Michael Morpurgo

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One of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers, Michael Morpurgo has written more than 130 books, including The Butterfly Lion, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Why the Whales Came, The Mozart Question, Shadow and War Horse. Morpurgo attended the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in 2011 and 2015.

War Horse was adapted for a hugely successful stage production by the National Theatre and for a 2011 film by Steven Spielberg. Morpurgo was appointed Children’s Laureate in 2003 and was awarded an OBE for his writing in 2006.

Morpurgo began writing stories in the 1970s in response to the children in the primary school class he taught. His bestselling books have been translated into many languages and he has travelled the world telling his stories and encouraging children to tell theirs. A son and grandson of actors, Morpurgo has acting in his blood and performs live adaptations of his books, including at the 2015 Festival’s War Horse Concert.

With his wife Clare, he set up the charity Farms for City Children, which offers children and teachers from inner-city primary schools the chance to live and work in the countryside for a week. Over 100,000 children have visited the three farms run by the charity since it began in 1976. The couple were awarded MBEs for their work in education.