and A Balloon for Grandad was shortlisted for the Mother Goose Award. Jane's books for Orchard include the contemporary fairy tale The Apple-Pip Princess, the heartwarming The Dolls' House Fairy and the fabulously festive The Twelve Days of Christmas. She is also the illustrator of Heartsong, written by Kevin Crossley-Holland. Jane lives in London.
CLAUDIA RENTON trained as a choral singer. Without any formal training Claudia won a part in the BBC dramatisation of THE CAZALETS - her favourite book since she was ten. Her natural talent and enthusiasm have ensured frequent appearances on stage and screen since: she is a regular in the Granada series DISTANT SHORES, and has appeared in the films 1969, YOU'RE IN THERE, EXTRA PEPPER and DEAD BOLT DEAD. She recently appeared on stage in the RSC's production of Thomas Middleton's WOMEN BEWARE WOMEN: it was her singing as Ganymede in this which drew attention to her suitability for the challenge of reading (and singing) GATTY¿S TALE.
Toby Reynolds has worked in children's publishing for 20 years. After working for some of the largest UK publishers, he spent many years freelancing in a variety of roles. In 2011 he co-founded Green Android Limited,a children's publishing company. he lives and works from his home in East London.
Probably best known for his starring role as Dr. "Mac" Macartney in the comedy television series Green Wing, Julian Rhind-Tutt appeared at the National Theatre, in 2007 in Landscape with Weapon by Joe Penhall. He was narrator for the BBC2 show 'The Seven Ages of Rock'; voiceover for British Airways ads; and appeared in a series of Barclaycard ads with his Green Wing co-star, Stephen Mangan.
Chris Riddell is the Kate Greenaway Medal winning illustrator of a broad range of highly successful books for children. With author Paul Stewart he is the creator of the best-selling fantasy series THE EDGE CHRONICLES. He has been the political cartoonist for THE OBSERVER newspaper since 1995. With his wife and two children he lives in Brighton.
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.
David Roberts is a hugely successful illustrator who has illustrated books by Philip Ardagh, Julia Donaldson, Jacqueline Wilson and Chris Priestley. He's also the creator of Dirty Bertie and the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling artist of picture books IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT and ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER. David lives in London.
Patricia's work as a professional actor spans twenty years, with dozens of lead roles in stage plays, radio drama, commercials and cartoons. Highlights include performing alongside acclaimed director Robert Wilson in his slow-motion play Deafman Glance, and nine years playing Sue Ellen in the Emmy award-winning cartoon Arthur. She has worked in Canada as an arts critic and television host and is now based in London. Audiobook narrations include Karin Slaughter's The Unremarkable Heart, Heather O'Neill's Lullabies for Little Criminals, Donna Milner's After River and Anita Shreve's Light On Snow
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.
Michael Rosen held the post of Children's Laureate from 2007-2009. He is one of the best-known figures in the children's book world, renowned for his work as a poet, performer, broadcaster and scriptwriter. As an author and by selecting other writers' works for anthologies he has been involved with over 140 books.
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.
Lydia Ruffles is the acclaimed author of The Taste of Blue Light and Colour Me In. She also writes and talks about creativity and mental health for media ranging from Buzzfeed to Woman's Hour. Lydia is a graduate of the Faber Academy and is based in London. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @lydiaruffles and on Tumblr at lydiaryffles.tumbler.com
At the age of thirteen, Chris Russell formed pop/rock band The Lightyears with his best friends from school. Since then, The Lightyears have toured all over the world, performing everywhere from Wembley Stadium to Glastonbury, and trashing a grand total of zero hotel rooms. In 2013, after a three-month stint ghostwriting for a One Direction fan club, Chris developed an obsession with boy bands and came up with the idea for Songs About a Girl. He is currently busy writing the next book in the series, gigging with The Lightyears and fanboying in the general direction of Harry Styles.