Aarhus39 Authors

A selection of the best children’s and YA writers from all over Europe, aged 40 and under – the Aarhus39 – were chosen by Kim Fupz Aakeson (Denmark), Matt Haig (UK) and Ana Cristina Herreros (Spain). These astonishing writers for young people feature in two Aarhus39 anthologies and spoke to audiences at Hay Festival Aarhus in Denmark in October 2017.

Ævar Þór Benediktsson - Iceland

Ævar Þór Benediktsson

Ævar Þór is an actor and author, best known in Iceland for his work as Ævar the Scientist (in TV, radio and books) and for his bestselling "Your very own"-series of books, where the reader takes an active role in shaping the storyline.

Ævar has won several awards for his work, including the Icelandic Children's Book Awards, The Bookseller's Awards, three Edda-awards for his TV-show and a special award, by the ministry of culture and education, in recognition of his contribution to work on the Icelandic language.

In 2015 and 2016, Ævar launched two nation-wide reading challenges for every child in Iceland between the ages of 5-13. At the end of each challenge five participants are randomly selected and as a reward get to be characters in the book series The Young Adventures of Ævar the Scientist. Over 114 thousand books were read in the two challenges. The third nation-wide reading challenge was launched in January 2017, with Icelandic children all around the world now participating.

Ævar has a webpage www.AevarWritesBooks.com

Alaine Agirre - Spain

Alaine Agirre

Alaine Agirre was born in 1990 in Bermeo, a small fishing village on the coast of Bizkaia. Although she studied Physics and Basque Philology, she has always had a passion for writing, and that is now what she mostly devote herself to. She spends her free time with her two greyhounds, the flute and the piano. Six of her children’s books have been published within the last few years as well as two adult fiction books. She writes in Basque, which is her first language, and she puts many of her experiences, emotions and fantasies into her books.

Aline Sax - Belgium

Aline Sax

Aline Sax is a Flemish author of children’s and young adult novels. She has a PhD in History and currently works as an historian and novel writer. She wrote her first book when she was fifteen, about two German child soldiers at the Normandy beaches in June 1944. Until now, she has written fifteen novels. Almost all of them are literary works, set in the past and capturing a wide range of themes and historical periods. Her books are written in Dutch, but have been translated into German, Danish, Swedisch, French, Korean, Arabic and English. She has been nominated for and won several literary prizes.

Ana Pessoa - Portugal

Ana Pessoa

Ana Pessoa (1982) is a Portuguese writer and translator living in Brussels. She has published three books for young adults: Mary John, Supergiant (White Ravens Catalogue 2015) and The Karate Girls' Red Notebook (Branquinho da Fonseca prize 2011). Ana's books are also published in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. In her free time she writes in a blog (www.belgavista.blogspot.com) and eats Belgian chocolate. She also participates in several writers' groups. Many of her stories won awards in Portugal and abroad (Jovens Criadores 2013, Portugal; Castello di Duino 2011, Italy; Sea of Words 2010, Spain). When she finally grows up she wants to be an author.

Andri Antoniou - Cyprus

Andri Antoniou

Andri Antoniou was born in Cyprus in 1980. She graduated from the Department of Primary Education of University of Cyprus and is currently working as a teacher. Her first middle grade novel was published in 2012 by the title Beladomagnitis (Trouble Magnet) and received the National Prize Award for Literature for Older Children and Teenagers for 2012. Her second middle grade novel was published in 2013 by the title Penelope and was included in the shortlist for the National Prize Award for Literature for 2013. Her third middle grade novel by the title Kardia pano se rodes (Heart on wheels) was published in October of 2016. All three books were published by Psichogios Publications.

She was also awarded three times by Women’s Literary Team of Greece in an established children’s literature competition that is been held annually for several years regarding unpublished work.

More of her novels are currently under publication.

Anna Woltz - Netherlands

Anna Woltz

Anna Woltz has written twenty-one books for young readers. Some of her books are adventurous stories for ten-year-olds, others are challenging young adult novels. Her books have been translated into nine languages (English, German, French, Slovenian, Norwegian, Danish, Hungarian, Japanese and Taiwanese) and have won several prizes.

Woltz was first published when she was fifteen years old: she wrote a weekly column about her high school life for a national newspaper. She studied History at Leyden University and is now a full time writer. About fifty days a year she visits schools and libraries to inspire children to read and write more.

Themes that are particularly close to Woltz’s heart are family relationships, growing up and the question all people have to face sooner or later: how am I going to do this – this amazing and complicated thing called life?

Annelise Heurtier - France

Annelise Heurtier

Annelise Heurtier was born in 1979 near Lyon in France. She wrote so far about 20 books, albums and novels, for a broad audience, ranging from young children to teenagers and young adults. Some of her books have been translated in Italian, Spanish, Korean or Chinese.

She enjoys creating fun and airy fairy stories as much as covering serious and challenging real topics which lead the reader to various places: alleys of Kathmandu, Ulaanbaatar slums or make them follow the footsteps of African migrants between Eritrea and Lampedusa.

Her best-seller Sweet Sixteen (published by Casterman in 2013) is based on the real story of the Nine of Little Rock who have fought for racial integration. It has been much praised by the critics and was nominated for about 30 literary awards. It has been reprinted several times and is already considered a classic of young adult literature.

Annette Münch - Norway

Annette Münch

Annette Münch was born in Oslo, Norway. She loved writing and martial arts from a young age. When she was 17 she got her black belt, and when she was 19 she started writing on her first novel; Kaoskrigeren [The Chaos Warrior] (awarded the Ministry of Culture’s book prize for best first novel), which got published six years later. She studied media at the University of Oslo and Hedmark College and worked extra as a freelance journalist. At the age of 23 she got offered a job as an editor for teenage magazines at Egmont in Oslo. After seven years she got a new job for the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. Here she was responsible for the daily debate page for teenagers, both print and digitally. Today she is a full time writer, and has held over 300 book presentations for teenagers all around Norway. Amongst her latest books are Jenteloven [The Girl Code] (2009, awarded the Norwegian Bookseller Federation’s Prize for children and young adult books), The Ultimate Guide to Martial Arts (2012) and Badboy: Steroid (2014, awarded the Brage Prize for best children and young adult books and the Østfoldungdommens Kritikkerpris).

B. R. Collins - United Kingdom

B. R. Collins

As the daughter of a successful author, Bridget Collins always thought being a writer would be boring – but she has written stories and poems for as long as she can remember! She won the Young National Poetry Competition twice before going on to study English at King’s College, Cambridge. Then she trained as an actor at LAMDA, before realising that writing was the perfect way to keep herself sane while she tried to find work, and finally conceding that actually it wasn’t boring at all... Her first book, The Traitor Game, won the Branford Boase Award. Since then she has published six other YA novels with Bloomsbury and been shortlisted for the Stonewall Awards and the Coventry Inspiration Award, as well as being longlisted for the UKLA Award and nominated for the Carnegie Medal several times. She has also had two plays produced.

Cathy Clement - Luxembourg

Cathy Clement

I am a nurse. I have two sons, they were born in 1999 and 2004. I was fifteen years when I wrote Aleng and I put all my feelings in it. In 1996, it won the prize for Best Book of the Year what made me very proud of myself, a feeling that I never had before. I had to go through bad experiences. With Aleng (a kind of diary) I wanted to tell kids not to give up, not to rest ashamed of what they had to go through. That there are solutions for their problems, even if problems are so big they cannot imagine any way out. I have always wanted to be a writer. My idol was Astrid Lindgren. And she still is. Now (twenty years later) I am writing on a new very personal book Not Alone. Unfortunately it will take a while because of loss of time. In the moment, I am also doing a vocational education in pastoral care. I have already written 6 novels (5 in Luxembourgish and 1 in German) and a piece of theatre. There are so many things I want to see, read or feel and everything new can be the ultimate inspiration for my new novel.

Cornelia Travnicek - Austria

Cornelia Travnicek

Cornelia Travnicek lives in Lower Austria. She studied Chinese Studies and Computer Science at the University of Vienna and works part-time as a researcher in its Centre for Virtual Reality and Visualisation. Her literary works have won numerous awards including the Anerkennungspreis des Landes Niederösterreich [State of Lower Austria Commendation Award] for her debut novel Chucks [Converse] (DVA, 2012), and the Kranichstein Youth Literature Grant awarded by the German Literature Fund. In 2012 she received the audience award at the Tagen der deutschsprachigen Literatur [Festival of German-Language Literature] in Klagenfurt for an extract from her novel Junge Hunde [Young Dogs]. Her publications also include various texts in newspapers, magazines and journals. Her novel Chucks [Converse] was filmed in 2015 as an Austrian production.

David Machado - Portugal

David Machado

David Machado was born in Portugal in 1978. He published his first children book, A Noite dos Animais Inventados, in 2006, after winning the Prémio Branquinho da Fonseca for childrens' literature. Since then he published eight other childrens' books, most of them with great critical and public acclaim. He won the Prémio SPA from the Portuguese Authors Society for best Portuguese childrens' book with O Tubarão na Banheira. He has also published three novels and a collection of short stories. His novel Índice Médio de Felicidade won the European Union Prize for Literature in 2015 and is now being turned into a movie. His books have been translated into more than 10 languages.

Dy Plambeck - Denmark

Dy Plambeck

Dy Plambeck was born in 1980 in the northern part of Zealand. In 2004 she graduated from the Danish Writer School, and in 2005 her first book, Tales from Bure Lake, was published. Since then she has published the novels Texas' Rose (2008), Godfather (2011), Mikael (2014) and the childrens' books The Bloomtown Kids (Volume 1-12) (2011-2015) and The Hill of Dreams (2008). Her work has garnered critical and popular acclaim. All of her books have been bestsellers in Denmark, and she is known as one of her generation's most talented and original writers.

Books by Dy Plambeck have been translated into Swedish and Norwegian, and there have been excerpts of her books in a variety of European and American literary magazines.

Dy Plambeck has received several awards for her writing such as the Danish Academy’s debut prize (2006), the Art State Foundation 3-year grant (2006), the Jytte Borberg-prize (2011) and the Henri Nathansen-prize (2012).


Elisabeth Steinkellner - Austria

Elisabeth Steinkellner

Elisabeth Steinkellner was born in 1981 and grew up in Lower Austria. After school she studied Social Education and Cultural Anthropology in Vienna and besides worked with children and teenagers. In her leisure time she focused on contemporary dance, acrobatics, photography and writing. In 2010 her first book for children was published and since then there have been various publications for children, teenagers and adults. Her stories and poems won several awards and have been translated into many languages. The author lives with her family in Baden near Vienna.

Endre Lund Eriksen - Norway

Endre Lund Eriksen

Endre Lund Eriksen is one of Norway’s most beloved children’s and young adult book authors. His real breakthrough came in 2002 with the book Pitbull-Terje går amok, which received excellent reviews and won him the 2002 Ministry of Culture’s Prize for Best Children’s Book. His young adult books combine serious topics like bullying, anxiety, terrorism and prejudices with humour and suspense, in heartfelt stories like "The summer my Dad turned gay", "Super" and "There is a terrorist in my bunker bed". He is also the writer of the Dunderly series for smaller kids, and has written several picture books. His books are also popular abroad and have been translated into 11 languages.

Endre has written two novels for adults. He is also a screenwriter and a film producer, and a co-owner of Fabelfjord Animation Studio based in Tromsø.


Finn-Ole Heinrich - Germany

Finn-Ole Heinrich

Finn-Ole Heinrich, 1982. Before studying film directing in Hanover, he completed his civilian service in Hamburg, which had him reading the newspaper to a man every day for nine months.

Heinrich debuted as an author at the age of 23 with the short story collection die taschen voll wasser (2005, tr. pockets full of water).

Heinrich’s coming-of-age and first novel Räuberhände (2007, tr. The Boy with the robber's hands), in the meantime examination subject for A-level equivalent in Hamburg, tells the story of an adolescent friendship and, like his short stories, also delivers a sensitive psychological portrait that is observed with great attention to detail and written in a confident style. In his second volume of stories, Gestern war auch schon ein Tag (2009, tr. Yesterday Was Also a Day), the author once again takes apart his figures with remarkable precision.

Frerk, du Zwerg! (2011, En. Frerk, You Dwarf!) is Heinrich’s first book for children, lovingly illustrated by the Icelandic-Norwegian illustrator Rán Flygenring. From 2013-14 Heinrich released a trilogy about Maulina Schmitt. The books tell a story about loss and the changes this brings about in the life of the ten-year-old main character. The author has once again written a book with captivating central characters who take hold of the reader’s heart in a writing style that is just as literary as it is crazy. Finn-Ole Heinrich is a godsend for German-language children’s literature.

Heinrich has received many awards, among these the Kranichsteiner Literaturförderpreis (2008) and the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Youth Literature Prize 2012) and the LUCHS. He lives as a freelance author in Hamburg and France.

Frida Nilsson - Sweden

Frida Nilsson

Frida Nilsson made her debut with The Crow’s Incredible Hitchhiking Adventure in 2004, and in the following year both Me and Gorilla and the first book about Hedvig were published. Me and Gorilla, Me and Dante at the Dump and Jagger, Jagger is a suite of free-standing books about outsiders and unconventional friendships.

Frida’s authorship is characterised by humour and sincerity. She writes about the big questions in life – friendship, death and love – and has been compared to fellow writers such as Roald Dahl and Barbro Lindgren. Fridas books have been translated to eleven languages. Her works have been nominated for the Deutscher Jugend Literaturpreis in Germany, and several literary awards in France. She has been an August Prize nominee three times, and won The Astrid Lindgren Prize in 2014, Her most recent work Ishavspirater/The Pirates of the Ice Sea won Expressen's Heffaklumpen Award 2016.

Gideon Samson - Netherlands

Gideon Samson

Gideon Samson studied Dutch Language and Culture and subsequently Film Studies, both at the University of Amsterdam.

At the age of 22 his first book Niks zeggen! (Don’t say a thing!) was published. The jury of the Pencils (the annual prizes for the best children books) honoured the book with its ‘with flying colours’ recommendation. Two years later Samson was the youngest ever winner of a Silver Pencil for his book Ziek (Ill). In 2013 he won the Pencil again for Zwarte zwaan (Black Swan) and two years later he and co-author Julius ’t Hart won the Golden Frame, the annual prize for the best Young Adult Book of the year, for their book Overspoeld (Flooded).

Samson lives with his girlfriend/muse in the centre of Amsterdam. A couple of months a year he spends on a mountain in the south of Crete.

Inna Manakhova - Russia

Inna Manakhova

Inna Manakhova, born on May 7, 1986 in Orenburg, Russia; graduated from high school in 2003 and went on to study English and French Philology and Linguistics at Orenburg State Pedagogical University, graduating with a degree in Linguistics in 2008. Since that time I have been working as a translator while trying to write. I had never attempted to publish any of my early poems and short stories before 2012 when I entered DEBUT literary competition in the category ‘short fiction’, and my story was included in the long list. Being encouraged by the success of this first attempt, I soon afterwards entered Sergey Mikhalkov literary competition with the short novel Twelve Spectators (?????????? ????????) and won children’s choice award. This short novel was published in 2016 (in the Russian language).

Jana Šrámková - Czech Republic

Jana Šrámková

It all started at theological seminary. I got excited about studying the text. I began to read obsessively and decide to pursue my Masters in Literature and Creative Writing. During my studies I published my first short-novel, which was rewarded Jirí Orten Prize. Only after that I was finally able to published my real first manuscript which happened to be for children. Because of my passion for theory and observation of the writing process, I was invited to teach creative writing in my former college and to lead workshops in schools and libraries. I finished a personal fragmentary prose about my grandma. I become quite active in the debate about literary criticism, the role of a writer in society, etc. Last year I published two picture books that were born in long collaboration with two outstanding illustrators. I work on my doctoral degree in The Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts. I live in Prague with my husband, three kids (Šimon 8, Dora 6 and Marta 1) and two cats (Mint and Havana).

Katherine Rundell - United Kingdom

Katherine Rundell

Katherine Rundell is a Fellow in English Literature at All Souls College in Oxford; her doctorate was on John Donne, Latin satire and Renaissance forgery. Her first book, The Girl Savage, won the Boston Globe Horn Book award in America; her second, Rooftoppers, won the Blue Peter Prize and the Waterstones Children’s Book Award, and is translated into 15 languages. Her most recent book, The Wolf Wilder, is about the Russian revolution, ballet, and wolves.

Katherine Woodfine - United Kingdom

Katherine Woodfine

Katherine Woodfine is the author of the bestselling Sinclair’s Mysteries series, beginning with The Clockwork Sparrow which was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, longlisted for the Branford Boase Award, and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. Until 2015 she worked for reading charity BookTrust on projects including the Children’s Laureate. She now combines writing with reviewing children’s books, presenting Down the Rabbit Hole, a monthly radio show and podcast discussing children’s literature, and organising YALC, an annual event for thousands of young adult readers. Her latest book is The Painted Dragon. Find out more at katherinewoodfine.co.uk and @followtheyellow

Laura Dockrill - United Kingdom

Laura Dockrill

Laura Dockrill is an award winning author and illustrator. Her Darcy Burdock series has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of The Year Prize and both Darcy Burdock and Lorali have been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Her previous works Mistakes In The Background, Ugly Shy Girl and Echoes earned her plaudits like ‘Top 10 literary Talent’ from The Times newspaper and ‘Top 20 hot faces to watch’ from Elle magazine. Her radio prowess spans across the entire BBC network, having performed works on Radio 1 through 6 including Woman’s Hour, Open Book and Blue Peter. Laura is on the advisory panel at The Ministry Of Stories, and has judged many literary prizes including the John Betjeman Poetry Prize, BBC National Short Story Prize and the BAFTA Children’s Prize.

Laura Gallego - Spain

Laura Gallego

Laura Gallego is a YA author, specializing mainly in fantasy. She studied Spanish literature and language Studies at the University of Valencia and in 1999 she won ‘El Barco de Vapor Award’ with Finis Mundi, a novel set in the Middle Ages. Three years later she was granted this same award for The Legend of the Wandering King. She currently has thirty published works under her belt, mainly focused on young readers, and counting with more than one million copies sold in Spain alone and with translations in sixteen languages. Her most popular works amongst the novels for young readers are: The Tower Chronicles, All the fairies in the Kingdom, Wings of Fire and especially the trilogy, Memories of Idhún. In 2011 Gallego received the Cervantes Chico Award recognizing her entire works and in 2012 her novel, Where the Trees Sing won the National Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature.

Ludovic Flamant - Belgium

Ludovic Flamant

In 1995 and 1996, aged 17, Ludovic Flamant won the ‘prix international jeunes auteurs’ (international price of young writers). He wrote a play Peep Show in 2002 and a novel Etre Vera in 2003.

In 2005, he published his first children’s book for Pastel edition by L'Ecole des Loisirs: Chafi. Since, he prefers to call himself a children's writer. Mostly published by Pastel, he also made some books for Bayard, Thierry Magnier, Fleurus and Les Fourmis Rouges. Sometimes he also translates books, Les enfants fichus (The Gashlycrumb Tinies) by Edward Gorey, for example.

Maria Parr - Norway

Maria Parr

Maria Parr (b. 1981) has a master's degree in Nordic languages and literature. She has been a part time teacher, along with her writing. She grew up in Fiskå, a little village at the West Coast of Norway, and has recently moved back there with her family. She published Waffelheart at the age of 24. Norway’s main TV channel NRK made the Waffle Heart-series in November 2011, and the book was nominated for the Brage Award. Parr’s second children’s novel, Tonje Glimmerdal (2009), is considered to be her definitive breakthrough. The book won the Brage Prize for the best children’s book in 2009 and the Critics’ Prize 2009 in Norway. It also won the LUCHS-preis, for the best children’s book in Germany 2010, given by Die Zeit and Radio Bremen. Both of Parr’s books have been translated to several languages.

Maria Turtschaninoff - Finland

Maria Turtschaninoff

Maria Turtschaninoff is a Swedish-speaking Finn who has been writing fairy tales from the age of five. However, there was often a twist: the poor farmer boy and the princess he had just saved from the evil witch did not end up marrying, because they ‘didn’t feel like it’. Her biggest grief as a child was that no wardrobe led to Narnia.

After a detour as a journalist for a few years Turtschaninoff debuted in 2007 with a middle-grade portal fantasy and has since published four more novels, all YA fantasy. Maresi won the prestigious Finlandia Junior Award in 2014, has been sold to 18 territories and has been getting rave reviews in publications such as The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail and Metro UK. The latest novel, Naondel, was out in Finland and Sweden in the fall of 2016 and is scheduled for release in the UK in April 2017. Turtschaninoff works full-time as a writer.

Michaela Holzinger - Austria

Michaela Holzinger

Michaela Holzinger was already writing stories on an invisible typewriter before she could actually write. Later she bought a laptop and her stories appeared as books. She lives with her family and a motley crew of goats and donkeys in a house with a wood in northern Austria. She has published almost 20 books, some of which have won awards. Michaela Holzinger writes for all ages.

Nataly Elisabeth Savina - Germany

Nataly Elisabeth Savina

Nataly Savina was born 1978 in Latvia, spent some of her teenage years in Finland and then moved to South Germany, where she finished school. She studied in Hildesheim Arts and Cultural sciences and then scriptwriting at Berlin Film-Academy. Since 2008 she has worked as a free writer for cinema, television and as Lecturer at Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. Her first novel Herbstattacke was mentioned in the “The Best Seven”-List of Deutschlandradio, and was followed by Love Alice (Peter Härtling - Award 2013). Nataly lives in Berlin with her partner and three sons.

Nina Elisabeth Grøntvedt - Norway

Nina Elisabeth Grøntvedt

Nina Elisabeth Grøntvedt, from Trondheim, Norway, had her debut as an author in 2006, with the picture book The Little Hero (Den lille helten), and she has been a full-time author and illustrator of children’s books since 2009. Her main hobby growing up was drawing, and after high school she took courses in drawing and painting, and studied graphic design. In her twenties she lived six years in Southampton, England, from where she has a bachelor’s degree in illustration. She has also studied creative writing and children’s and youth literature at the Norwegian Institute of Children’s Literature. Her international breakthrough came with the novel Hey, it’s me! (Hei, det er meg!), a fictional diary translated into six languages. The four books in the series give the impression that they are actually written, told and illustrated by the protagonist herself, a 12-year-old Norwegian girl. Ingvar Lykke's Butt (Rumpa til Ingvar Lykke) is her first teen novel, and her first book with no illustrations. Grøntvedt has visited countless school children, performed at book fairs and literary festivals, and has met many of her readers in Norway, Sweden, Russia, Germany and Ukraine.

Peder Frederik Jensen - Denmark

Peder Frederik Jensen

Danish author, born 1978 in Copenhagen. He attended Forfatterskolen, The Danish School of Writers and had his debut in 2007 with the novel Her står du (You’re Standing Here). He is a trained boat-builder and has been doing a lot of writing from traveling in Africa. Peder Frederik Jensen received Albert Dams Mindelegat in 2012, the Dramatic Debut Award 2015 for his play and the highly prestigious Otto Gelsted Prize 2016.

Other details: nominated for the European Union Prize for Literature 2016 for Banedanmark; winner of the Dramatic Debut Award 2015 for his play Godt Vi har Allan; nominated for the Edvard Pedersen's Library Foundation Author Award 2015 for Banedanmark; winner of the prestigious Otto Gelsted Prize 2016 for his precise observations and reflections of often imperfect lives, both on Vesterbro and in West Africa.

Salla Simukka - Finland

Salla Simukka

Salla Simukka (b. 1981) is the author of the international success story The Snow White Trilogy: rights are sold in 52 territories. She has also worked as a translator from Swedish to Finnish, as a literary critic and she was an editor at a literary magazine for young people, LUKUfiilis, in 2009–2013. She has also worked as one of the scriptwriters for the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE’s series Uusi Päivä (New Day) in 2009–2013. Salla Simukka has written several novels and one collection of short prose for young readers, and has translated adult fiction, children’s books, and plays. Her accolades include the Topelius Prize 2013 and the Finland Prize 2013. Her latest novel is a middle-grade fantasy book called Sisarla (Sisterland).

Salla Simukka lives in Tampere, Finland. She studied Scandinavian philology at the University of Turku. Her hobbies include jogging, knitting, drawing and baking.

Sandrine Kao - France

Sandrine Kao

Born in 1984 in the Paris region and of Taiwanese origins, Sandrine Kao is an author and illustrator for young people. After studying publishing at the University of Paris X, and illustration at the École Supérieure d’Art d’Épinal (Vosges), she gained a Master in children’s literature at the University of Cergy-Pontoise; Sandrine Kao’s first picture books were published in 2008 by éditions Gecko. Her first novels were published by éditions Syros under the Tempo label, a collection of realist and contemporary novels for age ten plus. She has also worked as an illustrator for éditions Grasset jeunesse or Utopique.

Sanne Munk Jensen - Denmark

Sanne Munk Jensen

(b. 1979) Sanne Munk Jensen is a firmly established voice in Danish youth literature. Her acclaimed youth novel Closest debuted in 2002, and was followed by the breakthrough One day the sun shines also on a dog's ass (2007), which was a commercial success and earned her Gyldendal’s Børnebogspris (Youth Literature) award and Orla Prize. The independent successor Satan's Brood (2010) and Arangutang (2012) were each acclaimed by readers and critics alike. The youth novel You and Me at Dawn (2014), which Jensen co-authored with Glenn Ringtved, impressed not only readers and reviewers, but also earned her the prestigious author prize from the Ministry of Culture for children and youth books. Aside from being an author, Sanne Munk Jensen is also a screenwriter and has written several films and TV-shows for children. She is a mother of two, was born and raised in Skagen, but now lives in Vesterbro in Copenhagen.

Sarah Crossan - Ireland

Sarah Crossan

Sarah Crossan grew up in Ireland and England. She graduated from Warwick University with a degree in Philosophy and Literature and went on to train as an English and Drama teacher at Cambridge University. She is the author of five novels. In 2010 she was the recipient of an Edward Albee Fellowship and spent the summer in Montauk, New York, working to complete The Weight of Water, which was later shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and won the Eilís Dillon and UKLA book awards. Her novel Apple and Rain was also shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the FCBG award. Her latest novel, One, won the Carnegie Medal 2016, the YA Prize 2016, and the Children’s Books Ireland 2016 Book of the Year Award.

Sarah Engell - Denmark

Sarah Engell

Sarah Engell was born in Copenhagen on a snowy day in March 1979. Her educational and job-related background is diverse, spanning from dream interpretation, pedagogy and psychiatry, performing and teaching showdance and mentoring young adults with mental health problems to baking waffles in The Tivoli Garden. Since gluing her first book together, at the age of five, reading and writing has however always been her greatest passion. Her work is characterized by the ability to convey a realistic voice of young adults, create believable characters and to handle difficult topics that are often taboo in an insightful way.

Engell published her first book in 2009 and is the author of 9 books, including 5 YA books. The novel 21 måder at dø (21 ways to die) about cyberbullying and suicide became a bestseller in Denmark and was nominated for a prestigious award as the only YA novel alongside literature for adults. Her latest novel Hjertet er 1 organ (The heart is 1 organ) from 2016 is about self-harm and LGBT. Today Sarah Engell is a full time writer and is regarded as one of the strongest YA voices in Denmark.

Sarah Engell lives in Tårnby with her husband and two children.

You can visit the author at sarahengell.dk

Stefan Bachmann - Switzerland

Stefan Bachmann

Stefan Bachmann was born in Colorado and spent most of his childhood in Switzerland, in a very old house next to a forest. At 11, he entered the Zürich Conservatory in piano and composition, and is currently preparing to graduate from the Zürich University of Arts with a degree in modern music. He is also the author of several books, the first of which was published when he was 19 years old. His books have been translated into eight languages and have been named, among others, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, a New York Times Editor's Choice, and a VOYA Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book of the Year for Children.

Stefanie de Velasco - Germany

Stefanie de Velasco

Stefanie de Velasco, born in 1978, grew up as a child of Spanish immigrants in the Rhine Valley/Germany. She studied European Ethnology and Political Science and started her writing career as a ghostwriter. Her debut novel Tigermilch (Tigermilk), published in 2013, was widely praised and nominated for the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Award. It has been turned into a movie in 2016.

Victor Dixen - France

Victor Dixen

The son of a Danish father and a French mother, Victor traveled throughout Europe with his parents as a kid. Now an adult, he still has a taste for travels and stories. He has lived in Dublin, Singapore and Denver, drawing inspiration from these different places. He currently shares his time between New York City and Paris.

He won the "Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire Jeunesse" twice, in 2010 for The Strange Case of Jack Spark and in 2014 for Animale, The Curse of Goldilocks (Gallimard). His most recent work is the science-fiction series Phobos (Robert Laffont).

More on Victor's website victordixen.com/theauthor