Meet our Members
Wide-ranging in topic and style, Emma’s stories are characterised by ideas of authenticity, hope and courage – all told with a touch of whimsy. Emma is a qualified paediatric speech language therapist. She returned to university to study literature and film, twice winning the ANU’s Ronin Prize for Film Studies. Emma graduated with First Class Honours in literature and continued her studies to complete a Masters Degree (creative writing). Early 2023 she will complete a PhD project in YA writing. Emma’s books include ‘The Terrible Suitcase’ (CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year 2013; shortlisted WA Premier’s Book Awards), ‘Grandma the baby and me’ (ABC Playschool ‘Faces and Feelings’ series), ‘My Friend Ernest’ (Speech Pathology Australia Awards 2016), ‘Digby and Claude’ (CBCA Notables 2019), ‘The Night of the Hiding Moon’ (March, 2020) and ‘The Great Book-Swapping Machine’ (October 2021). Emma’s creative photographic and experimental work has featured in the journal ‘Westerly’.
Craig Cormick OAM
Craig Cormick is an award-winning Canberra author and science communicator. He has published over 30 books of fiction, non-fiction, children’s books and YA books across several genres. His children and YA books include Valdur the Viking (Ford Street), 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 currently working on a series of alternative Australian history, or What if books, for younger readers.
Susannah is children’s book author and illustrator coming from a background in art history and zoology. She worked in museums and bookstores for many years, until discovering her true passion for creating books. Her life highlights so far include polar bear spotting north of Svalbard, canoeing in the Amazon and getting chased through a Patagonian bog in the dark by some sort of vigilante plover. As an illustrator, Susannah works primarily in watercolour and digital collage and had her first picture books Where the Heart Is by Irma Gold, and Cookie by Isabelle Duff published by EK Books in 2021. 2022 saw her emerge as a kidlit author, with her debut as author-illustrator Under the Moonlight being published by Hachette. Susannah has several more books in the works as both author and illustrator.
Jacinta Froud has been writing stories and poems since she was knee high to a grasshopper. That’s old people speak for kind of tiny. She is a teacher and a Mum to three children, who love listening to her silly stories and provide constructive criticism when poked. Silly stories are often buzzing around in her head when she should be concentrating on more serious things! Her debut picture book, Jingle Belly is a Christmas themed romp starring Eddie the wonderdog, a cheeky and energetic Corgi who is often up to mischief. It is illustrated by talented artist, Gabriella Petruso and published by Larrikin House. Her favourite past-times include: hanging out with her family and friends, writing stories, quiet time, and laughing until she’s crying.
Nicole is an award-winning author who shines a light on environmental and animal rights issues through captivating picture books that engage readers and help to create a generation of thoughtful, committed and compassionate individuals. The subject matter of her books includes a jellyfish falling in love with a plastic bag (Jelly-Boy), a dolphin discovering ocean pollution, driftnets and much more (Billie), and elephants being used to entertain tourists (Ella). Nicole is a regular presenter at schools throughout Canberra and beyond, offering engaging, interactive and thought-provoking sessions with strong links to conservation and animal rights. She also has a dedicated supporter base and close connections with sanctuaries and conservation groups throughout the world.
Tania McCartney is an award-winning author, illustrator, designer, editor and book obsessive. The founder of Kids’ Book Review and The Happy Book podcast, she has over 60 books in print, published in more than a dozen countries. Tania has over 35 years’ experience in writing, editing, proofreading, layout, design and typesetting. Her illustration skills include watercolour, printing, digital and finishing art, and she has produced several illustrated maps, jigsaw puzzles, and greeting cards, as well as a library of books—specialising in non-fiction, junior fiction and picture books. Awards include the SCBWI Crystal Kite and the CBCA Laurie Copping Award for Distinguished Service to Children’s Literature. A juvenile literacy champion and ambassador for the ACT Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge, Tania has lived in France, England and China, and currently lives in Canberra with her family, a forest of artwork and a mountain of books. Photo by Maree Azzopardi.
Internationally published Australian children’s author Amelia McInerney has lived in four different countries and four States of Australia and has finally come to a stop in Canberra, where she spends her days writing kids' books, staring out the window thinking about kids' books, and occasionally just plain staring out the window. When she's not writing, thinking or staring, Amelia likes helping mankind while simultaneously playing with slime, which made her old job doing ultrasounds perfect for her. But since being overcome by her picture book obsession, Amelia now writes full-time and enjoys more normal things like yoga and snorkelling, although not at the same time because that's really hard. Amelia is thrilled that her first picture book was a CBCA Notable Book and her second book was published in France. Her third picture book has just been released and she has several more on the way. She also has three kids, two hermit crabs and a husband.
Dr Gina M Newton
Dr Gina M Newton trained as a marine biologist, zoologist and science communicator and is a multi-award-winning children’s book author, including the CBCA’s 2017 Eve Pownall Award for children’s information books. Her first picture book, published in 2006, has sold close to 150,000 copies. A graduate of Master Classes with the late, great Bryce Courtney and with Fiona McIntosh, she lives in Canberra with her two young adult children and many pets. Gina is passionate about conservation of Australia’s wildlife and environment and loves to write about them in her fiction and non-fiction children’s books, across a range of genres. More books due in 2021.
After close to 45 years at school as a student and teacher, Kellie Nissen ‘graduated’ in 2020 to focus on the business she loves – editing and book coaching – and is privileged to be working with a wide range of authors of fiction, memoir and business stories. As an author, Kellie’s children’s and young adult short stories have published in several anthologies with her macabre and sometimes icky stories giving her the most satisfaction. In 2019, Kellie was the recipient of the Anne Edgeworth Fellowship through the ACT Writers Centre, allowing her to push forward with her ‘narrative nonfiction memoir thingy’ in four voices, based on her blog In My Aspergers World. Kellie’s all-time favourite quote comes from Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka: “So much time, so little to do. Strike that. Reverse it.” When she finds the magic spell to produce an extra 24 hours in her day, she’ll be set.
Maura Pierlot is an author and playwright who writes with humour and hope for all ages. Maura's new picture book, What Will YOU Make Today?, is out with Storytorch Press. Her debut picture book, The Trouble in Tune Town, won the 2018 ACT Writing and Publishing Award (Children’s category). Following its 2019 sellout season, her play, Fragments has been adapted for online platforms and is now an award-winning web series (link to web series). In 2017 Maura was named winner of the CBCA Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program, and Charlotte Waring Barton Award, for her young adult manuscript, Freefalling. Maura’s essays and poetry appear in literary journals and anthologies. She has a doctorate in philosophy, specialising in ethics. When she’s not busy writing, Maura 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.
Dr Owen Reeder
Dr Stephanie Owen Reeder is an award-winning children’s author and illustrator. Her picture books include: I’ve Got a Feeling! (IBBY Outstanding Book 2011); Trouble in the Surf, illustrated by Briony Stewart (CBCA Notable Book 2020); and Australia’s Wild Weird Wonderful Weather, illustrated by Tania McCartney. Her Heritage Heroes series of historical novels include Amazing Grace: An Adventure at Sea (Winner, NSW Premier’s Young People’s History Prize 2012) and Lennie the Legend: Solo to Sydney by Pony (Winner, Eve Pownall Award for Information Books, CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2016). Lennie the Legend is currently being made into a feature film. Stephanie is passionate about Australian children’s literature. She created Story Time Stars: Favourite Characters from Australian Picture Books, and in 2019 she received the CBCA Laurie Copping Award for Distinguished Service to Children’s Literature in the ACT. Stephanie is an Ambassador for the ACT Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge.
Krys Saclier believes children's literature has the power to shape the future. Her picture book, Vote 4 Me, uses a fun classroom election to explain preferential voting and the value of democracy. It is illustrated by renowned Australian political cartoonist, Cathy Wilcox, and is published through Wild Dog Books. Vote 4 Me won the Canberra Critics Circle Award for Children’s Literature, and every federal parliamentarian has a personal copy. Her first book, Super Nova, promotes male support of female empowerment – something much needed in this world. The gorgeous illustrations by Rebecca Timmis were nominated for an Aurealis award, and it was also nominated for an ACT Publishing Award. Super Nova is published by Ford Street. Krys is a qualified teacher and experienced educator. She has written for television, radio and press and is the creator of the Kids Only Podcast, which features original short audio stories for children.
Samantha Tidy has a Masters in Creative Writing (RMIT), and has published 4 children’s books (The Day We Built the Bridge, Our Bush Capital, The Blue Polar Bear, The Flying Dream) and 2 novels (The Happiness Jar, Cappuccino Diva), attracting multiple award-nominations and wins including Winner, ACT Writing and Publishing Award for Fiction; Runner Up, FAW Christina Stead Award and Runner UP TAG Hungerford Award. A popular workshop presenter at libraries, schools and festivals, she has several children's books due out in 2021/22. Sam is also Director of Canberra’s newest independent publisher – Storytorch Press which has three titles due out in 2022/2023.
Sarah Wallace is a Canberra based author and book enthusiast with a passion for the power of words. Sarah’s first picture book, Emma’s Freckles is being published in March 2023 and is inspired by the Gaelic myth of how people got their freckles. She has a second picture book in the works for 2024. Sarah is on the ACT Committee of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and spent several years as a book reviewer for Kids’ Book Review. She works in government education policy, has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and postgraduate qualifications in early childhood education. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys reading, walking, gardening and spending time with her three children and budgie, Minty.
Cate Whittle is the author of magical books for young readers, full of fun and fantasy and gentle humour. Her first book, Trouble at Home, about a girl and her troublesome dragon, was published in 2016, and further books in the series included Trouble and The New Kid, a CBCA BOTYA Notable in 2018. It is not quite true that everything Cate writes is about dragons, though. Other books have included Wyrd, a story about an accidental witch, and Emergency Rescue Angel, rather unsurprisingly about an angel. Cate lives in a beautiful rural valley in New South Wales, just over the border from Canberra. Other than writing and sharing her passion for stories, she enjoys reading, going for walks in the rain, taking too many photographs, drawing pictures, and pottering in the garden when she has time.
Members please email us to have your profile added.