Authors beginning with: W
Born in 1963 to Jamaican parents, Wheatle grew up in Brixton, South London. At 16 he was a founder member of the Crucial Rocker sound system; his DJ name was Yardman Irie. He wrote lyrics about everyday Brixton life. By 1980 Wheatle was living in a social services hostel in Brixton, South London, and he participated in the 1981 Brixton riots and aftermath. While serving his resulting sentence he read authors such as Chester Himes, Richard Wright, C. L. R. James and John Steinbeck. He claims that a Rastafarian was his cellmate, and he was the one who encouraged Wheatle to start reading books and care about his education.
He received the London Arts Board New Writers Award in 1999 for his debut novel Brixton Rock, which was later adapted for the stage and performed at the Young Vic in July 2010. Wheatle turned to writing for teenagers in 2015 with Liccle Bit the first of his South Crongton series of books.
Anna Wilson lives in Bradford on Avon with her husband, two children, two cats, some chickens, some ducks, a tortoise and a dog. She is the author of The Puppy Plan, Pup Idol, Puppy Power, Puppy Party, The Kitten Hunt, Kitten Wars,Kitten Catastrophe, Monkey Business, Monkey Madness, I'm a Chicken, Get Me Out of Here!, the Pooch Parlour series, The Great Kitten Cake Off and The Mortifying Life of Skye Green. She has also written Summer's Shadow for older readers.
Anna Woltz is Dutch writer who was born in London. She has written 20 books for young readers, ranging from adventure stories to challenging young adult novels. Her books have been translated into 12 languages and have won many prizes including the Dutch Nienke van Hitchum Award for Honderd uur nacht, a Dutch Vlagen Wimpel prize and the German Luchs-Preis Juli. Alaska won a Zilveren Griffel, the most prestigious literary prize for Dutch children's books.
She's been praised for her use of language, fresh humorous narrative voice and the psychological depth to her novels, which often deal with family relationships and growing up. In 2017 Anna was selected by Hay Festival as one of the Aarhus39 – one of the best 39 emerging writers for young people from across Europe.
Brendan Wenzel is an author and illustrator based in Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in animations, magazines and children's books including Some Bugs and Some Pets, authored by Angela DiTerlizzi. His debut picture book, They All Saw a Cat, was a New York Times bestseller and the recipient of a 2017 Caldecott Honor.
An ardent conservationist, he is a proud collaborator with many organisations working to ensure the future of wild places and threatened species, especially within South East Asia. This work inspired his second picture book about animals, Hello Hello, published in March 2018. Brendan is a graduate of Pratt Institute.
Catherine Wilkins, author of My Best Friend and Other Enemies, is a writer and comedian. She grew up in Hertfordshire and now lives in London. She writes jokes and stories which she performs around the country to strangers in the dark, trying to make them laugh. Catherine has always wanted to write funny stories for children and is finding the whole process more exciting than that time she bungee jumped. Which is pretty exciting. If you think about it.
Clare Wigfall's highly-acclaimed debut book of stories The Loudest Sound and Nothing was published in the UK in September 2007. The collection's opening story The Numbers was awarded the 2008 BBC National Short Story Award and she was later nominated by William Trevor for the 2009 E M Forster Award.
She also received the K Blundell Trust Award for a writer under 40 whose work enhances social consciousness, and was longlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. Her piece was taken from a new collection that she was working on for Faber, together with a novel set in British Malaya in the early half of the last century. Meanwhile, she also published her first children's picture-book Has Anyone Seen My Chihuahua? Clare was previously the BookTrust Writer in Residence.
Chris Wormell lives in North London with his wife and children. He was the winner of the Ragazza Prize at Bologna in 1991 and the Smarties Bronze Award in 2003. In addition to his children's books, Chris undertakes other illustration work including advertising campaigns, packaging and, issued in January 2005, a set of stamps featuring farmyard animals for the Royal Mail.
Chris Wooding grew up in a small town in the Midlands, where nothing very interesting happened. So he started to write. His first book contract was signed at age nineteen. By the time he left university he was working as a full time author and has been writing professionally ever since. He is now the author of a number of books for adults and young people and has been translated into over twenty languages.
Chris has also been the recipient of numerous awards including the Nestlé Smarties Silver Award for The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray and the Lancashire Children's Book Award for Poison, as well as having been shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Retribution Falls (of the Tales of Ketty Jay series) and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal for Storm Thief.
David began his illustration career by creating the Pigs Might Fly and Flux Deluxe greetings cards ranges and then illustrated the very popular and successful picture book series that began with Rumble In The Jungle, written by Giles Andreae. This successful author/illustrator pairing won the picture book section of the Children's Book Award with The Lion Who Wanted To Love.
A Cuddle For Claude was nominated for the Sheffield Book Award and Claude is now the subject of a popular animated TV series. Elephant Joe is a Pirate! marked a new direction for David's art and three further Elephant Joe titles have followed. David's bright, exuberant, funny illustrations are perfect for young children
Multi-talented David Walliams is the fastest growing children’s author in the UK market, selling an average of 20,000 books each week. David began his publishing career at HarperCollins in early 2008 with his debut novel, The Boy in the Dress, followed by Mr Stink in 2009, Billionaire Boy in 2010 and Gangsta Granny in 2011. Cumulatively, David’s first four titles sold over a million copies in the UK alone. Gangsta Granny went straight to number 1 in the children’s book charts and globally his books have been translated into no fewer than 25 languages.
David Wyatt is an illustrator living in Devon. He has illustrated many novels, as well as concept and character work. David has illustrated tales by well-known authors such as Diana Wynne Jones, Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman, and J R R Tolkien. He uses many different media for art, and exercises his creativity in all sorts of forms.
Dr Dominic Walliman is the author of the award-winning Professor Astro Cat science books for youngsters and produces the popular YouTube channel Domain of Science for a general audience. He has a PhD in quantum device physics and worked for several years in the quantum computing industry. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.
E. B. White was born in New York in 1899 and died in 1985. He kept animals on his farm in Maine and some of these creatures crept into his books, such as Stuart Little which was recently made into a blockbusting film. He received many awards including the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal in 1970, an award given every five years to authors who have 'made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children'.
Award-winning author Evie Wyld was BookTrust's third online writer in residence.
She studied Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and Goldsmiths University London, where she concentrated mainly on short stories. Her stories have been published in various magazines and in Goldfish: An Anthology of Writing from Goldsmiths, the National Maritime Museum anthology Sea Stories and in the 3:AM Magazine anthology, London, New York, Paris.
Evie Wyld has lived in South East London for most of her adult life, with frequent trips to Australia, and her family’s sugar cane farm in New South Wales. Much of her writing begins with the landscapes of her childhood, remembering being alone and making up stories from there. She works in a small independent bookshop in Peckham called Review, and lives in Stockwell.
After gaining a degree in Education at Exeter University, Fiona worked as a writer and researcher for a publishing company who produced booklets for zoos and museums, and then as a teacher in Kent and the Netherlands.
She joined Usborne Publishing as an assistant editor in 1989, and is now editorial director. Fiona has gone on to produce over 150 titles for Usborne and frequently features in charts of best-selling authors. Her books include the award-winning That's Not My... series, The Beginner's Cookbook series, and many fantastic activity and cloth books.
Holly Webb lives in Berkshire with her husband, three children and two cats. She started writing several years ago while working as a children's books editor. She now writes full-time, and has written over seventy books including the Animal Stories, My Naughty Little Puppy and Maisie Hitchins series for Stripes Publishing. In 2012 she wrote The Clever Little Kitten for World Book Day.
Having spent much of his life teaching English and Drama, Ian started writing full time in 1989. He has written over a hundred books for children, including the best-selling Harry and The Bucketful of Dinosaurs series which won the Children's Book Award in 2000, and his stories have been translated into 25 languages. His books are known for their humour and child-friendliness and range from picture books to novels, short stories and poetry.
Ian lives with his wife in Middlesex and has two children and four grandchildren. Apart from his family, his passions in no particular order are: The Herefordshire Marshes — where he retreats to write in an idyllic Victorian villa; digging; running; walking with friends; swimming; cycling (especially in France); the poet Stevie Smith; the theatre; books, films and hedgehogs.
Children's Laureate 2005-2007
Jacqueline Wilson was born in Bath in 1945, and spent her childhood in Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey, where she still lives today. She started her writing career as a teenage journalist with D.C. Thompson, writing for the teenage magazine Jackie which was named after her. Today her popular books for children have sold millions of copies and have been translated into more than thirty languages.
Jacqueline's books include The Story of Tracy Beaker, which has become a hugely successful BBC TV series; Girls in Love, which together with its two sequels was filmed for ITV television; and Double Act, which she adapted for Channel 4 and which won the Royal TV Society's Best Children's Fiction Award. As the fourth Children's Laureate (2005-2007) she promoted the importance of sharing books, and reading aloud together.
James Francis Wilkins studied painting at Chelsea College, UK, and worked in the animation film industry in London and Germany, where he also worked as a newspaper cartoonist. He now lives in Thessaloniki, Greece, where he enjoys writing and illustrating and exploring the country's abundant plant life.
Jason Wallace is related to Tolkein and a descendent of one of the first International English cricketers, and also of the world-renowned Victorian circus owner 'Lord' George Sanger. He was born in Cheltenham in 1969 but moved to London after his parents split up. Aged 12 his life was turned upside down when his mother remarried and the family emigrated to Zimbabwe. It was this experience in a tough boarding school during the aftermath of the war for independence that forms the foundation of his incredible novel. And he did actually meet Robert Mugabe when he visited his school. Jason is currently a web designer, living in South West London.
Jeanne wrote her first book when she was five years old and hasn't stopped writing since. She now has over eighty titles to her name, including picture books, novels and television scripts. She has also won numerous awards, including the Children's Book Award, the Sheffield Children's Book Award and the Silver Smarties Prize. Her teen novel, Naked Without a Hat (Faber) was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award in 2004. She often takes inspiration from dreams and interesting conversations with strangers.
Katherine Webber is originally from California but currently lives in London. She has also lived and worked in Hong Kong, Maui, and Atlanta.
Her debut YA novel Wing Jones was published by Walker Books in the UK and Penguin Random House/Delacorte in the US. Katherine also writes the young fiction series Sam Wu is Not Afraid as Katie Tsang with her husband Kevin Tsang.
Katherine is a former BookTrust employee and we all miss her terribly!
Kay Woodward has written over 150 children's books, including Carlton's bestselling What Would She Do?, as well as storybooks and series fiction such as the Skate School series for Usborne. Along with classic fairy tales, her wide-ranging interests include Roald Dahl, Christmas and chocolate, all of which she has written about.
Born in Zimbabwe, Ken Wilson-Max lives in London. He has written and illustrated over 50 books for children. He also illustrates things for grow-ups and businesses and publishes work from other creators through Alanna Max.
As a younger man, Ken made stories from what he saw in his travels. He was excited and so the work was exciting. As he became more experienced and familiar with his surroundings, he saw that everyone had a story to tell. He became determined to inspire others to tell theirs. He found this made his stories much better. It also allowed him to experiment and learn. Since 2014, he’s also been publishing the Chicken Newspaper for children all over the world.
Kevin Waldron was born in Dublin. After deciding that children’s book illustration was for him, Kevin found a studio in central London where he works with other illustrators. Kevin’s first book, Mr Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo (Templar Publishing), which unveiled Mr Peek, his eccentric and amazing new character, won the Bologna Ragazzi Award Opera Prima Award in 2009. He illustrated Tiny Little Fly (Walker Books) a witty book of rhyme by Michael Rosen, in 2009 before emigrating to America. He now lives in New York.
He was chosen for a Book Trust Best New Illustrators Award in 2011. Kevin works with gouache, pen and ink (he broke lots of nibs making the pink scratches you see on the hippo in Tiny Little Fly!), charcoal, whatever is lying around and whatever he can use to get the texture he is after.
Lara Williamson was born and studied in Northern Ireland, before moving to London. After working for magazines including ELLE and New Woman, Lara became beauty editor at J17. The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair is her second novel.
Laura Wood is the winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children's Writing. She has just completed her PhD at the University of Warwick studying the figure of the reader in 19th-century literature. She is also the author of the Poppy Pym middle-grade series and YA historical romances A Sky Painted Gold (shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag YA and Beautiful Book prizes) and Under a Dancing Star.
Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867 in the log cabin described in Little House in the Big Woods. She and her family travelled by covered wagon across the Midwest. Later, Laura and her husband, Almanzo Wilder, made their own covered-wagon trip with their daughter, Rose, to Mansfield, Missouri. There, believing in the importance of knowing where you began in order to appreciate how far you've come, Laura wrote about her childhood growing up on the American frontier. For millions of readers Laura lives on forever as the little pioneer girl in the beloved Little House books.
Lee Wildish studied as a graphic designer and on leaving university worked at an advertising agency. Constantly reinventing his style he moved into producing artwork for greetings cards until he started illustrating children's books. Since then he has been published by Caterpillar, Blue Apple Books, Usborne, Igloo, Franklin Watts, Hodder, Little Tiger Press, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. Lee was the winner of the Red House Children’s Book Award 2013.
Marcia Williams has illustrated and retold many literary classics for children with her distinctive cartoon-strip style. Among her highly acclaimed titles are: Greek Myths, Mr William Shakespeare's Plays, God and His Creations: Tales from the Old Testament and Oliver Twist and Other Great Dickens Stories. She is also the author of the bestselling Archie's War and My Secret War Diary by Flossie Albright, diary-style accounts of the First and Second World Wars. Marcia lives in London, SW13.
Martin was read to a lot as a child by people who knew how to read stories. These stories came alive, and the love of story has stayed with him ever since.
He lives where he lived as a child, and nearly all of his stories come from things that have happened to him there, at the foot of the Mountain of Mourne. He works in an old stone barn beside his home, and dreams stories in the garden and on long walks on the beach in front of the house. He never writes anywhere else. This is where he belongs.
Mo Willems is a three-time Caldecott Honor winner (for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny, and Knuffle Bunny Too). He also won two Geisel Medals for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside? He has published many popular titles, including, most recently, Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion and the New York Times bestselling Cat the Cat books.
Before he turned to making books, Mo was a writer and animator on Sesame Street, where he won six Emmys. Mo lives with his family in Massachusetts.
Pat Walsh was the runner up in the 2008 Times Chicken House Writing Competition. She was born in a haunted house in Kent and spent her early years in West Africa and Ireland, before her family settled in Leicestershire. At the age of nine, Pat decided she wanted to be an archaeologist, going on her first dig at 12. Now fully trained, she’s still digging to this day! However, her first love is writing and she finds her inspiration in mythology and folklore, and in Britain’s rich historical heritage. She now lives in Bedfordshire with her husband and two children and is currently working on a sequel to The Crowfield Curse.
Pete Williamson is a London-based artist, illustrator and animation designer. His highly-acclaimed work includes the award-winning Dinkin Dings and the Frightening Things and the gothic pottiness of Marcus Sedgwick's The Raven Mysteries.
Rebecca Westcott was born in Chester. She went to Exeter University to train as a teacher and has had a variety of teaching jobs that have taken her to some very interesting places, including a Category C male prison. She started writing a diary when she was eight years old, although she had no idea that one day her entries would be used to help her write a book. Rebecca currently teaches in a primary school and lives in Dorset with her husband and three children. Dandelion Clocks is her first book.
Ross Welford was a journalist and television producer before becoming a full-time writer. He lives in London with his wife, children, a border collie and several tropical fish. Ross's second book, What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible, will be published in the UK in December 2016.
Sam Winston is a fine artist who exhibits internationally and whose books can be found in many special collections worldwide, including New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Getty Research Institute, the Tate Gallery London, and the V&A Museum.
Sheena Wilkinson has won many awards for her fiction including five Children's Books Ireland Awards, most recently the Honour Award for Fiction for 2017's Star By Star, which was also shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards. Described in The Irish Times as 'one of our foremost writers for young people', Sheena received a Major Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 2013. She teaches creative writing in settings ranging from universities to prisons and runs a young writers' group in Belfast. Sheena lives in County Down where, when she's not writing or reading, she's either singing or walking in the forest - sometimes at the same time.
Verna Wilkins is the author of 30 picture books and biographies for young people. Her books have featured on National Curriculum and BBC children's television, and been chosen among the Children's Books of the Year. She was born in Grenada and lives in London.
Zaro founded the Metro Theater Company (Circus) and for over 10 years was its artistic director, writer-in-residence, and a member of the performing ensemble. She has been collecting antique American quilts for over 40 years and has written two books about the history of American women and quilting. Living in London for many years, she founded the publishing company MQ Publications, which grew from publishing a few books on quilts to a wide range of non-fiction titles which sold throughout the world.
Zaro has written a book of children's poetry, Mud, Moon and Me, published by Orchard Books in the UK and Houghton Mifflin in the USA. Her poetry for children has appeared in many anthologies.