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Open Right

Ellie Marney

Author, Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant

Ellie Marney is a teacher, and author of the highly-awarded Young Adult crime trilogy, the Every series (Every Breath, Every Word, Every Move), published locally and overseas. In 2015, Every Breath (Allen & Unwin, 2013) was named by ALIA (Australian Library Information Association) as one of the top ten most-borrowed YA books in libraries nationwide.

Ellie has helped spearhead a campaign to promote and advocate for Australian YA literature, #LoveOzYA, and hosts an online book club (#LoveOzYAbookclub) to encourage more engagement with local YA stories. She is an Ambassador for the Stella Prize Schools Program, and is a regular speaker at schools, events and festivals.

Ellie lives in regional north-central Victoria with her partner (also a teacher) and their four sons.  She likes jumping in the dam on a hot night, all things Sherlock, and the occasional spot of remedial chain-sawing.

Where were you born?

I’m originally from Brisbane – I grew up in country Queensland – but I’ve spent long stints living overseas in Indonesia, India and Singapore. After the tropics, living in Victoria took a bit of getting used to, yes! But I love my adopted city, Melbourne, and regional Victoria feels like home to me now.

What other jobs have you had?

I’ve been a teacher – I’m still a teacher – both in Australia and overseas, for children from K-12. Before authoring and teaching I worked a huge variety of jobs that gave me a great breadth of insight for writing – I’ve handed out leaflets, pulled beers in pubs, taught yoga, picked grapes, cut rice, waitressed, sold things in shops, ushered in cinemas…I even worked in a book store once, long ago (my dream job).

What themes are recurring in your work?

Death (hey, I’m a murder mystery writer!) and change, country life and people, family and the ties that bind, love and growth. Sharp-witted female protagonists feature strongly in my work.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about encouraging adults to read some of the books their kids are reading, not only so they’re better informed and can help their kids discern, but also to give them an awareness of their kids’ worlds.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Being shortlisted for the Gold Inky Award was pretty amazing – especially getting to say hi to some of the teenagers who voted for Every Breath.  Waking up one morning to find Every Breath in Kirkus was a bit mind-boggling.  Also, winning the Scarlet Stiletto Award for women’s short crime writing in 2010 – that was my first big win. My husband was sitting next to me, patting my shoulder and trying to calm my nerves by saying ‘Relax. You’ll probably lose.’ (so helpful!)

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