Shannon Hale

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Shannon Hale
Hale in 2016
Hale in 2016
BornShannon Bryner
(1974-01-26) January 26, 1974 (age 47)
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Utah
University of Montana
GenreYoung adult, fantasy
Notable worksThe Goose Girl
Princess Academy
Book of a Thousand Days
SpouseDean Hale
ChildrenMax Hale

Magnolia Hale

Dinah Hale

Wren Hale

Shannon Hale (née Shannon Bryner; born January 26, 1974) is an American author primarily of young adult fantasy, including the Newbery Honor book Princess Academy and The Goose Girl. Her first novel for adults, Austenland, was adapted into a film in 2013. She is a graduate of the University of Utah and the University of Montana. She has also co-written with her husband, Dean.

Early life[edit]

Hale was born on January 26, 1974 in Salt Lake City[1] to Wallace and Bonnie Bryner.[2] She is the middle child of five children; she has two older sisters, one younger sister, and one younger brother.[3] She enjoyed writing, reading, and acting as a young girl; she often created plays which she would act out with friends. She also began to write fantasy books at age 10, often featuring herself as the protagonist.[4] Her elementary school teachers encouraged her creative endeavors;[1] and, in the fourth grade, Hale announced that she wanted to be a writer as an adult. In junior high, Hale participated on the school literary magazine. Author Dean Hughes visited her English class. She then attended West High School, where she cultivated passions for English and drama.[5] She took a creative writing class and worked as an editor of fiction for her high school's literary magazine.[1] She participated in both school and community theater productions, including The Secret Garden. Hale also took part in drama competitions and traveled throughout Utah and the U.S. with an improvisational theater group whose productions highlighted a range of teen issues. She met her spouse, Dean Hale, freshman year at West High School;[5] he was also involved in theater.[6] Hale has said that her theater experience has improved her writing skills, particularly in character creation and world building.[1]

She attended the University of Utah, primarily majoring in both English and Theater before deciding solely to pursue the former. She served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Paraguay for 18 months[6] before graduating with a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Utah in 1998.[7] She later earned a master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of Montana.[8] While studying at the University of Montana, Hale wrote 100 short stories and submitted many for publication, but none were accepted.[1]


Before becoming a full-time author, Hale participated in stage and improvisational comedy, studied in Mexico and the United Kingdom,[4] and worked as an instructional designer. She began writing The Goose Girl while in her graduate writing program,[6] and worked on her drafts of it during her lunch break while working at her instructional design job.[1] She originally planned to work in literary fiction, publishing short stories and teaching English, before writing young adult and children's books.[9]

The Goose Girl became her first published novel after being met with nine rejections;[10] Hale received an offer in 2003 from Bloomsbury Publishing.[11] Hale based the book on her favorite fairy tale of the same name.[12] It was named an ALA Teens' Top Ten[8] and became the first of many novels in Hale's Books of Bayern series.[13] Goose Girl also won the 2004 Josette Frank Award for fiction[14] and was reprinted by Bloomsbury in 2017.[15] Hundreds of thousands of copies of the novel have been printed in a total of fifteen languages.[1] The other Books of Bayern include Enna Burning, River Secrets, and Forest Born.[16]

Her novel Princess Academy was featured on The New York Times Best Seller list, as well as that of Book Sense and Publishers Weekly. It also received a Newbery Honor.[4] After the positive response from readers and reviewers alike to Princess Academy, Hale wrote its sequel, Princess Academy: Palace of Stone.[17] In 2015 she continued the story with a third installment, Princess Academy: The Forgotten Sisters. Hale has remarked that the series is "a love letter to education."[18]

Her first adult novel, Austenland, was also featured by Book Sense.[8] Hale and screenwriter Jerusha Hess then wrote the screenplay for a film adaptation of Austenland, released in 2013 at the Sundance Film Festival. It was then bought by Sony Pictures for $4 million.[19] Twilight author Stephenie Meyer produced the film and Keri Russell starred as protagonist Jane Hayes.[20] In 2012 Hale released a sequel novel, Midnight in Austenland.[21] Another adult novel, The Actor and the Housewife, was published in 2009[22] and was named "the City Weekly readers' choice winner for best novel of the year."[13] Hale has kept numerous rejection letters she has received from publishers, and has compiled them into one 60 foot long scroll.[4][12]

In February 2016 Shannon was a Literary Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker at the 34th annual Life, the Universe, & Everything professional science fiction and fantasy arts symposium.[23]

In 2017, Hale released a graphic memoir entitled Real Friends, chronicling her struggles in grade school. It was illustrated by LeUyen Pham.[24] Its sequel, Best Friends, appeared on The New York Times Best Seller list for graphic books and manga in April 2020.[25] In 2018, her Princess in Black series - which she wrote with her husband Dean Hale - made The New York Times Best Seller list for children's series.[26] The two also co-wrote the graphic novel Rapunzel's Revenge,[9] as well as two young adult novels for the Marvel superheroes Squirrel Girl and Captain Marvel.[27] Hale ventured further into science fiction with her own YA superhero novel, Dangerous, in 2014.[28]

In addition to being an author, Hale is also an advocate for gender equality; she has noticed how her books are marketed only to girls, despite positive reception from both genders.[29] She has gone on to write a few articles about this subject.[30]

shannon and dean hale
Hale with husband Dean at the 2016 Texas Book Festival

Personal life[edit]

Hale is married to Dean C. Hale, with whom she has co-authored the Eisner-nominee graphic novels Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack, as well as The Princess in Black series and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl series.[31][13] She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,[32] and is the mother of four children: Max, Magnolia,[8] and twin girls Dinah and Wren.[6] Hale has noted that her children give her new ideas for books "probably every day."[5]


The Books of Bayern series

  • The Goose Girl (2003), ISBN 1-58234-843-X
  • Enna Burning (2004), ISBN 1-58234-889-8
  • River Secrets (2006), ISBN 1-58234-901-0
  • Forest Born (2009), ISBN 1-59990-167-6

Princess Academy series

Austenland series

Rapunzel's Revenge series
Co-authored with Dean Hale and illustrated by Nathan Hale (no relation)

Ever After High series

Princess in Black series
Co-authored with Dean Hale, and illustrated by LeUyen Pham

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl series
Co-authored with Dean Hale

Real Friends series

Graphic memoirs illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Standalone novels

Diana: Princess of the Amazons series

Co-authored with Dean Hale and illustrated by Victoria Ying



  • Spirit Animals Book 4: Fire and Ice (2014) ISBN 978-0545522465
  • Itty-Bitty Kitty Corn (2021), ISBN 978-1-4197-5091-5, picture book illustrated by LeUyen Pham



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Black, Susan Easton; Woodger, Mary Jane (2011). Women of Character. American Fork, UT: Covenant Communications. pp. 120–123. ISBN 9781680470185.
  2. ^ "Author Profile - Shannon Hale". Utah Children's Writers and Illustrators Newsletter. Utah Children's Writers and Illustrators. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
  3. ^ "A video interview with Shannon Hale |". Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d "Shannon Hale | Authors | Macmillan". US Macmillan. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "Utah writer Shannon Hale returns to 'Princess Academy'". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d "The Official Site of Shannon Hale". Archived from the original on June 4, 2016. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  7. ^ "Alumni Post-it Notes". U-News & Views. University of Utah Alumni Association. April 2006. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
  8. ^ a b c d "Shannon Hale | Mormon Literature & Creative Arts Database | HBLL". Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Blasingame, James (March 2010). "Interview with Shannon Hale about "Rapunzel's Revenge"". Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. 53 (6): 518–520. JSTOR 25614598.
  10. ^ Rollins, Jenny (August 3, 2018). "Shannon Hale's 'The Goose Girl' turns 15". Deseret News. ProQuest 2082278909.
  11. ^ Walquist, Tammy (July 6, 2007). "Author's tales: Writers recount struggle to get published". Deseret Morning News. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
  12. ^ a b Ward, Barbara A.; Young, Terrell A. (June 4, 2008). "Talking with Shannon Hale". American Library Association. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c "Biography". Shannon Hale. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Past Award Winners (1943-2006)". The Children's Book Committee Bank Street College of Education. Archived from the original on December 2, 2009. Retrieved February 14, 2008.
  15. ^ Hale, Shannon (2017). The goose girl. ISBN 978-1-68119-316-8. OCLC 1038725011.
  16. ^ "The Books of Bayern". Kids Book Series. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  17. ^ Rappleye, Christine (August 17, 2012). "Shannon Hale's 'secret' project yields 'Palace of Stone'". Deseret News. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  18. ^ Rappleye, Christine (February 24, 2015). "Shannon Hale shares lessons learned along the way to publishing third Princess Academy book". Deseret News. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  19. ^ Schoenberg, Nara. "Shannon Hale on turning her novel 'Austenland' into a movie". Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  20. ^ Radish, Christina (August 13, 2013). "Keri Russell and Producer Stephenie Meyer Talk AUSTENLAND and the Lasting Appeal of Jane Austen Stories". Collider. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  21. ^ "Midnight in Austenland". Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  22. ^ THE ACTOR AND THE HOUSEWIFE | Kirkus Reviews.
  23. ^ "Life, the Universe, & Everything 34: The Marion K. "Doc" Smith Symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy" (PDF). LTUE Press. February 1, 2016.
  24. ^ Messner, Kate (May 12, 2017). "The Perils of Social Life Begin in Kindergarten". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  25. ^ "Graphic Books and Manga - Best Sellers - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  26. ^ "Children's Series Books - Best Sellers - May 27, 2018 - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  27. ^ Mcfall, Michael (November 4, 2015). "Utah authors Shannon Hale, Dean Hale to write Marvel's Squirrel Girl novel". The Salt Lake Tribune. ProQuest 1730280953.
  28. ^ Reese, Catherine (March 10, 2014). "Shannon Hale dishes on her 'Dangerous' new novel". The Salt Lake Tribune. ProQuest 1505364179.
  29. ^ "Shannon Hale interview: Girl (and boy) power". The Writer. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  30. ^ "Gender and reading". squeetus. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  31. ^ Lythgoe, Dennis (July 8, 2007). "Life is hectic for novelist". Deseret News. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  32. ^ Lehnardt, Michelle (June 13, 2009). "Writer's challenge: infusing religion". Deseret News. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  33. ^ "Princess Academy". Kensington Theatre. November 28, 2016. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  34. ^ a b "AML Awards 2004 – 2005". Dawning of a Brighter Day. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  35. ^ "2006 Newbery Medal and Honor Books". American Library Association. 2006. Archived from the original on May 12, 2007. Retrieved May 9, 2007.
  36. ^ "First Annual Whitney Awards Highlights". Meridian Magazine. 2007. Archived from the original on February 2, 2010. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
  37. ^ "The 2007 Cybils winners". Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  38. ^ "2017 AML Awards #4: Comics and Picture Books". Dawning of a Brighter Day. February 27, 2018. Retrieved May 11, 2020.

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