Meet some of the NSW Authors and Illustrators who support us.
Deb’s adventures in Africa, where she was harassed by monkies and thrown in jail inspired her to write books about spies, soccer, WW2, pesky wolves and kids in flying machines who battle sea monsters and evil harbour lords. Her love of words led to The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and The Most Marvellous Spelling Bee Mystery and her crankiness about climate change led to Grimsdon, New City and Final Storm. She’s won awards for her books, but mostly hopes to be as brave as her characters.
Jenny Blackford writes poems and stories for people of all ages, usually with a tinge of myth and legend, history, science, or deep time. Many of her poems and stories for kids have appeared in the School Magazine. Pill Street Poetry published her poetry collection The Duties of a Cat in 2013 and The Loyalty of Chickens in 2017 (suitable for kids 11 and up), and Eagle Books published her spooky middle-grade adventure novel The Girl in the Mirror in October 2019.
Jill has written and illustrated three children’s books. She is the Illustrator of other Books, Magazines and Newspaper-Publications plus writing, directing and voice work on my animated experimental films: (Internationally screened). She is a Poet in Residence: Wo-MAP program 2018 RPAH. Poetry in Residence Chris O’Brien Life-House: Sydney 2019.
Winner Don Banks Short Fiction Award 2016 and 2018 Numerous presentations - Schools, Tertiary Institutions etc, Freelance Writer/Illustrator/Artist.
Originally from Brisbane, I now live in Sydney, where I spend my days writing, reading and day-dreaming. My MG-YA series, full of myth, magic and mystery, is enjoyed by readers up to the age of 14 years. Esme’s Gift, the second book in the trilogy, will be released by Odyssey Books in December, 2019.
Tim Harris is the bestselling author of several laugh-out-loud series for kids, including Toffle Towers, Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables and Exploding Endings.
A former primary school teacher of 15 years, and advocate for creativity and short stories, Tim’s presentations and workshops are dynamic and entertaining. He is a sought-after presenter, having worked in hundreds of schools across Australia.
Penny Jaye is a western Sydney based author of books for children and older readers. From YA novels to picture books, her books strive to find beauty, hope, strength and love even in the toughest of settings. (She also writes as Penny Reeve).
Nathan Luff is an author, playwright and storyteller for young audiences. His works are often inspired by the antics he and his four brothers got up to living on a farm in rural NSW. He is the author of Chicken Stu, Bad Grammar, and the upcoming Wooly Bullies series. Nathan’s most recent play was an adaptation of Oliver Phommavanh’s novel Thai-riffic! When not writing, Nathan is also a primary school teacher specialising in the creative arts.
Natalie is the author of Emmie and the Tudor King (Literary Crush Publishing). A fast-paced YA time-slip romance, Emmie and the Tudor King follows an American high school girl to a reimagined Tudor England, where she meets a doomed, but utterly dreamy, Tudor king. Books 2 and 3 will be published in 2020 and 2021. Emmie and the Tudor King has already received acclaim from Foreword Reviews, YA Books Central, and popular YA authors Brigid Kemmerer (A Curse So Dark and Lonely) and CJ Flood (Infinite Sky), among others.
Oliver Phommavanh is an author and comedian who uses his experience as a primary school teacher to teach creative writing for kids across Australia and Asia. His books include Don't Follow Vee, Thai-riffic! and Natural Born Loser.
His writing is funny, with snappy dialogue and amusing characters. But they also have a lot of heart.
Emma Quay is an illustrator and writer of many award-winning picture books; her memorable characters for Rudie Nudie, Shrieking Violet, Bear and Chook, Not a Cloud in the Sky, Good Night, Me and Scarlett, Starlet are favourites on children's bookshelves all over Australia. Her most recent title for very young children, My Sunbeam Baby, is published by ABC Books.
Kate Simpson is a Sydney-based picture book author and podcast host. Her latest book, Dear Grandpa, celebrates the bond between a boy and his grandfather and their shared love of the world around us. Kate also co-hosts the children's book podcast One More Page, which has featured renowned authors and illustrators such as Leigh Hobbs, Jacqueline Harvey and Kate DiCamillo.
Duncan Ball is the prize-winning author of many popular books for children including the books about Selby, “the only talking dog in Australia and, perhaps” the world, and adventures of Emily Eyefinger, the girl who was born with an eye on the end of her finger. He is also the author of a number of picture books, a book of funny poems, and a book of comedy plays. When he’s not writing, he’s painting although he’s never illustrated any of his own books. He leaves that to the experts.
Charlotte Calder is the author of two picture books - Stuck! Walker Books) and The 12th Dog Hachette, both CBCA Notable Books. Also historical junior novel The Ghost at the Point (Walker Books), and four YA novels published by Pan MacMillan. She lives with her husband and assorted furry creatures near Orange, NSW.
For many years Diana has painted in a small studio in her back garden in Sydney.
A few years ago she was invited to produce a book cover, then illustrate some picture books for children for Little Red Apple publications, and in recent years has written and illustrated 10 books herself.
The latest of these, Visiting Sydney, was published this year.
All books are about Australian subjects and are printed in Australia.
Carolyn Eldridge-Alfonzetti’s short stories and poems for children have been published in The School Magazine since 2007. She is the author of a picture book Rainforest Feasts (Wild Eyed Press) and a verse novella Around the Globe with Gramps (Celapene Press). A former home economist, food often sneaks into the fiction she now creates.
Lesley Gibbes is an internationally published children’s author, primary teacher and presenter at the Australian Writers’ Centre.
Her books include CBCA Honour book, Scary Night, Whitley Award Winner Best Young Children’s Book, Fluke and the hilarious chapter book series, Fizz. Her most recent publication is Searching for Cicadas part of Walker Books Nature Storybooks Series.
Jacqueline loves writing books full of adventure, mystery, quirky characters and lots of laughs. One of Australia’s most popular authors for children she is best known for her Alice-Miranda, Clementine Rose and Kensy and Max series of books. Jacqueline has received numerous short-listings and awards while her picture book, The Sound of the Sea was a CBCA Honour Book. A highly experienced teacher and presenter, she has delivered thousands of talks and workshops at schools and festivals around the world.
Roxanne uses her creative talents in a variety of fields, including songwriting, poetry and children’s stories.
Recently, she created the Busy Izzy and Friends series, featuring, 12 year old, Busy Izzy, her eight friends and a rescue puppy called, Newly Truly. Three books published to date, have sold in excess of ten thousand copies.
The project uses emotional and educational drivers, focusing on friendship, fun and healthy food, with positive values, award winning songs, video clips, a stage show and picture books, featuring rhythm and rhyme.
Amanda loves books, stories, writing and children. She’s thrown them all into the air (Warning: if you do this, don't stand underneath when they land) this mix has given her the perfect combination to be a passionate children's book author. So far being an actress has been Amanda’s favourite career, she knows that writing stories for children will be her next new favourite.
Peter usually writes about science, history or both. His hobbies include temporary obsessions; bush walking; bothering plants, insects, venomous animals and other wild things; rocks and volcanoes; science and technology as they existed in the 19th century; chatting to scammers in Latin; reading; creative computing; recreational maths; being a grandfather and writing, assisted by his pet leech. Once a bureaucrat, often a teacher, he now holds all of the papers needed to prove that he is retired, but he refuses to stop.
Belinda Murrell is a bestselling, internationally published children’s author who is passionate about encouraging kids to love reading and writing. Belinda has written more than 30 books including The Sun Sword fantasy trilogy, her popular Lulu Bell and Pippa’s Island series and her award-winning historical timeslip novels including The River Charm, The Forgotten Pearl, The Ivory Rose and The Lost Sapphire. Belinda’s latest book is Meet Zoe and Zac at the Zoo, part of the new Aussie Kids junior series.
Yvette Poshoglian has written over 40 books for young people, including the bestselling Ella and Olivia series, and the new Puppy Diary series for ages 6-9. Yvette is an English teacher and also consults to the NSW Department of Education on major projects
Living on the Northern Beaches in Sydney Australia Matthew likes to spend his spare time creating things. This includes writing children’s books and creating apps along with the occasional board game here and there.
Matthew has self-published nine children’s picture books for which the ideas have come from experiences with his two young children who are an endless source of inspiration for stories yet to be written.
Julie Thorndyke was a librarian in the education sector for more than thirty years. Now she concentrates on writing and editing fiction and poetry. A contributor to The School Magazine, she has been editor of Eucalypt: a tanka journal since 2017. Julie’s adult novel, Mrs Rickaby’s Lullaby, was published in 2019. Her first picture book Waiting for the Night was published by IP Kidz in 2018 and a second, Watching through the Day, will be released early in 2020.
Tristan tells stories for the page and screen. His books for kids and teens include Two Wolves, The Fall and the Tom Weekly series. Two Wolves won Honour Book in the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. It also won the YABBA and KOALA Children’s Choice Awards, as did his latest thriller, The Fall, a CBCA Notable book. Detention, a gripping new novel about a daring escape and a lockdown in a school, was released July 2019.
Lynda is an emerging author and has always liked to write. 15 years ago she was challenged to "write something publishable" and began a writing journey that is still ongoing even after completing a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at Macquarie University. She uses her experience as a lover of science fiction and fantasy, mother of two young adult boys, Secondary High School science/mathematics teacher and Scout Leader to write for Middle Grade and Young Adults.
Although I feel like I’ve spent my whole corporate life storytelling, I’ve just published my first book, Ted goes to hospital, along with my co-founder, Sare Christensen. The story follows our friendly teddy bear, Ted, through his first trip to hospital. It was inspired by personal experience and a desire to help other parents who, like me, often have no idea about how to help their child when they or someone they love end up in hospital.
I was told once by a very wise lady that you should do what makes your heart sing and for me, that’s writing.
My first poem was published in the school newsletter when I was nine years old.
As an adult, after gaining my Diploma of Professional Children’s Writing, I had the confidence to explore my writing passion. Now, I write poetry, picture books, chapter books and short stories. My fifth picture book is being released in December this year.
Libby is the author of numerous books from picturebooks to poetry books, novels to plays, and filmscripts to libretti. Hachette and HarperCollins continue to be her major publishers and Fiona Inglis, Curtis Brown Sydney, her agent.
Yvonne is an illustrator, writer and award-winning artist who enjoys playing with words and colours and is particularly inspired by nature. She is published with Little Pink Dog Books, Christmas Press and The School Magazine.
Katrina McKelvey is a children’s author and former primary school teacher. She’s highly involved in the CBCA, literary conferences and festivals, and loves visiting schools. She adores chocolate, but doesn’t like chocolate cake. She’s left-handed but plays sport right-handed. She loves tea, but dislikes coffee. Katrina now owns a naughty puppy!
Aura is an exciting new voice in children’s picture books. Aura’s upcoming bedtime book called Goodnight Glow Worms, is out in 2020. Her titles include: Cocoon, Meerkat Splash, and Twig. Twig is her first author/illustrator book and is a 2017 CBCA Notable for Early Childhood. Aura is the illustrator of the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge poster for 2019. Aura is passionate about reading and loves sharing her enthusiasm for words and pictures in lively school visits and guided illustration sessions, specialising in K-2s.
Felicity’s interest in history, fantasy and nature is reflected in her many books, including Ghost Boy, A Ring Through Time, the Janna Chronicles and The Little Penguins of Manly. There is a special Ghost Boy tour for schools studying the novel at the Quarantine Station in Sydney where part of the novel is set.
I enjoy writing poetry and prose for adults and children. Science fiction and fantasy are special interests, so many of my stories explore themes within those genres. I also write about the wildlife I observe around me. My passion is creating stories that stir the imagination. Ideas can come from anywhere – a fragment of conversation with friends, a dream, something I notice during the day, news and current affairs, or just talking to my grandchildren. I am actively involved in promoting children’s literature in my region. From 2008 to 2012, I served as Treasurer of the CBCA NSW Branch Illawarra-South Coast Sub-branch. I also contribute regularly to the School Magazine. Paint with Magic is my first picture book.