The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) is proud to announce that Susan Cooper has been named the 40th Damon Knight Grand Master for her contributions to the literature of science fiction and fantasy.
The SFWA Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award recognizes “lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy.” It is named after author Damon Knight, SFWA’s founder and the organization’s 13th Grand Master. This year, Susan Cooper will be named among Peter S. Beagle, Connie Willis, Nalo Hopkinson, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ray Bradbury, Anne McCaffrey, Robin McKinley, Joe Haldeman, and other legends of genre fiction who have been granted this title.
Susan Cooper is most recognized for her fantasy sequence for young adults, The Dark is Rising, which has just reached its 50th anniversary. Her other books for children include The Boggart and its sequels, several works of historical fiction, and multiple picture books, most recently The Word Pirates and The Shortest Day in 2019.
Reflecting on the work of the newest Grand Master, SFWA President Jeffe Kennedy shared that “Susan Cooper possesses the rare gift of being able to write for young people with a resonance that endures all through their adult lives. I feel as if The Dark Is Rising books have always been a part of my life. I memorized poems and passages from those books, which I can still recite today. When I first began writing fantasy of my own, I slipped in images and names from her stories in homage and celebration. It’s truly a great honor for me to name Susan Cooper as the 2024 Grand Master, a writer so foundational to the fantasy genre, for both readers and readers who became writers.”
A decorated author, Susan’s works have received the Newbery Medal, a Newbery Honor Award, and two Carnegie Honor Awards. She has also been honored with the American Library Association’s Margaret A. Edwards Award, a Christopher Medal, the Humanitas Prize and awards from the Scottish and Welsh Arts Councils. She received the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2013.
As a writer, her accomplishments extend beyond writing fantasy and fiction. She was a reporter and feature writer for the London Sunday Times, has written biographies, Emmy-nominated screenplays, a Broadway play, and song lyrics for theatrical performance.
The 40th Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master award will be presented to Susan during the annual SFWA Nebula Conference and the 59th Nebula Awards, June 6–9, 2024. For more details on the conference, including registration and the panels on which the new Grand Master will appear, visit events.sfwa.org.