Cliff McNish

  • Sunderland


Cliff McNish was born in Sunderland in 1962 and worked in the computer industry before taking up writing.

He is the author of several books of fantasy for 9-12 year olds and young adults. His first book, The Doomspell, was published in 2000 and was the first of a trilogy of the same name. The second and third books of the series are The Scent of Magic (2001) and The Wizard's Promise (2002), and tell the story of two young gifted siblings. They have been published in 22 languages worldwide.

A second trilogy followed, known as The Silver Sequence, comprising The Silver Child (2003); Silver City (2004); and Silver World (2005), the story of a group of six specially chosen children with special powers.

Five stand alone novels have followed these trilogies: Breathe (2006), a ghost story; Angel (2007); Savannah Grey (2010), a supernatural thriller with a 15-year-old protagonist; The Hunting Ground (2013), another ghost story; and My Friend Twigs (2015). 

Going Home (2014), is a change in direction from his usual fantasy and supernatural stories. Aimed at 9-12 year olds, it is a heartfelt comedy about four dogs stuck in a rescue centre. 


My Friend Twigs
Going Home
The Hunting Ground
Savannah Grey
Silver World
Silver City
The Silver Child
The Wizard's Promise
The Scent of Magic
The Doomspell


Hillingdon Secondary Book of the Year
Calderdale Award
Virginia Readers' Choice Award
Calderdale Children's Book of the Year Awar
Salford Children's Book Award

Author statement

I started writing for my daughter, but it’s a mysterious force that keeps a children’s author writing when their own children grow up. You never quite understand what it is. All you do know is that you have a nagging desire to keep children at the heart of your stories.