Related to: 'From Prejudice to Pride: A History of LGBTQ+ Movement'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

David Melling

David Melling is the international bestselling author and illustrator who first came to our attention with the critically acclaimed The Kiss That Missed, and whose The Tale of Jack Frost went from page to animated TV feature, voiced by Hugh Laurie. Here he talks to Graham Marks about how he became a children’s book illustrator, his influences, his passions and why he loves Twitter…

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.

Alexandra Bracken

Alexandra Bracken is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of Passenger, Wayfarer and The Darkest Minds series, which is available throughout the world in over fifteen languages. After selling her debut novel in college, Alex worked in children's publishing for several years before leaving to write full time. She now lives in Arizona, where she was born and raised. Visit her online at www.alexandrabracken.com and on Twitter and Instagram as @alexbracken

Ally Carter

Ally Carter writes books about spies, thieves, and teenagers. She is the New York Times Best-selling author of Heist Society, Uncommon Criminals, and the popular Gallagher Girls series, including I'd Tell You I Love You but Then I'd Have to Kill You, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover, and Only the Good Spy Young.She lives in the Midwest where her life is either very ordinary or the best deep-cover legend ever. She'd tell you more, but...well...you know...

Annabel Pitcher

Annabel graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English Literature and an ambition to be a children's author. She had a variety of jobs before deciding to travel the world and focus on writing. Annabel now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and two young sons.Her first book, MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTELPIECE, won the Branford Boase and a Betty Trask Award in 2012 and KETCHUP CLOUDS won the 2014 Waterstones Children's Prize. Annabel's work has been shortlisted for numerous prestigious awards including the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Galaxy British Book Award and the Red House Children's Book Award and longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the 2012 CILIP Carnegie Medal.Visit Annabel's website at www.annabelpitcher.com and follow her on Twitter @APitcherAuthor.

Brian Moses

Brian Moses lives in the village of Etchingham with his wife Anne, a loopy labrador called Honey and a collection of bad-tempered chickens.He first worked as a teacher but has now been a professional children's poet since 1988. To date he has over 200 books published including volumes of his own poetry such as Holding the Hands of Angels (Salt) and Behind the Staffroom Door (Macmillan), anthologies such as The Secret Lives of Teachers and Aliens Stole My Underpants (both Macmillan), picture books such as Beetle in the Bathroom and Trouble at the Dinosaur Cafe (both Puffin) and non-fiction titles such as Titanic: Lost & Saved (Wayland). Over 1 million copies of Brian's poetry books have now been sold by Macmillan and in 2005 he was nominated for both the CLPE Award and the Spoken Word Award. Brian also visits schools to run writing workshops and perform his own poetry and percussion shows. To date he has visited well over 2500 schools and libraries throughout the UK. He has made several appearances at the Edinburgh Festival, been writer in residence at Castle Cornet on Guernsey, on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Light Railway and at RAF schools in Cyprus. Recently he has visited several International schools in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, France and Ireland.He has performed his poetry at Borders on Second Avenue, New York and in September 2006 he was invited to Iceland to take part in 'Kids in the Marsh' - a festival of children's poetry and song. At the request of Prince Charles he spoke at the Prince's Summer School for Teachers in 2007 at Cambridge University. He is one of ten children's poets invited by then Poet Laureate Andrew Motion to feature on the National Poetry Archive.Favourite book: 'Turtle Diary' by Russell Hoban.Favourite Movie: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Favourite Music: Bob Dylan

C. G. Drews

C.G. Drews lives in Australia with her dog, a piano, and the goal of reading every book in existence. Consequently, her brain has overflowed with words and she spends her days writing novel after novel. She blogs at paperfury.com, never sleeps, and believes in cake for breakfast.

Chris Higgins

Before writing her first novel, Chris taught English and Drama for many years in secondary schools. She also worked at the Minack, the open-air theatre on the cliffs near Land's End, but now writes full-time.Chris has won a number of awards including Young Minds, the Lancashire Book Award, the Lincolnshire Young People's Book Award, the KYBA, and she has been shortlisted twice for Queen of Teen.She lives in the far west of Cornwall with her husband.

Claire Heuchan

Claire Heuchan is an award-winning black feminist writer who blogs under the name Sister Outrider. She writes on subjects including race, power, identity and sexual politics and her work has been featured in several publications including 404 Ink's Nasty Women.

Colin Hynson

Colin Hynson is an experienced children's and educational writer and broadcaster. He also acts as an educational consultant for museums and heritage sites.

David Almond

David Almond is the author of Skellig, My Name is Mina, Counting Stars, The Savage, Island, A Song for Ella Grey, The Colour of the Sun and many other novels, stories, picture books, opera librettos, songs and plays. His work is translated into 40 languages, and is widely adapted for stage and screen. His major awards include the Carnegie Medal, two Whitbread Awards, the Eleanor Farjeon Award, the Michael L Printz Award (USA), Le Prix Sorcières (France) and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. In 2010 he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world's most prestigious prize for children's authors. David speaks at festivals and conferences around the world. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. He is widely regarded as one of the most exciting, inspirational and innovative children's authors writing today. He has one amazing daughter. He lives in Bath and in Newcastle, the city in which he was born.www.davidalmond.com

Geraldine McCaughrean

Geraldine McCaughrean has written over 140 books and plays for both adults and children, including Peter Pan in Scarlet, the official sequel to J M Barrie's Peter Pan, which was one of the most talked about and successful children's titles of 2006. Geraldine McCaughrean has won the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Children's Book Award (three times), the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Smarties Bronze Award (four times), the Blue Peter Book of the Year award and the Blue Peter Special Book to Keep Forever award. Geraldine is the first author to have been short listed, by librarians, for the Carnegie Medal six times, on at least one occasion in each of the past four decades, thus once again recognising the quality of her writing over the years.Geraldine McCaughrean's novels and retellings for children have won her the CARNEGIE MEDAL, GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S FICTION AWARD, WHITBREAD AWARD and THE BEEFEATER AWARD. A prolific author who writes for all ages, she lives in Berkshire with her family.Visit her website at www.geraldinemccaughrean.co.uk

James Nixon

Politics graduate and sports enthusiast James Nixon lives in Leominster, Herefordshire and is an experienced editor and author of children's non-fiction. He has written over 50 titles on a wide range of topics.

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

Julie Plec

Julie Plec juggles work in film and television as both a producer and a writer. She is the co-creator and executive producer of The Vampire Diaries. She created The Vampire Diaries spin-off, The Originals, which tells the story of history's first vampire family, and collaborated with Greg Berlanti and Phil Klemmer on The Tomorrow People, the story of a small group of people gifted with extraordinary paranormal abilities, making them the next evolutionary leap of mankind.Plec got her start as a television writer on the ABC Family series Kyle XY, which she also produced for its three-year run.

Kita Mitchell

Kita wrote and illustrated her first work, Cindersmella, at the age of six. It was swiftly and cruelly rejected by publishers. The sequels, Repunsmell and Moudilocks were equally badly received.Disheartened, she turned her attention to making stuff and luckily they did degrees in that. After getting one she went on to produce films for Channel 4 - but the feeling that she should write funny books for children never went away.Kita graduated from the Bath Spa MA in Writing for Young People last year and the opening of Grandma Dangerous appeared in their recent anthology.She lives in Oxfordshire with four daughters, sixteen chickens and a hamster.You can find out more about Kita and her books at www.kitamitchell.com.

Liz Kessler

Liz Kessler studied English at Loughborough University, has worked as a teacher and a journalist and has an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University. After taking a year off to travel around Europe in a camper van, Liz now lives in Cornwall.Find out more at www.lizkessler.co.uk, follow her on Twitter @lizkesslerbooks and like her on Facebook at facebook.com/lizkesslerchildrensauthor.

Lucy Powrie

Lucy Powrie is a blogger, YouTuber and author from the UK. Lucy is the creator of #ukyachat on Twitter. In 2015 Lucy won a UK Young Adult Blogger Award for Champion of YA. When she's not reading, she enjoys cuddling guinea pigs and eating Oreo chocolate, but let's be real: she's mostly always reading.

Nikesh Shukla

Nikesh Shukla is the editor of British Book Award-shortlisted anthology The Good Immigrant, a collection of essays by British writers of colour about race and immigration in the UK. His debut novel, Coconut Limited, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. Nikesh has written for The Guardian, Observer, Independent, Esquire, Buzzfeed, Vice and BBC2, LitHub, Guernica and BBC Radio 4. Nikesh was one of Foreign Policy magazine's 100 Global Thinkers and The Bookseller's 100 most influential people in publishing in 2016 and in 2017. He is the co-founder of the literary journal, The Good Journal and The Good Literary Agency.

Peter Riley

Peter Riley was a science teacher for 25 years, 17 of them as Head of Science. His first book was published in 1981, and he has been a full-time author since 1996, with over 200 books published for children, students and teachers. He is the winner of the prestigious Schoolbook Award for Science in 2000, as well as being shortlisted for the Aventis Science Prize 2004 and nominated for the Educational Resources Award in 2009.

Robert Muchamore

ROBERT MUCHAMORE was born in Islington in 1972. As a teenager he dreamt of either becoming an architect, a photographer or a writer. On discovering that architects have to train for seven years and after quitting his Saturday job in a camera shop, he saved up enough money to buy a word processor and set his heart on writing. The only problem was, he didn't know what to write. So, he found a regular job and spent thirteen years as a private investigator. He was inspired to start writing again by his nephew's complaints about the lack of anything decent to read. Robert's CHERUB and Henderson's Boys series are bestsellers around the world. Robert grew up listening to mix tapes sent to him by his older brother, developing tastes for indie bands like Joy Division, The Pogues and The Smiths. The idea for Rock War came from seeing that many of Robert's fans turned up at book signings wearing the logos of long dead rock bands, and a realisation that his online fan forum had more kids talking about the X-Factor than about his books. For more information, go to www.muchamore.com.