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Joseph Coelho

Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho is an award-winning performance poet, playwright and children's author based in Kent. His debut poetry collection Werewolf Club Rules (Frances Lincoln) was winner of the CLPE CLiPPA Poetry Award 2015. His work has poetry and performance at its heart, drawing on over 20 years' experience running dynamic creative literacy sessions in schools. He aims to inspire young people through stories and characters they can recognise.

In 2024 Joe was awarded an OBE in the King's Birthday honours for his services to the arts, to children’s reading and to literature. His YA Novel The Boy Lost in the Maze (Otter-Barry Books) also won the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing. The novel, which is written in verse, blends Greek mythology with the modern-day quest of a teenage boy in search of his biological father.

As part of the laureateship Joe completed a library marathon around the country finishing at the British Library and joined 213 libraries.

Joseph writes for children of all ages; his picture books include the critically acclaimed Luna Loves... series illustrated by Fiona Lumbers (Andersen Press) which have sold over 450,000 copies and If All the World Were... illustrated by Allison Colpoys (Frances Lincoln) which won the Independent Bookshop Week Book Award 2019.

Ten-Word Tiny Tales (Walker Books 2023) inspires children to write their own tiny stories. Other work includes middle-grade series Fairytales Gone Bad illustrated by Freya Hartas (Walker), while Joseph's Poetry Prompts (Wide Eyed), a compendium of his weekly series in association with the BookTrust, published in October 2023.

Joseph has also written plays for the Polka Theatre, Soho Theatre and the Unicorn Theatre.

Twitter: @JosephACoelho

Joseph Coelho Titles