Get to know our local, national and international guest authors and illustrators.
Jesse Andrews (US)
Jesse Andrews is a novelist, screenwriter, and former German youth hostel receptionist. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of Schenley High School and Harvard University. His books include Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2012), The Haters (2016), MunMun (2018), and his scripts include the Sundance Grand Jury-prize winning adaptation of his book Me and Earl. He currently lives in Berkeley, California.
Image: Tamara Reichberg
David Astle (VIC)
David Astle is a full-time word nerd. Many will know him as the dictionary man on the TV show Letters and Numbers. Or maybe just DA, the devious crossword-setter in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. David also looks at language on ABC TV’s News Breakfast, as well as devises a weekly ‘Wordplay’ newspaper column. Between puzzles, he’s written half a dozen wordy-nerdy books for adults, including Riddledom, Cluetopia and Puzzled.
AJ Betts (WA)
AJ Betts is an author, speaker, teacher and cyclist. Her young adult duology—Hive and Rogue —is soon to be released with Pan Macmillan. AJ’s bestselling third novel, Zac & Mia, won the 2012 Text Prize, the 2014 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and the 2014 Ethel Turner prize for young adults at the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards. Zac & Mia is available in 14 countries and was adapted for American television in 2017. Her earlier novels are Wavelength and Shutterspeed.
Josie Wowolla Boyle (WA)
Josie Wowolla Boyle is a Wonghi woman who was born in the desert of Western Australia. She is an acclaimed storyteller, singer and artist who has been enchanting children of all ages since the 1980s. Josie performs in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. She has made a number of recordings, worked as an artist in residence and featured on ABC’s 5 Nations’ Dreaming stories. She is also a regular presenter in literature and music festivals across WA. In 2012, Josie published her first children’s book, Bubbay: A Christmas Adventure with Magabala Books.
Kelly Canby (WA)
Author/Illustrator Kelly Canby's books include All the Lost Things, Phil Pickle, and The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone as well as over a dozen other picture books, educational books, colouring books, and book covers. Kelly’s latest book The Hole Story, asks readers to suspend disbelief for a moment and explore what might happen if you could actually pick up a hole and pop it in your pocket. Kelly is the regional advisor for The Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators in WA, on the judging panel of the annual Shaun Tan Illustration Award, and is currently working on her next picture book— Rodney—a book about a young turtle and the enormous world around him.
Image: Paul Thompson
Richard Fairgray (NZ)
Richard Fairgray was born and raised in New Zealand and has been publishing since he was seven years old. His main focus since then has been comic books, but he has taken time out during his life to work on films, to perform stand-up comedy, to teach high school, and to stick labels on honey jars. At 33 he has 212 published books to his name with a wide range of collaborators. He now lives in Hollywood in a haunted recording studio working on comics, kids books, animations and anything else that takes his interest.
James Foley (WA)
James Foley is one of WA’s most popular children’s authors and illustrators. His books include Brobot, Dungzilla, My Dead Bunny, The Last Viking, The Last Viking Returns and In The Lion. He is currently writing and illustrating the S.Tinker Inc series of graphic novels for kids, about the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve. The third book—S.Tinker Inc: Gastronauts—will be out in September this year. James is an ambassador for Books In Homes and Room to Read Australia. He comes from a long line of queuing enthusiasts.
Andrew Frazer (WA)
Andrew Frazer is a multidisciplinary artist from Bunbury, Western Australia. Inspired by stories of hope, despair, redemption, pain and forgiveness, Andrew’s narrative-based art draws on experiences that connect us all. Andrew’s arts practice ranges from public murals to illustration, and from hand lettering and design to arts management. Andrew has recently teamed up with author Meg Mckinlay to create the dynamic picture book Drawn Onward.
Nicki Greenberg (VIC)
Nicki Greenberg is an award-winning author and illustrator. Her books include critically acclaimed adaptations of The Great Gatsby and Hamlet (Winner, CBCA Picture Book of the Year 2011). She has also written and illustrated a range of books for young readers, including the popular The Naughtiest Reindeer series. Nicki's illustrated middle-grade novel, The Cursed First Term of Zelda Stitch—Bad Teacher. Worse Witch. was published in 2017. In her past life, Nicki worked as a lawyer.
Felicity Groom (WA)
Perth’s own lady of song, Felicity Groom has the cool confidence of 60s pop princesses like Francoise Hardy, only her sweet and sultry tones are often interspersed by bursts of wailing and growling that draw comparisons to the dirty rock of PJ Harvey and Nick Cave.
Her first EP Treasures saw Australia sit up and take notice of her broody, unique voice. Finders and Keepers, Trophy Talk and An Ache, each showcased Groom’s diversity and creativity as an artist. After some time working on side projects, including Rokwell and Groom, oh and a little achievement called motherhood, Felicity Groom is soon to release her third album which will see an even more tangible shift from folk to an evolving beats-based space.
A.F. Harrold (UK)
A.F. Harrold is an English poet and performer, and author of the The Imaginary, illustrated by Emily Gravett, The Song from Somewhere Else, illustrated by Levi Pinfold, and the Fizzlebert Stump and Greta Zargo series. His hobbies include writing, showing off on stage and stroking his beard.
Image: Naomi Woddis
Leigh Hobbs (VIC)
Leigh Hobbs has won every major Australian children's choice award and was the Australian Children's Laureate 2016–2017. He is best known for his children's books featuring Old Tom, Horrible Harriet, Fiona the Pig, Mr Badger, and Mr Chicken. Mr Chicken Goes to Paris was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards, is a bestseller at Paris's Louvre Bookshop, was adapted for the stage by NIDA, and was shortlisted for the CBCA Awards—as were Horrible Harriet and Old Tom's Holiday.
Image: Robert Lightwood
Sarah Laing (NZ)
Sarah Laing is a writer, comics artist, illustrator, and creative writing tutor. Her most recent book is Mansfield and Me: A Graphic Memoir, published by VUP, and longlisted for the Ockham book awards. Her fiction includes The Fall of Light, Dead People’s Music, and Coming Up Roses, published by Penguin Random House. She lives in Wellington with her family.
PJ Lynch (IRE)
PJ Lynch is Ireland’s fourth Children’s Literature Laureate (Laureate na nÓg). He is an internationally acclaimed children’s book illustrator, who has been awarded the Christopher Medal three times, and the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal twice. Recent titles include Patrick and the President, and The Boy Who Fell off the Mayflower, which is the first book PJ has also written.
Soolagna Majumdar is a Perth based comic maker, illustrator and visual artist. Since graduating from Curtin University she's been self-publishing zines (notably Marge Simpson anime), making comics, getting by doing freelance creative work, and running workshops for cool young people. Hopes to one day have her own Wikipedia page.
Barry Marshall (WA)
Barry Marshall won the 2005 Nobel Prize for Medicine, with Robin Warren, for discovering that stomach ulcers can be caused by bacteria and can be treated with antibiotics. He experimented on himself to prove their theory. His book How To Win A Nobel Prize is a funny, fascinating adventure story for ages 9 to 12.
Meg McKinlay (WA)
Meg McKinlay is a children’s writer and poet whose work ranges from picture books through to young adult fiction. Her publications include the Prime Minister’s Literary Award-winning A Single Stone, and CBCA-shortlisted No Bears and Duck for a Day, among many others. Raised in a TV-free household, Meg was a bookish kid, in love with words and excited by dictionaries. These days she lives near the ocean in Fremantle, where she is always busy cooking up more books.
Kobi Morrison (WA)
Kobi Morrison is a 23 year old Bibbulmun Noongar who was born and raised in Perth. While he studies as an English Major at UWA, Kobi spends his spare time playing music and being involved in various music projects such as Moombaki, Koondarm, Madjitil Moorna and Endeavours.
Levi Pinfold (QLD)
Levi Pinfold is the cover illustrator of the 20th Anniversary editions of the Harry Potter books. Levi’s own picture books are The Django, Greenling, and Black Dog, which won the prestigious CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal in 2013.
Image: Carly Tia
Aviva Reed (VIC)
Aviva Reed is an interdisciplinary visual ecologist. She explores the ecologies of nature, humans and our place in the Earth: the ecosphere. Aviva works as an artist, consultant, writer, illustrator, educator, and scientist. Her practice explores scientific theories from philosophical and ontological perspectives, seeking to unravel perceived truths and invisible realities that shape our modern age.
Chris Riddell (UK)
Chris Riddell, the 2015-2017 UK Children’s Laureate, is an accomplished artist and the political cartoonist for the UK Sunday newspaper, The Observer. His books are critically acclaimed and have won multiple awards. Alongside his own Ottoline and Goth Girl series, Chris has illustrated the work of writers Frances Hardinge and Neil Gaiman and collaborated with Paul Stewart on the Muddle Earth books.
Tai Snaith (VIC)
Tai Snaith is the author of Slow down, World, The Family Hour in Australia and Sticks and Stones, Animal Homes. She is an artist, writer, curator, and mother. She studied sculpture at the Victorian College of the Arts and has since received numerous awards and undertaken residencies both locally and overseas. Her work is held in both private and public collections including Artbank and the NGA.
Glenn B. Swift (WA)
Glenn B. Swift's storytelling performances have enthralled and entertained adults and children in public libraries and schools for many years. Many of his original stories are set in the Western Australian landscape and built environment. His historical ghost stories are a convenient mix of hard fact and romance. Glenn says he’s in the business of creating urban myths. Glenn lives in Fremantle, under a Norfolk Island pine tree.
Campbell Whyte (WA)
Campbell Whyte was born in Perth and makes comics that explore the play between the fantastical, the historical and the autobiographical. His most recent graphic novel, Home Time, took almost ten years to make and is a wild adventure through a Perth of the imagination. When not making comics he co-runs the children's art school Milktooth.