All About Martin Chatterton
Martin Ed Chatterton has been illustrating and writing successfully for thirty years. His
children’s books have been published in more than a dozen languages, and have won or
been shortlisted in awards in the UK, US and Australia. He has illustrated books by some
of the leading names in British children’s literature including Antony Horowitz, Julia
Donaldson and Michael Rosen. Martin also collaborates with best-selling publishing
phenomenon, James Patterson as co-writer for the globally successful Middle School
series. Along with co-writer Pat Davern, Martin was nominated for a 2016 ARIA
(Australian Recording Industries Award) for their project Alexander the Elephant (ABC)
which is in pre-production with Blue Rocket Productions as an animated TV series.
Martin’s Mort series is currently in development by Dave Productions as an animated
feature film. As ‘Ed Chatterton’, he writes adult crime fiction (and also collaborates with
James Patterson) and his series featuring Liverpool cop Frank Keane is in pre-production
with Escapade Media/Mam Tor as a TV series. Martin also writes for TV and film and has
recently made the move into film production as writer/producer of The Last Train To
Sugartown, a Canadian/Australian feature scheduled to shoot in 2018. In 2017, Martin
completed his PhD on the legacy of slavery in Liverpool.
Martin’s Career As An Illustrator
Martin began his career as an illustrator, after a degree in London and rapidly became one
of the UK’s most sought-after illustrators, working for a multitude of blue-chip clients
(Cadbury’s, Honda, The Science Museum, Clydesdale Bank, Radio Times, Time Out, The
Guardian . . .) across national and international platforms. As a children’s book illustrator,
Martin has illustrated work by some leading names in children’s literature, including Antony
Horowitz, Julia Donaldson, Michael Rosen, Tony Bradman, Geoffrey McSkimming,
Jonathan Emmett, Tony Mitton, Andy Seed, Steve Skidmore, Roger McGough, and
Alexander McCall Smith.
Martin’s Children’s Fiction
Martin writes across a number of age ranges and genres, from pre-school picture books to
YA novels and everything in between. He began his children’s writing career in the early
nineties for Puffin, Walker Books and Scholastic. There were several ‘novelty’ and comic
book titles for Walker Books before he wrote ten books in the successful Nutty series
(Puffin). The Bad Dog series for Scholastic followed, which sold in 12 countries including
the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Finland, Portugal, Brazil, Spain and
France. Highlights since then have included the YA dark comedy, Michigan Moorcroft RIP
(Scholastic); the Waggledagger series (Little Hare/Egmont) about a fictionalised account of
the adventures of the ten year old William Shakespeare; The Brain Finds A Leg and The
Brain Full of Holes (Little Hare, Australia and Peachtree, USA). Martin’s best-selling timetravel/
history comedy series, Mort, was published in 2011-2013 and republished in 2016
(publ: Penguin Random House) and is now in development with Dave Productions
(Sydney) as an animated Netflix feature film. In addition to his own extensive backlist, Martin has an ongoing partnership with globally
best-selling author, James Patterson. They have co-written four of the successful Middle
School series (publ: Penguin Random House), with the fifth to be published in May 2018.
Martin’s Crime Fiction/Screenwriting
Writing as ‘Ed Chatterton’, Martin writes adult crime fiction and screenplays. A Dark Place
To Die (publ: Penguin Random House), the first in his series featuring DI Frank Keane, is
currently in development with Escapade Media/Lionsgate as a TV series with the sequel,
Down Among the Dead Men (publ: Penguin Random House), also optioned for
development. Ed recently wrote the screenplay for The Last Train To Sugartown, a feature
film currently in development by CHL/Hungry Head, and is the co-writer (with Brian Viner)
of Dotty, a six-part UK TV series. Absolute Zero (Penguin Random House), his adult crime
novel with James Patterson, will be published globally in October 2017. In mid-2017 he
began working as scriptwriter and script consultant for See Pictures (Sydney) on two
Awards and Recognition
Martin’s books have been published in more than a dozen languages, and have won or
been shortlisted in awards in the UK, US and Australia. The Brain Finds A Leg was
shortlisted for the 2008 NSW Premier’s Award and is included in the Singapore English
exam curriculum. Thimble Monkey Superstar (publ: Firefly Press), written by Jon Blake
and illustrated by Martin has been shortlisted in the 2017 ‘Lollies’ Awards (Scholastic). The
sequel, Holiday Havoc, is published in November 2017. Previous awards he has been
shortlisted for include the Angus Book Award, the Salford Book Award, and the Experian
Big Book Award. He is a winner of the Nottingham Children’s Book Award. He has been a
judge on several writing and illustration award panels in the UK and Australia and lectured
extensively in the UK. Martin has appeared many times on TV, radio and in the press in
the UK and Australia. Martin has featured in: the Sydney Writer’s Festival, the Brisbane
Writer’s Festival, the Byron Writer’s Festival, Voices on the Coast; has been a keynote
speaker at the Leading Edge Book Convention (Hobart) and keynote speaker at the ALAN
Conference (Orlando, FLA, USA); writer-in-residence at The Southport School (Gold
Coast), at the Lutheran Anglican College, Sunshine Coast (Australia) and at The State
Library of Queensland, Brisbane. School engagements have included work in all parts of
Australia including performances at Sydney’s Knox Grammar, Scotch College Perth, Scots
College Sydney, Rose Bay-Kincoppal, Toowoomba Grammar School, Brisbane Boys
Grammar, Ipswich Grammar and St Patrick’s Shorncliffe. Other stand outs include school
tours in Los Angeles, Florida, Georgia, London and the UK. In 2013 Martin was a guest of
the Sharjah Ministry of Culture at the Sharjah International Book Fair.
“He was even better than last year! The kids absolutely loved it – couldn’t recommend him
highly enough. We feel very lucky to have someone who can speak on both writing and
illustrating – and his drawings are fantastic.”
Dianella PS, Perth WA
“Martin Chatterton wowed the crowds with his engaging and hilarious presentation.
Students were buzzing with energy and enthusiasm after the performance and a number
of them came back after school to speak to Martin. His presentations were multi-media
and interactive, encouraging student participation in a number of ways. Some presenters
use the same thing for all age groups. However, Martin varied his performance to suit
different age groups, which was really fantastic. I had many positive comments from both
students and the staff who attended Martin’s performance and would not hesitate to
recommend him to other schools in the area or to make a future booking.”
Scone Grammar, NSW
“Just wanted to pass on my thanks and appreciation for the visit from Martin Chatterton!
The students LOVED the visit; they were smiling and laughing throughout. Everyone
enjoyed Martin’s sense of humour, his stories and his hilarious skillful sketches. Thank you
for coming to our school, it was terrifically, wicked fun!”
Sorell School, Tasmania
Please Note: Martin prefers to present/perform rather than conduct workshops. All of Martin’s presentations are targeted at developing writing and visual literacy (in the sense that educational outcomes are integrated into each presentation) and there is a high level of engagement and interaction with the audience. None of Martin’s presentations depend on prior knowledge of him or his books.
- Core School Presentation (age range 6-14)
An engaging and comedic speaker, Martin’s noisy performances feature large-scale ‘live’ drawing and audience participation. Wide-ranging, conversational and fun, the sessions include targeted insights into writing, comedy, telling tall tales, ‘beginnings’, Martin’s own writing and illustrating journey, history, strange science, aliens, mutant animals, ‘mash-ups’ and mind-reading. Although comfortable with all ages, grades 2 – 8 (ages 6-14) get most benefit from these sessions. Martin has been touring variations on this performance throughout Australia over the past six or seven years, refining and changing material term by term until it has reached the point of being something akin to a theatrical presentation. He has performed this way to audiences ranging in size from 800 to 20 although we suggest it works best for audiences of 90 or more.
Suggested book list: Middle School series, Mort series, Waggledagger series. The Mummies series (by Tony Bradman), the Thimble books (by Jon Blake), Alexander the Elephant, Escape From Black Mountain. Danny Dreadnought and The Emperor’s New Clones (by Jonathan Emmett). The Little Horrors series (by Tiffany Mandrake).
- Banana Skins and Peanut Avalanches (age range 12-15)
Using Martin’s books for Young Adults (The Brain Finds A Leg, The Brain Full of Holes, Michigan Moorcroft RIP , current work in progress, RAZr, and his work as a screenwriter) as starting points, Martin demonstrates and discusses the difference between comedy and tragedy; the need for an author ‘voice’ in writing; and how throwing rocks over prison walls began his writing career. As with the ‘core’ presentation above, Banana Skins has serious educational content contained within a lively, engaging, semi-autobiographical journey.
Suggested book list: The Brain Finds A Leg, The Brain Full of Holes, Michigan Moorcroft RIP. Also RAZr (when published).
- This Is Not A Pipe (age range 15-18)
This presentation is for senior age grades about and around the research and outcomes relating to Martin’s PhD. This research takes in themes of history, colonialism, memory/amnesia, and visual literacy. Martin has spent thirty years as a a professional writer of children’s fiction, adult crime fiction, screenwriting, advertising, and as a graphic designer, illustrator, film-maker and lecturer. The tools of his trade have always been words and image and the layers of meanings contained in the relationships between those words and images.
In This Is Not A Pipe – the title of which references Rene Magritte’s sly example of how slippery visual meaning can be – Martin draws on his experience and expertise in the fields outlined above to demonstrate an insider view of how art in particular can play with language, context and visual literacy to present an alternative witness to history.
Using research from his PhD on the toxic legacy of the Atlantic Slave Trade in his home city of Liverpool, England, Martin illustrates how art can help articulate the silences of forgotten histories. Harnessing the works of globally acknowledged artists such as sculptors Antony Gormley and Rachel Whiteread, video artist Adam Magyar, performance artist Erdun Gunduz, film-maker Terence Davies and photographer Tokihiro Sato (amongst others), This Is Not A Pipe is a thought-provoking, entertaining, cross-media introduction to lateral thinking for students in grades 9 through 12 as they migrate towards tertiary modes of research.
Suggested book list: The Last Slave Ship (when published in 2018).
- Writing For Others (age range 14-18)
Martin also offers a presentation centred around the ‘different types of writer’ required by the publishing/media industry: a look at how writing is not by any means always artistically generated but is instead tailored to a wide variety of audience needs and industry expectations. This is a chance for students to look at publishing/media as an industry and how that industry shapes it’s product. As someone whose work has included everything from pre-school picture books through chapter books and YA fiction, adult crime fiction, screenwriting and PhD level academic writing, Martin is ideally placed to talk about this subject.
Suggested book list: Middle School series, The Brain series, Michigan Moorcroft RIP, The Last Slave Ship, Spud & Chips, Santa’s Suit, Remission, A Dark Place to Die, Underland, Absolute Zero.
To make a booking
To make an enquiry about Martin Chatterton, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org