Fran is a graphic designer from West Yorkshire, who loves bringing new ideas to life in her writing. After studying English Literature for a year at university, she changed disciplines and went on to graduate with a BA in Graphic Design. She remains a self-confessed bookworm and, as a child, was regularly told off for reading under the table during maths lessons. When she’s not reading or writing, Fran loves drinking coffee, travelling, and spoiling her house rabbit, Buffy. The Other Ones is her first novel, written for NaNoWriMo in November 2019, and edited ever since.
Fran’s novel, The Other Ones, is a contemporary YA ghost story with a twist. It’s a story about being different, friendship, acceptance and first love, and was written for anyone who has ever felt like the odd one out.
Molly Morris is a California native with a penchant for the bizarre. After living in the Washington, DC area for university, she moved to the UK to study on the Creative Writing MA at UEA. It’s here where she honed her love for all things magical realism and Young Adult fiction, her writing and reading true love. These days she lives in Norfolk with her husband, daughter and their cat, Lemon.
Yarrow Townsend spent her childhood among the moss, oak and heather of the New Forest. After working as a teacher, and then as a stablehand, Yarrow completed an MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University, before returning to the forest to work for the RSPB. Always in search of ways to be closer to the outdoors, Yarrow now lives on a narrowboat, travelling the canals with her garden on the roof. The Map of Leaves is inspired by her life by the woods and the water, and by her own parents’ herb books. Follow her: @yarrowtownsend
Eloise has a bit of a history with swords, particularly stabbing people with swords. Indeed, it is said that she was once an Olympic fencer. Others say she won three Commonwealth gold medals. And some whisper that she could kill you in a duel. Probably.
Luckily, she has since discovered the pen is mightier than the sword. She’s built a career in advertising, writing all sorts of marvellously silly adverts about everything from shampoo to motorbikes. Recently, she’s turned her wordsmithery to children’s fiction. Sister to a Star is her first book, an action-packed adventure about sibling rivalry, brimming with glamour and skulduggery.
Varsha loves books that blend humour and story and has always wanted to be a writer. She has had non fiction articles published in Legal Week, Legal Week Global, the on-line edition of economia, the on-line edition of Harper’s Bazaar, and the Times Education Supplement. A former Solicitor, she is now an English Language and Literature teacher. She has also taught English as a foreign language in Japan and Canada, and often draws on her travels in her writing.
Aneesa Marufu (born 1997) lives in Manchester, UK, and when she isn’t running around after her children she’s hunting for a new book to escape into. She was the winner of the Kimberley Chambers Kickstart Prize in 2019 and The Balloon Thief, her debut novel, is inspired by her British Asian heritage.
Sabine Adeyinka was born in England to a Nigerian dad and Jamaican mum. She grew up in Nigeria where she spent the most memorable time in boarding school from the age of eleven. As a young girl, she loved reading novels about boarding schools from around the world and longed to tell the stories of her own exciting experience. Sabine’s favourite pastime is writing stories about memories of the landscape, food and people of her childhood. She now lives in London with her husband and two children.
CHLOË PERRIN is a North Walian writer who currently lives in West London studying Creative Writing at Brunel University.
They love to feed crows, prefers Halloween to Christmas and was frequently told off as a child for reading in class. Chloë has previously worked as a youth worker, drama tutor and professional storyteller, having always believed that the best way to teach anyone anything is through a story.
HIS ROYAL HOPELESS was longlisted for the 2019 Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Prize and is their debut novel.
Photography credit: Chloe Potamiti
Oli Hyatt & Anna Rainbow
ANNA RAINBOW grew up and still lives in North East England and works as a Clinical Psychologist with people with disabilities. Anna loves music and has always been in various choirs, singing quartets, bands, and orchestras. In 2015 she was shortlisted for the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition which led to Chicken House publishing The Fandom, her series for young adults (as Anna Day) – it sold in 24 territories and was optioned for TV development by Fox. This is her debut middle-grade novel.
OLI HYATT is based in Kings Sutton and is the co-founder of BAFTA award-winning animation studio Blue Zoo. He is also the Director of Alphablocks Limited, the company behind the popular CBeebies phonics shows, Alphablocks and Numberblocks. He is also the chair of Animation UK and was awarded an MBE for his services to the animation industry. This is Oli’s debut novel.
Antigua de Fortune of the High Seas is Oli and Anna's first co-authored book together.
Sarah Horne learnt to draw whilst trying to explain her reasoning for an elaborate haircut at the age of nine.
An illustrator for over fifteen years, she started her Illustration career working freelance for newspapers such as The Guardian, The Independent On Sunday and Print Week. She also worked on commissions for advertising clients such as Nike, IKEA and Kew Gardens.
In 2010, Sarah published Paws, Claws and Frilly Drawers and Tantrums And Tiaras her first Author/ Illustrator young fiction titles with Stripes.
Sarah has since illustrated many funny young fiction titles, including the Fizzlebert Stump series by A.F Harrold (Bloomsbury), Llama United by Scott Allen (Pan Macmillan) and Ask Oscar by Alan MacDonald (Egmont). Panda at the Door is her first book with Chicken House.
She loves to include detail and extra visual narratives in her work. She works traditionally with a dip pen and Indian ink, and finishes the work digitally. When not at her desk, Sarah loves running, painting, photography, cooking, film, and a good stomp up a hill.
Image credit: Hazel Thompson
Richard has always loved spending time by the sea. Although he grew up in Hertfordshire, his grandparents live on the south coast in Sussex and Dorset where much of the inspiration for his stories has been found. Whether writing, sunbathing or sheltering from the rain with a mug of tea, the family beach hut in Bournemouth has always been one of his happiest places.
Richard’s debut novel, The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy, won the inaugural Chairman’s Choice prize as part of the Times/Chicken House children’s fiction competition in 2019. His love of storytelling started at a young age, through a passion for literature but also for cinema. Two of his greatest childhood influences were Roald Dahl and Tim Burton, who both possess a wickedly dark sense of humour.
Along with writing, some of Richard’s other interests include wild swimming in seas and rivers, scary movies, West End musicals and 90s pop culture. He is also a massive Eurovision fan, a Disney film nerd and someone who gets far too invested in The Oscars.
Richard has a degree in Film & Literature from the University of Warwick. Before becoming a writer he worked in public relations, for many years at Condé Nast as well as Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton. He now works as a freelance publicist, and lives with his partner in London.
Tom Ellen is the co-author of three critically acclaimed Young Adult novels from Chicken House - Lobsters (2014, which was shortlisted for The Bookseller's inaugural YA Book Prize), Never Ends (2016) and Freshers (2017, nominated for the 2018 Carnegie Medal). The books have been translated into more than twenty languages worldwide.
Tom's debut adult novel All About Us from HQ/HarperCollins was published in October 2020, with the follow-up due out in early 2022.
His debut Middle Grade book, The Cartoons that Came to Life, comes out with Chicken House in 2021.
Tom also works as a journalist and has written for publications such as Empire, Glamour, Evening Standard Magazine, NME, Cosmopolitan, ShortList, Vice, Time Out, Stylist and many more. He is a longstanding contributor to Viz comic, and has written TV, radio and online comedy material for XFM, ESPN and The Daily Mash.
Angharad Walker grew up on military bases in the UK, Germany and Cyprus, where stories were often being told about far-flung places, past conflicts, and friends and family.
She studied English Literature & Creative Writing at the University of Warwick and the University of California Irvine. Her fiction has been published in Structo and A Million Ways, and her poetry has made it into Agenda broadsheets and Ink Sweat & Tears.
She lives in South London. When she’s not writing, she works as a communications consultant for charities and not-for-profits.
Efua Traoré is a Nigerian-German author who grew up in a small town in Nigeria. For as long as she can remember, her head was filled with little stories, but it was not until much later that she began to write them down.
Apart from Nigeria, she has also lived in France and Germany and she writes in English and in German. If she had her way, she would travel much more and write every single day.
Efua won the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa with her short story ‘True Happiness’ and she is a literature grant holder of the Munich Literaturreferat. Children of the Quicksands is her debut novel which won the Times / Chicken House Prize in 2019.
She lives in Munich with her husband and three daughters.
Photo credit belongs to Boubacar Traoré.
Naomi Gibson was born in 1988 and grew up in Cheshire, UK. Her childhood was spent with her nose in a book and her hands on a sketchpad, constantly in search of adventure and new worlds. Encouraged by her family to be creative, she developed a love for writing at a young age – something that never left her. She studied Art History at the University of Manchester. Whilst there, she met her husband, someone who continues to tell her all about the latest advancements in AI, space, and consumer technology, even when she’s not listening. Every Line of You is her first novel, and proof she does in fact listen to her husband.
Melissa Harrison is an award-winning novelist and nature writer who lives in Suffolk. Her novel All Among the Barley (2018) won the European Union Prize for Literature. At Hawthorn Time (2015) was shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year award and longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, while Clay (2013), won the Portsmouth First Fiction award, was selected for Amazon’s ‘Rising Stars’ programme and chosen by Ali Smith as a Book of the Year. Her non-fiction book Rain: Four Walks in English Weather (2016) was longlisted for the Wainwright Prize, and she was Series Editor on four anthologies of writing about the seasons, published in 2016 in support of The Wildlife Trusts.
Melissa contributes a monthly Nature Notebook column to The Times and is the writer and presenter of the hit nature podcast ‘The Stubborn Light of Things’. She has appeared on Springwatch and Springwatch Unsprung, and speaks regularly on the radio.
Christopher Edge is the award-winning author of a number of children’s books, including The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, which was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. Christopher grew up in Manchester, where he spent most of his childhood in the local library dreaming up stories, but now lives in Gloucestershire, where he spends most of his time in the local library dreaming up stories.
Amy Bond is an Irish writer living in Dublin. Her passion for reading led her to study English Literature at university, followed by a Masters in Library and Information Science, and she now works as a librarian.
Olsberg lives in Germany and has written over 50 thrillers, novels and children’s books. He wrote his Ph.D. thesis on artificial intelligence and has founded multiple award-winning start-up companies. Boy in a White Room was nominated for Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis 2018, Germany’s most prestigious youth fiction award.
Stephan Lee is a YA enthusiast, ardent K-Pop fan and journalist. He currently works as an Associate Director at Bustle after a five-year stretch at Entertainment Weekly. At EW, he wrote features and reviews and once traveled to Seoul to write a feature about Korean entertainment's world domination. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing at The New School and is also working on his debut novel for adults.