Nicholas Allan is the award-winning author/illustrator of over thirty children’s books. Many of his books are bestsellers, including The Queen’s Knickers, Jesus’ Christmas Party, Cinderella’s Bum, Heaven, and Where Willy Went, and have been translated into twenty languages. Father Christmas Needs A Wee has recently been republished in a special  edition with CD by Bernard Cribbens and The Queen's Knickers has won the Coventry Inspiration Award 2011 for the nation's favourite most inspirational picture book over the last 20 years.

He is also the author of Hilltop Hospital, a book adapted into a BAFTA-winning television series for CITV and shown in over forty countries

Nicholas Allan

Judy Allen’s Awaiting Developments won the Whitbread Award and the Friends of the Earth ‘Earthworm’ Award.

Her novels The Lord of the Dance, The Burning and Storm-Voice are rooted in the real world but with otherworldly or magical elements. She also writes non-fiction; for younger children a series about small creatures beginning with Are You A Ladybird? and for older readers The Fantasy Encyclopaedia and The Encyclopaedia of the Unexplained.

Her most recent novel for children is Three Weird Days and a Meteorite.


Margaret Bateson-Hill is the author of seven picture books, including Masha and the Firebird -  winner of The English 4-11 Award Fiction Key stage 2.  Autumn 2009 saw the publication of her second title for younger children, This Little Piggy went to Market.  In 2008 she published  her first novel in the Dragon Racer Trilogy, First Flight - an adventure story set in Brixton, Blackpool and Brighton.(Long listedfor the Brilliant Book Award )The sequel, Legacy of Fire was published June 2011 and the final book The Silver Flame was published Spring 2014. At present she is writing a new middle grade fantasy with  a talking cat and a girl called Bluebird.


Margaret is also a storyteller in schools, libraries and museums.

Beverley Birch is author of Rift, a mystery thriller set in Africa, longlisted for the Carnegie Medal, shortlisted for two international awards and the Southern Schools Book Award. She’s written over 50 books - novels, picture books, biographies, retellings – including Shakespeare’s plays - and collaborations with her husband, photographer Nick Birch. Her novels include The Keeper of the Gate, a time-travel story set in Africa, a ghost story, Sea Hawk Sea Moon and The Night of the Fire Lilies, set against the background of the Calabrian Mafia. Most recent books are the picture books Turtle’s Party in the Clouds, Greedy Anansi’s Three Cunning Plans; and the retelling of Frankenstein.

Beverley visits schools and festivals to talk about books and writing. During Shakespeare Week each year she does Shakespeare themed events and workshops for primary schools.


J.P. Buxton is a prolific adult author of fiction and non-fiction whose first children’s works,  I am the Blade and its sequel, Heartless Dark are set at the time of King Arthur, and chart the story of a boy in  running for his life from a mysterious assassin who is plunged into a mysterious, life-changing quest. His novel I am the Blade was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2011

His most recent book, The Temple Boys, published by Egmont, has been nominated for the Carnegie Book Award


H.L. Dennis is the author of  Secret Breakers, a six book series about a team of children who become code-breakers to solve an extraordinary mystery. The books include real codes and real unsolved mysteries. The series launched in 2012  and translation rights have already been sold to seven countries. All six books (published by Hodder Childrens' in the UK) are available now.  The Power of Three, the first book in the series, was long-listed for the Redbridge Children's Book Award 2013. The Knights of Neustria, book three in the series, was nominated  for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2014.


H.L. Dennis worked as a junior school teacher at the largest junior school in Europe, for twenty years. She was Head of English there for six years. She now writes full time and is working on a new series due for release in January 2016.


Sara Grant loves writing for and speaking to children of all ages. She has collaborated on thirteen different series and edited nearly 100 book for kids. Dark Parties, her first young adult novel, won the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Crystal Kite Award for Europe. Her next teen novel – Half Lives – is a story told in two voices from a pre- and post-apocalyptic time. She also writes a funny magical series for young readers, titled Magic Trix. She has given writing workshops in the US, UK and Europe and teaches a master’s class on writing young fiction at the University of Winchester. She co-founded Undiscovered Voices – which has launched the writing careers of twenty-six authors, who now have written more than seventy children’s books.


Patricia Elliott's most recent novel is A Connie Carew Mystery:, The Ship of Spectres , for readers of 9 – 12, set in Edwardian London.

Patricia's last Young Adult thriller was The Devil in the Corner, a dark Victorian murder story.

Patricia's The Ice Boy won the Fidler Award for a first novel and was short-listed for the Bransford Boase Award. Her Gothic fantasy, Murkmere, was long-listed for the Guardian Award and followed by acompanion novel, Ambergate.

Her two acclaimed 'Pimpernelles' novels are romantic thrillers set in the French Revolution.

Patricia has worked in publishing, in a children's book shop in Manhattan and was a publisher's reader while her sons were young. She has a creative writing MA, has run courses at London's Morley College and led writing workshops for children.


Sam Hawksmoor is a former Course Leader for a couple of MA in Creative Writing Programmes in the UK and thinks Writing for Children should be mandatory on all English Degrees and an A Level subject.

His novel, The Repossesion, an intense, edgy thriller for readers who love suspense, action and romance was published  by Hodder Children's Books in March2012   and has beenlong listed for the Amazing Book Awards 2013  and Shortlisted for the Leeds Book Award 2013.

S. I. Martin is novelist and historian, specialising in Black British history and literature. His first children’s novel, Jupiter Williams, was published in 2007 to widespread critical acclaim. A thriller set in London in 1803, it follows the fortunes of young Jupiter who lives at the African Academy in Clapham

The sequel, Jupiter Amidships continues the brothers' adventres  upon the  Royal Navy Frigate, the Boneta...



Beverley Birch

Margaret Bateson-Hill

Judy Allen

J.P. Buxton


H.L. Dennis

Sara Grant

Sam Hawksmoor

Patricia Elliott

Sarah Mussi is a multi-award winning author of children’s and YA fiction. Her first novel The Door of No Return won the Glen Dimplex Children’s Book Award and her second novel The Last of the Warrior Kings was shortlisted for the Lewisham Book Award. Her thriller Siege was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal (2014) and won the BBUKYA award for contemporary YA fiction. Her novel Riot won the LBOY Award 2015. Sarah grew up in the Cotswolds, and graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Winchester and an MA from the Royal College of Art. Sarah teaches English in Lewisham and offers author school visits. She has two novels out this year: Bomb and Here Be Dragons.

Originally from America, Mo O'Hara moved to London because she wanted to live abroad but spoke no foreign langiages. After a brief and unsuccessful stint as a serving wench at the Tower of London, Mo found work as an actress and comedy performer. It was when she toured the UK as as a storyteller that she started to write for kids. Mo's debut novel, My Big Zombie Goldfish was published by Macmiilan in the UK, the USA and germany in2013. Its follow up, My Big Fat Zombie, the Sea-quel came out later that year in the UK and 2014 in the USA. My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish - Fins of Fury and My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish - Any Fin is possible both came out in the UK  in 2014. Mo is currently working on two picture books to be published by Macmillan in 2015 and 2016

Sam Osman was born in London to an English mother and a Sudanese father. She worked for the BBC for many years, before writing her first book Quicksilver, which was nominated for the Waterstone’s Prize and the Branford Boase Award and shortlisted for the Lincolnshire Young People’s Book Award. The sequel, Serpent’s Gold was published in July 2011 and the film rights for the series have been optioned by Gold Circle films in LA.

Her most recent book, Chasing the Dark published by Chicken house, was shortlisted for the Bolton, Hampshire, Wirral and NE  Book Awards  and won the Stockport Mad About Books Award 2014.

Back in London after decades in France, Bridget Marzo is the illustrator-author of over 15 picture books, novelty and doodle books for UK, US and French publishers.  She has had starred reviews in the US for creating visual sub-stories attractive to pre-readers.  Bridget's Book of Nursery Rhymes and her recent successful French nursery collection provide a fresh angle on familiar texts like Frère Jacques.  

From her hippos in the perennial Kiss, Kiss! by Margaret Wild,  to unlikely drivers in her most recent UK book, Kristy Dempsey’s Mini Racer, Bridget is known for her lively, original characters and for her interactive invention.   Shortlisted for the British Book Design Award, The Big Book for Little Hands was one of the first doodle books with stories to complete.  Bridget offers workshops for young children and adults using her English and/or French books.

Karen Owen has written all her life, in different genres and with different names.  Her most recent book, As Quiet As A Mouse, is published by Maverick.  Another of her titles, I Could Be, You Could Be (published by Barefoot), was chosen as a Summer Reading Challenge title in UK libraries.  She hosts storytelling and creative writing workshops in schools, libraries, and festivals.

Lydia Syson has worked with words and stories all her life, in her early career as a radio producer for the BBC World Service, and now as an author of critically acclaimed YA fiction which 'brings history to life'. A World Between Us (Hot Key Books, 2012), a story of politics and passion set during the Spanish Civil War, was Highly Commended by the judges of the Branford Boase Award, and longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, Waterstone's Children's Book Prize and the UKLA Book Award (2014).  Her second novel,That Burning Summer (Hot Key Books, 2013), chosen by The Independent as a Children's Book of the Year, is set on Romney Marsh in Kent during the Battle of Britain.  If you want to know what happened in Paris after the events of Les Mis, look no further than Liberty's Fire, a Telegraph 'Best YA Novel of 2015', which tells the unbelievable story of the 1871 Paris Commune.  'Last Hope is a story for reluctant readers, specially commissioned for the National Literacy Trust's Premier League Reading Stars programme.

Lydia is a Royal Literary Fund writing fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Find out more about her author visits and writing workshops on her website.

Peggy Woodford has written over twenty books, mostly teenage fiction and novels for adults.Her latest novel, for readers of 10 years up is called One Son Is Enough. It is set in 18th century Ottoman Turkey. When twins Osman and Iskander are torn apart by the Sultan’s decree, Osman vows to free his brother from slavery in the royal palace, despite seemingly impossible odds – a huge country to cross, enemies at every turn, and an impregnable palace. Miranda, 11, says in a review ‘I couldn’t put it down.’  Peggy is now working on a new novel about young Italians caught up in the Siege of Constantinople, 1453.

Andrew Weale is the author of five picture books. These include the innovative pop up Spooky Spooky House, overall winner of the 2013 Red House Award. As well as writing, he is a professional actor and singer and has worked with luminaries such as Alec Guinness and Kevin Spacey. He is now a lecturer on children's writing at Winchester University and gives popular visits to many schools and festivals around the country.

S.I. Martin

Mo O'Hara

Sarah Mussi

Sam Osman also writing as Sam Hepburn

Bridget Marzo

Karen Owen

Lydia Syson

Andrew Weale

Peggy Woodford


Chitra Soundar is the author of over 20 books, including A Dollop of Ghee and Pot of Wisdom from Walker Books UK. Her latest picture book, Balu's Basket was published in September 2013 by Tulika Books, India in 5 bi-lingual editions. Her most recent book, Farmer Falgu Goes on a Trip was published in spring 2014.


Chitra also volunteers for literacy mentoring and has started telling stories. She particularly enoys telling folktales from the Indian sub-continent.

Jo Franklin was born reading sometime in the last century. As a child, she loved making up stories but unfortunately no one could read her writing. When Jo learned to touch-type, her life changed forever and she became a professional author.

She mainly writes about geeks, tomboys, aliens and other misfits. She sends them on crazy adventures so that they can discover how brilliant they are.

Help I’m an Alien was published by Troika Books in April 2015 with two further titles in the series to follow. She has books available in Germany, France, USA, Norway, Sweden and Finland so she is well on the way to achieving her dream of world domination.

Jo loves to meet her readers, even if they are not geeks, tomboys or aliens. Go to her website for more details.


Friends of CWISL

Gillian Cross began writing for childrenthirty years ago.She has won the Carnegie Medal (for Wolf), and the Smarties Prize and The Whitbread Children's Novel Award (for The Great Elephant Chase). Four of her Demon Headmaster books have been televised and she travels widely to speak about her work.

 After Tomorrow has been longlisted for the Guardian Book prize and nominated for the Carnegie Medal

Jackie Marchant is the author of the award-winning Dougal Daley series, inspired by her son’s messy bedroom and a random question about a will.  

Dougal Daley - It's NOT my Fault!  published by Wacky Bee Books  

Dougal Daley - Where's my Tarantula?  published by Wacky Bee Books

AWARDS : Hillingdon Primary Book of the Year, Heart of Hawick Book Award, New Horizons Book Award. Red House Pick of the Year

When not writing, Jackie likes to meet her readers by visiting schools, libraries and giving workshops to inspire a love of reading and writing.  She lives in West London and has two grown-up children.





Jackie Marchant   Twitter @JMarchantAuthor

Sophia Bennett

Cate Sampson

Sophia Bennett’s debut novel, Threads, won the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Prize in 2009, was published internationally, and became a fashion trilogy.  Since then, Sophia has written The Look, You Don't Know Me and The Castle - all contemporary teen fiction tackling issues from the modelling industry to cyberbullying and child slavery. Her latest novel, Love Song, is about teenage fandom and making music, and is one of The Telegraph’s YA Books of the Year. "Though she transports her readers into glamorous worlds Sophia Bennett fills her stories with warm, believable characters and always keeps the emphasis on the important things - family, friends, love.” Lovereading4Kids


Sophia regularly visits schools and festivals around the country to talk about books and writing.

Loretta Schauer

After winning the Waterstones ‘Picture This’ new illustrators' competition back in 2011, Loretta Schauer  has illustrated five picture books including ‘Beauty and the Beast’ written by Michael Morpurgo, ‘The Good Little Bad Little Pig’ by Margaret Wise Brown,  and several titles in a new Fairy Tales series with Little Tiger Press. Her latest picture book ‘A Monster’s Moved In!’ written by Timothy Knapman was published in 2015. Loretta is currently writing her own picture book stories and is working on her first graphic novel for children; a film noir style tale which pits the Three Bear's Detective Agency against the notorious Goldilocks Gang. Loretta lives in London, and is ably assisted by her supremely talented studio buddy, Agamemnom the hamster.

Alex Wheatle

At the heart of what inspires Anne-Marie Perks is the love of visual story telling in all it’s forms. She has illustrated several picture books, older fiction and non-fiction books for US and UK publishers. Her first book, The Tortoise Who Bragged by Betsy Franco, Stokes Publishing, US, is still close to her heart. Anne-Marie is the illustrator and co-author of two wordless books for Books Beyond Words Publishing, London, that came out in 2014 and 2015. The books follow a young girl’s struggle to survive a violent father in the first book,When Dad Hurts Mum, and an abusive boyfriend in A Safe Place from Domestic Abuse, (May 2015.)

Diving back into the mythical fairytale stories Anne-Marie loves most, she is currently finishing illustrations for Silkie by Sandra Horn, The Clucket Press, due out later this year. When not teaching concept art and animation at Buckinghamshire New University, she is busy catching up with illustrating her own picture book texts and a graphic novel called, Wolf Girl.  

Anne-Marie Perks

Alex Wheatle is the author eight novels, including his debut Y/A novel, Liccle Bit,

published March 2015.  Crongton Knights will follow in March 2016.


Alex facilitates creative writing workshops and presentations in secondary schools.


Cate Sampson is the author of two Young Adult crime novels, Carnaby (2013) and Splintered Light (2014). Previously, writing as Catherine Sampson, she wrote four crime novels for adults. Before that she was a foreign correspondent based in China and Hong Kong.

Sophie Plowden teaches art and she also writes books about a boy who isn’t very good at drawing. When Jack finds a magic quill pen that makes his drawings real, his life is soon full of unexpected chaos, a pair of frilly knickers and a pet sea lion.

‘Jack Dash and the Magic Feather’ is a comedy adventure for children aged 7+. ‘Jack Dash and the Magic Blizzard’ follows in 2017.

Raised and educated in south London, Elli Woollard lived for many years in Thailand before settling down in London and beginning to write. She is the author of a number of picture books and books for emergent readers, and both The Giant of Jum (Macmillan - illustrated by the multi-award-winning Benji Davies) and Woozy the Wizard: A Broom to go Zoom (Faber - illustrated by Al Murphy) were listed in the ‘Guide to Best Children’s Books’ published to mark Independent Booksellers Week in The Guardian newspaper. She has performed with her books at both the Hay and Edinburgh book festivals, as well as doing many schools events. She has three books due to be published in 2016, and several more due to be published over the coming years. Elli also writes children’s poems, which can be found at


Elli Woollard


Cath Howe

Cath Howe is an author and teacher living in South West London and working with creative writers in schools and other arts events.She has had four books published by Pearson, two stories, “The Curse of the Highwayman” and “The Highwayman’s Revenge” and two sets of plays. She has won prizes for stories, poems and monologues and written a musical. She has led children to victory in local festivals performing her work.

Writer in Residence at Kingston University, she runs events for all ages, from 7 year olds to adults. Her workshops include:

teaching creative writers, running public speaking event, coaching for auditions, developing plays and scripts for festivals,

And more generally, raising self-esteem through writing and performance; in short, everything about being inspired and creative!



Ross Montgomery

Ross Montgomery is an MG and picture book author, specialising in weird and wonderful stories for children. His books include ALEX, THE DOG & THE UNOPENABLE DOOR (2013), which was shortlisted for the Costa Award, and PERIJEE & ME (2016), recently nominated for the Carnegie Award. His books are filled with humour, adventure, thrills, magic and twists, and encourage children to look at the world around them with a sense of wonder. He also has seven years of primary school teaching experience under his belt, and is comfortable talking with all years groups and Key Stages. To check out his books and read extracts, visit his website.

Writer and filmmaker, Paul Bryers, has written and directed many factually-based dramas for television, radio and the theatre.

Writing as Seth Hunter, Paul is the author of a series of historical and naval stories set at the time of the French Revolution, featuring Nathan Peake. The sixth of these, The Spoils of Conquest, is to be published in July 2013.

His first novel for children, Kobal, was published by Hachette Children's Books in 2008 and long-listed for the Waterstone's Book of the Year Award. It was followed by Avatar in 2009 and Abyss in 2010.  Spooked - The Haunting of Kit Connelly was published by Hachette Children's Books in August 2013.

Paul Bryers

Arlene Gormley wrote and illustrated her debut book “2030 Not a Fairy-tale” while living in Cambodia. What was intended to be a handmade gift for a niece at home in Belfast , has now become a great book for parents and educators around the world. The book is currently in print in English, Khmer, Bangla and Mongolian! Arlene moved to London in January 2017 and works for a charity empowering young people to take action based on the UN Global Goals.