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Northern Highlight - Peter Bailey

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Northern Highlight Peter Bailey Why did you become an illustrator? I began illustrating at a very young age, filling the margins of school books with drawings... mostly pitched battles of knights in armour.  I started going to life drawing classes at the age of fourteen, and then to art school at Kingston upon Thames  and later to Brighton College of Art where I was taught by Raymond Briggs, John Lawrence, Justin Todd,  John Vernon Lord and C Walter Hodges… a good start to a career in Illustration! That's what I have done for fifty three years now. Peter's illustrations for the cover and title page of the Folio Society edition of The Book of Dust La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman Tell us about where you live In 1973 I was appointed Lecturer in Illustration at Liverpool College of Art, so my wife, Siân, who is also an illustrator  and our baby son and I moved from Brighton to The Wirral. After 24 years I left teaching to return to freelancing and   remained on Merseyside which

Northern Highlight - Emma Mylrea

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 NORTHERN HIGHLIGHT  Emma Mylrea How did you become a children’s writer?  I’ve always been an avid reader and harboured a secret hope that one day I’d be able to write a novel. I spent a year of my English Literature degree in Barcelona on an Erasmus exchange, and all my memories from that year abroad are punctuated by the books I read. Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia will always remind me of Tess of the D’Urbervilles, the Ramblas is Titus Andronicus and I can’t drink a mojito without thinking of Mr Norris Changes Trains . My dad is an author, and when I was growing up his writing routine was part of our family routine; I think this normalised writing for me and made me believe that one day I could do it too. When my children were tiny, I started to write a story for them, and it slowly progressed from a fun hobby into a priority. I began to make non-negotiable time for it. It grew and grew, and that’s where Curse of the Dearmad began. Tell us about where you live.  I live in the count

Northern Highlight - Jonathan Meres

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  NORTHERN HIGHLIGHT JONATHAN MERES                                       Why did you become a children’s writer?  My stock flippant answer is that it was the only job left that I still hadn’t done. My slightly more serious answer is that I never actually set out to become a children’s author. Having said that, I’m not in the least bit surprised that I did. Everything just kind of led up to that point in my life, 22 years ago – acting in a children’s theatre company, writing for and appearing on children’s TV, even doing stand-up for 10 years, all put me in good stead. I’ve always been at ease in the company of children, long before I had any of my own. I like them. I like talking to them and making them laugh. So, it might sound a bit glib, but it just kind of happened. And I’m extremely glad it did.   written by Jonathan Meres, illustrated by Katy Halford, published by Barrington Stoke Tell us about where you live.  I’ve lived in Edinburgh for the past 30 years. I was born in Notting

Special Guest Northern Highlight - Creative Scotland

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  SPECIAL GUEST NORTHERN HIGHLIGHT CREATIVE SCOTLAND  Can you tell us about Creative Scotland and your work in Scotland?   As part of the Literature Team at Creative Scotland we work with both organisations and individuals, helping applicants understand the criteria of funding available and how it could support their work. Our wonderful Enquiries team are the first port of call, passing along resources or directing potential applicants to other more suitable funding. We support at the pre-application stage through calls or emails and later discuss feedback with unsuccessful applicants. We’re then involved in assessing applications and reviewing them as part of a panel (alongside colleagues from different artform specialisms) and assisting projects once they are funded.   We also provide FAQ-style information and highlight projects which have received funding through our Medium blog. Our team has a network of Regularly Funded Organisations, helping support and champion their work and en

Northern Highlight - Sarah J Dodd

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  NORTHERN HIGHLIGHTS Sarah J Dodd Why did you become a children’s writer?   It was something I always wanted to do from childhood. Apparently, I taught myself to read when I was three years old (though I have no memory of this!) and spent hours lost happily in books. They gave me such pleasure that I knew I wanted to invent my own stories. I went to a fairly progressive primary school, where we were allowed to choose what we did all morning, every morning…so I wrote story after story! They were mostly about animals, even then. As I grew up, I wanted to be able to bring that gift of escape and wonder to other children. Cover illustrated by Becky Thorns. Published by Firefly, 2021 Tell us about where you live I live in north Lancashire, not far from the border with Cumbria. I think it’s the perfect place to live because I love to be outdoors and the sea, moors and mountains are all within easy reach. Morecambe Bay is officially an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it reall

Northern Highlight - Emma Layfield

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NORTHERN HIGHLIGHT  EMMA LAYFIELD Why did you want to work in the children's book industry? I first fell in love with picture books reading Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman and, as I grew up, this love of picture books never left me. I worked in bookshops, always in the children’s section, and went on to do a BA and MA in publishing, as I was so keen to work with creatives and understand the industry. Over the years, I’ve worked on picture books, fiction and non-fiction, but my love and passion will always be picture books. Tell us about where you live. We moved from Manchester city centre to Chorlton a year ago and I could not be happier living here. Chorlton Ees Nature Reserve is on our doorstep and we spend every weekend walking along the River Mersey. At one end of my road is the brilliant Chorlton Bookshop and at the other is Beech Road, filled with indie bars, cafes and restaurants. And, not forgetting, we also have Chorlton Library and the Chorlton Book Festival here