Jasbinder Bilan

Children's writer


Jasbinder Bilan is an award-winning children’s author of numerous magical realist middle-grade novels. Her debut Asha and the Spirit Bird (Chickenhouse, 2019) won the Times Chickenhouse Prize 2017, was short-listed for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2019 and went on to win the Costa Children’s Book Award 2019. Her writing is inspired by her family roots in India and explores themes of friendship, family and hope. Tamarind and the Star of Ishta (Chickenhouse, 2020) won the Indie Book Awards 2021 and the Calderdale School Library Awards 2021. Her latest novel Nush and the Stolen Emerald (Chickenhouse, 2024) is her first historical book and explores colonialism, connections between India and Britain and the rights and wrongs of empire.

Jasbinder contributed to the Book of Hopes (Bloomsbury, 2020), a collection of stories, poems and illustrations edited by children’s author Katherine Rundell to bring joy and hope to children during the pandemic. She has been commissioned to write numerous articles for the Guardian and the Observer. She has spoken at many literature festivals, including Edinburgh, Hay, Cheltenham and Charleston. Her first non-fiction book for children is India Incredible India (Walker, 2022). She has been commissioned to write the text for the new Museum of London exhibition exploring London’s pre-history.

Jasbinder was also an English teacher. Her life-long work helping young people achieve their potential is one of her proud achievements. She lives in Bath with her husband.

More from Jasbinder Bilan

Jasbinder Bilan

Jasbinder Bilan

Children's writer

Current Fellowship

University of Bristol, Sciences, 2022–2024


[email protected]


  • Reading Round Fellow