Sheena Wilkinson is a teacher and multi award-winning author of teenage and young adult historical and contemporary fiction from County Down, Northern Ireland. Prior to writing YA novels, she studied at University College, Durham, before completing her PhD which cumulated in a literary criticism of the girls’ school story genre, Friends in the Fourth: Girls’ School and College Friendships in Twentieth-Century British Fiction (2007). In 2010, she published her debut novel set in west Belfast, Taking Flight, to widespread critical acclaim. The debut won numerous accolades including two CBI Book of the Year Awards and gained international recognition when it won a prestigious White Raven Award in 2011 and later earned a place on the IBBY (The International Board on Books for Young People) Honour List in 2012. The sequel, Grounded (2013) was also well received and subsequently went on to win a CBI Book of the Year award and the Children's Choice Award. As of 2022, Sheena Wilkinson has published eight novels, many of which feature young female protagonists coming-of-age against the complex backdrop of turbulent times in Ireland's history. Hope against Hope (2020), set in a girl's hostel in 1921 Belfast, was shortlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards and the KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards in 2021. As well as a successful writing career, Sheena Wilkinson has taught English and Creative Writing at schools, universities, and residential writing retreats in the UK, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In 2014, she was appointed Ireland’s first Patron of Reading for Trinity Comprehensive School in Ballymun, Dublin, and established the Belfast Inter-Schools Creative Writing Network for young writers. From 2015 – 2018, she was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Queen’s University, Belfast.