Children’s author Francesca Simon announced for 2017 line-up

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Marlborough LitFest is delighted to announce bestselling children’s author Francesca Simon for its 2017 line-up in its eighth year (28 September – 1 October, 2017), joining BBC Security correspondent, Frank Gardner, Man Booker Prize shortlister Graeme McCrae Burnet, local crime writer JS Monroe as well as a talk hosted by William Golding Ltd. These authors will join this year’s Golding Speaker, Will Self, who will open the Festival on 29 September. Francesca Simon’s talk is sponsored by St Francis School, Pewsey.

Copyright Helen Giles

Universally renowned for her phenomenally popular Horrid Henry series of books (the books and CDs have sold over 20 million copies in the UK alone and are published in 27 countries), in December 2016 Francesca published her first novel for older children and young teens, The Monstrous Child – a teen rant on an epic scale based on the myth of Hel, Queen of the Norse Underworld. Shortlisted for the Costa Book Award 2016, the book is a darkly funny look at life through the eyes of the teenage Hel, as she tries to overcome her dysfunctional family – and Francesca has been hailed as combining an authentic adolescent voice with Norse mythology.

Francesca Simon spent her childhood in California, and began writing stories from the age of eight. After studying medieval history and literature at Yale and Oxford Universities, she started writing children’s books after reading countless stories to her son.

Louise Tinker of Marlborough LitFest said: “Norse mythology is a subject that fascinates teenagers, reflected in the recent surge of books looking at the diverse Norse gods, by Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan and others.  Francesca Simon’s talk promises to be of great interest to this older age group who love these myths.”

There will be a comprehensive children’s programme of events for 2017, including educational workshops for local primary schools, an annual Big School Read event with local secondary schools and back by popular demand – Storytelling for the Under 5’s. Marlborough LitFest aims to bring the best of good writing to the town of Marlborough and especially to encourage a love of reading to children and young adults.

The Box Office will open on 13 July with Festival programmes available at this time. 

The Marlborough LitFest committee would like to thank its Founder Sponsor ALCS Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, lead sponsor Brewin Dolphin and events sponsors Hiscox Insurance, the William Golding Estate, Marlborough College and St Francis School for their continued support.