Sue Purkiss

Children's writer, Young Adult writer


Sue Purkiss writes books for children and young adults. Recent publications include Emily’s Surprising Voyage, which was set on the SS Great Britain and was longlisted for the Carnegie medal, and a short story in an anthology called Daughters of Time, which features significant women from British history, starting with Boudicca and ending with the women of Greenham Common. Sue’s story is about Aethelflaed, the daughter of Alfred the Great and later the Lady of the Mercians.

She also writes comic fiction for younger children, and has written two longer novels for older ones. The Willow Man is a contemporary story about three children and their involvement with the iconic figure beside the M5 near Bridgwater. (Well, it used to be iconic. It’s slightly less so since a huge supermarket distribution centre was built beside it.) Warrior King is about Alfred the Great, and it was with this novel that her interest in writing historical fiction began. She finds that place is very important in creating the mood for a story, and Warrior King is permeated by the magical, if sometimes disturbing, landscape of the Somerset Levels.

Sue has also taught English, and has worked with young offenders. She goes into schools to give talks and do workshops, and teaches creative writing to groups within the community. She writes for two group blogs, the History Girls and An Awfully Big Blog Adventure.

More from Sue Purkiss


Sue Purkiss

Children's writer, Young Adult writer


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  • University of Exeter, 2014–2015
  • University of Bristol, Arts, 2012–2014
  • University of Exeter, 2008–2010