UKLA Ambassadors

UKLA is delighted to introduce each of our seven UKLA Ambassadors.
Our UKLA Ambassadors promote the work of the Association in exceptional ways. They are:
  • Marilyn Brocklehurst, 2020
  • Joseph Coelho, 2020
  • Daniel Hahn, 2020
  • Margaret Mackey, 2020
  • John Hodgson, 2021
  • Michael Rosen, 2021
  • Gemme Moss, 2021
All are longstanding friends of UKLA. You can read more about each of them below:

Marilyn Brocklehurst

Marilyn runs the wonderful Norfolk Children’s Book Centre (NCBC). She is an unstinting enthusiast for children’s books of all kinds and is hugely knowledgeable about them: she seems to have read them all! UKLA members have frequently met Marilyn at annual UKLA International Conferences where she has run truly magnificent bookstalls as well as giving a keynote talk in 2006 called Creating Lifelong Readers: The Three Essential Ingredients. She often supports UKLA national or regional conferences as well. Some of us who live in or near Norfolk have been lucky enough to visit the NCBC itself, a treasure trove of children’s books to browse and comfy sofas to sit on while doing so. For those not able to visit, the NCBC website offers a wealth of books to read and buy. Marilyn has also organised conferences for teachers, students and librarians, as well as hosting sessions at the bookshop for school students and writers. You can read more about Marilyn here.

Joseph Coelho

Joseph is renowned as a poet and children’s author. He has written numerous children’s books across all age ranges including his poetry collection Overheard in a Tower Block (2017) which was longlisted both for the CILIP Carnegie Medal in 2018 and the UKLA Book Awards in 2019 and his picture book with Allison Colpoys If All The World Were…, winner of the 2019 Independent Book Shop Week Book Award.

His workshops in schools have inspired all sorts of students to see themselves as writers and to begin to write and perform poetry themselves. Joseph provided UKLA International Conference delegates with a taster of his work in a much-enjoyed after dinner talk called Just Words! in Cardiff in 2018.

Joseph’s website includes all sorts of information about his work, but also lots of very practical ideas for writing poems and making poetry books. You can read about them, as well as finding out more about Joseph’s work, here

Daniel Hahn

Daniel is a great friend of UKLA not least because of his unstinting support for the UKLA Book Awards for more than a decade. His support has included being a member of the UKLA Book Awards longlisting teams, and his introductions to the UKLA Book Awards events themselves, even when they had to be held via Zoom in 2020.

More widely, Daniel plays a really important part in the realm of editing (including the second edition of the Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature), writing and translating – both adult and children’s literature. He gave a fascinating keynote talk about his work called A World of Children’s Books at the UKLA International Conference in 2016. He has also won several prestigious prizes, including the Blue Peter Award 2004: Best Book with Facts for The Ultimate Book Guide which he co-edited.

You can read more about Daniel and his work here. ​

Margaret Mackey

Margaret Mackey is Canadian and has, for very many years, been associated with the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta. Her specialist areas of research and teaching are many and varied including fascinating work on: reading and place; reading in different media such as print, graphic and digital texts; popular culture; and, of course, children’s and young adult literature. 

In 2016 she published a stupendous work called One Child Reading: My Auto-Bibliography in which she charts her own reading from as early as she can remember up until the age of 13. It is an extraordinary achievement, involving her tracking down as many of the original texts as she could recall having read, if she didn’t still have them in her possession. It also incorporates – as those already familiar with Margaret’s work might expect – the numerous social, cultural and geographical influences that appeared to be shaping her as a reader during those formative years. 

Margaret has always been a generous and supportive friend of UKLA, submitting her own writing or reviews of others’ work for publication in Literacy. Almost every year, without fail, she attends UKLA International Conferences, whether as a delegate or presenter. In 2011 she generously agreed to be a keynote speaker, sharing her current work in a talk entitled Powerful Spaces, Changing Times, and Grounded Literacies. You can read more about Margaret and her work here.

John Hodgson

John Hodgson is a teacher, writer and researcher with many years’ experience of English teaching, literacy and examining, both in the secondary age range and in higher education. He also has a keen grasp of the breadth of English teaching from his involvement with a number of subject associations and participation in subject association conferences – including UKLA’s. 


He now runs a research and consultancy practice which, among many other things, builds on his doctoral study of the literacy practices of rural English adolescents. He has not only published his own work widely; he is also the current editor of English in Education, the longstanding academic journal of the National Association for the Teaching of English. His blog about English in Education can be found here


John is currently writing history of ‘growth’ as an informing principle of English teaching since 1760, examining its power and purpose in current curricula and, as is characteristic of his work, seeking to acquire ‘a perspective on current debates and contestations by demonstrating their long historical roots’. You can read more about John and his work here.

Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen is one of the best-known and best-loved writers in the world.


You can read more about Michael and his work on his website here.

Gemma Moss 

Gemma Moss is Professor of Literacy and Director of the International Literacy Centre at the University College London Institute of Education.

You can read more about Gemma and her work here.

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