TTLG Author/Illustrator Profiles

Martin Waddell

Martin Waddell

Martin Waddell was brought up in London and in Newcastle, Co.Down, Northern Ireland, where he now lives. His first ambition was to be a professional footballer and he played for the Fulham junior team. When he was just fifteen he left school and had a variety of jobs, including working in the editorial department of a publishing house and running a junk stall in Camden Passage Market. His breakthrough as a writer came with the publication of OTLEY which was turned into a film starring Tom Courtney and Romy Schneider. This gave him the financial independence to return to Ireland and to give all his time to writing. He is now one of the most prolific and successful of children's writers with well over one hundred books to his name.

Martin enjoys writing for babies and for teenagers and for the ages in between. His books include football stories (the Napper series), award winning picture books and novels which look at the impact of the Northern Ireland situation on the lives of young people. He has also written many books for educational publishers and has recently started to explore the world of folk story.

Martin Waddell has won scores of awards and prizes, among them The Smarties Prize for CAN'T T YOU SLEEP LITTLE BEAR and FARMER DUCK. He has been shortlisted for the Guardian Young Fiction Award for STARRY NIGHT, and ALONG A LONELY ROAD and for the Carnegie Award with FRANKIE'S STORY. PARK IN THE DARK won the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award in 1989 and ROSIE'S BABIES the Best Book for Babies Award in 1990.