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.
Lorna Scobie is a London-based illustrator and book designer. Growing up surrounded by nature in the English countryside has heavily influenced her illustrations - her work almost always revolves around the natural world and Animal Kingdom. Lorna illustrates her work by hand, primarily using ink pens, watercolour and coloured pens.
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
James Sellick is a storyteller based in London. When he's not writing picture books for children, he works at Mother, a creative agency. He loves to use his creative powers for good!
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.
Ed Simkins is an award-winning illustrator and graphic designer of children's books. His work focuses on data visualisation such as infographics and innovative data maps.
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 spent her childhood on the beach in California and started writing stories at the age of eight. She wrote her first Horrid Henry book in 1994. Horrid Henry has gone on to conquer the globe; his adventures are published in 27 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Francesca has won the Children's Book of the Year Award and been a judge for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. In 2009, in one of the proudest moments of her career, Francesca was awarded a Gold Blue Peter badge.Francesca is also a passionate ambassador for children's literacy and is a trustee of the World Book Day charity. She lives in North London with her family.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.
Alex T. Smith
Author-illustrator Alex T. Smith is the award-winning creator of the bestselling Claude series, which is published in 16 languages worldwide, and is now a TV show on Disney Junior. Alex's newest series, Mr Penguin, launched in 2017, to widespread praise. Alex's quirky, witty writing and illustrations are instantly recognisable, critically acclaimed and as popular with adults as children. Alex is also widely praised for his work illustrating children's classics: he won Children's Book of the World Illustration Award for his illustrations in a new edition of Dodie Smith's The Hundred and One Dalmatians; he has created new art for books by Enid Blyton, Eva Ibbotson and Richmal Crompton. Alex has collaborated with Watership Down author Richard Adams on his last book, Egg Box Dragon, as well as David Almond and Juno Dawson. Alex has won the UKLA Picture Book Award and the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award, and been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award. He has also been the official World Book Day illustrator.
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, the first insltalment of which won the 2017 Laugh Out Loud Award for 6-8 year olds. 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
Debut author Vix Southgate has a passion for all aspects of space exploration. She has worked with the British Council, researching and writing about Russian achievements in space, and is a leading expert on Yuri Gagarin. She is the developer of CASSiE - a creative marketing initiative to help engage children with the wonders of space, spaceflight and exploration. She also manages World Space Week for the UK (every October 4-10), works closely with astronauts and cosmonauts, and is the European Agent to Apollo 15 NASA Astronaut, Col Al Worden.
Raised in London, Timothy Spall showed great promise at RADA where he portrayed the title roles in "Macbeth" and "Othello." He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company before moving into TV roles in the early 80s. Timothy's appeared in a number of award-winning Mike Leigh features, particularly Life Is Sweet and Secrets & Lies. More recently, he appeared in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as Peter Pettigrew, and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events as Mr. Poe. Timothy Spall is also the reader of Billy's Beetle.