GUEST POST – STORGY KIDS: Interview with Chris Riddell

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chris-riddell-16x9.jpgChris Riddell, the 2015-2017 UK Children’s Laureate, is an accomplished artist and the political cartoonist for the Observer. He has enjoyed great acclaim for his books for children. His books have won a number of major prizes, including the 2001, 2004 and 2016 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals. Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse won the Costa Children’s Book Award 2013. His work for Macmillan also includes the bestselling Ottoline books, The Emperor of Absurdia, and, with Paul Stewart, the Muddle Earth books, the Scavenger series and the Blobheads series. Chris lives in Brighton with his family.

We are absolutely delighted to have had the opportunity to interview Chris Riddell who is one of STORGY KIDS favourite illustrators, a huge thank you to Chris from all of us here! We hope you enjoy…

SK – What was your earliest engagement with illustrating / art was there a specific time you thought you would do this as a job?

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SK – For those that don’t know you are also an accomplished author of the ‘Goth Girl’ series, the ‘Ottoline’ books, ‘Alienography’ books, ‘The Emperor of Absurdia’ and many others including some joint authorships – could you tell us what your first engagement with literature was and what inspired you to write?


SK – As an accomplished writer and illustrator which do you find most satisfying and why?


SK – In 2015 -2017 you were chosen to be the UK Children’s Laureate – what do you feel was your most important or greatest achievement when you were in this role? And for any Children reading this interview could you explain what the role involves?


SK – Are your satirical illustrations / cartoons becoming increasingly harder to invent since the political landscape has become ever more absurd?


SK – You have worked with many great writers, illustrating some beautiful book along the way, could you tell us which of these collaborations are your favourites and why?


SK – When illustrating someone’s work, is there much dialogue between the writer and you the artist, do you get given a brief or are you free to create what you see within the work?


SK – You have worked with Neil Gaiman on ‘The Graveyard Book’ ‘Neverwhere’ and ‘Coraline’ to name some of our favouites. Neil Gaiman is such a visual storyteller do you work together on the concept for each books illustrations? How does this process work and which of your joint works are you most proud of?


SK – As a writer what book are you most proud of and why?


SK – Is there a particular genre of book you enjoy illustrating most, if so why?


SK – If you could have illustrated any book from your childhood what would it be and why?

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SK – If you could have written one book from your childhood what would it be and why?


SK – Could you offer any advice to a young illustrator?


SK – If you could give a budding illustrator one piece of homework / task (to hone their skills) what would it be and why?


SK – For children and young people looking to get into illustrating are there any books you would recommend or exercises to practice?


SK – Who are some of your favourite illustrators?


SK – Of your character illustrations who would you most like to share tea with?


SK – What is your favourite pen (my wife is a geek when it comes to pens and wanted me to ask)?

Q&A 9


Once Upon a Wild Wood is a richly imagined story packed full of traditional fairy tale characters as you’ve never seen them before. Little Green Raincape is on her way to Rapunzel’s party deep in the wild woods and along the way she must solve a wealth of classic fairy tale problems – not least mend a lovelorn beast’s broken heart.

Once Upon a Wild Wood (ISBN 9781509817061), publishes 23rd August 2018 in hardback with show-stopping die-cut cover design, £12.99 from Macmillan Children’s Books

If you are interested in Children’s fiction please do check out our sister site STORGY KIDS who are doing some fabulous work.


The SHALLOW CREEK Short Story Competition

Mallum Colt, proprietor of Colt’s Curiosity Shop, invites authors to explore the sinister shadows and crooked streets of his once splendid town of Shallow Creek.

Guests are gifted a Shallow Creek visitor pack consisting of a map of Shallow Creek, a character profile, a specific location, and an item of interest.

These items shall act as a source of inspiration as Mallum Colt guides his guests through Shallow Creek and reveals the secrets and stories of a town bereft of sleep.

For more information and full terms and conditions click here




Twenty-four short stories, exclusive afterwords, interviews, artwork, and more.

From Trumpocalypse to Brexit Britain, brick by brick the walls are closing in. But don’t despair. Bulldoze the borders. Conquer freedom, not fear. EXIT EARTH explores all life – past, present, or future – on, or off – this beautiful, yet fragile, world of ours. Final embraces beneath a sky of flames. Tears of joy aboard a sinking ship. Laughter in a lonely land. Dystopian or utopian, realist or fantasy, horror or sci-fi, EXIT EARTH is yours to conquer.

EXIT EARTH includes the short stories of all fourteen finalists of the STORGY EXIT EARTH Short Story Competition, as judged by critically acclaimed author Diane Cook (Man vs. Nature) and additional stories by award winning authors M R Cary (The Girl With All The Gifts), Toby Litt (Corpsing), James Miller (Lost Boys), Courttia Newland (A Book of Blues), and David James Poissant (The Heaven of Animals), and exclusive artwork by Amie Dearlove, HarlotVonCharlotte, CrapPanther, and cover design by Rob Pearce.

Visit the STORGY SHOP here



Unlike many other Arts & Entertainment Magazines, STORGY is not Arts Council funded or subsidised by external grants or contributions. The content we provide takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce, and relies on the talented authors we publish and the dedication of a devoted team of staff writers. If you enjoy reading our Magazine, help to secure our future and enable us to continue publishing  the words of our writers. Please make a donation or subscribe to STORGY Magazine with a monthly fee of your choice. Your support, as always, continues to inspire.


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