Allison grew up on a farm in a small Victorian town, fostering her love of animals, collecting vegetables and shearing the sheep. Now based in Queensland, Allison is the author of Anzac Sons: The Story of Five Brothers in the War to End All Wars and the children’s version, Anzac Sons: Five Brothers on the Western Front, which made the 2016 Australian Book Industry Awards longlist and was a CBCA notable book as well. Her interest in the service of her ancestors began when she was studying to become a teacher. She used a selection of the letters which her grandfather and his four brothers sent from the Western Front to complete an assignment. The dream to honour their courage and sacrifice was ignited.
Allison is a proud 2017 recipient of a May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Creative Time Fellowship, which resulted in the securing of a contract for her first historical novel for young adults, Follow After Me – released in 2019.
Allison has created a series of information books for children called Australia Remembers. The first of these – Australia Remembers: Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and War Memorials was released in October 2018. The second title, Customs and Traditions of the Australian Defence Force, was recently published in March 2021.
She has written other children’s books, Granny’s Place and Shearing Time, with another; I Wonder, being released in August 2021.
Allison now works full-time as a writer and presenter in schools.
Carolyn Denman grew up in suburban Melbourne but always liked to pretend she was in the country by hiding out by the tiny creek behind her house. Many worlds were invented there. She never, however, expected to write about them. She became a science geek, completing her Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne and then came to the awkward realisation that she didn’t actually want to do research in a lab for the rest of her life. So she found work in the finance industry. Story-writing wasn’t even a consideration until the day she had a Super Mum moment and gave her teenage daughter a lecture that went something like ‘of course you are capable of writing a story. Never think that you need to be naturally gifted at something to give it a go. Here, I’ll give you a hand. We’ll write one together.’ Addictions can begin so innocently sometimes…
Carolyn now lives on a hobby farm on the outskirts of Melbourne with her husband, two daughters, and her parents. The fact that she always has at least three of her pets following her around at any one time in no way means that she is the fairest in the land. They probably just like her taste in music.
As well as writing stories for Aurealis and Andromeda Spaceways magazines, Carolyn is also the author of the YA Australian fantasy series The Sentinels of Eden.
South Australian-born Catherine Bauer is a journalist and awarded children’s writer who grew up in the suburbs of Adelaide. She has worked as a news and political journalist and features writer for various newspapers and publications, as a media and communications adviser and is now working with the State Theatre Company South Australia.
While she has written and published children’s plays and had two picture books published in 2018, Catherine lists her three sons as her life’s greatest work.
She grew up reading the classics that lined her parents’ well-stocked home library. She wrote, illustrated and submitted her first picture book at the age of eight and received a gently worded rejection letter – thus igniting her love for writing and determination to one day see her creative work in print.
Apart from joy and delight, Catherine aims for her stories to spark all or one of the following three reactions in readers: ‘that’s me’; ‘I wish that was me’ or ‘I’m glad that’s not me’.
Her parents were both great story tellers and among her favourites were the ones in which her father recounted wonderful stories about finding joy in small things, his enthralling adventures and often hardships of a childhood growing up in WWII Germany.
Following the first two titles in the series, Australia Remembers (Australia Remembers 1 with Allison Paterson, Australia Remembers 2 with Allison Paterson), Australia Remembers 3: Len Waters, Boundless and Born to Fly, has been released in 2021, and published by Big Sky Publishing.
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.
Grace Nolan holds a Graduate Diploma of Education in Children’s Literature and a Master of Philosophy. She is an experienced Primary and Secondary teacher and winner of numerous poetry competitions including the Dante Aligheiri Italian Poetry Competition and the Italian-Australian Writers’ Literary Association for original poem. She was also awarded first prize in the International Festival of Italian Song for an original composition. Grace was also a script writer, composer and performer as well as being a reviewer for the Children’s Book Council of Australia. Grace’s love of nature and Australian wildlife have provided the inspiration for the One to Ten and Back Again series. Drawing on her extensive educational background and her enthusiasm for children’s literature, Grace is now dedicating her time to writing.
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While living in Thailand, Jacinta Farragher found that snippets of quirky verse popped into her brain every time she had a massage.
Naturally, she wanted to explore this further and started having massages twice a week. Now she’s a children’s picture book author! Jacinta is a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Creative Kids Tales, and the Australian Society of Authors. She dedicates her time to writing and having massages.
Jacinta’s passion is writing fun picture books with messages that uplift and empower. She plans to spend the next few decades writing books that will inspire children and adults alike for generations to come. Jacinta’s debut picture book Joy’s Journey is an adventurous quest story about realising the joy is in the journey. This will soon be followed by a second book Joy’s Way – a fun story about doing things your own way.
Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern is an Australian author who adores exploring all the world has to offer! Her love of travel started at age three on moving from Sri Lanka to Australia with her parents. Having family sprinkled around the world; she has lived, worked and been on many adventures overseas. She currently resides in Canberra with her Irish-South African husband (who she met on an escapade in America) her adorable daughter and beagle puppy.
Her appreciation of travel and uniqueness of culture has been captured in the pages of her books. Charlie’s Adventures…in Hawaii is her first Children’s book, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards and chosen as a finalist in the 2017 American Best Book Awards. She is also the recipient of the ACT Writers Centre 2017 Anne Edgeworth Fellowship. Her second book in the Charlie’s Adventure series, Charlie’s Adventures…in South Africa, was recently released.
Jacqueline hopes that the Charlie’s Adventures series will encourage children to learn more about the world and journey far and wide discovering, appreciating and understanding. She endeavours to encourage her readers to learn more about the world, supporting an empathetic and inclusive community.
Jane Smith is a Queensland librarian, author and freelance editor with a particular interest in history. Her books include the non-fiction ‘Australian Bushrangers’ series, the ‘Tommy Bell: Bushranger Boy’ and ‘Carly Mills, Pioneer Girl’ historical fiction series for children, as well as two books for adults: the biography Captain Starlight: The Strange but True Story of a Bushranger, Impostor and Murderer and Ship of Death. Three of Jane’s children’s books have been listed for significant Australian literature awards.
In her spare time, Jane enjoys reading, singing in a community choir, and having coffee and cake with friends at what they loosely call ‘Book Club’.
Kate is a writer living in rural Victoria with her partner and two children. She also lives with a bouncy dog, a haughty cat and chooks with heads like pom-poms.
Eons ago, Kate trained as a naturopath and still can’t go past the smell of dried herbs without swooning. Nowadays, she works at a yoga and dance studio with young children, and writes about the everyday happenings of life. She loves long walks and admiring nature’s treasures like seedpods, stones and fallen bird nests. Kate adores Autumn and patiently waits for its return every year.
Kate’s debut picture book The Glint of Gold is illustrated by Patricia Ward and published by Little Pink Dog Books.
Kate Simpson is a picture book author based in Sydney. She balances her time between her engineering day job, raising two children and writing whenever she can. Kate’s debut picture book Finding Granny, illustrated by Gwynneth Jones, tells the story of a small girl, whose world is turned on its head when her beloved grandmother suffers a stroke.
As well as being an author, Kate is also one third of the children’s book podcast One More Page, which features guest interviews, book reviews and giveaways, as well as a kid-centric segment called Kids Capers. She is delighted to be a part of a wonderful, supportive children’s book community.
Kate has also signed a contract with Allen and Unwin for the publication of her second picture book, which is due to be relased in mid-2019.