A former teacher and headteacher, Wes has been a full-time author since 1989. He has written more than 80 books for young readers including poetry, stories, plays, and picture books. He regularly visits schools nationwide performing his 'Poetry Show' and running writing workshops for children, and for adults.
Mick Manning (born in Yorkshire, England, 1959) and Brita Granström (born in Eskilstuna, Sweden, 1969) work together as a team sharing the illustration and text. They have been producing award-winning non-fiction picture books for almost twenty years. They show that the best non-fiction for children can be scholarly, albeit with a light touch, and can have some of the imagination-stretching qualities of fiction. They are well known for their exciting performances involving readings and live drawing using overhead camera projection (often involving participation from members of the audience) all mixed with an audio-visual presentation. They appear on a regular basis at major UK book festival venues such as Bath, Cheltenham and Edinburgh International Book Festival. They have appeared at The Royal Society Science Festival and have celebrated The Big Draw at various venues including The Imperial War Museum. They have worked closely to support libraries and schools, performing voluntarily to school classes in the UK and Sweden and have also attended the American Library Conference and visited US schools.Many of Manning & Granström's books are translated into a number of languages, including Chinese, German, Greek, Danish, Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish and Slovakian. For the last 12 years Mick & Brita have created, written and illustrated a monthly 5-page gentle pre-school series called 'Max and Kate' for the critically acclaimed US children's magazine Ladybug.http://www.mickandbrita.com Selection of Franklin Watts books:The World Is Full of Babies! (Smarties Silver Award Winner); What's under the Bed? (TES Award Winner); Wash, Scrub, and Brush (English Association Award KS1 Winner); Stone Age, Bone Age and many other Wonderwise titles; How Did I Begin? (Rhone Poulenc Science prize winner); How Should I Behave?; Seaside Scientist; My Body Book; My Uncle's Dunkirk; Charlie's War Illustrated (English Association Award KS2 Winner); The Story of Britain; The Brontës - Children of the Moors.
Layn Marlow gained a first class degree in Illustration from Southampton Solent University, and has been writing and illustrating picture books ever since. Layn's titles have sold over a million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 20 different languages. A Very Strange Creature was shortlisted for the Red House Book Award and Hurry Up and Slow Down won the Never Too Young Coventry Inspirations Book Award in 2010. Layn lives in Hampshire with her family.
Mark was born in London into a creative family including a pianist, actress and dancer. He was encouraged to draw from an early age going on to study Illustration and Painting at the University of Wolverhampton. He lives with his wife, Geraldine, and their two sons. Follow him on Twitter @markjmarshall4
Diane lives deep in the countryside in Cornwall. She enjoys all kinds of stories, but particularly those about animals.
Paul's books cover a wide range of subjects, from whether the Romans ate crisps to how to build the world's best skatepark, but he writes mostly about sport. Whether you are interested in swimming, cycling, snowboarding, surfing or another sport, Paul has probably written something that will inspire you to get out and give it a try. Paul writes in a shack by the beach, which he shares with his one-eyed surf dog, Daisy.
Sarah Massini is the creator of Zac and Zeb and Books Always Everywhere. Drawing has been a life-long habit that has seen her through careers in corporate design, children's book design and now as an illustrator.
Anna Matthew lived in a seaside town and spent lots of time playing on the beach, in the park and in the street. Now her two children are growing up, she can write about their fun and games, too!
Sheila May Bird
I'm sitting at my desk, in my little blue shed in my garden, thinking, 'how lucky I am to be sitting in my little blue shed in my garden'. It's my favourite place, where I do my favourite thing - writing. I was 50 years old when I had my first book published. My mother always said I'd be a late developer. The first book I wrote was about a big, bad cat called Sam. It was for adults who had lost the ability to read and were learning to read all over again. I didn't envy them. I had enough trouble doing it the first time. Since then Sam, the big bad cat has been rewritten as a children's reading book. Now I have written several learning to read books, picture books and story books and am lucky enough to take my books to schools, read them and talk about them (another one of my favourite things to do). Some of my books have gone to faraway places like, China, Australia, Slovakia and America.A famous writer once said that writing is the most fun you can have on your own. I think he is right. I also think that reading is fun when I'm on my own. I'd rather read a good book than watch the television, though I do watch films, Dr. Who and any science fiction. Oh yes, and absolutely anything to do with the Arthurian legends. I would love to meet Merlin. I think I own almost every book there is about Arthur and the knights of the round table. Perhaps one day I will be fortunate enough to be asked to write something about King Arthur and Merlin - who knows?When I'm not writing I enjoy reading other people's books. I loved all the Harry Potter books and all the films that went with them. I like scary books, funny books and happy books.I have always loved magic. Perhaps that is because my Grandfather was a magician.When I have time I write pantomime scripts, plays and novels for adults. And sometimes I cook, clean, do the washing and spend time weeding the garden!
Margaret Mayo is an acclaimed storyteller and author who has been creating stories for children for over 35 years. She has written more than 50 books, including the bestselling Dig Dig Digging, Choo Choo Clickety-Clack! and Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp! A former teacher, Margaret uses her wide-ranging experience with children in her writing. She lives in Brighton.
After working as a designer for Usborne Publishing, I left in 2000 to concentrate on illustration. I now live in Chorlton-Cum-Hardy in Manchester with my teacher husband Steve and two daughters, Lara and Natasha.I've just started to dip my toes into writing children's stories, heavily influenced I'm sure by my favourite books as a child, The Faraway Tree trilogy by Enid Blyton, which my daughters now love too, and pretty much every Roald Dahl book written. I love illustration, and try and buy every beautiful book I come across to add to my collection. Illustrators like Nicoletta Ceccoli, Benjamin Lacombe, Charles Fuge and Shaun Tan are just utterly fabulous! Plus, I love the line work of Quentin Blake and Chris Riddell. I love music, and working alone, listening to it keeps me sane! I try and get out to live gigs when I can, also the cinema when I can beg, borrow or steal a babysitter for the evening!
Mary McQuillan has been shortlisted for the Sheffield Children's Book Award twice - the first time for her very first picture book 'Who's Poorly, Too' written by FCBG winner Kes Gray and the second for Cluck O'Clock, again with Kes. This year she was shortlised for the Portsmouth Book Awards for Bare Bear with Miriam Moss. Mary is a highly successful illustrator with a knack for character and humour and her drawing are much beloved by children.She has also illustrates children's wallpaper and textile designs which have been reproduced and sold around the world.
Sarah Medina has written numerous books on personal, health and social education. She believes that, by learning about issues that affect their lives, children can learn good life skills and make positive choices that help them to become strong, healthy adults.
David Melling has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Smarties Book Award and the Independent Booksellers Award. His Hugless Douglas books have sold over 1.4 million copies worldwide, and the loveable brown bear has starred in a World Book Day book as well as his own theatre show. Before becoming an internationally acclaimed author-illustrator, David worked as an animation artist for films including the much-loved Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs. One of his most popular picture books The Tale of Jack Frost was animated and shown on BBC1 on Christmas Day.
Leslie is a professionally performing magician and storyteller.He lives in the north of England and contributes magic routines, articles and stories to many magical and storytelling magazines. His book,'Magictales - The definitive book of storytelling magic', combining magic routines within the framework of stories, has been acclaimed by magicians throughout the world.He also leads storytelling workshops - helping school teachers, early years practitioners and children to become storytellers.He writes many of his own stories, some of which can be found on his website - www.thestorytelling-resource-centre.com
Born and bred in North London, award winning artist Richard Merritt has been an illustrator for over 12 years after graduating from Central Saint Martin's college of Art and Kingston University.Richard has worked with many publishing houses, magazines, design groups, advertising agencies and more, on a wide variety of projects, from children's books to packaging, editorial art to costume illustration for film. He recently worked on the Steven Spielberg adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic story, The BFG and has been at the forefront of the adult colouring book trend that has gained popularity across the world.
Adrian Mitchell was born in London and studied at Oxford University where he passed most of his time learning to write poems. After leaving University, Adrian spent several years as a journalist and his great claim to fame is that he was the first reporter on a national paper to interview the Beatles.Adrian became a full-time writer of plays, stories and poems and was regarded as one of the country's finest poets and playwrights. He was also a regular performer for adults and children and gave over a thousand poetry readings throughout Britain, Europe, USA, Africa and Asia.Adrian's plays included The White Deer, The Wild Animal Song Contest, Mowgli's Jungle, The Snow Queen and The Pied Piper for children, and for adults, Tyger (The National Theatre) and Man Friday. Adrian's version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was premiered by the Royal Shakespeare Company for whom he also adapted Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass for the stage. He also wrote three Beatrix Potter plays which were staged with great success by The Unicorn Theatre for Children - Tom Kitten, Jemima Puddle-Duck and Peter Rabbit and His Friends. Adrian passed away in December 2008 and is survived by his wife, who runs the bookshop Ripping Yarns, in Highgate. www.adrianmitchell.co.uk
Highly-respected poet Tony Mitton has written many titles for children, including the picture books illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees: Bumpus Jumpus Dinosaurumpus!, Down by the Cool of the Pool, Spookyrumpus (winner of the Sheffield Book Prize, the Dundee Book Award and the Portsmouth Book Award) and Jolly Olly Octopus among many others. In 2014 Tony won the prestigious CLPE Poetry Award for his retelling of Wayland. Tony spends his time writing, giving poetry performances and visiting primary schools. He lives in Cambridge.
Joanna Mockler was born in Stoke on Trent and was brought up in the seaside town of Formby. Joanna's love for drawing was evident from an early age and she went on successfully complete an Art Foundation then an Illustration degree course. Joanna has had many jobs during her time in education however, her main ambition has always been to be an illustrator.Joanna's first book for Orchard is Wibble Wobble a book which charts the adventures of William and his wobbly tooth! (Written by Miriam Moss).Joanna presently lives in Southport with her husband, hamster and cat.
Ciara Molloy Tan
Originally from Ireland, Ciara Molloy Tan now lives on Sydney's Northern Beaches. She was inspired to write HERMIONE AND THE ENORMOUS STORM while going for walks around the rock pools at Long Reef in Collaroy and wondering what was happening below the surface.