We are delighted to welcome Dame Jacqueline Wilson as one of this year’s speakers.
Born in Bath, Jacqueline Wilson spent most of her childhood in Kingston-on-Thames. She always wanted to be a writer and wrote her first ‘novel’ when she was nine. She worked as a journalist for DC Thomson in Dundee, where Jackie magazine was named after her. She has been writing full time all her adult life.
Her books for children have sold over 35 million copies in the UK and have been translated into 34 different languages. They have been adapted for television and a major new BBC adaptation of Hetty Feather is due to air in late Spring this year. Other TV adaptations include The Story of Tracy Beaker on CBBC, Girls in Love on ITV and The Illustrated Mum on Channel 4. Stage adaptations have been made of Hetty Feather (which returns for another UK tour this summer), Double Act, Midnight, The Story of Tracy Beaker and Bad Girls.
Jacqueline has been on countless shortlists and has won many awards, including the Smarties Prize, and the Children’s Book Award. The Illustrated Mum won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award and was the 1999 Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards. It was also shortlisted for the 1999 Whitbread Children’s Book Award. The Story of Tracy Beaker won the 2002 Blue Peter People’s Choice Award. Jacqueline has also received a ChildLine award in recognition of the way her work gives “unique insight into challenging subjects”.
In 2004 she became the most borrowed author from libraries across the UK, and from 2005-2007 she was the Children’s Laureate. Jacqueline is now Chancellor of Roehampton University, an Honorary Fellow of Corpus College, Cambridge, and holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Dundee, Winchester and Bath.
Jacqueline is an avid antiquarian book collector and passionate reader – she owns more than 20 000 books – and enjoys walking her dog, visiting art galleries and has a penchant for extravagant jewellery.