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Open Right

Michael Hyde

Author, Curriculum Specialist, Journalist, Social Commentator

Michael’s novels for young adults, Hey Joe, MAX and Tyger Tyger have experienced critical success and continue to be widely read and taught in many schools. Hey Joe – about the Vietnam War, the movement against it and the sixties in Australia – was named as a Notable Book in the 2004 CBC Awards. Many of his short stories for younger readers are published in the Trend/Awesome Series including the popular titles: The Footy Coach from Hell, Seal Saves the Island and How I Got a Girlfriend. Michael also edited two senior anthologies for the Australian Association of English Teachers (AATE), Hunger (CBC Notable Book 2004) and The Girl who Married a Fly (CBC Notable Book 2002). Both anthologies feature popular YA Australian writers (including Michael) and like his novels, enjoy significant sales. Michael’s Change the Game series – choose-your-own-adventure sports books became overnight favourites with young readers, 20,000 + copies being sold in one year.

His bodyboarding novel, Surfing Goliath (Lothian/Hachette), published in May 2006, sold out in three months.

Michael’s latest book, Footy Dreaming (Ford St, 2015) was recently featured in the July 2015 issue of Magpies Magazine, receiving the following praise:

“Michael Hyde is not afraid to lay the cards on the table and via the authenticity of the characters and an engaging story-line, position the reader to see racial vilification for what it is. Kids who love footy will love this book. It is about courage, friendship, tenacity and hope, and so much more.”
–  Carole Poustie

His many non-fiction works include being the series editor and writer for the national English Series, Englishworks, a writer for the Macmillan series Mosaic, and his own textbook The Diary of my Secret Life (a guide to the craft of writing). Other non-fiction works include the Richard Osborne biography, Ossie Rules; and Asia at a Glance – a CD Rom and English Curriculum Units for secondary students.

After a long career as an English teacher Michael (with stints as a journalist and truck driver) now lectures in Professional Writing, Sports Writing and Children’s Texts at Victoria University.

Michael also conducts writing workshops for students and teachers across Australia. He lives in Melbourne with Gabrielle and Zachariah, the youngest of his four children. He loves the bush, the desert, the sea, Aussie Rules footy (especially Collingwood), canoeing and encouraging others to write.

Recently he featured in the SBS 4 part documentary on ASIO, Persons of Interest.

His latest work, as part of his PhD, is a literary memoir on the Sixties, All Along the Watchtower (Vulgar Press). He has also begun another YA novel, Morrison and Mr Moore, about an unlikely friendship between a soon-to-retire school principal and a rebellious 17 year old student.

For more information on Michael’s work, visit his website.

Where were you born?

I was born in the coal mining town of Cessnock in NSW. We moved to Victoria in 1954. I attended five schools – we moved around a fair bit due to my father being a Uniting Church minister.

What other jobs have you had?

Journalist, truck driver, hospital cleaner, hospital orderly and was a secondary teacher for over twenty five years. Now, lecture in Prof Writing at Victoria University.

What themes are recurring in your work?

Young men living on the edge; the deeper levels of sport; war; the 60s; the strange experience of being a human being.

What are you passionate about?

Fairness, equity, standing up against prejudice, racism, war, looking underneath the surface – oh yes I love footy, especially Collingwood.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

My memoir All along the Watchtower will be one of the few books ever published in Australian Literature examining the 60s through the eyes of someone who was there. Film options have been taken out on Watchtower and Hey Joe.

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