Dr Ann Alston is a senior lecturer in Children’s Literature at The University of the West of England, Bristol where she teaches multiple modules on children’s literature from 1865 to 2020. As well as writing various articles and her book, 'The Family in English Children’s Literature' (Routledge 2008), she has co-edited two collections of essays, 'Roald Dahl: A Casebook' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and 'Children’s Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century' (Routledge 2019). Ann is passionate about children’s literature and is often invited to schools to talk to staff and pupils about critical literacy and advise them on newly published books. Ann also reviews children’s and teenage books for 'Just Imagine', is on the editorial board for the academic journal 'Children’s Literature in Education' and has been lucky enough to work with indy picturebook publisher Book Island. Ann was born and brought up in Anglesey but now lives in Cardiff with her children and a vast collection of children’s books.
Lily Dyu lives in Powys and is a freelance writer and author. She's passionate about ensuring that all children see themselves reflected in the stories that they read, and making publishing open for everyone. Lily has written four children’s books including 'Earth Heroes' (Nosy Crow, 2019) which was shortlisted for the 2020 ALCS Educational Writers Award, and 'Fantastic Female Adventurers' (Shrine Bell, 2019) which was shortlisted for the 2020 Rubery Award. Lily took part in Literature Wales Rhys Davies Emerging Writers Course (2021) and has since gone on to publish 'The World’s Wildest Places' (DK Children, 2022). Her latest children's book 'The Amazing Power of Activism' will be published next year (Oxford University Press, 2023). Nature features as a central theme in all her work and she’s also authored two outdoor guides – 'Fastpacking: Multi day running adventures' (Cicerone Press, 2018) and 'Brecon Beacons Trail Running' (Vertebrate Publishing, 2018).
Alex Wharton is an award-winning writer and performer of poetry for adults and children. His First Book of poetry for children 'Daydreams and Jellybeans' was shortlisted for the Wales Book Of The Year Award 2022, The North Somerset Teacher’s Book Award and was named as a National Poetry Day recommended read.
Elgan Rhys is an author, theatre artist and arts practitioner from Pwllheli who has been living in Cardiff for a decade. Elgan is the coordinator and creative editor of 'Y Pump' series (Y Lolfa, 2021) and the author of 'Tim' (with Tomos Jones), the first novel of the series. 'Y Pump' won Tir na n-Og’s 2022 Welsh Language Secondary Category and Wales’ Book of the Year 2022’s Children & Young People Award, and the Barn y Bobl Award. His theatre work includes 'Llyfr Glas Nebo' (director, 2020), 'Woof' (scriptwriter, 2019), 'Chwarae' (scriptwriter and performer, 2019-20) and 'Mags' (scriptwriter, 2018-19), and he’s been an associate artist with Cwmi’r Frân Wen and Theatr Iolo. He’s also one of Stonewall Cymru’s Role Models, and he’s currently working on various theatre, film and television projects.
He is widely published in the sector and has collaborated with Literature Wales, Cadw, The National Dance Company Of Wales, Welsh Government, British Council of literature, Welsh Libraries and many schools, trusts and festivals including Hay Festival and Edinburgh International book Festival.
In 2021 Alex was commissioned by Hay Festival to create a poem with children that would be read to Her Royal Highness, The Duchess Of Cornwall at a ceremony held in Hay-On-Wye. Firefly Press will publish his second collection of poems Poetry Hill and he is currently working on his third book for children.