Lou Kuenzler & Julia Woolf

Lou Kuenzler & Julia Woolf

A to Z...ebra, Sunday 1st, 11:00

Lou Kuenzler biography

I grew up on a windy sheep farm in Devon. It was a wonderful place to run around in fields and woods with plenty of time and space to develop my imagination. I am dyslexic and found reading and writing very hard. It was tricky to get my ideas down on paper, yet I was full of stories. That’s when I found out that sheep are good listeners. I told them my stories out loud. Horses, chickens and dogs are good listeners too – and gateposts and trees and ferrets and chairs – anyone or anything that I could find! Even my brother listened sometimes. Through talking, my stories began to come to life. Little by little I shaped them, improved them, remembered them and; finally, wrote them down.

I still talk out loud sometimes when I write now. If I am teaching, I encourage other writers to do the same. I know it is not always possible – in a classroom or a library, for instance. But if you are somewhere alone, don’t be shy. It is wonderful to hear how your words sound – especially if you are writing dialogue, then the characters speak to you.

Now I live in London with my family, my dog and two cats. I am often hurrying, bustling around the busy city but, under my breath, I am whispering stories to the buses and the lampposts, trying out new ideas.


Julia Woolf biography

Before enrolling at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge where she completed her MA in Children’s Book Illustration, Julia worked for twenty years in animation, including a stint at Dreamworks in Los Angeles.

Julia decided to return to illustration with the Cambridge course in order to make a change, and loved the fact that the course challenged her to experiment with different processes and that it took her in a fresh new direction.

Her favourite part of being an illustrator is that it’s fun; although she does still reach for coffee to make it through the deadlines…

Julia’s work was shortlisted for the AOI Awards in the New Talent, Children’s Books category and her first picture book as author/illustrator, Giraffe on a Bicycle was published by Macmillan in 2016. Her second picture book, Lazy Cat was published by Templar in March 2017.

Julia has recently illustrated the picture book Not Yet, Zebra written by Lou Kuenzler which will be published in 2018 by Faber & Faber.

Julia lives by the sea in Kent with her husband and young daughter.