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The Town Crier's House – 2020

Events related to Frances Hardinge and her work.

Frances says: "It's darkly funny in hindsight, but I was originally worried that I would spend too much of 2020 travelling. I was supposed to visit Singapore, Venice and the US, plus a string of festivals in the UK. A Deeplight paperback tour was planned as well. All of these events were cancelled, of course, for excellent reasons. I watched them fall out of my calendar, leaving it looking empty and rather surprised.

"Some things did happen in 2020, though, thanks to the fact that we live in the digital age. I wasn't able to travel, but my virtual image could – complete with hat."

Dracula Society, Rugby Tavern

7th March

Frances didn't know it at the time, but this would be her only in-person event of the year. Soon people would only be seen from a distance, or in little boxes on a screen…

YALC Twitter Chat

22nd April

The Young Adult Literary Convention transformed into #AtHomeYALC, with lots of virtual/social media events. Frances was lucky enough to share a Twitter chat with Holly Bourne.


25th–26th April

The YA and middle grade book festival YALLWEST changed its name for, er, obvious reasons. Frances took part in the virtual panel 'Modern Magic Worldbuilding', with fellow panelists Melissa Albert, Adalyn Grace, Francesca Flores, Margaret Rogerson and Tracy Wolff, and moderator Ransom Riggs.

YA10 Panel

27th May

Usually, the winner of the YA Book Prize is announced at the Hay Festival, and there would be lots of panels beforehand with the YA10 (the ten authors on the prize shortlist). Because Hay was cancelled, instead the YA10 appeared in several virtual panels. Frances shared her panel with Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Holly Jackson. (Congratulations to Juno Dawson, who won the YA Book Prize with Meat Market!)

Keats House Summer School

July 2nd

Frances gave a virtual seminar and workshop, looking at characters that are outside the spotlight and whose perspectives are often forgotten. Excellent writing from the attendees!

Mostly Books Cosy Club

6th July

A lovely time was spent answering the members' questions about Deeplight and the writing process.


29th July–3rd August

The 78th World Science Fiction Convention took place online, a hugely impressive technical achievement. Frances gave a reading, discussed board games, engaged in competitive scary-story-telling, and appeared on a panel alongside fellow Lodestar Award finalists. (Many congratulations to Naomi Kritzer who won the award!)

Wigtown Festival

1st October

Frances was ably interviewed by Beth Cochrane. (Also, the festival sent her a free mug, some good coffee and delicious home-made biscuits!) The festival's events are still available to view online.

North Cornwall Book Festival

Frances is one of many authors who appears in 'NBCF for School', a series of short films for schools and families, including creative challenges for children to try in their own time. They are free for everyone to use, and you can find them here.