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Holly Black née Riggenbach[1] (born November 10, 1971) is an American writer and editor best known for The Spiderwick Chronicles, a series of children's fantasy books she created with writer and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi, and a trilogy of Young Adult novels officially called the Modern Faerie Tales trilogy.[2] Her 2013 novel Doll Bones was named a Newbery Medal honor book.[3]

Holly Black
Black at the 2010 Texas Book Festival
Black at the 2010 Texas Book Festival
Born (1971-11-10) November 10, 1971 (age 47)
West Long Branch, New Jersey
OccupationWriter, editor, producer
Periodc. 2000–present
GenreChildren's, young adult literature, short stories, fantasy, horror


Early life and educationEdit

Black was born in West Long Branch, New Jersey[1] in 1971, and during her early years her family lived in a "decrepit Victorian house."[4] Black graduated with a B.A. in English from The College of New Jersey in 1994. She worked as a production editor on medical journals including The Journal of Pain while studying at Rutgers University. She considered becoming a librarian as a backup career, but writing drew her away. She edited and contributed to the role-playing culture magazine d8 in 1996.[5]

In 1999 she married her high school sweetheart, Theo Black, an illustrator and web designer.[1] In 2008 she was described as residing in Amherst, Massachusetts.[6]

Literary careerEdit

Black's first novel, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2002. There have been two sequels set in the same universe. The first, Valiant (2005), won the inaugural Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy—as the year's best according to American speculative fiction writers—and it was a finalist, like Tithe, for the annual Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. By vote of Locus readers for the Locus Awards, Valiant and Ironside (2007) ranked fourth and sixth among the year's young-adult books.[7]

In 2003, Black published the first two books of The Spiderwick Chronicles, a collaboration with artist Tony DiTerlizzi. The fifth and last book in the series reached the top of the New York Times Bestseller list in 2004.[4] A film adaptation of the series was released in 2008.[8]

White Cat, the first in her Curse Workers Series, was published in 2010. White Cat was followed by Red Glove (2011) and the trilogy concluded with Black Heart in 2012. A standalone novel, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, was released by Little, Brown in September 2013.[9] Black published a short story of the same name in the vampire anthology The Eternal Kiss: 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire. Doll Bones was published in May 2013, and was awarded a Newbery Honor[3][10] and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award.[11]

In 2012, Scholastic acquired a five-book series co-written by Black and Cassandra Clare to be called Magisterium. Its first volume, The Iron Trial, was published in September 2014.[12] The series has already been optioned for the screen by Constantin Films.[13]

Black has also written dozens of short works and co-edited at least three anthologies of speculative fiction.[14]


Black is co-executive producer of the film adaptation of The Spiderwick Chronicles, released in February 2008.[15] The film covers the entirety of the novel series. The Spiderwick Chronicles has also been released as a video game from Stormfront Studios.

In 2011, Black stated that the Curse Workers books had been optioned by Vertigo Pictures and producer Mark Morgan.[16]


Young adult novelsEdit

Modern Faerie Tales
The Curse Workers
Folk of the Air
  • The Cruel Prince (2018)
  • The Wicked King (2019)
  • Queen of Nothing (November 19 2019)

Middle School Grade NovelsEdit


Graphic novelsEdit

The Good Neighbors
  • The Good Neighbors: Kin (Graphix, 2008), illus. Ted Naifeh
  • The Good Neighbors: Kith (2009)
  • The Good Neighbors: Kind (2010)
  • Lucifer #1 (2015)

Short fictionEdit

Short stories
  • "Hades and Persephone" (1997) in Prisoners of the Night
  • "The Night Market" (2004) in The Faery Reel: Tales from a Twilight Realm
  • "Heartless" (2005) in Young Warriors: Stories of Strength
  • "Going Ironside" (2007) in Endicott Journal of Mythic Arts
  • "In Vodka Veritas" (2007) in 21 Proms
  • "Reversal of Fortune" (2007) in The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales
  • "The Poison Eaters" (2007), The Restless Dead: Ten Original Stories of the Supernatural, ed. Deborah Noyes
  • "Paper Cuts Scissors" (October 2007) in Realms of Fantasy
  • "The Coat of Stars" (2007) in So Fey
  • "Virgin" (2008) in Magic in the Mirrorstone
  • "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" (2009) in Troll's Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales
  • "The Coldest Girl in Coldtown" (2009) in The Eternal Kiss: 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire
  • "A Very Short Story" (2009) in Half-Minute Horrors
  • "The Dog King" (2010) in The Poison Eaters and Other Stories
  • "The Land of Heart's Desire" (2010) in The Poison Eaters and Other Stories
  • "The Arn Thompson Classification Review" (2010) in Full Moon City
  • "Sobek" (2010) in Wings of Fire
  • "Everything Amiable and Obliging"(2011) in Steampunk!
  • "The Perfect Dinner Party" (with Cassandra Clare, 2011) in Teeth
  • "The Rowan Gentleman" (with Cassandra Clare, 2011) in Welcome to Bordertown
  • "Noble Rot" (2011) in Naked City: New Tales of Urban Fantasy
  • "Coat of Stars" (2012) in Bloody Fabulous
  • "Little Gods" (2012) in Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron
  • "Millcara" (2013) in Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales
  • "Sisters Before Misters" (2014) (with Sarah Rees Brennan and Cassandra Clare) in Dark Duets: All-New Tales of Horror and Dark Fantasy
  • "1UP" (2015) in Press Start to Play
  • "Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (the Successful Kind)" (2014) in Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales
  • The Poison Eaters and other stories (2010), illus. Theo Black

Anthologies editedEdit


  • "The Third Third: Israfel's Tale" (1996) in d8 Magazine
  • "Bone Mother" (Autumn 2004) in Endicott Journal of Mythic Arts



  • 2006 Locus Award—Young Adult, Valiant
  • 2014 Locus Award—Young Adult, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
  • 2014 Land of Enchantment Book Award—Young Adult, Doll Bones
  • 2015 Green Mountain Book Award—Grades 9-12, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
  • 2015 Indies Choice Book Award—Young Adult (Finalist), The Darkest Part of the Forest
  • 2015 Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award—Young Adult, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
  • 2015 Colorado Children's Book Award—Junior Novel, Doll Bones
  • 2015 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award—Children's, Doll Bones
  • 2015 Iowa Children's Choice (ICCA) Award—Children's, Doll Bones
  • 2015 Kentucky Bluegrass Award—Grades 6-8, Doll Bones
  • 2015 Nene Award—Children's Fiction, Doll Bones
  • 2015 Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award—Grades 3-6, Doll Bones
  • 2015 Rhode Island Children's Book Award—Grades 3-6, Doll Bones
  • 2015 Sunshine State Young Reader's Award—Grades 6-8, Doll Bones
  • 2016 Young Reader's Choice Award—Senior/Grades 10-12, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
  • 2016 California Young Reader Medal—Middle School, Doll Bones
  • 2016 Nene Award—Children's Fiction, Doll Bones
  • 2016 Sequoyah Book Award—Intermediate, Doll Bones]
  • 2016 William Allen White Children's Book Award—Grades 6-8, Doll Bones
  • 2016 Young Hoosier Book Award—Intermediate, Doll Bones


  • 2006: Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie
  • 2014: Mythopoeic Fantasy Award in Children's Literature, Doll Bones[11]
  • 2014: Newbery Honor Book, Doll Bones
  • 2014 Delaware Diamonds Award—High School, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
  • 2015 Indies Choice Book Award—Young Adult, The Darkest Part of the Forest


  1. ^ a b c Locus (May 2006), "Holly Black: Through the Maze", Locus, 56, 5 (544): 84, retrieved December 13, 2007
  2. ^ "The Modern Faerie Tales Archives". Holly Black. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "And the Newbery, Caldecott award winners are ...", Ashley Strickland, CNN, January 27, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Black, Holly, About Holly, archived from the original on November 5, 2007, retrieved December 13, 2007
  5. ^ Black, Holly, Bibliography, archived from the original on December 9, 2009, retrieved December 13, 2007
  6. ^ "Author's fairy tale comes true" Archived November 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Edmonton Journal, February 14, 2008. Accessed February 20, 2008. "Today, Holly lives in West Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband of 10 years, working as a full-time writer and an avid collector of rare folklore volumes, spooky dolls and outrageous hats."
  7. ^ "Holly Black". Science Fiction Awards Database ( Retrieved 2014-05-07.
  8. ^ "The Spiderwick Chronicles". IMDB. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  9. ^ "Fall 2013 Sneak Previews". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  10. ^ "Doll Bones". Simon and Schuster. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Mythopoeic Awards". Mythopoeic Society. Archived from the original on October 10, 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  12. ^ "Scholastic Acquires Five-Book Middle Grade Series by Bestselling Authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare". Scholastic. April 19, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  13. ^ "Cassandra Clare, Holly Black Score Joint Book, Movie Deal!". MTV Hollywood Crush. April 19, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  14. ^ Holly Black at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 2014-05-07.
  15. ^ IMDb, The Spiderwick Chronicles, retrieved December 13, 2007[unreliable source?]
  16. ^ "'Spiderwick' Author Holly Black Gets Unexcited For 'White Cat' Movie". MTV Hollywood Crush. May 9, 2011. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  17. ^ Parkin, Lisa (September 10, 2013). "The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Author Holly Black on Vampires, Vine & Violence". Huffington Post. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Awards for Holly Black". Retrieved November 15, 2017.

External linksEdit