John Kitchen


John Kitchen was born and grew up in Cornwall.

He graduated from London University, where he was awarded a distinction for creative writing as part of his English degree. He taught in Cornwall, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire, writing plays and musicals for the children to perform.

John made his first attempt at writing a novel when he was eight, and never lost his love for writing. Demands of teaching and headship left very little time, but he retained his lasting interest in books, researching the reading environment under the guidance of the author Aidan Chambers. [His researches were included in The Reading Environment: Aidan Chambers, published: Thimble Press (1991).] He also read children's non-fiction for Blackwell’s, and for SYNTAgM Ltd. and he reviewed newly published children’s books for Signal Publications, ed. Nancy Chambers.

While teaching he attended courses by Phillip Pullman and Aidan Chambers, who both encouraged him to pursue writing. Aidan Chambers suggested he write for children and Young Adults. He left teaching in 2002 and his first novel, 'Nicola’s Ghost', (self-published), won the New Generation Publishing prize and The Writers’ Digest Self-Publishing Award for best Young Adult novel in 2011. His second novel, 'A Spectre in the Stones', and the third, 'Jax' House', were published by Wimbledon Publishing Company. In 2020, during Lock-Down, John finally published an autobiographical novel, the culmination of the work submitted for his university degree, 'Fragments of Springtime'.

John has chosen to write in the third person. He tries to create characters in his books who are not so confident and sure of their place; feeling that many young people are less secure. He wants characters who these young readers might feel able to identify with; who share their insecurities. His characters confront issues, where appropriate, that are of importance to young people, relationships, global warming, the environment, sexuality, poverty, loyalty. There are elements of the supernatural in some of his stories, but he tries to make everything happens in the real rather than a fantasy world.

He regularly visited schools before COVID, leading workshops and signing books, and he is a member of Oxford Writers’ Group.

He is widowed with a daughter and a son, and four grandchildren.

He lives in a four hundred year old Cotswold cottage where he writes every day in his bright yellow study.
More information can be found on his website