Ruth Symes is an experienced author of children's books.
Matthew Syed is a columnist for The Times, an acclaimed author and a former international table tennis champion. He is also a trustee of Greenhouse Sports, a charity that empowers young people from disadvantaged communities through sport. Matthew is married, and has two young children.
Bella Swift is the pseudonym of Anne Marie Ryan, a children's book editor who has written many successful children's book series under a variety of pen names. She lives in London with her husband, her two daughters and a pet cat - but dreams about getting a dog!
Amanda Swift first worked as an actress, appearing in many commercials, including one for Angel Delight and another for Italian toilet-paper, Foxy. Theatre work included a show at Polka Children's Theatre and creating the role of the cleaning lady, Elvira Muckett, for Tony Hart's art show, Hartbeat. She has written for several children's series, including My Parents are Aliens, and has dramatised two Jacqueline Wilson books for Radio 4. She has written three novels for 9-12 year olds: The Boys' Club, Big Bones and Anna/Bella. She lives in London with her husband and her two hairy teenage sons. Jennifer Gray lives in central London and Scotland with her husband, 4 children and overfed cat, Henry (after Henry the Eighth). She has been writing children's comedy for a couple of years and her work has received an honorary mention in the SCBWI Undiscovered Voices Competition. Jennifer likes writing about everything from guinea pigs to fairy godmothers, cats with attitude and evil geniuses. She recently completed the Certificate in Novel Writing course at City University. Writing is Jennifer's passion (along with chocolate cake) and her ambition is to be nominated for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize one day.
Janet was raised in South Africa and is the niece of staunch South African anti-apartheid activist Helen Suzman. She has received The Evening Standard Award for Masha in THREE SISTERS and Hester in Hello And Goodbye. Janet has worked extensively on stage and screen and has also had Academy Award and Golden Globe Nominations for her Czarina in NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA. She has an Honorary Masters Degree from The Open University, and Honorary Doctors of Letters from the Universities of Warwick and Leicester.
Zena Sutherland (1915 - June 12, 2002) was a reviewer of children's literature. As well as reviewing children's books, she worked at the University of Chicago Graduate Library School between 1972 and 1986 where she taught two classes, "Children's Literature" and "Literature for Young Adults". During her 40 year career of reviewing children's literature, Sutherland wrote 19 books and reviewed over 30,000 children's books.
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.
Mandy Sutcliffe was born in Stockport and loved drawing from an early age. She studied illustration at Leeds University, spending part of her degree course based in Paris. During this time, Mandy spent hours drawing and painting in Parisian parks, inspired by the world around her. It was while she was in Paris that Mandy first heard the name 'Belle' and began to develop the little girl character who would go on to star in her stories.Mandy has drawn on her own childhood memories to create the world of Belle and Boo, basing many of their adventures on her own experiences. She wants to create a world that captures all the freedom of childhood; a timeless world of fun, exploration and adventure. Today, Belle and Boo is a successful international lifestyle brand with many different product ranges and over 500 stockists worldwide. Mandy lives in Bristol with her partner and their young twin sons, Ellis and Sam.
Elizabeth Suneby loves words! Writing helps Liz come up with new ideas, learn new things, figure out her feelings and express them to others. Writing is also how Liz earns a living. She writes content for companies large and small. She writes magazine articles. And she writes books for children and teens that help kids find their voice in a hopeful world.
Manuel Sumberac is an illustrator and animator who has won awards for his animated films and music videos. He was born and lives in Croatia.
Noel Streatfeild (1895-1986) was born in Amberley, Sussex. Her father was Bishop of Lewes and her great-grandmother was the prison reformer, Elizabeth Fry. She was a mischievous child, often in trouble at home. While growing up, she and her sisters put on plays for parish causes and, after making munitions during World War I, she trained as an actress.
Noel Streatfeild started by writing books for adults. Then in 1931 she published her first children's book. Her best-loved novel, BALLET SHOES, was published in 1936.
When World War II broke out, she worked in canteens for the armed forces and for those injured by bombs. She wrote over 80 books in her lifetime and lived in London till her death.
I.M. Strange used to love scaring his sister with terrifying tales about the ghost in their attic. That was until he saw the ghost, and then the stories seemed a lot less funny. The town they lived in was quite like Weirdsville, with abandoned houses and shadowy corners for scary things to lurk in.Luckily, I. M. Strange now lives in the countryside which feels much safer. Well, as long as he ignores the unusual sounds coming from his basement . . .
Michaela Strachan is a well known TV presenter. She has been presenting since 1986 on a variety of programmes from The Wide Awake Club to The Hitman And Her, The Really Wild Show to Michaela's Wild Challenge, Elephant Diaries and Animal Families to Countryfile, Springwatch and many many more. She started off presenting children's programmes but these days is known as a wildlife presenter and has travelled all over the world filming animals and conservation projects. 'Michaela's Really Wild Adventures' is her 1st book and really has been an adventure to write! It is a book of fun and factual rhymes about her adventures whilst filming wildlife programmes. Some are funny, some are sad, some are very factual, some are quirky and some are bonkers! Michaela has a young son who loves children's books written in rhyme and she herself has always enjoyed children's rhyming books. Maybe this will be the first of many!
Adam is at university in Canada.
Shawn K. Stout
Shawn Stout has held many jobs, including ice-cream scooper, dog-treat baker, magazine editor, and waitress. Shawn received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives with her family in Maryland.
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.
Jeff Stone lives in the Midwest with his wife and two children and practises the martial arts daily. He has worked as a photographer, an editor, a maintenance man, a technical writer, a ballroom dance instructor, a concert promoter, and a marketing director for companies that design schools, libraries, and skateboard parks.
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.
Bram Stoker is a writer of classics.
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.