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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
Michelle Worthington is an international award-winning author and screen play writer. Two-time winner of the International Book Award and finalist in the USA Best Book Awards, Michelle also received a Gellett Burgess Award and a Silver Moonbeam Award for her contribution to celebrating diversity in literature. Michelle was the recipient of the 2018 AusMumpreneur Gold Award for Business Excellence and the winner of the 2018 Redlands BaR award for Best Start Up Business.
Michelle thrives as a coach to aspiring authors and illustrators all over the world, helping them to achieve their dreams of publication.
Michelle addresses mental health through literacy with her picture books, some of which include Super Nicholas, Noah Chases the Wind, My Brother Tom, Hootie the Cutie, Dino Love, and Each the Same, just to name a few. The first two titles in The Willing Kids Program series include The Wind and the Mouse, and The Mouse and the Egg, which are available both as animated videos and picture books. She is dedicated to encouraging a strong love of reading and writing in young children and conducts author visits at primary and special schools, libraries and bookstore storytelling and publishing workshops for adults.
She especially enjoys meeting people through her speaking engagements for women’s groups and charities.
Michelle is available for speaking engagements, book signings and school visits. Please contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cinnamon Stevens – Crime Buster, released in December 2015, is Pauline Hosking’s first novel. It is illustrated by Kat Chadwick and has been favourably reviewed online and in Magpies magazine.
Previously Pauline wrote a number of plays for adults and children. Her primary school plays have appeared in the NSW School Magazine. My Bed is a Crocodile, about a boy with schizophrenia, won VicHealth’s award for Innovation in Health Promotion and was seen by over 1,000 people. Snakes and Ladders and The Gallery Gamble are published by Bushfire Press. Better Than This, concerning three teenagers at risk in a country town, was commissioned by Grampians Psychiatric Services. It toured extensively through country Victoria and was published by W.W.I.T. Press.
The Entrepreneurs has been performed throughout Australia, most recently by a school in Queensland. Many of these plays are held at the Australian Script Centre: http://australianplays.org/playwright/ASC-472
To pay the bills Pauline has worked as a teacher, teacher-librarian, journalist, theatre publicist, radio producer, TV script assistant and lecturer in the Diploma of Arts (Professional Writing and Editing). She has run creative writing workshops as part of Arts Victoria’s Artist in Schools program and tutored in the G.A.T.E.WAYS programs for talented and gifted children.
Pauline is available for school/community writing workshops and author talks.
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
Sharon Giltrow is an Authorcator; an Author Educator. She has been a teacher of children who are hearing impaired and Deaf-Blind. She now teaches young children with Developmental Language Disorder. Sharon is an enthusiastic and inspirational speaker with a passion for developing children’s oral, visual, written, creativity and literacy. She has experience presenting to children from zero- to ten-year-olds. Through Sharon’s author talks students, inspired by a real-life author, will discover the joy of literacy and unlock their hidden creativity.
Sharon’s hilariously acclaimed debut picture book ‘Bedtime, Daddy!’ was released in May 2020. Her follow up picture books ‘Get Ready, Mama’ and ‘Let’s Go Shopping, Grandma!‘ will be released in 2022. Also, in 2022 Sharon’s early middle grade book ‘Samara Rubin and the Utility Belt’ will be released.
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.