As of 2013, The Children’s Bookshop has been acting as a Speakers’ Agency organising children’s authors and illustrators for visits to schools and libraries throughout Australia.

Authors and illustrators may be contracted to spend half a day, whole days or more working with children focusing on negotiated programs.

Our authors include:

Deb AbelaJames Knight
Liz AnelliWill Kostakis
Tristan BancksHarry Laing
Hillary BellMargerte Lamond
Jess BlackBelinda Landsberry
Jesse BlackadderJohn Larkin
Alan Brough Jan Latta
JC Burke David Legge
Peter Carnavas Matthew Lin
Clare Craig / Petra James Gavin McCormack
Andrew Cranna Katrina McKelvey
Aleesah Darlison Geoffrey McSkimming/ Phyllis Wong Show
Sarah Davis Jaclyn Moriarty
Kirsty Eagar Penny Morrison
Nathaniel Eckstrom Belinda Murrell
Anna Fienberg James O’Loghlin
Tony Flowers Louise Park
Kate Forsyth Aura Parker
Sandy Fussell Christopher Richardson
Serena Geddes Tohby Riddle
Susanne Gervay Lisa Stewart
Morris Gleitzman Allison Tait
Gus Gordon Mark Tredinnick
Erin Gough Coral Tulloch
Tim Harris Frances Watts
Jacqueline Harvey Sue Whiting
John Heffernan Claire Zorn
Stephen Michael King 

Contact The Children’s Bookshop directly on 0407 414 261 (Paul) or 9481 8811 and ask to speak to Beth for more details. Books are provided for students to purchase for signing when authors are in attendance.

Deborah Abela

After completing a teaching degree, Deb went to Africa where she was caught in a desert sandstorm, harassed by monkeys and thrown in jail…twice! She was the writer/producer of a national kids’ TV show on Network TEN before leaving to write over 20 novels, including the Max Remy series and New City, the sequel to the bestselling, Grimsdon, about kids living in a climate-changed world. Her latest book, Teresa: A New Australian, was inspired by her dad who made the journey from Europe to Australia after the devastation of WW2. Her talks, PD sessions and workshops for kids and adults, are informative, interactive and fun. With her teaching and TV background, she uses images, videos, storytelling and games to explain the writing process and help kids develop their own stories. She is a proud supporter of Room to Read and Books in Homes.

Liz Anelli

When Liz was little she was always asking “Why?” … she never stopped. Her picture books Howzat!, Desert Lake and One Photo explore in colourful detail the world around her characters, using a range of media – painting, printmaking, collage and digital.

Visual narratives are her big thing and she loves making illustrations about what goes where and how it works. You might have seen some of her huge outdoor map murals. Coming from England (which isn’t quite as warm and sunny) she spends hours peddling around on her bicycle nosily finding out more things to draw into them.

Liz is a proud supporter of Room to Read and Books in Homes and regularly reviews picture books for Reading Time. She has many years’ practice holding cross curricula art-based workshops in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary education.

Liz encourages students to act out and experiment with different ways of making images to help their stories come to life. Her ambition is to banish the phrase “I can’t draw” from the lips of children and teachers alike.

Tristan Bancks

Tristan Bancks is a children’s and teen author with a background in acting and filmmaking. His books include My Life & Other Stuff I Made Up (Book 2 out 2014), Mac Slater Coolhunter (Australia & US), Galactic Adventures First Kids in Space and the Nit Boy series (about a kid with the worst case of nits in world history). Tristan’s Young Adult novel, it’s yr life (Random House) was co-written via email between Byron Bay and L.A. with actress/author Tempany Deckert. His short films as writer and director have won a number of awards and have screened widely in festivals and on TV. He is currently working on a crime novel for teens and an immersive cross-platform story for kids. Tristan is excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create. Check out Story Scrapbook, his free multimedia story brainstorming app at

Hillary Bell

Playwriting (High School Focus)
Hilary is an award-winning playwright whose plays have been produced nationally and internationally. These include Wolf Lullaby, Fortune, The Falls, Memmie Le Blanc, The Splinter for the Sydney Theatre Company and The White Divers of Broome for Black Swan State Theatre Company.

She has taught playwriting for over twenty years, at NIDA, Connecticut’s Wesleyan University, Tennessee’s University of the South, and for Griffin Theatre Company in Sydney.

Hilary is a member of playwrights' company 7-On, and a graduate of the Juilliard Playwrights’ Program, NIDA, and AFTRS. She was the 2004 Tennessee Williams Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of the South, Tennessee, and the 2012 Patrick White Fellow at the Sydney Theatre Company.

Hilary Bell – Children’s Author
Hilary is an award-winning playwright, librettist and lyricist, whose work now includes writing illustrated children’s books. With Antonia Pesenti, she created the best-selling and award-winning ‘Alphabetical Sydney’, and more recently ‘Numerical Street’. With Matthew Martin, she produced ‘The Marvellous Funambulist of Middle Harbour, and Other Sydney Firsts’, a history of Sydney in verse.

Hilary has been a guest at a number of writers’ festivals, including the Sydney Writers’ Festival, Byron Bay, and Big Sky (Geraldton). Along with Antonia and Matthew, she has presented readings, workshops and talks on the creation of the books

Jess Black

Jess Black is the author of over thirty books for children. She has written the Keeper of the Crystal Series and is the co-author of the highly successful The Kaboom Kid, The Bindi Wildlife Adventures series and the RSPCA Animal Tales series. Jess has a new series coming out with Penguin Random House in April 2017. Little Paws is a chapter book series about Guide Dog puppies and the families who volunteer to raise them.

Jess has written a picture book called Moon Dance. She has a second picture book coming out in July 2017 called The Bold Australian Girl. Jess has worked as a writer and director in children’s theatre, a writer and editor in children’s television; a book seller and a book buyer. Jess regularly presents in schools. She speaks about books, stories and the power of narrative story telling. She also runs writing workshops for primary age children as well as PD days for teachers. Jess is a senior tutor at The Writers Studio and tutors their ten month First Draft Novel or Screenplay course.

Jesse Blackadder

Jesse Blackadder wanted to be a vet from the age of five, but instead she ended up becoming a writer. “Stay: The Last Dog in Antarctica” was the first novel in her series for 8-12 year olds about friendships between humans and animals. “Paraku: The Desert Brumby” came out in 2014, and “Dexter: The Courageous Koala” will follow in 2015. The books are inspired by - and based on - real stories of people and animals, and researched in places including Antarctica, the Kimberley and Dubai. Jesse is also an international award-winning author of historical and contemporary fiction for adult readers.

Alan Brough

Hi, I’m Alan Brough. I was born in New Zealand and am quite a bit older than I would like to be.

I have always loved books and, from an early age, wanted to be a writer. Then Dad and I went to see ‘Star Wars’ and decided that, actually, I really, really, really, really, really wanted to be an actor.

So I became an actor.

After a while I realised there wasn’t that much acting work for 6’ 4” guys with slightly lopsided faces and thick curly hair so I became a director, a broadcaster, a composer, a dancer (it’s true!), a musician, a singer and then, in an unexpected turn of events, a professional music nerd.

Finally I’ve got around to being a writer.

One day I hope to be able to write a biography that includes phrases like ‘best-selling’, ‘award winner’ and ‘so successful that he recently bought a solid gold toilet’ but, until then, I am just happy to look at my copy of ‘Charlie and the War Against the Grannies’ and think, ‘Cool! I wrote a book!’

JC Burke

JC Burke lives in Sydney and has 2 children in their 20s who are regularly interrogated about their lives. Often this information ends up in Burke’s books. Usually it’s been exaggerated, taken out of context and moulded back together until it becomes the experience of one of her fictional characters. Her children are not impressed with this technique. They think she needs to ‘get a life’. Burke has written 10 novels. Won the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers in 2006 for The Story of Tom Brennan and The Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction in 2012 for PigBoy. She’s currently writing the screenplay of The Story of Tom Brennan and working on a TV drama with her 90 year old father. Her new novel ‘The Things We Promise’ is due for release February 2017.

Peter Carnavas

Peter creates picture books for children and grown-ups to enjoy. He writes simple yet poignant tales, accompanied by whimsical illustrations, which combine to create layers of meaning for the reader. His books include Jessica’s Box, Last Tree in the City, The Great Expedition and The Children Who Loved Books. Peter is also the illustrator of the Mr Darcy picture book series, written by Alex Field, and My Totally Awesome Story by Pat Flynn. Peter’s work has been nominated for many awards and Peter was honoured to be a National Year of Reading Ambassador in 2012 and continues his role as a Love2Read National Ambassador in 2013. Peter lives on the Sunshine Coast with his wife, two daughters and a scruffy dog that occasionally escapes.

Claire Craig/ Petra James

Claire Craig (whose pen-name is Petra James) wanted to be an archaeologist when she grew up. Instead, she became a book editor. After writing several non-fiction titles for children, and some fiction readers for non-native speakers of English, she began writing stories about a nine-year-old girl who wanted to be a poet when she grew up. Claire is currently the Children's Publisher at Pan Macmillan. Claire also publishes under the name of Petra James and is the author of the Harriet Bright series and the successful Arkie Sparkle series.

Andrew Cranna

Andrew Cranna is an artist, educator and author living in Sydney. He grew up in rural NSW and after studying Primary Education at university, travelled around the world teaching English. After finishing a bicycle adventure through Asia, Andrew settled in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to continue teaching and illustrating for travel magazines and local newspapers. He later returned to Australia to complete a Masters Degree in Art Education and take up a position as a primary school Art Teacher. Andrew illustrates for The School Magazine and their Teaching Guide series published by the NSW Department of Education and Communities, where his particular brand of zany humour makes teaching and learning activities accessible and fun. Andrew’s first graphic novel, The Bloodhound Boys: The Great Blood Bank Robbery, was shortlisted by the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) for the Crichton Award for New Illustrators. It was also shortlisted for the Readings Children's Book Prize of 2014.

Aleesah Darlison

Aleesah Darlison writes picture books and novels for boys and girls of all ages. She offers a wide range of talks and workshops that are educational and inspiring and which feature loads of audience participation. Talk themes include courage, understanding, anti-bullying, self-belief, friendship and teamwork. Workshop topics include Persuasive Writing, Narrative Writing, Making Picture Books and Creating Characters and Settings. Aleesah’s picture books include Little Meerkat, Bearly There (NSW PRC), Puggle’s Problem (NSW PRC) and Warambi (2012 CBCA Notable Book Non-Fiction; 2012 Wilderness Society Award for Children’s Literature Shortlist; NSW, QLD & SA PRC). Her chapter books include Fangs and Little Good Wolf (VIC PRC). Her novels and popular series are I Dare You, the Unicorn Riders Series (SA PRC), the Totally Twins Series (NSW & SA PRC) and the 2014 release, the Ash Rover Series.

URL: * Facebook:

Sarah Davis

Sarah Davis grew up in New Zealand, wearing gumboots and falling in rivers. She worked as a secondary school teacher before moving to Sydney. Sarah is a very busy, award-winning illustrator who has collaborated with a number of leading authors in Australia, New Zealand and America. Sarah won the 2009 Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Crichton Award for Best New Illustrator, and most recently, illustrated the title Fearless, written by Colin Thompson, which was short-listed for the 2010 Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards. Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot has been Honour Book for the 2011 CBCA Book of the Year Award - Younger Reader’s Category.

Kirsty Eagar

Kirsty Eagar was born and raised under the big skies of Capricornia in Queensland. She grew up riding horses, went to a small country school where shoes were optional, and was always allowed to read at the dinner table. After studying economics, she worked on trading desks at the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Bank of England in London, before resigning to pursue a life where she could write and surf. Her Young Adult novels have won and been shortlisted for numerous awards including the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, the Queensland Literary Awards, the Western Australia Premier’s Awards and the Gold Inky. She lives on Sydney’s northern beaches with her family.

Nathaniel Eckstrom

You’ll know Nathaniel Eckstrom’s illustrations when you see them – often dreamy characters set to a backdrop of soft greens, browns and yellows. He has exhibited internationally since 2006, has featured in a handful of publications including desktop, Australian Art Review 2010, Boxed and Labelled, Semi-Permanent 2008, 2009 and 2010 books and can now add lecturing to his field of expertise. He is the illustrator (and sometimes author) of numerous picturebooks such as Road Trip (with Danny Parker), Connected and The Ricker Racker Club.

Anna Fienberg

Anna Fienberg has written more than forty well-loved books for children and young adults. Her career began when she worked as an editor at School Magazine, a children’s literary journal, which published her first story. That story became her first book and she went on to win many awards for her novels and picture books, including the Children’s Book Council of Australia award for The Magnificent Nose and other Marvels, the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Ariel, Zed and the Secret of Life, and the CBCA Honour Award for Horrendo’s Curse. Her novel for young adults, Borrowed Light, was also a CBCA Honour Book and a 2001 American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. In 2009 her first book for adults, Escape, was published.

Anna writes for all ages, and her Minton series, together with her more recent Figaro and Rumba tales are perfect for younger children. Anna’s books have been published all over the world and her ever-popular Tashi books, illustrated by Kim Gamble, have become an animated series for television.

Wicked’s Way, a companion book to Horrendo’s Curse, is her most recent novel for older children.

Tony Flowers

Tony Flowers loves to draw and is an internationally acclaimed illustrator and artist. His drawings are loved in Japan for their detail and humour and he has won an award in the USA for his street chalk art. Tony has a Masters degree in Visual Communication and is thus a keen student of visual literacy. He has illustrated six books in the popular Saurus Street series and his most highly valued prize to date has been from the Oshima Picture Book Museum in Toyama, Japan, for his hand made pop-up book Gaijin Holiday.

Kate Forsyth

Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven, and is now the internationally bestselling, award-winning author of 30 books for both adults & children. She was recently voted one of Australia's Favourite 25 Novelists, has completed a doctorate in fairy tales, and is an accredited master storyteller. Her exciting new series for children ‘The Impossible Quest’ weaves together battles, beasts and bravery in a magical world under threat from dark forces. Other books for children include The Gypsy Crown, The Puzzle Ring, and The Starthorn Tree, while her books for adults include Bitter Greens and The Wild Girl.

Her website is

Sandy Fussell

Sandy Fussell is the award-winning author of fourteen books including the Samurai Kids series and Sad, the Dog (her first picture book). She is an ICT consultant, book reviewer, technology blogger, in-schools Literary Festival Co-ordinator at The Story Crowd and one subject short of a Maths degree. Her biggest claim to fame is a star in the main street of Grenfell along with legitimately famous literary people like Patrick White. Having recently survived two life-threatening illnesses, she knows for certain the glass is always half –full. You can find her at or say hi on Twitter (@sandyfussell)

Serena Geddes

Serena Geddes has always enjoyed drawing, and spent six years working for Walt Disney Animation in Sydney on sequels to The Lion King, Peter Pan Return to Neverland, Lady and the Tramp and Jungle Book. In 2009 she became interested in illustrating picture books, and signed a contract with a small publishing house in Sydney. Over four years she has illustrated seventeen books ranging from board books to picture books and junior novel series. Serena works traditionally and although she is starting to experiment with digital, she prefers to create with pencil, ink and watercolours. Her years at Disney allow her to illustrate fairly quickly using movement and expression, which are reoccurring elements in her work. She enjoys playing with humour and awkward embarrassing moments with her characters as well as adding extra details into some of the illustrations to tell a story within a story.

Susanne Gervay

Recognised for books on social justice from bullying to disability, Susanne’s award winning youth literature is endorsed by Cancer Council, The Alannah & Madeline Foundation and many others. I Am Jack is a rite-of-passage children’s book on school bullying adapted into an acclaimed play by Monkey Baa Theatre. Ships in the Field (PB), Always Jack (children’s), Butterflies (YA) are significant in recognising our immigrant world. Susanne is an ambassador for Room to Read, head of the Society of Children’s Writers & Illustrators, Australia & NZ, ambassador for the National Year of Reading, awarded an Order of Australia for children’s literature.

Morris Gleitzman

Morris Gleitzman is a bestselling Australian children’s author whose books explore serious and sometimes confronting subjects in humorous and unexpected ways. Many say Morris is as engaging on his feet as he is at a keyboard. He’s spoken at more than a thousand schools, and countless conferences and festivals, where students and adults enjoy the same mix of laughter, emotion and ideas as is found in his books. His titles include Two Weeks With The Queen, Misery Guts, Blabber Mouth, Grace, Doubting Thomas, Bumface, Give Peas A Chance, Extra Time, Loyal Creatures and the series Once, Then, Now, After and Soon. Morris lives in Sydney and Brisbane, and his books are published in more than twenty countries.

Gus Gordon

Gus Gordon is an illustrator and author. He grew up on a farm in northern NSW and, after leaving school, worked on cattle stations all over Australia before deciding to pursue a drawing career. He moved to Sydney and studied at the Julian Ashton School of Art. Gus illustrated his first children's book in 1996 and has now illustrated and written over 70 books for children.. Gus's first picture book, Wendy, is about a motorcycle-riding stunt chicken and was selected as a Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Notable Book in the 2010 Book of the Year Awards. His new picture book is set in New York and is called Herman and Rosie and has been nominated as Picture Book of the Year for 2013.

Erin Gough

Erin Gough is a fiction writer whose short stories have been published in a number of journals and anthologies including Best Australian Stories. Her novel for young adults, The Flywheel, won the Ampersand Prize and was short-listed for the CBCA Book of the Year (Older Readers) in 2016. Erin has been a guest at a number of writers’ festivals, including the Sydney Writers’ Festival, Youth Matters, and Tamar Valley. Her writing explores questions of identity, and celebrates individuality and community. Her talks and workshops with high school students focus on the importance of reading diversely and learning how to tell your individual story.

Tim Harris

Before becoming a writer, Tim Harris was a newspaper delivery boy, golf ball collector, checkout dude, babysitter, eBay seller, singer-songwriter and primary teacher of 15 years. One of the fresh faces in Australian children’s literature (without actually having a fresh face), his first series of books, Exploding Endings, will have primary-aged readers both captivated and laughing out loud. He likes ordering pizza online, watching his favourite footy team win and playing Lego with his three young children. He dislikes Brussels sprouts, watching his favourite footy team lose and writing about himself in third person. His publisher says he is doing just fine and should finish the blurb with something about his school visits. Harnessing his background in education, Tim’s presentations are dynamic, engaging and entertaining. His writing workshops challenge and inspire young writers to find original ideas and improve the mechanics of their work.

Jacqueline Harvey

Jacqueline Harvey loves to tell stories. She is the author of many novels for younger readers and a picture book, The Sound of the Sea, an Honour Book in the 2006 Children’s Book Council Awards. In 2012 the first book in her bestselling Alice-Miranda series was awarded a YABBA and a KOALA Honour book award. Both the Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose series are published internationally and Jacqueline has travelled widely, speaking and teaching in the United States, United Kingdom and Asia. A highly experienced teacher and former Deputy Head, she has an extensive knowledge of current curriculum and is also a highly entertaining and engaging speaker, adept at presenting to students, teachers and parents. She is available for general talks, writing workshops, professional development and parent forums.

John Heffernan

John Heffernan has written over fifty books - more than thirty under his own name, for early readers to young adults, and a further nineteen as Charlie Carter, in the Pan Macmillan Battle Boy Series.

He is particularly passionate about some of his award-winning books: Spud, My Dog, The Island, Where There’s Smoke, Marty’s Shadow, and the truly uplifting Naveed - an Afghan boy’s struggle to keep his family together in the midst of war.

John ranks his latest book with these special works. Hotaka (March 2017) examines the 2011 Japanese tsunami through the eyes of a deeply introspective teenage boy.

Stephen Michael King

Stephen Michael King is a major figure in Australia’s world of children’s publishing. He has illustrated and written numerous books. His first picture book, The Man Who Loved Boxes, won the Family Award for Children’s Books in 1996 and was shortlisted for the Crichton Award for Children’s Book Illustration. Stephen’s recent titles include You, You Too, The Magnificent Tree (written by Nick Bland), Leaf and Prudence Wants a Pet. He was awarded the CBCA Honour Book for Mutt Dog and Leaf. In 2015, he has been nominated for three books in the CBCA Awards, an incredible achievement. Stephen describes drawing as something that he simply can’t live without. He works mainly with watercolours and ink

James Knight

James Knight is a marathon runner whose legs may have the occasional rest, but his mind rarely stops turning. He has written ten non-fiction books, spanning Australian history, travel, cricket, and human interest biographies whose subjects include: a Vietnamese refugee; high altitude mountaineer; outback cattle man; kangaroo rescue worker; and numerous cops, ambos, and fire-fighters.

He has written for the Sydney Morning Herald and CNN online, and is also a television journalist and documentary producer who has been on assignment to many parts of the world. He has been a volunteer worker in Africa and South America, and is an ambassador for the international charity, Room To Read. Click to discover more about his writing philosophy:

Will Kostakis

Will Kostakis is an award-winning author for young adults, who splits his time between writing novels, working as a journalist and touring high schools nationally. His debut novel, Loathing Lola was released when he was just 19 and met with critical acclaim. Now 24, he is touring to promote his sophomore novel, The First Third. “The First Third” is an intimate portrait of a broken Greek-Australian family and the boy tasked with repairing it. The book looks at mortality, identity and the pressures of ‘growing up’. It is aimed at readers of both genders in Years 9 and above.

Harry Laing

Harry Laing is a poet, comic performer and creative writing teacher with over 20 years’ experience in schools. His book of poems for 6-12 yr olds ‘Shoctopus’ came out in 2015 and is proving a hit with both kids and teachers. His collection contains a wide variety of poems: weird, wacky, reflective, lyrical and full of humour.
Harry brings energy and a huge sense of fun to his school workshops and performances. His delight in language will inspire students with their own writing. By creating an atmosphere of possibility, he engages students who come with a wide range of skills and interest levels. Teachers too will take lots of new ideas from his workshops.
Harry is happy both to present workshops for primary and secondary students (Years 1-12) and perform his poems for large numbers of children (up to 400.) He’s also an experienced leader of PD sessions for teachers.

Margrete Lamond

Great for Staff In-servicing on Visual Literacy and Story Construction.
Margrete Lamond—publisher, writer, speaker. An engaging and refreshingly irreverent speaker, Margrete Lamond’s special interests include quality in literature, emotion in literature, and children’s literature and illustration.

Margrete Lamond constructed her first book when she was four, before she could read or write. She has been writing or publishing ever since, most particularly since 2002 when she became publisher at Scholastic Press. There she built an award-winning list, working with Australia’s leading authors and illustrators, and was the first to recognise and sign up talents such as Freya Blackwood and Nick Bland. Publisher at Little Hare Books and Hardie Grant Egmont since 2006, Margrete’s focus is quality picture-books, for which her internationally acclaimed authors and illustrators continue to win awards.

Belinda Landsberry

Author and Illustrator, Belinda Landsberry, is a newcomer to the literary world with Anzac Ted, as her debut children’s picture book. Belinda has been illustrating since the age of three when she produced a vibrant and surprising crayon on chest-of-drawers mural while supposedly napping. She has been writing since the age of seven when she wrote and illustrated her first book: How to Become a Nurse. Belinda is a trained primary school teacher and graphic designer. Living in Sydney, she is a wife, mother of four children and grandmother of two (the latter having severely restricted crayon access whilst napping!)

John Larkin

Writer and comedian John Larkin was born in England but grew up in Sydney. He has been a professional soccer player, trolley boy, factory hand, forklift driver, computer programmer, educator, librarian and comedian. John is the author of over 23 books for children teens and adults. The Shadow Girl’ received the 2012 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Writing for Young Adults. His YA novel , The Pause, was nominated for the Prime Ministers’ Literary Awards 2015 and won the Queensland Literary Awards. John has written several titles for young adults, including Pizza Features, Spaghetti Legs, Lasagne Brain and Nostradamus and Instant Noodles. For younger readers, he has written the Western Wildcats series, Horse Girl, Horse Girl Rides Again and Harry Highpants and the Salivating Beast. John has a BA in English Literature and a MA in Creative Writing from Macquarie University.

Jan Latta

In 1994 author and wild-life photographer Jan Latta came face-to-face with a mountain gorilla in Rwanda and the experience changed her life. When her guide said there were fewer than 600 mountain gorillas left in the wild, she decided to publish books for children on endangered animals. But first she became a wildlife photographer so she could tell the animal's stories in pictures as well as words. She went back to Africa to learn wildlife photography. She followed elephants, dangerous rhinos, prides of lions, gentle giraffes, and had a wonderful experience with two cheetahs. Then to the Wolong mountains in China for pandas, jungles of Borneo with orangutans, Sri Lanka for the elusive leopard and Uganda for Dr Jane Goodalls’ chimps. She has had some amazing adventures, and near-death experiences, following her dream to help the survival of endangered animals. Each True-to-Life book has stunning photos of animals in their natural habitat. They are full of facts, maps, links to interesting websites and fun activities. The Diary of a Wildlife Photographer book is a journal of 20 years in the wild creating the True to Life Books – and many exciting adventures along the way.

David Legge

After several years as a book jacket illustrator in England, David Legge moved to Australia in 1989.Here he soon developed a love for picture books and is a regular illustrator for The School Magazine.
Bamboozled, his first picture book, won the 1995 CBCA Honour Book and seven children’s choice awards in both Australia and the USA. His other titles include 2004 CBCA shortlisted book Baby Boomsticks (written by Margaret Wild), 2006 CBCA Honour Book Kisses for Daddy (written by Frances Watts) and 2008 CBCA award winner Parsley Rabbit’s Book about Books (written by Frances Watts). His latest book, Why is that emu wearing one red shoe? Will be released in 2016 (lyrics and music by John Field).
With many years of experience visiting schools, teaching art and design subjects as a TAFE tutor and a regular speaker at the Art Gallery of NSW, David feels comfortable speaking to all ages from Kindergarten to adult. If there is a common thread to his work, he likes to think it is warmth and humour – the two main ingredients that made up his own childhood

Mathew Lin

Matthew Lin is a Manga artist and more! An accomplished illustrator and graphic designer Matt has turned his love of books, illustration and typography into his profession. Matt has illustrated and designed books/magazines for publishers Blake, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillian and Scholastic. Being brought up on Astro Boy, Looney Tunes, Transformers (and more), has given Matt a great love for cartoons, comics and video games! His love of manga saw him running manga drawing workshops at the Art Gallery of NSW during their TEZUKA: The Marvel of Manga exhibition in April 2007. In August 2012 Matt was accepted into the Parramatta Pop Up art program. Since becoming a member of Pop Up, Matt has gone on to run many drawing workshops on Manga, cartooning and Superheroes. Matt likes blue and black pens and he likes to scribble. He also likes working in traditional mediums as well as digital and eating almond croissants.

Gavin McCormack

Gavin McCormack has almost 20 years’ experience teaching in Australia and aboard. He currently holds the position of Senior Teacher at Inner Sydney Montessori School where he is a member of the school Executive Team. He is a published children's author. His first book 'Are these your Glasses?' was released in March. He is about to release his second picture book 'Where's my Memory?'
Both picture books have a strong moral impact and engage the children through emotion and suprise. Gavin delivers in-house workshops for both staff and children on the structure and teaching of different text types. He has worked closely with the Association of Independent Schools (AISNSW) in producing and delivering workshops on text type writing and was involved in the development of the recently released National Curriculum for English. He is a full of life presenter who will leave the audience gripped, excited and hanging on every word.

Katrina McKelvey

Katrina McKelvey is a children’s author with over 10 years primary school teaching experience. Her first picture book, Dandelions was released in 2015. Katrina is the President of the CBCA NSW Inc. Newcastle Sub-branch and is actively involved in the children’s program of the Newcastle Writers Festival. Katrina is an education advocate, and as a reluctant reader herself, is passionate about helping children build a love of reading and writing as early as possible. You can find Katrina on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

The Phyllis Wong Show

The Phyllis Wong Mysteries with Geoffrey McSkimming and Sue-Anne Webster — The magic of story, the story of magic!

Geoffrey McSkimming is the author of the bestselling 19 volume Cairo Jim chronicles and now the new Phyllis Wong mysteries, featuring the brilliant young magician and clever sleuth, Phyllis Wong. Phyllis Wong and the Forgotten Secrets of Mr Okyto and Phyllis Wong and the Return of the Conjuror are published by Allen & Unwin, and the third story is coming soon. Geoffrey is delighted to be presenting the Phyllis Wong mysteries with internationally acclaimed magician, Sue-Anne Webster. Sue-Anne has performed in theatres around the world, lectured on magic throughout the USA, Europe, UK, Asia and South Africa and judged major magic competitions at international conferences. She has been profiled in magic encyclopedias alongside Orson Welles, Houdini and Copperfield. Together with Geoffrey McSkimming, Sue-Anne Webster brings magic from the Phyllis Wong mysteries to life on stage in a fun, lively and dazzling magic performance. Not only is Sue-Anne one of the world’s leading magicians, she is also the inspiration behind Phyllis Wong!

Jaclyn Moriarty

Jaclyn Moriarty is the author of several novels for young adults (and one for adults), including the internationally best-selling Feeling Sorry for Celia and Finding Cassie Crazy, and, most recently, the Colours of Madeleine trilogy.

The first book in that trilogy, A Corner of White, won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Young Adult fiction, the Queensland Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Awards. In the US, it was a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor book, was shortlisted for the Nebula (Andre Norton prize), and was a Kirkus Best Book of the Year.

The second in the trilogy also won both the NSW and Queensland Literary Awards, was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Awards, and won the Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Fantasy. The third book, A Tangle of Gold, will be released in February 2016. A former media and entertainment lawyer, Jaclyn has a Masters in Law from Yale and a PhD from Cambridge.

Penny Morrison

Penny Morrison is the author of the acclaimed picturebook Captain Sneer the Buccaneer, the story of a boastful pirate who secretly wants his Mummy. Her other books include Hey! is that how God made me? and The Mighty Mighty King Christmas Book.

Penny studied early childhood education and has taught in preschools, run playgroups and speaks to groups of children and adults. She loves leading a weekly music group for toddlers and their carers. Penny lives on the Northern Beaches of Sydney with her husband and three kids, who desperately want her to pick them up from school dressed as a pirate.

Belinda Murrell

Belinda Murrell has worked as a travel journalist, technical writer, editor and public relations consultant. Her overseas adventures inspired her work as a travel writer for the West Australian newspaper and Out & About With Kids travel magazine. Her work has also appeared in the Sun Herald, Sunday Telegraph and Sydney Morning Herald. While Belinda studied Children's Literature at Macquarie University, her passion for children's books was reignited when she had her own three children and began telling and writing stories for Nick, Emily and Lachlan. Belinda's books include the Sun Sword fantasy trilogy, Scottish timeslip tale The Locket of Dreams, French Revolution timeslip tale The Ruby Talisman Australian timeslip tale The Ivory Rose and Australian historical tales The Forgotten Pearl and The River Charm.

James O’Loghlin

James O’Loghlin is an author, radio and television broadcaster, speaker on innovation and former lawyer.

He has written seven books, including three for children. In 2015 he published ‘Daisy Malone and the Blue Glowing Stone,’ and in 2014 ‘The Adventures of Sir Roderick the not-very- Brave’, which was awarded best book for 8 to 10 year olds at the Speech Pathology Awards and shortlisted for the NSW Premiers Award for Children’s Literature.

From 2004 to 2011 James hosted ‘The New Inventors’ on ABC-TV and he has hosted several shows on ABC Local Radio.

His next children’s’ novel comes out in August 2016 and is all finished except for the title. James is married with three daughters, who are his test audience.

Louise Park

Louise Park draws from a strong background in Education and literacy to produce her blockbuster bestsellers that include Zac Power Test Drives and Spy Recruit, Boy vs Beast, Star Girl, Bella Dancerella and her latest series Harriet Clare. As an author she spends her days battling beasts, finding those secret doors, portals and hidden tunnels to magical lands, pretending to be the world’s best ballerina, and solving Harriet Clare's MEGA-HUGE and terribly troublesome dramas while helping her cope with anxiety. Louise has taught primary school children of all ages, trained teachers in literacy education, created and developed successful reading resources to help children crack the reading code, and published books that have ignited such a love of reading in children that she has parents writing to her on a daily basis to thank her. She is the ambassador for Bright Futures are Written by Hand and she writes under her own name as well as the hugely successful pseudonyms: H. I. Larry, Mac Park and Poppy Rose. Find out more about Louise here:

Aura Parker

Illustrator / Designer / Picture book creator

Aura Parker's bodies of work are constantly evolving. She often draws on themes of nature, humanity and childhood. Her work is insightful and imaginative with a playful sense of humour. She illustrates her picture books in watercolour, gouache and coloured pencil with digital enhancements. Aura has a background in web design, motion graphics and brand creation with over 15 years’ experience as a graphic designer and illustrator. Aura's enduring interest in the expression of colour and her fascination with repeat patterns led to the creation of her own collection of bright contemporary prints in 2010, and she regularly exhibits illustrations and textiles. She is the author/ illustrator of the acclaimed picturebook, Twig and illustrated the picturebook My Marvellous Jelly Bean Tree. Aura lives in Sydney with her three children, who she tries to read and draw with as much as she can.

Christopher Richardson

Christopher Richardson is a passionate writer and a passionate teacher. Christopher Richardson had been working on his debut novel, Voyage of the Moon Child – first book in the Empire of the Waves series – for ten years when it was plucked from the slush pile. He wrote a huge chunk of the story while house-sitting in Tuscany and finished it while undertaking his PhD on North Korean children's culture. Christopher has been passionate about storytelling and writing since he was a young boy, once winning a regional creative writing competition where the prize included meeting Diana Kidd.

Tohby Riddle

Tohby Riddle is the creator of numerous well-loved picture books, two cartoon collections and a novel – and the illustrator of the multi-award-winning Word Spy books. Recent books include the ambitious 128-page picture book Unforgotten, which has been published in five languages, and 2015’s The Greatest Gatsby, which presents the fundamentals of grammar as visual information.Originally trained in art and architecture, Tohby has won awards for literature and design and has presented talks and workshops across Australia and at festivals in cities such as Edinburgh and New Delhi. Tohby loves ideas – and using words, images and visual information to express them. He believes that good work comes from good thinking and from learning how to express one’s self.

Lisa Stewart

Lisa Stewart was born in Sydney, and prior to becoming an illustrator she was a concert violinist and performed in a number of countries including Japan, the United States and Germany. In 1995, after the birth of her daughter, she fell in love with the artwork of British author and illustrator Jane Ray. This was the beginning of her love of children’s picture books, and she was later accepted into the National Art School in Sydney. Lisa illustrated the picture book Can I Cuddle the Moon? by Kerry Brown, and has since published Mummy’s Kisses and Bushland Lullaby. Her illustration style includes pencil, watercolour and collage and showcases her love of paper.

Allison Tait

Allison Tait is the author of the bestselling children’s adventure series The Mapmaker Chronicles. She worked as a writer for magazines and newspapers for a long time before realising that making stuff up was a lot more fun.

Allison is an experienced and entertaining speaker for grades 4-8 and will show kids where ideas come from (and what to do with them), how to find their writing superpower, and how to map a story, among other things, through presentations and workshops. She is passionate about epic adventures, reluctant heroes, strong characters (male and female), and the incredible journey that is ‘growing up’.

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Mark Tredinnick

whose many books include Almost Everything I Know, Bluewren Cantos, Fire Diary, The Blue Plateau, and The Little Red Writing Book—is an celebrated poet, essayist, and writing teacher. “One of our great poets of place,” Judy Beveridge has called him. His honours include the Montreal and Cardiff Poetry Prize, The Blake and Newcastle Poetry Prizes, two Premiers’ Literature Awards, and the Calibre Essay Prize. The Blue Plateau, his landscape memoir, shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Prize. He travels and teaches widely, in schools and at festivals, through Australia and in the US and UK. and he works with the corporate sector to explore the truths and graces poetry gives access to.

Andrew Motion has written of him: “his is a bold, big-thinking poetry, in which ancient themes (especially the theme of our human relationship with landscape) are recast and rekindled.” He is at work on a memoir of the reading life, Reading Slowly at the End of Time. His next Australian collection of poems, Days and Nights, will be published by Pitt Street Poetry in mid 2016; a fourth collection, Walking Underwater, appears in the US (Hip Pocket Press) later this year. He’s just finished a collaboration, A Hundred Miles, As Ever, From Home: One Hundred Haiku, with poet Peter Annand and painter John R Walker. “Like the singing of the birds he loves,” Jean Kent has said, “Mark Tredinnick's poetry feels artlessly beautiful.” Mark is the creative in residence in 2016 with landscape architects, TCL. He is also poet in residence at the Sydney Botanical Gardens, in the gardens’ 200th year.

Coral Tulloch

Coral Tulloch created a syndicated children’s page which appeared for 20 years in newspapers throughout Australia and internationally. She studied Fine Art at East Sydney Technical College, Animation at Randwick, drawing in Florence, and lithography at The Academy of Applied Arts, Prague. She also worked in advertising, film, theatre and magazine production. She has worked on 60 books for children, (author and illustrator) in fiction and non-fiction, for trade and educational publishers. In 1999, she was an Arts Fellow with the Australian Antarctic Division, returning to Antarctica several times after this as an artist-in-residence. She has produced many books from these experiences, two award winning, and is continuing work in this field. Coral can give a wide variety of presentations, from cartooning and illustration to writing and information sessions. She loves to inspire a mix of non-fiction and fiction and is available for both primary and secondary schools.

Frances Watts

Frances Watts was born in Switzerland and grew up in Australia. Her bestselling picture books include Goodnight Mice! (illustrated by Judy Watson), the winner of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Award for Children’s Fiction; 2006 CBC Honour Book Kisses for Daddy (ill. David Legge); and 2008 Children’s Book Council of Australia award-winner Parsley Rabbit’s Book about Books (ill. David Legge). Frances is also the author of the fantasy/adventure series, the Gerander Trilogy and the Sword Girl series (ill. Gregory Rogers). The Raven’s Wing, set in Ancient Rome, and The Peony Lantern, set in nineteenth-century Japan, are her first middle grades/YA novels.

Sue Whiting

Sue Whiting loves telling stories. A former primary school teacher with a special interest in literacy education and children’s literature, Sue now works as a children’s book editor. She is also an award-winning author who has written numerous books for children and young adults, including the best-selling The Firefighters, illustrated by Donna Rawlins. Sue writes in a variety of genres: fiction and nonfiction, picture books through to YA, and is published both in Australia and internationally. Her middle grade novel Get a Grip, Cooper Jones was a 2011 CBCA Notable Book, and her picture book, A Swim in the Sea, illustrated by Meredith Thomas, was the Speech Pathologists’ 2014 Book of the Year, 3–5 years category. Her latest book is Platypus illustrated by Mark Jackson. Sue is a highly experienced speaker and loves sharing her passion for story and storytelling, reading and writing with people of all ages.

Claire Zorn

Claire Zorn dropped out of fashion school to become a writer. Her first novel, The Sky So Heavy required research into everything from firearms, to nuclear fallout , to how to perform a handbrake turn at high speed. It was awarded 2014 Honour Book (older readers) by the Children’s Book Council of Australia and shortlisted for both the 2014 Aurealis Award (older readers) and the Gold Inky Award. Her second novel The Protected ( which focuses on bullying and involves no weapons) was awarded the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for young adult literature. Claire grew up in the Blue Mountains where she spent her youth with horses both real and imagined. She now lives in the Illawarra with her husband and two children (all real). She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Post Graduate Diploma in Writing.

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