Elizabeth Dale always dreamed of being a writer but somehow got side-tracked into studying for a physics degree, followed by health service management. When her children were born she finally returned to her dream, writing thousands of short stories for magazines all over the world. Re-discovering a love of children's books while reading to her daughters, she decided to turn her hand to writing them - and has now published over twenty books for children, including picture books and junior fiction. Writing is her full-time job, but also her favourite activity. She also enjoys reading, gardening, walking, and being in the country. Her favourite children's books include Walk Two Moons, The Selfish Giant, Cosmic, and Someone Else's Life. She loves watching cosy sentimental films, such as You've Got Mail, Return to Me, and While You Were Sleeping, as well as classic old films starring Cary Grant, Fred Astaire and Doris Day. Elizabeth is married, with three daughters, and lives in a village in West Sussex. Her daughters, Katie and Jenny, are also children's authors with Hachette.
Penny Dann was a well-known and highly talented children's illustrator, whose Secret Fairy range has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide.Penny Dann studied Visual Communication at Brighton Polytechnic and enjoyed a successful career illustrating children's books. Her witty, lively watercolours have added character to many well-known stories and she also wrote her own books.Penny was born in Slough, Buckinghamshire and was brought up in Stoke Poges. Following an eighteen-month tour around Thailand, Malaysia, Australia and the US, Penny settled in her university town of Brighton.Penny was well-known for her bestselling The Secret Fairy range of handbooks and novelties for Orchard Books. Among Penny's other books are One for the Pot and Why Not Stay for Breakfast? (Elm Tree Books), two anthologies The Animals' Bedtime Story Book and Read Me a Story (Orion) and three books about Figgy Two Socks and Jefferson Bear (Kingfisher). She also illustrated The Collins Treasury of Poetry edited by Stephanie Nettell and designed a soft toy for Running Press.
Nicola Davies is an award-winning author whose books for children include Big Blue Whale, Just Ducks!, One Tiny Turtle and The Promise, which was declared one of the best picture books of the year by the New York Times. She graduated in zoology, studied whales and bats, then worked in the BBC Nature History Unit. She was one of the original presenters of The Really Wild Show. Nicola lives in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales. Visit her website at www.nicola-davies.com
Kelly Davis is a freelance writer and editor who has worked in educational publishing for more than ten years.
Juno Dawson grew up in West Yorkshire, writing imaginary episodes of DOCTOR WHO. She later turned her talent to journalism, interviewing bands before writing for a Brighton newspaper. Until recently, Juno worked as a teacher, specialising in PSHE. She is most proud of her work surrounding anti-bullying and family diversity. In 2014 she became a School Role Model for the charity STONEWALL. In 2015, Juno announced her intention to undergo gender transition and live as a woman.Visit Juno's website at www.junodawson.com
Lesley De Meza
A leading practitioner, trainer and author Lesley is known internationally for her PSHE education work. She has worked with a range of organisations including: DAATs, DfE, DoH, HIT (Liverpool), Home Office, Integrated Youth Support Services, LAs, Metropolitan Police, NICE, PCTs, QCA, schools, TPU and universities.
Stephen De Silva
Stephen is an experienced and respected teacher, consultant and writer with 30 years' service in the education and health sectors. He works nationally across the UK and internationally in Europe, SE Asia, the USA and Bermuda.
Venitia Dean is a freelance illustrator who grew up in Brighton. She has always loved drawing, ever since she could hold a pencil! As a teenager she discovered a passion for figurative illustration and then when she turned 19 she was given a digital drawing tablet for her birthday and started transferring her work to the computer. She hasn't looked back since! As well as illustration, Venitia loves reading graphic novels, and walking her dog Peanut.
Katie Dicker is a writer and editor who has worked in publishing for over 15 years. She has a degree in politics and philosophy and specialises in children's educational publishing.
Nancy Dickmann grew up in the USA, where she played baseball, ate hot dogs and read encyclopaedias for fun. She has now lived in England long enough to think that cold and rain are normal, but still has yet to try Morris dancing. Before becoming an author, she worked as an editor and publisher of children's books. Now, with Pushkin the Three-Legged Wonder Cat as her trusty assistant (in charge of lap-sitting), she writes books on a wide range of topics, including animals, space, history, health and explorers. The highlight of her career so far has been getting to interview a real astronaut to find out how they use the toilet in space!
Thomas Docherty is an acclaimed author and illustrator of children's picture books including Little Boat, Big Scary Monster, and the Driftwood Ball. The Snatchabook, which was written by his wife Helen, has been shortlisted for several awards in the UK and US and been translated into 17 languages.
Amber Lee Dodd
Amber Lee Dodd was born and grew up on the island city of Portsmouth, where she rode the waltzers, swam in the winter sea and lost her wellies in the marshes. Now she spends most of her time poking around second hand and charity shops for fabulous old hats, that's when she's not writing plays and stories.Her plays have been performed at Chichester Festival Theatre, the New Theatre Royal and the Edinburgh Fringe. Her stories have been published around the world and broadcast on BBC radio 4.
Emma was brought up in Guildford, Surrey, in a family of artists. As a child she loved the work of Peter Firmin, John Burningham and Gerald Rose, and from as far back as she can remember she wanted to be an illustrator. Emma studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Central Saint Martin's School of Art and has worked in advertising, editorial and book illustration. The I Love You range has sold over 750,000 copies and I Love My Mummy won the Book Trust Early Years Award. Emma lives in Surrey with her husband and two children and their terrier cross, Buzz, who keeps her fit and provides inspiration. The family likes to spend any spare time in North Cornwall, surfing and walking in all weathers.
Penny Dolan is a children's writer and storyteller living in North Yorkshire. She is a popular speaker with both infant and junior children, and has visited many School Book Weeks and literacy events across the UK, with her enjoyable 'Author Talks' and lively story-telling sessions. She has also spoken and performed in libraries, bookshops, museums, art galleries, historic sites and outdoor locations, and has appeared on the children's programme of several literature festivals. She has a wide interest in children's books and has been Chair of the Federation of Children's Book Groups. Penny has a wide experience of schools. She was a primary advisory teacher for English and Drama but has been a freelance language arts worker for several years. She has also taught on residential writing courses for children, tutored both storytelling and writing courses for adults, and spoken at conferences. Penny has a degree in Education, specialising in Language and Literacy and an Advanced Diploma in Educational Drama. As well as working on her writing, Penny enjoys drawing, painting, reading, chatting and daydreaming. Her favourite colour is yellow. Her favourite food is strawberries-and-cream, and she is probably the world's slowest swimmer. She has three untidy desks, two grown-up children and one rather bad cat.
Julia Donaldson, the 2011-2013 Children's Laureate, is the outrageously talented, prize-winning author of the world's most-loved picture books including The Gruffalo and What the Ladybird Heard.The Gruffalo, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, is now a children's classic and publishing phenomenon; celebrating 15 years in 2014, selling over 3 million copies worldwide, was voted Great Britain's favourite bedtime story on BBC Radio 2 and was adapted and broadcast as an animation on BBC 1 on Christmas Day 2009. The Gruffalo's Child and Room on the Broom are now also films, with Room on the Broom shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2014. Julia Donaldson's most recent books with Axel Scheffler include Superworm (2012), Highway Rat (2011), Tabby McTat (2010), Stick Man (2009) and Tiddler (2008).
Katie Douglass has written many non-fiction titles for children, specialising in social issues for young children. She has a particular interest in educating children about their emotional health and wellbeing.
Paul Dowswell went to univeristy in London and stayed in the city until 1991, working for the National Sound Archive, The Science Museum, BBC Books and Time Life. He began his publishing career as a picture researcher before becoming a writer and editor. He now works freelance and specialises in children's information books. 'The Complete Book of the Microscope' (Usborne) which Paul edited and co-wrote won the 1999 Rhone-Poulenc Junior Prize for Science Books, and 'Usborne's Medieval Messanger' was short-listed for the 1997 Times Educational Supplement Information Book Award.
When Nicole Dryburgh was 11, she was diagnosed with a tumour on her spine and was treated by surgery and radiotherapy, successfully everyone thought. Then in December 2002, she became desperately ill. A brain haemorrhage left her blind, and unable to move and in January 2003, her mother was told that Nicole had only a few weeks to live. But Nicole defied all medical expectations and lived to see her 21st birthday. Sadly, in May 2010, Nicole suffered another brain haemorrhage and passed way the next day.In spite of all the physical difficulties Nicole lived with, including loss of hearing towards the end of her life, Nicole made the most of every moment and accomplished a string of achievements, including writing two books, The Way I See It and Talk to the Hand - Nicole's inspiring memoirs. Probably Nicole's most notable achievement was her determined resolve to raise funds for others. She was a passionate and dynamic fundraiser. Through Nicole's Fund, set up to fund a Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Surrey, she raised over ?74,000. Prior to this she raised ?43,000 to fund 'Nicole's Sweet', a paediatric neuro-rehabilitation suite at King's College Hospital. Nicole was so successful at this that she was recruited by the Teenage Cancer Trust as a regional fundraiser. Nicole had been short-listed and won numerous awards for her writing and her outstanding fund-raising including Britain's Most Inspiring Fundraiser, Round Table/BBC World Young Citizen, Young People's Choice for the Young Mind Book Award, the Sense Creative Writing Award, a Diana Award and an Anne Frank Award. She had been the subject of a BBC documentary; had meetings with royalty and government ministers; and had passed an English GCSE.Nicole was supported in her life and her fundraising by her mum Jackie, brother Lee and her much loved dogs Daizy and Molly.
Fiona Dunbar was born in Hertfordshire. She grew up trailing around jazz clubs with her jazz musician stepfather and left school when she was sixteen to go to Art College. Fiona was a regular at the Camden Palace, her and a friend would spend all Thursday night making their clothes for the Friday night's clubbing. When Fiona realised she wouldn't be a famous artist, she began a commercial art career in TV and advertising. After a stint doing illustration for Punch, which she really enjoyed, Fiona began illustrating for picture books by other authors. It was at this time that she met her lovely American lawyer husband Pano. After living in New York for a number of years, where her two children were born, Fiona settled back in North London and began to write for children instead of drawing for them!Fiona now lives in North London and is an active fundraiser for her children's primary school. She loves helping out with the Christmas pantomime and puts her eighties dressmaking skills to good use by making costumes! When she's not writing, painting or gardening, Fiona loves nothing better than to cook. Her creations might not be as magical as Lulu's but they bring just as much pleasure in the end!
Claudia writes and illustrates children's books, and is the author-illustrator of the eco-conscious graphic novels Luz Sees the Light and Luz Makes a Splash. She was born in Chile and now lives in Toronto, Ontario with her daughter and husband.