If you need a biog for a conference or whatever, feel free to use the info below, omitting the parts that aren’t relevant to your audience. Anyone is also welcome to use either photo on this page.
Nicola Morgan is an award-winning author of nearly 100 books, including the Young Adult novels Wasted, Fleshmarket (currently being adapted for the London stage) and Mondays are Red.
A former teacher and specialist in dyslexia, in the last ten years Nicola become increasingly well known for her passionate work on adolescence, with her 2005 book on the teenage brain, Blame My Brain, being shortlisted for the Aventis prize and her recent title, The Teenage Guide to Stress, being snapped up by teenagers and their hard-pressed adults. She now writes and speaks internationally on subjects relating to adolescence and the reading brain.
[Omit this for young audiences] Nicola is on the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group committee of the Society of Authors, is a former chair of the Society of Authors in Scotland, and is an Ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland. In 2014 she created Brain Sticks™, original, empowering and extensive classroom materials for healthy brains and minds, which allow schools to teach topics such as sleep, nutrition, stress management and how the brain learns.
[Omit this for young audiences] She also writes and speaks about the publishing industry and self-publishing. Her books, Write to be Published, ebooks Write a Great Synopsis and Dear Agent, and blog, Help! I Need a Publisher!, are renowned for clarity and honesty – in fact, she’s known as the Crabbit Old Bat because of this honesty!
Some details and dates:
Main titles in chronological order:
Mondays are Red, Fleshmarket, Sleepwalking, The Passionflower Massacre, Blame My Brain, The Leaving Home Survival Guide, Chicken Friend, Know Your Brain, The Highwayman’s Footsteps, The Highwayman’s Curse, Deathwatch, Wasted, Write to be Published, Tweet Right, Write a Great Synopsis, Dear Agent, The Teenage Guide to Stress.
My Odd Childhood
The oddness of my childhood began on 11th November 1961, the day I was born: in a school. My parents lived in the school and presumably thought it was a perfectly sensible place to have a baby. We moved several times in my childhood, always to schools. My father was a headmaster. In fact, he was my headmaster, teaching me English and French while my mother taught maths and science. All that is odd enough, but what was odder was that they were boys’ schools and I am, I assure you, not a boy.
It was a childhood of huge freedom. The schools were in the country, so in the holidays my sisters and I had free run of amazing facilities and endless countryside. I spent my days climbing trees, building rafts, making bows and arrows, and riding my pony in the woods.
At 11, I went to a girls’ boarding school. Strangely, no-one there was at all impressed by my tree-climbing or weapon-making skills.
I did Classics and Philosophy at Cambridge. Philosophy was the best bit – endless discussions about meanings, and meanings of meanings.
It was all very well being trained to discuss meanings of meanings but exactly how was it going to earn me a living? I desperately wanted to write but I also knew I had to have a ‘proper job’ to tide me through the rejection letters.
I became a teacher. I taught English in such a small school that I was the whole English department. This school led me into the world of children with reading difficulties like dyslexia. I did a Diploma in teaching people with reading and writing problems, and when my daughters were young I was able to combine motherhood with teaching from home.
Through this work, I became interested in how all children learn to read and over the next few years I created and ran Magic Readers. Groups of pre-school children came to my house to have fun with all sorts of pre-reading activities. By 1999, I’d had quite a few home-learning books published and my writing was becoming successful. Soon I stopped teaching altogether. Magic Readers became The Child Literacy Centre, which I ran for many years before my writing took over completely.
My first novel for teenagers, Mondays are Red, was published in 2002, and over the next few years I wrote a number of novels and non-fiction books, mostly for teenagers but some for younger children. I have written around ninety books altogether, including Thomas the Tank Engine books and the best-selling UK home learning series, I Can Learn.
I’ve also written hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles for adults.
Over the years, I’ve been on lots of award shortlists and have won a few, including the Scottish Children’s Book of the Year for Sleepwalking in 2005 and for Wasted in 2011. Wasted was also nominated for the Carnegie Medal and was on many shortlists, winning three awards. I’ve also written non-fiction for adults: Write to be Published, Tweet Right – The Sensible Person’s Guide to Twitter, Dear Agent and Write a Great Synopsis.
I live in Edinburgh but also have a flat in London. I am married with two grown-up daughters. Very sadly, my gorgeous yellow Labrador, Amber, died in 2012. She is very much missed.
Some random facts:
If you would like to interview me, in person, by phone or email, please contact me or my publicist, Louise Kelly: firstname.lastname@example.org
JUST LAUNCHED: The Teenage Guide to Stress and BRAIN STICKS™