Saturday Events

Sam Copeland

Sam Copeland is an author. He writes both middle grade books and picture books, many of which have been prize-winning and bestselling. He is from Manchester and now lives in London with one smelly dog, two smelly cats, three smelly children, and one relatively clean-smelling wife. His ninth published book – ALEX VS AXEL: THE IMPOSSIBLE WORLDS will be published in 2024.

Jasbinder Bilan

Jasbinder is the Costa Award winning author of Asha and the Spirit Bird, Tamarind and the Star of Ishta and Aarti and the Blue Gods. In her writing she loves creating magical worlds inspired by her love of nature and wild places.

Jasbinder was born on a farm close to the foothills of the Himalaya and now lives in a wooded valley close to Bath with her husband, two teenage boys and dog Enzo. Her latest book, Xanthe and the Ruby Crown, is inspired by her hometown Nottingham and brings magic to an everyday setting.

Jenny Pearson

Jenny Pearson has been awarded six mugs, one fridge magnet, one wall plaque and numerous cards for her role as Best Teacher in the World. Her debut novel, The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates, was winner of the Lollies and was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award and the Waterstones Children’s prize. The Incredible Record Smashers, Grandpa Frank’s Great Big Bucket List were Times Books of The Week and Operation Nativity was a Times Best Book of 2022. She also co-writes the hilarious Tuchus and Topps Series with Sam Copeland.

Justyn Edwards

Justyn Edwards is not very good at nuclear physics or DIY. In fact, some of his worst moments have involved combining these interests. Thankfully, when he writes books people seem to enjoy reading them, and this is how he spends most of his time. His 2022 debut The Great Fox Illusion was Blackwell’s Children’s Book of the Month and was listed by Waterstones as one of their Best Children’s Books. It won the 2023 Kernow Youth Book Award and has been short-listed for many other prizes. It is already being published in several languages, and there is more exciting news in the pipeline. Justyn is just about to publish the third book in the Great Fox series and, after a strong cup of coffee, will start on a new project. Please keep him away from DIY by supporting this event. Future generations are counting on you to act without delay.

Chris Vick

Chris Vick’s books for young people have been shortlisted for numerous prizes, including the Carnegie medal, and translated into several languages. His most recent book, The Last Whale, was chosen by The Big Issue and Daily Mail as one of their books of the year, and called a ‘beautifully written call to arms,’ by The Guardian. He has appeared at festivals including Hay, Cheltenham and Mar di Libre (Italy). He works part time for Whale and Dolphin Conservation ( He also mentors and talks at universities and schools.

Craig Barr-Green

Craig writes picture books, non-fiction and theatre for children. He lectures in Children’s Literature at Falmouth University and is a passionate advocate for children’s literacy. He lives and works in Cornwall, and loves music and darts (but plays both badly).

Jenny McLachlan

Jenny has written over twelve books for children and teenagers which are published all over the world, including the best-selling Land of Roar series, Dead Good Detectives and Stink. She loves meeting her readers and sharing her love of writing and illustrating books with them, and helping them to create magical worlds of their own.

Ross Montgomery

Ross Montgomery started writing stories as a teenager, when he should have been doing homework, and hasn’t really stopped since. He has written over twenty-five books for children, including The Midnight Guardians which was shortlisted for the Costa Book Award 2021 and selected as one of The Guardian’s Children’s Books of the Year. He lives in London with his wife and their cat, called Fun Bobby.

Chrissie Sains

Chrissie grew up in Billericay, Essex where she spent much of her childhood seeking adventure and finding trouble. Described by her teachers as having a ‘lively imagination’, Chrissie always had a love of storytelling but was sometimes shy about writing her ideas down. With encouragement from her family, Chrissie eventually mustered the courage to put her stories on paper and found fulfilment in bringing her imagination to life through writing.

Chrissie’s An Alien in the Jam Factory, illustrated by Jenny Taylor, has been shortlisted for the Alligator’s Mouth award and the Sheffield children’s book award and was the Toppsta Reader’s Favourite of 2021. Chrissie is also co-author with Cara Mailey of Cara’s debut children’s novel, I Got This, inspired by Cara’s experiences living with achondroplasia, which has been shortlisted for The Redbridge Book Awards.

Chrissie loves meeting young people and talking to them about their interests and aspirations. Passionate about inclusion and empathy, Chrissie loves talking at schools and festivals, sharing her journey from reluctant reader to author and inspiring young people to believe in themselves.

Rebecca Ashdown

Rebecca is an artist and author based in Stroud, UK. Her most recent Illustrated book is ‘Thunderboots’, which was written by Naomi Jones. Several of her own titles have been shortlisted for national awards and include the ‘Bob and Flo’ series, ‘The Whopper’ and ‘How to Train the Perfect Parents’. Rebecca also runs workshops exploring visual literacy and innovative, inclusive approaches to making art and telling stories.

Katie Kirby

I am a author and illustrator and I live by the sea in Hove with my husband, two sons and dog Sasha. I used to have a proper job working in advertising but then one day I started drawing silly stick people for a living and I have never looked back.

After writing a few books for grown-ups I published my first fiction book The Extremely Embarrassing Life of Lottie Brooks in 2021 and luckily lots of kids though it was pretty good… phew. There are now FIVE books in the series and I am currently writing the sixth. I hope that they will be alright too as I really don’t want to go back to having a proper job again!

Like Lottie, I love Monster Munch, Pot Noodles, talking nonsense and embarrassing myself in public.

Linda Chapman

Linda Chapman is the author of over 300 books. Her series include My Secret Unicorn and Star Friends, among many others. She loves to collaborate with other writers particularly her magical friend, Julie Sykes. Together they love writing about unicorns and mermaids. Their New York Times best-selling series Unicorn Academy was recently turned into a hit Netflix TV show. Linda lives in Leicestershire with her human family, three dogs and two ponies.

Ed Vere

Ed Vere is a New York Times bestselling picture book creator.

Julie Sykes

Julie Sykes writes for children, sometimes by herself (Woodland Magic series, Princess Katie’s Kittens series), and also with other authors including the magical Linda Chapman.

Julie and Linda’s New York Times best-selling Unicorn Academy series was picked up by Spin Master and is now streaming on Netflix. Julie and Linda are also writing the Mermaid Academy series together. Julie is based in Cornwall with her family and three dogs. She loves baking, walking by the sea, flying on her magic carpet and READING! Julie rarely goes anywhere without at least one book!

Julie’s Event

A drop-in session to meet the authors of the Unicorn Academy (now streaming on Netflix) and Mermaid Academy series. Children and their grown-ups are invited to come along dressed in Unicorn Academy or Mermaid Academy inspired clothes and there will be prizes for the best ones. Ask the authors questions, take part in a colouring activity, and hear the authors read from their books.