Writer in Residence: Cerrie Burnell

Every six months, BookTrust appoints a new Writer in Residence to write blogs, run competitions and give us their own unique perspective on the world of children's books.

Author Cerrie Burnell

Our current Writer in Residence is Cerrie Burnell, who will share the story of her struggle growing up with dyslexia and how her mum encouraged her passion for the magic of reading.

Cerrie is best known for her work on CBeebies, and is also the author of Harper and the Sea of Secrets and The Girl With the Shark’s Teeth, among many other books. 

During her residency, she will also share her passion for storytelling and run a competition for primary school children.

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Cerrie Burnell says:

'Through overcoming my own difficulties with dyslexia, I’ve learnt that every child should have access to a wealth and wonderment of stories, regardless of whether they can read them. With the help of people around you – in my instance, my mum – all children can become enchanted by stories. I’m so excited to find out how books have been championed throughout the world and how children from every culture have found keys to unlock a love of literature.
'I am also beyond delighted to be working with BookTrust. They are a fabulous organisation who have reading and storytelling at their heart, which resonates with me so acutely.' 

Previous Writers in Residence

Previous writers to take up the post include Matt Haig, Laura Dockrill, Cressida Cowell, Chris Riddell and Patrick Ness – see what fun things they all got up to during their time in residence.

Find out more

Features from our Writer in Residence


Books by Cerrie Burnell

The Girl with the Shark’s Teeth

Author: Cerrie Burnell

When mysterious men kidnap her mother, Minnow has to set sail alone for the magical, dangerous and beautiful Wild Deep. This book is full of lyrical, breathless prose and Burnell’s imagination is marvellous.

Read more about The Girl with the Shark’s Teeth

Fairy Magic

Author: Cerrie Burnell Illustrator: Laura Ellen Anderson

Isabelle has discovered a fairy called Summer-Blue in a hidden magical world at the bottom of her garden... But will she be able to convince her brothers and sisters? A charming story about fairies, the changing seasons and a little girl who is deaf.

Read more about Fairy Magic

Harper and the Fire Star

Author: Cerrie Burnell Illustrator: Laura Ellen Anderson

The adventure sees Harper and her band of friends on a quest to help the Wild Conductor regain his place in the circus. However, the task is not a simple one, and the evil ringmaster has other plans.

Read more about Harper and the Fire Star

Ballet Dreams

Author: Cerrie Burnell Illustrator: Laura Ellen Anderson

One day, a little girl sees the ballet practice for Swan Lake, and decides that all she wants is to become a ballerina. A sparkly, magical book for young dancers, this is the perfect precursor to Noel Streatfield's Ballet Shoes.

Read more about Ballet Dreams

Harper and the Circus of Dreams

Author: Cerrie Burnell Illustrator: Laura Ellen Anderson

When a magical girl arrives, bringing with her a storm and The Circus of Dreams, Harper and her friends set off on a journey to find out more about the strange world in the sky. A great read with tonnes of magic and drama.

Read more about Harper and the Circus of Dreams

Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella

Author: Cerrie Burnell Illustrator: Lauren Ellen Anderson

This is an endearing book with beautiful black and white illustrations, a light, fairytale-like quality, and a sense there may be more Harper adventures to come.

Read more about Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella


Author: Cerrie Burnell and Laura Ellen Anderson

Luka loves living by the sea, but neither he nor his brothers have ever learned to swim.

Read more about Mermaid


Author: Cerrie Burnell Illustrator: Laura Ellen Anderson

Mia has left the noisy city behind, and come to live with her Grandma in a land of forest and snow.

Read more about Snowflakes

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