Image Credit: Nick Anderson (@seenicksphotgraphy)
Sophie Anderson was born in Swansea and now lives in the Lake District with her family. Across her bestselling novels, Sophie has won the Independent Bookshop Book of the Year Award and the Wales Book of the Year Award, and been shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal twice, the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award, the British Book Awards’ Children’s Fiction Book of the Year, the Andersen Prize, and the Branford Boase Award.
Sophie’s books have been translated into over twenty-five languages, and The House with Chicken Legs has been adapted for stage by Les Enfants Terrible.
Image Credit: Charlotte Graham
Melvin Burgess has been writing fiction for young people since his first book, The Cry of the Wolf, was published in 1990. His 1996 novel Junk kick-started the YA genre and achieved great acclaim at home and abroad. It won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award, the Carnegie Medal and was voted one of the top ten Carnegie winners ever. He has won many other awards over the years, including the LA YA Book of the Year Award for Doing It. He has continued to publish popular, controversial, and cutting edge fiction for young people ever since.
His latest YA, Three Bullets, was published in 2021, in which year he also published Count, for younger children, illustrated by Chris Mould. His first book for adults Loki, came out in May 2022.
Jonathan Edwards’s first collection of poems, My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren, 2014), received the Costa Poetry Award and the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award. It was shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. His second collection, Gen (Seren, 2018), also received the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award, and in 2019 his poem about Newport Bridge was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. His poems have won the Ledbury, Oxford Brookes, and Troubadour Poetry Competitions, appeared in The Guardian and The Poetry Review, and been filmed by the BBC and the Poetry Society. His fiction has appeared in New Welsh Review and his non-fiction in anthologies from Wales Arts Review and Nine Arches. He has been writer-in-residence at the Dylan Thomas Boathouse and at Gladstone’s Library, and a judge of the Wales Book of the Year and the National Poetry Competition. He lives in Crosskeys, south Wales.
Kat Ellis is an author of young adult horror and thrillers including Wicked Little Deeds, Harrow Lake, and Blackfin Sky. She studied English with Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University before going on to work in local government for several years, then moving to writing full-time. Kat was chosen as a Literature Wales bursary recipient for her work-in-progress which became Harrow Lake, and her books have been Junior Library Guild selections, YALSA picks, and translated into multiple languages.
She is a fan of all things horror and sci-fi, and a keen explorer of ruins, castles, and cemeteries – all of which are plentiful in north Wales, where Kat lives with her husband.
Image Credit: Rachel Davies Photography
Catherine Fisher is a poet and novelist for children and young people. She has published five collections of poetry, the most recent being The Bramble King (Seren Books). Her work has been widely anthologised.
She has written over 40 novels for young people, including Incarceron, a New York Times bestseller and Times Book of the Year., and her work has been translated into many languages. She has been shortlisted for the Carnegie, Blue Peter, Smarties Book Prize and Costa awards, and has twice won the Books Council of Wales’ Tir na n-Og Prize, most recently with The Clockwork Crow.
Catherine was the inaugural Young People’s Laureate for Wales.
In her daily working life, Mererid Hopwood is Professor at the Welsh and Celtic Studies Department at Aberystwyth University. She has loved languages and literature since her school days. She has won the Chair, Crown and Prose Medal at the National Eisteddfod, and her collection of poems entitled Nes Draw, won the Wales Book of the Year Welsh-language poetry award in 2016. She was Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh-language children’s poet laureate), and received the Tir na n-Og award for one of her novels for children in 2018. She is now a grandmother of four, and adores creating all kinds of stories to entertain her grandchildren. She has enjoyed many opportunities to discuss literature in clubs, societies, and classrooms across Wales, and occasionally participated in literature festivals overseas. She participates in Welsh language poetry contests (talyrna ac ymrysona) and is a member of Ysgol Farddol Caerfyrddin. She received the Glyndŵr Medal, a St David’s Medal from the First Minister, and the Hay Festival Medal for her contribution to literature. She is an honorary president of the Waldo Williams Society. Aside from literature, she is the secretary of Academi Heddwch Cymru, and particularly enjoyed participating in a Welsh-language project “Hawlio Heddwch” (Demanding Peace), which celebrates the centenary of Welsh women’s Peace Petition.
Danielle Jawando is an author and screenwriter. Her debut YA novel, And the Stars Were Burning Brightly, won best senior novel in the Great Reads Award, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize, the YA Book Prize, the Jhalak Children’s & YA Prize, the Branford Boase Award and was longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, the UKLA Book Awards and the Amazing Book Awards. Her previous publications include the non-fiction children’s book Maya Angelou (Little Guides to Great Lives), the short stories Paradise 703 (longlisted for the Finishing Line Press Award) and The Deerstalker (selected as one of six finalists for the We Need Diverse Books Short Story Competition), as well as several short plays performed in Manchester and London. Danielle has also worked on Coronation Street as a storyline writer. Her second YA novel, When Our Worlds Collided, won the inaugural Jhalak Children’s and YA Prize.
Patrice Lawrence is an award-winning writer for children and young people with a background in social justice and equality. Her debut book for young adults, Orangeboy, was shortlisted for the Costa Children's Award and won the Bookseller YA Prize and Waterstones Prize for Older Children's Fiction. Her subsequent books have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, Little Rebels Book Award, Indie Book Award, and many other regional awards and have won a number of prizes including the inaugural Jhalak Prize for Children and Young People and the CrimeFest YA Prize twice. Patrice works extensively in schools inspiring young people to become storytellers and mentors adult writers from backgrounds under-represented in traditional British publishing.
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Kim Moore’s pamphlet If We Could Speak Like Wolves was a winner in the 2011 Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition. Her first collection The Art of Falling (Seren 2015) won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Her second collection All The Men I Never Married (Seren, 2021) won the 2022 Forward Prize for Best Collection. Her first non-fiction book What The Trumpet Taught Me was published by Smith/Doorstop in May 2022. A book of lyric essays Are You Judging Me Yet? Poetry and Everyday Sexism was published by Seren in March 2023. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.
James Nicol has loved books and stories his whole life. As a child he spent hours absorbed in novels, watching epic 1980s cartoons, or adventuring in the wood at the bottom of the garden. His highly acclaimed first novel The Apprentice Witch (Chicken House) was published in 2016 and has been published internationally and been a bestseller. His trilogy is in the early stages of production for a TV adaptation. James tutors and mentors writers as part of the Oxford Centre for Fantasy and has also run sessions for The Golden Egg Academy, SCWBI and Write Mentor. He lives with his husband and daughter near York.
Joshua Seigal is an internationally renowned poet, performer, and educator. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Laugh Out Loud Book Award and the People's Book Prize. Joshua has several collections of poetry published by Bloomsbury, as well as books with HarperCollins and Troika, and he is an Official Ambassador for National Poetry Day. As well as performing at literary festivals across the world, Joshua has written a performed for the BBC and held residencies at numerous schools. Joshua has an MA in Creative Writing and Education from Goldsmiths College, and he is especially honoured to have had a poem published in Poetry Wales magazine.
Emma Smith-Barton is an author, teacher, and creative writing mentor from south Wales. Growing up between cultures has heavily influenced her writing and she is especially interested in exploring themes of identity and belonging. Her debut YA novel, The Million Pieces of Neena Gill, was published by Penguin Random House and was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Award, the Branford Boase Award, and the Romantic Novelist’s Association Debut Romantic Novel Award. She has a BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Warwick and a Creative Writing MA from Bath Spa University. She was a Writer at Work at Hay Festival 2023 and a judge for the Wales Book of the Year Award 2023.
Manon Steffan Ros
Image Credit: Ger Lleu Ros
Manon Steffan Ros is a writer, playwright, scriptwriter, and columnist who writes mainly in the Welsh language. She has written more than 40 books, and has won awards such as the Wales Book of the Year and Tir na n-Og prize. She received the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing for The Blue Book of Nebo (Firefly Press) in 2023.
Image Credit: Sioned Birchall
Casia Wiliam is a poet and freelance writer. She was Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh language Children’s Poet Laureate) between 2017 – 2019, and has published numerous books for children, including Sw Sara Mai (Y Lolfa, 2020) which won the Tir Na n-Og prize in 2021. She has also published a volume of poetry Eiliad ac Einioes (Barddas, 2020), and more recently, a YA novel entitled Sêr y Nos yn Gwenu (Y Lolfa, 2023).