Related to: 'Bullies and Cyberbullies and Frenemies'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Chris Higgins

Chris Higgins is an ex English and Drama teacher turned award-winning writer. She has written the My Funny Family series for younger readers, but is probably best known for her teen novels, which have gained her two nominations for Queen of Teen. Here she talks to Graham Marks about how she became a writer, tells us some of her writing secrets and talks about her latest novel, The Day I Met Suzie.

Alex T. Smith

Author-illustrator Alex T. Smith is the award-winning creator of the bestselling Claude series, which is published in 16 languages worldwide, and is now a TV show on Disney Junior. Alex's newest series, Mr Penguin, launched in 2017, to widespread praise. Alex's quirky, witty writing and illustrations are instantly recognisable, critically acclaimed and as popular with adults as children. Alex is also widely praised for his work illustrating children's classics: he won Children's Book of the World Illustration Award for his illustrations in a new edition of Dodie Smith's The Hundred and One Dalmatians; he has created new art for books by Enid Blyton, Eva Ibbotson and Richmal Crompton. Alex has collaborated with Watership Down author Richard Adams on his last book, Egg Box Dragon, as well as David Almond and Juno Dawson. Alex has won the UKLA Picture Book Award and the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award, and been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award. He has also been the official World Book Day illustrator.

Cat Clarke

Cat Clarke is the bestselling, award-winning author of seven YA novels. She was born in Zambia and brought up in Edinburgh and Yorkshire, which has given her an accent that tends to confuse people. She lives in Edinburgh with her partner, two ninja cats and two decidedly non-ninja cocker spaniels.

Deborah Chancellor

Deborah Chancellor is a writer of fiction and non-fiction books for children. She has written nearly 100 books and worked with many leading publishers. Deborah is a prolific writer of children's non-fiction on a wide range of subjects. She is a versatile author who has written biographies for teenagers, adapted Bible stories for pre-school children, and written teenage fiction for older children with reading difficulties. Her books have been translated into many languages and sold all over the world. An Associate Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, Deborah appears at Literary Festivals and runs writing workshops for young people.

Emma Fischel

Emma Fischel is an experienced writer, specialising in both fiction and non-fiction for children of primary school age. She has written several titles in this series. Emma lives in London with her three children.

Gary Crew

Gary Crew writes short stories, novels and picture books. Gary is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. He is particularly interested in researching the creative links between fiction and nonfiction in his novels and the creative interface between print text and visual text in his picture books. During his publishing career of over 30 years Gary has won the Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year four times, twice for novels and twice for his picture books; the New South Wales Premier's Award, the Victorian Premier's Award, the American Children's Book of Distinction, the Aurealis Best Children's Short Fiction, the Wilderness Society's Award for Environmental Writing, and the Royal Geographic Society Whitley Award. Gary lives on the waterfront of subtropical Bribie Island. When he is not writing or lecturing, he loves to walk by the sea or read.

Giles Andreae

Giles Andreae is the author of many top-selling, award-winning picture books. These include Rumble in the Jungle, Commotion in the Ocean and I Love My Mummy. However, it is for the international bestseller Giraffes Can't Dance that he is best known. Giles is also the creator of Purple Ronnie, Britain's favourite stickman, and of the artist/philosopher, Edward Monkton. These two ranges of greetings cards, books and merchandise have made Giles the country's top-selling living poet. Giles lives with his wife, Victoria, a children's clothes designer, and their four young children by the river in Oxfordshire.

Guy Parker-Rees

Guy Parker-Rees exuberant and energetic illustrations have made him a household name and one of today's bestselling children's illustrators. Notable successes include Giraffes Can't Dance - written by Giles Andreae, a worldwide besteller, and Richard & Judy children's book choice, Spookyrumpus, winner of the Sheffield, Dundee and Portsmouth book awards, and the highly acclaimed All Afloat on Noah's Boat. Guy lives in Brighton with his wife and three sons.

Izzi Howell

Izzi Howell is the author and editor of over fifty children's books. She lives in East Sussex and enjoys learning languages, cooking and travelling around Europe.

Jeanne Willis

Jeanne Willis is an award-winning, internationally bestselling author, whose titles include I Hate School, I Want to Be a Cowgirl and Don't Let Go. Jeanne lives in London.

Jen Green

Jen Green received a doctorate from the University of Sussex (Dept of English and American Studies) in 1982. She worked in publishing for 15 years and is now a full-time writer, who has written over 150 books for children. Her book 'Your Feelings: I'm Special' was short-listed for the NASEN Special Needs Award.

Jennifer Mathieu

Jennifer Mathieu was born on the East Coast of America, to a mom from Cuba and a dad from Chile. Jennifer teaches English to middle and high schoolers in Texas, where she now lives with her husband, son and rescue dog. She used to make her own zine, and is writing about all her favourite things in Moxie - punk rock, lady rights, the 90s, zines, Texas, and an interesting female protagonists. She writes contemporary YA fiction that treats teens like real people. www.jennifermathieu.comtwitter: @jenmathieu Instagram: @authorjenmathieu Facebook: writerjennifermathieu

Jessica Townsend

JESSICA TOWNSEND sometimes lives in London, and sometimes on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, where she grew up. She was previously a copywriter and the editor of a children's wildlife magazine for Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. Her pet fascinations include public transport and secret societies, ancient cities and underground places, hotels and museums, Halloween and Christmas, old maps and giant cats - all of which have weaselled their way into her books. She is the author of the Nevermoor series and won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize Younger Fiction Category with her debut novel: Nevemoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow.

Katie Douglass

Katie Douglass has written many non-fiction titles for children, specialising in social issues for young children. She has a particular interest in educating children about their emotional health and wellbeing.

Kay Barnham

Kay Barnham was born in Barrow-in-Furness, grew up in Carlisle, went to college in Brighton, and lived in Hove for a while, before sailing for Kinsale, Co Cork, popping back to Hove and then moving to the New Forest with her husband and daughter. And never at any point has she lived more than ten miles from the sea. She began working in children's publishing in 1992. She was an editor first of all, working on illustrated non-fiction and learning fun facts like how long it would take to walk to the moon - nine years - and how to spell palaeontology. Next, she commissioned fiction titles, editing picture books, storybooks and novels. And then she got the chance to write her own books, which she thinks is quite the best job ever. Except possibly being a chocolatier. She writes non-fiction as Kay Barnham. Her specialist subjects include ice-skating, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, lightning, fairies, Roald Dahl, Sir Isaac Newton, Christmas, dolphins, Florence Nightingale and very bad cracker jokes. And chocolate.She also writes fiction as Kay Woodward, including the Skate School series for Usborne and the novels Jane Airhead and Wuthering Hearts for Andersen Press. Altogether, she's written about a hundred books. Her favourite colour is navy blue. Her favourite chocolate is 85% cocoa solids.

Louise Spilsbury

Louise Spilsbury is a prolific children's book author. She has written titles on almost every subject, from science and geography through to world affairs, social issues, art, history, and literacy. Louise is married to the author Richard Spilsbury and has two children. She lives and works in Devon.

Matthew Syed

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.

Mike Gordon

Mike Gordon is an ever-popular and award-winning cartoonist. He has produced over 500 cards for Hallmark and over 300 picture books for various publishers. His talent has been rewarded with numerous awards inlcuding Berol cartoonist of the year (1988) and runner up for the Trento Fra realto e Follia (1990). He was also nominated for the Silver Quill Award (Germany, 1991) and for the Book and Magazine Illustrator of the Year by the National Cartoonists Society (1995).

Nicky Singer

Nicky Singer is an author and playwright. She has written a number of books for children and adults, across fiction and non-fiction. Her first children's novel Feather Boy won the Blue Peter 'Book of the Year' Award, was adapted for TV (winning a BAFTA for Best Children's Drama) and commissioned by the National Theatre as a musical.

Pat-a-Cake

Pat-a-Cake takes you and your child on a magical journey. From sharing the very first baby book to watching your little one read all by themselves. The adventure begins here . . .

Rachel Minay

Rachel Minay is an experienced editor and author of children's non-fiction, specialising in history and the arts.