Tim Bowler is one of the UK’s most compelling and original writers for teenagers. He was born in Leigh-on-Sea and after studying Swedish at University, he worked in forestry, the timber trade, teaching and translating before becoming a full-time writer. Tim’s stories are deep, mystical and scary, yet at the same time lyrical, intense and profoundly moving. They ask big questions and take the reader on a journey that is never quite what it seems. He has written since the age of five. 

Tim once said, ‘I’m passionate about stories. They’re strange, magical things and they work upon us like alchemy. The great stories in our cultures travel with us through life. They become part of our spiritual bloodstream. They move us, entertain us, shock us, transform us. I love writing about teenagers. They’re so complex, mysterious and fascinating. They’re not children or adults but a species all their own with more voices in their heads than a choir. Writing about teenagers involves remembering one’s own younger voices and listening for them again.

‘I’ve written stories since I was a boy. I’m a storyaholic. I believe in the power of stories to move us, entertain us and transform us. To me, writing is as much about listening as it is about putting down words. It starts with a whisper, a silent sound that flickers in the dark, then gradually, as you go on listening, you realise that the whisper has turned into an idea, and the idea into an obsession, and suddenly there are words on the page, and characters and settings, and the plot is bubbling around them like white water.

‘Some people think there must be a set of rules for writing but the truth is there aren’t any. It’s more like tickling trout, holding your hand out and trying to coax the ideas to swim into your grasp; or being a potter, throwing the rough clay of your thoughts down and letting the story twist out under the palms of your hands; or being a sorcerer, stirring the cauldron of your imagination and watching the vapour of the story rise. Writing is all these things and many more. It’s something you never bottom, never crack, never stop learning about. And that’s why I love it.’

Boekenwelp Award   (Belgium)Midget
New York Library Book of the Teen Age   (US)Midget
Carnegie MedalRiver Boy
Angus Book AwardRiver Boy
The Andersen PrizeRiver Boy
Angus Book AwardShadows
Lancashire County Library Children's Book of the YearShadows
South Lanarkshire Book AwardStorm Catchers
Stockport Schools Book AwardStorm Catchers
Highland Book AwardFrozen Fire
Hull Book AwardFrozen Fire
Redbridge Book AwardFrozen Fire
Stockport Schools Book AwardFrozen Fire
South Lanarkshire Book AwardFrozen Fire
Southern Schools Book AwardFrozen Fire
Somerset Teenage Fiction AwardBlade

Chasing the Tail of the Dream

Tim has worked many times over the years with The British Council in countries such as Croatia, Kazakhstan, Denmark and others, including several trips to Korea. In 2013 Tim visited Korea again and delivered several lectures: at the UK-Korea Children’s and YA Literature Conference, at Back-hyun Middle School, at the UK-Korea Literature Festival, at the Wow Book Festival, and at the Paju Booksori UK-Lit Day Book Concert. In a wide-ranging interview for Naver, Korea: ‘Bookshelf of Intellectuals’, in this video Tim talks about his books, how he first started writing, the authors who influenced him as a young writer, his favourite books, and finally the five books he would take with him if marooned on a desert island.

Chasing the Tail Video


Meeting Korean Teenagers

Tim’s books are very popular in South Korea. He has visited the country several times and on his trip in 2013 he made a special request to meet Korean teenagers face to face to talk about books and writing. This video shows him at Back-hyun Middle School. Tim was also interviewed by Arirang TV, a global, English-language television network based in Seoul, South Korea.

Meeting Korean Teenagers Video


Meet the Writer

Visits to schools are important for Tim as an author of books for the young. He has carried out many, both in the United Kingdom and abroad. This video shows him joining pupils at Ivybridge Community College in Devon. It shows how the school has incorporated Tim’s books into lessons and prepared for the visit. Tim was asked to talk about his work and to encourage creativity in their class.

Meet the Author Video


Hay Festival

Tim has been invited to many Literary Festivals including the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Cheltenham Literature Festival and Bath Children’s Literature Festival. In this video Tim is at the Hay Festival where he talks about how the sea inspired his novel Apocalypse.

Tim at Hay Festival video


Tim Bowler in Kazakhstan

The British Council operates a reader development programme in many countries. The aim of this programme is to encourage more people in these countries to read, to highlight modern British culture and to provide training for external partners in sustainable reader development approaches. The British Council helped to set up eight reading groups in schools and universities at Almaty in Kazakhstan . In April 2005 the reading groups held a conference in Almaty. Tim met the reading groups and delivered a number of workshops. This video is a record of Tim’s visit to Almaty.





Four of Tim’s novels have been included in OUP’s Rollercoasters series. The Rollercoasters website shows the exciting range of class readers for schools written by award-winning writers with varied themes, challenging subject matter and engaging plots. Each book has a wide range of supporting materials including a Reading Guide which provides essential background material for students and downloadable teacher’s support material. Click on the image below for further information about the Rollercoasters.


Patron of School Library Association

SLA Patron Poster

Tim has been a patron of the School Library Association since 2014. The School Library Association is committed to supporting everyone involved with school libraries, regardless of their role, as the educational, emotional and developmental benefits of a school library deserve to be felt by all children. School libraries promote high quality reading and learning opportunities for all. SLA patrons help spread the message about the SLA.

Tim takes his role of patron very seriously. He believes passionately in the importance of libraries in schools and the need for young people to have access to qualified librarians who can help and inspire them with their reading.