Barry Waldo

Barry Brandon started telling stories to his pets at a young age in rural Arkansas. He found a few people to listen to them when he got hired at Chuck E. Cheese to host birthday parties and play video games. After a few years counting beans, he wrote a short story and convinced some smart people to let him attend The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he tested his public-school upbringing against his ivy league peers. It was there he discovered everyone wears their underwear the exact same way and earned an MBA.

Sunshine and surfboards sounded great, so Barry headed west, where he met Mickey Mouse. At The Walt Disney Company, he traveled the world marketing all things Winnie the Pooh

Toy land came a’ calling, and when he answered, it was Barbie inviting him to help produce her entertainment career. Mattel asked if he could create something… anything… from a sketch of three monsters. He crafted a freaky-just-got-fabulous world and Monster High was born. He met will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas while looking for a theme song for Monster High; soon he was working with the Beats master himself as his Chief Marketing Officer.

Addicted to creating stories with quirky characters, Barry and his partners created Star Darlings. The Walt Disney Company liked it so much they acquired it in 2015.

His spouse then screwed everything up by designing a television series called Outlander. Off they went to live in Scotland where he joined forces with talented filmmakers obsessed with zombies and his YA novel Anna and the Apocalypse was unborn.   

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Highlights

Monster High – 2010

Star Darlings – 2015

Anna and the Apocalypse – 2018

Rachel Hurd-Wood

Rachel Hurd-Wood is a writer and actress with twenty years of experience in film and TV. Her credits include Peter Pan (2003), Perfume: Story of a Murderer (2005), Dorian Gray (2009) and more recently, BBC’s Clique (2018). She’s worked successfully as a screenwriter, with TV scripts currently in development with Balloon and Hat Trick Productions respectively (‘Champion The Hobby Horse’ & ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’). She has worked on script development and creative consulting for Goldfinch Studios and has had prose and poetry published in The London Magazine.

Since becoming a mother, Rachel has been creating and developing children’s stories. Often surrounded by young children, she is perfectly placed to know what appeals to them. Her flair for narrative and excellent instinct for what captures children’s imagination brings a fresh, young and on-the-pulse voice to her writing. Her style leans towards classic sensibilities with a contemporary tone and feeling. She is passionate about inclusivity and equality, with particular interest in mental health and wellbeing.

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Highlights

TV Credits:

Peter Pan (2003)

Perfume: Story of a Murderer (2005)

Dorian Gray (2009)

BBC’s Clique (2018)

Paul Kerensa

A British Comedy Award-winning writer for BBC1’s Miranda, Paul has written for some of TV’s biggest shows, including TFI Friday, The Royal Variety Performance, Top Gear, and The BBC Music Awards. He’s the only writer to have co-written all ten seasons of Lee Mack’s Not Going Out. Winner of the BBC Radio Entertainment Contract Writer Titheridge Prize, his radio credits include The Now Show, The News Quiz, and Dead Ringers.

Paul created and wrote 10 episodes of Granny Anne’s Joke World, a children’s show for CBeebies Radio starring Maureen Lipman. He topped the Audible charts with his self-written/-presented 2019 Audible Original Podcast, Christmas: What The Falalala. He also teaches comedy writing for BBC Writer’s Room and London Screenwriter’s Festival.

As a stand-up comic, Paul won the ITV Take the Mike Award in 2002 and has been described as “Ingenious” by the Evening Standard. He’s supported Milton Jones on tour, and is one of the few to perform stand-up at The Comedy Store and several cathedrals.

Paul broadcasts ‘Pause For Thought’ slots on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show, and regularly hosts on BBC Sussex/BBC Surrey. He’s recently written and staged his third play, Three Wise Men, and is a columnist for various publications. Books include So a Comedian Walks into a Church (one of The Independent’s top comedy books of the year), a range of children’s books, and Amazon Top 100 bestseller Hark! The Biography of Christmas.

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Highlights

Published Books

2020 – Judge Deb & The Battle of the Bands – SPCK
2019 – Joe’s Bros & The Bus That Goes – SPCK
2018 – What ARE They Doing Down There? – BRF
2018 – Noah’s Car Park Ark – SPCK
2018 – Moses & The Exodus Express – SPCK
2017 – Hark! The Biography of Christmas – Lion Books
2014 – Genesis: The Bibluffer’s Guide – DLT
2014 – A Beautiful Friendship: A Lent Course Based on Casablanca – DLT
2013 – So a Comedian Walks Into a Church – DLT

TV Shows

2007-ongoing- Not Going Out, BBC1/Avalon (co-writer) – RTS Award winner, Best Sitcom
2020-ongoing- Andy and The Band, CBBC/Three Arrows Media (writer)
2020 – Miranda: My Such Fun Celebration, BBC1/Monkey Kingdom (writer)
2017 – The Royal Variety Performance, ITV (writer)
2016 – Top Gear, BBC1 (writer)
2016 – BBC Music Awards, BBC1 (writer)
2016 – Buble at the BBC, BBC1 (writer)
2016 – Joanna Lumley sitcom pilot, Sky1/Yalli (writer)
2016 – The Landlord (Romesh Ranganathan sitcom pilot), Sky1/What Larks (script editor)
2015 – TFI Friday, Channel 4/Zimple Productions (programme associate)
2008-2014 – Miranda, BBC1 (co-writer) – British Comedy Award winner, Best New Comedy

Sally Anne Garland

Sally Anne Garland loved drawing and stories from a very early age. After studying illustration at Edinburgh College Of Art she worked for many years as an in-house Designer/ Illustrator for a number of retail suppliers, before becoming a full-time freelance Children’s Illustrator with Advocate Art Ltd in 2010.

Having successfully had her first author/illustrator picture books, Share and Don’t Speak With Your Mouth Full published with Little Tiger Press; she then went on to work closely with Caroline to have a further four Authored/Illustrated picture books published through Collaborate Agency.

She now currently lives in Glasgow with her partner and son.

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Highlights

2013 Share – Little Tiger Press
2014 Don’t Squeak With Your Mouth Full – Ciranda Cultural
2015 Tig And Tog, The Discovery – Top That Publishing
2020 Bear Was There – New Frontier Publishing
2020 The Brave Little Pirate – New Frontier Publishing
2021 The Little Pirate Queen – New Frontier Publishing
2021 Nook – Sunbird Books

Julia Seal

Julia knew from the age of five what she wanted to do for a living—draw pictures! After graduating with a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration and then working in the greeting card industry (and getting covered in glitter every day!) she finally moved onto her dream job, illustrating children’s books. She found that each of her pictures had a story behind it so she started writing them down. Her first authored book, “The Sketchbook” was published by Peter Pauper Press in March 2019.

She lives in a small village in England with her husband and two children, who provide plenty of inspiration!

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Highlights

2021 Illustrated Flashlight Night by Elisabeth Hasselbeck – Waterbrook
2020 Superheroes – Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
2020 Alone Together – Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
2019 The Sketchbook – Peter Pauper

Phil Heckels

Hercule Van Wolfwinkle is the inimitable genius behind ‘Portraits By Hercule’ a viral fundraising campaign which has raised over £100,000 for charity, and seen requests for pet portraits flooding into Hercule’s inbox in their tens of thousands from all over the globe. 

Hercule’s self-proclaimed ‘ultra-realistic’ style, coupled with his hilarious animal biographies and fake customer reviews have led to a huge social media following and worldwide media coverage.

In 2020 he was recognised by the Prime Minister with a Points of Light Award and has been named by The Big Issue as one of their 100 Change Makers for 2021 (A list of innovators, creators and radical thinkers that we believe will be doing remarkable things to make the world a better place for others). Hercule’s work has been exhibited publicly and his first book Rubbish Pet Portraits was a Sunday Times Best Seller. 

Away from the fundraising, the drawing and writing, Hercule loves spending time with his wife and son and the family dog, Narla. 

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Highlights

Rubbish Pet Portraits published by Harper Collins

Accolades: 

The Prime Ministers Point of Light Award
Sunday Times Bestseller
No. 1 Amazon bestseller

Radio:

BBC Radio Sussex
BBC Radio 5 Live
Heart FM
BBC Radio 2

News Papers Featured Stories:

The Times
The Independant
The Daily Mail
The Sunday Mirror
The Metro
The Argus
The Worthing Herald

Magazines:

The Big Issue (Cover and feature spread)
My Dog Magazine
People’s Friend
Pick me up

TV:

Steph’s Packed Lunch Channel 4
This Morning ITV
BBC Breakfast
BBC South Today
ITV Meridian News
Channel 5 News
CBS News America

Louise Forshaw

Louise is an Illustrator and Author living in the North East. She works from home in a small studio being supervised by 3 very noisy and naughty Jack Russell Terriers. After graduating from Newcastle College with a BA Hons in illustration and Animation, she turned her attention to children’s books. 

To date, she has illustrated over 70 books.

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Highlights

2022 Dinosaur Club Series – DK Books
2021 Solve Your Own Mystery Series – Little Tiger
2019 Find Out About Series – Pat-a-Cake Books
2016  Busy Book Series – Campbell Books
2022 Major and Mynah- Firefly Press
2021 Clara Claus Saves Christmas – Tiny Tree Books
2021 Mix Up Monday – Maverick Arts Publishing Ltd
2020 Milo Goes Bananas – Imagine That Publishing Ltd
2019 Catch That Cough – Tiny Tree Books

Awards

Find Out About Series – Progressive Preschool Finalist 2019

Lucy Barnard

Originally from Cheltenham, Lucy studied illustration in Exeter before moving to London to work in publishing. After joining Advocate Art as a freelance artist and illustrating many books for other authors, Lucy fulfilled her dream of writing her own children’s book in 2013 with Squirrel’s Busy Day. Since then, she has written and illustrated many other stories and has also written for other illustrators. Lucy works from her home studio in Manchester, her lovely rescue dog, Dina, always at her feet. 

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Highlights

2013 Squirrel’s Busy Day – QED Publishing
2014 My Princess Adventure – Milly&Flynn
2014 My Astronaut Adventure – Milly&Flynn
2014 My Zookeeper Adventure – Milly&Flynn
2015 My Pirate Adventure – Milly&Flynn
2016 Be Careful Barney! – QED Publishing
2017 Archie’s Bag of Treasures – QED Publishing
2017 I’m Bigger Than You – QED Publishing
2018 Five Minute Tales – Igloo Books
2018 It Wasn’t Me! – Igloo Books
2018 Bossy Little Monkey – Ciranda Cultural
2020 Ruby & Graham – New Frontier
2020 Ocean Adventure – Triciclio
2020 Holly’s Christmas Adventure – Triciclio
2020 Run, Rabbits, Run! – Ciranda Cultural
2020 Hurry Home, Harriet – QED Publishing

Sue Downing

Sue Downing lives and works in a little Eco-house in Newcastle upon Tyne with her husband, two children and a one-eyed cat called Martha. Since leaving Edinburgh College of art in the late 1990’s, Sue has worked in-house, on a freelance basis, as a book illustrator, product/licensed character developer, a designer/maker for jewellery, greetings cards and wrapping paper. Her inspirations are many – from knitted toys, Japanese design, and Scandinavian Chic to Modernism, Dick Bruna and Info graphics. Sue is drawn to anything that is quirky, humorous and minimal in design, which is reflected in her illustrations.

Sue is the author and illustrator of ‘Circus Mum’ a humorous and clever book highlighting how much each mum has to juggle every day!

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Highlights

2019 Circus Mum – Sellers Production

2016 Look, Look! Baby Animal Friends – Bloomsbury

2016 Cheap, Cheap! Baby Animal Friends – Bloomsbury

We Are Friends: In The Sky – DK Books

We Are Friends: At Home – DK Books

We Are Friends: In The Forest – DK Books

We Are Friends: Under The Sea – DK Books

Dubravka Kolanovic

Dubravka studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design in the USA and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, Croatia, where she got a degree in painting. She published her first book, ‘A Special Day’, in the USA at the age of eighteen. Since then, Dubravka has devoted herself to children’s book illustration. She is very proud of her long-standing collaboration with UNICEF, for which she’s designed more than 80 cards and posters. Dubravka’s work was recognised by a prize from the Oshima Museum of Children’s Picture Books in Japan. Her illustration work was printed and awarded by 3×3 – a magazine of contemporary illustrations. Her books have featured on CBeebies Bedtime Hour. All her travels to incredible places such as the Amazon rainforest, African Savannah, Borneo, the Galapagos Islands, remote Pacific coral reefs, the Arctic and Antarctica are a constant source of inspiration for her. For years, she has volunteered in projects for the protection of the environment and animals.

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Highlights

2017 – There’s No Place Like Home – Quarto Publishing
2018 – Kindness is Magic – Quarto Publishing
2018 – True Friends – Quarto Publishing
2022 – Not so Scary Story – DK Publishing

Jana Novotny Hunter

Jana Novotny Hunter was born in Czechoslovakia and grew up in England. A graduate of Hornsey College of Art, she spent many years in America where she worked as a Textile Designer, Teacher, Writer and Mum. Jana has written over fifty books for children, including the prize-winning story of a deaf girl’s struggle to become oral, ‘Read My Lips’. Now and author and an illustrator, Jana enjoys portraying strong characters who overcome obstacles with humour and imagination. Stories that youngsters can relate to are key to her writing. As a Conference Speaker and Lecturer, Jana focuses on the relationship between image and text in picture books, an expertise that has led to becoming an editor as well as a reviewer.

At home with kids, whatever their age, Jana loves to visit schools and libraries or run writing workshops. Her lively presentations are popular with both teachers and pupils, offering the kind of fun in learning that enhances and supports the National Curriculum. Usually found in her studio, where her Terrier is lulled to sleep by the clatter of the keyboard, Jana lives in a converted chapel in the Suffolk countryside with a man, dog and a piano, There, she is surrounded by sheep, cows and wild deer – a perfect place to write and draw.

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Highlights

My Tail’s Not Tired
A Bear Hug at Bedtime
Circus Girl
When Daddy’s Truck Picks me Up
I Have Feelings!
I Can Do it!
Little Ones Do!
Its a Terrible Age To Be
Luna the Little Ghost
Get Up, Ben!
The Master of Miss Tree
The Rainmakers Spell
Hector the Spectre
Pet Detectives
It Belongs to Us
The Big Rock Takeover
Carnival Time
The Monster Trail
Back and Spin
Sam and the Dragon
Sam and the Detective
Tortoise Trouble
The Ball Burglary
Star Boy’s Surprise
Max’s Magical Day
Sleepover Club
Read my Lips
Groovy Chicks Diaries in the Wild
Circus Crazy
Top DJ
Hollywood Star
Baby’s Favourites
Toddles World

Clare Victoria Wilson

Clare’s imagination and passion for creating was strongly influenced by growing up in the countryside surrounded by nature. If she wasn’t drawing or painting she would be making something.

She trained at UWE Bristol and then Glyndŵr University in Illustration for Children’s Publishing graduating in 2004. The next 10 years were spent in the greeting card/gift industry; designing, commissioning and art directing artists in London.

In 2014 she became a freelance illustrator/designer and moved into her own studio space at Hackney Downs Studios, London, giving Clare the opportunity to focus on more creative projects, including greeting cards, wall stickers, homewares and children’s illustration. 

Clare now lives in North Somerset with her family who are a never ending source of inspiration!!

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Highlights

2017 Stencil Fun Series (Animals, Shapes and Numbers) –  Igloo books
2018 My First Book of Magnets – Animal Magnets – Little Tiger Kids
2019 My First Book of Magnets – Farm Magnets – Little Tiger Kids
2019 My First Book of Magnets – Dinosaur Magnets – Little Tiger Kids
2019 Get Set Go – Mathematics Numbers 11-20 – Miles Kelly
2020 RHS How does a frog grow? – Dorling Kindersley

Simon Abbott

Artist and author Simon Abbott has been illustrating and writing children’s books, games and stationery for over 15 years.

He specialises in bold colours and delightful characters of all kinds and describes his work as fun, fresh and happy.

His easy style has instant appeal and helps to communicate complex ideas and concepts in a flash. Whether he is drawing playground fun, astronauts, dinosaurs or monkeys swinging through trees, his art is always engaging and is guaranteed to make children smile.

Simon lives and works in Suffolk, UK, with his partner, their three boys and two cats called Brian and Sheila. When he hasn’t got a pen or paintbrush in his hand, he enjoys singing in the ‘Suffolk Soul Singers’, camping at music festivals, running and chocolate ice-cream.

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Highlights

100 Questions about –Peter Pauper
Happy Street Series – Egmont

Awards

Happy Street Series – Silver Winner Practical Pre-School Awards
Look & Feel Series – Shortlisted for The Children, Baby and Toddler Award
100 Questions – Shortlisted for The Buyer’s Choice Award

Lou Treleaven

Lou Treleaven started writing just as soon as she could dictate words to her mum, and was soon writing her own stories, plays and poems, all of which she still has filling up a big cupboard.  After being forced to grow up, writing many more books and filling up another cupboard or two, her first picture book was published in 2016.  Her second picture book, The Snowflake Mistake, was read on CBeebies Bedtime by Suranne Jones, and she is now the author of over 20 published children’s books.  Lou also has plays published with Lazy Bee Scripts, has written for Writing Magazine and is the author of the Social Media for Writers chapter in the Handbook of Creative Writing (2nd ed).  She lives in a village in Bedfordshire with her husband and grown up children and likes reading, art, gaming and her cat Badger.

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Highlights

2021 The Christmas Crumb , Maverick Arts Publishing
2020 Turns Out I’m an Evil Alien Emperor, Maverick Arts Publishing
2020 The Knight Who Might, Maverick Arts Publishing
2019 Not Yet a Yeti, Maverick Arts Publishing
2019 Teachers on Pluto, Maverick Arts Publishing
2019 Turns Out I’m an Alien, Maverick Arts Publishing
2019 The Pirate Who Lost His Name, Maverick Arts Publishing
2018 Homework on Pluto, Maverick Arts Publishing
2017 The Snugglewump, Maverick Arts Publishing
2017 Daddy and I, Maverick Arts Publishing
2016 Professor McQuark and the Oojamaflip, Maverick Arts Publishing
2016 The Snowflake Mistake, Maverick Arts Publishing
2016 Letter to Pluto, Maverick Arts Publishing

Awards

2013 Winner Best Script, Pint Sized Plays
2013 Winner Funny Fiction 12+, Winchester Writers’ Conference

Stephanie Ward

Stephanie spent many years writing press releases and technical papers before realising it was much more fun to make up her own stories. She enjoys writing children’s books and poems where the perspective is flipped around and adds a dash of humour whenever appropriate (and even when it’s inappropriate). Her stories and poems have been awarded various prizes around the world, most recently winning the Catherine Fenerty Humour Prize. 

Stephanie is the author of picture books ‘Arabella and the Magic Pencil’ and ‘Allen the Alien’ and is a book reviewer for Armadillo Magazine. Too old to blame it on youth, she still hasn’t settled down and has visited all seven continents, lived in four countries and become a citizen of three. At present, she can be found in London with her husband and young son.

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Highlights

 

Winner of Catherine Fenerty Humour Prize
Arabella and the Magic Pencil – September 2019
Allen the Alien – June 2022

 

Garry Dix

GR Dix lives an exciting double life as both a scientific consultant and an author of children’s books.

His passion for writing was awakened through exploring children’s books – both classic and new – with his three grandchildren.

GR strongly believes in the importance of chapter books for children, both for eager younger readers and for encouraging reluctant older readers. He enjoys school visits, which always provide a stimulating experience for the children, and has built up a supportive network of teachers and other authors.

In his day job, GR provides chemical compliance services to companies on a freelance basis, specialising in chemical classification and safety information and assessments. If you look closely some of these scientific methods and concepts may sneak into his writing.

GR lives with his wife in the Midlands, UK, and is a proud member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Humanists UK and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSc).

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Highlights

Member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
2017 – Brian Brackbrick and the Hazard of Harry Hatman
2018 – Brian Brackbrick and the Mystery of Mrs Blumenhole
2019 Brian Brackbrick and the Scowl of the Scorpion
2020 Brian Brackbrick and the Melody of Morris Hawkwind

Thea Hay

Thea Hay is a London based fiction and non-fiction author and editor of Children’s books. Her love of books has taken over her whole life and has a room full of books from floor to ceiling, preferring the ‘real thing’ over an electronic version. She loves living in London and during the rare times she is not writing, she enjoys walks with her husband, their two children and small dog, Harvey!

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Highlights

Published Work

Very Own Nursery Rhymes – Publisher: I See Me

Available Rights

Unicronies

Sue Lancaster

Sue lives in London with her husband and two daughters. She has been a stay-at-home mum ever since having children, but before that worked in TV as a Production Manager and got a degree in Media Studies at the University of East London. She grew up in Clacton on the coast of Essex and spent much of her childhood in or beside the sea, playing with her three cats, or being tormented by her two older brothers.

Sue has always enjoyed writing and when she was young, she wrote lots of poems and won a few poetry competitions. As an adult (before turning her hand to picture books), Sue has completed a creative writing evening course, kept two blogs and written articles for a couple of review websites.

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Highlights

First place in the 2020 Writers’ Weekend Picture Book Competition
Fourth overall in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Holiday Contest 2019
Long-listed for 2019’s Write Mentor Children’s Novel Awards

Sean Dooley

Sean Dooley is a secondary school English teacher with a passion for writing stories for young people. After graduating from Exeter University, he completed a PGCE in English and Drama before beginning his teaching career in Cambridge. Here his commitment to encouraging young people to read, write and think creatively led to a two-year Masters degree in Arts, Culture and Education at Cambridge University.

Sean has written two plays which are published by LazyBeeScripts and have been performed in the UK, America, Australia and New Zealand. His novel ‘1666’ won the WriteMentor Children’s Novel Award 2021 and was shortlisted in the Bath Children’s Novel Award 2019.

Having recently spent two years teaching in Shanghai, Sean currently lives in Cambridge with his wife and son who are both very tolerant of his love of Lego. He is a member of the Cambridge branch of the National Writing Project and in his spare time he enjoys slack-lining, martial arts and unicycling.

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Highlights

Winner of WriteMentor Children’s Novel Award, 2021
Shortlisted in Bath Children’s Novel Award 2019
Longlisted in Flash500 Novel Opening 2019
‘Voxmort: The Stone of Death’ – Longlisted in Bath Children’s Novel Award 2017.
Two plays published by LazyBeeScripts called “The Goodbridge Million” (2008) and “Local News” (2007).

Kate Aasa

Kate Aasa and is a debut writer based in London. 

She has always loved writing and wrote her first poem when she was 7. Since then she has always been the go-to poem / speech / song writer for family and friends.  Kate has a degree in English Literature and a Masters in Digital Communications. When she is not writing, Kate is a Marketing and Communications consultant. This work allows her to be creative and meet a lot of new people. Two things she adores.

Since having children, Kate has discovered a passion for writing children’s stories. She writes stories predominantly in rhyme for her two sons who are 5 and 7. Kate hopes that they will one day be enjoyed by a wider audience. 

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Highlights

Member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators