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Our Authors
Russell Ayto

Russell was born in Chichester, Sussex and bought up in Oxfordshire. At school he loved both drawing and sciences and once thought about becoming a zoologist. He has worked in a medical laboratory and as as postman, but his favourite job is being an artist! The thing he loves best is the chance to be creative and use his imagination to make characters come to life. He has illustrated many picture books and been shortlisted for the Nestle Award, the Mother Goose Award and the Blue Peter Book Awards, and won the 2008 inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize for the Witch's Children go to School.
Alex Ayliffe

Alex Ayliffe is a bestselling, award-winning writer and artist. Her distinctive papercut illustrations are bright and bold with lots of child appeal. Alex has illustrated many books for children, including the bestselling Dig Dig Digging and Boo Barney, winner of the Sainsbury's Baby Book Award. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire.
Nila Aye

Nila Aye has been an illustrator for over twenty years, producing artwork for clients such as British Airways, Paperchase, Marks & Spencer and British ELLE. She lives in Brighton with her husband and two children. Follow her on Twitter @nilaaye, or visit her website at www.nilaaye.com
Lara Avery

Lara Avery is the author of A Million Miles Away, Anything But Ordinary and The Memory Book. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she is a contributor at Revolver and at work on her next novel.
Corrinne Averiss

Corinne Averiss is a writer of thoughtful and humorous stories for children. Her work includes critically-acclaimed CILIP Greenaway-nominated picture book, A Dot in the Snow. Corinne has spent much of her life being a professional silly person in children's television: she created the four-time Children's BAFTA-winning Share a Story competition and has an animated series commissioned by CBeebies. She lives with her husband, daughter and guard-cat.
Tim Atkinson

Tim Atkinson has worked in education for more than 20 years. He was assistant headteacher at Boston Grammar School until July 2009 and is now a full-time author and educational consultant.In addition to his contribution to the Discover Countries series Tim has written books on the subject of Fatherhood and Creative Writing and is the author of the acclaimed novel, Writing Therapy.
Jill Atkins

Escaped teacher, now writing for children with 46 books published so far, ranging from early reading material to teenage novels. I've written 4 books for Franklin Watts, 4 for Wayland and one for Hodder.I'm married with two grown up children and five grandchildren, no pets, though I used to have three beautiful cats, guinea pigs and rabbits. When I was a child, we kept chickens and I loved them, too.I always have my nose in a book. I read both adult's and children's books. My favourite children's books include The Railway Children by E Nesbit, Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson, River on the Say by Philippa Pearce. My adult reading varies from Charles Dickens to many modern authors. I enjoy listening to music, classical, jazz and some pop.
Bernard Ashley

Bernard Ashley is one of the top writers for teenagers today. Drawing on his experience as a headteacher in a South London school he writes exciting, hard-hitting stories for the young adult reader plus picture book and younger fiction texts.Bernard's first novel, The Trouble with Donovan Croft, won the 'Other Award', an alternative to the Carnegie Award. Since then he has written extensively both for television and the children's book market. His adaptation of his own novel Dodgem won the Royal Television Society Award for the Best Children's Entertainment Programme. Bernard has written a number of successful novels for Orchard Books. Tiger Without Teeth was chosen as the Guardian's Children's Book of the Week; Little Soldier, about the gang-run estates of inner London, was shortlisted for both the Carnegie and Guardian Fiction Award; and Revenge House, a hard-hitting crime thriller, are all typical of Bernard's highly charged, gritty approach.Bernard Ashley lives in South East London only a street or so from where he was born. During his time as a teacher and headteacher he worked in Kent, Hertfordshire, Newham and Greenwich.Visit Bernard Ashley at: www.bashley.com
Louise Arnold

Louise Arnold was born in Morden, Surrey. Her love of writing began at the age of four when she wrote her first poem. From the age of eight she lived in Bognor Regis until passing her A-Levels. Louise took a year out before university and back-packed, Amtrak'ed and GreyHound-ed across America. She graduated in 2003, from the University of Kent, with a 2.1 in drama (specialising in Stand-Up Comedy) and has now settled in Canterbury with her partner. Her spare time is taken up with a love of e-bay and carboot sales, changing the colour of her hair, and borrowing the neighbour's cat until she can buy her own Siamese. Grey Arthur: The Invisible Friend is her first novel.
Ronda Armitage

Ronda Armitage was born in New Zealand, and later moved to London with her husband and children. Her first book, The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch, soon became a popular series of books. Ronda has gone on to write many much-loved stories for children, including A Very Strange Creature and the fabulous Small Knight and George series about a little knight and his pet dragon. Ronda lives in East Sussex with her husband, David.
Mandy Archer

Mandy Archer has written all kinds of titles for children, ranging from innovative board books for babies through to picture books, pop-ups and paperback fiction. She shares a studio in Epsom with a creative team of writers and designers. When she needs some extra inspiration, she enjoys talking in primary schools about fairy tales, story writing and more. Mandy and her family live near the racecourse on Epsom Downs in Surrey.
Joe Archer

Joe Archer works at Kew Gardens as Head Horticulturalist in the kitchen garden. He appeared in the 'Kew on a Plate' television programme with Raymond Blanc.
Roy Apps

Roy Apps is the author of more than fifty children's books, including The Twitches, Fang Gang and How To Handle. He is the author of the highly successful Dream to Win series for Franklin Watts.His novel The Secret Summer of Daniel Lyons won The Writers' Guild Children's Book Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Awards. It is now a successful musical.Roy writes extensively for radio, theatre and TV. In 2001 he was awarded a BAFTA for his children's TV work, which includes Byker Grove, The Ghost Hunter and Barmy Aunt Boomerang.Roy visits schools, libraries and bookshops to read from his books and to share the secrets of The Shed in Your Head . He runs Writing Projects for all ages and over the last few years has helped young and new writers make books, stage plays, films, performance poetry and most recently, an opera.
Bea Appleby

Bea Appleby is the former editor of Girl Talk magazine, and the current editor of The Female Lead.
Dawn Apperley

Dawn Apperley has written/illustrated many books for children over the last five years. Her commercial style has strong appeal for the core picture book age group. She is the creator of the super-successful Princess Rosebud titles, which have sold to 11 countires around the world. She is also a successful book and toy designer. She lives in London with her partner, Mark, and their young son.
Steve Antony

Steve Antony - a graduate from the prestigious MA in Children's Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin - is the author-illustrator of The Queen's Hat and Please Mr Panda. Only debuting in 2014, Steve has had enormous success: The Queen's Hat won the Evening Standard's Oscar's First Book Prize, and was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. Please Mr Panda was chosen as Picture Book of the Month by US retailer Barnes & Noble, who held over 650 Panda events over one weekend. Steve aims to create picture books that are slightly 'off the wall', books that children will laugh at and adults will tweet about, but most of all, books that he enjoys.
Nigel Anthony

Nigel Anthony has worked extensively in the theatre (RSC, Chichester, Scarborough) and on television (Midsomer Murders, Doctors, Coronation Street, Casualty), but it is for his voice work that he is particularly well known. He has won both Sony and Radio Times awards for best actor in Radio Drama, and he is much in demand as a reader of audiobooks. He has been the voice of Tesco, Orange and Hyundai in commercials and is a frequent narrator of documentaries.
Matt Anniss

Matt Anniss has edited and written for some of the most prestigious DJ magazines out there, including Mixmag and IDJ. He also DJs regularly in clubs around the world and has even released his own singles.
Catherine Anholt

Catherine and Laurence Anholt are a husband and wife team who have produced about 200 children's books, published in more than 30 languages around the world. Their books have won numerous awards, including the Nestlé Smarties Gold Award on two occasions.Catherine comes from an Irish family and is one of eight brothers and sisters. Catherine and Laurence met while studying Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art. They went on to take Master's Degrees at the Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy respectively.Around half of the Anholts' titles are illustrated by Catherine, including the Chimp and Zee series and numerous picture books published by Orchard Books.The Anholts have been closely involved with a number of literacy charities and Catherine produced some of the original material for the highly successful government funded BookStart scheme, which encourages parents to share books with babies from the earliest possible age. Their work has taken them inside Downing Street and Buckingham Palace on several occasions.Catherine and Laurence live near the sea in Devon. They have three grown up children: Claire works for the UN in New York, Tom Anholt is a painter living in Berlin and Maddy is an actor based in London. Alongside her children's books, Catherine produces hundreds of painting and prints. You can see some of them at: www.catherineanholt.com
Laurence Anholt

Laurence and Catherine Anholt live and work in a house and studios on top of a hill above the sea in Devon. They started making picture books in 1984 when their first daughter was born. Since then they have made more than 200 classic picture books, which are published all over the world in more than 30 languages. Their titles range from their Orchard picture book series which include Babies Love Books and Billy and the Big New School; to Laurence's self-illustrated Anholt's Artists series, an introduction to great artists for young children, which include Camille and the Sunflowers. Laurence also collaborates with his friend, the illustrator, Arthur Robins on the bestselling Seriously Silly Stories, which include the Nestlé Smarties Gold Award winner Snow White and the Seven Aliens.The Anholts' books have won many awards and are frequently featured on television and radio. Babies, Babies, Babies is listed in The Sunday Times 100 Modern Classics. Laurence was included in the Independent on Sunday's Top 10 Children's Authors in the UK and was described as 'one of the most versatile authors writing for children today'. Laurence was brought up mainly in Holland where he developed a lasting passion for art. He then went on to study Fine Art for eight years, finishing with a Master's Degree from the Royal Academy of Art in London.The Anholts have been closely involved with a number of literacy schemes such as the UK Government funded Bookstart scheme, which encourages parents to share books with babies from the earliest possible age. Their work has taken them inside Buckingham Palace and Downing Street on many occasions. Recent projects include a full-scale stage musical in Korea. Laurence and Catherine have three grown up children: Claire works for the UN in New York, Tom Anholt is a painter living in Berlin and Maddy is an actor based in London. Laurence's favourite things include, 'my lovely family, travelling to wild places and anything to do with art'. The best way to relax? 'A long soak in a warm book.'