Holly Smale, Elle McNicoll and Abigail Balfe in conversation with Cerrie Burnell

Thursday 12th August 2021
19:30 at Waterstones, Online Events

Holly Smale, Elle McNicoll and Abigail Balfe in conversation with Cerrie Burnell

Join us for this special online event with multi-million bestseller Holly Smale, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize winner Elle McNicoll and debut author and illustrator Abigail Balfe for an inspiring conversation about disability representation in YA and children’s fiction, and how being autistic has influenced their writing.

Holly, Elle and Abigale will be in conversation with author, actress and BBC’s first Disability Ambassador, Cerrie Burnell, to discuss their writing processes, their inspirations, and the importance of neurodiverse voices and creating authentic characters..


£5 general admission

£11 with a copy of Geek Girl *

£11 with a copy of A Kind of Spark (Excl Edition)*

£11 with a copy of A Different Sort of Normal*

£26 with all three books* 

*tickets including books will also include pampering goodies, a hot chocolate and a face mask

Holly Smale is the author of the internationally bestselling Geek Girl series. The books sold over three million copies in thirty languages, won the Waterstones Children Book Prize, Older Readers award in 2014. Eight years after the books became an international sensation, Holly was diagnosed as autistic at the age of 39. With this late diagnosis, she has finally begun to make sense of a life that left her feeling ‘broken’: labelled ‘gifted’ at an early age but ultimately struggling with depression and anxiety in a world she never felt like she fit into. Her diagnosis has been life-changing, and led her to realise that Harriet Manners is autistic too.

Elle McNicoll is a Scottish and Neurodivergent writer, happily living in London. After completing her Masters dissertation on the lack of Own Voices representation for Neurodivergent children, she grew tired of the lack of inclusivity in the industry, and wrote a book herself. Elle’s first children’s novel, A Kind of Spark, was Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month in October 2020, before going on to win the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2021. Elle’s second book, Show Us Who You Are was published in March 2021. She has also contributed to The Very Merry Murder Club short story anthology.

Abigail Balfe is a writer, illustrator and Emmy Award winning creative producer. Original storytelling has always been at the heart of Abigail’s career and she has spent a decade leading social media campaigns for some of the biggest TV & entertainment clients in the world. Abigail also used to perform stand-up comedy and won several tiny trophies for her onstage humour; which involved life-size illustrations, ridiculous songs and rambling stories about her family. A Different Sort of Normal is her first book.

Cerrie Burnell is an actress and writer best known for her work on CBeebies, a role that has earned her critical recognition and a devoted fan base. Cerrie has published seven books for children, including Ballet Dreams, The Ice Bear Miracle and her latest book, I Am Not a Label is out now.

Please note that the Ticket & Book option for this event requires a UK postal address. Please do not select this option if you do not have a valid UK postal address as you will not receive the book and may still be charged.

This event is on Zoom. Please make sure you have Zoom installed and up to date on the device of your choice.

Waterstones, Online Events
Thursday 12th August 2021

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Please note that events can occasionally be cancelled at short notice or their times or dates may alter; we therefore recommend that you check with the shop before travelling.
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