Patrick Ness

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Patrick Ness (born October 17, 1971) is an American author, journalist and lecturer who moved to London at 28 years old and now holds dual citizenship. He is best known for his books for young adults, including the Chaos Walking trilogy and A Monster Calls.

Ness won the annual Carnegie Medal from the British librarians both in 2011 and in 2012, for Monsters of Men and A Monster Calls, recognising each as the best new book for children or young adults published in the U.K.[1][2][3][4][a] He is one of seven writers to win two Medals (no one has won three) and the second to win consecutively.


Patrick Ness was born in the U.S. near Fort Belvoir army base, near Alexandria, Virginia, where his father was a lieutenant the US Army. They moved to Hawaii, where he lived until he was six, then spent the next ten years in Washington state, before moving to Los Angeles. Ness studied English Literature at the University of Southern California.

After graduating, he worked as corporate writer for a cable company. He published his first story in Genre magazine in 1997 and was working on his first novel when he moved to London in 1999.

Ness was naturalised a British citizen in 2005. He entered into a civil partnership with his partner in 2006, less than two months after the Civil Partnership Act came into force.[5] In August 2013, Ness and his partner got married following the legalization of same-sex marriage in California.

Ness taught creative writing at Oxford University and has written and reviewed for The Daily Telegraph, The Times Literary Supplement, The Sunday Telegraph and The Guardian. He reviews for The Guardian as of July 2012. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund and was the first Writer in Residence for Booktrust.

Walker Books has published all four children's novels by Ness to date, one annually from 2008 to 2011.[6] According to news coverage, "He turned to children's fiction after he had the idea for a world where it is impossible to escape information overload, and knew it was right for teenagers."[7]

The first was The Knife of Never Letting Go, and it won the annual Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, a once-in-a-lifetime book award judged by a panel of British children's writers.[8][9] The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men were sequels to The Knife; jointly they are called the "Chaos Walking trilogy" and The Knife has been reissued with a front cover banner "Chaos Walking: Book One". Ness has also published three short stories in the Chaos Walking universe, the prequels "The New World" and "The Wide, Wide Sea", and "Snowscape", set after the events of Monsters of Men. The short stories are available as free-to-download e-books,[10] and have been included in the 2013 UK print editions of the novels.[11]

A Monster Calls (2011) originated with Siobhan Dowd, another writer with the same editor at Walker, Denise Johnstone-Burt. Before her August 2007 death, Dowd and Johnstone-Burt had discussed the story and contracted for Dowd to write it. Afterward, Walker arranged separately with Ness to write and Jim Kay to illustrate, and those two completed the book without meeting. Ness won the Carnegie and Kay won the companion CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal (established 1955), the first time one book has won both medals.[12][13]

On 7 May 2013, he was revealed to be the author of Tip of the Tongue, the May e-short featuring the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa as part Puffin's eleven Doctor Who e-shorts in honor of the show's 50th anniversary.[14]

His next book, More Than This was released on 5 September 2013.[15] More Than This has since been nominated for the Carnegie Medal of 2015.[16]

In 2014, Ness hold the keynote speech at the Children´s and Young Adult Program of the International literature festival berlin.

Recently, he announced that he was working on a new book called The Rest Of Us Just Live Here set for a 2015 release.[17] On January 20, 2015, Ness announced the official release date of the book via his Twitter account: it will be released August 25 in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand; and October 5 in Canda and the USA.

On October 1, 2015, the BBC announced that Ness would be writing a Doctor Who spin-off entitled Class[18]


The Knife of Never Letting Go won numerous awards including the Booktrust Teenage Prize, the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize,[8] and the 2008 Tiptree Award.[7] It was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.[19] The Ask and the Answer won the 2009 Costa Book Award in the children's book category. It, too, made the Carnegie shortlist.[19] Monsters of Men won the CILIP Carnegie Medal and was shortlisted for the 2011 Arthur C. Clarke Award.[20]


As screenwriter[edit]

For young adults[edit]

For adults[edit]

  • The Crash of Hennington (HarperCollins Flamingo, 2003)
  • Topics About Which I Know Nothing (HarperCollins Perennial, 2005), short story collection
  • The Crane Wife (Canongate Books, 2013)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The publication years defining the two Carnegie Medals were September to August 2009/2010 and 2010/2011, approximately the latest completed school years.


  1. ^ (Carnegie Winner 2011). Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  2. ^ "Press Desk: 'Chaos' Reigns, Patrick Ness Wins ...". Press release 23 June 2011. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  3. ^ (Carnegie Winner 2012). Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  4. ^ "Press Desk: An Historic Moment in Children's Literature, Patrick Ness Wins ...". Press release 14 June 2012, with press kit. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  5. ^ Ness, Patrick (24 June 2006). "'We two boys together clinging'". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Patrick Ness at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 2012-08-08. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  7. ^ a b "Patrick Ness beats established writers to Booktrust teenage prize". Alison Flood. 18 November 2008. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  8. ^ a b Guardian children's fiction prize 2008 (top page). theguardian. 2012-07-12.
  9. ^ "Guardian children's fiction prize relaunched: Entry details and list of past winners". 12 March 2001. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  10. ^ "Free brand new Chaos Walking short stories!!". March 30, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  11. ^ "UK Chaos Walking rejackets out today with new short stories!". May 2, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  12. ^ "How we made A Monster Calls: As their book wins the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals ...". Patrick Ness and Jim Kay. 14 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-14.
  13. ^ "A Monster Calls". Lara Prendergast. The Telegraph 14 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-14.
  14. ^ Patrick Ness (2013-05-07). "Doctor Who: Tip of the Tongue by Patrick Ness - extract | Children's books". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  15. ^ Patrick on August 29, 2013 4:49 PM (2013-08-29). "Events! Lots of 'em! - Patrick Ness - Diary". Patrick Ness. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Patrick on August 23, 2014 9:22 AM (2014-08-13). "NEW BOOK TITLE - Patrick Ness - Diary". Patrick Ness. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b Press Desk (directory). CILIP. Retrieved 2012-08-08. Quote: "media releases relating to the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards in date order." (2002 to 2006 releases concern 2001 to 2005 awards.)
  20. ^ "Arthur C Clarke Awards Nominees Announced". Dave Golder. SFX. 4 March 2011.

External links[edit]