About Jacqueline

Jacqueline Wilson was born in Bath in 1945, but spent most of her childhood in Kingston-on-Thames. She always wanted to be a writer and wrote her first ‘novel’ when she was nine, filling in countless Woolworths’ exercise books as she grew up. As a teenager she started work for a magazine publishing company and then went on to work as a journalist on Jackie magazine (which she was told was named after her!) before turning to writing novels full-time.

A young Jacqueline at school!

One of Jacqueline’s most successful and enduring creations has been the famous Tracy Beaker, who first appeared in 1991 in The Story of Tracy Beaker. This was also the first of her books to be illustrated by Nick Sharratt. The CBBC series about Tracy Beaker has been an enormous success and brought a new audience to the books. Since Tracy’s first appearance, Jacqueline has been on countless award shortlists and has gone on to win many of them. The Illustrated Mum won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, the 1999 Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards and was also shortlisted for the 1999 Whitbread Children’s Book Award.

Double Act won the prestigious Smarties Medal and the Children’s Book Award as well as being highly commended for the Carnegie Medal. The Story of Tracy Beaker won the 2002 Blue Peter People’s Choice Award.

Jacqueline is one of the nation’s favourite authors, and her books are loved and cherished by young readers not only in the UK but all over the world. She has sold millions of books and in the UK alone the total now stands at over 40 million!

In 2002 Jacqueline was awarded the OBE for services to literacy in schools and from 2005 to 2007 she was the Children’s Laureate. In 2008 she became Dame Jacqueline Wilson.

Letter for January

10 January 2020

Dear Everyone,

Okay, who’s made some New Year Resolutions? My jeans were starting to feel much too small for me after a lot of parties (why don’t I remember that a lot of little delicious nibbles probably contain twice the calories of a proper square meal?) so I decided that I’d go very easy on food and drink over January.  Then what do you think happened?  Lovely friends dropped by on the afternoon of January 1st and we ate and we drank very happily – and I had a nasty shock when I stood on the scales the next morning.  Perhaps I should make an alternative resolution simply to buy bigger jeans!

I’ve also resolved to keep a diary again this year.  I always write my books in the first person, so they’re almost like writing a journal – but of course they’re all about my fictional girls, not me.  I’d like to keep a record of my own life too.  I tend to cram so much in over the year that I forget half the interesting things (though I certainly remember my delight just before Christmas when I discovered that Stormzy had used a snippet from the theme tune of the TV version of Story of Tracy Beaker on his latest album!).  So now I’m solemnly writing half a page about my own life each day – though the girls in my stories seem to lead much more exciting and interesting lives than I do!

Did any of you watch the animation of The Tiger Who Came to Tea on television over Christmas?  I have such fond memories of this book. It was my daughter’s favourite picture book when she was little. I must have read it to her at least twenty or thirty times, both of us enjoying it enormously. I was thrilled to meet its lovely author Judith Kerr several times, and felt so sad when she died recently.

When Emma was older I read her Little Women, which we both loved too. I’ve just been to see the latest film adaptation and felt they’d done it splendidly. Do catch it at the cinema if you can.

Love from Jacqueline

Diary archive

Where were you born?

I was born in Bath, but we moved to Kingston when I was little. I've lived here ever since.

What sort of family do you have?

I don't have any brothers or sisters and my Dad died long ago. My mum lived into her 90s so I hope I’ve inherited her genes! I have one lovely grown up daughter Emma.

What sort of house do you live in?

I live in a four-bedroomed Victorian house. It's not a very grand house, but very comfortable - and there are lots of bookshelves in every room.

Do you have any pets?

I have a beautiful grey and white cat called Jacob and a little black rescue dog called Jackson. I found both of them in Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

When is your birthday?

17th December.

What sort of music do you like?

I like most kinds, and I've always been a big fan of Freddie Mercury and Queen.

What’s your favourite film?

I love a long-ago black and white film called 'Mandy' about a little deaf girl.

What’s your favourite colour?

I often wear black, with lots of silver jewellery.

What was your favourite subject at school?

I loved English, especially writing stories. I also liked Art.

What was your worst subject at school?

Definitely Maths!