Collins Reading Authors

Allan Baillie

Since the publication of his first novel in 1983, Allan Baillie has become one of Australia’s most important writers for children. On leaving school, Allan worked as a journalist and travelled extensively. Many of his books draw upon this background and give his readers invaluable insights into world politics, with a particular focus on Asia.

Malorie Blackman

Malorie Blackman is a highly-respected children’s author and winner of the Carnegie Medal. Among her many other successful novels for children are Hacker and Dangerous Reality.

Christy Brown

Christy Brown was an Irish author most famous for his autobiography ‘My Left Foot’ which told the story of his lifelong struggle with cerebral palsy and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film of the same name.

Gareth Calway

Gareth Calway grew up near Bristol – his first memory is of being attacked by a toucan at Bristol zoo. He now lives in Norfolk with his wife Melanie. He was an English teacher for 27 years and has been a full-time writer, journalist, children’s author and actor since 2007. His Punktured History of Britain shows take him out on the road to museums, village halls and the Edinburgh Fringe. If he’s ever made England football manager, he will get them to practise the penalty shoot out.

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho was born in Brazil and has become one of the most widely read authors in the world today. Renowned for his best-loved work The Alchemist, he has sold over 65 million books worldwide and has been translated into 60 languages. The recipient of numerous prestigious awards, he is a storyteller with the power to inspire nations and change people’s lives.

Samuel Connor

Samuel Connor is an artist and a teacher. He studied Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art, then completed a Masters in Education at University of Cambridge. He now teaches art to students aged 11-18, exploring many topics such as animation, photography, drawing, painting and sculpture. Samuel's aim is to inspire young people to get involved in art and get creative!

Gerald Durrell

Gerald Durrell was born in India and grew up in South London. He was a naturalist, zookeeper and children’s author, best known for the autobiographical work ‘My Family and Other Animals’.

Alan Gibbons

Alan Gibbons trained as a teacher and through working with young people discovered his literary voice. He started writing fiction for his pupils and published his first novel in 1993. Alan has also appeared on the BBC education programme Writer’s Block, the Blue Peter Book Awards, radio 4’s Front Row, and is a regular contributor to TES, Junior Education, Carousel, Books for Keeps and other journals.

Robbie Gibbons

Robbie Gibbons has just graduated with First Class Honours in Creative Writing from John Moores University in his home city of Liverpool. He has had a short story published in the collection Dark Spaces and his collaborations for Read On are his first full length published work.

Morris Gleitzman

Morris Gleitzman was born in 1953. He is one of Australia's most celebrated children's writers. His novels include Bumface, Sticky Beak and Two Weeks with the Queen.

Pippa Goodhart

Pippa Goodhart began working in Heffers Bookshop on Saturdays when she was sixteen. She went to university to study history, but came back to work in Heffers Children’s Bookshop. Some years later, when she was a mum at home with small children, she began to write children’s books, and she’s been doing that now for twenty years.

Mike Gould

Mike Gould has written over 150 books for students and teachers, including plays, stories and the occasional poem. He lives in Sussex and divides his time between writing, being taken for a walk by his dog Freddie, and trying out his ideas on his three children and wife who pretend to find them interesting. His favourite novels are Bleak House by Charles Dickens and SE Hinton’s The Outsiders. He’s quite partial to poems about animals, nature and bad weather

Keith Gray

When he was younger, Keith Gray was labelled as a reluctant reader and didn't read his first 'proper' book until he was 12. But as a teenager his love of books grew and grew until soon enough he'd decided he wanted to be a writer. He had his first book published when he was only 24, and he's now written over 20, some of which have won awards in the UK and abroad. He lives in Edinburgh with his girlfriend, their daughter and their parrot.

Derek Landy

Derek Landy is proof, if proof were needed, that there is hope out there for students who always find it difficult to keep their minds on the subject at hand. Having failed his final exams at school and having been kicked out of art college, Derek wasn’t exactly looking forward to the wasted life of mediocrity that stretched out before him. So he decided to finally take something seriously. Much to the delight of readers everywhere (he’s sure), Derek focused on the one passion that had never let him down – writing. He struggled, he worked hard, and after getting two small Irish films made his life changed utterly when Skulduggery Pleasant appeared in his head. The world has been a much better place ever since.

C.S Lewis

C.S Lewis (1898 – 1963) was an English novelist, poet and essayist. He is famous as the author of the iconic Chronicles of Narnia series, which has been translated into over 30 languages.

Lois Lowry

Lois Lowry was born in 1937. She is an American author of children's literature. Her works include The Giver and Number the Stars, both of which won the Newbery Medal.

Cathy MacPhail

Cathy MacPhail has written over forty books for children, as well as plays for radio and short stories. She has a reputation for 'gritty realism’, but loves writing funny books as well as ghost stories. Her first book, Run Zan Run, was inspired by the bullying her daughter suffered in high school. Many of her books have won awards, and she loves visiting schools to talk to her readers. She still lives in Greenock, in Scotland, where she was born.

Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo was the third Children’s Laureate, and has won numerous prizes for his children’s literature. His most well-known works include War Horse, The Butterfly Lion and Private Peaceful.

Jan Needle

A native of Portsmouth, Jan Needle has had a lifelong interest in the sea and naval history. Under his pseudonym Frank Kippax, he has published four acclaimed thrillers. Under his real name, Jan Needle, he has a successful career as a TV scriptwriter and as a writer of acclaimed children’s books. His previous novel, ‘A Fine Boy for Killing’, also features William Bentley.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. Her first novel ‘Purple Hibiscus’ was published in 2003 and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. Her second novel ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her work has been selected by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and the BBC Short Story Awards and has appeared in various literary publications, including Zoetrope and The Iowa Review.

Alan Parkinson

Alan Parkinson is an award-winning teacher and author, who currently works in teacher education and as a freelance geographer. He lives in rural Norfolk, and enjoys exploring new (and old) places.

Helena Pielichaty

Helena Pielichaty (pronounced Pierre-li-hatty) has written over thirty books for children. Her latest series, Girls FC, is set around a fictional girls’ football team so she was delighted to be asked to write her first non-fiction book for HarperCollins on a subject close to her heart. Helena’s auntie played women’s football in the 1950s and her daughter played from the age of 9 to 26. Helena herself has never played football but was an enthusiastic, if inept, wing defence on her school netball team.

Louis Sachar

Louis Sachar was born in New York and has published many successful children’s books in the USA. Holes was the first of his novels to be published in the UK with tremendous success, both in schools and at home. There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom is the second of his novels to be published in Britain.

Marcus Sedgwick

Marcus Sedgwick has worked in children's publishing for ten years and before that he was a bookseller. He is also a stone carver and wood engraver and illustrates all his novels. Marcus lives in Sussex and has a young daughter, Alice.

Darren Shan

Born in London in 1972, Darren O’Shaughnessy (writing as Darren Shan) moved to Limerick with his parents and younger brother when he was six. He returned to London to study Sociology and English, and then worked for a TV cable company while writing in his spare time. His first adult novel, Ayuamarca, was published by Orion in 1999. In the meantime, Darren began to write Cirque du Freak as a 'fun side-project'. It was published in 2000 and has since met with huge success in over 30 countries around the world.

Nicky Singer

Nicky Singer was born in 1956 and has worked in publishing, the arts and television. She was co-founder and co-director of Performing Arts Labs, a charity dedicated to training new writers for theatre, screen and opera. In 1995 she presented BBC2’s highly acclaimed documentary series on women’s fertility, ‘Labours of Eve’. She is also head of a writing team developing Asylum Wall, a new way of storytelling for interactive media. In 2000, Nicky was made a board member of the South East Arts Board. She lives in Brighton with her husband and their two young sons and a daughter.

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