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Joyce Dunbar

Children's writer

Joyce Dunbar is primarily a children’s writer. She has published more than 70 books which have been translated into many languages and illustrated by world-class artists. Her best-known titles are Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep and The Monster Who Ate Darkness. Her 26-part series Mouse & Mole has been made into animation for the BBC by Grasshopper Productions, featuring Alan Bennett and Richard Briers in the title roles. In the Christmas special, screened in January 2014, they were joined by Imelda Staunton.

After many years teaching in further education, Joyce became a full-time writer in 1989. She still teaches creative writing, most notably on the Greek Island of Skyros and for the Arvon Foundation. As a hearing-impaired lipreader she has worked in support of deaf children and served on Scope’s In the Picture project from 2005 until 2008. She is a supporter of Inclusive Minds, which seeks to increase the presence of all disabled children in picture books. Mundo and the Weather Child, a novel about a deaf boy and his imaginary companion, was runner-up for the Guardian fiction award in 1986. The drama Moonbird, based on a picture book about a deaf prince, has been performed in several countries overseas.

She began working on a book for adults during her RLF fellowship at the University of East Anglia. This is an ongoing project. She has two children: Ben, a photographer, and Polly, a writer and illustrator of children’s books. She lives in the centre of Norwich with her cat, Minnie-Ha-ha.

Joyce Dunbar


University of East Anglia 2006-09
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