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In his YA fiction, Mark combines his love of the outdoors (surfing, mountain biking, travelling) with his experience as a teacher in a residential campus on Victoria’s west coast. He believes strongly in the resilience and adaptability of young people when they’re confronted with new and challenging situations.
Mark’s second novel, Wilder Country, is the winner of the 2018 Indie Book Award for Young Adult works.
I was born at the Mercy Hospital in Melbourne where, due to him fathering nine kids, they eventually gave Dad his own car park.
Outside of teaching I’ve done a variety of things to earn a living: surf instructor, canoe instructor, Executive Officer in not-for-profit sector, paper boy, chicken sexer (in descending order of merit).
There are a few themes that recur in my writing, often when I don’t even mean them to: environmental issues, social justice (particularly indigenous and refugees), the resilience and loyalty of young people, relationships and love.
Signing a three book deal with Text Publishing after the manuscript for The Road To Winter was picked out of the slush pile and passed around the office. The resultant phone call changed my life.
The Road To Winter has been published in Australia and NZ – as have most of my short stories.
I’m passionate about the environment, refugee issues, protecting our oceans, surfing, writing – and pretty much life in general.
When my book was launched my mug shot appeared everywhere – wish I’d had a better photo taken.
I have a habit of breaking bones (my own), especially fingers, ribs and toes. But also my neck, twice in the one year. No, really.
We had a very successful visit from Mark Smith last Thursday and the feedback from teachers and students was very positive. The student engagement for the workshops was outstanding with all students willing to undertake the writing activities that Mark inspired. In the end he had to teach the whole class, not just students who chose to be there, and it was due to his skills as a presenter and teacher that students enjoyed the opportunity to learn from his vast experience.
Mark Smith gave a wonderful presentation to our Year 8 students. They were enthralled by his interactive presentation and his question and answer session was very successful. I would highly recommend Mark Smith visiting any school.
Mark Smith was excellent arguably the best author we have had. Mark had the students captivated for the session and they have been hunting around for his book since his visit.
I would be happy to have Mark back again and can highly recommend him.