Katya Balen studied English at university. She is now a writer and is co-director of Mainspring Arts, a not-for-profit that supports neurodivergent and autistic people to access creative opportunities. Her debut novel, The Space We’re In, was highly commended for the Branford Boase Award 2020. Her second book, October, October, published to critical acclaim in the same year and is the winner of the Yoto Carnegie Medal 2022. Her third book, The Light in Everything, was published in 2022. She has also written a novella, published by Barrington Stoke in July 2022, Birdsong. When she’s not writing books or planning projects, she likes to scroll through dog-rescue websites, bake and attempt to keep all her house plants alive. She lives in London with her partner and their dogs Raffi and Mouse.