Meet The Team

As we do not (yet?) have an Aaron Aaberg on the team, our alphabetical list of contributors starts with:

Eve Ainsworth

Sarah Baker

Sarah Baker writes MG and is a freelance features writer, specialising in vintage and lifestyle. She has a monthly column in Vintage Life Magazines and writes guest features for many online publications and blogs. Sarah’s first book, Angela’s Ghost, is a middle-grade time slip tale. She’s represented by Bryony Woods of DKW Literary Agency.

Allan Boroughs

Allan Boroughs is a writer and a traveller with a passion for big adventure stories “in which a lot of stuff happens”.  His first novel, Ironheart, was inspired by his travels in Siberia and  tells the story of a young girl who goes in search of her missing father and makes friends with a military android.  

As well as journeying to Siberia Allan’s travels have taken him to Mongolia, China and, most recently to the Antarctic.  For his next book, he is planning a trip to the jungles of Venezuela. 

Matt Brown

Sarah Bryars

Sarah is a library supervisor and is obsessed with YA and MG fiction.  She shares her house with her partner and a stupid amount of animals. Seriously, if animal fur is not for you then their house probably isn't safe. She loves to write and hopes to be published one day. A self-confessed hermit, she can often be found cocooned in the lounge pretending not to be home. You can read her personal blog at

C.J. Busby

C. J. Busby writes fantasy adventures for 7-12. Her first series, starting with Frogspell, followed the adventures of would-be wizard, Max Pendragon, and his sister Olivia as they helped save King Arthur from the nasty plots of Lady Morgana le Fay. Her new trilogy, starting with Deep Amber, is a multiple worlds adventure with powerful magic jewels creating unexpected rifts between the worlds and a desperate race to save them all from being destroyed.


Elen writes with her dog, Biff, as a permanent shadow wondering whether it's time to stop and go to the park instead. The dog is a bad influence. Despite the subversive canine efforts, Elen has written five stand-alone novels for children aged 7+, and is currently working on her first series, the Marsh Road Mysteries.

Sarwat Chadda

Helen Clark Jones

Helen studied Fine Art in Brighton, where she mainly made films and books, and began her career as an Art Director in film and TV. She moved into the world of commercial design in the mistaken belief that she wouldn’t have to travel so much, but ended up wrangling the design for many weird and wonderful brands from Indian beer and Dutch buses to Russian shampoo. She now lives in the middle of nowhere, runs a small design consultancy and is finding her way back to the books by writing MG fiction.


Sophie Cleverly

Sophie Cleverly was born in Bath in 1989. She studied for a BA in Creative Writing and an MA in Writing For Young People. Book one of her Scarlet and Ivy series will be published by HarperCollins in 2015.

Aside from writing, she can often be found blogging about symphonic metal, watching fantastical TV and struggling to find her way out of her ever-increasing pile of books.

Website:  Twitter: @hapfairy

Lucy Coats

Lucy has written well over 30 books (for all ages from two to teen), and has also worked as an editor, journalist and bookseller. She loves all things mythological, and has just published  the first two titles of her middle-grade Beasts of Olympus series (for 8-10 year-olds), about a boy who looks after all the immortal animals for the Greek gods. Lucy's first UKYA novel, Cleo, a historical fantasy about the teenage Cleopatra, is coming in May 2015. Lucy lives with her husband and three very rowdy dogs in a house overflowing with about ten thousand books. 


Kirsty Connor

Kirsty runs The Overflowing Library book blog which she set up in 2010 to keep track of the all the books she read. She is also a member of the Bookish Brits YouTube channel. She loves UKYA focusing particularly on contemporary and historical fiction but started recently to review MG grade titles after discovering how awesome they are. If not reading she is usually found marking huge piles of essays written by the kids she teaches, searching through ebay for bargains or binge watching DVD box sets.

Tamsin Cooke

Tamsin Cooke writes whenever she isn’t looking after her adrenalin-junkie children, or walking her soppy dog. She adores Middle Grade fiction because it’s full of adventure, humour and quirky characters. The stories are always wound up at the end with no dangling threads. Tamsin is represented by Anne Clark Literary Agency. OUP are publishing her debut: The Scarlet Files: Cat Burglar.

Joe Craig

Award-winning author Joe Craig writes novels and movies. Thanks to his bestselling Jimmy Coates thrillers he is now, according the The Times, "one of the best spy kids authors... outstanding at both writing and plotting" alongside Anthony Horowitz, Charlie Higson and Robert Muchamore. 

When he started, he didn’t realise he was writing MG fiction. He just had ideas that he wanted to turn into great stories. Since then he’s discovered that in MG fiction a writer can get away with depth, darkness, excitement, humour and intrigue that you’d never get away with anywhere else.

He lives in London with his wife (broadcaster & adventurer Mary-Ann Ochota), his dog (Harpo the labradonkey) and his dwarf crocodile (Professor Sven). On twitter, facebook and instagram, he’s @joecraiguk.

Miriam Craig

Miriam Craig writes funny middle grade fiction and hosts the popular Twitter chat about books for this age group, #ukmgchat. She also reads manuscripts for a literary agency specialising in children's fiction. She loves writing middle grade humour because it gives her the freedom to be ridiculous. She tweets about writing and salted caramels as @miriamhcraig.

Stacey Croft

Stacey blogs about all kinds of books over at Pretty Books on WordPress and Tumblr, and works in children’s publishing. She loves taking photographs of books, exploring London and visiting new bookshops and coffee shops. She believes that you're never too old for children's books and particularly enjoys contemporary stories and mysteries.

Vivienne Dacosta

Vivienne runs the book blog, but can often be found loitering on Twitter as @serendipity_viv. When she isn't reading and blogging, she is busily writing and editing in a vain attempt to finally reach her dream of publication. She is also a member of SCBWI. 

Jenny Davies

Susie Day

Susie Day grew up by the seaside in Penarth, Wales, with a lisp and a really unfortunate choice of first name. She now lives Oxford in an international boarding school, sharing her home with 12 teenage boys. (Yes, it does smell of feet.) As well as books for young adults, she writes middle grade about families, friendship, feelings and funny stuff.

Jim Dean

Jim is a college lecturer, mainly because there are a distressing lack of opportunities to earn money by tweeting about books. He runs more blogs than he can name off the top of his head, although that's mainly because he has a terrible memory rather than there being all that many. His only blog which is updated with any regularity can be found at and he can be found on Twitter at @yayeahyeah fairly often. 

Helen Dennis

Helen's pen name is HL Dennis. She is the writer of Secret Breakers - a series of modern adventure books for readers aged 8+ published by Hodder Children's Books. The six books draw on real code-cracking puzzles and real unsolved mysteries from history. The plot follows a team of young code-crackers who are chosen to join a secret team based at Bletchley Park Mansion (the UK's code-cracking centre in World War Two). Their mission is to decipher a real 500 year old manuscript - The Voynich Manuscript - which was discovered hidden in a castle in 1912. Their quest takes them across the globe, connecting other unsolved codes and puzzles, whilst a sinister organisation tries to prevent them unlocking the truth!

Helen was a school teacher for 22 years and has only just given up the role of Head of Literacy in a Junior School in East Sussex, to focus on her writing. All six books in the series are out now...and she is working on a new four book project due to launch in January 2016. She lives in Eastbourne with her husband, daughter and the laziest (but cutest) dog in the world!

Website:  Twitter:@HLDennisauthor

Carol Dixon-Smith

Born in Northern Ireland at a time when leprechauns still roamed freely, a bibliophilic life was inevitable; Carol's first word was 'book'.  Her childhood was spent haunting the local library for hours, reading by torchlight under the blankets, and wishing she could go to Malory Towers. Punishment was (is) taking her books away.

She taught at secondary level, is a local historian, has worked as a Senior Children's Bookseller for the past 15 years, and founded the Thames Valley History Festival.

One day she'll finish writing that book, but in the meantime, anyone know where Carol can get a time-turner? There are so many books & so little time.

Her favourite literary heroines include Jo March (Little Women), Elizabeth Bennet (Pride & Prejudice), and Jean Paget (A Town Like Alice), and she believes "A room without books is like a body without a soul".

Abi Elphinstone

Abi Elphinstone grew up in Scotland where she spent most of her childhood building dens, hiding in tree houses and running wild across highland glens. She loves middle-grade books with pace, feisty heroines, child-animal bonds, remote settings and a little bit of magic. If she had a daemon it would be a wildcat with attitude and her claim to fame is that she once beat middle-grade author, Piers Torday, in an arm wrestle. You can find out more about Abi's debut, THE DREAMSNATCHER on and she blogs about other middle-grade books at

Jonathan Eyers

Jonathan Eyers is the author of "The Thieves of Pudding Lane" (Bloomsbury) and several non-fiction books for children and adults. He works as an assistant editor for a major independent publisher.

Kieran Fanning

Kieran Fanning is a primary school teacher in Ireland.  He has written interactive puzzle adventures and textbooks for children.  His first novel, The Black Lotus will be published by Chicken House in August 2015.  He can be found on Twitter and at

Claire Fayers

A former library assistant, Claire spends her days writing middle-grade fantasy adventures full of pirates, ghosts, penguins and anything else that seems fun at the time.  Her first novel, following the adventures of the pirate ship Onion, will be published by Macmillan in 2016, with at least two more books to follow. Claire is represented by Gemma Cooper of the Bent Agency.

Ruth Fitzgerald

Ruth Fitzgerald was born in Bridgend, South Wales. She grew up in a big, busy family with far too many brothers. When she was six years old she wrote her first story, ‘Mitzi the Mole Gets Married’ and immediately announced she wanted to be a writer. Her teacher immediately advised her that writing was a hobby and she needed to get a proper job. Since then she has tried twenty-three proper jobs, including teaching English in Japan, being a social worker and selling candles on a market stall before deciding she really does want to be a writer.  She has learned a lot from these experiences, mainly never to trust a teacher. Ruth lives in Suffolk with her partner and their three children, five chickens and very tiny dog. Her family are all very supportive of her writing, although the chickens don’t say a lot.

Tatum Flynn

Tatum Flynn lives by the sea in England with a cat called Friday and too many hats. She has a soft spot for the word ‘ramshackle’, and a vagabond past which involves piloting lifeboats in Venezuela, playing poker in Las Vegas, shooting rapids in the Grand Canyon and almost falling out of a plane over Scotland. Her debut MG fantasy, THE D’EVIL DIARIES, will be out from Orchard/Hachette Kids on the 2nd April 2015, with a sequel, Hell's Belles, to follow January 2016. Find her on Tumblr (sometimes) and Twitter (far too often).

Tizzie Frankish

By day Tizzie is a mum of two boys and a part time college lecturer and by night she creates comical chaos in her middle grade stories. Tizzie loves writing and reading MG as it captures the spirit and imagination of children right before they hurtle headlong into the ‘Age of Not Believing’ (cue song from Bedknobs and Broomsticks), where their belief in magic fades and self-doubt creeps in. She may be fully grown but she has never stopped believing! Tizzie is represented by Madeleine Milburn  and has recently completed her first novel Bug Boy Beetle Brain.

Lorraine Gregory

Lorraine spends most of her time reading (anything she can) and writing (MG fantasy adventure) whilst two cats try and distract her by their sheer fluffiness. She occasionally pays attention  to her wonderful family but usually with the distracted air and  far away look of someone with their head quite firmly in another world.

Her claim to fame is her Austrian mother being an extra in The Sound Of Music and more recently running the very popular twitter extravaganza that is  #ukmgchat

Lorraine is represented by Kate Shaw from the Viney Agency.

Rachel Hamilton

Rachel Hamilton, is the author of The Case of the Exploding Brains and The Case of the Exploding Loo, published by Simon & Schuster. Rachel studied at Oxford and Cambridge and has put her education to good use by working in an ad agency, a comprehensive school, a building site and a men’s prison. Her favourite books are either kids’ books (Matilda, His Dark Materials and everything by Diana Wynne Jones) or big kids’ books (The Princess Bride, The Player of Games and everything by Neil Gaiman) and she loves writing for 7 to 13 year-olds. Rachel enjoys making people laugh, especially when it’s intentional rather than accidental.

Paula Harrison

Paula writes stories set in the real world with a fantasy twist. The first book in her series about dark faeries, RED MOON RISING, will be published in April 2015 by Nosy Crow. The second book in the series, DARK TREE SHINING, follows in October 2015. Paula loves ideas with big scope, fairy tale ingredients, and plenty of suspense. She grew up on a diet of Susan Cooper, Alan Garner and E.Nesbit. She believes there's nothing more relaxing than finishing off the day by burying your nose in a book.

Darren Hartwell

Darren is an Assistant Headteacher and has been blogging at The Book Zone (For Boys) since October 2009. In what little spare time he has left he is trying to write middle grade fiction but suffers from a chronic case of too many ideas and not enough time or talent. He reads to escape from the realities of his every day hectic life, and middle grade fiction is perfect for this. He is an unashamed lover of happy endings.

Jake Hayes

Jake has been blogging about brilliant children's books since he began writing his own in 2012 -  htttp:// He mainly writes about young fiction (MG) and picture books, with a particular focus on illustrated stories and a burgeoning obsession with Christmas books. By day he works in TV, making arts and music documentaries. He has been involved in series including the BBC's Big Read and the BBC Four children's literature history Picture Book. It's an ongoing mission of his to get a regular children's book show on the BBC.

Laura Heath

Laura is more commonly known online as Sisterspooky. She is a big kid at heart and a big lover of Mid-Grade books; old and new! Laura blogs about YA and MG books over at

Fleur Hitchcock

Middle grade happened to me without my even knowing it existed.  It was the time in my childhood when I read the most, immersing myself in Joan Aiken and Nina Bawden, and the time in my children’s lives when I rediscovered children’s fiction – plummeting head first into the Mortal Engines series and biting my nails through Artemis Fowl.  So when it came to my turn, it’s where I found I fitted best.  Between child rearing and gardening, I’ve found time to write sci fi for 8 year olds, and adventure stories for 11 year olds for both Hot Key Books/Piccadilly Press & Nosy Crow.

Genevieve Holpepper

Genevieve Holpepper- yes, it's a pseudonym - is a primary school teacher (hence the pseudonym) from Liverpool who reads avidly, constantly and eclectically.  She loves a whole range of types of books - YA, classics, horror, subversive fiction - but reads a lot of Middle Grade, partly for fun and partly to support her work in school.  She believes that reading has made her the person she is and given her the opportunities that she has had, and she hopes to pass a passion for literature and reading on to the children she works with. Her website is

Roz Isme

When Roz was a little girl she wanted to be a witch. Then she wanted to be an explorer, then an archaeologist, then a physicist, then an astronaut and always a time-traveller. She wanted to live in magical worlds, or in space, or be able to breathe under water, or grow wings and fly. When she grew up she realised there was a way she could do all of those things. She became a writer.

Twitter: @Roz_Isme

Ian Johnstone

Ian spent many years doing various kinds of publishing and now he lives on a hill in Oxford, writing middle grade fantasy. He is currently working on The Mirror Chronicles trilogy, which opened with The Bell Between Worlds and continues this summer with Circles of Stone. Middle grade has always had an irresistible allure for Ian because it allows an intoxicating marriage of absorbing stories and boundless imagination.

Jane Lawes

Jane Lawes grew up in Surrey, and spent her childhood dancing and practising gymnastics in the garden. She studied American Literature with Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where she spent three years reading good books and writing stories. When she’s not writing fiction, she works as an Editor of adult non-fiction books. Her first series, Gym Stars, was published by Usborne in 2012, and her new series, Ballet Stars – also with Usborne – is publishing in 2015. Website:

Julia Lee

Julia Lee writes fast-moving and funny historical MG adventures. The Mysterious Misadventures of Clemency Wrigglesworth and The Dangerous Discoveries of Gully Potchard, set in Victorian times, are published by Oxford University Press. She has been described as ‘An anarchic Frances Hodgson-Burnett’. For her next book, cut to 1920, but you’ll have to wait until January 2016.

Julia began creating stories as soon as she could hold a pen, and lots of them had drawings of horses. She knows which way those tricky back legs bend! She loves MG for the exquisite balance of jeopardy and safety, and those happy endings that sometimes make you cry. She blogs a bit about reading and writing children’s books at, and on Girls Heart Books, and you can find her on Twitter @julialeeauthor

Julia has achieved her childhood dream of living by the seaside, if not yet on the actual beach. One day.

Kate Mallinder

Kate lives with her husband, four children and a cat near Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire.  She is delighted to be doing exactly what she wanted to do when she was nine: she’s allowed to make-up stories.

She writes light-hearted contemporary middle grade stories with a hopeful twist although she has been known to make people cry – a fact she is quietly smiley about.  She is represented by Hannah Sheppard at the DHH Literary Agency.

She blogs intermittently at and is rarely off twitter @KateMallinder

Jackie Marchant

Inspired by a messy bedroom and random question from her son about writing a will, Jackie Marchant started writing the award winning Dougal Trump series. She lives in North West London with her husband, two nearly grown up children and ex trainee guide dog.  When not writing,  Jackie works in her garden and looks after guide dogs while their owners are away.  She also enjoys visiting schools to inspire a love of reading and writing.

Jon Mayhew

Jon Mayhew is the author of the award-winning Mortlock trilogy and the popular Monster Odyssey series. He  hails from the misty marshes of Wirral, and spent most of his childhood playing in the ruins of a Victorian zoo. When he wasn’t doing that, he was writing or telling stories. He loves traditional tales and music and running too… which you’d realise is a useful combination if you’d heard him play the mandolin.

Karen McCombie

Karen McCombie is a best-selling MG author, who has written 80 books, sold more than a million worldwide, and never won countless awards. She is a bit Scottish, lives in That London with her very Scottish husband Tom, sunshiny daughter Milly and a fierce cat. She is lucky enough to have two writing spaces; the first is a palatial office (ie teeny boxroom) at home, and the second is the local garden centre cafe, where there is cake, as well as inspiration, to be found. As well as her website, you can find her wittering on Twitter @KarenMcCombie 


Tamsyn Murray

Tamsyn Murray is an often-nominated-but-never-quite-award-winning author and ex-school prefect from Hertfordshire. She writes for all age ranges, from picture books to adult, and this year launches a new series, Completely Cassidy, about an eleven year old girl whose search for her special talent makes even Mr Bean look good. Tamsyn is also a Visiting Lecturer at City University London where she teaches Writing for Children. 

When she's not writing or teaching, you might find Tamsyn singing with her local am-dram group, although she considers her most special talent to be licking her own elbow. She lives with her family and an assortment of pets, none of whom can lick their own elbow.

Jenni Nock

Jenni Nock currently lives in the rural West Midlands and spends her days escaping into the worlds held between the pages of any and all MG and YA books she can get her hands on. A lover of virtually every genre going, she dreads the day she finally gets to move - packing up all of those books will take longer than any other part of moving! When she isn't reading she's writing and dreams of one day seeing her own book sharing the shelves with all those she's loved. You can find her blog at and find her on Twitter as @juniperjungle

Jeff Norton

Jeff Norton was a reluctant reader as a boy and attributes middle grade novels (and the school librarian who chose them) with becoming a lifelong reader.  He's now the author of the funny Memoirs Of A Neurotic Zombie (Faber) and the award-winning MetaWars saga (Orchard Books).  Jeff is on the web at and tweeting as @thejeffnorton.

Emma Perry

Emma Perry now lives in Bath, having recently said goodbye to Melbourne, Australia. She's a freelance writer, reviewer, founder of My Book Corner and organiser of International Book Giving Day. She studied English Literature at Kent University and teaches at Primary Schools in her spare time.

Sophie Plowden

Sophie Plowden is the author of JACK DASH & THE MAGIC FEATHER, to be published by Catnip Publishing in September 2015, with  a sequel, JACK DASH & THE SUMMER BLIZZARD to follow in 2016. 

Sophie studied Drawing & Painting at Edinburgh College of Art. As well as writing, she paints and teaches art part-time in both secondary and higher education. She has exhibited her work widely, including six one-person shows in London, and lives in Islington - just up the road from her publisher, in fact - with her husband and  son. 

JACK DASH & THE MAGIC FEATHER is her first book.

You can follow Sophie on Twitter @sophieplowden, where she describes herself as: "Writer. Painter. Freakishly tall child prodigy." Just about says it all, I'd say. 

Huw Powell

Huw Powell is the author of Spacejackers (Bloomsbury, 2014), an exciting new book series about space pirates. The first book has been described as Star Wars meets Pirates of the Caribbean. The second book is due out in July 2015. Huw is also an active supporter of initiatives that encourage children to read. He spends a lot of time speaking at schools, libraries and festivals. Huw lives in Portishead with his wife and two energetic sons. If he were to give people one piece of advice, it would be: Never trust a space pirate!

Sophie Reid

Sophie is a children’s and young adult writer, who grew up in rural Sussex on a farm. This setting influences much of her writing. Many of the books she read as a child remain her favourites still, and she has dreamt of being a writer herself since she realised that people wrote those books and you could do that.  While hoping to be published one day, she currently writes for the Harry Potter fansite MuggleNet, as well as running her own blogs, and Find me on Twitter @sophs_3

Mike Revell

Mike Revell used to be a Reluctant Reader. He was more inclined to run home and play video games than dive into a book. Then Harry Potter came along. Not only did those stories make him a reader, they inspired him to write too: he wanted to give to people that same feeling of magic and wonder that J.K. Rowling sparked in him. Stonebird is Mike's first novel and is influenced by the real experiences of seeing his grandmother suffer from dementia, as well as his love of myths. He grew up near Cambridge, but now lives in North Wales, surrounded by the mountains of Snowdonia. To learn more about Mike visit him at:

Vincent Ripley

Vincent can often be found with his head in a middle grade book and his brain in the clouds. When he is not reading, you can find him hiding behind his book blog Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books which has been going since 2008. He is a lover of real books and is a social media junkie. You can find him raving on twitter @Enchantedbooks and his facebook page

Jason Rohan

Jason Rohan is an extremely dangerous individual who should never be approached under any circumstances. Kieran Fanning is his identical twin.

When released for good behaviour, Jason doubles as an author, telecoms engineer, English teacher and former Marvel Comics writer. His first novel is The Sword Of Kuromori, an all-action adventure set in modern Japan where Jason lived for five years. The Times described it as 'distinguished by witty repartee and a vivid, expert knowledge of Japan and its culture.’

Jason started writing MG fiction in 2009 to entertain his army of children. He loves movies and can be found on Facebook ( and Twitter (@JasonRohan1) instead of working. His second novel, The Shield of Kuromori, is out in May.

SF Said

SF Said's first book, Varjak Paw, won the Smarties Prize for children's literature, and has now sold over 250,000 copies in the UK alone.  The sequel, The Outlaw Varjak Paw, won the Blue Peter Book Of The Year.  His latest, Phoenix, was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award, and nominated for both the Carnegie and Greenaway Medals.

SF also writes widely about children's literature.  His reviews and articles have been published in the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph, and he has talked about children's books on Radio 4 and on Down The Rabbit Hole on Resonance FM.

More information at and

Andy Shepherd

Andy has just finished her second book and is currently looking for a publisher for the first - a middle grade novel called 'Phoenix Fire'. She is represented by Jo Williamson at the Antony Harwood Agency.  

She grew up roaming fields and setting sail along Essex estuaries where there always seemed to be magic of some sort, which is probably why it's always creeping into her stories. Website:
Twitter: @andyjshepherd

Robin Stevens

Robin Stevens was born in California and grew up in an Oxford college, across the road from the house where Alice in Wonderland lived. She has been making up stories all her life.

When she was twelve, her father handed her a copy of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and she realised that she wanted to be either Hercule Poirot or Agatha Christie when she grew up. When it occurred to her that she was never going to be able to grow her own spectacular walrus moustache, she decided that Agatha Christie was the more achievable option.

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 then went to university, where she studied crime fiction, and now she works at a children’s publisher, which is pretty much the best day job she can imagine. 

Robin now lives near Cambridge with her boyfriend and her pet bearded dragon, Watson.

Piers Torday

Piers Torday’s bestselling first book, The Last Wild, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Award and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal as well as numerous other awards. His second book, The Dark Wild, won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. The third book in the trilogy, The Wild Beyond, will be published in April 2015.

Born in Northumberland, where there are more animals than people, he now lives in London – where there are more animals than you might think…

Aoife Walsh

Aoife Walsh has discovered that one benefit of writing children’s books is that now ignorant people think they understand why she reads them, and don’t pester her about it. The other brilliant perk is that when she tells her family she needs three weeks off to travel 3,000 miles round the American South for research purposes, they believe her. Her first book, Look After Me, is about kids looking after a secret baby in a shed; the next, Too Close To Home, comes out this July from Andersen Press

Lara Williamson

Lara learned four things from working in magazines: it's hard not to smile at the colours of a rainbow, velvet is her favourite word, writing is where magic happens and a little bit of hope is always in fashion. A few years later, wham, all four of these things came together in her first Middle Grade book: A Boy Called Hope. Lara still loves rainbows, velvet, hope and the magic of writing. Particularly Middle Grade where the reader can travel as far as their imagination and yet be home in time for tea.

Julia Wills

Although Julia Wills was born in the last century this absolutely does not make her as old as the Ancient Greeks she tells stories about.  However, she does admit to writing for just about as long as she’s been able to hold a pen.  

After studying Psychology at Oxford University, Julia completed a PGCE at Northampton and a Masters in Writing at Glamorgan (now the New University of South Wales).  She has always written but has had lots of other jobs too, such as maintaining a photo library for a Texan oil company, tasting sausages, working for batty professors at Oxford and teaching Year Four children in Northamptonshire.  It was here, in the classroom, as Miss Wills, that she discovered just how much children adore the Ancient Greeks, their fabulous monsters and glitzy heroes, and more importantly, how children love a good laugh when they read.

Julia's debut book for children, Fleeced (1st edition Templar; 2nd edition Piccadilly Press), a comedy adventure centring on Aries, the ghost ram of the Golden Fleece, who returns to Earth to find his beautiful coat, was published in January 2014. Its sequel, Rampage! (Piccadilly Press) is out April 2015.  

Anna Wilson

Anna Wilson has written picture books, short stories, poems and middle grade fiction series including Nina Fairy Ballerina; the Puppy books: Puppy Love; Pup Idol; Puppy Power and Puppy Party, and the Kitten titles: Kitten Kaboodle; Kitten Smitten; Kitten Cupid and Kitten Chaos. This last title was a World Book Day book in 2010. A further title, Monkey Business, was shortlisted for the 2012 Hull Libraries Award.

Other middle grade books include I’m a Chicken, Get me Out of Here!, The Poodle Problem, The Dotty Dalmatian, The Smug Pug, Monkey Madness, The Great Kitten Cake Off and Summer’s Shadow.

As well as writing, Anna gives talks and runs writing workshops in schools. She is a Patron of Reading for a school in Somerset and tutors at Bath Spa University on the MA creative writing course.

Websites: and

Pippa Wilson

In Pippa's head she is Hermione Granger, but her four children would probably describe her more as Mrs Weasley. She is a part-time teacher, and has spent many years teaching years 5 and 6. She is now a writer in the Golden Egg Academy, currently working on a book for older middle grade readers. Last year she self-published  a middle grade book as a project with her Minecraft mad kids called The Cracker Hacker. They are a book loving household, and always looking for new stuff!

Clare Zinkin

Clare is a freelance writer and editor, as well as working in her local primary school as the volunteer librarian. She can be round on twitter as @minervamoan and blogs at The local kids refer to her house as ‘The Library’, and when she’s not reading, she’s to be found asleep dreaming of publishing her own novel. More than one person in her house has fallen down the stairs whilst reading a book.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Team, I have written a middle grade portal fantasy called The Puddle People. I'll post the blurb here.

    The Puddle People Blurb

    Eleven-year-old Ethan Myles is having a bad day: His summer holiday has been cancelled, the weird glowing crystal he found in the garden has given him an electric shock, draining his enjoyment, and his mum is suffering from a terminal illness.
    If that wasn’t bad enough, he’s only got minutes to stop a race of strange watery beings, led by evil ice-man, Doctor Freeze, sucking the fun from humanity, leaving the entire human race in the darkness of everlasting misery.
    Will Ethan and his nine-year-old sister Amber manage to defeat Doctor Freeze before it’s too late, or will all human pleasure cease to exist?
    Thank you,


    Tommy Ellis.