About The Trust

The Siobhan Dowd Trust works to give young people the opportunity to read and enjoy literature. It is the money earned through royalties and foreign sales of Siobhan’s books that allows the trust to support deserving projects.

The Siobhan Dowd Trust exists to fund any person or groups that:

  • Take stories to children and young people without stories;
  • Bring the joy of reading and books to children and young people deprived of access to books and of the opportunity to read;
  • Fund and support disadvantaged young readers where there is no funding or support. In accordance with Siobhan’s wishes, our funding process is very open, flexible, and we hope, simple.


  • The trustees wish to fund start up innovative schemes, where a small grant will act as “start-up” or seed money to grow into something bigger and ideally self-sustaining.
  • The trustees want to encourage scattered groups to work together and co-ordinate the voluntary sector to learn from each other, not act in isolation or in competition with each other.
  • Trustees do not need long detailed notes outlining the need for a grant – we appreciate there is a great deal of need, we want grant submissions to give us all the details of what you plan to do to address this need, and what impact a grant would have.

Strings attached:

  • The trustees would like publicity in exchange for funding.
  • The trustees want rigorous evaluation of the impact of a grant answering the question: Did the grant given encourage the Joy of Reading? How?

Timing deadlines:

  • Trustees meet three times a year. We ask for funding applications to be in three weeks before the trustees meet, to allow for questions to be asked and submissions to be circulated. You are welcome to submit a brief outline first to see if it’s the kind of project we may fund.

Dates when the Trustees next meet in 2018 are:

  • Thursday 1st February 2018
  • Thursday 21st June 2018
  • Thursday 15th November 2018

The Siobhan Dowd Trustees are: 

Rachel Billington – A friend of Siobhan’s, Rachel is the Author of over 20 books, and sits on the board of the Longford Trust.

Tony Bradman (Chair of the Board of Trustees) – Childrens’ Author Tony was the first to commission a short story by Siobhan for a collection he was editing. The Author of over 200 childrens’ books for all ages, he’s also the Chair of ALCS, the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society which collects royalties for writers’ work.

Hilary Delamere – Siobhan’s Literary Agent and now Executor of the Siobhan Dowd Literary Estate. For film, TV and translation rights enquiries and other publishing information please visit the website www.theagency.co.uk or contact Hilary at   hd-office@theagency.co.uk.

Denise Dowd – Siobhan’s Sister (Denise was the middle sister, Siobhan the youngest. Eldest sister Oona also supports the Trust’s work, as well as many Irish cousins!)

Julia Eccleshare – Julia is the Guardian Children’s Books Editor, writer, broadcaster and widely acknowledged expert on all things Childrens books. She has been (and continues to be) the Judge for many Childrens Book Awards.

John Thesis – John is Siobhan’s nephew, and works for PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

The Director of the Trust is Kate Powling.

The Trust is also very grateful to Polly Nolan, John McLay, Sara Whyatt & David Fickling. Polly was a founding member of the Board of Trustees, and did a lot of work setting up the Trust in the early days. John – who used to work at Puffin books and now writes himself as well as masterminding the Bath Festival of Children’s Literature – joined the Trustees later and served for three years as a Trustee until summer 2015. Sara was an old friend of Siobhan’s, who worked with her at PEN and was a founding Trustee. David was Siobhan’s first publisher and runs David Fickling Books, an Independent publishers based in Oxford. David is a huge champion of fine writing and excellent comics (he’s also the man behind The Phoenix magazine).