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Randa practiced as a lawyer for ten years, is an award-winning author of 12 internationally published novels and regular op-ed contributor to print media. She has a PhD in sociology on the topic of Islamophobia in Australia. Her latest novel, When Michael Met Mina, won the Vic Premier’s Literary award for young Adults and the People’s Choice award. With funding from Screen Australia, Randa is also working on the film adaptation of her first novel, Does My Head Look Big in This? and is also working on the theatrical adaptation of her novel Where the Streets Had A Name with MonkeyBaa theatre company. She is a regular guest at writer’s festivals in Australia and around the world. Randa is keen to use her intervention into popular culture and academia to reshape dominant narratives around racism and multiculturalism.» Read more about Randa Abdel-Fattah
Deborah trained as a teacher before producing and writing children’s TV at Network TEN. She has written over 20 novels, including the Max Remy and Jasper Zammitt (Soccer Legend) series, Grimsdon and New City, about kids living in a climate-changed world. Teresa: A New Australian was inspired by her dad who made the journey from Europe to Australia after the devastation of WW2 and her latest books is The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee about a young, shy brilliant speller, whose family encourage her to overcome her fears and enter the world’s greatest bee.» Read more about Deborah Abela
Amal Awad is a journalist, author and screenwriter who is focused on issues of society, religion and popular culture. She is the author of four books and is involved in several screenwriting projects. Amal is also a public speaker and has produced and presented for ABC Radio National.» Read more about Amal Awad
Tristan Bancks is a children’s and teen author with a background in acting and filmmaking. His books include the My Life series, Mac Slater: Coolhunter (Australia and US) and Two Wolves, a crime-mystery novel for middle-graders. Two Wolves won Honour Book in the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. It also won the YABBA and KOALA Children’s Choice Awards and has been released in the US as On the Run (Farrar Straus Giroux).» Read more about Tristan Bancks
The Story of Tom Brennan won the 2006 CBC Book of the Year – Older Readers and the 2006 Australian Family Therapists Award for Children’s Literature. It is currently on the NSW HSC syllabus list. Pig Boy has been shortlisted for a slew of awards and won Jane the prestigious Ned Kelly Award for crime fiction in 2012.» Read more about JC Burke
Robin de Crespigny is a powerful and moving speaker who provides an alternative view on the very topical subject of asylum seekers. Her bestselling book The People Smuggler put a human face to a debate often conducted in the abstract, and her thought-provoking talks will help start constructive, non-judgmental conversations in the community.» Read more about Robin de Crespigny
Paul Dillon has a unique investment in the wellbeing of young people. Founder of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia and a former school teacher, Paul continues to conduct drug information sessions and workshops for school students across Australia and internationally, in countries as diverse as the UK, the Phillipines, and Indonesia.» Read more about Paul Dillon
Gus Gordon is an internationally acclaimed illustrator and author. He has illustrated and written over 80 books for children. His illustrations are known for their loose and energetic line work, mixed media and humour. His writing is always anthropomorphic, which he attributes this to his love of Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in The Willows.» Read more about Gus Gordon
Author and researcher Maggie Hamilton writes books and for magazines; gives frequent talks and lectures; is a regular media commentator and a keen observer of social trends. Her many books, which have been published in Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Italy, China, Lithuania, Korea, the Arab States and Brazil, include What Men Don’t Talk About, which examines the lives of real men and boys; What’s Happening to Our Girls? and What’s Happening to Our Boys? which take a close look at the 21st century issues boys and girls face, and offer practical, workable solutions to these challenges; and Secret Girls’ Business a fun funky empowering gift book for teen girls.» Read more about Maggie Hamilton
Pip is a multi-award winning author who has been a writer and editor for two decades, working on Australia’s leading national magazines, newspapers and online outlets. Her novels for young adults have been well-received by booksellers, reviewers and award committees and placed in school libraries by Australian Standing Orders, as well as shortlisted for major state awards. She has appeared as a speaker and panellist at many children’s literary events, including the NSW Writers’ Centre Children’s and YA Festival, Whitsunday Voices and Somerset Celebration of Literature. I’ve been published in literary journals and in the UTS Writers’ Anthology.
In 2015 she was one of 10 writers selected to attend the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California, participating in their Young Adult Novel Writing workshop.
As an author, she is interested in writing about real life issues that affect children, young adults and their families. She aims to deal with difficult subject matter in a direct, sensitive and engaging way.
A recent expat to Singapore, she belongs to the Singapore Writers’ Group and has been invited to speak at the National Book Council’s All In Young Writers’ festival this year.» Read more about Pip Harry
John Heffernan has written about thirty books for a range of audiences from early readers to young adults, in a range of genre that includes realistic fiction, fantasy, futuristic, and picture books. He also writes for junior readers under the pseudonym “Charlie Carter” (most notably, the Battle Boy series).» Read more about John Heffernan
Nette Hilton is a compelling and challenging storyteller of exciting tales for children of all ages with a voice that is strong and filled with warmth and humour. She creates the extraordinary in the everyday lives of families captivating her readers while opening new worlds and realities for them.» Read more about Nette Hilton
Ben Wood has been illustrating for publishers and design studios for many years. He has been a Booked Out speaker for nearly as long and enjoys creating books with students.» Read more about Ben Wood
Melinda Hutchings is a media commentator, author, speaker and mentor on the topic of body image and teen issues. She is the author of four books and is passionate about empowering young people to face and overcome challenging issues and to recognise their enormous potential to create a happy and fulfilling future.» Read more about Melinda Hutchings
Linda Jaivin is one of Australia’s most versatile writers. Her work spans humour, eroticism, social issues (The Infernal Optimist is set in an immigration detention centre), China studies, literary translation and cultural commentary. She has appeared on ABC’s Q & A and was a regular panelist on the now sadly defunct Critical Mass.» Read more about Linda Jaivin
Anneli is an enthusiastic and energetic presenter who is comfortable in the school room and the board room.
She speaks on a variety of topics – from empowering girls and women through financial independence to having the courage to pursue your passions.
Anneli also runs half day and full day workshops teaching workplace teams how to write powerfully and persuasively, and she addresses corporate audiences on how to capture and keep readers’ attention.» Read more about Anneli Knight
Will Kostakis is an award-winning author for young adults and younger readers. He splits his time between writing, touring Australian schools and working as a journalist.» Read more about Will Kostakis
Benjamin Law is a Sydney-based journalist, columnist and screenwriter. He is the author of two books: the black comedy memoir The Family Law (2010) and the travelogue Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012). The Family Law has been translated into French and is currently being developed for television. Gaysia was published in India in 2013, with the US and other territories to follow in 2014. Both of his books were nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards, and he is currently working on his third.» Read more about Benjamin Law
David Lovegrove is a gifted artist who studied at two of Australia’s best art schools – The Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney and the Qld College of Art, Brisbane (where he gained his Master of Arts in Visual Arts). His passion is for exploring the ‘Way’ or the ‘Tao’ of the artist in the 21st Century, bringing together high skill and intuitive inspiration and freedom.» Read more about David Lovegrove
Chris is an Australian and British professor of Earth science and author of three popular science books. Chris is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change at the University of University of New South Wales, where he and his team are focusing their efforts on finding lessons from the past.
Chris investigates past and future climates, how people have responded to change, and recent human evolution and migration. He does this in a hands-on fashion: he digs down into the ice of Antarctica for core samples, the depths of a volcanic crater, or searches for Hobbit fossils (seriously!) across Indonesia. He has stories to tell and bring to life.
Chris has earned a reputation as scientist who can demystify and articulate, for any audience, exactly what it is that a scientist does for a living. His enthusiasm shows us not only why he pursues these interests, but points out what we stand to gain through scientific education.» Read more about Chris Turney
Anne Spudvilas is a multi award-winning illustrator of children’s books. Her work on the picture book version of Mao’s Last Dancer, The Peasant Prince, took her to China with author Li Cunxin. The Peasant Prince won both the NSW and Qld Premiers Awards and CBCA Honor book in 2008.
Anne’s work concentrates on portraying character and expression in people in commissioned portraits, courtroom sketching and children’s books. Anne is in demand for drawing workshops here and overseas and gives presentations about the process of illustrating books for primary and secondary level.» Read more about Anne Spudvilas
R.A. Spratt is an award winning author and television writer. Her latest book is Friday Barnes: Under Suspicion. This is the second installment in the Friday Barnes: Girl Detective series.
R.A. is also known for her biographical account of the world’s most glamorous flying pig, Nanny Piggins. A nine part series about a circus pig turned nanny.
R.A. lives in Bowral, NSW with her husband and two daughters. Her hobbies include gardening and bellringing. She has two chickens and three goldfish, and her next-door-neighbour’s cat thinks it lives in her house.
For more information visit raspratt.com» Read more about R.A. Spratt
Trent Southworth is a former NSW Police Officer with over fourteen years policing experience, including eight years employed in the Youth Liaison role. In his role, Trent worked closely with numerous government and non government agencies to identify youth related initiatives such as underage drinking programs, truancy, road safety, drug programs, and bullying.
Trent assisted in the implementation and monitoring of the State Governments Young Offenders Act, which targets all young offenders aged between 10 and 18 years of age. Through his experience in the NSW Police, Trent witnessed first-hand the importance of ongoing education of young people in today’s society.
Since leaving the Police, Trent has developed and facilitated numerous seminars for students, teachers, parents and community groups Australia-wide.» Read more about Trent Southworth
Claire Madden is a social researcher, media commentator and next-gen expert, fluent in social media, youth culture, and engagement styles of these global generations, and a professional in interpreting what this means for educators, managers and marketers. Claire is in demand for her skill in effectively identifying the emerging trends and assisting business leaders to strategically respond to them.
Hello Gen Z reveals the critical importance of knowing how to engage this generation of hyperconnected, agile and adaptive digital savants as employees, consumers and emerging leaders. Hello Gen Z is required reading for any organisation wanting to future-proof and unlock the potential of the Post-Millennials.» Read more about Claire Madden
Emily Maguire is the award-winning author of three novels and two non-fiction books. Her articles and essays on sex, religion, culture and literature have been published widely in Australian and international magazines, journals and newspapers.» Read more about Emily Maguire
Esther Mckay has led an incredible life, from her work as a crime scene examiner in Sydney to best selling author. She is an advocate for Police suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and works actively to improve conditions for mental health in emergency workers. She speaks regularly about her experiences and is an Australia Day Ambassador.» Read more about Esther McKay
Series contributors: Lyn White; Rosanne Hawke; John Heffernan; Sophie Masson; Robert Hillman; Prue Mason.» Read more about Through My Eyes
Craig Smith is the performer and author of The Wonky Donkey, the biggest selling picture book in Australia in 2010. It is still amongst the top three best selling children’s picture books, outsold only by Mem Fox’s Where’s the Green Sheep and Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
In late 2007, Craig released his first kids’ album Not Just for Kids. The first track from this album — “The Wonky Donkey” – won the APRA NZ Children’s Song of the Year Award in 2008. It ended up making the top 25 songs in the children’s section of the ISC International Songwriting Contest — the world’s biggest song competition.
In 2009, The Wonky Donkey was published as a book with hilarious illustrations by Craig’s friend, Katz Cowley. The pair teamed up again for 2010’s Willbee the Bumblebee, based on a childhood story told by Craig’s mother and co-author, Maureen Thompson. Like The Wonky Donkey, Craig turned it into song.
All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth was written by Don Gardner and illustrated by Katz Cowley, with an accompanying CD of the story performed by Craig Smith in song.
Craig has also had success with his recent book Kaha the Kea, which topped the best-sellers list for Children’s Books in New Zealand.
Craig is excited about the release of his newest book, Eating, which is illustrated by Scott Tulloch and again includes a CD of a musical performance.
Craig lives in Queenstown, New Zealand and regularly tours various locations with Booked Out.» Read more about Craig Smith (NZ)
Jessica Shirvington is the author of the international bestselling series:The Violet Eden Chapters (also known as The Embrace Series), a young-adult paranormal romance series that debuted with Embrace in 2010 and was closely followed by Entice, Emblaze, Endless andEmpower. The series has gone on to sell in a large number of international markets including the USA, UK, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Brazil, Czech, Hungary and Poland.
Jessica also released a stand alone novel in 2013 – Between the Lives– and has another two book series on the way in 2014. Jessica’s first picture book is also in the works with HarperCollins Australia and will be released shortly.» Read more about Jessica Shirvington
After thirteen years as a detective in the NSW police force, P.M. Newton decided to take a leap into the unknown and seek a different path, one that did not involve constantly meeting people for the first time on the worst day of their life. Since then she has travelled to Timbuktu, written about music in Mali, studied Buddhist philosophy in India, taught English to Tibetan monks and written a critically acclaimed novel.» Read more about P.M. Newton
Michael Robotham began his career an investigative journalist in Australia and the UK before becoming a ghostwriter, collaborating with the likes of Rolf Harris, Lulu, Geri Halliwell and Tony Bullimore to produce a dozen best-selling autobiographies. His psychological thrillers have been translated into 22 languages and have twice won the Ned Kelly award for best Australian Crime Fiction.
Michael has very limited availability, but we are always happy to look into any enquiry.» Read more about Michael Robotham
Felicity’s stories reflect her passion for history (both Australian history and medieval England) and her fascination with the unknown in our world: time travel, ghosts and reincarnation.» Read more about Felicity Pulman
Ailsa Piper has worked throughout Australia as a writer, theatre director, actor, speaker, teacher and memorably, a pate-wrapper! She completed her MA at the University of Melbourne during her three-year stint as an actor in Neighbours’ Ramsay Street, winning the Patrick White Playwright’s Award in her spare time. She is a passionate – some would say obsessive – walker, and her book Sinning Across Spain, reflects that.» Read more about Ailsa Piper
Oliver Phommavanh loves to make people laugh, whether it’s on the page writing humour for kids or on stage as a stand-up comedian. He also shares his passion for writing with the kids he teaches at a primary school in Western Sydney. As a comedian, Oliver has appeared on stage, and on national TV and radio.» Read more about Oliver Phommavanh
Louise writes books for children under her own name as well as several secret identities including H. I. Larry, Mac Park and Poppy Rose. She loves writing books with action and grand adventures and is the author of the best-selling series Zac Power Test Drive, Bella Dancerella and Star Girl—soon to be a television series. She is also the co-author of Boy vs Beast.
Louise loves nothing better than taking students on huge adventures and helping them to craft action-packed stories of their own. Learn more about her at her website.» Read more about Louise Park
Courtney Collins is the author of The Burial, inspired by the life of a female bushranger. Shortlisted for The Stella Award, The NSW Premiers’ Award and the Dobbie, it is currently being developed as a feature film. Courtney is a regular contributor to ABC Arts online and is at work on her second novel.» Read more about Courtney Collins
Dianne Todaro realised that supporting parents in talking about healthy sexual relationships with their own children had been put in the too-hard basket in modern Australia. Her determination to create 21st century literature that would captivate, be fun to read, and honest for young people has brought relationship education out of the dark ages. The parenting books she has created, including Puberty Girl and Puberty Boy are now in over 100,000 homes and 10 languages.
She is now stepping up to serve school communities around Australia, giving parents realistic expectations to support their children with essential literature. She works to create a new paradigm for one of the most important ongoing conversations with our children.» Read more about Dianne Todaro
Ursula Dubosarsky wanted to be a writer from the age of six, and is now the author of over 40 books of fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults, which have won several national prizes, including the NSW, Victorian, South Australian and Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards. She and Andrew Joyner have now collaborated on three best-selling picture books The Terrible Plop, Too Many Elephants in This House and Tim and Ed. She lives in Sydney with her family.» Read more about Ursula Dubosarsky
David Hunt is a writer, historian and children’s book author. He is the best-selling author of Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia, which won the 2014 Indie Award for Best Non-Fiction Book. The sequel, True Girt, was shortlisted for the 2017 Russell Prize for Humour Writing and David’s narration was shortlisted for Audiobook of the Year at the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards.» Read more about David Hunt
Luke S. Kennedy was formerly an obese alcoholic and drug addict. He was leader of a street fighting and graffiti crew. Luke came close to death numerous times and also nearly killed others in street battles. He was stabbed on two separate occasions; once in the lung and the other time in the head.
Luke captivates his audience after his first sentence and then takes them on a ‘journey’ of how his life turned from an innocent, happy childhood to violence and drugs. He then shows how he got out of that life and now runs a successful business helping others both physically and emotionally. After his total turn around Luke won a State Title in boxing.» Read more about Luke Kennedy
Belinda Murrell is an internationally published, best-selling author of 26 children’s books, who regularly speaks to thousands of children every year at schools, festivals and literary events around Australia. Belinda is an engaging presenter whose author talks and creative writing workshops are interactive, dynamic and inspiring, leaving students excited about books and reading.» Read more about Belinda Murrell
Samantha Turnbull is a children’s author, slam poet, multimedia journalist for the ABC, and mummy blogger. She offers talks about her books and creative writing workshops for primary school students, slam poetry and multimedia journalism workshops for upper primary and secondary students, and informative sessions on childhood gender stereotypes for parents and teachers.» Read more about Samantha Turnbull
Karen Wood is the author of the Trick Star series of books for children, Jumping Fences and Rain Dance for teens, and of the five Diamond Spirit rural romance books. She has an Arts degree majoring in communications and a diploma in horticulture. She has syndicated a gardening column in several newspapers throughout Australia, has published feature articles in various magazines and has published photographs in bushwalking guides. She is married with two children, a few horses, some dogs, chooks and a very cute rabbit. She lives on a small acreage on the Central Coast, New South Wales, where she spends as much time as possible with kids and horses or at her laptop, dreaming up a new book.» Read more about Karen Wood
Dr Arne Rubinstein is an expert on adolescent development, with 30 years experience as a doctor, counsellor, mentor, speaker and workshop facilitator. His programs and seminars have been attended by over 25,000 people in Australia and around the world and are designed to support boys and girls to successfully make a safe, healthy transition from children to young adults, with a particular focus on creating coming of age Rites of Passage. In 2008, he was nominated for Australian of the Year for his groundbreaking work with youth.» Read more about Dr Arne Rubinstein
Erin Gough is a fiction writer whose award-winning short stories have been published in a number of journals and anthologies. Her novel for young adults, The Flywheel, won the Ampersand Prize and was published by Hardie Grant Egmont in 2015.» Read more about Erin Gough
Sarah Ayoub is a journalist and author. Her work has appeared in Marie-Claire, Cosmopolitan, The Guardian, Sunday Style, Girlfriend, CLEO and more. Sarah attended a mono-cultural school from Kindergarten to year 12 and the culture shock she experienced out in the real world inspired her to write her debut novel about race, identity, gender and belonging. She has spoken at schools and writers festivals across the east coast of Australia and appeared on TV and radio discussing her work and the social/cultural issues she covers. She has taught Journalism at the University of Notre Dame and is passionate about teens and seeing diversity in the arts. She blogs about writing, wanderlust and her inspirations at www.sarahayoub.com» Read more about Sarah Ayoub
Jules is a mostly self taught illustrator who has worked in a wide variety of artistic pursuits, including kids books, animation, comics, comic strips, editorial cartooning and caricature. He is a multi-award-winner, a former TAFE teacher and has held hundreds of workshops for people of all ages.» Read more about Jules Faber
Claire Zorn is the critically acclaimed author of young adult novels The Sky So Heavy and The Protected. Both books have been shortlisted for multiple awards. The Protected was awarded Young Adult Book of the Year 2015 by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, and won both the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and the 2015 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for young adult fiction.» Read more about Claire Zorn
Cheryl Koenig’s embrace of life shines through as she delivers inspirational presentations on a variety of issues close to her heart. Cheryl’s talks have a lasting impact on her audiences.» Read more about Cheryl Koenig
Rowan McAuley loves to engage children and adults alike in dynamic, interactive presentations and workshops. As a visual and kinesthetic learner herself, she wants her audience to become participants, and to feel excited about reading and creative writing.» Read more about Rowan McAuley
Helen is an author and an actor. Using both her performance and writing skills, Helen brings dual knowledge and understanding to the art of expression.» Read more about Helen Chebatte
Gabrielle Tozer is an internationally published author with a background in journalism, editing and copywriting. Her YA novel, The Intern, won the State Library of Victoria’s 2015 Gold Inky Award, and its sequel Faking It is out now. Gabrielle has shared her passion for storytelling and creativity at numerous events, including the Sydney Writers’ Festival’s Children’s Festival of Moving Stories, Somerset Celebration of Literature, National Young Writers’ Festival and the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s National Conference.» Read more about Gabrielle Tozer
Jacqueline Harvey is the author of 27 novels for younger readers and a Children’s Book Council of Australia award winning picture book. Her bestselling Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose series’ are published internationally and have garnered various short listings and awards. Jacqueline travels widely, speaking and teaching in Australia and overseas.» Read more about Jacqueline Harvey
Kirsty Eagar is the award-winning author of the Young Adult novels: Summer Skin, Raw Blue, Night Beach and Saltwater Vampires. She believes storytelling is a life skill, and her author talks and workshops are structured using tenets of performance psychology to ensure they are distilled, sequenced and practical.» Read more about Kirsty Eagar
Tim Harris is one of the fresh faces in Australian children’s literature. His first series of books, Exploding Endings, will have primary-aged readers both captivated and laughing out loud.» Read more about Tim Harris
Kate and Jol have a lot in common, two small boys, a mutual dislike of tomatoes and five children’s books. They are the authors of this year’s National Simultaneous Storytime Book I Got This Hat and Mike I Don’t Like (Best Designed Children’s Book ABDA). They have recently launched a new junior fiction series called Jimmy Cook Discovers the Third Grade about a boy who thinks he is a famous explorer. The book is written as a captain’s log.» Read more about Kate & Jol Temple
Liam Pieper is an award-winning fiction writer, journalist and columnist. His 2014 memoir, The Feel-Good Hit of The Year, is a true story of loss, grief, addiction, and mental illness. It’s a comedy.
Feel-Good was shortlisted for the National Biography Award and the Ned Kelly Best True Crime award and widely praised for its honesty. This was followed by Mistakes Were Made, a volume of humorous essays that collectively make up a craven apology for being too honest in Feel-Good Hit. He was co-recipient of the 2014 M Literary Award, and was the inaugural creative resident of the UNESCO City of Literature of Prague, where he completed his first novel The Toymaker, released in 2016.
As a writer and speaker, he uses a light touch to explore serious social issues through storytelling. He has a passion for helping others use story craft to express themselves and better understand the world around them.» Read more about Liam Pieper
Tara Moss is an author, journalist, TV documentary presenter, speaker, human rights advocate and anti-cyberbullying campaigner. She is currently host, co-executive producer and co-writer of Cyberhate with Tara Moss on the ABC, examining the phenomenon of online abuse.» Read more about Tara Moss
Caroline is an engaging, entertaining and brutally honest speaker about her experiences as an only child growing up in a privileged European family burdened with hidden trauma. She talks with insight and humor about the complex dynamics of difficult parents and what it means to become a Good Daughter despite conflict, estrangement and illness.» Read more about Caroline Baum
Leonie Smith (aka The Cyber Safety Lady) is one of Australia’s leading Cyber Safety experts. She is passionate about empowering children, teens and adults to take positive, preemptive steps to stay safer online. She’s done the hard yards as a mum of 4. Leonie has spoken to thousands of students, teachers, parents, seniors and business, Australia wide. Her practical and sometimes technical solutions for online safety have been called life changing!» Read more about The Cyber Safety Lady