Malorie Blackman OBE
Malorie Blackman OBE is an award-winning writer of over 70 books for children and young adults and has been described by The Times as "a national treasure". In 2005, she was awarded an OBE for services to children’s literature and she was the Children’s Laureate 2013-2015. Malorie is a regular spokesperson for our work and has generously given her time to help celebrate initiatives such as our primary school library campaign.
Lauren Child CBE
Lauren Child CBE is a children’s author and illustrator best known for her Charlie and Lola picture books, the Clarice Bean series, and Ruby Redfort novels. She has illustrated a number of classics including Pippi Longstocking and Mary Poppins. She was the Children’s Laureate 2017-2019, a former trustee of the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration and a UNESCO Artist for Peace. Lauren has been a valued supporter of the National Literacy Trust since 2010 and is a popular guest at our annual Gala Dinner.
Photograph by Polly Borland.
Cressida Cowell MBE
Cressida Cowell MBE is the author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon, The Wizards of Once and Which Way to Anywhere series, as well as picture books. She was the Children’s Laureate 2019-2022. Cressida has supported all areas of our work, visiting numerous projects across our Literacy Hubs, speaking at Parliamentary Receptions and giving countless media interviews on our behalf. Most recently her support has focused on primary school library provision, which was a key part of her Children’s Laureate manifesto.
Photograph by Debra Hurford Brown.
Louise Doughty is the author of ten novels, most recently A Bird in Winter. Her bestselling, Apple Tree Yard, was adapted for BBC, starring Emily Watson, and her BBC hit series Crossfire was broadcast in 2022 and starred Keeley Hawes. She is a Trustee for the National Literacy Trust, is a welcome guest at many of our events including our Gala Dinner, and has generously donated unique prizes for auction.
Photograph by Yves Salmon.
Charlie Higson is an author, actor, comedian and writer. His children’s books include the Young Bond series and his bestselling zombie-adventure series, The Enemy, which is being developed into a major US movie franchise. TV work includes The Fast Show, which he co-created, co-produced and starred in with Paul Whitehouse. Charlie is a long-standing ambassador, with a specific focus on engaging boys with reading. In 2023 he generously donated all royalties from On His Majesty’s Secret Service, his specially commissioned James Bond adventure which was published to coincide with the Coronation of King Charles III.
Anthony Horowitz CBE
Anthony Horowitz CBE is one of the UK’s most prolific and successful writers, whose work includes TV series, films, plays and journalism. He has written over 50 books including the bestselling teen spy series Alex Rider, two specially commissioned Sherlock Holmes novels and three James Bond continuation novels. Anthony is a valued and long-term supporter of our work, attending our Gala Dinner and has generously donated many unique prizes for auction.
Photograph by Jack Lawson.
Greg James and Chris Smith
Greg James and Chris Smith are the co-authors of Super Ghost, The Great Dream Robbery and the Kid Normal series. Greg is the host of The Radio 1 Breakfast Show, the loosely cricket-based podcast Tailenders and Radio 4’s Rewinder. Chris has worked as a newsreader and presenter on radio stations including Xfm and BBC Radio 1, where the pair met. As well as co-writing with Greg he is the author of his own fantasy books including Frankie Best Hates Quests. Together Greg and Chris have supported our work nationwide, from a multi-school event in our Hastings Hub to sharing exclusive videos and content for children and families during lockdown, to hosting online events for schools. Chris and Greg are proud ambassadors of our Primary School Library Alliance, helping to raise awareness of the need for a library in every UK primary school.
Photograph by Jenny Smith.
Miles Jupp is an actor, comedian and writer. Recent credits include The Full Monty on Disney+, The Durrells and Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? His debut novel, History, was published in 2021 and his radio shows include the satire Party’s Over and the reimagined sketch show Whatever Next? Miles is a long-standing ambassador for the National Literacy Trust. Over the years his generous support has ranged from visiting target schools in Peterborough and London to hosting online fundraisers during lockdown, and he is a much-loved Master of Ceremonies at our Gala Dinner.
David Nicholls is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter. His books include Starter For Ten and One Day, both of which he adapted for screen, Us, which was adapted for the BBC, Sweet Sorrow and, in April 2024, You Are Here. TV and film credits include Much Ado About Nothing, The 7.39, Far from the Madding Crowd and Patrick Melrose, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. A new Netflix adaptation of One Day is coming soon. David is a long-term supporter of our work and a hugely popular guest at our annual Gala Dinner and Summer Party.
Photograph by Hal Shinnie.
Adele Parks MBE
Adele Parks MBE is the author of 23 bestselling novels including the recent Sunday Times bestsellers Just Between Us and One Last Secret. In 2022 she was awarded an MBE for services to literature. A passionate advocate for literacy, Adele is a valued supporter of our work, from hosting writing workshops for schools in our Middlesbrough Hub near where she grew up, to giving keynote speeches and media interviews, to attending Gala Dinners and even taking on the challenge of abseiling down London’s Broadgate Tower to raise money for our work!
Liz Pichon is an award-winning children’s author and illustrator best known for her multi-million bestselling Tom Gates series, which is also a BAFTA award-winning TV show for Sky Kids. For the past two years she has designed the official BBC Children in Need t-shirt, with all proceeds going to projects focused on young people. She has supported numerous National Literacy Trust events, including a multi-school event with our Patron in Stoke-on-Trent to celebrate the launch of our Literacy Hub. A popular guest at our Gala Dinner, she has also generously donated unique pieces of artwork for auction.
Katherine Rundell is a Fellow of St Catherine’s College Oxford and a bestselling author whose novels for children, include Impossible Creatures, Rooftoppers and The Explorer. In 2020 Katherine curated The Book of Hopes, with contributions from over 110 children’s writers and illustrators to comfort, inspire and encourage children during lockdown. Thanks to the support of Katherine and her publisher Bloomsbury, we were able to offer children, families and schools exclusive free access to the ebook to read and enjoy throughout the school closures. Katherine is also a popular guest at our annual Gala Dinner and Summer Party.
Photograph by Nina Subin.
Axel Scheffler is best known for the children's books he has illustrated through his partnership with author Julia Donaldson, which include their bestselling modern classic, The Gruffalo. Other titles include the Tales from Acorn Wood and Pip and Posy series. In 2018, he brought together 45 illustrators from across Europe to create Drawing Europe Together. Axel has been a valued supporter of the National Literacy Trust since 2010. An unfailingly popular guest at our annual gala dinner, Axel has generously donated numerous pieces of artwork for auction over the years.
Photograph by Liam Jackson.
Francesca Simon MBE
Francesca Simon MBE is best known for her hugely successful Horrid Henry series and the Two Terrible Vikings series. The opera of her Costa-shortlisted YA novel, The Monstrous Child, with composer Gavin Higgins, premiered at the Royal Opera House in 2019 to great acclaim. She is a 500 Words judge and a former trustee of World Book Day. A passionate campaigner for access to books and libraries for all, Francesca is a valued supporter of our Primary School Library Alliance, and has given numerous interviews to support the profile of our work in this area and beyond.
Photograph by Helen Giles.
Sarah Waters OBE
Sarah Waters OBE has written six award-winning novels and her books have been adapted for television, stage and film. Awards include The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, given in recognition of a writer’s body of work, and she was awarded an OBE in 2019 for services to literature. Sarah is a long-standing ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and has generously given her time to support our criminal justice work in particular, visiting reading groups in HMP Styal and HMP Downview and sharing writing advice in interviews with National Prison Radio.
Photograph by Charlie Hopkinson.