Thank you to our judges and all the entrants

Our Inspiring Stories competition was open to children and young people in foster care and those living in fostering households to share their experiences and talk about fostering. We'd like to thank everyone who took the time to enter and our judging panel.

Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Frank Cottrell-Boyce, born in Liverpool, is a children's fiction writer, screenwriter and novelist. Frank's books include award winning Millions and The Unforgotten Coat. Frank has also written a number of sequels to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race Against Time, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Over the Moon.

Frank was the writer behind the 2012 Summer Olympics ceremony and has written for a number of television shows and screenplays including Butterfly Kiss, Welcome to Sarajevo, The Claim, 24 Hour Party People and Code 46.

You can find out more about Frank here.

Cathy Cassidy

Cathy Cassidy, crowned ‘Queen of teen’ in 2010, wrote her first picture book for her brother at 8 years old. Growing up Cathy enjoyed making comics too – pages of pictures, features and competitions. 

Cathy went to Art College in Liverpool, worked as fiction editor at Jackie Magazine and spent 12 years as an agony aunt for teen mag, Shout. Whilst Cathy has loved her roles in teaching and editing, her most favourite job is as a writer.

Cathy has written over 30 books for teens and young adults, including Broken Heart Club, Cherry Crush, Marshmallow Skye and award winning Summer’s Dream and Scarlett.

When it comes to writing Cathy gets her inspiration from wherever she can – ‘Sad things, strange things, funny things, weird things. I love to people-watch, and I love to daydream.’ 

You can find out more about Cathy Cassidy here.

Livi Michael

Livi Michael found her love for writing at a very young age whilst growing up in Manchester. By seven years of age, Livi had announced that she wanted to be a writer and despite a slightly disappointing reaction, Livi followed her dreams and has since written a wealth of books for all ages. Livi's books include award winning Under a Thin Moon, Frank the Black Hamster of Narkiz, Angel Stone and The Whispering Road.

Livi is also a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, teaching fiction for both children and adults.

For more information about Livi, take a look at her website here.

Tony Walsh

Longfella aka Tony Walsh from Salford, is "one of the UK's most renowned performance poets" and a respected writer, workshop leader and community organiser. Longfella recently gained national acclaim for his poem ‘This is the place’ which brought the people of Manchester and indeed the country together after the Manchester Arena attack in May.

Standing out from the crowd at nearly two metres tall, Longfella has performed everywhere from The British Library to Glastonbury Festival. From schools, universities, prisons, conferences, festivals, museums and theatres to the magnificent Palace of Science and Culture in Warsaw, Poland as a guest of The British Council. Tony's poetry has been published on both sides of the Atlantic as well as displayed with an LS Lowry image at both Tate Modern and The British Museum as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund "Best of British" exhibition. A multiple winner and finalist in top-level poetry slam competitions, Tony is the current Manchester Literature Festival Comedy Slam Champion and was the runner-up in "The Times" UK Allstars Slam Final at Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2008. 

You can find out more about Tony here.

Dan Worsley

Dan Worsley is from Blackpool where he spent fifteen years as a primary school teacher before leaving in 2014 to focus on his passion for writing. Since then Dan has published his first book, Impossible Tales, told stories and written with tens of thousands of children. Dan spends a lot of his time visiting libraries and doing everything he can to support these community hubs. Dan hosts workshops and regularly delivers to talks to students of all ages. 

Dan has also written a sequel to Impossible Tales as well as two stories about Eric Appleby's adventures - Eric Appleby: Zero to Hero and Eric Appleby: Danger Zone.

For more information about Dan, take a look at his website here.