“I am a primary teacher, mum, children’s writer, reviewer, interviewer and compulsive reader of all things picture books! My reviews have appeared in several literary publications, including Junior Books + Publishing, CBCA’s Reading Time, Boomerang Books Blog, Creative Kids Tales and my own website, My Little Story Corner.
Having had teaching roles including classroom teacher, Reading Intervention, ESL (English as a Second Language) and Art Specialist, combined with having my own two children, my passion for kids’ literature, advocating reading and picture book writing seemed like a natural progression in my career path. Beginning my journey to publication began with the development of a small support group, and now Just Write For Kids aims to reach and aid a wide, kidlit-focused community.
I live in Melbourne with my husband, two daughters and dog. My life generally involves running after them (all of them), books, and chocolate, and I also enjoy sewing toys for my kids and dabbling in painting from time to time. :)”
“I’m a children’s author, songwriter, entertainer and mother-of-two, from Newcastle, New South Wales. I began writing in 2010 after teaching in early childhood and primary school settings for eight years. In 2012, I held the role of Editorial Coordinator at Newcastle’s Child magazine, working within various aspects of the publishing industry, including reviews of children’s books and music, and composing articles for the publication. In December 2014, I released my first picture book; Digby’s Moon Mission, through my brand, Create It Kids, and have recently debuted a dramatisation of the story, incorporating theatre, song, storytelling and some puppetry, too! I perform for audiences aged three to eight, within libraries, early childhood services and primary school settings. I plan to develop a series from my first publication, with Digby’s sequel already in the works, and will continue adapting each story for dramatisation.
I am a current member of Australian Society of Authors and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.”
Jenny Graham is a Primary School teacher with 20 years’ experience. She has taught in a range of school settings from Specialist School to Remote Indigenous Community. She is currently teaching literacy skills to disengaged youth with special needs. Jenny is the founder of AbcJenny, a website devoted to giving parents the skills and strategies to help develop their child’s reading and writing skills. She enjoys writing and was contacted by DSP Learning to write for their Oz Phonics iPad app. Jenny also writes educational activities for Flying Turtle Publishers (U.S.A).
Jenny is an Educational Consultant for authors, creating educational activities linked to the Australian Curriculum based on their published books. She loves being a mum and having fun with her two boys, who give her many story writing ideas. Her biggest supporter is her husband and she enjoys how life with him is unpredictable.
Debra Tidball writes stories that speak into the lives of children. As a social worker, parent and author she understands the power of narrative to resonate with children and parents alike. After working with children, young people and families for a number of years as a social worker, Debra rediscovered a love of picture books when her children were young and she returned to university to gain a masters degree in Children’s Literature. A big kid at heart, Debra loves playing with ideas and words to inspire people to think differently about something. Her first picture book, When I See Grandma, has been widely acclaimed. Debra is an active member of the Children’s Book Council Northern Sydney sub-branch, and reviews for CBCA Reading Time and Creative Kids Tales. She is happiest when in the company of her family, an assortment of animals, or a good book – preferably all three.
Believing everyone has the right to see their words in print has become a slight obsession for Emma. This inspired the ‘how to’ guide for aspiring writers. Child Writes: Creating a Children’s Picture Book is Child’s Play, was published in May 2012 and won a GOLD Best Non-Fiction Adult eBook at the 2012 IPPY Awards. This title has also received recognition from IndiePENdents.org in 2014. Emma is a regular on ABC Southern Queensland Radio with Belinda Sanders, with their version of ‘ABC Bookclub’.
______________________Melissa Gijsbers is a Melbourne-based author who writes books for children, flash fiction, scripts, and more. She has been a blogger for nearly 10 years, writing on a variety of topics from writing to small business. She also runs a regular writers group for teenagers at the local library.
Her first children’s book, Swallow Me, NOW!, was published in 2014 and she has had stories published in a number of anthologies.
She lives with her two sons and their pet blue tongue lizard and enjoys playing with her four nephews.
_______________________Sandy Fussell loves words, numbers and playing around on the internet. She is the author of fourteen books including the best-selling Samurai Kids series. Her first book White Crane won an IBBY award and her second book, Polar Boy was CBCA shortlisted. Her first picture book, Sad the Dog, will be published in October 2015 in Australia and the US. Sandy calls herself the Cinderella author, convinced someone waved a magic wand over her, and secretly worries she might turn back into a pumpkin in the middle of a school visit. She is an ICT consultant, Editor at The Reading Stack, Technology Blogger at Brisbane Kids, co-owner and Festival Co-ordinator at The Story Crowd and one subject short of a Maths degree. Her biggest claim to fame is a star in the main street of Grenfell along with legitimately famous people like Patrick White, Slim Dusty and Dick Smith.
Sandy curates Read, Write, Draw FlipBoard magazine showcasing the talent of Australian authors and illustrators. She believes in giving back and paying forward. Having survived two life-threatening illnesses in the last 4 years, she knows for certain the glass is always half –full.
Sandy Fussell: website, blog, facebook, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
Samurai Kids: website, facebook
The Reading Stack: website
The Story Crowd: website, facebook, twitter
Read, Write, Draw: flipboard