Previous Writers in Residence

  • Cressida Cowell

    Cressida Cowell grew up in London and also on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland. She was convinced that there were dragons living on this island, and has been fascinated by dragons ever since. Cressida has written and illustrated the popular How to Train Your Dragon series which has sold over 7 million copies worldwide.

  • Phil Earle

    Phil Earle was born in the mighty city of Hull in 1974, and as a child held no desire to be either a writer or a reader. It was only when he started work at Ottakar's bookshop in Putney, at the age of twenty six, and was forced into the kids department, that he discovered a passion for children's literature.


    Phil has also worked as a care worker with looked after children and as a Drama Therapist; he now divides his time between writing and his role as Sales and Marketing Director at David Fickling Books.


    Phil frequently talks about literacy in libraries and schools across the UK and beyond, and lives with his family in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.

  • Sita Brahmachari

    Award-winning author Sita Brahmachari is well known for addressing topical issues in the literary world. Sita’s residency will see her addressing issues facing children’s publishing and championing diversity in children’s books. She is also keen to hear from young people and those who work with them, about the impact of diverse representations in stories.

  • Philip Ardagh

    At 6ft 7in with a big bushy beard, children's author Philip Ardagh is a familiar sight at book festivals and events from New York to Shanghai to Edinburgh to Sydney. Passionate about books, Philip's own titles have been translated into around 40 languages. He's passionate about libraries too - both public and in schools - and is keenly interested in the inclusion of characters with physical disabilities in children's books.

  • Chris Riddell

    Illustrator and author Chris Riddell was Book Trust's tenth Writer in Residence.

  • Laura Dockrill

    Laura Dockrill was Book Trust's ninth online writer in residence until December 2013.

  • Matt Haig

    Matt Haig was Book Trust's eighth online writer in residence and is an author of books for children, teenagers and adults. His blog took a frank and honest look at the realities of the writing process, as well as questioning notions of genre. We helped him celebrate the launch of his novel The Humans with a sell-out in conversation event at the Free Word Centre.

  • Hannah Berry

    Hannah Berry was Book Trust's seventh online writer in residence and is a Brighton-based graphic novelist. Her blogs ranged from comic strips to essays on the importance of reading comics and graphic novels. She hosted an event at Free Word Centre that was sold out, bringing the best of Britain's current crop of graphic novelists to talk with her about why comics were as important as literature.

  • Bali Rai

    Award-winning teen and young adult author Bali Rai was Book Trust's sixth online writer in residence. He blogged about issues facing young people, literacy and the importance of reading for pleasure. Bali hosted a successful panel at London Book Fair where he got teenagers to tell publishers what they wanted to read.

  • Clare Wigfall

    Award-winning short story writer Clare Wigfall was Book Trust's fifth online writer in residence. As part of her residency, she blogged about writing short stories, working on picture books, travelling, music and hosted a successful event on the power of the short story to a packed-out crowd.

  • Polly Dunbar

    As Book Trust's fourth writer in residence, Polly Dunbar invited us into her sketchbook. She shared the creative process of capturing ideas and her day-to-day doodling and how these random thoughts could become stories, final artwork and eventually picture books. Polly also kept a record of her life as a book maker, the editorial meetings, school visits, puppet shows and the essential quiet time working from home.

  • Evie Wyld

    As Book Trust's online writer in residence from mid-March 2010 to September 2010, Evie blogged about her work and writing her second novel. She also blogged about the paperback release of her debut novel and independent bookselling. She provided an exclusive short story and interviewed one of her favourite authors.

  • Nii Ayikwei Parkes

    As Book Trust's online writer in residence from mid-September 2009 to February 2010, Nii blogged about his work, wrote us a poem, sharing his writing tips, helped us to celebrate National Bookstart Day and much more.

  • Patrick Ness

    Patrick is the author of The Knife of Never Letting Go, which won the 2008 Book Trust Teenage Prize, and its sequel The Ask and the Answer. He has also written a novel and a collection of short stories for adults, although he prefers not to categorise his writing in this way.


    From the beginning of March to the beginning of September 2009, Patrick blogged about his writing on the Book Trust website and contributed lots of other exciting stuff.