Authors beginning with: S
- I always wear lipstick for difficult work, because it makes me feel more serious. Sometimes I wear it on my nose.
- There are eight pet birds flying around in my house.
- I don't put my really scary ideas into picture books; instead, I write long ghost novels, which I keep in a box.
Alex Shearer was born in Wick, in the far north of Scotland. His father was a blacksmith and his mother was a secretary. He enjoyed writing from an early age, and sold his first television script about thirty years ago. He went on to write several TV series, stage plays, radio plays and comedy scripts. Moving into writing for children, his novels Bootleg and The Greatest Store in The World were adapted for television by the BBC, and his 2003 novel The Speed of the Dark was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. He lives in Somerset and is married with two grown-up children.
Alex T. Smith is an English author and illustrator of children's books, including Primrose, Egg, Ella, and the Claude book series. He was the illustrator for World Book Day 2014 in September 2013. His books have been published in several languages including Welsh, French, German, Swedish, Italian, Hungarian and Chinese.
Ali is an author of more than 40 children's adventures - most of them published with Oxford Children's Books. Her first stand alone novel - Frozen In Time - was Blue Peter Book of the Year in 2010 and her more recent novel Car-Jacked has won five regional awards and been shortlisted for the UK's national Childen's Book Award. Starting out as a newspaper reporter and then a BBC broadcast journalist, Ali had a spell writing comedy for BBC Radio 4 before getting her first book deal and publishing her debut Shapeshifter series novel - Finding the Fox - in 2006.
Amy Sparkes is the author of several picture books. She lives in Devon with her family and when she's not having adventures with her own children, she's running activities in schools, talking to children about writing.
Andy Stanton is an English children's writer and blues singer. He grew up in the London suburbs of Harrow and Pinner and attended the Latymer School in Hammersmith. He lives in North London.
Andy Seed is a writer and humorist based in North Yorkshire. He is the author of over 20 books including the bestselling 'All Teachers' trilogy of memoirs for adults and a range of titles for children including The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff (Bloomsbury) - chosen by the Guardian as one of the best books of 2014 - and the acclaimed funny poetry collection Razzle Dazzle.
Andy is a regular visitor to schools and cares fervently about enthusing children to read for pleasure. He is also a popular speaker at events for adults, a cheese devotee and an overambitious table tennis player. Oh, and he writes jokes as well as books.
Anjan Sarkar is a British illustrator from a mixed-race British/Indian background. He has been illustrating professionally since 2010 and is currently working exclusively on children’s picture books and chapter books. He loves to draw expressive characters and try to inject a bit of humour into every image. Although he thinks of himself as British, his Indian heritage has influenced some of the projects he has been commissioned to work on, including Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas (about a mixed Jewish/Hindu family celebrating Hanukkah) and Rum Pum Pum (a story inspired by the Indian landscape, its wildlife and culture). He thinks picture books are a great way to introduce children to ideas, people and places that they wouldn’t normally come into contact with. He lives in Sheffield, Yorkshire.
Anthea Simmons is a vicar’s daughter who grew up in Cornwall, where she was pony, and book-mad. After a highly-successful City career, she ‘retired’ to the country to bring up her son, ride, garden, write, paint and teach. She now works for a social enterprise dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion in the UK’s board rooms. She lives in East Devon.
Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupéry was a French writer, poet, aristocrat, journalist, and pioneering aviator. He became a laureate of several of France's highest literary awards and also won the U.S. National Book Award.
Art Spiegelman is an American cartoonist, editor, and comics advocate best known for his graphic novel Maus. His work as co-editor on the comics magazines Arcade and Raw has been influential, and from 1992 he spent a decade as contributing artist for The New Yorker. He is married to designer and editor Françoise Mouly and is the father of writer Nadja Spiegelman.
Axel was born in Hamburg, Germany. At school he was good at art, but didn't think of a career in illustration until he won a cuddly purple cow in a drawing competition. He moved to England in 1982 to study illustration at the Bath Academy of Art, and then set up home in London.
He was the illustrator for Julia Donaldson's first picture book, A Squash and a Squeeze - the start of a hugely successful partnership. Their bestselling modern classic, The Gruffalo, has sold millions of copies. His books have been translated into 42 languages.
Brian Selznick grew up in New Jersey and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Art and Design in 1988. He worked for two years after graduation at Eeyore's Books for Children in New York City. His first book was published while he worked there. Brian has also designed theater sets and worked as a professional puppeteer. His first book, The Houdini Box, was inspired by a fascination with the famous magician. He has also illustrated both novels and picture books for other writers.
In 2008, his groundbreaking book The Invention of Hugo Cabret was awarded the Caldecott Medal. It was nominated for a National Book Award and was the basis for Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning film Hugo. His follow-up illustrated novel, Wonderstruck, debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. The Marvels was published in autumn 2015. Brian divides his time between Brooklyn, New York and San Diego with his husband Dr David Serlin, a professor at the University of California.
C J Skuse, author of Pretty Bad Things (2010), Rockoholic (2011) and Dead Romantic (2013) was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England. C J has first class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and she is currently working on her fourth young adult novel. She also works as a freelance children's fiction consultant and lectures in writing fiction for teens at Bath Spa University.
Chitra Soundar is an Indian-born British author and storyteller based in London. She has written over 30 books published across Asia, Europe and North America. Chitra has written picture books, stories for emerging readers, poetry and junior fiction. Chitra grew up hearing tales from Indian epics and folk wisdom and her stories are often set in India, inspired by her heritage.
She often visits schools, libraries and festivals to run writing and storytelling workshops because she believes stories widen our imagination and help us understand the people we share our planet with. She also writes short stories for adults as C Iyengar.
David Solomons is the best-selling author of the My Brother is a Superhero books, the first of which won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2016 and the British Book Industry Awards Children's Book of the Year 2016. David also won the 2018 Laugh Out Loud Awards (Lollies) with the second book in this series, My Gym Teacher is an Alien Overlord. He is a lifelong Doctor Who fan.
In addition to his acclaimed children's fiction, David Solomons has been writing screenplays for many years - his first feature film was an adaptation of Five Children and It, starring Kenneth Branagh and Eddie Izzard. He was born in Glasgow and now lives in Dorset with his wife, the novelist Natasha Solomons, their son Luke and their daughter, Lara.
Born Dorothy Gladys Smith in Lancashire, England, Dodie Smith was raised in Manchester (her memoir is titled A Childhood in Manchester). She was just an infant when her father died, and she grew up fatherless until age 14, when her mother remarried and the family moved to London. There she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and tried for a career as an actress, but with little success. Giving up dreams of an acting career, she turned to writing plays, and in 1931 her first play, Autumn Crocus, was published (under the pseudonym "C.L. Anthony"). It was a success, and her story from failed actress to successful writer captured the imagination of the public and she was featured in papers all over the country.
During World War II she and her husband moved to the United States, mostly because of his stand as a conscientious objector and the social and legal difficulties that entailed. She was still homesick for England, though, as reflected in her first novel, I Capture the Castle (1948). She is perhaps best known for her novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians, a hugely popular childrens book that has been made into a string of very successful animated films by Walt Disney. She died in 1990.
Brilliant, playful, and always respectful of children, Dr. Seuss charmed his way into the consciousness of four generations of youngsters and parents. In the process, he helped millions of children learn to read. Theodor Seuss Geisel – better known to millions of his fans as Dr. Seuss – was born the son of a brewer and park superintendent in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1904.
After studying at Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, and later at Oxford University in England (where he met his first wife Helen Palmer), he became a magazine humorist and cartoonist and an advertising man. He soon turned his many talents to writing children's books and his first book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street was published in 1937. His greatest claim to fame was the one and only The Cat in the Hat, published in 1957, the first of a hugely successful range of early learning books collectively known as Beginner Books.
Ellie loved creating pictures from a very young age and has a passion for children’s books (she keeps all her books in a huge wardrobe in her bedroom!). As a student she was highly commended in the Macmillan Prize 2006 for her illustrated story Massivia McStodge and the Ghastly Ghouls.
After completing a foundation course in Art and Design, and a degree in Graphic Design at Bath Spa University, she went on to achieve a Master’s in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art. Ellie got the idea for Birdsong after listening to the very noisy birds in the aviary in Victoria Park, Bath, whilst at University. There were many different kinds of birds and they each made a distinctive noise. They seemed to be greeting each other and talking amongst themselves, and so she began sketching them and trying to write down the noises they made. Ellie currently lives and works in Lincolnshire.
Emma Shevah is half-Thai and half-Irish, but was born and raised in London. This diverse heritage influences her writing, which is typically about identity and what makes us who we are. She writes funny, deep books that she hopes will make readers think.
Dream on Amber is about fatherless, half-Japanese Amber Miyamoto, who invents an imaginary dad to help her with her escalating problems. Dara Palmer’s Major Drama is about an adopted Cambodian girl who wants the lead role in a play and has to take matters into her own hands to achieve it. And What Lexie Did follows a Greek Cypriot girl who tells a huge lie that splits her family apart and separates her from her cousin and best friend, Eleni. Hello Baby Mo!, for early readers, follows school boy Adam dealing with an exasperating new sibling, and will be published in 2019. Emma lives in Brighton.
Francesca Simon was born in St Louis, Missouri, grew up in California, and went on to study Old and Middle English at Oxford and Medieval Studies at Yale. Following this, Francesca decided to work as a freelance journalist, writing for the Sunday Times, Guardian, Mail on Sunday, Telegraph, and Vogue (US). When her son Joshua was born in 1989, she started writing children’s books full time.
One of the UK’s best-selling children’s writers, Francesca has published over 50 books, including the immensely popular Horrid Henry series, which has now sold over 16 million copies. She lives in London with her husband, son, and Tibetan Spaniel, Shanti.
Francesca is an Italian illustrator and graphic designer based in Switzerland. After she finished her studies in Cagliari, the main city of her beloved Mediterranean island (Sardinia) she said goodbye to her family and her cat (Berta) and moved to Germany before and Switzerland after, in order to follow her dream and be able to work as an illustrator. She graduated in 2015 from the Lucerne School of Art and Design with a Master of Design with focus on Illustration. She is also the author / illustrator of The Journey.
Hannah Shaw was born into a large family of sprout munching vegetarians. As is oldest child, she spent her formative years trying to be good at everything; from roller-skating to gymnastics. Hannah soon realised there wasn't much chance of her becoming a gold medal winning gymnast, so she resigned herself to drawing pictures and writing stories!
By some mean feat Hannah found herself at the University of Brighton doing a degree in illustration. Soon an overwhelming obsession to make books took over her life. Inspired by her love of furry animals, Hannah wrote and illustrated her first picture book Evil Weasel. Hannah currently lives in a little cottage in the Cotswolds, with her husband Ben the blacksmith and her rescue dog Ren. Her over-active imagination fuels new ideas but unfortunately keeps her awake at night!
Helen Stephens grew up in County Durham and currently lives in Darlington with her partner and little girl. She studied illustration at Glasgow School of Art and began working as a freelance illustrator in 1994. She worked as an editorial illustrator for a few years before writing her first book in 1998.
She has written and illustrated many popular books for children which have been published worldwide in a variety of languages. As well as writing her own stories she has also produced books in collaboration with other authors including Roger McGough, Simon Mason and Sophie Hannah. Helen is a lecturer on Cambridge School of Art's MA in Illustrating for Children.
Holly Smale is clumsy, a bit geeky and somewhat shy, she spent the majority of her teenage years hiding in the changing room toilets. She was unexpectedly spotted by a top London modelling agency at the age of 15 and spent the following two years falling over on catwalks, going bright red and breaking things she couldn't afford to replace.
By the time Holly had graduated from Bristol University with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Shakespeare she had given up modelling and set herself on the path to becoming a writer. Holly is now a fully fledged author and blogger and is perhaps best known for her Geek Girl series.
Holly is a children’s author and illustrator. She loves to work by hand using a variety of different media including watercolour, pencil and different printing processes. She graduated from the University of Sunderland with a degree in illustration and design, before going on to do a Masters at Edinburgh College of Art. In 2013, she was highly commended for the Macmillan Illustration Prize and was the winner of the Seven Stories/Frances Lincoln Illustration Competition.
Her first illustrated picture book, 15 Things NOT to do with a baby, was published in 2016, and her first author illustrated title, Hiccups, came out in 2017.
Jamie Smart's characters Space Raoul, My Own Genie, Count Von Poo and Fish-Head Steve have all found homes in the pages of The Sunday Times, The Dandy, Toxic comic and The DFC respectively. Jamie is also the current writer and artist of iconic character Desperate Dan in The Dandy. He worked closely with Cartoon Network for six years pushing his characters through show development, along with a more recent stint at Disney doing character design.
Jane Simmons is the author and illustrator of many children's books, including the very popular Daisy and Eb and Flo books. As a mature student, she studied illustration at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Together with her husband and an assortment of animals, she leads a nomadic existence, sailing around the world in an old fishing boat called 'Prosperity'. Jane's studio is the trawler's converted wheelhouse, which offers plenty of light and continually changing views that inspire her work.
Jeremy Strong is an English writer credited with over 100 children's books. He once worked in a bakery, putting jam into doughnuts. He also worked as caretaker, a strawberry-picker and in an office for British Rail.
Jess Stockham was born in 1957 in Luton and lived in a village in Hertfordshire until she was 17. She completed a foundation year at Watford Art College and then left full time education to move to Exeter and become a waitress. She then moved to West Yorkshire and started a leather goods business with her husband, Steve. She lived there for 18 years and had two sons, Matt and Ed.
In 1990 she started illustrating full-time for various popular women’s magazines and mother and baby publications. In 1995 she moved to West Wales with her family where she has lived and illustrated for the past 12 years.
Jessica Souhami studied at the Central School of Art and Design which was a public school of fine and applied arts in London, England. In 1980 she formed Mme Souhami and Co, a travelling puppet company using colourful shadow puppets with a musical accompaniment and a storyteller. Her illustrations, like her puppets, use brilliant colour and bold shapes and her characters leap and swoop across the spreads.
Kim Smith graduated with a first class degree in advertising, graphic design and illustration in 1997. He has since worked for Puccino's Worldwide Ltd, M&S, PJ smoothies, Orange, designed book covers and branded a New York based Iced Tea company. He is perhaps best known for the Barry Loser series of books 'spellchecked' by Jim.
Joel Stewart was brought up in a commune in the wilds of Yorkshire. From an early age he was knocked sideways by stories, and invariably lay on the floor drawing pictures to recover. Later, in the year 2000, he graduated with a first class degree in Illustration from Falmouth College of Art. Ever since graduating (and slightly before) he has been writing and drawing for a living, and has recently moved into animation design and directing for television (while not forgetting books!). He also plays a variety of musical instruments and lives with them and some fish in London.
Joel was selected as one of Book Trust's Best New Illustrators in 2008.
Jon Scieszka was the first National Ambassador for Young People's Literature in the USA. He is the author of some of the best known and funniest books written for children and is the creator of the Trucktown series. Jon is a former school teacher and an avid promoter of literacy. Jon lives with his family in New York.
Jonathan Stroud is the author of the best-selling Bartimaeus sequence, which is published in 35 languages and has sold six million copies worldwide. Lockwood & Co. is Stroud's chilling new series about a ghost-hunting trio. Jonathan has yet to see a ghost, but is keeping his eyes open.
Katie Scott studied illustration at Brighton before moving to London. Her clients include Feuilleton, the New York Times and Nobrow,and her album cover for Bombay Bicycle Club was nominated for 'Best Album Artwork' at the NME Awards, 2012. Her work plays with the ideas of scientific uncertainty and speculation, fabricating the inner and outer workings of the world. Her illustrations depict a familiar yet fantasy vision of plants, humans and minerals.
Lemony Snicket is the pseudonym novelist Daniel Handler used while writing his sequence of darkly comic children's books known as A Series of Unfortunate Events. The 13 novels in the series relate the hard-luck history of the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny. Snicket narrates their piteous adventures and misfortunes at the hands of evil Count Olaf, a master of disguises and truly bad actor.
Handler is a longtime resident of San Francisco, and his style has been compared to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. He also has published novels for older teens and adults, including The Basic Eight (1999) and Watch Your Mouth (2000). Handler has said that the name 'Lemony Snicket' is not intended to be a tribute to the cartoon character Jiminy Crickett; Handler claims the pseudonym was made up on the spur of the moment while researching material for one of his other books, and that the name predates A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Louie Stowell writes books about all kinds of things for Usborne, from fantastical stories about talking trees and enchanted castles to books about astronomy and space.
She lives – and always has lived – in London and likes to draw cartoons in her spare time. She likes reading comics and thinks Asterix has the best puns of any book ever (especially the two Roman soldiers called Sendervictorius and Appianglorius).
Louis Sachar lives in Austin, Texas, where he writes his novels and plays quite a lot of Bridge. His novel Holes has sold over 1.5 million copies in the Bloomsbury edition alone, and Louis is the recipient of many of the world's best regarded book prizes, including the National Book Award and the Newbery Award.
Margaret "Maggie" Stiefvater is an American writer of Young Adult fiction, known mainly for her series of fantasy novels The Wolves of Mercy Falls and The Raven Cycle. She currently lives in Virginia.
Marcus Sedgwick began to write seriously in 1994, and his first book, Floodland, was published by Orion in 2000, and won the Branford-Boase award for best debut children's novel. Witch Hill followed in 2001, and was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Independent Reading Association award and the Portsmouth Book Award. In 2002 The Dark Horse was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, The Carnegie Medal and the Blue Peter Book Award.
The Book of Dead Days was nominated for the Guardian Award, and was shortlisted for the Sheffield Book Award and the Edgar Allan Poe Award. In his spare time, Marcus is a drummer and at the moment play’s the part of Basil Exposition from behind the kit in The International Band of Mystery, an Austin Powers tribute band.
ark Sperring is the author of several highly-acclaimed picture books including the Sunflower Sword and Captain Buckleboots on the Naughty Step. He lives in Bristol where he also works as a bookseller.
Maurice Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York. He began by illustrating other authors' books for children, but the first book that he both wrote and illustrated was Kenny's Window, published in 1956. In his lifetime, he illustrated over 80 books, and received many awards, including the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are. In 1970 he was the first American to win the Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator's Medal. He passed away in May 2012.
Melissa Savage is a writer and a therapist for children and families. Her desire to write purposeful, issue-driven books for young people, coupled with her interest in cryptozoology and the mystery of Bigfoot, inspired her to write her debut novel Bigfoot, Tobin & Me. She lives in Minnesota, USA with her family.
Michael de Souza is the author of the classic book series Rastamouse and the creator of the well-known BBC CBeebies character of the same name, along with bandmates Scratchy and Zoomer, who form Da Easy Crew. He is also co-founder of Little Roots Publishing, who produced the original books.
Michael came to England in 1960, leaving Trinidad to join his parents in west London. He has taught swimming for 22 years. Seeing the imagination and bravery of his students in overcoming their fear of water inspired Michael to write. His first book, Rastamouse and the Crucial Plan, was published in 2003; by 2011, it had become a much-loved animated series. Michael has been taking Rastamouse and a taste of the Caribbean to thousands of children and families in schools and libraries, locally, nationally and internationally since 2004.
Mi-kyoung Song is a rising star in the Korean children's literary word. Her debut work, A School Where Children do Not Want to go to School was awarded the Woongjin Junior Literary Award in 2008. Her next work, Some Kid Lived Here and other stories won the 54th Korea Book Awards for Children's Fiction in 2013. A Child Who is Chewing Pebbles won the award of Changwon Literature Award. She has also published Canned Food Academy, A Girl Who is Sewing and the Report of Operation for Madman. She is also an illustrator, and had her first exhibition in Seoul, in August 2016.
Mitchell Symons was born in London and educated at Mill Hill School and the LSE, where he studied Law. Since leaving BBC TV, where he was a researcher and then a director, he has worked as a writer, broadcaster and journalist. He was a principal writer of early editions of the board game Trivial Pursuit and has devised many television formats. Currently he writes an award-winning column for the Sunday Express. Mitchell has won the Blue Peter Best Book with Facts Awards twice, for Why Eating Bogeys is Good for You and Do Igloos have Loos?
Nadia Shireen enjoyed making homemade magazines and comics as a child. She studied law at university and then worked in magazine journalism; it was during this time that she started to draw again. After a lifetime of doodling in the sidelines, Nadia decided to pay some attention to drawing and in 2007 was accepted onto an MA course in children’s book illustration at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Her debut book, Good Little Wolf, received a mention in the Bologna Ragazzi Opera Prima Award and won the UKLA Book Award. Nadia has been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. She lives in London.
Nick liked drawing from an early age. 'When I was nine,' he says, 'a picture that I'd drawn at school was pinned up in the hall, and the husband of one of the teachers saw it and offered me five pounds to do a similar picture for him. That's when I decided I was going to be a professional artist one day! I nearly always drew in felt tip pens then, and I liked drawing big crowd scenes. I'd start in the bottom left-hand corner of the paper and just let the picture grow, telling myself stories about each of the characters in turn as I drew them.'
Nicky Singer was born in 1956 and has worked in publishing, the arts and television. She began her writing career at the age of 15, with lyrics for a cantata Jonah and the Whale, and has since written four adult novels - To Still the Child, To Have and to Hold, What She Wanted and My Mother's Daughter - and two works of non-fiction - The Tiny Book of Time (with Kim Pickin) and The Little Book of the Millennium (with Jackie Singer). She was co-founder and co-director (1987-1996) of Performing Arts Labs, a charity dedicated to training new writers for theatre, screen and opera. In 1995 she presented BBC2's highly acclaimed documentary series on women's fertility, Labours of Eve, and wrote the preface to the book which accompanied the series.
Noel Streatfeild was born in Sussex in 1895 and was one of three sisters. Although she was considered the plain one she ended up leading the most glamorous and exciting life! After working in munitions factories and canteens for the armed forces when WWI broke out, Noel followed her dream of being on stage and went to RADA where she became a professional actress.
She began writing children's books in 1931 and Ballet Shoes was published in 1936. She quickly became one of the most popular authors of her day. When she visited Puffin exhibitions, there were queues right out of the building and all the way down The Mall. She was one of the first winners of the Carnegie Medal and was awarded an OBE in 1983. Noel Streatfeild lived in London. She died in 1986.
Paul Stewart is the very funny, very talented author of more than 15 books for children, including The Edge Chronicles, a collaboration with Chris Riddell.
He is a graduate of Lancaster University and of the University of East Anglia's creative writing course. For several years he taught English as a foreign language in Sri Lanka. Returning to England, he continued teaching before becoming a full-time writer.
Qian Shi is a Chinese director, animator and illustrator based in east London who grew up in Shijiazhuang, a northern city in China. She’s always been drawn to stories and loves making pictures. Her charming illustrative style and understanding of storytelling brings an engaging mood and humour to her work. She has worked with Donna Wilson, Volvo and Disney. Her short animation Shoe (2008) won several international animation film awards and her debut picture book, The Weaver, published by Andersen Press, has now been translated into multiple languages.
Ranjit Singh Dhaliwal is a British Indian from a Sikh background. He produces work for anyone who wants to read it! There are no specifics to his approach, he just follows his inspiration. He likes stories that are funny or thoughtful. A financial professional by day, he is fascinated by how a picture book – like a balance sheet – can present a story with astounding brevity and depth of expression.
Nimesh the Adventurer is, he hopes, a humorous story about a boy’s compromise with the world around him. The story has been nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2019 and was longlisted for the Cogan Diversity Picture Book Award, among others. Ranjit is based in Ealing in west London.
Rebecca Stead grew up in New York City. She began writing stories, Very Serious stories, at school, but a career in writing felt impractical so she became a lawyer. Many years, two sons and a broken laptop (containing the Very Serious stories) later, she decided to write again; firstly for adults but then moving on to children’s books, to much acclaim. Her second book, When You Reach Me, was awarded the Newbery Medal. Liar & Spy is her latest book for children.
Robin Stevens was born in California and grew up in an Oxford college. She spent her teenage years at Cheltenham Ladies' College, reading a lot of murder mysteries and hoping that she'd get the chance to do some detecting herself (she didn't).
She studied crime fiction at university, and then worked in children's publishing. She is now a full-time writer and the creater of the bestselling, award-winning Murder Most Unladylike series. Murder Most Unladylike was the bestselling middle-grade debut of 2014, winning the Waterstones Children's Book Prize for Younger Fiction and sparking a trend for middle-grade mysteries. Robin lives in London with her pet bearded dragon, Watson.
Roger Stevens has been writing for children for twenty-five years. In that time he has had thirty books published. He is a founding member of the Able Writers scheme and runs the award-winning poetry website 'Poetry Zone', for children and teachers.
Ruth Symes is the author of children's books and TV scripts including several episodes of Channel 4 / Jim Henson Company's series for pre-school children The Hoobs, and award-winning animation series PicMe. She has also worked with Channel 4 as the Writing Coach and Write a Children's Short Story competition Judge on the Richard & Judy show. One of her books Mondays at Monster School was read on BBC television by Jenny Seagrove as part of the bedtime story hour.
S F Said is a British Muslim children’s author, originally from the Middle East. His novels combine action and adventure with themes of identity, difference and belonging. His first book, Varjak Paw, is about a Mesopotamian Blue cat who dreams of becoming a great warrior. It won the Smarties Prize for Children’s Literature, has sold 500,000 copies and been translated into 12 languages. The sequel, The Outlaw Varjak Paw, was BBC Blue Peter Book of the Year.
His third book, Phoenix, is about a human boy and an alien girl who must save a galaxy threatened by war between humans and aliens. It represented the UK on the IBBY International Honour Book List, was shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, and nominated for the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. S F Said has written on children’s and young adult literature for the Guardian and Daily Telegraph. He lives in London.
Saša Stanišić is a Bosnian-German writer. He was born in Višegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and moved to Germany as a refugee of the Bosnian War when he was 14 years old. He has written an acclaimed novel in German which was published in English under the title How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone. The book won a host of prizes in Germany and abroad, and has been translated into several European languages. It was also adapted for the stage by the Stadtschauspielhaus Graz, where Stanišić was the city's writer-in-residence.
Sathnam Sanghera, the author of acclaimed memoir The Boy with the Topknot / If You Don’t Know Me By Know (depending on which edition you own), is also a journalist for The Times, working on a business and a lifestyle column. Born to Punjabi parents and growing up in Wolverhampton, he led an eccentric lifestyle. The book, The Boy with the Topknot, follows Sathnam as he returns home to unravel his family’s problems and reconcile his traditional Asian roots with his flashy London lifestyle. In the process he discovers the truth about his father’s schizophrenia and why his mother won’t accept any English girlfriend of his. It’s a funny and touching piece of work that draws on feelings of belonging and unbelonging, and cultural nuance. Sathnam is an interesting writer, his memoir draws on a lot of music as a backdrop to the words, creating a chronological soundbed of song influences over the years, his writing is journalistic but funny but tender and pained all at the same time. We wondered how he managed to cram all those conflicting styles and emotions into the same bits of prose, so met up with him on a muggy day on Hampstead Heath and talked about the chaos that is the writing process.
Sol is a children's book illustrator and graphic designer from Buenos Aires. Her illustrations are filled with details and beautiful colours focused on children's products like books, puzzles, board books and memory games. Sol has worked for Airbnb, Pottery Barn Kids, Unicef and international magazines such as Oprah, Jamie Oliver, Wired and The Washington Post.
Steve Smallman has taken up writing his own stories after illustrating children's books for over 30 years. He also teaches illustration and mural-painting workshops in schools. When he's not working, Steve enjoys films, television, gardening and walking in the countryside.
Susan Stegell initially trained as a graphic designer, but then became a primary school teacher and taught young children for several years. After having her own two boys, she began work in a school library where she enjoyed finding out about new authors and illustrators and selecting beautiful new books for the shelves.
As her boys grew up, she started making all sorts of pictures for them of the cars, trucks and trains they found so fascinating. After lots of experiments, the idea of using torn coloured and textured paper evolved. Susan lives in the New Forest in Hampshire.
Tabitha Suzuma was born in London in 1975 to an English mother and a Japanese father, the eldest of five children. She went to the French Lycée, but stopped attending school at age fourteen. Ten years later, she became a teacher and wrote her first novel, A Note of Madness. She has since written five more novels for young adults. Her fifth novel, Forbidden, is an incestuous love story between a brother and sister. Her most recent novel was published in 2013.
Viviane Schwarz is the author-illustrator of the highly acclaimed picture books There Are Cats in this Book and There Are No Cats in this Book, both of which were shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal (2009, 2012). She also illustrates picture books by her friend Alexis Deacon and their title A Place to Call Home was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny prize in 2011. Viviane was named one of the Booktrust's Best New Illustrators 2011.
Three Things You Might Not Know About Me (by Viviane Schwarz):