Diana Wynne Jones was one of the most outstanding 20th-century writers of British children’s fantasy. She is widely recognised among scholars, writers and fans of science fiction and fantasy as a truly ground-breaking writer who made a significant contribution to the genres in which she operated, and her death in 2011 was deeply mourned.
This international conference will celebrate the life of Diana Wynne Jones, and evaluate her contribution to children’s literature, fantasy and science fiction. We are proud to be welcoming Diana's sister, Ursula Jones, who will talk about her sister and about the experience of completing Diana's final, unfinished book, The Islands of Chaldea.
Other confirmed speakers include Laura Cecil, Diana's literary agent; children's literature scholar Nicholas Tucker, who knew Diana as a child; and scholar and fan Catherine Butler (UWE), author (as Charles Butler) of Four British Fantasists.
The conference is hosted by Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books, and by Newcastle University. Delegates will have the opportunity to explore the Diana Wynne Jones Collection, now housed at Seven Stories, to look back at Diana's life, and to think critically about her work. There will also be an opportunity to explore Seven Stories' exhibitions, including the Moving Stories exhibition - produced in collaboration with the National Media Museum - which includes material on Studio Ghibli's 2004 anime adaptation of Howl's Moving Castle.
Scholars and fans of Diana Wynne Jones are all welcome!