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“I love mythology as much as I love tigers.”

SF Said is a novelist

My journey as a writer

Celebrating Arab and Islamic history, culture and civilisation.

On finding ideas

Writers are nothing more than readers who take one more step, and write the stories they want to read themselves.

SF Said in conversation with Sita Brahmachari

Talking about the ageless quality of children’s literature


SF Said is a British Muslim author of Middle Eastern origin. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1967, and came to live in Britain when he was two years old. His first book, Varjak Paw, won the Nestlé Smarties Prize for Children’s Literature, and was listed by BookTrust as one of the 100 best children’s books of the past 100 years. The sequel, The Outlaw Varjak Paw, won the BBC Blue Peter Book of the Year.

Phoenix was selected to represent the UK on the IBBY International Honour Book list, and was shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award. His most recent book Tyger won the Foyles Children’s Book of the Year award. Like his other books, it is illustrated by Dave McKean, and is currently being read in classrooms around the UK and elsewhere. SF Said has also written about children’s literature for both the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph, and is a passionate campaigner for literacy, libraries and reading for pleasure.