Speakers’ bios

L1090408The writers workshop is being organised by Sarah Odedina.  She has many years’ experience in the publishing industry, most of that in the world of literature for young readers.  She has published five Carnegie Medal winning authors and has worked with some of the children’s book world’s most loved writers including J K Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Louis Sachar, Sally Gardner and Celia Rees.  Sarah is Editor-at-Large for Pushkin Press as well as co-founder of the children’s magazine SCOOP.  Sarah is committed to ensuring that the publishing industry becomes more inclusive and diverse and she believes that hosting this workshop and sharing the experience of so many established publishers, agents and authors with new writers is a step in the right direction.

Patrice Lawrence was born in Brighton, raised in Haywards Heath and migrated to 01151210-01 lawrence070London in the mid-90s. She has had a number of jobs, including cleaning the wards of a psychiatric hospital and handing out condoms in young people’s sexual health clinics. Her debut YA novel, Orangeboy (Hodder Children’s, 2016), has been nominated for a number of awards, shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award and won the Waterstones Children’s Book Award for Older Fiction. Her second novel, Indigo Donut, was published in July, 2017.  http://patricelawrence.wordpress.com/


Crystal Mahey-Morgan HeadshotCrystal Mahey-Morgan is founder of storytelling lifestyle brand OWN IT! which releases content across books, music, fashion and film. She previously worked at Penguin Random House, Raindance Film Festival and was a freelance writer for the Guardian and Face magazine as well as promoter of hip hop spoken word nights.



KnightsOf2Knights Of is a new independent children’s publisher, publishing commercial inclusive books for children from the ages of five to fifteen. Knights Of is simultaneously working to address publishing’s workplace diversity issue by helping to build a creative industry pipeline with paid shadowing roles offered throughout its various departments. Follow Knights Of on Twitter @_KnightsOf


Sarah photo for bioSarah Shaffi is a freelance books journalist. She is editor-at-large for Little Tiger Group, reviews for Stylist, is co-founder of BAME in Publishing and is books editor for PHOENIX. She was previously online editor and producer for The Bookseller. Sarah can be found tweeting @sarahshaffi.



Malorie Blackman is the author of many wonderful books for young readers ranging Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 19.16.16from picture books to books for young adults.  Her book Noughts and Crosses is one of the best-selling and most popular teen titles published in the UK.  Malorie was Children’s Laureate where she launched the hugely successful YALC festival as part of her tenure.  https://www.malorieblackman.co.uk



IMG_0295Julia Churchill is a literary agent working at A.M. Heath where she represents a wonderful range of authors including Sarah Crossan.  She is always on the look out for exciting new writers to represent from creators of picture book texts to writers of novels for teens and young adults.  Follow her on twitter @juliachurchill


Sara Grant has inspired, written or edited nearly 100 books for children. Her newest Sara Grant_2016book – Chasing Danger – is an action-adventure series for middle grade readers. Sara teaches Goldsmiths University’s masters class on writing for children/teens. She co-created Undiscovered Voices – which has launched the writing careers of thirty-seven authors. She offers a series of events for writers through Book Bound (www.bookboundretreat.com) https://www.sara-grant.com Twitter: @authorsaragrant

Nikki Griffiths has been working in publishing for almost three decades and has great insight and understanding of contracts and rights.  Her advice is sought by many major publishers including Bloomsbury, Bonnier and Firefly.

Screen Shot 2018-04-18 at 11.24.35Ele Fountain’s debut novel BOY 87 published to great acclaim in April this year.  She was a children’s book editor for 15 years before starting to write.  Her understanding of  being on both sides of the publishing table will be a fascinating insight for writers to the creative process.

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