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Lucy Hawking to share writing secrets

October 07, 2010

George's best friend Annie needs help. Her scientist father, Eric, is working on a space project – and it's all going wrong. A robot has landed on Mars, but is behaving very oddly. And now Annie has discovered something weird on her dad's super-computer....

What are George and Annie to do?

To find out how the story ends, you’ll have to read “George’s Secret Key to the Universe,” by Lucy and Stephen Hawking.

And yes, Lucy Hawking is related to the noted scientist Stephen Hawking – she is his daughter.

Lucy Hawking, who has written two novels herself, and with her father, two books of a planned three about George and his cosmic adventures, will share some of her writing secrets during a one-day workshop Nov. 13, sponsored by Arizona State University’s Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

Hawking’s class, “Through the Looking Glass: Writing Fantasy Fiction for the Young Adult Market,” is aimed at writers who are interested in young-adult books. The class will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Piper Writers House on ASU’s Tempe campus. Lunch is included in the fee.

The two “George” books, “George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt” and “George’s Secret Key to the Universe,” have been translated into 38 languages. “Secret Key” made number 6 in the New York Times Children's Bestseller list.

Hawking was raised and educated in Cambridge, England. She studied French and Russian at Oxford University, and had an early career as an actress. She has worked extensively as a journalist, writing for British newspapers including the Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Times and the London Evening Standard, as well as writing for New York Magazine in the United States and appearing on BBC radio.

She has lived, studied, and worked in Moscow, New York, Paris, and Sarajevo. Hawking is the 2010-11 ASU Origins Project Writer-in-Residence.

The cost of the class is $100 ($90 for Piper Friends). For more information on the class, go to, or call the Piper Center at (480) 965-6018.