Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times bestselling author of 32 books, including The Undefeated, How to Read a Book, The Write Thing, Swing, Rebound,which was shortlisted for the prestigious Carnegie Medal, and his Newbery medal-winning novel, The Crossover. He’s also the founding editor of Versify, publishing books to engage, entertain, and empower young people to imagine and create a better world.
Creator of the Grishaverse, Leigh Bardugo is the number one New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels. Her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of C rows duology and The Language of Thorns. Born in Jerusalem, Leigh grew up in Los Angeles, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. She now lives and writes in Hollywood, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.
Fiona Burrows (WA)
Fiona Burrows is an author-illustrator from Perth, Western Australia. She is passionate about creativity, imagination and education, and loves to collect beautiful picture books. When she is not creating books for kids, she teaches writing, research and communication skills at the University of Western Australia.
Wai Chim (NSW)
Wai Chim is a first generation Chinese-American from New York City. Her previous books include the Chook Chook series and Shaozhen, part of the Through My Eyes: Natural Disaster Zone series. Freedom Swimmer was her debut novel for young adults and was shortlisted for the inaugural Readings Young Adult Book Prize. In addition to writing, Wai works as a digital producer/web developer for The Starlight Children's Foundation.
Lee Constable (NSW)
Lee Constable is the host of Scope, Network Ten's science and tech show for kids aged 7-13. Lee's background is a mixed bag with a Bachelor of Science (Honours), Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science Communication Outreach. In 2018 Lee was part of the largest ever all-female expedition to Antarctica with 80 international women in STEM as part of the Homeward Bound leadership program.
Matt Cosgrove (NSW)
As a kid, if Matt Cosgrove didn’t have a book in his hand, he had a pencil, practicing drawing. While other kids played with their Masters of the Universe figurines, Matt posed them in scenes and then sketched them. Now, as a father, Matt’s work is heavily influenced by his children, simultaneously his most enthusiastic supporters and most ruthless critics.
Gregg Dreise (QLD)
A proud Kamilaroi and Euahlayi man from south-west Queensland, Gregg Dreise is on a quest to share his stories and learn more about the ancient and diverse histories and cultures of this country. Gregg is a talented storyteller who uses didgeridoos,guitars, laughter and high-energy performances to pass on culture, unity and wisdom through his educational talks. His latest book My Culture and Me is a heart felt and stirring story of cherishing and sustaining Indigenous cultures.
Ursula Dubosarsky (NSW)
Ursula Dubosarsky is an award-winning author of 50 books for children and young adults. Ursula’s work is published all over the world, and she has won several national literary awards, including the New South Wales, Victorian, Queensland and South Australian state awards for literature. Her latest title is Ask Hercules Quick, illustrated by Andrew Joyner.
Mick Elliott (NSW)
Mick Elliott is an author, illustrator, children's television producer,scriptwriter and animator. His credits as producer include Camp Orange, Play Along With Ollie, Slime fest and numerous advertising campaigns. His work at Nickelodeon has won more than twenty international awards, while his animated short films have screened at over sixty festivals worldwide. Mick lives in Sydney with his wife, two kids and a garden full of lizards.
Mark Greenwood (WA)
Mark Greenwood is a history hunter. His award-winning books include The Legend of Lasseter’s Reef and The Legend of Moondyne Joe, both winners of the West Australian Premier’s Book Award. Mark often teams with his wife, illustrator Frané Lessac. Mark’s recent picture books are The Book of Stone, Illustrated by Coral Tulloch and Moon walkers, illustrated by Terry Denton.
Andy Griffiths (VIC)
Andy Griffithsis one of Australia's most popular children's authors. He and illustrator Terry Denton have collaborated on more than thirty bestselling books since their first title, Just Tricking, was published in 1997. In Australia Andy and Terry's books have sold over 10 million copies, won eighty children's choice awards and 10 Australian Book Industry Awards-including Book of the Year for The 91-Storey Treehouse in 2015. Andy is also an ambassador for both The Indigenous Literacy Foundation and the Pyjama Foundation.
Will Kostakis (NSW)
As a high school student, Will Kostakis won the Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year for a collection of short stories. An award-winning author for young adults, Will’s first novel was released when he was just nineteen, and his second, The First Third, won the 2014 Gold Inky Award. The Sidekicks is his third novel for young adults, and his American debut.
Julia Lawrinson (WA)
Julia Lawrinson is an award-winning writer of books for children and young adults. She hails from Perth and, despite leaving school at 15, has a PhD in writing. Julia loves meeting her audience and encouraging reading, learning and curiosity. Her books are about friendship, family and the occasional Jack Russell. She loves the ocean, reading, dog park sand the word serendipity.
Christopher Lloyd (UK)
A journalist, science writer and author, Christopher Lloyd (UK) writes books that zoom out and tell the big stories, connecting knowledge together and opening readers’ eyes to how seemingly unrelated events fit together. His many books all aim to show people of all ages multiple perspectives on the world in highly engaging prose and matched with lively illustration and photography.
Dr Helen Milroy (WA)
Dr Helen Milroy is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Australia’s first Indigenous doctor, and the AFL’s first Indigenous commissioner, Helen is currently Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UWA, Honorary Research Fellow at Telethon Kids Institute and a Commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission. Wombat, Mudlark and Other Stories is her first book for children.
Chris Nixon (WA)
An illustrator and designer based in Perth, Chris Nixon’s work is influenced by surf, skate, music and contemporary pop culture with an emphasis on the hand-drawn form. Chris has created several large scale artworks around the state and his illustrations have been published in over 10 children's books. In 2011 Chris was named one of the top 100 New Creatives by CMYK magazine.
Beci Orpin (VIC)
The work of Melbourne-based creative Beci Orpin spans illustration,design and craft. Described as 'Australia's high priestess of design' Beci has collaborated with many brands, both in Australia and overseas, from Gorman to Urban Outfitters and Go-To Skincare. Her work is described as colourful, graphic,bold, feminine and dream-like. Beci has written four D.I.Y books and a number of books for children.
Alice Oseman (UK)
Alice Oseman was born in 1994 in Kent. She secured her first publishing deal at just seventeen and has gone on to write three YA novels. Alice is now a full-time writer and illustrator. She can usually be found staring aimlessly at computer screens, questioning the meaninglessness of existence, or doing anything she can to avoid getting an office job.
Craig Phillips (NZ)
Craig Phillips is a freelance illustrator, who works for publishers all around the world.He has designed posters for rock bands Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters and DJ Shadow. Craig loves mythology and magic, and Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts is the book he has always wanted to make. On the rare occasions he is not drawing, you might find Craig swimming in Lake Taupo or snowboarding New Zealand’s majestic mountains.
Randy Preston (UK)
Randy Preston is a singer-songwriter, educator and storyteller. Raised in England and Kenya, he gained a deep appreciation for the lore, myths and legends of places he has lived. This love of words and storytelling led to reams of bad poetry, a degree in English Literature, a mildly successful Christian rock band, and an eighteen-year teaching career. With Kwame Alexander, Randy has been visiting schools to entertain and engage people through music and storytelling.
Josh Pyke (NSW)
Josh Pyke is a multi-award-winning singer and songwriter known for his six indie/folk albums, including a ‘best-of’ released in 2017. He is a lifetime ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and launched the initiative 'Busking for Change' in 2009 to raise support for the ILF. Josh co-wrote the ILF song ‘Words Make the World Go Round’ with Justine Clarke. His first picture book, Lights Out, Leonard, was published in 2019.
T.C. Shelley (Aus)
T.C. Shelley lives in Perth. She has been teaching English for over twenty years and her first school was classified as the most remote in Australia. She began writing novels to entertain her daughter, who wisely suggested that she try to get them published. The Monster Who Wasn't is her first book, and the first in a fantasy trilogy.
R.A.Spratt is the author of The Peski Kids, Friday Barnes and The Adventures of Nanny Piggins. In her previous life she was a television writer. Unlike the Peski kids, R.A. Spratt never fights with her brother, but only because he moved to Hong Kong to get away from her. R.A. lives in Bowral, NSW, where she has three chickens, two goldfish, a dog, a husband and two daughters.
Sophia Thakur (UK)
Performance poet Sophia Thakur combines honest and provocative lyrics, highlighting racial and social injustice with contemporary music. She has been performing since the age of sixteen, has over 14,000 YouTube followers and is described as ‘our generation’s first poetry influencer’. Somebody Give This Heart a Pen is her first published collection.
Vikki Wakefield (SA)
Vikki Wakefield lives in Adelaide, and writes realist fiction for young adults. Her work explores coming-of-age, family, class, relationships and the lives of contemporary teens. Her novels All I Ever Wanted, Friday Brown, In BetweenDays and Ballad for a Mad Girl have been shortlisted for numerous awards. Her latest novel is This Is How We Change the Ending.
Remy Lai (QLD)
Remy Lai studied fine arts, with a major in painting and drawing. She was born in Indonesia, grew up in Singapore, and currently lives in Brisbane, Australia where she writes and draws stories for kids, with her two dogs by her side. Pie in the Sky is her debut middle-grade novel.
Professor 'Frankie' Falconette (QLD)
Professor Francesa “Frankie” Falconette is possibly the greatest Harry potter enthusiast, ever! Or perhaps, an expert in her field? Played by award-winning children’s entertainer, Nadia Sunde, Professor Frankie is bold and fun bringing life to characters, creatures and adventures from the Harry Potter Series. Wear your favorite costume, bring your favorite book and share notes with Professor Frankie.