2024 Festival:
October 21–27

41. Fantastical Fantasy

41. Fantastical Fantasy

Step into worlds never before fathomed with three YA fantasy writers who use magic realism and new realms to reveal valuable insights about navigating teenage years—and society—with strength and fairness. Jes Battis is a queer autistic writer, teacher, and professor who reimagines Arthurian legends in the upbeat queer fantasy, The Winter Knight. Clara Kumagai is an award-winning author from Canada, Japan, and Ireland and joins us with her debut magical realism novel Catfish Rolling. Sarah Suk is a celebrated YA novelist whose latest, The Space between Here & Now, follows a youth with a mysterious condition that transports her to the past when she encounters scents linked to specific memories. Students will rethink the bounds of possibility. Grades 8–12. Moderated by Holman Wang.

Event Participants:

Jes Battis

JES BATTIS (they/them) is a queer autistic writer and teacher and the author of the Occult Special Investigator series and Parallel Parks series (as Bailey Cunningham) with Ace. Their first novel, Night Child, was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award. Jes teaches queer and trans studies, medieval literature, and representations of disability/neurodiversity in pop culture at the University of Regina. They split time between the prairies and the west coast.

Clara Kumagai

CLARA KUMAGAI is from Canada, Japan and Ireland. Her fiction and non-fiction for children and adults has been published in The Stinging Fly, The Irish Times, Banshee, Room, The Kyoto Journal and Cicada, among others. She is a recipient of a We Need Diverse Books Mentorship, and was a finalist for the 2020 Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award. Catfish Rolling is her debut novel.

Sarah Suk

Sarah Suk (pronounced like soup with a K) lives in Vancouver, Canada, where she writes stories and admires mountains. She is the author of the young adult novels Made in Korea and The Space between Here & Now, as well as the co-writer of John Cho’s middle grade novel Troublemaker. You can visit Sarah online at sarahsuk.com.
Holman Wang

Holman Wang

HOLMAN WANG is the author of 17 books for children, including the board book series Cozy Classics and Star Wars Epic Yarns, created with his twin brother Jack. Holman’s solo picture books are Great Job, Mom! and Great Job, Dad! He is a lawyer and a former Vancouver Writers Fest Board Member.