Related to: 'The Ancient Olympic Games'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Emmy Laybourne

Emmy Laybourne is, in her own words, ‘a writer, teacher and a recovering character actress’ who lives in upstate New York with her husband ‘and two surprisingly well-mannered children’. Here she talks to Graham Marks, on Skype, about how she became a writer, the highs and lows of starting out on a writing career, and her novel, Monument 14.

Adam Sutherland

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.

Albert Uderzo

Albert Uderzo was born in 1927 in a small village in Marne, France. He met Rene Goscinny in 1951 and on 29 October 1959 their most famous creation, Asterix, made his first appearance on page 20 of Pilote. Asterix the Gaul, their first album, was published in 1961 and there have now been 34 Asterix albums.

Alex Woolf

Alex Woolf studied history at Essex University, and has written and edited many 20th century history titles for young people.

Anna Claybourne

Anna Claybourne has written over 150 children's books on all kinds of subjects, from sharks, black holes and splitting the atom to how to draw, Shakespeare's life, and Greek myths and legends. She knows a lot about conservation in the rain forests of Costa Rica as she once volunteered there for three months. She likes space, sewing and music, plays the trombone and loves going camping.

Annabelle Lynch

Annabelle Lynch is a freelance writer who lives in London. She specialises in young non-fiction, with a particular interest in natural history and geography.

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

Clare Hibbert

Clare specializes in non-fiction books for children of pre- and primary school age. Her favourite subjects are animals, history, art and culture. She has been shortlisted for the prestigious Aventis Junior Science Prize, and won a dozen Practical Pre-School Gold Awards. When she's not writing, Clare likes spending time with her family, taking long walks, going to the theatre and watching contemporary dance - her favourite dancer is Akram Khan.

Clive Gifford

Clive Gifford is the author of more than 150 children's books including Eye Benders, winner of the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize, Royal Society-nominated Out of This World and Cool Technology which won the School Library Association Information Book Award. He has travelled through 70 countries, run a computer games company and taken part in all manner of sports from parachuting and gliding to Ultimate Frisbee. Clive's official website can be found at www.clivegifford.co.uk

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.

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.

Georgia Amson-Bradshaw

Georgia Amson-Bradshaw is a children's writer and editor who lives in Brighton, East Sussex. She has worked on a number of high-profile and award-winning science books for kids, including the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize winner Eye Benders, and the London Science Museum activity book This Book Thinks You're a Scientist. She remembers the eye-opening and inspiring effect her favourite books had on her as a child, and so takes her responsibility to pass that interest and excitement on very seriously!

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.

Gillian Clements

Gillian Clements is a highly experienced author-illustrator, with an excellent reputation for children's non-fiction.

Jacqui Bailey

Jacqui Bailey has spent a lot of her adult life working with children's books. She has been an editor and publisher of everything from picture books to encyclopedias, but mostly enjoys finding out amazing bits of information and then writing about them. She particularly likes writing about science, as the information so often turns out to be far stranger than fiction.

Kes Gray

Kes is a bestselling, multi award-winning author of more than 70 books for children. He eats Ideaflakes for breakfast, spreads silliness on his toast and lives in a place called Different.Oi Frog!, Oi Dog! and Oi Cat! are a top ten bestselling series. Oi Dog! won the 2017 Laugh Out Loud Picture Book Award and was shortlisted for the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award and the British Book Awards in 2016, amongst others. It also won the Teach Primary New Children's Fiction Award, MadeForMums Award, Bishop's Stortford Picture Book Award and Portsmouth Picture Book Award. Oi Cat! was the Independent Booksellers Children's Book of the Season and Oi Goat! was the number one bestselling World Book Day book in 2018.

Lauren Child

Lauren Child MBE is a multi-award-winning author and current Children's Laureate, whose books are known and loved the world over. She is the creator of many much-loved characters, including Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort. Since her first book was published in 1999, Lauren has sold over six million books in 19 languages worldwide. Her many awards include the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato, the Nestle Gold Book Award for That Pesky Rat and the Nestle Bronze Book Award for Beware of the Storybook Wolves. Lauren loves designing and making things and finds it exciting to see her drawings turned into objects. Other favourite things include the cinema, TV matinees, small Italian cars, handbags, cardigans, travelling and being picked up from the airport.

Lee Wildish

Lee Wildish is an acclaimed illustrator. His Spooky, Spooky House won the Overall Red House Children's Book Award, his Spaghetti with the Yeti was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize, and he has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award and the Sheffield Children's Book Award.

Liz Gogerly

Liz Gogerly is a writer and editor of children's information books and a former teacher. She has worked on a wide variety of books and has a specialist knowledge of history and biographies.

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).