Meet the 2021 authors


Frances Hardinge spent a large part of her childhood in a huge old house that inspired her to write strange stories from an early age. She read English at Oxford University, then got a job at a software company. However, a few years later a persistent friend finally managed to bully Frances into sending a few chapters of Fly By Night, her first children’s novel, to a publisher. Macmillan made her an immediate offer. The book went on to publish to huge critical acclaim and win the Branford Boase First Novel Award. She has since written many highly acclaimed children’s novels including, Fly By Night’s sequel, Twilight Robbery, as well as the Carnegie shortlisted Cuckoo Song and the Costa Book of the Year winner, The Lie Tree.

Patrice Lawrence was born in Brighton and brought up in an Italian-Trinidadian household in Mid Sussex. Patrice lives in east London and shares a cat called Stormageddon. She has been writing for as long as she has been reading. She loves crime fiction, sci-fi and trying to grow things. Her ideal mixtape includes drum ‘n’ bass, Bruce Springsteen and Studio Ghibli soundtracks. Music can’t help creeping into her books. Her debut novel, Orangeboy, won the Waterstone’s Book Prize for Older Readers and the YA Book Prize, and her second novel, Indigo Donut, won the Crime Fest Best Crime Fiction for Young Adults and was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize..

Vincent Ralph has been writing in one form or another since his teens and always dreamed of being a novelist. He owes his love of books to his mother, who encouraged his imagination from an early age and made sure there were new stories to read. Vincent has lived in London, Cornwall and Chester but he now lives in his home county of Kent with his wife, son and two cats.

Julian Sedgwick is the author of six books for children, and co-author of the graphic novel DARK SATANIC MILLS and illustrated novel VOYAGES IN THE UNDERWORLD OF ORPHEUS BLACK, recently shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2020. He read Chinese Studies and Philosophy at Cambridge, before working as a bookseller, painter, researcher and script developer for film and TV, and shiatsu therapist. Julian lives near Ely, Cambridgeshire, is married and has two grown-up sons. He still combines writing with his work as a therapist. In his spare time he draws as much as possible, juggles torches and knives, tries his best to learn Japanese – and waits for the weather to get cold enough to go fen skating.

Chie Kutsuwada was born and brought up in Japan. A well-known figure in teaching manga in the UK, Chie went to Central Saint Martin’s for her art major and continued her studies at the Royal College of Art. She now works as a professional manga artist and lives in Brighton.

Kevin Wignall was born in Brussels, the son of a military family, and lived in various parts of Europe throughout his childhood. He studied Politics & International Relations at Lancaster University. He’s currently based in the west of England, though he travels a lot. His novels and short stories have inspired film-makers, musicians and other artists, topped bestseller lists and been shortlisted for numerous awards.