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Open Right

Davina Bell


Davina Bell is a book editor and writer for young people. Her first picture book, The Underwater Fancy-dress Parade, won the Small Publishers category in the 2016 Australian Book Industry Awards, and she is the author of the Alice books in the bestselling Our Australian Girl series of historical fiction for middle readers. Davina was formerly a Senior Editor at Penguin Books, where she worked with some of our country’s most beloved children’s book creators.

What themes are recurring in your work?

Acceptance – both of self and from others – and the peace that it can bring. The joy of creativity and individuality. Bizarrely, lots of my books also involve putting dogs in perilous situations! Not sure what that’s about.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about fostering self-acceptance and resilience in children, and offering them a sense of comfort and their own worth through books and writing.

What other jobs have you had?

I have stacked bread in a bakery at midnight, worked as a nanny and a check-out chick, been a therapist for children with autism and developmental delays, and had a career as a book editor at a big publishing company.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Creative collaboration – with publishers, illustrators, other authors and designers. Some publishing projects feel like the most incredible, energizing meeting of minds. And hearing children speak passionately about books in a way that shows reading has made a big impact on their sense of the world.

Where have your works been published?

UK, France, China, Bulgaria, Korea, Italy and the US.


The Prep to Two classes had a wonderful time and were engaged and captivated from the moment Davina spoke. The students loved the writing ideas and how she incorporates life experiences into her stories. It was interesting to hear the step by step process it takes to write books. My personal favourite was ‘Under the Love Umbrella’. Although it was an online session the students were still able to participate and enjoy the love for books and  the celebrations that come with Book Week. Thank you Davina for sharing your passion for writing and books.

—M. Caruana, St Thomas the Apostle, August 2021

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