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Holly Black

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Theo Black (m. 1999)


Holly Black

c. 2000–present

The Spiderwick Chronicles

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November 10, 1971 (age 44)West Long Branch, New Jersey (

Writer, editor, producer

Doll Bones, White Cat, The Coldest Girl in Col, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, The Darkest Part of th

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Holly Black née Riggenbach (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. Her 2013 novel Doll Bones was named a Newbery Medal honor book.


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Early life and education

Holly Black Author Spotlight Holly Black by TJ McIntyre Fantasy

Black was born in West Long Branch, New Jersey in 1971, and during her early years her family lived in a "decrepit Victorian house." 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.

Holly Black 2013 Closing Speaker Holly Black

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

Literary career

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.

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. A film adaptation of the series was released in 2008.

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. 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 and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award.

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

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


Black is co-executive producer of the film adaptation of The Spiderwick Chronicles, released in February 2008. 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.

Young adult novels

Modern Faerie Tales
  • Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale (2002)
  • Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie (2005)
  • Ironside: A Modern Faery's Tale (2007)
  • The Curse Workers
  • White Cat (2010)
  • Red Glove (2011)
  • Black Heart (2012)
  • Folk of the Air
  • The Cruel Prince (2018)
  • The Wicked King (estimated 2019)
  • Queen of Nothing (estimated 2020)
  • Standalone
  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (2013)
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest (2015)
  • Middle School Grade Novels

  • The Magisterium Series,
  • The Iron Trial (2014), Black and Cassandra Clare, illus. Scott Fischer (artist)
  • The Copper Gauntlet (2015), Black and Cassandra Clare, illus. Scott Fischer (artist)
  • The Bronze Key (2016), Black and Cassandra Clare, illus. Scott Fischer (artist)
  • The Silver Mask (2017), Black and Cassandra Clare, illus. Scott Fischer (artist)
  • The Golden Tower (2018), Black and Cassandra Clare, illus. Scott Fischer (artist)
  • Spiderwick
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles,
  • The Field Guide (2003), Black and Tony DiTerlizzi (writing Spiderwick)
  • The Seeing Stone (2003)
  • Lucinda's Secret (2003)
  • The Ironwood Tree (2004)
  • The Wrath of Mulgarath (2004)
  • Companion Books
  • Arthur Spiderwick's Notebook of Fantastical Observations (2005)
  • Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You (2005)
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles: Care and Feeding of Sprites (2006)
  • Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles
  • The Nixie's Song (2007)
  • A Giant Problem (2008)
  • The Wyrm King (2009)
  • Standalone
  • Doll Bones (2013), illus. Eliza Wheeler
  • Graphic novels

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

    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
  • Collections
  • The Poison Eaters and other stories (2010), illus. Theo Black
  • Anthologies edited

  • Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd (2009), eds. Black and Cecil Castellucci
  • Zombies vs. Unicorns (2010), eds. Black and Justine Larbalestier
  • Welcome to Bordertown (2011), eds. Black and Ellen Kushner
  • Poetry

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

  • 2014: Mythopoeic Fantasy Award in Children's Literature, Doll Bones
  • 2014: Newbery Honor Book, Doll Bones
  • References

    Holly Black Wikipedia