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The Town Crier's House – 2016

Events related to Frances Hardinge and her work.

Costa Book Awards

26th January

Frances attended the award ceremony for the Costa Book Awards, where she won the Costa Book of the Year, to her considerable surprise. She then found herself giving somewhat flabbergasted interviews to a number of TV, radio and newspaper outlets. (To be honest, it's all a bit of a blur.)

School Visits


During January, February and March, Frances visited St Catherine's School in Guildford, Mayville High School in Southsea, Croydon High School for Girls, Haberdasher's Aske School in Elstree, Newton Prep in Battersea, Dauntsey's School in Devizes, and St Olave's and St Saviour's School.

Wandsworth FAB Award

22nd March

The FAB award is judged by the students of four Wandsworth schools, and since The Lie Tree was shortlisted, Frances was invited to attend and give a speech. The students had prepared ingenious art and drama projects based on the books, and there was cake!

Oxford Literary Festival

2nd April

Frances appeared on a panel alongside Philip Reeve, chaired by Philip Womack, and briefly considered changing her name to 'Philip' to avoid confusion.

More School Visits


Frances visited Cobham Hall School in Kent, and Broadford Primary in Romford.

International Literature Festival Dublin

24th May

11.15am, The Ark

Frances appeared at a schools event, details here.

Hay Festival

27th May, 11.30am

Schools event.

2nd June, 1pm, Starlight stage

The Bookseller YA Prize

Frances appeared alongside some of the other shortlisted authors, before the winner of the prize is announced. (Aside from Frances, the authors on the shortlist were Holly Bourne, Sarah Crossan, Jenny Downham, Catherine Johnson, Patrick Ness, Louise O’Neill, Mel Salisbury, William Sutcliffe and Lisa Williamson.)

2nd June, 4pm, Good Energy Stage

Panel: Mystery Moments

Panellists: Katherine Woodfine, Frances Hardinge and Lyn Gardner, chaired by Emma Carroll.
Unexplained death! Who knows what will happen next? Come and meet the authors of The Lie Tree, The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth and Rose Campion and the Stolen Secret, in conversation with Emma Carroll.

Oxfordshire Gaining Momentum Festival

17th June

Frances was an ambassador for the Oxfordshire Gaining Momentum programme organised by the National Literacy Trust.
She appeared at the programme's schools literature festival, and running workshops for visiting schools.

The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards

20th June, 12 noon

As The Lie Tree was shortlisted for the Carnegie, Frances was invited to attend the award ceremony. The Carnegie was (deservedly) won by Sarah Crossan's superb book One. However, Frances did not leave empty-handed, but managed to leave with one of the giant helium balloons used to decorate the event. (She had done the same thing in 2015, but this time she did not make the mistake of taking it home on the tube during rush hour.) The Carnegie shortlist can be found here and the Kate Greenaway shortlist here.

America Library Association Convention

24th–27th June

Frances attended the ALA Convention in Orlando, where she was very well looked after by all the librarians and her US publishers Abrams. She gave a speech alongside respected author Terry Farish, in a joint event called 'Threads that Hold a Spine'. Frances also took part in a speed-dating Coffee Klatsch, during which she spent four minutes babbling rapidly at each group of librarians before rushing on to the next.

St Ivo's School

29th June

Frances made an author visit to St Ivo's School in Cambridge.

Ipswich High School Prize-giving

5th July

This was the first time Frances had been back to Ipswich High School, since she was a student there between the ages of 13 and 18! The school has now moved to grand (and rather awe-inspiring) new premises at Woolverstone Hall. Frances presented prizes at the award ceremony, and thankfully wasn't expected to wear her old school uniform, though she wore approximately the right colours to show willing.

Keats House Summer School

7th July

Frances ran a workshop for the writing summer school at Keats House, on the theme of choice and decision-making.

Richmond Battle of the Books

13th July

Frances participated in the Richmond Battle of the Books at Christ's School.

Mystery and Mayhem Panel

21st July

Panellists: Katherine Woodfine, Robin Stevens, Frances Hardinge, chaired by Imogen Russell Williams
Three contributors from The Crime Club discuss detective fiction, to celebrate the publication of the anthology Mystery and Mayhem.

Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC)

31st July

Imogen Russel-Williams ably chaired a panel featuring Frances, alongside Carnegie-winners Philip Reeve and Tanya Landman.

Edinburgh Literary Festival

26–27th August

On a panel chaired by Janet Smyth, Frances and Sarah Perry (author of The Essex Serpent) discussed natural science and the more surprising aspects of the Victorian era. Frances also participated in Amnesty International's Imprisoned Writers Series.


23rd–25th September

This year FantasyCon by the Sea was held at the Grand Hotel and the Royal in Scarborough. Frances was one of the guests of honour, alongside Adam Nevill and Scott Lynch!

Bath Kids Lit Festival

3rd October

An in-conversation event with John McClay.

Cheltenham Literature Festival

8–9th October

Frances and Chris Riddell appeared in conversation with Alex O'Connell, discussing the illustrated edition of The Lie Tree. (The session was greatly improved by Chris's brilliant drawings throughout.)

Somerville Literary Lunch

12th November

Frances was delighted and a little stunned to find herself returning to her old college as a guest speaker for Somerville's Literary Lunch. She met with current students and her erstwhile tutors at lunch, then gave a speech in the Flora Anderson Hall.

ALAN Workshop, Atlanta

20th–22nd November

At the Atlanta-based conference for the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE, Frances gave a speech on the theme 'Feminism and Girl Heroes'.