Authors & Illustrators based in (and around) the ACT Region

Emma Allen

Emma worked as a paediatric speech and language therapist before her Masters of Creative Writing and current PhD study. Her debut picture book, The Terrible Suitcase won the CBCA Book of the Year (early Childhood 2013). Grandma, the baby and me was chosen for the ABC Playschool curriculum featuring on the Playschool DVD series ‘Faces and Feelings’.

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Craig Cormick

Craig Cormick is an award-winning Canberra author and science communicator. He has published 25 books of fiction, non-fiction, children’s books and YA books across several genres. His children and YA books include Time Vandals (Omnibus), Benji the Buccaneer (New Frontier) and Pimplemania (Macmillan). His writing awards include a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and the ACT Book of the Year Award. He has been a writer in residence at the University of Science in Malaysia and an Antarctic Arts Fellow travelling to Antarctica. He is a graduate of the Yale Writers’ Conference. His most recent books are the Shadow Master series published with Angry Robot books in the USA and UK. He has a book for younger readers, Valdur the Viking (Ford Street) that was released in mid 2016.

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Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern

Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern is an author who adores exploring all the world has to offer! Her appreciation of travel and uniqueness of culture has been captured in the pages of her books. Having family sprinkled around the world; she has lived, worked and been on many adventures overseas. Her infatuation with the vibrancy found in each culture led her to complete a degree in the social sciences, undertake a Masters in International Development and work in international affairs. She developed the Charlie’s Adventures series of Children’s books to encourage children to learn more about the world and journey far and wide discovering, appreciating and understanding.

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Pauline Deeves

Pauline Deeves has been a teacher for more than 30 years with experience from kindergarten to college, including 15 years as a teacher librarian. She has contributed to many educational and children’s publications and reviewed manuscripts for educational publishers. She is a regular visitor to schools, presenting writing workshops for both students and teachers and can design presentations to meet particular needs. Pauline’s book Midnight Burial was ACT children’s Book of the Year in 2015. Her latest book Socks, Sandbags and Leeches deals with childhood in WW1. Both are published by the NLA.

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Tony Flowers

Tony is a passionate illustrator. Tony and Nick Falk (author) have created the Saurus Street and the Billy is a Dragonseries. Saurus Street: Tyrannosaurs in the Veggie Patch was shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Australia Awards in 2013. Tony’s illustrations have received recognition in America, Italy, Japan and England.

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Irma Gold

Irma Gold is an award-winning writer and editor of works for both adults and children. Her most recent picture book is Megumi and the Bear, published by Walker Books, and her critically acclaimed debut collection of short fiction, Two Steps Forward, was shortlisted for or won a number of awards. She is now at work on a debut novel and some more picture books. Irma is Convener of Editing at the University of Canberra, and recently received a special one-off award for ‘Outstanding Service to Writing and Publishing in the ACT and Region’. Her website is


Tracey Hawkins

Tracey is an author of children’s books & adult non-fiction works, including Nancy Bentley: The First Australian Female Sailor, Off-Road Harry, Max Meets a Monster and Martha’s Journey. Her latest publication Canberra – Federal Capital was released by Walker Books. She is currently working on her first novel for young adults. 

Website Contact to Tracey arrange an interactive workshop targeted at students in years 4-6 and 7-9 (90 minutes) and years 9-12 (45-60 minutes).

Anthony Hill

Anthony Hill is an award-winning Canberra author of 17 books mainly of historical fiction for children, teenagers and adults. They include The Burnt Stick, Soldier Boy, Young Digger, Animal Heroes, and Captain Cook’s Apprentice. Married with one daughter and grand-daughter, Anthony has been a journalist, antique dealer, public relations man and speech-writer for Governor-Generals Bill Hayden and Sir William Deane. He is now a full time writer.

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Harry Laing

Harry Laing is a poet, comic performer, children’s author and creative writing teacher. Shoctopus, his collection of poems with illustrations for 6 -12 yr olds, came out in 2015. Harry has been teaching creative writing workshops in schools for over 20 years. He has the ability to really engage students with his humour and performing ability and teachers are often surprised at how much writing gets done in his workshops! Harry is happy to work with students from Yrs 2-12, either to focus on poetry or to explore a broad range of writing forms. He can offer performances of his poems for audiences of up to several hundred students. Harry can also deliver PL workshops for teachers.

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Kerry Malone

Kerry is the author of children’s picture book You can do it Joey! which tells the story of a little kangaroo who wants to jump fences and play with his cousins. This story was written in 2014 when Kerry and her family lived in a small village in rural NSW and kangaroos were regular visitors to their house.

Kerry’s eyes have an interesting history going back to when she was five years old and diagnosed with cataracts on both eyes. After cornea transplants in the 1990s her eyesight was brilliant! While her family were building their new home in the country in 2006 and about to leave Canberra, Kerry lost the vision in both her eyes. She was legally blind until a lot of surgery restored her vision. During this time she wrote a story about a little girl wearing her new glasses to school for the first time. Ten years on and living back in Canberra, Kerry is writing about this little girl.

Her new series of chapter books for readers aged 6 – 8 is on the way. If you are a regular at any of the libraries in Canberra or the cafes close to them you might see Kerry writing her new books. WebsiteFacebook2Email

Tania McCartney

Tania McCartney simply loves books and words and pictures. If she could, she would live inside a book. As an award-winning author, illustrator and editor—she kind of already does. The  Founder of Kids’ Book Review and an ambassador for the Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge, Tania is mad for juvenile literacy. She’s also mad for illustration and that’s why she founded the hugely successful 52-Week Illustration Challenge. Tania is the author of the bestselling A Kids’ Year series. Her books have been published in the UK, New Zealand, Canada, China and the US, and in November 2016, her twenty-third book (and also her first self-illustrated) will be released. Tania lives 93 seconds over the ACT border with a very nice husband, two lovely kids and a Himalayan mountain of books.

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Gina Newton

From childhood Gina wrote stories and poetry, and drew characters. Gina studied marine biology, zoology and science communication, and worked for many years as a scientist. Gina has two picture books published with Scholastic Press. Gina’s third children’s book, Amazing Animals of Australia’s National Parks (NLA Publishing) will be released in October 2016. Gina lives in Canberra with her family and pets, and loves to visit the ocean.


Stephanie Owen Reeder

Stephanie Owen Reeder is an award-winning Canberra children’s author and illustrator. She writes both picture and concept books for younger children and historically based novels for primary school children. Her books have received recognition, including the IBBY Outstanding Book 2011, CBCA Eve Pownall shortlist 2010, winner of the NSW Premier’s Young People’s History Prize in 2013. Stephanie’s book Lennie the Legend: Solo to Sydney by Pony won the CBCA Book of the Year Award (Eve Pownall Award for Information Books) in 2016.

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Maura Pierlot

Maura Pierlot is an author and playwright who writes with humour and hope for children, young adults and adults. Maura’s debut picture book, The Trouble in Tune Town, won the 2018 ACT Writing and Publishing Award (Children’s category) and is being developed for the theatre. Her play on youth mental health issues, Fragments, enjoyed a sellout season at The Street Theatre in October 2019 and is being adapted for online platforms. In 2017 Maura was named winner of the CBCA Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program, and recipient of the Charlotte Waring Barton Award, for her young adult manuscript, Freefalling. Maura’s essays and poetry appear in literary journals and news magazines. She has a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate, each in philosophy, specialising in ethics. When she’s not busy writing, Maura visits schools and libraries as a guest reader and speaker, serves as a Sponsor and Role Model for Books in Homes, and contributes reviews for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s online magazine, Reading Time.

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Cate Whittle

Cate Whittle is a children’s author from the Canberra region.  She has written both short fiction and articles for children’s magazines and anthologies, and her first children’s book, Trouble at Home, about a feisty young girl and a dragon, was published by Scholastic through their Omnibus imprint in 2016.  Cate has a background in medieval studies and grew up on the Welsh border, so, of course, she mostly writes fantasy.  It is not quite true that everything she writes is about dragons!

Meeting Terry Pratchett when she was short-listed in the Terry Pratchett Prize, Anywhere but Here, Anywhen but Now, in 2013 is quite possibly one of the most exciting events of her writing career, but sharing her stories with children whenever she gets the chance is also way up there on her list of great things to do.  When not writing she is a primary school teacher, so, luckily, this happens quite a lot.