Martin Waddell is known and respected the world over for his incredible storytelling. Martin has won the Smarties Prize twice and was presented with the Hans Christian Andersen Award for children's literature. For Orchard, Martin has written the fun, action-packed bestseller 'The Dirty Great Dinosaur' and its sequel 'The Super Swooper Dinosaur' (both illustrated by Leonie Lord), and two wonderful story collections 'The Orchard Book of Goblins, Ghouls and Ghosts' (illustrated by Tony Ross) and 'The Orchard Book of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales' (illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark). Martin lives in Northern Ireland.
Barrie has had a long and successful career in education, first as an English teacher, then as Professor of Education in English at the University of Birmingham, where he is now Emeritus Professor. He is also a published author of over 150 books and a tireless fundraiser and supporter of the charity Mencap and governor of the Mencap College in the UK.Barrie encourages young writers around the country in his numerous author visits and writing workshops. He has published a huge variety of poems, stories and non-fiction.
A Canadian, Karen Wallace gained a degree in English from London University. Shortly afterwards she and her husband went to Toronto and worked in the publishing business. A few years later they moved to Ireland with their two young sons, and returned to England in 1982. She now writes full-time for children and for children's television. She and illustrator Mike Bostock won the TES Information Book Award for THINK OF AN EEL (Walker Books). Her novel RASPBERRIES ON THE YANGTSE was short-listed for the Guardian Award. She is married to novelist Sam Llewellyn.
Anne Walter is a freelance children's book writer with a passion for fairy tale and fantasy stories. She has retold many famous fairy tales for reluctant readers, including a set of Hopscotch Fairy Tales. She lives and works in London.
Jackie Walter has written and edited many books for children. She never gets tired of listening to and telling a good story. Jackie lives in Cornwall with her husband and young daughters.
Sarah has many books, working for a large variety of publishers. With author Hiawyn Oram, she created the Orchard Books' character of Rumblewick - the witch's familiar - employed by a very unwilling witch. Both in picture book and fiction this character has sold worldwide and is under movie option with DreamWorks. Sarah also illustrated the 'Happy Ever After' series, written by Tony Bradman, as well as the picture book 'Sir Laughalot', written by Tony Mitton for Orchard. Sarah works using a wide combination of pencil sketches, digital colour and traditional pen and ink and watercolour. She lives in Bristol, with her husband and two children.
Sam Watkins is a freelance writer and editor, who was formerly a publisher at a small educational publishing company in Cambridge. She is author of Nick Knight (Race Ahead with Reading), Puss in Football Boots (Hopscotch Twisty Tales) and the Creature Teacher series with OUP. She currently lives in Worthing with her son, Owen.
Franklin Watts is well-known for its high-quality and attractive books. We aim to give children of all abilities a life-long love of learning and reading.
Andrew Weale is every mother's nightmare. As well as being a writer of children's books, he is an actor and singer. He lectures on picture books at Winchester University and coaches corporate clients in presentation skills, so his mother does manage to catch some sleep at night.Born in Brighton and educated at Eastbourne College, he won a Classics Scholarship to Trinity College, Oxford. Having rubbed shoulders with the likes of Boris Johnson and Niall Ferguson, he decided to change direction completely and learn how to act at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.After far too many years of education he set up a theatre company that went on to win a Fringe First Award at the 1991 Edinburgh Festival. At the Award Ceremony he got to make a speech and kiss Emma Thompson.Andrew's company was the first to tour Romania after the revolution, having been invited personally by Ion Caramitru, head of Bucharest's Bulandra Theatre. The company also toured in New York and Hong Kong.Andrew has worked as a freelance actor and singer since 1997, when he played Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. Other highlights include working with Sir Alec Guinness and Janet Suzman. He has had roles in Kevin Spacey's film Beyond the Sea and Peter Sellars' production of The Rake's Progress at Paris' Chatelet Theatre. Recently he played the lead in the Theatre Royal Bath's Dangerous Obsession opposite Liza Goddard.Andrew has always been involved with books. He worked with Kathleen Tynan and Allegra Huston on The Kenneth Tynan Ketters and Nick Hern on The Honourable Beast (the posthumous autobiography of English theatre director John Dexter). In 2010 Hodder published Andrew's first children's picture book One Newt in a Suit. Since then he has written four more for Andersen Press, Random House and Hodder. He has spoken at many festivals, including the Imagine Festival on London's South Bank, and the Oxford and Hay festivals.Andrew's mum is sleeping much better these days!
After a degree in modern languages Mick taught French and Spanish in the UK and English in Venezuela. He then joined the BBC as a producer, making radio programmes for the education department before moving to general programming, then TV and finally BBC online. He worked on many of the BBC's major language courses in the 1980's and from 2001-2011 was Editor of the BBC Languages website, winning a BAFTA for the interactive drama, Mi Vida Loca, which taught Spanish to beginners. He now works as a freelance consultant in language learning and as a travel writer. He lives in multi-cultural South London with his family, and as well as learning Croatian, is trying to understand the language used by their two cats.
Sheryl lives in Liverpool with her husband Phil and four children Sean, Bethany, Joey and new arrival Katy.
Having completed a degree in English and Psychology she enjoyed working as a Primary School Teacher before going on a career break to bring up her young family. This also allowed more time for her passion of writing.
Sheryl's literary influences include Enid Blyton -whose books she loved as a child and now enjoys reading to her own children. She also admires the work of Julia Donaldson.
However her greatest influences are her children - who provide the inspiration and ideas for most of her stories.
Ellen combines writing for children with teaching speech & drama skills and piano playing. She loves living on the Isle of Wight, surrounded by the sea. Her family has been traced back on the Island to before 1563.
James Weston Lewis
Born in Bath, James moved to Oxfordshire when he was 5 where he grew up in a small village. He did an Art Foundation degree at Oxford Brookes University and then moved to Bristol to study Illustration at the University of the West of England, where he specialised in Print. James now lives in Lewisham in South London, and works as an Illustrator and Printmaker.
Carrie Weston lives in a village in Kent with her partner, 2 children, 2 dogs and 3 cats. She lectures at the University of East London in Children's Literature and also Special Educational Needs.Carrie is in the process of completing her PhD, to be submitted in summer 07. She is then looking forward to spending more time on her favourite pastime - writing!Her hobbies include skiing, watching West Ham, listening to Melvyn Bragg and being in Port Isaac, Cornwall. If only she could do them all at once.
Rhona Whiteford has many years' experience of teaching at preschool and primary level, and is the author of many educational books for teachers, parents and children.
Katie Woolley is a creative and versatile editor and writer who has worked on children's books for all age levels, from board books, novelty books and picture books to non-fiction, licensed publishing and educational books and apps. With more than 10 years' publishing experience working for companies such as Ladybird Books and Hachette Children's Books, she has written, commissioned, edited and project-managed a wide variety of titles for some of the biggest children's publishers.