Anne Fine will be taking to the stage at this year's children's conference following the withdrawal of Philip Pullman.
Pullman will not be taking part in any engagements between now and the New Year in order to focus on his wellbeing and his writing. He apologises for any inconvenience caused and hopes that his fans will understand.
Fine, who was the children's laureate between 2001 and 2003, will take part in an in-conversation event with David Fickling, where they will discuss their careers and the relationship between authors and editors.
Fickling said: “Not only do I think Anne is one of our finest writers, one who truly understands or ‘gets’ people - children adults, everyone, good and bad points - she is one of the rare truth-tellers who tell it like it is, sees the funny side but is never afraid to say exactly what she thinks. And all this because she cares. Secretly I think of her as one of the funniest women in publishing, funniest women in the world full stop. I mean scarily funny.
“I haven’t worked with her nearly enough. I have wanted to work with her for years and finally got the chance to last year (Let It Snow), and I hope it was just the start.”
Over the course of her career Fine has twice won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year Award, as well as the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Smarties Prize. The BBC have screened adaptations of several of her books and her novel Madame Doubtfire became a Hollywood film.
Fickling started his publishing career at Oxford University Press and later worked at Doubleday and Scholastic. He has worked with many of the country’s biggest selling children’s authors, including Philip Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson, and oversaw the creation of series such as Horrible Histories. He launched David Fickling Books as an independent publishing house in 2013.
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