Lost & Found

By Elizabeth Garner

A treasure trove of folk tales by Elizabeth Garner

Fiction | Illustrated
104% funded
559 supporters
Writing in progress

Publication date: TBC

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Signed Hardback

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An Evening with... Elizabeth Garner in conversation with Erica Wagner

Signed first edition hardback, ebook edition, bookplate, your name in the back of the book and a ticket to a special event, an evening with Elizabeth Garner in conversation with Erica Wagner, to be held in Oxford.

Date and time to be confirmed.

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Bespoke Bookclub

An opportunity for a personal visit from Elizabeth at your venue of choice. This will be a friendly, informal discussion of the book and the research and writing process. Ideal for established book clubs and writing groups. Before the meeting you will receive a set of questions to get the discussion started. You will also be able to send Elizabeth 6 specific questions of your own, so each visit will be tailored to the interests of your group. The meeting will last for 2 ½ hours, maximum 6 people per group.
Limited to 15


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  • ebook edition
  • Bookplate
  • Your name in the back of the book
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One-on-One Writing Critique

A rare opportunity for personal mentoring from an award-winning writer with 20 years of editorial and teaching experience. Before the meeting you will submit a piece of your writing up to 5,000 words long. Elizabeth will give you detailed, annotated editorial feedback on the text. This will be followed by a 90 minute individual tutorial with Elizabeth, tailored to your specific needs and interests. You will then have the option of rewriting the piece and resubmitting it for a final appraisal. The meetings will be held in Oxford.

Only 15 available! Travel not included.


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Original Artwork

Signed first edition hardback, ebook edition, bookplate, your name in the back of the book and a limited edition original print from the block, numbered and signed by the author and artist.

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Be listed as Patron of the book, with 10 signed first edition copies, 10 bookplates and your name listed in the front of the book.

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“Garner writes of myth with lyricism and sensitivity, she is steeped in the gift for being able to control the surreal with startling force.”

Amanda Craig, The Times

Lost & Found is my own retelling of 15 treasured folk tales that have nurtured and sustained me; terrified and enthralled me in equal measure. I am collaborating with Young Wood Engraver of the Year Phoebe Connolly to create an illustrated, beautifully crafted book that is true to tradition and also speaks directly to the modern world.

As a child, the diverse cast of folk tale characters – the foes and the friends – were my own extraordinary companions as I explored the fields and woods of my local village. The folk tales both enriched the landscape and also enabled me to travel beyond it. I could follow Trickster Jack through his adventures above the world I knew and beneath it; I could ride on the back of the Black Bull of Noroway, across the mountains as I solved the riddles of the three castles; I could fly above the never-ending pine forests of Russia sitting beside iron-toothed Baba Yaga the bony-legged witch, riding in her pestle and mortar. I would always get back safely in the end, but I would return home changed.

Included in the collection are stories such as...

The Riddle of the Crossroads • The Twisted Oak • The Wits of the Whetstone • The Roots of Fortune • Johnnie He Not • The Black Bull's Bride • Stealing the Moon • The Troll King's Sister • Just Jimmy and more...

Folk tales take us beyond our own boundaries into unknown lands. Yet within these adventures, riddles and enchantments we find our common ground. Motifs repeat across stories, subtly varied according to the cultural values and also the landscape of their place of origin, but are still familiar and they speak to our shared humanity. They are tools for living which have survived because they are as relevant now as they ever were.

Some of the folk tales are taken from those books of my childhood, others are remembered and rediscovered. Some I first heard spoken, during evenings spent in the company of a wonderful community of storytellers that I have been lucky enough to meet in my adult life. They have always been generous in sharing their source material, true to the oral tradition: the old tales are meant to be passed on to whoever might have use for them. Other stories I sought out as I wrote my novels. When stuck at a plot point or needing to find the root of a tricky character it is always the folk tales that I return to and they always show me the way out of the woods. 

The title Lost & Found reflects a common thread within this collection: the heroes and heroines of the stories who stray from the safer paths in life and find themselves in unknown worlds, which lurk just behind the surface of the world we know. The mysterious objects that are discovered within these adventures, whose purpose is revealed when true magic is most needed. The truth of the inner self that is found when all hope and love seems to be lost.

The title also reflects the process of development and research. I have identified the 15 tales that I want to tell, but I will be going back to the source material, stitching together fragments and variations into my own individual tapestry of words. Whilst the structure and content will remain true to the tradition, I will be following my personal path through the stories – exploring character, context and cultural background whilst still retaining the sense of wonder and otherness that is so central to these narratives. 

This collection of tales remembered, rediscovered and retold, is another link in the chain between storyteller, listener and our shared ancestors. Tales from the past, told to enrich the present and to be carried forward into the future.

About the Book

  • Hardback with jacket
  • 272pp
  • 15 black & white illustrations


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  • Elizabeth Garner avatar

    Elizabeth Garner

    Elizabeth Garner is the author of two novels: Nightdancing and The Ingenious Edgar Jones, both of which were influenced by traditional Folk Tale narratives and motifs. Lost & Found is her first collection of rewritten stories.

    The daughter of author Alan Garner and English teacher Griselda Garner, Elizabeth grew up in a home and landscape rich in imaginative play and folklore. It was there that she first encountered the oral storytelling tradition and has been an avid supporter ever since. 

    She studied English literature at Oxford University and trained as a film script editor, working for a variety of European and US production companies. She now works as a freelance fiction editor and teaches creative writing.

    She is the arts Trustee at The Blackden Trust, an educational charity established by her parents at the family home in Cheshire – where the promotional video for Lost and Found was filmed.

  • Johnnie He Not

    Once there was a farmer’s wife and her name was Tibbie. She had her own particular way of looking at the world, paying more attention to what was lacking in her life than to the counting of her blessings. Her husband was a man of work rather than words and he had little time for her complaints.

    Whilst the farmer tended his land and his livestock, Tibbie sat alone at the kitchen hearth. She whispered her longings to the flickering flames, of how she would give all that she had in return for the one thing she had not – a child. As the coals shifted against the grate and sighed in sympathy, someone or something heard her.

  • 30th October 2020 Second Samhain: Objects can and will tell stories...

    It's very moving to look back at my update this time last year.  We'd been up and running for a week and had just got to the 15% mark.  Those early pledges really helped to gather momentum and belief behind the book... and now here we are at 104%!   Thank you so much for all the support along the way.

    I am now delighted to now be able to offer a seasonal treat.  Back in March, just before the…

    27th October 2020 Workshop dates confirmed - and a few places left!

    I've been combatting the change in the seasons by retreating further into imaginary worlds and planning the Finding & Keeping Folktales Writing Workshop.  Here's a sneak peek inside my notebook so you can see how it's all shaping up...  You can also find more details on the Featured Rewards link on the Unbound page.

    The workshop will be online and interactive - probably on zoom, I'm just fine…

    20th October 2020 The Twisted Oak is growing...

    Since we reached the 100% mark  with Lost & Found Phoebe and I have been working away behind the scenes.  It's so very exciting to see the call and response between text and illustration gathering momentum. 

    I'm delighted to be able to offer a glimpse into Phoebe's candlelit studio and share this initial sketch of The Twisted Oak which will form the basis of the wood engraving.   Here's the moment…

    8th September 2020 100% & A huge thank-you!

    Well, it's been an emotional morning!  So thrilled to have reached the 100% mark with Lost & Found.  We couldn't have got here without your help and support - and belief in the project right from the start.  It's so exciting to know that the book will be making its way out into the world.  I'll be in touch again soon as plans shape up and will continue to share progress.  But for now, I just want…

    26th August 2020 90% & The Whole Of The Stolen Moon

    It's been another busy week in Lost & Found land!  Absolutely delighted to have made the 90% milestone today.  We really are at the final twist and turn of the Long Roads now.  Thank you so much for travelling alongside us - and please do continue to share news of the book to bring us home safely...

    In celebration, I am sharing the full text of Stealing The Moon - I gave a fragment in an earlier…

    20th August 2020 Folk Tales workshop

    In these strange and challenging times I have been so touched to see the support for Lost & Found building to the milestone of 80%.  We do indeed need our Folk Tales more than ever - thank you all so much for backing the project.  We really are on the home straight now, and we couldn't have got this far without you.  Please do continue to share, the sooner we get to the finish line, the sooner we…

    29th May 2020 70% & Johnnie He Not

    Both Phoebe and I have been really touched by the continued support for Lost & Found during these difficult times.  To have reached 70% is a real milestone.  Your generosity is hugely appreciated!  During these weeks of  isolation I have found our ongoing - albeit distanced! - collaboration a real source of comfort and inspiration.  We've both been working away, there are some treasures in store that…

    5th March 2020 Objects Tell Stories

    One of the really exciting things about researching and developing Lost & Found has been the collaborative conversations that have arisen as a result.  No more so than at The Blackden Trust! The head of research and archaeology Dr. Tim Campbell-Green and I have whiled away many hours and many cups of tea enthusing about the crossover between Folk Tales motifs and 'found' ritual objects. Shoes, coins…

    25th February 2020 60 % and Stealing The Moon


    I'm so delighted to have reached the 60% mark over the weekend, it feels like such a significant milestone.  Both Phoebe and I really appreciate all your support.  Please do continue to spread the word and help us bring the book into being.

    I'm also delighted to share the results of a wonderful folktales workshop I did with a class of Year 3 children a couple of weeks ago.   Stealing The Moon…

    16th January 2020 The Power of 3

    Any hint of January blues have been well and truly banished today - we have just hit the 300 supporters mark!  Thank you so much, all of you, for your belief in the book.  Phoebe and I do really appreciate it, please do keep on sharing the words and the woodcuts and help us upwards and onwards into the New Year!

    300 has always been in my mind as an important milestone.  3 is a magical number -…

    4th December 2019 50% and more of Johnnie He Not

    Another month, another threshold!  I am so delighted to reach the 50% as we go forth into December.  Both Phoebe and myself are absolutely thrilled by your support.  We wouldn't have got here without your belief in the book and you all, quite literally, spreading the word.  Thanks so much. 

    In celebration I've released some more of the Johnnie He Not story, updated on the Exerpt link on the Project…

    20th November 2019 Hagstones, A Sparrow & 40%

    I continue to be amazed and delighted by the support you are all showing to Phoebe and myself, thank you so much. I've been spending a couple of days field-bound at The Blackden Trust in Cheshire - the educational and creative charity that my parents founded and where the video for Lost & Found was filmed.  This is where my love of Folk Tales was nurtured, it's wonderful to have reached the 40% mark…

    8th November 2019 An amazing week & more of a story to tell...

    What an amazing week this has been!  I'm so delighted by - and grateful for - the support that's gathering for Lost & Found.  There are now twice as many of you as there were on Monday... 200 backers and 34% funded!

    It's just wonderful to know that there is such a strong, supportive community out there, cheering myself and Phoebe on.  Thank you for showing such faith in the book. Do please continue…

    4th November 2019 Another milestone reached & a new reward launched!

    I was absolutely thrilled to reach the 100 backers milestone over the weekend.  It's so encourgaing to have so many of you signed up already, thank you for all your generous support and belief in the project, it's hugely appreciated!

    I also have exciting news... As a result of  specific requests, we have put together a new featured reward: the Bespoke Bookclub.  It's a tailormade evening, where…

    31st October 2019 Happy Samhain!

    Thank you so much to all of you who have pledged so far and shown such generous support for the book.  It's so exciting to have got over the 15% mark in the first week.  Lovely to know that so many of you want these stories and these woodcarved worlds to make it onto the page.  Do please continue to post and share and help Lost & Found become a reality. 

    It also feels very appropriate to have crossed…

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  • Paul Pearson
    Paul Pearson asked:

    Do we know how long it will be before we see the finished product? :D

    Elizabeth Garner
    Elizabeth Garner replied:

    Hi Paul, Lovely to hear from you! Due to the illustrations and printing process we are looking at Spring 2022 publication date. But rest assured Phoebe and I will be keeping in touch and sharing some behind-the-scenes treats along the way...