Hema Sukumar

Hema Sukumar

Friday 19 May 2023

10:45 to 12:45


Costa-winner Frances Hardinge’s darkly fantastical YA novels inhabit imagined worlds or supernaturally-infused versions of our own. Many of her books, including Carnegie-shortlisted Cuckoo Song and her most recent book Unraveller, draw heavily on folklore and macabre fairytale. Changelings, kelpies, and the perilous denizens of marsh, forest and the wild places find new shapes and guises in her tales. In this workshop, discover how to draw on myth without becoming a slave to it, make the impossible convincing, and find your own particular magic.

Instantly recognisable from her trademark collection of black hats, British author Frances Hardinge is one of the most acclaimed and inventive writers of her generation. Best known as an author of YA fiction, her work defies easy categorisation and is read and loved by readers of all ages.

Brought up in Kent in the sort of house that wouldn’t be out of place in one of her more gothic novels, Hardinge started writing at an early age. Her first novel, Fly by Night – a dark mystery set in an alternative 17th century world – was quickly snapped up for publication and won the coveted Branford Boase Award for outstanding debut fiction. She followed this with the 2011 sequel Twilight Robbery, Gullstruck Island, A Face Like Glass, and Cuckoo Song, which was shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal and chosen as one of the Sunday Times 100 Modern Children’s Classics.

Hardinge’s work became more widely known to adult readers after her novel The Lie Tree – a spellbinding mix of Victorian murder-mystery and fantasy – won not only the Costa Children’s Book Prize but also the overall Costa Book of the Year Award. This reputation was cemented when Waterstones shortlisted her next novel, A Skinful of Shadows, for Waterstones Book of the Year. Her new book Unraveller is out now.