Talbot Heath

SpellBound - biographies, workshops, programme and link to the booking form.


1st & 2nd July  2 - 5pm (1.30 doors open)

Festival Tickets can be purchased on the door: Children  - £10 accompanying adult FREE. Unaccompanied adult - £10

A ticket covers entry for both days and all workshops.

This page contains more information about the SpellBound festival weekend, including the participating authors and illustrators biographies, workshops, programme (click here).


Workshops around the school from 1.30pm - 5.00pm

Enchanting Storytelling Stones - Workshop: suitable for all ages

This is a workshop for all ages to explore storytelling through the process of drawing and painting on stones. Come and create your own story or build on the stories of others to create a mystical and marvellous display.

Captain Spellbound - Suitable for all ages.

Inspired by original artwork, participants will get to know the awesome superhero Captain Spellbound through writing backstories and creating character studies.  Putting all this together, participants will work on writing a mini graphic novel to take away and treasure.  

Magical Paper crowns -Workshop: age 3 to 8

This is a workshop for young children to create a magical woodland crown, taking inspiration from the school’s woodland areas. Come and create your own magical crown, personalising it with found materials and entrancing poetry to create a unique and sculptural head piece.

Post-it Portraits: WRITE & DRAW - Workshop: suitable for all ages

Join us to create an exhibition of all who have attended the Spellbound Talbot Heath Festival.  WRITE a few words to describe yourself and DRAW your own portrait…or get someone to draw it for you! Help create the Spellbound Post-it Note Gallery of attendees and explore their entrancing, wizardly and spellbinding profiles.

Dream trees - Workshop: suitable for all ages

Everyone has the right to dream and the right to an equal future so help create an inspiring and magical installation of dreams. Add your dream, aspiration or ambition to a tag and attach it to one of the dream trees in the woods.

Event sponsored by

Treat yourselves

Creams will running a pop up cafe in the Senior dining room serving ice cream, waffles and crepes.



Authors Biographies

CATHERINE BARR studied Ecology at Leeds University and trained as a journalist. She worked at Greenpeace International for seven years as a wildlife and forestry campaigner and has a long-running interest in environmental issues. While working as an editor at the Natural History Museum, she researched and wrote two major summer exhibitions: Dinosaurs of the Gobi Desert and Myths and Monsters. She is now a partner in communications company bwa design. Her previous books for Frances Lincoln are The Story of Life and Elliot's Arctic Surprise, with up-coming titles The Story of Space and the 10 Reasons to Love a... series. She lives on a hill near Hay-on-Wye in Herefordshire with her partner and two daughters

Martin Brown

When Martin Brown was little he loved drawing and he loved animals, particularly lesser-known animals, so it was only a question of time before he ended up drawing them. Quite a lot of time . . .

In the meantime, he grew up, moved from Melbourne to England, and illustrated the phenomenally successful Horrible Histories series.

Now, at last, it’s time for the animals.

Mike Brownlow is a best-selling, prize-winning author and illustrator of books for children, and has worked for many of our leading publishers, including Orchard, MacMillan, Boomsbury and OUP.

His book Little Robots was made into a major animated TV series broadcast in over 70 countries, and was shown here on CBeebies.

His latest series of books has five titles so far – Ten Little Pirates, Ten Little Princesses, Ten Little Dinosaurs, Ten Little Monsters and Ten Little Elves, with another two to be published soon. They regularly feature in Waterstone’s picture book best-sellers lists.

Mike lives with his wife in Somerset, and has three grown-up daughters. www.mikebrownlow.com

AJ Butcher has been aware of the power of words since avoiding a playground beating aged seven because 'he told good stories'.  He's been trying to do the same thing ever since.
A degree in English Literature at Reading University kept him close to books, while a subsequent career as an advertising copywriter was intended to keep him creative.  He later became an English teacher and is currently working at Talbot Heath School in Bournemouth.
In his spare time AJ reads too many comics, listens to too many 70s records and rants about politics to anyone who will listen.

Maz Evans began her writing career in journalism as a TV critic and feature writer and has also been a university lecturer. Most recently she founded Story Stew a creative writing programme that visits primary schools and literary festivals around the UK. This creative and inventive business is one that Maz is hugely passionate about, and was her personal answer to finding a creative outlet and role that fitted in around her family life

Nicholas Frith is a freelance illustrator (and Picture Book author) living and working in Dorset, England.

His debut picture book, Hector and Hummingbird, was shortlisted for the WATERSTONES CHILDREN'S BOOK PRIZE 2016 and, that same year, won him the inaugural KLAUS FLUGGE PRIZE, for ‘most exciting newcomer to picture book illustration’.

Nicholas notes mid-century illustrators such as Dahlov Ipcar and Roger Duvoisin as important influences and, similar to them, he uses the technique of pre-separated artwork.

His second picture book Hello, Mr Dodo!, published last Autumn and has a third book, be published later this year. 

Sandra Horn

I live in Southampton. I’m a children’s author and I also write poetry and plays. My first picture book, ‘Tattybogle’ – the story of a happy scarecrow, was made into a musical for primary school children to perform and has been followed by two more, also created by Starshine Music; Babushka the Musical and The Moonthieves musical. They’ve been performed all over the world and are still going strong.

Jonathan Meres left school at the age of 16 to join the merchant navy and spent the next 7 years sailing around the world. Since then he has worked as an ice cream van driver, and in Harrods, got a band together, appeared in a pop video and been a stand-up comedian. He's won a Time Out Award for Comedy and been nominated for The Perrier Award at the The Edinburgh Festival. 

He began writing full time in 1994: he's the author of the bestselling World of Norm series, a comedy about a small boy whose life is very unfair...

Angela Mills left a career in banking to study Biology as a mature student at the University of Southampton, and graduated in 2009. Since then, she has worked on many administrative and ecological projects, and works freelance as a licensed bat ecologist, which is how/where the idea for this Bobby story developed. She hopes Bobby’s story will educate and inspire both children and adults to learn more about these incredible yet misunderstood creatures. She enjoys volunteering for her local wildlife groups, particularly Dorset Bat Group and East Dorset Bat Rescue and Rehabilitation.

Susan Price was born in a house with no running water, no bathroom and no electricity. It was lit with gas-lamps and candles.

On the day she was born, her father was given a typewriter. He always said it was an omen.

He signed the contract for her first book because, at sixteen, she was still legally a child. She’s signed more than sixty contracts for herself since.

The Ghost Drum won her the prestigious Carnegie medal and The Sterkarm Handshake won The Guardian Award. Both books are presently under film-option.

Website: https://www.susanpriceauthor.com

Melinda Salisbury

Poison. Alchemy. Revenge. Melinda Salisbury’s first book, The Sin-Eater’s Daughter, was the UK’s bestselling Young Adult novel in 2015 and the start of an electrifying fantasy trilogy which concludes with The Scarecrow Queen this year. Melinda lives by the sea, somewhere in the South of England. As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, sadly she never manifested telekinetic powers. Discover how Mel created the world within trilogy, her passion for fairy tales and fantasy, and her influences – from Game of Thrones to Harry Potter.

Kirsty Stanley is a writer, voracious reader and book blogger at Books, Occupation...Magic! (https://kirstyes.co.uk). She is also an Occupational Therapist in the NHS. 

Her workshop will discuss how to become part of the very passionate online book community.

Andy Stanton lives in North London. He studied English at Oxford but they kicked him out. He has been a film script reader, a cartoonist, an NHS lackey and lots of other things.

He has many interests, but best of all he likes cartoons, books and music (even jazz). One day he’d like to live in New York or Berlin or one of those places because he’s got fantasies of bohemia. His favourite expression is ‘good evening’ and his favourite word is ‘captain’. You’re a Bad Man, Mr Gum! was his first book and is the first in the nine part Mr Gum series.

Mimi Thebo

Dr Mimi Thebo has published ten novels, her work for adults and children has been translated into twelve languages, read on BBC Radio Four, made into a BAFTA Award-winning film and signed for deaf children on ITV. She a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and is just coming to the end of her term as Royal Literary Fellow at Cardiff University. Her work in the academy concerns the ethics of representation and Creative Writing pedagogy.

Steve Williams is a biologist with a degree in Marine Biology and Applied Zoology from the University of Wales.  His lifelong love of wildlife was further inspired by eight years at sea, after which he trained as a teacher, and now teaches science in a rural comprehensive school in Wales. He is a beekeeper and lives near Hay-on-Wye with his wife and two daughters.

Joff Winterhart is an illustrator, film-maker/animator, teacher, drummer, songwriter, t-shirt maker, rock’n roll fan, walker and dog enthusiast. He has written and drawn two graphic novels, Days of the Bagnold Summer, which was shortlisted for the Costa best novel award in 2012, and Driving Short Distances, which comes out in the Autumn of this year.

He lives in Bristol where he thinks about getting a new dog and tries to start as many bands as he can.


Spellbound workshops
Students and staff from the MA Illustration course at the Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) will be facilitating the Spellbound workshops. The students will be delighted to talk to you about their own work which will also be on display and available for purchase at the Spellbound, Illustration and Literary Festival.

The MA Illustration course at AUB is structured to encourage and support students to develop their own distinct visual language, recognising an expansive understanding of contemporary illustration through the exploration of relationships between illustrator as author, audience and context.   https://aub.ac.uk

Illustrators Biographies

AUB Staff Biographies

James Cole has a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southampton where he has since taught on various modules.  For the past six years, James has led workshops and held community-based residencies within the local area, hoping to foster a love for reading and writing.  Following a year as Writer in Residence, he is currently Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Arts University Bournemouth.  His novel, Reading Through Binoculars, was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize 2016 and he is signed with Curtis Brown Literary Agency.
Lisa Richardson is a Fine Artist based in Dorset. She studied Sculpture at Cheltenham School of Art and The Slade School of Art (UCL). She has exhibited at various galleries including The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), London, The Serpentine Gallery, London, The Royal College of Art, London and The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth. Her practice encompasses Object Making, Drawing, Installation, Film, Performance and Photography. Her work explores ideas and notions relating to Creativity, Motherhood, Humour and Landscape. She is the MA Illustration Course Leader at the Arts University at Bournemouth.
Alice Stevens is an RSA Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design at the Arts University Bournemouth. Since graduating from RCA, Alice’s industry background has been predominately in television where her career has spanned a twenty-year period.  She has mainly designed and directed title sequences for Channel 4 and most recently was the production designer on ‘Eurotrash’ which was produced by Twenty Twenty Television and broadcast on Channel 4 in June 2016.

MA students Biographies


Katie Andrews

I am an illustrator with a diverse practice derived from more than a decade of experience as an artist, designer and educator. The three-dimensional sensibilities of installation and sculpture underpin a visual language centred on drawing at its most expansive. Using a tactile range of tools and resonant materials, my illustrations often seek to interrogate society and its values. I am exploring the communication of ideas using different ways of creating expressive lines of both writing and image. In doing so, I follow the direct and emotive pictorial use of text by contemporary artists such as Yayoi Kusuma and Fiona Banner. For me, outcomes can be photographs, prints, paint and clay.  www.katiejandrews.com

Lana Charara

I’m a Lebanese sculptor, painter & illustrator & lately I’ve been inclined to compose certain visual pieces by manipulating mixed textured mediums, as a personal attempt at disclosing my sentimental & aesthetic appreciation of the visual signs of time passing over the inorganic. 
Though still new to the art world, amongst colleagues I’m known for my repurposed 3D assemblages such as my “Al Beit’l Mastoor” (2014), that has become part of the permanently exhibited collection at the Modern and Contemporary Art Museum of Lebanon {MaCaM}. Concerning my 2D works (organic & digital), I’m a highly texture based & kinaesthetically sensitive artist who enjoys the process of layering diverse mediums.

Zoe Cheng

Born and raised in Taiwan but have always been interested in learning different languages, I have a bachelor degree in French. Despite having no previous art training, I have always had a strong passion for drawing.  During my university years I helped at an art studio teaching children. I also have some experience with stage design for theatres.

Laura Huartson

I am an illustrator currently living within the New Forest, Hampshire. I love reading, visiting museums, ornamental gardens and exhibitions. Narrative illustration is where my practice lies. Having grown up within the New Forest, the world around me aids my imagination and influences the stories within my work. Documentation within my sketchbooks on location is an important part of my practice; allowing me to explore, research and observe through drawing and mark making. Challenging myself within my work is what drives my practice; through experimenting with composition, perspective and cropping of my images.
My practice involves a diverse range of materials, from the traditional methods of painting and coloured pencil, to the process of printmaking and digital work.   www.laurahuartson.co.uk

Rosan Magar

An upbeat, quirky and fun theme of adventure and utopia underpins my illustration practice. I am inspired by Charlie Harper’s concept of Minimal Realism, employing economy of line and simplification of imagery.  A love for the mixture of organic and geometric is evident.  Derivative of Cubist collage, drawing uses shape and form to create line, which is then emphasised by a vibrant colour palette.  The questions What is Illustration? and What can illustration be? drive me to address the boundaries of styles, personas, visuals, perception and techniques that define the discipline.  www.rosanmagar.com

Nahyung park is a visual storyteller and illustrator, born in South Korea now living in England Bournemouth. She is passionate about storytelling, designing and photography, which are strongly influenced by the lovely world around her. She is studying MA Illustration at The Arts University Bournemouth, she is developing her practice through experimentation and working across a variety of different media. She believes that nurturing a multidisciplinary practice and learning new skills enhances her creativity and allows me to take a more open-minded approach to projects. Ultimately her vision is to communicate with people all around the world, whether that’s creating beautiful picture books, communication design or illustrations.

Jenni Saarenkylä

'Jenni is a Finnish freelance illustrator and designer currently based in Bournemouth, England. After three years of studying Art History and Fine Art in Savonlinna Senior Secondary School of Art and Music, Jenni studied illustration at the Arts University Bournemouth and graduated in 2009. Her illustrations are often a happy mix of traditional pencil and ink drawing with some digital painting thrown in for good measure, and vectorised hand cut paper shapes.'


Katie Rewse practises in diverse areas of illustration, ranging from children’s publishing and narrative to decorative designs for greetings cards, stationery and homeware for both licensing and her own range of products. She is currently studying an MA in Illustration at the Arts University Bournemouth where she is also a Lecturer on the Foundation Course. Interested in our interaction with nature, Katie finds inspiration in the outdoors and whilst exploring. She aims to capture everyday moments in her illustrations, with a charming yet bold aesthetic. www.katierewse.com


Ran You

As an illustrator, my work is informed by the experience of moving through the landscape. Whether at home or in unfamiliar surroundings, I observe the people, architecture and inanimate objects around me. I am interested in the idea of tourism and displacement. Does looking as a tourist, mean we see more? I use photography and line drawing to document my relationship with these surroundings. Often I choose ink, watercolour and paper-cutting as a way to record things on the move. These sketches visualise your emotional responses to the world, whilst photographs taken alongside reveal any overlooked physical details. Drawing myself in different postures and expressions, explores the range of feelings I have in a space.

Design & Branding created by second-year graphic design students from the Arts University Bournemouth:

Azman Adam

Designer and Photographer studying at the Arts University Bournemouth. I try and travel as much as I can as I get inspired by people, culture and heritage, and communicate stories respectfully. I am currently working on a book about a forgotten village and tell the stories about the people who called it home.


Natalie Carr

Natalie is a second year, BA Graphic Design student studying at the Arts University Bournemouth. She loves reading, drawing and exploring. 


Maria Nechaeva

Maria was born in Russia and is currently a Visual Communication student by day and an illustrator, with a special love for animals and architecture by night!



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