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Vivian began writing books for children after a career as an actor, playwright, and storyteller. Her first books for children were published in 1990, and she has since written nearly 300 books including board books for babies, plays for new readers, non-fiction, contemporary fairy tales for fluent readers and novels for teenagers.

She is an editorial consultant, reviewer and anthologist, and a tutor in the illustration department at Edinburgh College of Art.

Vivian has been writer in residence at many festivals, including Wordplay Swansea, Cheltenham and Edinburgh. She has travelled from Orkney to Oklahoma sharing ideas about books, illustration and writing, and in 2012 was Guest Selector for the children’s programme in the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She is a patron of the Borders Book Festival and the Boswell Book Festival, as well as running Picture Hooks, a project/ mentoring scheme for Scottish illustrators who have recently graduated.

Vivian is amongst the most borrowed authors in UK libraries – her books are regularly borrowed over half a million times a year – and we are delighted that she is a Patron of Northern Children’s Book Festival.

Vivian will be in schools in Middlesbrough as part of the school programme. At Gala Day she will be running a creative writing workshop for ages 7+  and having a great time chairing the panel game Tell Me A Story, enjoying putting her fellow authors on the spot!

Vivian French in Middlesbrough
Vivian French in Middlesbrough