Michael Morpurgo has written over 90 books and has an unparalleled reputation in the world of children's books. His books have been adapted for the cinema, TV and theatre and he has won numerous awards including Children's Book Award, Whitbred Children's Book Award and the Smarties Prize.
Michael Morpurgo is, in his own words, "oldish, married with three children, and a grandfather six times over." After schools in London, Sussex and Canterbury (one of which was horrible enough to inspire him to describe it obliquely in The Butterfly Lion), he went on to London University to study English and French, followed by a job in a primary school in Kent. It was there that he discovered what he wanted to do. "We had to read the children a story every day and my lot were bored by the book I was reading. I decided I had to do something and told them the kind of story I used to tell my kids - it was like a soap opera, and they focussed on it. I could see there was magic in it for them, and realised there was magic in it for me."
Living in Devon, listening to Mozart, and working with children have provided most of the stimulae Michael needs to discover and write his stories. He spends about half his life mucking out sheds with the children, feeding sheep or milking cows; the other half he spends dreaming up and writing stories.
Michael Morpurgo, former Children's Laureate and author of bestsellers such as War Horse and Why The Whales Came, is the inaugural President of the Historical Writers Association beginning in Autumn 2011. The Historical Writers' Association (www.thehwa.co.uk) will celebrate its first anniversary in October. It was founded to bring social and professional support to writers of historical fiction and non-fiction, publishers, agents and booksellers, all bound both by their common interest in historical books and by the sense of community that comes from a shared obsession.
Since its creation, the Historical Writers' Association has launched the first Festival of Historical Writing in association with English Heritage as part of their Festival of History at Kelmarsh in Northamptonshire this July. In September, a partnership was announced with Goldsboro Books to launch a new literary prize, the HWA/Goldsboro Crown for Debut Historical Fiction, the first of which will be presented at Goldsboro's History in the Court Festival next year on 27th September 2012.
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