Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Lovely Lists: Bath's Own Children's Authors and Illustrators

Here's the start of an interesting list: children's authors and illustrators who have some association with Bath ... if you can think of anyone else, just let me know or add to the Comments box.

Allan Ahlberg who, together with his illustrator wife Janet created Peepo!, Burglar Bill, Each Peach Pear Plum and many other classic children's books, lives in Bath. Born in Croydon, Allan was brought up in Oldbury in the West Midlands.  He writes from a shed in the back garden of his town-house. Janet Ahlberg died in 1994, sadly aged only 50.

David Almond was appointed Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University in 2012. He's a prize winning children's author, perhaps best known for Skellig and My Name is Mina (which we read in January 2012).

Grahame Baker-Smith won the 2011 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for his illustrations for FArTHER.  Born and raised in Oxfordshire, he lives in Camden in Bath.

Elen Caldecott graduated with an MA in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University and now lives in Bristol. She was shortlisted for the 2009 Waterstones' Children's Book of the Year. Operation Eiffel Tower was shortlisted for the Red House Children’s Book Award 2013.

Jim Carrington, a Carnegie nominee for Inside My Head, was born in Norwich and studied at Bath Spa University.

Under her maiden name Sheila Chapman, Sheila Jeffries wrote four children's novels in the popular 'pony story' genre. Sheila studied at Bath Academy of Art and began to write full time in 1982 under the name Sheila Haigh.

Tracey Corderoy moved to Bath from South Wales when she was eighteen to study at Bath College of Higher Education. Her books include the Willow Valley series and Whizz Pop, Granny STOP!

Nicola Davies / Stevie Morgan trained as a zoologist and worked for the BBC before becoming an author. What’s Eating You was shortlisted for the American Association for the Advancement of Science children’s book prize for 2008. Nicola is a senior lecturer in creative writing at Bath Spa University. 

Kim Donovan studied for her MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. She is the author of St Viper’s School for Super Villains.

Sam Gayton moved to Bath aged 26 to take the MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University.  He worked as a teaching assistant at Widcombe Junior School and launched his debut novel, The Snow Merchant, at the Bath Children's Literature Festival in 2011.

Che Golden spent her childhood between County Cork and London.  She is a graduate of Bath Spa University's creative writing course.  Her first novel was The Feral Child, in 2012.

Julia Green, author of Blue Moon and Baby Blue, is a senior lecturer at Bath Spa University.

Sarah Hammond studied for her MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. The Night Sky in my Head was shortlisted for the Calderdale Children’s Book of the Year Award 2013 and the Leeds Book Award 2013.

Candida Harper (C J Harper) is another graduate from Bath Spa University's MA in Writing for Young People.  Her first book is The Disappeared, published in January 2013.
Marie-Louise Jensen went to school in Bradford-on-Avon.  She studied for her MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University.  She was shortlisted for the 2009 Waterstones' Children's Book of the Year.

Dick King-Smith (1922-2011) taught at Farmborough primary school near Bath, and spent the latter years of his life in Queen Charlton, a village just outside Keynsham, between Bath and Bristol.  He is best known for The Sheep Pig, on which the movie Babe was based.  

Gill Lewis has a Masters degree in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University and won the 2009 course prize for most promising writer.  Her first children's book was Skyhawk.  She lives in Somerset.

Sue Mongredien grew up in Nottingham but lives in Bath.  She has published over 100 children's books, including the popular Oliver Moon series.

Sally Nicholls' first children’s novel, Ways to Live Forever, was written while she was a student at Bath Spa University: it won the Waterstones' Children's Book of the Year Award in 2008.

Maudie Smith is another graduate of Bath Spa University. Her debut novel for children was Opal Moonbaby.

Geoffrey Trease (Bows against the Barons, Cue for Treason etc) spent his last years in Bath, to which he and his wife had moved from Malvern shortly before her death. He died in Bath in 1998.

Stephen Voake (The Dreamwalker's Child) is a prize-winning author and former head-teacher who is now Senior Lecturer in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University.  He comes from Midsomer Norton and lives near Bath.

Rachel Ward lives in Bath.  Her first novel, Numbers, (published 2009), was shortlisted for Waterstones' Children's Book Prize and longlisted for the Carnegie. 

Jacqueline Wilson was born Jacqueline Aitken in Bath, where her father was working as a civil servant.  She first found fame with the Tracey Beaker books, going on to become Children's Laureate 2005-2007.

Bath-based Moira Young won the Costa Children's Book of the Year prize 2011 for Blood Red Road.  A native of Canada, she came to the UK in 1983/4 and now lives in Bath.


  1. Geoffrey Trease, who wrote many historical novels aimed at children, spent the last few years of his life in Bath.

  2. Many thanks: I've added him to the blog list (see above). One of my most favourite writers!

    1. I found another one, Jacqueline, on the Frances Lincoln reference site for authors and illustrators.

      She is Nicola Davies, who writes for children and adults, and is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa university. The full article on her is at: