Related to: 'The Boy At the Back of the Class'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Charlie Fletcher

Charlie Fletcher has written numerous screenplays, and is the author of the critically acclaimed Stoneheart trilogy. Here he talks to Graham Marks about the story so far, the differences between writing for screen and page, America, literary mash-ups, and of course his latest novel, Far Rockaway.

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell is the author and the illustrator of the bestselling How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once book series, and the author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton. How to Train Your Dragon has sold over 8 million books worldwide in 38 languages. It is also an award-winning DreamWorks film series, and a TV series shown on Netflix and CBBC. The first book in Cressida's new series, The Wizards of Once (also signed by DreamWorks), is a number one bestseller. Cressida is an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency, a Trustee of World Book Day and a founder patron of the Children's Media Foundation. She has won numerous prizes, including the Gold Award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize,the 2017 Ruth Rendell Award for Championing Literacy, the Hay Festival Medal for Fiction, and Philosophy Now magazine's 2015 Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity. She grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland and she now lives in Hammersmith with her husband, three children and a dog called Pigeon.

David Melling

David Melling has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Smarties Book Award and the Independent Booksellers Award. His Hugless Douglas books have sold over 1.4 million copies worldwide, and the loveable brown bear has starred in a World Book Day book as well as his own theatre show. Before becoming an internationally acclaimed author-illustrator, David worked as an animation artist for films including the much-loved Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs. One of his most popular picture books The Tale of Jack Frost was animated and shown on BBC1 on Christmas Day.

Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton's books have sold over 500 million copies and have been translated into other languages more often than any other children's author.She wrote over 600 books and hundreds of short stories, including favourites such as The Famous Five,The Secret Seven, The Magic Faraway Tree, Malory Towers and Noddy. Born in London in 1897, Enid lived much of her life in Buckinghamshire and adored dogs, gardening and the countryside. She died in 1968 but remains one of the world's best-loved storytellers.

Francesca Simon

Francesca Simon spent her childhood on the beach in California and started writing stories at the age of eight. She wrote her first Horrid Henry book in 1994. Horrid Henry has gone on to conquer the globe; his adventures are published in 27 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Francesca has won the Children's Book of the Year Award and been a judge for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. In 2009, in one of the proudest moments of her career, Francesca was awarded a Gold Blue Peter badge.Francesca is also a passionate ambassador for children's literacy and is a trustee of the World Book Day charity. She lives in North London with her family.Visit Francesca's website at www.francescasimon.com and keep up-to-date with Horrid Henry at www.horridhenry.co.uk. You can also follow her on Twitter @simon_francesca

Grahame Baker Smith

Grahame Baker Smith studied at Berkshire College of Art and Design and has had two picture books published: JO-JO'S JOURNEY in 1994 and THE VELVETEEN RABBIT in 1996. Since then, he has experimented with different styles of illustration and been commissioned for various adult books from The World of Angels to an HG Wells trilogy. He also does frequent illustration work for magazines and has set up his own card company, Shooting Stars, which he has run with his wife, Linda. They have three young children.

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.

Jane Bingham

Jane Bingham is an experienced children's author and editor. She specializes in history and contemporary issues.

Jim Field

Jim Field is a lead-driven, pencil-pushing, 25-frames-per-second Led Zeppelin fan. He is also a hugely talented illustrator and animation director. His first picture book Cats Ahoy! won the Booktrust Roald Dahl Funny Prize and was nominated for the Kate Greenaway award. He has since illustrated a string of bestselling, multi-award-winning children's books, including Oi Frog! and The Lion Inside, as well as young fiction series Rabbit and Bear.

Lucy Mangan

Lucy Mangan is an award-winning columnist for Stylist magazine, the Guardian TV critic and author of the widely acclaimed Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading, which celebrates her lifelong passion for stories, including those of Enid Blyton.

Narinder Dhami

Narinder Dhami is the author of popular fiction series The Beautiful Game, about a girls' football team, many books in the hugely successful Rainbow Magic series and the bestselling novelisation of the film Bend it Like Beckham. She was a primary teacher before she began writing full time. She lives with her husband in Shropshire.

Neal Layton

Neal is an award-winning illustrator and author of children's books. He has worked on more than 80 titles to date, working with authors such Cressida Cowell and Michael Rosen, and won several prizes including a Gold Award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize for 'That Rabbit belongs to Emily Brown'. His books have also been shortlisted for the Red House Book Awards, the Blue Peter Book Awards, the Booktrust Early Years Award, Funfzig Jahre Deutcher Jugendliteraturpreis and New York Public Library's annual list of best Children's Books.He also writes his own books, 'The Invincible Tony Spears' and the bestselling 'Mammoth Academy' Series. His books are currently in print in more than 16 languages worldwide. He lives in Portsmouth with his wife and two daughters.

Nick East

Nick East is the illustrator of the bestselling Toto the Ninja Cat as well as the Goodnight Digger and Knock Knock series. He worked for many years as a museum designer but was always a storyteller, whether as a child, filling sketchbooks with quirky characters, or as a designer displaying a collection of ancient artefacts. Nick lives near York with his wife and two children and, when he isn't writing or drawing, he is out riding bikes and spending time with his family.Find Nick at nickeastillustration.com

Pamela Butchart

Pamela Butchart is the bestselling and award-winning author of the Baby Aliens young fiction series, for which she has won the Blue Peter Best Book Award 2015 for The Spy Who Loved School Dinners and the Children's Book Award 2016 for My Head Teacher is a Vampire Rat. She has also been shortlisted for the Laugh Out Loud Book Award (Lollies) and is one of the fasted growing children's fiction authors in the UK (Nielsen Bookscan). Pamela was selected as a World Book Day author for 2018.

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 . . .

Patrice Lawrence

Patrice Lawrence was born in Brighton and brought up in an Italian-Trinidadian household in Mid Sussex. Patrice lives in east London and shares a cat called Stormageddon. She has been writing for as long as she has been reading. She loves crime fiction, sci-fi and trying to grow things. Her ideal mixtape includes drum 'n' bass, Bruce Springsteen and Studio Ghibli soundtracks. Music can't help creeping into her books. Her debut novel, Orangeboy, won the Waterstone's Book Prize for Older Readers and the YA Book Prize, and her second novel, Indigo Donut, won the Crime Fest Best Crime Fiction for Young Adults and was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize. @LawrencePatrice

Rachel Bright

Rachel Bright is a wordsmith, illustrator and professional thinker of happy thoughts. She has written several books for children, including Love Monster, The Lion Inside and The Koala Who Could - winner of the Evening Standard Oscar's Book Prize and the Sainsbury's Book Award. Her books have sold over 300,000 copies in the UK alone and been translated into over 30 languages. She is also the creator of award-winning stationery and homewares range, The Brightside. Rachel lives on a farm near the seaside, with her partner and their two young daughters.

Rebecca Westcott

Rebecca Westcott was born in Chester. As a trained teacher, she has worked in some unusual places, including a Category C male prison. Her first novel Dandelion Clocks was published in 2014, longlisted for the Branford Boase award and widely acclaimed, including by Jacqueline Wilson and Cathy Cassidy. Aside from writing, Rebecca teaches music in a primary school in Dorset, where she lives with her husband and three children.

Ruth Nason

Ruth Nason has been involved in Religious Education publishing since the early 1980s when the major World Religions became increasingly part of the school curriculum. She has edited and written many books on world religions, including for Batsford Educational (in the 1980s), Oxford University Press Educational Division, Wayland and Evans Brothers. She therefore has close contacts with RE advisers and with educational representatives of the world faiths in Britain. Her work in this area of publishing has led to a lively interest in 'interfaith relations'.

Sandra Dieckmann

Sandra Dieckmann is an illustrator, author and maker. Her work is deeply inspired by all that's weird and wonderful in nature, drifting thoughts and dreams. She was born in the north of Germany but lives and works in east London. Her first book as author and illustrator, Leaf, was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal, longlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize and shortlisted for both the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and tha AOI World Illustration Award.

Sonya Newland

Sonya Newland is an experienced author of children's books. She specialises in geography.