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.
I am a 23-year-old author/illustrator obsessed with all things weird and wonderful. I have a Bachelor of Natural History Illustration (Honours) which is only available in the southern Hemisphere.
I love to paint using watercolour and white gouache, in order to create realistic flora and fauna that can be described as strange or downright ugly in order to show others that there is in fact, beauty in ugliness.
We must take care of all our creatures, regardless of whether we find them visually appealing or not, as they are all extremely important to our ecosystem.
I hope to continue illustrating and writing for children, exploring the world and all the unusual things hidden within it.
Jenny is a Newcastle-based author and poet. Her middle-grade historical mystery The Girl in the Mirror appeared from Eagle Books in 2019 and is long-listed for the Davitt Award. Her poems and stories for children are regularly published in the School Magazine and have appeared in Our Home is Dirt by Sea: Australian Poetry for Australian Kids, Stories for Nine Year Olds and other great anthologies. Pitt Street Poetry has published three collections of her poetry: The Loyalty of Chickens and The Duties of a Cat, both suitable for people aged 11+, and The Alpaca Cantos, suitable for adults and Young Adults. Her poetry awards include firsts in the Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Poetry and the Humorous Verse section of the Henry Lawson awards (twice).
Toni’s love of animals and international travels have inspired her stories about cats, dogs, bears and children who follow their dreams. The DemiChat Series for 9 to 11-year-olds has a cat and dog detective team solving mysteries all over the world but her two picture books are more down to earth, literally, about trees and the environment.
Marjorie has illustrated over twenty children’s books and has been published internationally. Her books appear on the Premier’s Reading Challenge lists and have been shortlisted and won awards, including the CBCA Eve Pownall Award for her first picture book. Her picture books include The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses with Susanne Gervay, Brothers from a Different Mother with Phillip Gwynne, One Christmas Eve with Corinne Fenton, and The Croc and the Platypus with Jacking Hosking. She has several new picture books to be released in 2020, including Say Cheese with Frances Watts, Dinosaur Dads with Lesley Gibbes and Bear in Space, a collaboration with Deborah Abela.
Sharon Dalgleish once wore her shoes on the wrong feet without noticing—until she looked down as she stepped on an escalator. She worked for many years as a children’s librarian, and then a primary school teacher. Now she spends her days writing stories, nonfiction and poetry for children. Shoes optional.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Liz is a Sydney-based children’s book author and podcaster. Her latest picture book is Walking Your Human, a fun story written from a dog's point of view about the best ways to go for a walk. She is also the author of picture book Tulip and Brutus, about friendship, differences, teamwork and bugs. A lifetime lover of kids' books, Liz has an MA in Children's Literature via Deakin University.
Liz also co-hosts kids’ book podcast One More Page with friends, authors and book lovers Kate Simpson and Nat Amoore, where she interviews kids’ book industry professionals, reviews the latest books and lapses into the occasional laughing fit. She has lived in Vietnam, Cambodia and Canada, and has a rescue dog named Frankie who acts like a cat. She can typically be found seeking out new cafes or maxing out her library card.
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.
Victoria is a picture book author based in Sydney. She loves to play with language and tell rich and vivid stories that linger long after the covers are closed. Her debut - the magical and hilarious Ribbit Rabbit Robot - will be followed by her second picture book with Scholastic in August 2020. Fluent in French and Italian, and visitor of 51 countries and counting, Victoria is a direct descendant of King George III (the one that went mad!).
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.
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.
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.
Frances Watts is the author of more than 25 books for children, including the bestselling picture book Kisses for Daddy (illustrated by David Legge), which has been published in 20 languages; Parsley Rabbit's Book about Books (illustrated by David Legge), a Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year; and Goodnight, Mice! (illustrated by Judy Watson), winner of the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Children’s Fiction. Her most recent picture book is Say Cheese! (illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall). She is also the author of the epic adventure The Chicken’s Curse, set in ancient Rome, and the medieval Sword Girl series (illustrated by Gregory Rogers) as well as two young adult novels, The Raven’s Wing and The Peony Lantern. Frances lives in Sydney, Australia.
Sara Acton is an award-winning author and illustrator of children's books. She lives in a small seaside village on the New South Wales coast, where she enjoys writing and illustrating for children in her studio, whilst drinking tea and eating far too many biscuits.
Her first picture book Ben and Duck won the 2012 Children's Book Council of Australia Crichton Award for new illustrators.
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.
A creative, energetic, fun loving author. Her debut Children’s Picture Book Reece Give Me Some Peace! was shortlisted for the 2019 Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards. Her beautifully sentimental second picture book is Kisses in Your Heart. Sonia has had the privilege of working with children for decades as a Speech & Language Pathologist. Is passionate about children’s well being, connection and family life. Her expertise has allowed her to support thousands of children to communicate, read, spell and write with success. She reviews books for the CBCA, loves the learning, magic, and experience of wonderful children’s books. An advocate for children’s learning and literacy, Sonia is a well-respected speaker, writer, educator, and podcast host; enjoying a chat on her educational podcast Chatabout Children with Sonia Bestulic.
Nicola’s first children’s book, You Can't Catch Me, which she wrote, illustrated and self-published, was selected as a Notable - Early Childhood in the 2018 Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards and is also on the list of the 2018 & 2019 NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge. Her second book You Can’t Find Me will be out in March 2020. Both are about her two dogs and are full of fun.
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.
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.
Elizabeth is an author and teacher. Reading is her favourite escape to places of new possibility and interest. When not reading, Elizabeth loves to write picture books non-fiction narratives and poetry. Elizabeth believes that a child’s perspective can help us all make the world a better place. Her writing centres on themes of resilience, grief, equality, the natural environment, kindness, empowerment, anti-bullying and mental health. Elizabeth spends every moment possible sharing her love of stories with children in Australia and overseas and dreams of a thirty-four hour day.
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.
Alison’s first children’s book Rodeo Darcy was short-listed for the WA Premier’s Book Award, and subsequent books received CBCA 'high recommendations’.
Alison has worked as a secondary and primary teacher, a teacher-librarian, an ESL specialist and Indigenous Specialist teacher in the Kimberley. Alison has also conducted classes in picture book text & illustration. When she's not writing or drawing, you'll find her either playing her viola, or weaving on her floor loom!
Max Hamilton is an award-winning illustrator, graphic designer and most enthusiastically a maker of children’s books. She enjoys noticing the little details in things, loves to get lost in the world of illustration and stories, and through her art aims to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our Australian fauna.
Max lives in Sydney with her partner, two young daughters and a couple of guinea pigs named Dumpling and Noodles.
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.
Alan Horsfield is an established writer. He has written or co-written over 130 educational texts/practice books. His first children’s fiction was published in 1996. Since then he has had over thirty-five works of fiction published for younger readers and the YA market.
As an ex-teacher he has a critical awareness of children’s reading preferences and the classroom environment. He is a past president of the NSW Children’s Book Council and a former judge for the NSW Premiers (Children’s) Book Awards.
He enjoys writing zany ‘mysteries’ that stretch the imagination of younger readers. Several high schools have included his YA novels as class texts.
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.
Sadami, is a bilingual Japanese-Australian illustrator and painter, who enjoying using her unique watercolour style to depict ordinary people and animals whilst assisting the disadvantaged in non-profit organisations.
She is a 2020 May Gibbs Fellow and twice Doug Moran semi-finalist. Her publications include the picture books Moon and My Dog Socks, and sociolinguistics book covers, Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice and Intercultural Communication.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Is an award-winning author of numerous novels for children/YA and adults, including Ghost Boy, set at the Quarantine Station in Manly where there is a special tour for schools based on the novel and A Ring Through Time (convict history on Norfolk Island with a dash of romance!) Her medieval crime series, The Janna Chronicles, follows Janna’s quest to avenge her mother’s death. Wally the Water Dragon and The Little Penguins of Manly were inspired by Felicity’s love of nature. She has many years’ experience talking to both adults and children about researching and writing her novels and conducting creative writing workshops in a variety of genres. She is a May Gibbs Fellow and has an MA in Children’s Literature.
Debra Tidball is the author of award-winning The Scared Book and When I See Grandma. She has a particular passion for picture books -she believes they are for everyone! Debra’s flash fiction and short stories have been published in anthologies and accepted in The School Magazine. She reviews kid's books on Sydney radio 103.2 and interviews authors on the Just Write For Kids blog. Debra is a qualified social worker with a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature. She lives in suburban Sydney with her fury friend, Archie the Story Hound, who sniffs out good books on Instagram.
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.
Nat Amoore is an author of middle grade novels such as Secrets of A Schoolyard Millionaire and The Power Of Positive Pranking, with two more books planned for 2021. She is 1/3 of the children's book podcast One More Page where she, along with her cohosts, discuss and review all things kidlit. But most importantly, Nat used to be a trapeze artist, had a pet kangaroo when she was little and her secret super power is making stuff up (not lying, that's totally different!).
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.
Jess Black is an award winning author of children's books and has two new series being released in 2020!
Jess has written the Tales of Mr Walker series, the Little Paws series and the Keeper of the Crystals series; and is co-author of the hugely successful Bindi Wildlife Adventure series, the Kaboom Kid series and the RSPCA Animal Tales series.
Jess has written two picture books, Moon Dance and The Bold Australian Girl. Jess has been writing stories ever since she graduated from University with a BA Hons in Theatre Directing. She has written for theatre and children’s television. Jess has worked as a book buyer and a book seller. Her stories tend to centre around topics such as – animal welfare, conserving our natural environment, loyalty, resilience and friendship.
Tony is an Australian author / illustrator of children’s picture books. He believes that stories are best written and told from the heart and soul. Tony’s inspiration for his children’s picture story books have been influenced by his two grandsons.
Tony completed a post graduate Graduate Diploma in Psychological Science in addition to undergraduate university degrees.
Prior to retirement Tony helped many people to overcome unemployment, social, welfare and health concerns.
Tony plans to write non fiction books that relate to his personal experiences, career and qualifications.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Awarded the Lifetime Social Justice Literature Award, Order of Australia, nominated for Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, you'll find Susanne planting 3000 mangroves in Kiribati; in Istanbul speaking to 1000s of kids about NO bullying; in remote indigenous schools bringing literacy to kids from pre-schoolers to young adults. Susanne Gervay’s loved books include her anti bullying I Am Jack books; YA books Butterflies (disability), Shadows of Olive Trees (feminism); picture books Elephants Have Wings (Harmony Day), The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses’ (Vision 2020) and Heroes of the Secret Underground empowering kids to become warriors for change.
I am a NSW writer interested in children’s books. I am a member of CBCA, Writing NSW, and AWC. As an X-teacher I enjoy giving workshops in schools and bookshops to promote my books.
My previous books are: Catastrophe Girl and the Mystery of the Pie Thief and I Dug a Hole to China.
I live in Sydney on the Northern Beaches and enjoy having my inspirational grandchildren to stay so we can act, write and draw together. They are my first and last editors. If they don’t laugh, cry, or look horrified I abandon it.
Karen Hendriks likes to walk Elmo the dog, sneak a ride on the flying fox in the park and write children’s stories. They are so much more fun than adult books. Karen writes children’s stories from the heart and fun and quirky ones too.
Originally from Scotland Cate moved to Australia in 2015. A full-time illustrator, when she’s not drawing children's books, Cate likes to escape the studio and find different ways to be an artist. She was illustrator-in-residence at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh and now volunteers with ArtEx at the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick, where she also exhibits her work. Cate teaches art to primary-aged children, printmaking to adults and is sometimes a printmaking technician at UNSW. She has illustrated over 25 books in the UK, US, and Australia. Her first book as author/ill Go Home, Little One! was published in 2015. Cate was awarded the Penguin Random House Illustrators’ Showcase Award in 2019. Her next book By the Billabong will be published in May 2020.