Ben O'Donnell

Children's Author

About …

Ben O’Donnell has worked in literacy and education for over a decade. Reading, books and children’s stories have been the central focus of his career, from supporting vulnerable young people with The Prince’s Trust to running national reading for pleasure schemes at BookTrust and creating immersive storytelling experiences at Discover Children’s Story Centre.

He has run some of the UK’s biggest children’s reading programmes, worked on exhibitions celebrating Michael Rosen, Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler, Judith Kerr and others, and put together events for Hay and Cheltenham festivals. As Director of Newham Word Festival he programmed some of the UK’s most diverse literary line-ups, and through his career has worked with authors and illustrators including Angie Thomas, Chris Riddell, Katherine Woodfine, Patrice Lawrence, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Alex Wheatle and Oliver Jeffers. Ben is currently Head of Children and Young People’s Reading at charity The Reading Agency where his responsibilities include the Summer Reading Challenge, reaching over 700,000 children every year.

When not writing or reading, Ben loves live music, bad movies and good food, all shared with friends and family. He lives with his wife, who also works in children’s publishing, in a tiny Bermondsey flat in an old rectory, crammed full of instruments, records and far too many books.