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Open Right

Kirsty Murray

Author

Kirsty Murray is a multi award-winning author of nineteen books whose dynamic and inspiring presentations are guaranteed to send young people away itching to read more widely and to believe that they too can share their stories with the world. Kirsty is a 2017 nominee for the world’s most prestigious children’s literature prize, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, for her contribution to children’s literature.

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?

When I was growing up, there wasn’t a lot of Australian historical fiction for young readers and I imagined that most good stories came from England and America. 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 face of incredible challenges.

Haven’t I seen you before?

I’ve been a 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.  I am an Ambassador for the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge and the Stella Prize Schools Program.

Testimonials

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

A small audience, but they engaged really well and responded beautifully. Kirsty was warm and engaging and took the time to learn workshop participants names, which was very much appreciated. A fantastic visit. 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, Teacher, St Catherine's School

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