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Kirsty Murray


Kirsty Murray is a multi-award-winning author of 22 books for children and young adults. Her works include eleven novels as well as non-fiction, junior fiction, historical fiction, speculative fiction and picture books. Kirsty is an ambassador and advocate for many reading and writing initiatives and has been a writer-in-residence in schools and universities around the world. She loves books, libraries, bookshops, readers, writers, puddles, puppies, and stories – especially stories about kids.

Where were you born?

I was born in Melbourne, into a big, arty, chaotic family. There were seven kids and I was the middle child of the tribe. When I was a teenager, we moved to Canada where I finished my high school education.

What other jobs have you had?

I tried lots of other jobs before I realised that writing was the one thing I simply had to do. I worked in offices and restaurants, galleries, bookshops and universities. I was a partner in a graphic arts business and at one stage I worked for a doll’s house designer. I also was very busy being a mother and a stepmother to six children.

What themes are recurring in your work?

All my work explores Australian history and experiences. I am fascinated by the concept of the child in time and deeply moved by the resilience of young characters. In the past few years, I have discovered the joy of picture books and have been thrilled to work with the illustrator Karen Blair to create warm and playful books for younger children.

Haven’t I seen you before?

I’ve been a guest speaker at festivals all around Australia and in the UK, China, India and Indonesia. I’ve judged numerous literary prizes and spoken at countless events promoting reading and writing. I have been a writer-in-residence at the Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre and at many schools and institutions around Australia. I have also been a writer-in-residence in universities in both north and south India.


We had Kirsty Murray working as a writer in residence running creative writing workshops with our Year 7 students last week.
Kirsty was a big hit with both  staff and students and her workshops were very successful.

—P. Christiansen, Teacher-Librarian at Methodist Ladies' College, October 2015

I can’t recommend Kirsty highly enough – she was engaging and adapted well to our smaller numbers. She was extremely knowledgeable and passionate and managed to really get some great responses from our students.

—K. White, Head of Educational Resources, St Catherine's School

Kirsty was a really engaging speaker who kept a room of students really enthused for 50 minutes with her wonderful tales of creating stories and where her ideas come from.  The kids loved the interaction with Kirsty and the wonderfully exciting more gory sections! She led the students to the end goal of entering the writing competitions offered by the council and we hope this has helped get more students motivated to challenge themselves with their creative writing. All up it was great, thank you both very much!

—N. King, Boroondara Park Primary School

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