Katya Balen is co-director of Mainspring Arts, a not-for-profit that supports neurodivergent and autistic people to access creative opportunities. She studied English at university, and completed an MA researching the impact of stories on autistic children’s behaviour. When she’s not writing books or funding applications, she’s busy trying to coax her ridiculous rescue dog to go for a walk. She lives in Reading with the aforementioned dog and her partner, an NHS psychiatrist. Her debut children’s novel The Space We’re In was published by Bloomsbury in 2019 and was selected as the Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week as well as being shortlisted for the Branford Boase award.
Her second novel, October, October, was published in 2020 to widespread acclaim and was again selected as the Times Children’s Book of the Week.
Photo courtesy of Patrick Simpson