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Simon Mitchell


Simon Mitchell writes stories for young people that are fast-paced, funny and a little bit quirky. He is the author of action-packed historical adventures The Fighting Stingrays and Tough Times, the mouthwatering picture book Louie the Pirate Chef and the hilarious Baked Bean Bandit trilogy.

Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Canberra, which I have to say is a fantastic and entirely unique place to grow up. You know the expression ‘it’s swings and roundabouts’? Well in Canberra we just say ‘it’s roundabouts’.

What other jobs have you had?

I used to work as a software developer until I decided to follow my dream of writing in a language that consists of more than just ones and zeros. But my most unusual job was being an extra in a Bollywood film called Shakalaka Boom Boom. I had to wear a pilot’s outfit and walk around a shopping mall that was done up to look like an airport while the main characters had a very serious conversation on the escalators.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Having my first book (The Baked Bean Bandit) accepted for publication was a massive highlight. I started writing it as a uni assignment, so it was pretty exciting to get a book contract as well as a good mark!

I was also thrilled to have my picture book Louie the Pirate Chef chosen for the International Youth Library’s White Ravens Catalogue. They only select 250 books from all over the world each year, so it was a great honour to be included.

What are you passionate about?

Ice cream. I make my own at home, which means I can be as creative and experimental as I want. Of course, this means that the results aren’t always edible – beetroot and wasabi sorbet anyone?

Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?

Only if you happened to catch the aforementioned Shakalaka Boom Boom.


Simon was very approachable from the onset of the visit and engaged our students well with age-appropriate material. From all accounts, the children thought he was entertaining, funny and informative.

—H. Stevens, Queanbeyan West Public School, August 2017

We recently had Simon Mitchell at Burke Hall and he was fantastic. He was very well organised, planned all the workshop with detail and in accordance with our requests. He worked well with the students and gave them some great strategies on how to write with detail and description.

—J. Stephens, Teacher, Xavier College 2016

I am just letting you know that Simon Mitchell, our visiting author during Book Week was fabulous.  He really entertained, informed and encouraged the students with their own writing.

—A.Jarrold, Bellbrae Primary School, August 2014

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