The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Cressida Cowell

cressidaCressida Cowell grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland. She was convinced that there were dragons living on this island, and has been fascinated by dragons ever since. She has a BA in English Literature from Oxford University, a BA in Graphic Design from St Martin's and an MA in Narrative Illustration from Brighton.

Cressida is currently the Waterstones Children’s Laureate (2019 – 2021). She is the author and illustrator of the bestselling The Wizards of Once and How to Train Your Dragon books series, and the author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton. The Wizards of Once series has been translated into 37 languages and has been signed by DreamWorks Animation. How to Train Your Dragon has sold over 8 million books worldwide in 38 languages and is a major DreamWorks Animation film franchise, as well as being made into a TV series on Netflix and CBBC.

Cressida is an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency, a Trustee of World Book Day and a lifetime patron of the Children’s Media Foundation. She has won numerous prizes, including the Gold Award in the Nestle Children’s Book Prize.

She delivered the Creative Keynote at the Children's Media Conference in July 2020.

I am delighted to be joining the Children’s Media Foundation as a Lifetime Patron.

The U.K. exports more books than any other country in the world, and our media and creative industries truly excel on a world stage.

However in order to maintain the quality and variety of media available to children, and the health and vitality of these industries, which provide jobs and livelihoods for a great number of people in this country, we cannot solely rely on the vagaries of market forces.

High quality media for children from all socio-economic backgrounds needs to be fought for, championed and energetically promoted. 

It also needs to be scrutinised, because these media have great power, and with great power, as the saying goes, comes great responsibility.  I am a passionate believer in the importance of research and debate as the bedrock for a campaigning body. 

Children are the future of our industry, as consumers and also as creators.  The Children’s Media Foundation is campaigning for the best possible future, and I could not be happier to join that campaign.

Cressida Cowell, November 2013

The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)