Dorling Kindersley Editor Charlie Gardner joins our challenge!


We are very excited to announce that Charlie has joined the panel of judges for our poetry and illustration challenge.   He is joining an impressive panel including artist Josie Firmin and senior commissioning editor of fiction at Walker Books, Mara Bergman.

During his 20 years as an editor in children’s publishing, Charlie Gardner has driven Thomas the Tank Engine, gone on numerous walks with Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet (too), and helped Maisy Mouse build her house.

thomas                                 maisygrowsagarden

These days, when he isn’t writing about tractors, he helps look after Sophie the Giraffe (and her friends) in both traditional books and digital media, for Dorling Kindersley.


Charlie would not describe himself as a natural poet, although at 15 years old he did win a Post Office Savings competition with a very silly limerick about floating pounds. As an actor, he is remembered fondly for his role as King Can in Bags of Fun’s The King Can Show, an anti-pollution musical that possibly toured a community centre (or library) near you in the late 1980s!

It doesn’t take long to write a limerick, just like Charlie did when he was 15!  It just needs to be inspired by plastic pollution.  For more information please visit our entries page.

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