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Jessica Townsend
“The night was uncommon and crowded with possibility.” Jessica Townsend, Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow 

Jessica Townsend (born 18 April 1985 in Caloundra, Queensland) is an Australian author known for the children's fantasy novel series, The Nevermoor series. Her debut novel Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow won the Book of the Year Award at the Australian Book Industry Awards and was shortlisted for the 2019 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Literature. 

Jessica Townsend has referenced several literary influences for her writing. These include Little Women (which she has called her favourite book), The Babysitter's Club, His Dark Materials, Wicked, Tomorrow When the War Began, No Gun For Asmir, and the Harry Potter series. Her work has been compared to that of J.K. Rowling, who Jessica has cited as a major influence. 

Critics have also noted similarities between the world of Nevermoor and contemporary London. I Courage Square is inspired by Trafalgar Square and the Brolly System is inspired by the London Underground.

  • Jessica Townsend grew up in Queensland, Australia. 
  • She wrote her first story at the age of seven and it was published in a local library newsletter.
  • Townsend began writing what would become the first Nevermoor book the year she left high school. 
  • She worked as a copywriter for eight years and at Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo for five years as an editor of the Crikey! children's magazine.
  • She moved to London at age 22 and has lived between Queensland and London for the last ten years. 
  • At the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature Nevermoor won both the Premier's Award for best overall published work and the Children's award. It also won the 2018 Waterstones Children's Book Prize for Younger Fiction.
  • Film rights to Nevermoor were sold to 20th Century Fox in 2016.
  • Jupiter North was based on the ideal mix of a wise mentor, eccentric uncle, big brother, father figure and mischievous pal.
  • When Jessica is writing for a deadline she writes every single day for many hours. If there is no deadline she tries to write at least three hours per day.
  • It took Jessica nearly ten years to write Nevermoor but only just over a year to write Wundersmith 

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More stuff

  • Visit Jessica’s website 
  • Learn more about Hollowpox, the third book in the bestselling Nevermoor series.

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