Enzo, The Swallows and Me
Founder of Owlet Press, Sam's world changed in 2014 when he became a Dad. Having never thought of writing books, he was dramatically inspired by his children and the new universe he’d entered into. His book What Wesley Wore has now been translated all over the world.
"I self-published my first book in September 2017 and sold over 7,000 copies in the first 12 weeks. As I toured the book it became important to me to be able to create positive change for children through stories, working with new authors who have the same beliefs as I do."
Helen has worked in children’s publishing for over 25 years including HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster and Oxford University Press. She has wide-ranging experience of commissioning and editing picture books and young fiction and has worked with such inspirational authors and illustrators as Lauren Child, David Roberts, Tom Moorhouse and Catherine Rayner. Now working as a freelance editor and writer, alongside a series for Oxford Children’s Books, her title Omar, the Bees and Me launches Spring 2021.
"For as long as I can remember I’ve had my nose in a book and an inky hand stuck to a notepad, hoping one day, I might just be able to make a difference with my writing. Fast forward to today and nothing's changed! Except, my scribbles eventually escaped online to my blog where I address all those woes and wins that connect us as parents.
Inspired by my own little one, I’m passionate about writing picture books that address the everyday issues our children face. Turning them on their head and then sending out those all important positive messages through the magic of the written word."
Lauren worked in communications and as a freelance writer for several years before seeking a more creative career venture. With a passion for storytelling in rhyme and a desire to capture emotive themes, it was the whirlwind of 2020 that finally inspired her to turn her pen to children’s books.
“Somewhere amongst the chaos of 2020 I found myself without work and heavily pregnant after a long and gruelling journey with IVF. I wanted to write something that captured the emotions of a year so strange but also so special for so many families... because beautiful, magical things did still manage to find a place in 2020 and I hope my book
serves as a way of remembering that.”
Laura AKA 'RoboMummy' lives in Essex with her husband Joe and their 'IVF miracle' son, Rafe. She is a music and singing teacher, for children of all ages, something she feels very lucky to be able to do.
"I have always had a passion for writing and story telling and it has been a dream of mine to write a book specifically for children."
Alice has worked in children’s publishing, specialising in picture books and illustrated young fiction, for almost twenty years. She began her editorial career at Penguin Random House, going freelance in 2010 to combine the career she loved with family life. Working as a freelance editor and writer gave her the opportunity to work with a wide variety of wonderful authors, illustrators and publishers. Since 2016, she has lived in Berlin with her husband and two daughters and is trying very hard (but quite unsuccessfully) to learn German! Fabulous Fifi, is Alice’s first picture book.
Monika Singh Gangotra
"I grew up in Australia surrounded by a tight and very traditional Punjabi Sikh community. I graduated with honours in Psychology, and then a masters degree with a publication in health psychology and a PhD, graduating in 2015 after giving birth to my first daughter.
I always felt disheartened that my looks were the most important thing in determining my success – in life and in finding a partner.In all honesty, I also didn’t know colourism was a construct until just a few years ago. I just knew that I hated the thought of a person being judged on something they couldn’t control.
We should be able to more than co-exist with people of all shades of colour, to wear what we want and know that it does not in any way reflect our success and has no bearing on our self love and the love we receive from others."
"I discovered a passion for rhyme as a young child and I've enjoyed writing poetry for as long as I can remember. When my own children were born I found that writing allowed me to capture all of the moments and milestones, some of them comical, some bewildering but all of them precious.
Sharing books with my children has always been a part of our bedtime routine, and it fills me with joy to explore the pages of a new adventure together. I love to see them engage with and learn from magical characters, and to know that they're drifting off to sleep filled with enchantment and wonder. For me, a story is a gift that can last a lifetime. x"
Ian is 35 years old and was born in Essex. Having 13 years as primary school teacher, which has included being an English Coordinator, Phase Leader and member of Senior Management he is now a resource writer for The Literacy Shed and Authorfy as well as Director of The Reading Realm and creator of The Reading Realm app!
"Everybody deserves a happy ending, but too often those of us in the LGBT+ community have been excluded from seeing ourselves in children’s stories. It is vital that children see lots of different types of relationships, so that they can learn about acceptance, diversity and all the wonderful ways people can live and love!”
Tarah L. Gear
Tarah had always wanted to write children's stories. Even as a child herself she would always tell her mum that she wanted to be an author when she grew up.
"My dream was to become the author of children's books. It wasn't until I had my own child that I decided to bite the bullet and put pen to paper. I hope that my stories will help inspire and empower children as they grow up into the world. I look forward to sharing more and more stories with children and their families. Tarah x"
Jane Rushmore has spent her whole life in Wales. She is married with three sons, two grandsons and two very spoilt cats. She loves to be outdoors, watching the wonderful world of nature. She loves to imagine that animals speak to each other in the same way as people do, to inspire humorous interactions between characters in her stories.
"There is always something wondeful to enjoy outdoors, whatever the weather."
Terri Ann Creaser
After working as an actor, setting up a theatre company and having two children, Terri rediscovered her passion to write.
"My own highs and lows as a mother
hugely influence my writing. Motherhood has continued to be an adventure that constantly challenges me to seek out stories that echo the experiences of my own children. Reading to them provides a safe space and a wonderful escape. I love seeing their faces light up as we turn the pages of a new book.”
James has been creating books for children for 30 years. He loves experimenting with different techniques and finding just the right approach for each new project. He is the creator of the best-selling Katie series, Ella Bella Ballerina and Koshka’s Tales, as well as illustrating Mouse & Mole, Mrs Noah’s Pockets and Gaspard the Fox. Alongside his work in publishing, James works with many orchestras and musicians, presenting concerts that combine classical music and art, created live on stage. He lives with his Catalan partner Toto, and Diva the dog, in Suffolk, where the big skies and gentle light are perfect for artists. But when they can, they escape to Barcelona, for churros and chocolate!
Katie is an illustrator and picture-book-maker living and working in Bristol, UK.
Originally from Swansea, she moved to Bristol to study illustration at UWE and hasn't left since graduating in 2017.
Katie enjoys telling stories through drawing and uses a variety of media, including a mix of traditional and digital techniques.
Orange is her favourite colour, but not her favourite fruit!
With a BA Hons Degree in Illustration, Cory feels fortunate enough to be able to get paid doing what he loves.
He's worked in the creative industry for over over 15 years and has gained much valuable experience working across a broad range of projects. Cory's list of clients extends globally and includes Usborne Publishing, Card Factory, American Greetings, UK Greetings and Noel Tatt.
Cory's main passion has always been in character design and he loves creating worlds for them to inhabit and hopefully create a few laughs along the way!
Ashlee is a freelance illustrator currently living & working in Winchester, UK.
Having grown up in rural Dorset, she continued to study in her home county, undertaking a BA in Illustration at the Arts University Bournemouth & graduating in 2016. She loves incorporating lots of little details in her illustrations, working with colour palettes & creating cute characters.
When she's not doodling away, Ashlee is happiest outside; immersing herself in nature, exploring new places in the sunshine & preferably next to a water source - much alike the growing collection of plants in her little house.
Zoe’s always loved telling stories through pictures and, after graduating from the University of Plymouth with an Illustration degree in 2011, she set about doing it professionally. Having honed a diverse range of skills in the greetings card industry, for companies including The Great British Card Company, Woodmansterne and Ling Design, she decided to diversify in 2020.
Alongside her passion for pictures, Zoe is a keen runner, an avid reader and a trainee Yoga teacher. She likes to bring inspiration from all areas of her life into her art, using traditional and digital media
Nicci is a freelance illustrator from
Bo-Kaap in Cape Town, South Africa.
After working in the advertising world for many years, she decided to slow down the pace after becoming a parent to 2 beautiful and busy children.
"I have loved art since childhood. I still spend my days dreaming of interesting characters that come to life on paper and onscreen.
Bedtime in our household is always accompanied by a bedtime story - a time to reconnect and escape in sharing an inspiring story. I love how picture books are there to spark the imaginations of both young and old and also can teach valuable ideas".
Christine is a freelance illustrator based in Leamington Spa, having graduated from Falmouth College of Arts in 2007 with a BA in Fine Art, where Christine specialised
in oil painting and pencil drawing. Many years later, Christine’s artistic endeavours have led her to her ultimate passion - illustrating children’s books!
Christine primarily works digitally, with a love of texture, colour and mark-making. When not drawing, Christine lives amongst a ginormous collection of her favourite children’s books with her husband and their beloved hamster, and can never say no to a slice of cake.
Davide is an Italian artist. He lives in Spain and is represented by Beehive Illustration.
Soon after earning his diploma at 'Foiso Fois' Arts High School in Cagliari, Sardinia, he takes up a career as an advertising graphic designer. When he moved to Madrid, in 2008, he discovered children's book illustrations.
Gloomy open spaces, dreamy in-between atmospheres, a strong chromatic impression mixed with imaginary elements are the main features of his work.
He is on a quest to conjure colourful and fantastic places, where time stops to offer biggest emotions in smallest people.
Sally's work specializes in character, floral, pattern and food across illustration, surface pattern and design projects. In 2016 she won the national competition, ‘Tomorrows Talent’, run through the Prince’s Trust. She strives to maintain a hand rendered appeal to her illustrations, through watercolours, hand drawn typography and textures.
Her illustrations have been featured on accessories, clothing and greetings cards, nationally and internationally, for brands including Fatface, ArthurCox animation for the BBC, Festival of Nature Bristol and licensing her designs for stationery products in America.