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. Funding applications need to be in one calendar month before the trustees meet, to allow for questions to be asked and submissions to be circulated.


Dates when the Trustees next meet in 2016 are:

  • Thursday 7th January 2016

  • Thursday 23rd June 2016

  • Thursday 13th October 2016


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. 

Hilary Delamere – Siobhan’s Literary Agent and now Executor of Siobhan’s Literary estate. For rights information please contact Hilary directly at [email protected] or visit the website www.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!)

David Fickling – Siobhan’s first publisher, David runs David Fickling books, an independent publishing house based in Oxford. 

Sara Whyatt – A friend of Siobhan’s from when they worked together atInternational PEN. Sara used to run the PEN writers in prisons project, and now is a freelance consultant specialising in human rights advocacy and management.

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, who also works for the agency Speaking of Books which organises visits for Authors in schools.

The Trust is also very grateful to Polly Nolan & John McLay. Polly was a founding member of the Board of Trustees, who retired in February 2011. An early-editor of Siobhan’s, Polly 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.