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.
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.
Please follow Grace at her website:
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 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.
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
Maura is an author and playwright who enjoys writing fiction for children and young adults. The Trouble in Tune Town is her first children’s picture book, published in August 2017, and has just been awarded Joint Winner for Best Children’s Illustrated E-Book in the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY).
Maura was also named winner of the CBCA Aspiring Writers Mentorship 2017, and recipient of the Charlotte Waring Barton Award, for her young adult manuscript, Freefalling. Her short plays have been performed in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, with one winning an international monologue competition in 2016 and another being redeveloped as a full-length play as part of a KSP Fellowship.
In addition to her creative writing achievements, Maura has worked as an ethicist, medical video writer/producer, small business owner, freelance journalist and editor of Australian Medicine. She has a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate, each in philosophy.
Maura is currently completing a young adult novel, which she hopes will be published in 2019. She is also working on a full-length play and a monologue project on the theme of mental health.
Maura lives in Canberra with her husband, Kieran and three children – a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the Bronx, where she grew up.