Matt DickinsonMatt Dickinson is an award-winning writer and filmmaker with a passion for climbing and adventure. During his filmmaking career he has worked as a director/cameraman for National Geographic television, the Discovery Channel, the BBC and Channel 4. His film projects have taken him to Antarctica, Africa and the Himalaya, often in the company of the world’s leading climbers and expeditioners. Recently Matt has started writing fiction for teenage readers. His Everest Files trilogy has inspired his popular school tour and creative-writing programme, the Everest Reading Challenge, which has seen him travel across the UK and abroad, where a new generation of adventurers have been inspired by his film-making experiences, his expeditions to Antarctica and his climb to the summit of Everest.
Sarah Mussi is an award-winning author of children’s and young adults’ fiction. Her first novel, The Door of No Return, won the Glen Dimplex Children’s Book Award and was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award. Riot won the Lancashire Book of the Year Award 2015. Sarah is the current Chair of Children’s Writers and Illustrators in South London. Her latest book, Here be Dragons: The Snowdonia Chronicles, has inspired a new creative-writing programme, The Snowdonia Reading Challenge, which is designed to develop literacy among reluctant readers. Her talk covers the fact and the fiction behind the legends surrounding the dragons of Wales and the tales of Merlin. It provides a unique insight in the mythology of Snowdonia, and draws on Sarah’s experiences gathered from a lifetime’s passion for all things magical and mysterious. Her PowerPoint presentation also looks at some of the more amazing archaeological sites in Wales that are visited in Here be Dragons and the mythical monsters and local legends that inspired her book.
Ruth Eastham is an award-winning author from the UK. Her debut novel, The Memory Cage, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, and won the Inspiration Book Award. Teachers voted it best story in the UK Literacy Association Book Award, and it won and was shortlisted for many other regional prizes. The Memory Cage was also nominated for the prestigious Carnegie Medal. Her second book, The Messenger Bird, won and was shortlisted for many local authority book prizes and its Enigma Code themes made it a featured book at the famous Bletchley Park. Ruth is a popular speaker in schools, in the UK and abroad, fascinating children with the real life mysteries and dramas behind these and her other books: Arrowhead, The Jaguar Trials and, her latest novel, The Warrior in the Mist. Ruth has lived in New Zealand, Australia and Italy and has two daughters.
Kieron Black is an artist, writer, husband, father, surfer, snowboarder and skateboarder, although not necessarily in that order. As a successful landscape painter, specialising mostly in mountains, he has exhibited across the UK, Europe and New York. He has also illustrated several children’s books including Boo!!! Said the Banshee at home in Ireland and is currently wrestling with the umpteenth draft of a full-length novel, though the almost constant ‘surf breaks’ seem to be impeding this somewhat. The Goblin’s Blue Blanket is his first self-penned children’s book. Kieron lives by the beach in Northern Ireland with his wife and daughter and a collection of annoying, furry creatures that eat everything and put paw prints all over his artwork.
Lily Dyu is an author and freelance journalist with a passion for the outdoors, wild places and nature. Her adventures have seen her cycling in Ladakh on the loftiest roads of the Himalaya, running across England, Scotland and Wales, and also around Manaslu – the eighth highest mountain in the world. Lily studied natural sciences at the University of Cambridge. After a successful career in technology – while writing in her free time – she retrained as a journalist. Through her writing, she loves to share her love of the outdoors and wonder for the natural world. She has written widely for magazines and journals and is the author of Fastpacking: Multi-Day Running Adventures and Brecon Beacons Trail Running. Her books for children include Fantastic Female Adventurers, and Earth Heroes (Nosy Crow), inspirational stories about people like Greta Thunberg who are changing the world.