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Ellie Marney

Author, Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant

Ellie Marney is a teacher and an author of fiction for Young Adults. Her YA crime trilogy, the Every series, and her YA standalone, White Night, have been critically and commercially successful in Australia and overseas – her debut, Every Breath, was shortlisted for the Gold Inky Award, the Ned Kelly Award and the Sisters in Crime Davitt Award (YA), and in 2015 was named by the Australian Library Information Association as one of the top ten most-borrowed YA books in Australian libraries.

In the last two years she has diversified by independently publishing the Every series companion novel, No Limits, as well as a new YA rom-crime series, Circus Hearts. Ellie has been involved in the creation of the national campaign called #LoveOzYA to promote and advocate for Australian YA literature. She contributed to the critically-acclaimed Begin End Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology, and runs the popular #LoveOzYAbookclub online. She also co-coordinates an online info-sharing group for Australian women self-publishers.

Ellie is a regular speaker at festivals and events, teaches writing and publishing through Writers Victoria, and advocates for Australian women’s writing as a Stella Ambassador in schools. She lives in regional north-central Victoria, with her partner (also a teacher) and their four sons

Where were you born?

I’m originally from Brisbane – I grew up in country Queensland – but I’ve spent long stints living overseas in Indonesia, India and Singapore. After the tropics, living in Victoria took a bit of getting used to, yes! But I love my adopted city, Melbourne, and regional Victoria feels like home to me now.

What other jobs have you had?

I’ve been a teacher – I’m still a teacher – both in Australia and overseas, for children from K-12. Before authoring and teaching I worked a huge variety of jobs that gave me a great breadth of insight for writing – I’ve handed out leaflets, pulled beers in pubs, taught yoga, picked grapes, cut rice, waitressed, sold things in shops, ushered in cinemas…I even worked in a book store once, long ago (my dream job).

What themes are recurring in your work?

Death (hey, I’m a murder mystery writer!) and change, country life and people, family and the ties that bind, love and growth. Sharp-witted female protagonists feature strongly in my work.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about encouraging adults to read some of the books their kids are reading, not only so they’re better informed and can help their kids discern, but also to give them an awareness of their kids’ worlds.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Being shortlisted for the Gold Inky Award was pretty amazing – especially getting to say hi to some of the teenagers who voted for Every Breath.  Waking up one morning to find Every Breath in Kirkus was a bit mind-boggling.  Also, winning the Scarlet Stiletto Award for women’s short crime writing in 2010 – that was my first big win. My husband was sitting next to me, patting my shoulder and trying to calm my nerves by saying ‘Relax. You’ll probably lose.’ (so helpful!)

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