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Scot Gardner

Author, Storyteller/Performer

Scot Gardner has some powerful ideas to share about the story—about how we write our futures, purge our demons and celebrate the things we love using words. A veteran raconteur, you’ll get heart and humour with every presentation he delivers.

Where were you born?

I was born in the northern suburbs of Melbourne but I grew up near Yinnar in country Victoria.

What other jobs have you had?

I started working as a gardener with the local council when I was 17. I’ve worked as a musician, masseur, truck driver, landscape gardener, teacher, group leader, counsellor and youth worker.

What themes are recurring in your work?

I regularly write about young people trying to find their place in the big world. I write about tragic things in hopeful ways. I’m not keen on down endings.

What have been the highlights of your career?

I could write about awards and international recognition, but the highlights for me have been meeting young people who’ve been inspired to write through listening to me talk about the craft or reading my work. Introducing gifted young people to publishers is one of my biggest buzzes.

Where have your works been published?

Until very recently, just Australia and New Zealand. The Dead I Know is published in Canada and the US.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about ecology, living lightly and self-responsibly, the preservation and celebration of wilderness, social equality and responsible planetary citizenship. I also like bikes, kites, cameras, kayaks and fireworks.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

My name is Scot Gardner.

I’m a writer.

I tell stories for young people.

Young people want and need to feel like they have a place in the world.

I give kids awesome dreams and hope for the future.



Although, originally apprehensive, the students quickly warmed to Scot’s humor and quick wit. He pitched his presentation very well and maintained their interest for a full 75 minute each session…

We would highly recommend Scot to other high schools.

—K. O'Reilly, Sale College, August 2017

Scot Gardner speaks and writes with honesty, feeling and humour. He has important things to say and he says them with irresistible energy. If I were booking a writer for a school, he’d be one of the first I’d sign up – especially for a boys’ program.

—John Marsden

“I loved watching my students’ faces during Scot’s visit and listening to their laughter that continued into the afternoon. The class came away desperate to READ and were spouting their own story ideas.”

“Scot was amazingly charismatic, charming and witty! He had both 7H and 7C completely engaged and laughing more than I had ever heard before. Personally, I thought his anecdote about death and Tiny was outstanding and showed how he has found inspiration in everyday life. Would recommend!”

—Year 7 Teachers, North Geelong Secondary College, June 2017

We have had Scot presenting to our year 9’s for more years than I can remember and every year I ask English staff if we should try someone else and they say No – because Scot is such a fantastic performer.  He is funny, engaging and the kids learn stuff about writing and there is often a flurry of borrowing activity for his books.  Not so hard to please year 9’s – esp boys and he engages them every time.  We are big Scot fans here.

—J. Asa Leausa, Wonthaggi Secondary Campus, 2017.

I really enjoyed Scot’s visit. I loved all of his stories. He was amazingly inspirational and I would love to see Scot again in Year 8.

I dead set loved it. He was so funny and down to earth. I like most of his stories. I don’t really have a favourite one as they are all as good as each other. He said lots of good advice and I would love to see him again.

When Scot Gardner came, he made everyone laugh. If they didn’t laugh, something would be wrong with them. I would love Scot to come next year.

He was extremely funny. I didn’t expect an author to be like that! I also loved how he writes a book whenever he wants and that made me kind of want to be an author. I really hope that he can come back next year. I seriously haven’t laughed so much in my life. He really brings a smile to your face. He can brighten up the room. I’ve heard many authors before but none of them were like Scot Gardner. He’s better. Anyway, I really hope he comes next year again!

—Year 7 Students, North Geelong Secondary College, 2015

The English staff were very impressed and the students were totally engaged throughout. They were able to relate to everything Scot had to say.

—J. Winding, Footscray City College

Scot was a versatile and entertaining speaker. He was able to engage the whole range of students from years 8-12 and he appealed to our under-achieving students.

—A. Marshall, Mansfield Secondary College

Our past two days were fantastic with Scot. So many students have been inspired and empowered to WRITE!!! We would love to have Scot back again in the future. It was a huge success.

—J. Henley, Nagle College, September 2014

We were so pleased to have Scot visiting us at St Monica’s College earlier this week.

Scot is so natural, a little bit feral (in a completely engaging way), funny and a good fisherman. That is, he casts a line and reels those kids in! He spoke to Year 10s for three sessions and Year 10 – 12s during the lunchtime session, always adjusting his presentation to the audience he was confronted with. I watched some sullen boys crack a smile from time to time and was pleased with the contributions that our students made during the “I remember…” story-telling segments (especially the girl who, when she was little, wanted to be her cat). The teachers who accompanied their classes were very happy too: “He’s engaging, funny, witty” wrote one English teacher.

Great energy, a variety of segments, comfortable, genuine and personable.

—J. Durst, St Monica’s College, September 2013

Just wanted to say a very special thank you to you, Scot, for a great day of stories and to Booked Out for organising the perfect presenter for us. Great feedback from the units and stories a go go! Scot more than exceeded expectation and I can’t believe I got so many stories back and stories with so much in them.

—S. Joyce, Program Coordinator, Department of Human Services, Parkville Youth Justice Precinct, September 2012

Scot Gardner has just left to return home. We had a most successful day and he was entertaining for the younger years and philosophical and entertaining for the year 10’s. Extremely positive. He was very charming and easy-going.

—J.Parker, Head of Information Services, Kingswood College, August 2012

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