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About Dr Francesca Haig

Francesca is a poet and novelist. She joined the Department in 2007 after completing a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Hons) and a PhD at the University of Melbourne, where she also tutored in Film Studies and Creative Writing.


Francesca visits the department periodically to contribute on a range of modules, on the BA Creative Writing (combined honours), the MA in Creative Writing and the MA Modern and Contemporary Fiction.



Francesca Haig is the author of The Fire Sermon (2015), The Map of Bones (2016), and The Forever Ship (2017) - a post-apocalyptic YA trilogy published in more than 20 languages, with film rights pre-empted by DreamWorks. 

Her next novel, and her first for adults, The Cookbook of Common Prayer, will be published by Allen & Unwin (UK and Australia) in June 2021.

Her first collection of poetry was Bodies of Water (2006), and was Highly Commended in the Anne Elder Award for the best first book of poetry in Australia. Her poetry and prose have been published in many literary journals and anthologies in both Australia and England. She is a Core Team member of The Writing Squad, which supports the best young writers from the North of England.

Francesca has spoken at literary festivals and events around the world, including the Cheltenham Festival; Melbourne Writers Festival; Celsius 232 (Festival de Terror, Fantasia y Ciencia Ficcion, Aviles, Spain); FLUPP (Festa Literária das Periferias, Rio di Janeiro, Brazil); YALC (Young Adult Literary Convention, London Film and Comic Con). She has also appeared several times on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Open Book.’

In 2010 Francesca was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship. The Fire Sermon was shortlisted for the Morningstar Award (best debut novel) in the David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy; the R.T. Book Reviews award (best science fiction novel); the 2016 Norma K Hemming Award; and the Aurealis Award (best young adult novel). The trilogy was also shortlisted for the Sara Douglass Book Series Award for best SFF book series.

Published Work


The Cookbook of Common Prayer (forthcoming, June 2021) (Allen & Unwin, UK and Commonwealth).

The Forever Ship (2017) (HarperVoyager, UK & Commonwealth; Simon & Schuster, US).

The Map of Bones (2016) (HarperVoyager, UK & Commonwealth; Simon & Schuster, US).

The Fire Sermon (2015) (HarperVoyager, UK & Commonwealth; Simon & Schuster, US).

Journal issues edited:

Modernism/Modernity Special issue: Holocaust Representations Since 1975. Vol. 20, Issue 1 (January 2013).

Selected articles, chapters, essays, and reviews:

‘“Billows of ash”: Cormac McCarthy’s Road Back to Auschwitz’, in Apocalyptic Discourse in Contemporary Culture: Post-Millennial Perspectives of the End of the World, ed. Monica Germana and Aris Mousoutzanis (London: Routledge, 2014).

‘Guilty pleasures: Twlight, snark and ironic fandom’ in Screening Twilight: Contemporary Cinematic Approaches, ed. Sarah Harman and Wickham Clayton (London: I.B. Tauris, 2014).

'Introduction', Modernism/Modernity Special issue: Holocaust Representations Since 1975. Vol. 20, Issue 1 (January 2013), 1-13.

 Kim Scott's Benang: Pseudoscience and Colonial Australia', ELN 47.1 December 2009.

‘"Need is not quite belief" - the liminal space of Anne Sexton's engagement with language', Philament, vol. 9, December 2006.

‘Something is Rotten in Blue Velvet ... An Exploration of David Lynch's Blue Velvet via Shakespeare's Hamlet', Traffic vol. 8, November 2006.

'Developing skills in teaching and learning', Academy Exchange (no. 8, August 2009).

Review of The Flash (ed. Peter Wild), Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine (vol. 1.1, October 2008).

Selected conference papers:

‘Reading and Reimagining Inequality’ panel, International Law Outside the Box, 2020/2021 CELI Peace Talks (Annual Series of Leicester Law School's Centre for European Law and Internationalisation), 20th Nov 2020.

‘Intersections of religion and fiction,’ keynote panel (with Zen Cho), British Association for the Study of Religions annual conference, The University of Chester, 4th Sep 2017.

'Diets, haircuts and deathcamps: the contested mother of Lily and Doris Brett.' The Writing Mothers/Daughters: 1780-2012 conference, Newman University College, 28th June 2012.

'“Billows of ash”: Cormac McCarthy’s Road Back to Auschwitz’,The Apocalypse and its Discontents conference, The University of Westminster, 11-12th December 2010.

'Guilty Pleasures: Twilight, snark, and ironic fandom’, Vegetarians, VILFs and Fang-Bangers: Modern Vampire Romance in print and on screen conference, De Montfort University, 24th November 2010.

'Children in Holocaust fiction: uncertain witnesses', Holocaust Representations Since 1975 conference, The University of Chester, 18th September 2009.

‘Silent witness: the competing demands on contemporary historical fiction' Silence conference, The University of Hull, 10th May 2008.

‘Appropriation after Auschwitz: the ethical dilemma of historical fiction,' Cultural Borrowings: Appropriation, Reworking and Transformation conference, The University of Nottingham, 19th March 2008.

‘Repetition and "rememory" in Toni Morrison's Beloved', Toni Morrison and Sites of Memory conference, Toni Morrison Society, Cincinnati, USA, 16th July 2005.

Ethics and aesthetics in Toni Morrison's Beloved', Sensorium International Aesthetics and Philosophy conference, University of Melbourne, 22nd June 2005.



BCA (Hons), PhD, PGC Learning and Teaching (HE), FHEA.