Zeke Clough is a professional cartoonist based in Todmorden. Zeke facilitates cartooning workshops and encourages participants to explore their creativity. He works on an ongoing comic book series in his spare time, scribbles in sketchbooks and produces pencil crayon drawings and acrylic paintings.
Leading storyteller Jan Blake has been performing worldwide for over thirty years, drawing on stories from Africa, the Caribbean and Arabia, and captivating children with mesmerising stories that fire their imaginations. She has toured the award-winning The Old Woman, the Buffalo, and the Lion of Manding, and in 2018 was commissioned by Polka Theatre and Apples and Snakes to create In the Winter Wood.
Jan will run interactive storytelling sessions in Walsden St Peter’s, Shade, Cornholme and Castle Hill primary schools as part of this year’s Festival.
Poet and children’s writer Mara Bergman has written more than twenty books for young children, among them award winners Snip Snap! and Oliver Who Travelled Far and Wide. Mara will read from her book The Tall Man and the Small Mouse to reception and Year 1 at Ferney Lee Primary School.
Melvin Burgess has been writing popular, controversial and cutting-edge fiction for young people since his first book, The Cry of the Wolf, was published in 1990. His novel Junk kick-started the young adult fiction (YA) genre and won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal. His latest book, Three Bullets, was published in July, and his book for younger readers, Count, is due out this autumn. Melvin lives in Hebden Bridge. Melvin will run a creative writing workshop at Todmorden High School for this year’s Festival.