Sophie-Cooke360The Bookworm International Literary Festival, Beijing

Saturday 16 March 2:00pm CST

Style vs Content

Keynote by: Sophie Cooke. Panel discussion with Keith Gray & Zhang Yueran.

Author Biographies:

Sophie Cooke is a Scottish novelist, short story writer, poet, and travel writer. She was born in London in 1976. Her novels The Glass House, shortlisted for the Saltire First Book Of The Year Award, and Under The Mountain are both set in the Scottish Highlands. Cooke’s short stories have been published in anthologies and literary magazines in the UK and Continental Europe, and have been broadcast on BBC Radio. She won the Genomics Forum Poetry Prize and has been long-listed for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, the largest poetry prize in the world. Her travel writing appears in The Guardian newspaper. Cooke lives in Edinburgh.

Keith Gray was born and brought up in Grimsby, England. Labeled a “reluctant reader” at school, Gray discovered a love of reading and writing after he read Robert Westall’s The Machine Gunners. His first novel Creepers was shortlisted for the 1997 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. He has gone on to write several award-winning books for children and young adults, including The Runner, which won the Nestle Smarties Book Prize (Silver Award) and Malarkey, shortlisted for the 2003 Booktrust Teenage Prize. Other recent books include Warehouse, set in the docklands of a small northern town, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize and Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award and won the 2003 Angus Book Award; The Fearful, shortlisted for the 2005 Catalyst Book Award and Ostrich Boys (2008), shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award, the 2009 Carnegie Medal, and the Booktrust Teenage Prize. As the first ever Virtual Writer in Residence for Scottish Book Trust, he commissioned and edited short stories by his favorite writers and produced online creative writing videos to encourage young writers everywhere. He lives in Edinburgh and claims he is still writing books for the reluctant boy reader he once was.

Zhang Yueran is regarded as one of China’s most influential young writers. She has published two short story collections: Sunflower Missing In 1890 (2003) and Ten Tales of Love (2004), and three novels: Distant Cherry (2004), Narcissus (2005) and The Promise Bird (2006), which was named the best saga novel on the 2006 Chinese Novel Ranking List. Each of her books has sold more than 300,000 copies. She has been the chief editor of the prestigious literary magazine Newriting since 2008. She has received many awards, such as the Chinese Press Most Promising New Talent Award (2005), “MAO-TAI Cup” People’s Literature Prize (2008), and the Spring Literature Prize (2006). She is currently studying for her doctoral degree in Ancient Chinese Literature.