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Leanne Hall

Author

Leanne Hall began her writing career with short stories, some of which have been published in Sleepers Almanac, Meanjin and Best Australian Stories. She has resolutely resisted a sensible career trajectory, and has worked in the arts and educational publishing, in between long rambling jaunts overseas. In 2009 she won The Text Prize with her novel This Is Shyness, which was followed up in 2012 by Queen of the Night.

Where were you born?

I was born in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne and lived most of my early life in a very, very small geographical patch. That probably explains why I’ve done so much travelling as an adult. I’ve lived in a few different places around the world, but I’ll always come home to Melbourne.

What other jobs have you had?

I’ve had a pretty mixed bag of jobs, especially in my misspent youth. Some of my more sensible jobs have been working as a paralegal in a film and arts organisation, and as a photo editor for an educational publisher. Some of my insensible jobs should not be talked about!

What themes are recurring in your work?

I have an ongoing interest in identity and place. And an inability to avoid injecting reality with more than a touch of strangeness. I take the wisdom and passion of teenagers seriously, and I like to talk to them on a level.

What have been the highlights of your career?

The highlight of my career so far has definitely been winning the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing in 2009. Up until then I didn’t know whether I had a chance to make it as a professional writer.

Where have your works been published?

When I was starting out I wrote a lot of short stories, which were published in publications such as Sleepers Almanac, Going Down Swinging, Meanjin, Best Australian Stories and Growing Up Asian In Australia. I’ve also dabbled in poetry, stage plays, film scripts, magazine feature articles, and arts reviews.

What are you passionate about?

Obviously I’m extremely passionate about reading and writing! But I also have an insane curiosity about most things in life, which has led me down some unusual paths in the past. I love nothing better than sharing stories and experiences with teenagers.

Haven’t I seen you before?

You may have seen me wearing a silly costume in my somewhat irregular Friday Dress-Ups on my blog. Let’s face it, I will use any excuse to don an elaborate costume.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Oh, we’re all sharing too much these days, aren’t we? What happened to the mystery?

Testimonials

Just wanted to let you know that Leanne Hall was fabulous. During both her presentation to our year 7’s and the workshops she had our students spellbound. We had quite a few comments from students that they liked her because she was like them, they could relate to her easily. A very big thanks to Leanne.

—K. Simpson, Director of Library Information Services, Vermont Secondary College, August 2012

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