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Tristan Bancks

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

Tristan Bancks tells stories for the page and screen. His books for kids and teens include Two WolvesThe FallDetention, the Tom Weekly series, Nit Boy and Ginger Meggsa 100th anniversary book of brand new short stories based on characters created by his great-great uncle, Jimmy Bancks, in 1921. His books have won and been shortlisted for many awards, including a Children’s Book Council of Australia Honour Book, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, ABIA, YABBA, KOALA, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and Queensland Literary Awards. His new release for July 2022 is Cop & Robber, a must-read thriller for kids and teens.

Tristan is a writer-ambassador for literacy non-profit Room to Read. He is currently working with producers to develop a number of his books for the screen. He’s excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create. You can find out more about Tristan’s books, play games, watch videos, join his Young Writer’s StorySchool and help him try to change the world at

Tristan’s short films as writer and director have won a number of awards and have screened widely in festivals and on TV. His most recent book is My Life & Other Exploding Chickens, a fourth book of weird-funny-gross, semi-autobiographical short stories. Tristan is excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create.

Where were you born?

In the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. I was an ambitious, energetic kid. I loved stories, playing sport and being master of my own destiny. I was always starting a lawnmowing business, writing a book, putting on a play, running a dance party or making dodgy horror movies with my friends.

What other jobs have you had?

My main aims in life have been to do work that I love and to continue telling stories. I’ve acted in TV and film, presented TV in the UK, made short films, written for magazines and newspapers. My only taste of a real job was flipping a burger once on McHappy Day. I believe it landed on the floor.

What themes are recurring in your work?

Resilience – facing adversity and building the skills to deal with it. Family. Ethical dilemmas. Self esteeem. Truth and justice. The search for identity. Following your bliss. Breaking through fear and self-doubt. I seem to write ‘Crime-Mystery-Suspense’ and ‘Weird-Funny-Gross’.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Going to the movies with the Queen. Travelling to New York for the release of a few of my books. Seeing kids inspired to pick up a book after a talk or workshop. Heading to France with Soar, a short film I directed, and seeing it win awards. Discovering that I can spend my life writing books and speaking about them – best thing ever.

Where have your works been published?

Australia, USA, China, Russia, Turkey, Portugal and Brazil.

What are you passionate about?

Sharing my love of books and good stories. Inspiring others, especially children, to create and to dare to make mistakes. Social action. Living mindfully.

Haven’t I seen you before?

Possibly. But, if you have, you should keep it under your hat. My first job was in TV show Home And Away playing a young tearaway with a heart of gold. My character crashed cars, leapt off tall cliffs into the ocean, had many a fight, kissed Toni Pearen (his teacher!), had his head flushed by Les Hill and, generally, made Summer Bay a less pleasant holiday destination. I spent four years in the UK after that, hosting children’s TV and travel shows and learning about TV production. I white-water-rafted and snowboarded and trained with the London Fire Department and visited lots of interesting places. Since returning to Australia I have been in a couple of Ivan Sen’s movies and I’ve done a degree while writing books, making films and speaking about literacy and creativity.

In exciting news, Tristan Bancks has just released the Young Writers’ StorySchool program!

Developed over many months, StorySchool is a video online writing masterclass for kids aged 10-14. With 24 short, sharp and entertaining videos, StorySchool gets kids writing right away, supported by teachers notes and activity sheets. Watch the trailer below and visit to try the first lesson for free.


I wanted to say thank you for your assistance in organising our guest speaker session with Tristan Bancks at Mount Beauty Secondary College. His session was brilliant – all teaching staff and Year 7 students involved were very thankful and really found his session extremely worthwhile. Tristan relates in such an engaging and energetic manner with the students due to his relatable nature with adolescents, his array of visuals and movie clips, along with his experiences as a published author and animator/movie maker. I had many Year 7 students tell me how impressed they were, and how much better the session was compared to their expectations. It was certainly inspiring for them, and the English teaching staff involved with the session found Tristan’s authorial experiences really worthwhile in discovering other creative writing activities and strategies.

—A. Brewergrey, Mount Beauty Secondary College, October 2020

(Skype Session) – Our Yr 5 & 6 students responded very well to Tristan’s session. He was funny, engaging and aimed his talk at the appropriate level. When our session was interrupted by an internet outage, he kindly offered to make up the time by answering student questions on a little video. That was much appreciated and the kids loved it. There was a rush to borrow the books he recommended. A great speaker and I highly recommend Tristan to inspire disengaged boys.

—C. Burton, Mid North Christian College, September 2017

Tristan’s Year 8 audience found him informative and engaging. Students particularly enjoyed his animated readings of passages from his books and learning about the writing process from initial ideas to publication.

—G. Bennett, Brentwood Secondary College, August 2017

Tristan was fantastic! I had tonnes of comments from staff and kids saying how engaging and funny he was. The amount of kids who literally sprinted to the library afterwards to demand copies of his books was staggering.

—J. Thorn, Willoughby Public School, August 2017.

I thought Tristan was fantastic.

If I was a kid I would want to read all of his books. He really appealed to kids in a contemporary manner, talking about electronic devices and how he uses them to help his writing.

I thought that his idea of writing and taking pictures outdoors to develop character and setting could be easily transferred to the our writing lessons.

—A. Barnett, Teacher Librarian, Mentone Grammar, July 2016

Tristan is really cool with the kids – they identify with him immediately, in his jeans and sneakers and T-shirt, and familiar use of technology. Personally, I think the day was not about selling books but more about enthusing kids to take an interest in reading and writing. He did just that!

—S. Scott, Oatlands Community Library, March 2014

Tristan was very good and we received excellent feedback from the students and staff.

—R. Aumann, Catholic College Wodonga, August 2012.

Thank you so much for recommending Tristan Bancks for our author visit, this year. He quickly established a rapport with the students and seems to have achieved rock star status at Penleigh and Essendon Grammar school, within a very short time!
Immediately after his visit, many boys purchased his books online, multiple reservations were placed on all his books (that hadn’t been processed yet!), and students are still requesting that we read his books and access his website.
Aside from motivating the boys to read, he has incited them to want to write. One class has since implemented an ‘anything goes book’-to jot story ideas throughout the day and many boys have downloaded his storybook app.

We were genuinely impressed by his passion for children’s literature and his accessibility to the students. One student summed it up perfectly when he said, ‘Tristan inspires me.’

—F. Eames, Teacher Librarian, Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School, August 2012.

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