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Holly Sterling is a children’s book author and illustrator of more than fifteen picture books.

Her author-illustrator debut with Walker, ‘Karate Kids’, was shortlisted for The Telegraph Sports Book of the Year Award in 2021. The second book in the series, ‘Ballet Kids’, will be published in winter 2022.

Some of her other books include ‘Hiccups!’, the ‘15 Things Not To Do With a…’ series, written by Margaret McAllister, the ‘Everybody Feels…’ series, written by Moira Butterfield.

Her book successes include being nominated for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, winning the Seven Stories National Nursery Rhyme illustration competition, being Highly Commended for the Macmillan Prize, having a book listed as one of The Independent’s Top 12 Books of the year and having books included in the EmpathyLab’s Read for Empathy list and the Summer Reading Challenge.

Holly comes from a mixed-heritage background of white English and Jamaican. She uses her own life as inspiration in her illustration work, with positive representation at the forefront. Holly is extremely proud to be a mentor for the Pathways Into Children’s Publishing programme, which is a unique, creative and professional development course for talented and aspiring children’s illustrators from backgrounds that are under-represented in children’s publishing.

Alongside making books and mentoring new talent, Holly is also passionate about karate and, from a young age, has competed and won individual and team medals at both European and World level. Holly is now retired from competitive karate but teaches at her own dojos in Durham and Sunderland. Holly lives in Sunderland.

Holly is represented by Freddie Dawson — to work with Holly please email Nicky Lander while Freddie is on maternity leave.

"Encouraging for kids' under appreciated achievements in pursuing their own skills."
"Delicate pencil, acrylic, and digital illustrations"
'A perfect read for little ones...'
"The style is fresh and young with beautiful colours"
2024 Rainbow Book List - Preschool  image
2024 Rainbow Book List - Preschool
Sports Book of the Year 2021 image
Sports Book of the Year 2021
Read for Empathy 2018 image
Read for Empathy 2018
2016 - Nomination image
2016 - Nomination
Summer Reading Challenge 2015 image
Summer Reading Challenge 2015
Top 12 Books of 2015 image
Top 12 Books of 2015
2014 - Winner  image
2014 - Winner
2013 - Highly Commended image
2013 - Highly Commended
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