Elizabeth Mary Cummings is a British author and poet based in Sydney, Australia. She is a member of the American Psychology Association and studied psychology and business studies at The University of Edinburgh in Scotland before training to be a Primary School teacher (with a Masters of Education) and travelling around the world with her family. Her work has taken her to many schools across the UK, New Zealand and Australia.
Elizabeth’s stories often take a child’s perspective to explain the world and reflect on important life experiences. Her picture books and junior fiction titles include themes on resilience, grief, empowerment, anti-bullying, and she writes, advocates and speaks on storytelling and health matters for families and youth.
The topics within Elizabeth’s books are of both local and global significance. She travels globally to talk about family and mental health matters as well as creative writing.
Her first book ‘The Disappearing Sister’ has gained attention for its simple explanation of eating disorders aimed at siblings and families of sufferers. Elizabeth also enjoys writing poetry and won the HARP Writers’ Prize in 2015 for a poem about gender and identity.
M. J. Gibbs has an innate curiosity about people and places when finding ideas for the stories and poems she writes. From ‘Booknook Blue’ in Maryborough and Kenmore, Brisbane to the Bookloft in Mapleton, Marg has reached out to children in local communities to bring a love of reading and story telling. The book clubs enabled her own four children and their friends a golden opportunity to connect, be creative and enjoy a bookish program involving craft, games and outings.
Marg has published poetry in magazines and anthologies, ‘The Magic Fairy Wish’ and ‘Musical Christmas Tree’, ‘Alone in a Dark Room’, ‘Phantom Moon’, ‘The Hope Tree’ and ‘Art Room’ in the NSW School magazine. Her stories about the Brisbane flood have been enjoyed by many.
Her recent picture book called ‘Arriving Home’, about Maggie the Magpie Goose and Eric Echidna was well received in the community especially with the help of 9 local artists who illustrated it. Its message is clear – friendship, belonging and community.
‘Jasper’s Jumbled up Words’ is a sensitive and gentle picture book about a young boy who wants to be understood, which deals with the difficulties surrounding language development. Illustrated by Emma Stuart, this book was published in July 2020.
When not wrestling wild BUNYIP’s in the Australian bush, Matt B spends his time writing and illustrating children’s books.
Matt B’s debut picture book ‘Monsters in My Garden’, was written for his daughter to allay her fears and demonstrate that the unknown can be fun and exciting. Quickly followed by a picture book for his son ‘Dun Dun did it’ which tells the story of his imaginary friend Dun Dun a dinosaur that gets blamed for all the naughty behaviour. Both books have become instant favourites with schools, libraries, parents and kids.
Following on from the success of these two books Matt B left his Public Servant job of 18 years to write and illustrate books fulltime. Matt B was signed by Ortega Publishing in August 2017 illustrating 5 picture books in 12 months.
“You have to be true to yourself, you have to have 100% commitment. If you’re going to do it, you’ve just got to do it. You can’t half hit the mark.”~ Matt B Lewis.
Matt B is passionate about encouraging kids to become lifelong readers. Introducing children to the magic, joy and wonderment of books through visual narrative, engaging characters and his unique writing style. A welcomed keynote speaker and guest at schools and kids lit events, Matt B supercharges children’s creativity through storytelling and his foundational approach to the illustration process.
Matt B has been featured in Pencil Kings, Newspapers, Magazines, Podcasts and the ABC radio as well as delivering numerous workshops on Kids Lit and Illustration for adults and kids alike.
Matt B lives, breathes and creates in Queensland, Australia with his wife and two amazingly creative kids.
Contact Matt B at firstname.lastname@example.org
Teena Raffa-Mulligan is a West Australian author who knows an unusual remedy for wrinkles, the secret fuel to put a grandpa into orbit and a drastic solution to the dilemma of a cranky dad. Teena writes quirky, whimsical books for children, with publications in magazines and anthologies, and a diverse range of picture books, junior fiction and MG novels. Her first published picture book was a stranger danger tale that was endorsed by the WA police and education departments of the day and used widely in schools around the country.
Some of her other books include ‘When the Moon is a Smile’, ‘Who Dresses God?’, ‘Friends’, ‘The Apostrophe Posse’, ‘Catnapped’, ‘The Fifty Per Cent Princess and Other Goodnight Reads’, ‘The Seven Day Dragon’, and ‘Parramatta Rosie ‘. ‘Monelli & Me’ is Teena’s first novel for YA readers.
Teena’s writing life has also included a career as a journalist and editor. She is passionate about books and writing and presents talks and workshops to encourage children and adults to write their own stories. For younger children Teena dresses up as a characters from one of her books to show them writers can do anything, be anyone and go anywhere in their imagination while writing their stories.
Visit her website at www.teenaraffamulligan.com or find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TeenaRaffaMulligan
Debra’s debut picture book, When I See Grandma, illustrated by Leigh Hedstrom and published by Wombat Books, has been met with critical acclaim, shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Book of the Year awards in 2014 and awarded the CALEB prize for children’s picture book the same year. Debra’s other writing, both flash fiction and narrative non-fiction, has been highly commended and published in various industry magazines and journals. Debra has a Bachelor degree in Social Work and an MA in Children Literature. She reviews books for Reading Time and Creative Kids Tales, blogs for Just Write For Kids and is on the committee of her local CBCA sub-branch in Sydney. Debra is a dynamic and energetic speaker and is available for author talks and story-time sessions for schools, libraries, playgroups and festivals.
June was born in PNG to an Australian Dad and Bush Mekeo mother. Her early years were spent in Tasmania and after some nomadic university years lived mostly in Queensland. She now lives in Brisbane with her three older children (university and senior school), dear science genius hubby, two guinea pigs, a pet bird and several pet fish, as well as several guitars, a drum, two digeridoos and keyboard.
June is the editor and contributor to two books, Under One Sky (2010) the anthology of the Licuala Writer’s Group and After Yasi, Finding the Smile Within (2013), a compilation of photographs and stories about using the creative arts to recover from cyclone Yasi. She had a collection of her photographs and poems for family included in an online book by the late Nell Arnold, called Discovering (2011).
In 2016 June successfully crowd funded $10,000 to publish Magic Fish Dreaming as well as winning as ASA emerging writers mentorship for picture book writing.
June’s latest book is Magic Fish Dreaming, a collection of poems written for five to eleven year olds. It takes readers on a poetry quest through Far North Queensland and encourages them to write their own poetry based on their environment and imagination.
June has a PhD from the University of Sydney in writing empowerments and extensive experience as a ‘writer in community’ workshopping, dramaturging and performing. When she isn’t writing she is tutoring creative writers at QUT in the keystones program at the Oodgeroo unit, working on creative collaborations, walking in nature or reading. She maintains blogs on writing and life in Queensland.
June was honoured to receive an Australia Day Award in 2011 for five years of service to writing and youth empowerment in the Cassowary Coast, including mentoring young and community writers from all walks of life in writing their own poetry. She’s received a number of RADF and Australian council grants to facilitate a diverse range of writing projects.
The main themes of June’s picture books and YA novels in development are; discovery, migration, respect for nature, people and diversity, dreaming, creativity, compassion, and poetry.
June is booked on a panel at the Sandcliffe Festival in April 2017, sharing her ‘unique story’ and is currently designing library workshop, events and festival submissions to further the cause of poetry for children and children’s poets.
Renee Price is a children’s author, song-writer and performer from Newcastle, New South Wales. She has 15 years collective experience in early childhood education, writing and entertainment.
She is the author of Digby’s Moon Mission (2014) and Digby and the Yodelayhee Who? (2017) – illustrated by Anil Tortop, and published through Create It Kids. Digby and the Yodelayhee Who? is listed on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge Booklist (K-2). Reviews of Renee’s books feature here – www.createitkids.com.au/reviews
Renee performs dramatisations of her picture books to young audiences within early childhood services, primary schools, and at public events. Her feature clip can be viewed here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSlCUp3gfqA&t=18s
Renee is a current member of Australian Society of Authors, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, NSW Writers Centre and Children’s Book Council of Australia (NSW). She is the Publicity and Events Officer for CBCA Newcastle Sub-branch.
For more information, please visit:
Digby Fixit website: www.digbyfixit.com
Digby Fixit Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DigbyFixit
Susan Day is passionate about children’s literature. She created ‘Astro’s Adventures’ early-reader chapter books and has written many other titles, including ‘Clarence the Snake from Dunolly’.
‘Astro’s Adventures’ is based on a group of dogs who belong to a secret organisation created to save other dogs from neglect. Their plans are often thwarted by the evil genius, Speed Bump Charlie, a wicked alley cat, and his sidekick, Furball.
Each book Susan creates encourages and promotes the wonderful art of story-telling, and encapsulates her deep understanding of dogs and cats. As each character is based on a real pet, readers will immediately see their own pets portrayed within the pages, and will laugh along with their whacky antics.
Susan developed the ‘Resilience Warriors Workshops’ to help children develop the skills they need to combat depression and anxiety. These workshops are based on her very successful book, ‘Astro is Down in the Dumps’.
Susan shares her country home in Central Victoria with four dogs from the ‘Astro’s Adventures’ series: Rocky, Stella, Alfie and Digger. As well as, Furball, the villainous kitten, three rescue guinea pigs, a three-legged huntsman spider named Trevor, and a very patient husband.
Wendy Haynes has completed a Diploma in Creative Writing at Southern Cross University. Her writing focuses on middle-grade fantasy, historical, and contemporary stories for children, picture books, junior fiction, and YA.
Her first picture book Hayden’s Bedtime, was published in March 2019 and is on the 2019 NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge list. Her new book The Door in The Woods: Book 1 Hollow Woods a middle-grade fantasy fiction series is due out in 2020.
She believes that having a regular writing practice, and understand the device at your disposal, is the key to not only completing a story but in building the skills required to produce a worthy manuscript.
She was a judge for the Port Writer’s In-house competition for the creative non-fiction category in 2018, and one of the judges of the fiction category in 2019. She was one of the judges for the CYA Competition for 2019 and a board member for Hunter Writer’s Centre.
Wendy won first prize for her short story Going Nowhere, at Port Writers In-house competition 2018, and enjoys helping and motivating writers and has developed a mentorship program to help writers tell stories. Armed with a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, she conducts writing workshops on and offline through her business. http://writingforkeeps.com.au/
Being part of a writing community Wendy has volunteered for the roles of the President, Vice President, and Treasurer of Port Writers Inc, a not for profit local writing group bringing writing workshops and presentations, as well as writing exercises to the group.