Sign up to receive our regular news and events announcements – we send about one newsletter per month.

Open Right

Rowan McAuley


Rowan McAuley loves to engage children and adults alike in dynamic, interactive presentations and workshops.  As a visual and kinesthetic learner herself, she wants her audience to become participants, and to feel excited about reading and creative writing.

Where were you born?

In Sydney, and I’ve lived here ever since, with just a couple of short stints going to primary school in England.

What other jobs have you had?

Since I finished being a full-time university student (I’d still be there, if I could), I’ve been a relationship counsellor, Lifeline volunteer, education administrator, academic writer, and adult educator.  I’ve taught counselling, as well as literature and critical theory, and marriage education.

Before all of that, I had a brief, and unsuccessful, period of pig farming.

What themes are recurring in your work?

I love the way story invites the reader in to experience the reality of another person.  My characters are often trying to discover what integrity and courage mean, and what action they demand of a person.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Fan letters from readers!  I love disappearing into my own head and letting the outside world disappear as I write a different world into existence on the page, but the end result is that what I do doesn’t always feel very real.  It’s more like spending your days in a lucid dream.  So when a letter comes from a real, live reader, telling me that they’ve ready my book and it had an impact on them, it’s like a little miracle.

Where have your works been published?

US, Canada (in French), Brazil, Portugal, Turkey, Slovenia, China, and Korea.

What are you passionate about?

Learning!  It’s a big, complex, amazing world and there is so much to know.  Whether it’s science, art (especially sculpture), literature, or a food I haven’t tried yet, I’m curious and eager to find out more.

Haven’t I seen you before?

I doubt it.  I like to think that I’m enigmatic and elusive, but actually, I’m just an introvert.  Under the radar is a nice place to be.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I’m very happy to tailor a talk or workshop according to a school or library’s needs.  It’s important to me to respond to what people want from an author talk, so I always welcome input and direction from the organiser.


Rowan has the ability to capture students’ attention with her excellent command of language; her creative, quirky and imaginative ideas and her clear delivery of planned workshop material.

Our students were highly engaged with her content and responded very well to her imaginative worksheet. I was astounded at the depth of comment that Rowan produced for each of the groups who submitted work.

I therefore, have no hesitation in recommending Rowan as a highly suitable presenter of educational and literary material.

—E. Pike, Teacher Librarian at Eastwood Public School

Enquire about booking Rowan McAuley

    Find A Speaker