Panel: Saving the world!


Writing about the natural world and the cost of human impact from authors who inspire change for our planet

*All panels are pre-recorded – check the timetable to see when it will be available but you can watch at your leisure

Piers Torday began his career in theatre and then television as a producer and writer. His first book for children, The Last Wild, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Award and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. His second book, The Dark Wild, won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. There May Be A Castle was a People’s Book Award finalist and a Times Children’s Book of the Year. The Lost Magician was a Book of the Year in six national newspapers and won the Teach Primary Book Award. The follow up, The Frozen Sea, was published in 2019 and was an iPaper Children’s Book of the Year. A prequel to The Last Wild Trilogy, The Wild Before, published in August 2021. Piers has also completed an unfinished novel by his late father Paul (author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, The Death of an Owl) and adapted The Box of Delights and A Christmas Carol for the stage.

Hannah Gold grew up in a family where books, animals, and the beauty of the outside world were ever present, and is now passionate about writing stories that share her love of the planet. The Last Bear, her middle grade debut, became an instant classic and international bestseller upon release in 2021. It won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Blue Peter Book Awards and was shortlisted for the British Book Awards, the Indie Book Awards and was also nominated for the Carnegie Medal.The Lost Whale is Hannah’s second middle-grade novel which tells an incredible story about the connection between a boy and a whale and the bond that sets them both free. Both novels are illustrated by renowned artist Levi Pinfold and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books. She lives in the UK with her tortoise, her cat and her husband.

Nicola Penfold was born in Billinge and grew up in Doncaster. She studied English Literature at Cambridge University. Nicola has worked in a reference library and for a health charity, but being a writer was always the job she wanted most. Nicola writes ecological adventure stories for Little Tiger for 9+. Her debut novel Where the World Turns Wild was chosen as a Future Classic for the BookTrust School Library Pack and shortlisted for several regional awards. Nicola writes in the coffee shops and green spaces of North London, where she lives with her husband, children and cats, and escapes when she can to wilder corners of the UK for adventures.

[Chair] Alexandra Sheppard is a children’s author from London, UK. Her debut YA novel ‘Oh My Gods’ was published by Scholastic and featured in Buzzfeed, Refinery29 and The Guardian’s Summer Reading List. It was also shortlisted for the Bristol Teen Book Award 2019. Her short story was featured in the 2021 Knights Of anthology ‘Happy Here’ and her debut middle-grade novel is coming soon.



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