Jess Bright

Also writes as Janet Hoggarth

Children's author

Available for:



8-11 (Key stage 2), 11-13 (Key stage 3)


Hello, I've been writing properly for a long time, since I was eight. My two latest books I wrote as Jess Bright, but I have another name: Janet Hoggarth, and I write as her too. This is all very complicated and is really to hide the fact that I am an international spy. But that's another story...

I love coming in to schools and giving talks about how I didn't learn to read until I was seven and hated school - obviously inspirational because now I write for a living! You can do anything if you put your mind to it, even if people think you can't. And that's the point of my workshops, to draw together all the kids in the class, not just those with all the ideas, and as a group, we come up with a storyline and character profiles. It's fun and loud and hectic, but we all have a great time. It gives the children an insight into how I work as writer, and how to manifest ideas by building solid characters. Of course visits can be totally tailored to a school or class's needs and nothing is ever set in stone.

I have talked at festivals in front of large crowds, and worked with small classes. However, my favourite aspect of any school visit is sitting in the school dinner hall, eating school dinners, meeting the children and learning about their favourite things, their families, chatting and answering all their questions. And no, I don't live in a castle! And I'm not a millionaire (one day, Rodney...).

I have been trained by the amazing guys at Author Profile in conjunction with The National Literacy Trust on how to put together and present an engaging author event. So that has come in really handy for school visits!

Here's what a few teachers have said about my visits: 

Our children spent a few weeks writing narratives based around your book and they really enjoyed reading it and writing their own stories in your style.  Thanks for being a fantastic inspiration to them; they really loved yesterday’s workshop. Thanks again for your enthusiasm and introducing us to your book.

 Tracey Baillie, Brampton Primary School, East Ham.

Today Jess Bright made the bubbling pot of ideas Year 6 had, overflow in a fizz of excitement! Never before have I seen a whole year group so totally immersed in their writing. By the end of the session they had not only created an inventive and imaginative story arc, but they had also developed character profiles through group discussion, drawing and drama. The only worry for the girls was how to keep Jess from stealing the amazing title they came up with! Jess also let them into her own life, by admitting that she couldn't even read until she was 7 years old, never mind try to write creatively. She even confessed to dropping out of her creative writing course at university, because she was told her style was breaking the expected boundaries! But the pen is mightier than the sword and, thankfully, (often inspired by her children) Jess returned to writing and won the year group's hearts ... and minds! Thank you, Jess.

Mrs Mitchell-Morgan, Sydenham Junior School, London

Here are my four most recent books.
Back in the Day (isbn:9780192744838)
Daisy and Izzy suddenly find themselves thrown back to 1985 through a time portal in the PE cupboard. How will they cope when they're faced with their teenage mums? Daisy hasn't see her mum since she was four when she died in a car crash...
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Sister, Sister (isbn:9780192738134)
Willow always thought she had no dad and that she was an only child. Her mum wasn't exactly telling the truth. Willow has a secret family and they desperately need her help. However, she has to face her biggest fear in order to do so.
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Gaby's Angel (isbn:9780192745484)
Gaby's best friend is tragically killed and she just can't seem to get over it. She stops living, so Emily comes back as her angel to rekindle her love of life and show her that a new friendship might be just around the corner.
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Mobile Phone Photography, Quick Expert's Guide (isbn:9780750270519)
Maximise your photo-taking skills with this book. It gives you all the know how on the latest apps, tricks of the trade from professional photographers and examples of how to set up the perfect shot!
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Scattered Authors, Society of Authors

Other search criteria:

Humour, Sci-fi and Fantasy

Book Type:
Non fiction for children, Fiction 8-13

time travel adventure, tween fiction, family issues, death, split families, divorce, illness, family drama, drama, workshops, school visits, teenage angst, friendships, best friends, falling out, paranormal drama, angels, grief, bullying