Our Authors
Simon Adams

Simon Adams was born in Bristol and studied at London and Bristol universities. He then worked as an editor of children's reference books before becoming a full-time writer 18 years ago. Since then, he has written and contributed to more than 70 books on subjects as varied as American history, the sinking of the Titanic, the two world wars and the history of jazz. He has written for many major children`s publishers including Dorling Kindersley and Kingfisher. His work for Watts includes titles in the Citizen Guides, Flashpoints, World War One and World War Two series as well as, most recently, Countries in the News. He lives in London, listens to lots of jazz, and is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction books.
Hakim Adi

Dr Hakim Adi is Reader in the History of Africa and the African Diaspora at the University of Chichester.
John Agard

John Agard was born in Guyana and emigrated to Britain in 1977. He has worked as an actor and a performer with a jazz group and spent several years with the Commonwealth Institute, travelling all over Britain giving talks, performances and workshops. He has visited literally thousands of schools. His poem 'Half-caste' is on the AQA Englsih GCSE syllabus, and every year he tours the country performing with other top poets for GCSE students. His children's poetry includes WE ANIMALS WOULD LIKE A WORD WITH YOU, POINTS OF VIEW WITH PROFESSOR PEEKABOO, and most recently EINSTEIN, THE GIRL WHO HATED MATHS and HELLO H2O, poems about maths and science respectively. All these titles have been in collaboration with the illustrator Satoshi Kitamura He lives in Sussex and is married to Grace Nichols, herself a respected Caribbean poet. They have a daughter.
Joan Aiken

Joan Aiken is the author of over a hundred books for adults and children, many of them classics. She worked on the magazine, Argosy, and wrote hundreds of short stories before her first novel, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, was published in the early '60s. It was highly praised in Time magazine and its success allowed Joan to write full-time thereafter. She has said, "I would never want to do anything but write stories. It is inventing your own world, using all the bits of the real one that you like best. And that is something you can do anywhere, at any time."

BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip hop artist, writer, poet and historian Akala is a label owner and social entrepreneur who fuses unique rap/rock/electro-punk sound with fierce storytelling. Jay-Z, M.I.A. and Christina Aguilera are just a few of the musicians Akala's toured with, his own stellar live show headlined eight UK tours and he regularly appears at festivals such as Glastonbury and Wireless.More recently known for his compelling lectures and journalism, Akala has written for the The Guardian, Huffington Post UK and The Independent, and also taken part in British Council arts education and music projects all over the world.In 2009, with Sir Ian McKellen's support, Akala launched the 'The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company', a music theatre production company which sparked worldwide media interest. Previous clients and collaborators include the BBC, Premier League, Mastercard, The Barbican and Ed Sheeran.Akala has also featured on numerous TV programmes across Channel 4, ITV2, MTV, Sky Arts and the BBC promoting his projects as well as speaking on wide ranging subjects from music and poetry to youth engagement and British/African-Caribbean culture.
Lucy Akhurst

Lucy Akhurst appeared in BBC TV's Eroica. Other TV work includes Ultimate Force, Manchild and Clare in Wonderful You. Films include Trinity, The Land Girls and Longitude.
David Almond

David Almond is the author of Skellig, My Name is Mina, Counting Stars, The Savage, Island, A Song for Ella Grey, The Colour of the Sun and many other novels, stories, picture books, opera librettos, songs and plays. His work is translated into 40 languages, and is widely adapted for stage and screen. His major awards include the Carnegie Medal, two Whitbread Awards, the Eleanor Farjeon Award, the Michael L Printz Award (USA), Le Prix Sorcières (France) and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. In 2010 he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world's most prestigious prize for children's authors. David speaks at festivals and conferences around the world. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. He is widely regarded as one of the most exciting, inspirational and innovative children's authors writing today. He has one amazing daughter. He lives in Bath and in Newcastle, the city in which he was
Rachel Anderson

Winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Award for Paper Faces, Rachel Anderson has written more than 30 books for children of all ages. She excels at tackling life's difficult themes with a skilful blend of humour and sensitivity. Rachel has one daughter, three sons, two goldfish, several free-range muntjacs, and a delightful diversity of grandchildren.
Judith Anderson

Judith Anderson writes extensively for children. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Winchester.
Ronda Armitage

Ronda Armitage was born in New Zealand, and later moved to London with her husband and children. Her first book, The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch, soon became a popular series of books. Ronda has gone on to write many much-loved stories for children, including A Very Strange Creature and the fabulous Small Knight and George series about a little knight and his pet dragon. Ronda lives in East Sussex with her husband, David.
Bernard Ashley

Bernard Ashley is one of the top writers for teenagers today. Drawing on his experience as a headteacher in a South London school he writes exciting, hard-hitting stories for the young adult reader plus picture book and younger fiction texts.Bernard's first novel, The Trouble with Donovan Croft, won the 'Other Award', an alternative to the Carnegie Award. Since then he has written extensively both for television and the children's book market. His adaptation of his own novel Dodgem won the Royal Television Society Award for the Best Children's Entertainment Programme. Bernard has written a number of successful novels for Orchard Books. Tiger Without Teeth was chosen as the Guardian's Children's Book of the Week; Little Soldier, about the gang-run estates of inner London, was shortlisted for both the Carnegie and Guardian Fiction Award; and Revenge House, a hard-hitting crime thriller, are all typical of Bernard's highly charged, gritty approach.Bernard Ashley lives in South East London only a street or so from where he was born. During his time as a teacher and headteacher he worked in Kent, Hertfordshire, Newham and Greenwich.Visit Bernard Ashley at:
Lara Avery

Lara Avery is the author of A Million Miles Away, Anything But Ordinary and The Memory Book. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she is a contributor at Revolver and at work on her next novel.
Paolo Bacigalupi

Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl was one of the most celebrated SF debuts of all time, winning both the Hugo and Nebula awards. Following a number of award-winning novels for younger readers, The Water Knife marks his return to adult fiction. He is a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist, and lives in Colorado with his wife and son.
Asa Bailey

The first book Asa Bailey ever read was about Vlad the Impaler. He was six years old. Since then he has been fascinated by vampire history, the gothic, the bizarre and the fantastic. Asa is a novelist and film-maker who after living in London and New York moved to a medieval village high in the Snowdonia Mountain range of North Wales. Today, surrounded by dark mountains, forests and rivers, he likes to create stories about worlds where anything is possible.
Jacqui Bailey

Jacqui Bailey has spent a lot of her adult life working with children's books. She has been an editor and publisher of everything from picture books to encyclopedias, but mostly enjoys finding out amazing bits of information and then writing about them. She particularly likes writing about science, as the information so often turns out to be far stranger than fiction.
Helen Bailey

Helen Bailey was born and brought up in Northumberland, a county she always regarded as home.Barely into her teens, Helen invested her pocket money in buying a copy of The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook and spent the next few years sending short stories and poems to anyone she could think of. Much to her surprise, she sometimes found herself in print.After a degree in science, Helen worked in the media, running a successful London-based character licensing agency handling internationally renowned properties such as Snoopy, Felicity Wishes, Dilbert and Zorro.Helen died in 2016, leaving behind a significant body of work. She is best known for her Electra Brown series, of which the first is 'Life in the Shallow End'.
Carol Ballard

Dr Carol Ballard has written several children's books on human biology and health. A specialist in primary science, she currently teaches science, mathematics and geography in primary school.
Tracy Banghart

Tracy Banghart grew up in rural Maryland, with a cornfield in her backyard and flying squirrels in her bedroom walls, and spent her summers on a remote island in northern Ontario. All that isolation and pretty scenery led to a reading addiction, writing obsession, and several serious book boyfriends. Always a bit of a nomad, Tracy now travels the world army-wife style with her husband, son and sundry pets. Follow her adventures on Twitter @tracythewriter.
Nicola Barber

Nicola Barber is an experienced author and editor of children's non-fiction books.
Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is the number one New York Times bestselling author fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over one million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology and The Language of Thorns. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.Find her website at and follow her on Twitter @lbardugo.