Avril Thompson is a highly experienced music teacher with a particular interest in performance art.
Ruth Thomson is an award-winning educational author (with an MA in Museum and Gallery learning) , who specialises in writing books on art and history. Her art books include Grisly & Gruesome, Saints and Looking at Paintings for the National Gallery, London, a short biography of Georgia O'Keeffe and several hands-on art packs for Tate galleries. She has also co-written Posters and Propaganda in Wartime, published in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum. Her history books include a series about Victorian childhood and books about Plains Indians and Aztecs. Ruth's interest in Terezín was sparked during research for an educational pack on Holocaust art for the London Gallery of Jewish Art. The gallery owns a powerful series of prints by Leo Haas, one of the artists featured in the book, and Ruth became intrigued to find out more about the place that had inspired them. As well as writing educational books, Ruth travels widely, collecting recycled artefacts, which she has shown in bespoke exhibitions at major British museums and galleries for the past 7 years. In her spare time, Ruth enjoys long-distance walking, stone carving and reading modern American literature.
Shaun Tan grew up in Perth and graduated from the University of Western Australia with joint honours in Fine Arts and English Literature. He began drawing and painting images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since become best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through surreal, dream-like imagery. His works include The Red Tree, The Lost Thing, Rules of Summer and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival. All have been widely translated throughout Europe, Asia and South America, and are enjoyed by readers of all ages. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer and a concept artist for the films Horton Hears a Who and Pixar's WALL-E and in 2011, he shared an Academy Award for his work on the animated short film based on his book, The Lost Thing. In that same year, he won the Dromkeen Medal for services to children's literature and the Astrid Lindgren prize, the world's richest children's literature award.For more information visit shauntan.net
Born on the stroke of midnight in a little house in the ancient Roman town of Caesaromagus (Chelmsford), John grew up with a love of stories, the power of words and the magic of plays on the stage. John trained as a secondary school teacher and was first published in 1983. Oodles of years later, he became a full-time writer. He's well known for writing to encourage readers into books and has been named a 'Reading Champion' by the National Literacy Trust. He lives in Worcestershire, England.
Pat Thomas is a trained psychotherapist, trainee Naturopath, journalist and mother. After working as a journalist and broadcaster in the USA, she now works in the field of women's health and child development and writes for publications such as The Guardian Company Magazine and Practical Parenting as well as contributing editor to Natural Parent Magazine. Her book 'MY Bees: My Family's Changing' was the winner of The English 4-11 Awards.
Piers Torday began his career in theatre and then television as a producer and writer. His bestselling first book for children, The Last Wild, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal as well as numerous other awards. His second book, The Dark Wild, won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. His most recent book for children, There May Be A Castle, was published in October 2016 to critical acclaim and was a Children's Book of the Year for The Times. The son of the late Paul Torday (author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) Piers recently completed his father's final unfinished novel, The Death of an Owl. He also adapted John Masefield's classic The Box of Delights for stage in 2017. In regular demand as a speaker at schools and festivals, Piers is also a reading helper with Beanstalk, a former judge on the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, a Patron of Reading at Heathmere School and a trustee of the Pleasance Theatre. Born in Northumberland, Piers now lives in London with his husband and their dog Huxley.
Dereen Taylor has worked in children's publishing for many years. She has edited and written many non-fiction and pre-school books for children. She lives in Brighton with her husband and two young sons.
Tracey Turner has written more than 30 books for children on a variety subjects, from rude words to the entire history of the universe. Her books include the best-selling 101 Things You Need to Know, and the acclaimed Comic Strip series. She lives in Bath with Tom and their son Toby.
Neil Tonge is an experienced writer of children's non-fiction, with a particular interest in history. As an experienced teacher of 22 years, Neil escaped into the semi-retirement of advisory and inspection work. Firmly wedded to the idea that children need to understand that learning is fun, Neil has produced a wide range of information and activity books for children from six to sixteen and beyond. His book 'Terrible Tudors' was voted second most popular book of 2000 and it was featured on Blue Peter.