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Meet Our Experts

    Geraldine Brennan

    Geraldine Brennan writes about children’s books for publications including The Observer and Books for Keeps and is former Books Editor of The Times Educational Supplement. She has judged several literary awards, most recently the Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award.

    Wendy Cooling

    Wendy Cooling trained as a teacher and went on to run The Children’s Book Foundation (now Booktrust), where she organized projects to promote reading, including the hugely successful Bookstart scheme, which encourages parents and carers to read to their children from a very early age. She now works as a consultant and continues to be immersed in children’s books for children of all ages – producing them, reviewing them, promoting them – and is committed to getting more books and more stories to children all over the world. She has also edited story and poetry anthologies and re-told traditional stories for a range of publishers.

    Julia Eccleshare

    Julia Eccleshare is a writer, broadcaster and lecturer as well as Children’s Books Editor of the Guardian and Co-director of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. She was a publisher from 1978-84 and has been an editorial advisor to many children’s publishers including Puffin Modern Classics. She is chair of the Guardian Children’s Book Prize and the Branford Boase first novel prize. She is also a founder member of the steering committee for the Children’s Laureate, and a trustee of Reading is Fundamental, Listening Books and the Poetry Book Society.

    Natasha Farrant

    Natasha Farrant has worked in children’s publishing for eighteen years, first as Foreign Rights Manager and now as an independent literary scout (being paid by publishers all over the world to find books for them to publish in their own languages). She also works for a film production company, doing much the same thing. Natasha also writes for young adults – her first novel, The Things We Did For Love was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal.  Her second YA novel, After Iris: The Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby is published in July 2013. You can find out more about her at

    Prue Goodwin

    Prue Goodwin is a freelance lecturer in literacy and children’s books, who specialises in the role of children’s books in teaching, especially in learning to read. Her work includes speaking at conferences, consultancy to publishers of children’s books and researching literacy in schools. Whilst lecturing at the University of Reading (1992-2010), she organised highly popular in-service courses for teachers and publishers, tutored trainee teachers and ran an MA module on Children’s Books in Education.  Prue regularly returns to the classroom to introduce children to a range of books and to encourage wide, voracious reading. She uses her enthusiasm to infect readers – no matter what their age – with a passion for literature.

    Adam Lancaster

    Adam Lancaster is currently Assistant Head Teacher in a Secondary school in Hertfordshire as well as a librarian and literacy coordinator. He has worked in school libraries for many years and was awarded School Librarian of the Year by the School Library Association in 2012. He is also the founder of National Non-Fiction Day, a day dedicated to the enjoyment of reading non-fiction for pleasure.