Our Support Teams
Tasmania, Victoria, & South Australia Support Team
Diana Lawrenson's first written works appeared in the children’s page of Melbourne’s daily paper, the Age, while she was a schoolgirl. Later she wrote articles and features for newspapers and magazines, but it wasn’t until her son and daughter had grown up that her first book for children was published. Since then further titles have been acknowledged by the CBCA, the Royal Zoological Society of NSW, and the USA’s American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Henry Bergh Awards. Several have been translated.
Julie Hunt writes a range of books for children – picture books, chapter books, graphic novels and novels. Her latest picture book is The Coat illustrated by Ron Brooks. Precious Little was shortlisted for the Aurealis Award and was a CBCA Notable book in 2011. Julie has written the Little Else series of junior novels and her first novel for older children, Song for a Scarlet Runner will be published next year. She received the 2013 Varuna’s Eleanor Dark Flagship Fellowship to write a sequel to her graphic novel, KidGlovz. She lives on a farm near Cygnet.
Claire Saxby writes fiction, non fiction and poetry for children. Her picture book, 'There Was an Old Sailor' won the 2011 Crystal Kite Award for Australia and New Zealand. 'The Carrum Sailing Club' was shortlisted for the 2012 Crystal Kite and recently featured on Play School. Upcoming titles feature seadogs, convicts, Australian pioneer women, kangaroos and emus.
Katrina Germein writes stories that delight children and adults alike. Her popular book Big Rain Cominghas been published around the world and remains in print more than a decade since its release. Big Rain Comingis one of three of Katrina’s titles to have won a Notable Book commendation from the Children’s Book Council of Australia. Katrina’s latest book, My Dad Thinks He’s Funny was shortlisted for children’s choice awards across Australia as well as being Highly Commended in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Katrina’s newest story, a lively, rhyming tale titled Somebody’s House, will be published by Walker Books Australia in 2013.
Marjory is a freelance artist, illustrating mainly for children’s books. Her work has appeared in trade and educational publications within Australia and internationally. She has also illustrated for magazines, and has designed a range of greeting cards. She uses felt tipped pens, colour pencils, pen, brush and ink, and occasionally, collage. Marjory is a long-time SCBWI member and is keen to encourage more illustrators to join. She has attended all the Sydney conferences and is already looking forward to the next one!
New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory Support Team
Nathan Luff is an author, playwright, and screenwriter. Nathan was festival director for the Wakakirri National Story Festival, and continues his love of storytelling by running school workshops in filmmaking and writing. He also works as a storyteller, running interactive sessions with young kids for the Sydney Children’s Festival and as part of the Sydney Opera House’s school holiday program. His novels for children are Chicken Stu and Bad Grammar.
Wendy Blaxland is a writer living in a bushy Sydney suburb. She has over 100 published books which are written mostly for children. They range from early readers through fiction to non-fiction. She has also written fourteen plays for Marian Street Theatre for Young People at Marian Street Theatre, her second home, as well as adult plays and a stream of monologues.
Charlotte is the author of the 2012 junior novel The Ghost at the Point and the CBCA 2010 Notable Picture Book Stuck!, both published by Walker Books. Also YA novels Settling Storms, Cupid Painted Blind, Surviving Amber and Paper Alice, published by Pan Macmillan. She lives with her husband near Orange in the central west of NSW with Toggie the Tibetan Terrier (now the human children have left) and other assorted animals.
Toni Brisland loves animals and nature and when she’s not reading and writing she’s travelling or taking long walks along the water. During her career as a teacher first, then human resources manager and corporate lawyer, Toni’s hobby was to write poetry, junior novels and picture books. After winning the CBCA NSW Aspiring Writers’ Competition in 2005 Toni decided to focus on her writing seriously and her first book, DemiChat and the Kent Street Mystery, was published in 2010 and is on the 2012 NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge List. The sequel, DemiChat and the Lost Mummy, will be published in 2013.
Mark Thomason grew up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. He believes his love of story-telling grew from listening to old-time radio programs such as ‘Creaking Door’ and ‘The Shadow’ with his sister and brothers, and the horse stories his father told about when he was a young man chasing mustangs in Montana. He is currently working on a fantasy adventure, entitled ‘The Dragonslayer Tales’. Moonrunner is his first published book.
Tracey Hawkins is the author of children’s picture books, novels, non-fiction, and adult non-fiction. Before she started writing for children, Tracey was a crime columnist and crime writing advisor and her work is part of the ACJ Crime Writing Course. Tracey’s picture book ‘Max Meets a Monster’ was selected for Story time on the BBC Australia CBeebies Children’s Television program in 2012. Her Picture book ‘Nancy Bentley The First Australian Female Sailor’ was also shortlisted for Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards 2012, and Australian Capital Territory Writing and Publishing Awards 2012. Tracey is a May Gibbs Literature Trust Fellow.
Queensland Support Team
After growing up in Australia Prue Mason travelled Australia and the world as a flight attendant on a private aeroplane with her husband, who is a professional pilot. They lived in Canada for three years then the Gulf region of the Middle East for 12 years. Her first book for children, Camel Rider, is a best selling, award winning novel, based on her experience of life in the multicultural city of Dubai in the 1990's. "Camel Rider" won the Queensland Premier's Literary Award for Best Children's Book in 2005."
You can find Tina Marie Clark mostly running around after the three men in her life—her hubby and two teenage sons, but on odd days look for her in the garden or out on beautiful Morton Bay in a boat. Tina Marie is a member of SCBWI, Queensland Writers' Centre and Romance Writers of America and Australia.
Pamela Rushby was born in Queensland, Australia, and grew up (mostly) in Ipswich, though her family spent a couple of years in Penang, Malaysia. As long as she can remember, she has been a reader. And ever since encountering, at the age of about six, a photograph of Enid Blyton, seated at her desk in an English country house, dogs at her feet, probably engaged on rattling out another Famous Five adventure, she decided that that was the life and she wanted to be a writer. She achieved it after taking the long way round of working as an advertising copywriter, a publicity officer and a pre-school teacher; studying ancient history, journalism and art history; and writing and producing for television. She now writes full time, often with the cat sitting on the desk.
Peter Taylor hasn't always been a professional writer. He trained originally as an ecologist and educator, then did courses on printmaking, papermaking, bookbinding and calligraphy, and was employed in former lives as a natural history curator in a museum, nature reserve warden and high-school science and art teacher. In 1987 he left his teaching post to write 'The Australian Manual of Calligraphy' for publishers Allen and Unwin and at the same time he started a book-arts business, Peter Taylor's Calligraphics, specializing in calligraphy, illumination, papermaking, creative card and artist's book construction, and in teaching the skills involved. He now spends most of his working life writing and, at every opportunity, public speaking, visiting schools and giving workshops.
Australia West Support Team
Dianne Wolfer is a West Australian children’s author who grew up in Melbourne, Bangkok and Albury. After training as a teacher she worked in Perth, the hills of Nepal and downtown Tokyo. For the past fifteen years she has lived and worked on the south coast of Western Australia. Research is an important part of her writing process and she is able to combine her love of travel with her work by traveling the world to research her books. She writes every day and can't imagine a world without books.
New Zealand Support Team
Gillian Torckler is a medical scientist, mother, scuba diver and writer. Her first book was published in 1999, a coffee table book called Underwater Wonders of New Zealand, And her first children's book, Kiwi Adventures Snorkeling, followed in 2002 - a combination of fact and fiction this book was set in New Zealand's first marine reserve at Goat Island Bay, North Auckland. Since that time, another eleven books have been published. These include non-fiction (mostly about the sea and creatures that live there), a picture book (about global warming) and two gift books published in the USA. Most of Gillian's non-fiction books feature stunning photographs taken by her husband, award-winning photographer Darryl Torckler. Gillian is currently working on a longer natural history non-fiction title for the general market and a middle grade novel.