Elizabeth Buchan began her career as a blurb writer and was greatly cheered when Iris Murdoch once wrote to her that blurb writing was a 'mini artform'. After a short period as a fiction editor, she began to write full time. To date, she has published nine novels, including the prize-winning Consider the Lily. Her stories have been published in a variety of magazines and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She has been the judge for the Whitbread Awards and the Betty Trask Award. The international best-selling success of Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman has been confirmation of her belief that, far from being downhill all the way, the past forty years are the most interesting and powerful.
Michael Buerk has reported on some of the biggest stories in our lifetime including the Birmingham pub bombing and Lockerbie. He was in Buenos Aires at the start of the Falklands War and his first report on the Ethiopian famine sent shock waves around the world. He has been the face of the BBC evening news for many years and has fronted everything from the BBC1 series 999 to Radio 4's The Moral Maze. Michael has won every major award and is universally admired and respected for his intelligent and honest journalism. What is less known is that he is also loved by his colleagues, not least for his wicked sense of humour.
Adele Parks always dreamed of being a writer and her first novel, Playing Away was published in 2000. Since then, Adele has proven to be one of our most-loved and biggest-selling women's fiction writers in the UK. She's published fifteen novels in fifteen years, all of which have been Times Top Ten bestsellers with over three million UK editions sold. Examining those undeniable, lasting issues that interest us all, she scrutinizes our theories of love, motherhood and infidelity with honesty and humour. She writes numerous articles and short stories for national magazines and newspapers and often appears on radio and TV talking about her work. Adele has spent her adult life in Italy, Botswana, Leicester and London, but now lives very happily in Guildford, with her husband and son.
Michael Rosen is one of the best-known figures in the children's book world, renowned for his work as a poet, performer, broadcaster and scriptwriter. He is the Children's Laureate 2007-2009. As an author and by selecting other writers' works for anthologies he has been involved with over 140 books. He lectures and teaches in universities on children's literature, reading and writing. Michael Rosen's writing for children appeals to all ages. He writes non-fiction, novels, picture books, retells classics and stories from other cultures as well as writing poetry. He has been shortlisted for and won many awards. His classic picture book We're Going on a Bear Hunt, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury won the Nestle Smarties Grand Prize in 1989.
Sandi Toksvig went into the theatre as a writer and performer before becoming a founder member of the Comedy Store Players. Sandi is well-known for her work on stage, television and radio as an actor, presenter and player. She is also the author of six books for children and two witty novels, Flying Under Bridges and Whistling for the Elephants. Sandi's books The Gladys Society and The Travels of Lady Bulldog Burton were published in 2002 to great acclaim.
Fay Weldon CBE is one of our best-loved writers. She has published over 20 novels including Down Among the Women, Female Friends, Praxis, Puffball, The Hearts and Lives of Men, Affliction, Worst Fears and Splitting. Last year, Fay published her autobiography Auto da Fay. Some of her most powerful writing is in the form of the short story and these are now published in four volumes: Watching Me Watching You, Polaris, Moon Over Minneapolis and The End of the Line. Fay has written numerous television plays and contributed to many series, including Upstairs Downstairs, Pride and Prejudice, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, and The Cloning of Joanna May.
Timothy West CBE, is one of our most admired and respected actors both on stage and television. Timothy has played roles as diverse as Edward VII and Thomas Beecham, Falstaff, Lear, Uncle Vanya, Stalin and Churchill and he became a household name in the TV series Brass. He is also President of LAMDA and the Society for Theatre Research. His autobiography, A Moment Towards the End of the Play, tells of his life as an actor and director of the Prospect Theatre Company.
Jacqueline Wilson is the much-loved award-winning author of numerous stories for children. Her realistic characters and storylines have attracted a huge admiring audience of both children and adults. Her books include The Story of Tracy Beaker, recently brilliantly adapted for television, The Suitcase Kid which won The Children's Book Award 1993, The Bed and Breakfast Star - winner of the Young Telegraph/Fully Booked Award 1995, Double Act - winner of the Smarties Prize 1995 and the Children's Book Award 1996, The Mum-Minder, Bad Girls, The Lottie Project and The Illustrated Mum. She has also written books for older readers: Girls in Love and Girls Under Pressure and, for younger readers, The Dinosaur's Packed Lunch and The Monster Storyteller.