Elle McNicoll was born in 1992 in Scotland, where she grew up before moving to England to complete her Master studies at University College London. She stepped into the literary landscape with her debut novel, »A Kind of Spark« (2020), a critically acclaimed exploration of neurodiversity that won the Blue Peter Book Award, the Overall Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, and was honored as Blackwell’s Book of 2020. McNicoll’s dedication to showcasing neurodiversity in literature also propelled her second novel, »Show Us Who You Are« (2021), to achieve Blackwell’s Book of the Month and placement in The Bookseller’s Best Books of 2021.
Her writing approach delicately weaves reality with the protagonists’ perspectives, granting readers an immersive and compassionate understanding of neurodiverse individuals. For instance, in »A Kind of Spark«, McNicoll narrates the story of a young autistic girl fighting for a memorial in her town for the women who were accused of witchcraft in the past. This novel, according to Alison Flood of The Guardian, presents “a mystery, a witch trial story, an exploration of how society treats those who are different,” thereby encapsulating the essence of McNicoll’s approach. The success of this book has culminated in a television adaptation set to air in April 2023. McNichol’s most recent book »Like A Charm« (2022), set in a magical Edinburgh, tells the story about a girl discovering her powers.
McNicoll’s contribution to literature has not gone unnoticed. The prestigious Carnegie Medal recognised her skill and dedication with three nominations, and she was shortlisted for several awards, including the Books Are My Bag Awards (2020, 2021, 2022), the Branford Boase Award (2020), and The Little Rebels Award (2020, 2021). Her literary influence crossed the Atlantic, leading to an honour in the form of the Schneider Award in 2022.
In the pursuit of a more inclusive literary world, McNicoll advocates for improved representation of neurodiversity in publishing. Through her powerful narratives and strong voice in the industry, she has inspired and continues to inspire a shift towards greater diversity in literature.
The author lives in North London.