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Hello, I'm Katherine Woodfine - author of the bestselling Sinclair's Mysteries, the Taylor & Rose Secret Agents series and lots of other children's books.


Born and bred in Lancashire, I've loved books for as long as I can remember. After spending my school days reading, writing plays, editing the school magazine, writing stories, and even solving the odd mystery (see below for a picture of me in my detective outfit!) I went to study English Literature at Bristol University and then at the University of Manchester.

My first job was working in a Waterstones bookshop and since then almost everything I've done has been connected to books in some way - including spending six years working for reading charity BookTrust on projects such as the Children’s Laureate, YALC (the UK’s Young Adult Literature Convention) and the Blue Peter Book Awards. I'm also one of the original founding team behind children's books radio show and podcast Down the Rabbit Hole.

My first book, The Clockwork Sparrow was published in 2015 and was shorlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, longlisted for the Branford Boase Award and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. It's been followed by seven more titles about intrepid Edwardian detectives Sophie and Lil: the final book about their adventures, Nightfall in New York was published in 2021.

Most of my books are inspired by history, such as A Dancer's Dream illustrated by Lizzy Stewart, which tells the story of the first performance of the ballet 'The Nutcracker'. I've written four books for Barrington Stoke's super-readable Little Gems series - Rose's Dress of Dreams illustrated by Kate Pankhurst, Sophie Takes to the Sky illustrated by Briony May Smith, Elisabeth and the Box of Colours illustrated by Rebecca Cobb and Lottie the Little Wonder illustrated by Ella Okstad - all of which are inspired by amazing real-life women from history. 

I love classic literature and have enjoyed retelling some of my favourite books for young readers, including Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice (for the Awesomely Austen series illustrated by Églantine Ceulemans). I am currently working on an abridged edition of The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins for Walker Books.

You can find more of my writing in several short story anthologies including Mystery & Mayhem, Make More Noise, Winter Magic and most recently, The Book of Hopes.

In 2017 I was selected as one of the Aarhus 39 - a selection of the best children's and young adult writers from all over Europe, aged 40 and under.

When I'm not writing I review children's books for the magazine The Week Junior and sometimes act as a consultant for children's books projects, prizes and events. You can also find me chairing book events everywhere from Waterstones Piccadilly to the Hay Festival.

After living in Bristol, Manchester and London, I'm now based back in Lancashire, where I live close to an old castle with my family and our two black cats. Apart from books, writing and history, some of my favourite things include art galleries, windswept walks, old films and cake. My all-time favourite book is I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.

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