Town Crier's House header image

The Town Crier's House – 2015

Events related to Frances Hardinge and her work.

Picocon 2015

14–15th February

Frances appeared as a guest of honour at Picocon, giving a talk to attendees, appearing on a joint panel and signing books.

"How to Write for Children and Young Adults and Get Published" Conference

28th February

A day of writing workshops and panel discussions with children's publishers, authors and literary agents, for those looking to write for children and young adults. Frances gave a two-hour writing masterclass for those interested in writing middle-grade fiction.

Ashford School, Kent

3rd March

Frances gave presentations to Years 7 and 8, and talked to members of the school's Literary Society.

Townley Heath Grammar School, Bexleyheath

5th March

Frances gave three workshops, and judged the costume competition!

Dutch Comic Con

28–29th March 2015

Frances was mostly found at the American Book Center stall at the fair, where she was available for signings. Though she also ran around the convention admiring pretty costumes and looking for the Batmobile.

James Herbert Horror Award Ceremony

1st April 2015

The ceremony for the inaugural James Herbert Horror Award was held at the intriguingly named House of Magic.


3–6th April 2015

The 66th British National Science Fiction Convention took place at the Park Inn Hotel, Heathrow. Dysprosium appears to be an element used in nuclear reactors, and I'm sure we shouldn't let that worry us at all.

Friday 3rd, 18:45, Endeavour
Panel: A Maturing Readership – Young Adult Fiction

Panellists: Emjay Ameringen, Peadar O'Guilin, Frances Hardinge.
What makes us grow out of young adult fiction? But if we do grow out of it, why do so many adults prefer it? And if we are moving on from young adult fiction, what are we moving on towards? Or what should we be moving on towards? Or is the whole concept just a new form of snobbery?

Sunday 5th, 17:30–18:30, Discovery
BSFA Awards ceremony

Since Cuckoo Song is on the shortlist for the British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel, Frances was present, bouncing up and down with her fingers crossed. Needless to say, gifts of consolatory or congratulatory drinks were quite welcome.

Sunday 5th 18:45–20:00, Armstrong

Frances held a Kaffeeklatsch, otherwise known as an 'author petting zoo'. Ask Frances questions! Watch her eat biscuits!

Mini tour for The Lie Tree

5–7th May 2015

Tuesday 5th May

14:00 Author talk at Moreton Hall School, Oswestry
17:30 Informal talk with teen book club at Booka Bookshop, Oswestry

Wednesday 6th May

10:05 Author talk at Manchester High School for Girls, Manchester
13:30, 14:30 Two author talks at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Altrincham

Thursday 7th May

12:10 Author talk at Bolton School Girls' Division, Bolton
14:15 Author talk at Albany Academy, Chorley

Publication Day for The Lie Tree!

7th May 2015

St Helen's School, Chorleywood

15th May 2015

Frances gave an author talk for St Helen's School, with support from The Chorleywood Bookshop.

James Allen's Girls School, Dulwich Village

16th June 2015

Frances visited JAGS to talk to Carnegie Shadowing groups from six local schools.

Calderdale Children's Book of the Year Award Ceremony

17th June 2015

This rather wonderful regional prize was judged by young book lovers from over a dozen local schools. As one of the shortlisted authors, Frances attended the award ceremony at the Central Library in Halifax, giving two talks and answering questions about her writing process.

Carnegie Medal Award Ceremony

22nd June 2015

As one of the shortlisted authors, Frances attended the ceremony, and bounced up and down with excitement.

Graveney School, near Tooting Broadway

26th June 2015

Frances gave a talk and a creative writing workshop as part of a Carnegie Shadowing event at Graveney School.

Christ's School, Richmond

30th June, 2015

Frances visited to give a talk for Carnegie shadowers from Years 7, 8 and 9.

Northbridge School, Hampstead

3rd July 2015

Frances made an author visit to Northbridge School

Brentwood Ursuline Convent School, Brentwood

15th July 2015

Frances gave two talks and a workshop during her author visit.

Young Adult Literature Convention

17th–19th July 2015

Sunday 19th, 12:30–13:15, Main stage
Panel: Between Fantasy and Reality

Panellists: Ben Aaranovitch, Amy Alward, Sally Green, Frances Hardinge, Melinda Salisbury, James Smythe
How far do science-fiction and fantasy authors take inspiration from real life events for their novels? A line-up of leading authors discussed the borderlines between fantasy and reality.

Sunday 19th, 15:30–16:15, Main stage
Panel: Terry and Me: Being Inspired by Terry Pratchett

Panellists: Patrick Ness, Frances Hardinge, others TBC
Sir Terry Pratchett, who died earlier this year, inspired a generation of readers and writers with books ranging from his much-loved Discworld series to Dodger, his recent spin on Dickens's Oliver Twist. In this very special YALC event to celebrate his life and books, including the final Discworld novel, The Shepherd's Crown publishing in August, author Patrick Ness and other special guests discussed how Pratchett has influenced them and their work.

Nine Worlds Convention

7th–9th August 2015

Frances appeared at Nine Worlds, the London-based convention for "gaming, film, cosplay, fandom, literature, science, geek culture, meeting people and having a really big party."

Friday 7th, 5.00–6.15pm, Room 38
I Want to Be a Wild Thing When I Grow Up

Panellists: Laura Lam, Taran Matharu, Kim Curran, Ed Cox, Alex Lamb, Frances Hardinge
From the fantasy worlds of Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree to whizz-poppers and marvellous medicines of Roald Dahl, how important are childrens stories on us as adults and do they shape what authors write when they grow up?

Friday 7th, 8.30–9.45pm, Room 11
The Midnight Society – Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Panellists: Frances Hardinge, Savannah Lotz, James Dawson, Sarah Lotz
Haunted houses. Ghastly murders. Horror is making a comeback in YA. Are you afraid of the dark? Join our storytellers as they talk about the tricks of the trade and try to out-scare each other telling spooky ghost stories.

Sunday 9th, 10.00–11.15am, Room 38
Once Upon a YA – Lore and legends in YA literature

Panellists: Mel Salisbury, Tom Pollock, Liz de Jager, Frances Hardinge, Marieke Nijkamp
In many YA books, especially the speculative ones, storytelling plays an important role. Whether real or fictional, legends, folklore, mythology all give meaning and depth to a world and to characters. But how are legends born? What role do stories play within stories?

Dark Societies – Best of the Best

27th August, 6.30pm

At Waterstones Piccadilly, the Post-Apocalyptic Book Club presented a panel event in which Emily St John Mandel (Station Eleven), M. R. Carey (The Girl with All The Gifts), Emmi Itäranta (Memory of Water), Dave Hutchinson (Europe In Autumn) and Frances discussed their novels and inspirations.

FantasyCon 2015

23–25th October 2015

Friday 23th, 7.00pm, Conference Theatre
Funtasy: Comedy & Humour in Genre Fiction

Moderator: Donna Scott. Panellists: Frances Hardinge, Steve Jordan, Heather Lindsley, Terry Newman, Craig Saunders
Arguably the greatest legacy of Sir Terry Pratchett was to prove that fantasy can be funny without reducing its power to tell great stories and move readers. But it is a delicate balance – being funny can be a serious business. Our panel discusses uses of humour in genre. Hilarity ensues.

Saturday 24th, 4.00pm, Suite 1
YA: Why, eh?

Moderator: Juliet Mushens. Panellists: Scott K Andrews, Leigh Bardugo, John Connolly, Frances Hardinge, Teri Terry
Writing for a young adult readership brings many challenges in terms of themes, tone and terminology. This panel considers how the YA market compares to fiction written for adults, the appeal of YA fiction for adult readers and how we portray youth and reflect their view of adulthood and authority.

Saturday 24th, 6.40–7.00pm, Reading Room

Frances will be giving a reading, followed by a few minutes of Q&A.


28th October

Uxbridge-based conference featuring YA and middle grade writers.

2pm–3pm, In conversation: Tim Bowler and Frances Hardinge: chaired by Katherine Webber, BookTrust Programme Coordinator and soon-to-be-published YA author.

Keats House, Hampstead

29th October

Ghost Stories Workshop

An evening of supernatural tales… with a twist. Join acclaimed novelist Frances Hardinge for a flash-fiction workshop, and share your spectral imaginings in the dimly-lit rooms of Keats House. Seasonal refreshments will be served. For keen writers of 15 and upwards.
Free, booking essential