Sheena Wilkinson

Children's writer, Writer for young adults, Short-story writer
Queen's University Belfast

Sheena Wilkinson writes novels for teenagers and children, as well as short stories. Since the publication of the internationally multi-award-winning young-adult novel, Taking Flight in 2010, she has established herself as one of the most acclaimed Irish writers for young people, with her first three books all winning or being shortlisted for a range of awards, including the Children’s Books Ireland book of the year award for Grounded (2012). As well as gritty contemporary realism, she has a passion for historical fiction. Most of her short stories for adults, and the children’s novel Name Upon Name (2015), are set in the early twentieth century. Only two years after the publication of her first novel, Sheena was granted a Major Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, its highest award, given to artists of national and international importance. She was the inaugural Bringing to Book writer-in-residence at the Church of Ireland College of Education in Dublin, and is Ireland’s first patron of reading, for Trinity Comprehensive School in Ballymun. She is a professional mentor on the creative writing degree at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and tutors for the Arvon Foundation. She set up and runs the Belfast Inter-Schools creative writing network, for sixth form writers. Her doctoral research explored the relationship between adult and children’s fiction, and she continues to contribute to discourse on children’s literature. Sheena lives in County Down and travels extensively to meet readers, especially in schools and libraries.

Sheena Wilkinson
Image credit: Jo Cotterill

Fellowships

Queen's University Belfast 2015-17