John Pilkington

Children's writer, Novelist, Playwright


John Pilkington is a novelist, children’s author and playwright. He has published numerous historical novels both here and in the USA, some of which are also in translation, in audiobooks and now in ebooks. His children’s books include the Elizabethan Mysteries series (Usborne), one of which Thief! (2009) was shortlisted for the Young Quills award for junior historical fiction.

His plays for theatre include Spindle-shank Em (RSC fringe, 1990), Plantation (Orchard Theatre Company, 1995) and The Wrestling Field (large-scale community play at the Exeter Festival, 1996). Radio work includes A Frozen Stream Called Wounded Knee (nominated for the 1992 Giles Cooper award) and the much-repeated Apostle of Light (2002). For several years he wrote scripts for the BBC TV daytime soap Doctors. His current historical novel series features the intelligencer Marbeck, described by Booklist as ‘a 17th-century James Bond’.

John has taught writing courses and workshops extensively in London and the South-west, and is the author of the self-help book A Survival Guide for Writers (Robert Hale, 2000). He lives a quiet life in Devon with his partner Lisa, and has a son who is a musician, composer and tutor.

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John Pilkington

Children's writer, Novelist, Playwright


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  • University of Bristol, Arts, 2012–2014