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Open Right

Anna Fienberg


Anna Fienberg’s favourite subjects are words and stories – reading them, writing them, sharing them. As she spills the secrets behind her books, she encourages her audience to search their own lives for ideas, helping them tap into the imaginative possibilities of everyday life. Interactive and inspiring, she offers inside knowledge into the book world while expanding and enriching students’ own creative powers. Her passion for books is infectious!

Works include: The Tashi series; Monsters; Wicked’s Way; Horrendo’s Curse; Louis Beside Himself; Borrowed Light; The Magnificent Nose and Other Marvels; Ariel, Zed and the Secret of Life; Minton Goes!; Joseph; Madeline the Mermaid; The Witch in the Lake (e book & print on demand); Power to Burn (e book)

Where were you born?

I was born in England but came to Australia on a swan when I was two.

What other jobs have you had?

I’ve worked as a Waitress, salesperson in Women’s Lingerie, a Counsellor in Drug and Alcohol, and Editor for ten fabulous years at the NSW’s marvellous School Magazine. In my opinion, and if you love reading stories, this is the best job in the world. Well, it was for me until I could afford to write my own stories full-time, and live inside them.

What themes are recurring in your work?

I like to write fantasy AND real-life fiction. What interests me are relationships and feelings, adventures that reveal the dramas of life, the fight for justice and equality. The questions lurking beneath all my work are: Why do people do the things they do? Can people change? What can we learn from exploring the secret lives of characters?

What have been the highlights of your career?

It was wonderful to win the CBCA Award for The Magnificent Nose so early on in my collaboration with illustrator Kim Gamble – it helped set us up for a marvelous partnership that continued right through the Minton series into Tashi and many other books. Collaboration with creative kindred spirits is a delight – working with my mother, Barbara, was a constant highlight, really. Joyous.

Where have your works been published?

My books have been published in Australia and about 20 other countries around the world.

What are you passionate about?

Books! I want to help spread the word – reading stories about our own lives and those of others expands our experience, empathy and understanding in the most enjoyable way I know.

Haven’t I seen you before?

I have been visiting schools and speaking at literary festivals for many years, talking about books and writing. Together with Australian tours, I have also visited Vietnam and Korea to speak with primary school students and at literary festivals.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

My new novel, Picasso and the Greatest Show on Earth, will be published in July this year by Allen & Unwin.

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