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Elizabeth Honey

Author, Illustrator

Elizabeth Honey is an award-winning author of poetry, picture books and novels. She is also an artist and illustrates her own books. Her playful humour, originality, and energy strike a chord with children everywhere. Her novels are published in many countries.

Where were you born?

I grew up on a farm in the bush near Wonthaggi, Victoria, where my sister and I did a lot of pretending, on horses or tractors, in dress-ups or with glove puppets, round old trucks, cubbies, dams and hay sheds. Also I looked after the chooks.

What other jobs have you had?

My patchwork career includes time as a drink waitress, gramophone operator, feature film continuity girl, knitwear saleswoman, advertising art director, planner of family holidays and reader-aloud of picture books.

What have been the highlights of your career?

The extraordinary schools I’ve visited and the passionate open-hearted teachers, the fun of working with editors Rosalind Price and Sue Flockhart, (a good editor is like the best teacher you could ever have), collaborating on a picture book with musician-composer Sue Johnson, and a novel with author-translator Heike Brandt. A quiet highlight – a mother confiding, ‘He learnt to read with that poem.’

What are you passionate about?

Preserving our wild places and parkland, which are essential for giving kids the outdoors, freedom, time, space and responsibility to test themselves and grow up. Riding bikes, another kind of freedom. Melbourne’s perfect for bikes. It could be the Amsterdam of the south, bike-wise.


Just wanted to let you know how good last week’s residency was with Elizabeth. Nothing was too much trouble and she offered to do extra watercolour sessions as well which was a real bonus. The girls got a lot out of her workshops and thoroughly enjoyed them! There are now many budding poets out there. Her brief talk in assembly was also inspirational and we appreciated her intellectual spin.

—R. Cameron, Teacher Librarian, Ascham School, September 2012

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