“You and I who still enjoy fairy tales have less reason to wish actual childhood back. We have kept its pleasures and added some grown-up ones as well.” – C.S. Lewis

The trend for grown-up twists on classic fairy stories has become inescapable in recent years, developing into what can perhaps be described as an entirely new genre of adult fiction. With modern re-makes appearing on the big screen and contemporary authors bringing the tales into the 21st century; this event asks what it is about fairy-tales that makes us unwilling to leave them behind.

As children, fairy-tales are used to teach us right from wrong and, as adults, they resonate with us in a way that other stories simply don’t. Is it nostalgia, sending us back to the same old stories time and again? Or is there some special magic that keeps the fairy-tale from growing old?

Join our expert panelists, authors Zoe Marriott, Lari Don and Vivian French, alongside chair, Danuta Kean, as we consider the modern re-telling of these famous stories on the page, stage and screen and explore the adult incarnations of the classic fairy-tale.

About The Speakers

Lari Don

Lari Don is inspired by myths and folklore from Scotland and beyond. She has written picture books, retellings of traditional tales and adventure novels, including First Aid for Fairies, winner of the Scottish Children’s Book Award. She often visits schools and festivals to encourage children to enjoy their own imaginations.

Vivian French

Vivian French is a highly-acclaimed children’s author who has written over 40 books for Walker, and more than 270 books during the course of her bestselling career. Vivian is the founder of Picture Hooks, a very successful mentoring scheme for aspiring young illustrators.

Zoe Marriott

First published at just twenty-four, Zoë Marriott has written eight critically acclaimed YA fantasy novels which have earned a USBBY Outstanding International Book listing, a Junior Library Guild Selection and the prestigious Sasakawa Prize. She lives on the English East coast with two cats, a dog, and far too many books.

About The Host

Danuta Kean

Danuta Kean is books correspondent at The Guardian and books editor of Mslexia Magazine. As well as award-winning journalism, she has written a number of influential reports about diversity within the creative industries and has lectured in creative writing for The Guardian Masterclasses and at universities. Passionate about books, politics and feminism, she believes that the best way to change society is to encourage people to talk.