Kit de Waal
Kit de Waal was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother, who was a childminder and foster carer and a Caribbean father. She worked for fifteen years in criminal and family law, was a magistrate for several years and sits on adoption panels. She used to advise Social Services on the care of foster children, and has written training manuals on adoption, foster care and judgecraft for members of the judiciary. Her writing has received numerous awards including the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 2014 and 2015 and the SI Leeds Literary Reader's Choice Prize 2014 and the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year. MY NAME IS LEON, her first novel was published in 2016 and shortlisted for the Costa Book Award. She has two children and lives in the West Midlands.
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.
Kathryn Walker has written many educational books for children.
Ruth Warburton was born and raised in Sussex, on the south coast of England. She grew up on a reading diet of her mum's classics (Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre) her dad's sci-fi and fantasy (A Wizard of Earthsea, Flowers for Algernon) and the Jilly Cooper novels passed around school at break time.She now lives in London where she is a publicist by day and a writer by night.To find out more or to drop her a line, visit her website www.ruthwarburton.com
Eliza Wass is a freelance writer, editor and journalist. She comes from Southern California, where she was one of nine perfect children with two perfect parents. She has thousands of friends, all of whom either arrive inside dust jackets or post obsessively on Twitter.Eliza spent 7 years in London with the most amazing man in the world, her late husband, Alan Wass of Alan Wass and The Tourniquet, who inspired her to pursue her dreams and live every day of her life.
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!
Kristin Weidenbach became a writer after completing postdoctoral research at Stanford University in the United States. She has won several international awards for her writing and her articles have appeared in SCIENCE, AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC and academic publications. She is the author of THE MAILMAN OF THE BIRDSVILLE TRACK and the children's picture book, TOM THE OUTBACK MAILMAN, illustrated by Timothy Ide, and winner of the Eve Pownall Book of the Year Award, 2013.
David West is a graphic designer, illustrator and author of children's information books. He has produced over 500 titles on subjects ranging from dinosaurs and mythology to technology and science. Some of his best known titles include Brain Surgery for Beginners, Fifty Three and a Half Things that Changed the World and Dinosaurs in My Street. David went to art school in Kingston-upon-Thames and Harrow, where he specialised in information graphics. He lives in south west London with his wife, two sons, a cat and a goldfish who's over 14 years old.When he's not illustrating, writing and designing he can be found fishing for salmon in Scottish rivers or painting portraits for fun.
Samuel West, the son of Timothy West and Prunella Scales, has appeared in films ranging from Notting Hill to Iris, on television in Persuasion and Prince Caspian and on stage (including an acclaimed Hamlet for the RSC). Radio work includes The Merchant of Venice, Poetry Please and Richard II (as Richard). Sam has read numerous audiobooks, including The King of Middlemarch and At the Crossing Places for Orion Audio.
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.
Paula Weston is a Brisbane-based author and co-owner of a two-woman writing/design consultancy. She is an avid reader and blogger, a huge fan of Australian literature and fantasy/paranormal stories, a closet comic reader and TV addict and is borderline obsessed with the Foo Fighters. She and her husband share their home with a retired greyhound and a moody cockatiel. Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim series, was her debut novel.Find Paula on Twitter @PaulaWeston and visit her website at www.paula-weston.com
Steve White-Thomson is a highly experienced editor and publisher of information books for children.
Jakob Whitfield has a degree in aeronautical engineering from Imperial College, and a doctorate in the history of technology from the University of Manchester. He lives with his family in the West Midlands, where he writes about aeroplanes and other topics in the history of technology.
Ian Whybrow has lived in Kent, various places in London and as far afield as Hong Kong and New York. The most important thing to him in his writing is that it reads aloud brilliantly and that there is something in it for everyone.
Lee Wildish is an acclaimed illustrator. His Spooky, Spooky House won the Overall Red House Children's Book Award, his Spaghetti with the Yeti was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize, and he has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award and the Sheffield Children's Book Award.
Sarah Wilkes is a consultant ecologist who has worked with conservation organisations for many years. She has written a number of books on natural history and environmental topics and has travelled the world in search of wildlife. She is particularly concerned with the conservation of some of the world's most threatened animal species.
Mary-Jane Wilkins has been involved in creating children's non-fiction titles for many years. She was responsible for several highly successful literacy series under the umbrella title of Learning through Literacy, created by Belitha Press and published by Scholastic in the US. Creating non-fiction series for co-editions has long been a focus, and many series have been sold worldwide. She also works in children's fiction and adult non-fiction.
As a child Sophy travelled widely with her family and lived in Singapore, the Middle East and Hong Kong. She came back to the UK to take her O' Levels and A' Levels and went on to Kingston Polytechnic and studied for a BA in Graphic Design and Illustration.Sophy has illustrated a number of books, including When Grandma Came (Penguin) which was a runner up in the Mother Goose Award 1992. For Orchard Books Sophy has illustrated The Orchard Book of Starry Tales, retold by Geraldine McCaughrean, The Night You Were Born, by Wendy McCormick, a touching picture book with rich and warm illustrations and The Orchard Book of Ghostly Stories. Sophy's latest Orchard Book's title is Princess Pearl, an exquisitely told and stunningly illustrated contemporary fairy tale about staying true to your heart despite desperate odds. Sophy lives in Bradford-on-Avon with her partner Mark and their two children, Oscar and Leo.
Rosie Wilson is an author and educational consultant who specialises in media.