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 multiple languages. My debut Middle Grade novel, 'The Hunt for the Nightingale' was published by Simon and Schuster in 2022 and was featured as Editor's Choice in The Bookseller. My next book, The Night Animals, is Waterstones Children's Book of the Month for January 2023 and was awarded The Times Children's Book of the Week.
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've won and been shortlisted for various writing prizes, such as the Mslexia Children's Novel Competition and the Bath Novel Award.
I was born and raised in Leicester, but now I live opposite a graveyard on the edge of the Cotswolds in Oxfordshire.
Sarah Ann Juckes is the author of four books for young people. THE NIGHT ANIMALS (Jan 2023) was awarded Waterstones Book of the Month and The Times Children’s Book of the Week. Her other book for this age group, THE HUNT FOR THE NIGHTINGALE, was featured as Editor’s Choice in The Bookseller. Her YA novels include OUTSIDE (nominated for the Carnegie Medal Awards 2020) and THE WORLD BETWEEN US.
Sarah is a writing tutor and also works for Oxford University. She lives opposite a graveyard on the edge of the Cotswolds with her partner and cat.
Q & A
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get ideas from everywhere and always have several on the go at any one time. The Hunt for the Nightingale was inspired by an episode of 'Springwatch' I saw in a hotel room, and The Night Animals came to me like a ghost fox in the middle of the night. The trick is to find an idea strong and exciting enough to take the journey with you...
Do you collect books, like your character 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!