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Claire Saxby writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction for young people. She speaks (and sometimes sings) about history, humour, our environment, making stories, writing poetry and researching.
I was born in Melbourne and live here now. In between, I attended nine schools across eastern Australia and in Papua New Guinea and have lived in 23 houses.
I have been a waitress, a hospital laundry sheet-folder, farmer, rouseabout, election official, letter-sorter, podiatrist and bookseller
I am a child of the sea and considered being a marine biologist. The ocean features in many of my stories. I am fascinated by history, particularly migration and women’s stories and the wartime stories of those who stayed home. I also love to write humourous stories for young readers with strong rhythm and repetition.
I was on a train, sitting opposite a grandmother and grandchild. I told them I was going to a meeting where I would share the first copy of one of my first picture books. The grandmother read it out loud, the grandchild listened, looked and laughed. All three of us nearly missed our station. That’s what it’s about. Co-winning the Patricia Wrightson NSW Premier’s Award for Dingo (ill Tannya Harricks). CBCA Honour book for Koala (ill Julie Vivas). Being guest speaker at a quilting convention where 300 quilters quilted in silence while I shared the history of the Rajah quilt (My Name is Lizzie Flynn). Working annually with students in Papua New Guinea and seeing the changes in their storymaking from year to year.
My works have been published both nationally and internationally, in multiple languages.
I believe in wonder and curiosity and the need to understand our world. I believe understanding builds empathy and tolerance, whether it’s about sharing story or discovering our place in ecosystems.