“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 writer of over 300 children’s books, a tutor at Edinburgh College of Art and lives in Edinburgh. She received a MBE in 2016 for services to literature, literacy, illustration and the arts. Vivian travels often, loves stories and enjoys running writing workshops.

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 a publishing commentator and journalist for the Guardian, iNews, Mslexia and other publications. Her two most recent reports – Writing the Future and Centre Stage for the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation – held to account publishers and theatres for their failure to attract people of colour into their professions and have resulted in initiatives to encourage greater diversity.