Hello! My name is Sarah and I write books for young people.
My debut YA novel, 'Outside', was published by Penguin in 2019 and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2020. My second novel 'The World Between Us' published in March 2021 and was sold into five languages. My debut Middle Grade novel, 'The Hunt for the Nightingale' was published by Simon and Schuster in January 2022 and was featured as Editor's Choice in The Bookseller.
I love events and have been lucky enough to interview authors such as Neil Gaiman, chair panels at The London Book Fair and work with adults and children on creative writing at schools, universities and online. I'm also on the board for Creative Future, working with some emerging under-represented writers.
I've won and been shortlisted for various writing prizes, such as the Mslexia Children's Novel Competition and the Bath Novel Award. I also won a couple of writing awards courtesy of Loughborough University when I was a student there.
I was born and raised in Leicester, but now I live by the sea in East Sussex, UK.
Q & A
Is 'The World Between Us' based on a true story?
Like many books, 'The World Between Us' takes inspiration from real lives, but is a work of fiction. Many young people live with a chronic illness, but this can manifest in different (and often invisible) ways. Alice's story is inspired by my own love story and the lives of millions of others around the world.
Do you collect books, like Ele?
Actually I do! In that I can never throw away a book that I've read and enjoyed (so my house is overflowing with them), and I collect old editions of my favourite book, 'Peter Pan & Wendy'. My prize edition is a 1907, Arthur Rackham illustrated 'Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens'. It is beautiful.
How did you get published?
I wrote my first book when I was sixteen and quickly learnt that getting it published was a lot harder than it looks! I spent the next twelve years writing three more books, sending them to literary agents and amassing over fifty rejections. When Ele came to me though, I knew her story was something special.
I met my literary agent, Sallyanne Sweeney, at a Jericho Writers event and pitched my book to her over drinks. When I sent it to her the following week, I received the most wonderful, life-changing email from her forty-four minutes later. I signed a publishing deal with the incredible Penguin UK a few months later.
My advice - keep writing, keep learning and don't give up!