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.
Jorge Santillan is an artist based in Argentina with over 20 years' experience illustrating children's books.
Sophie Scott is a knitting fanatic who runs knitting classes at boutique yarn shop Loop. She lives in London.
With a keen eye for beautiful colours, Kathryn has an ability to capture that special child-like charm that makes her illustrations unique. She grew up in Connecticut, USA, and as a child developed a deep love of picture books. To feed this obsession, she worked as an intern in the children's department of Sterling Publishing and received her BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. Now living on the Yale campus in New Haven, Connecticut, Kathryn hikes, reads the newspaper, bicycles poorly and cooks elaborate meals daily. Her artwork is cheerful, colourful and features a lot of very happy children. She will always prefer the countryside, even if is filled with hateful mosquitos.
Cath Senker is a children's non-fiction writer who specialises in writing about modern history, global issues and world religions. Her latest history titles include Living Through the Vietnam War (Raintree, 2011), Our World Divided: Israel and the Middle East (Wayland, 2011) and A Cultural History of Women in America: Women Claim the Vote (Bailey Publishing, 2011). She has a particular interest in the topics of migration, refugees and racism and recently wrote Mapping Global Issues: Immigrants and Refugees (Arcturus, 2011). In her work, Cath aims to highlight individuals' experiences and to present different viewpoints in a non-judgemental way as a basis for discussion.Cath also works as a project manager and editor on non-fiction titles for both children and adults. Before embarking on a freelance career, she worked as a commissioning editor for a children's educational publishing company for eight years. She is also an experienced ESOL teacher. Cath volunteers with City Reads, a project that aims to widen the enjoyment of books and reading among people of all ages, especially people from disadvantaged communities. She is a also a keen amateur cyclist, cook and gardener.
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.
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
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
Mark Sperring was born in 1963 in Swindon but grew up in Weston-Super-Mare. He became hooked on books after reading 'Gobbolino the Witch's Cat', and 'The Chronicles of Narnia'. He left school at 16 and worked at a printers for a few years, before moving to Bristol and working at a bookshop. He started writing, receiving the usual slew of rejection letters (with some lovely encouraging letters and near misses along the way) before getting published. Although a published author now, Mark still loves his day job - if he's not writing a book he's unpacking one! He loves running, going to the cinema and music (anything from hip hop to country!). Favourite books include 'Where the Wild Things Are', ' To Kill a Mocking Bird' , and 'The Little Prince' or anything by Tove Jansson, Paul Auster, Richard Yates and Haruki Murakami. And of course 'Gobbolino the Witch's Cat'!
Richard Spilsbury has worked in educational publishing for more than 20 years and has written on a variety of subjects, from climate change and food and farming to art history and design.
Louise Spilsbury is a prolific children's book author. She has written titles on almost every subject, from science and geography through to world affairs, social issues, art, history, and literacy. Louise is married to the author Richard Spilsbury and has two children. She lives and works in Devon.
Joan Stimson was brought up in the Midlands and has spent the whole of her adult life in Gloucestershire. After several years in industry, she began writing in the eighties and specialises in texts for the very young. She has written over fifty books, including a bestselling "Storytime" series for ages 1-6, and a number of award winning picture books, illustrated by the late Meg Rutherford. She now also writes stories for children to read themselves, published by Franklin Watts.Joan is married, has two grown up daughters, with two grandchildren - and counting! She enjoys living in her restored Victorian school house and exploring the rural by-ways of England in her vintage car.
Ellen Stoll Walsh
Ellen Stoll Walsh is the author-illustrator of many acclaimed books for young children, including Mouse Paint, Mouse Shapes, Mouse Count, and Hamsters to the Rescue. She lives near Rochester, New York.
Rita Storey started in children's books as a graphic designer but now works in various different roles, including author. She has a wealth of experience in children's non-fiction. As well as designing books, Rita has written titles on dancing, sport, and other non-fiction subjects. She lives and works in Devon.
Adam Sutherland is an award-winning journalist and non-fiction writer with over 20 years' experience in the industry. He has written for publications including The Observer, Wired and Esquire magazines, and has won the PPA Specialist Writer of the Year Award for his coverage of sport, and a BSME award for Young Writer of the Year. He started his writing career covering bands and music for style magazines The Face, i-D and Arena, but more recently has expanded to cover film, new media and business. He has written a series of business titles for young adults on companies such as Nike, Google and Facebook, and biographies of rapper Jay-Z and Apple founder Steve Jobs.