Literature Festival 2014 Authors

Sarah Ayoub

Sarah Ayoub is a freelance journalist and commentator based in Sydney, Australia. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications including Marie-Claire, Madison, Sunday Magazine, ABC Unleashed, Notebook, The Punch, Shop Til You Drop, Cleo, Frankie, Yen, Girlfriend and more, and she has spoken at numerous industry events with the Emerging Writer's Festival, NSW Writer's Centre, The Walkley Foundation, Vibewire and more.


Carline Bouilhet

Carline Bouilhet, author of The Fleuron Connection Paddington-based author, Carline Bouilhet, has always been an avid reader and has written all her life in one way or another, from writing her journal daily from the age of ten to publishing weekly newspapers articles on art and criticism during her former academic career as a professor of Art History.
Carline started writing fiction proper in 2009 deciding it was high time she put down on paper the bedtime stories she surrounded herself with to fall asleep. With her novels she hopes to give her readers the same thrilling escape her favourite authors such as Dan Brown, James Patterson, Robert Ludlum, Anne Rice, Michael Crichton and Stephen King have provided her with over the years.
Her first novel, Halibut Cove, published in NY in 2012, dealt with a conspiracy to commit a devastating environmental catastrophe to cover up corporate greed. It draws on her experience of living in Alaska for over four years. Her second novel, published by Green Olive Press in 2013, The Fleuron Connection, conjures up a terrorist attack on Sydney Harbour bridge. The Gasping Games, to be released later this year, delves into a world of addiction, deceit, murder, sex clubs and swinger’s parties in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. She is currently refining her next novel, The Paddock Project, set against the phenomenon of dating sites and GMO foods in country New South Wales.

James Harlow Brown

James Harlow Brown is a consultant and mentor, specializing in organizational and personal transformation. Jim started his career at NASA, became a corporate executive, then a global management consultant. He has degrees in both engineering and physics. He has published “Dangerous Undertaking: The Search for Transformation”.





Raquel Charet

Raquel Charet is the Prinicpal of Sydney Montessori School, as well as a fully accredited Montessori educator and early childhood and education specialist.
Raquel's aproach to education is evidence-based, and she is currently completing her doctorate. She is passionate about the Montessori approach to education of "Help me to do it by myself".


Aleesah Darlison

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Aleesah Darlison writes picture books and novels for boys and girls of all ages. Her favourite story themes include courage, understanding, anti-bullying, self-belief, friendship and teamwork. Aleesah’s picture books include Little Meerkat, Bearly There, Puggle’s Problem and Warambi. Her chapter books include Fangs and Little Good Wolf. Her novels and popular series are I Dare You, the Unicorn Riders Series, the Totally Twins Series and the Ash Rover Series.      


Tony Davis

Tony Davis has worked as a book author, publisher, magazine editor and newspaper writer. Originally trained and graded on THE AUSTRALIAN, he later filled a variety of editorial roles at the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, including senior journalist, features editor and chief of staff. He has reported from around the world for that paper. Tony continues to write weekly for the SMH and THE AGE as a freelance, and is the motoring columnist for the AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW. Tony lives in Sydney.


Michael. H. Dixon

Born in New Zealand in 1961 Michael began piano studies with his grandmother and horn with his father, Hugh. Michael has held full-time positions with a number of Australian orchestras including that of Principal Horn in the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra and Associate Principal with the Queensland Orchestra (now QSO). Michael now freelances mostly in Sydney where he is guest principal for the Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra. He has recently been guest principal for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Canberra Symphony, Canberra International Music Festival as well as the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Ludovico’s Band, the last two on natural horn. This year he is also performing with the Omega Ensemble at the City Recital Hall, Angel Place, is Guest Principal Horn with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and will perform with his contemporary ensemble LOCANA.!
Teaching is an important part of his work and he has developed a tutor book Tuning the Horn: Beginnings for his students. Composition is also a significant part of his musical life having written much ensemble music along with songs and percussion works. A considerable number of his compositions include intervals from the harmonic series, extended just intonation. His music is published by Wirripang Pty Ltd ( and in 2011 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong.


Fairy Poppilina

Fairy Poppilina, The Storytelling Fairy, will be enchanting the littlees with storylicious fun when she magically appears and "brings to life" children's stories with literary spells and melodic bells...She takes the listener thoroughly into the depths of the story and enhances the experience through music, props and interactive elements.



Tara Finn

Tara Finn has been reading and writing since (almost) the day she was born. At 11 years old, she has won four Sydney Youth Writing Awards, and been published in numerous publications. Tara lives in the Sutherland Shire with her younger brother and sister who drive her to distraction, a mother who makes her brush her hair and teeth (imagine!), and an Irish father who sings loud Irish songs in public just to embarrass her.




Wendy Fitzgerald

Wendy Fitzgerald is an author, teacher and mother of two grown up kids. 2014 will be her third year as president of the Children's Book Council - Northern Sydney Sub Branch. She loves to be part of activities that bring books and kids together. Her favourite thing is to encourage kids to read and to write their own stories. Wendy runs creative writing workshops for kids at Ku-ring-gai Art Centre in Roseville and is a tutor at the Sydney Story Factory in Redfern. In 2012 she wrote 'Indigo Solves the Pzulze'- a picture book about a remarkable young girl's battle with dyslexia.


Jane Fry

Jane Fry lives in the Western suburbs of Brisbane. She worked as a senior English teacher for many years and currently volunteers teaching English to overseas students and refugees in Australia. Most recently she published a short story in “Inside Outside In”, dealing with issues impacting on women. She is interested in how people, particularly families, cope with issues that affect them and has taken a counselling course to get more of an insight. Jane also enjoys photography, camping, travelling and her family, especially watching her grandchildren growing up. Sandi Harrold is also from Brisbane and presently tutors children with special needs. Sandi has written and illustrated nine story books for children. Most recently she published “Sarah and Andy” through Green Olive Press as a donation to the Aussie Angels Assistance Dogs charity. Sandi is currently working on writing and illustrating a series of indigenous stories for young children. Sandi’s artwork is displayed at various galleries in Queensland. She has sold her art at the 2013 Brisbane Rotary Art Spectacular and won the ‘Packer’s Prize’ at the Creative Art Extravaganza. Sandi’s work can be viewed at

Susanne Gervay

Recognised for her writing on social justice, Susanne Gervay’s award winning books are endorsed by The Alannah & Madeline Foundation, Variety, Cancer Council, Room to Read and many others. Her  bestselling ‘I Am Jack’ is becoming a classic on school bullying adapted into a much loved play by Monkey Baa Theatre. Her YA novel ‘Butterflies’ is recognised as Outstanding Youth Literature on Disability, while  ‘That’s Why I Wrote This Song’  with music and lyrics by her daughter Tory, reaches into youth culture.   Her acclaimed picture book ‘Ships in the Field’ gives a voice to the children of refugees finding home and ‘Gracie and Josh’ is a joyous celebration of family whatever the challenge.An author ambassador for Room to Read; patron of Monkey Baa;  head of Society of Children’s Writers & Illustrators ANZ, awarded an Order of Australia for children’s literature, she is committed to literacy and the community of children’s writers and illustratorsWebsite:



Morris Gleitzman

Irrepressible, hugely successful, multi-award-winning, a keen wit with a roguish edge, one of Australia's funniest children's authors – this is Morris Gleitzman.

Morris began his writing career as a screenwriter, and wrote his first children's novel in 1985. His brilliantly comic style has endeared him to children and adults alike, and he is now one of Australia's most successful authors, both internationally and at home. He was born in England in 1953 and emigrated to Australia in 1969 so he could escape from school and become a Very Famous Writer. Before realising that dream, he had a colourful career as paperboy, bottle-shop shelf-stacker, department store Santa Claus, frozen chicken defroster, fashion-design assistant and sugar-mill employee. In between he managed to gain a degree in Professional Writing at the Canberra College of Advanced Education. Later he became sole writer for three award-winning and top-rating seasons with the TV comedy series The Norman Gunston Show.

Morris wrote a number of feature film and telemovie screenplays, including The Other Facts of Life and Second Childhood, both produced by The Australian Children's Television Foundation. The Other Facts of Life won an AWGIE Award for the Best Original Children's Film Script.

He also wrote live stage material for people such as Rolf Harris, Pamela Stephenson and the Governor General of Australia. Morris is well known to many people through his semi-autobiographical columns in The Age andSydney Morning Herald magazine, Good Weekend, which he wrote for nine years.

But the majority of Morris' accolades are for his hugely popular children's books. One of his most successful books for young people is Two Weeks with the Queen, an international bestseller which was also adapted into a play by Mary Morris. The play had many successful seasons in Australia and was then produced at the National Theatre in London in 1995 directed by Alan Ayckbourn, and also in South Africa, Canada, Japan and the USA.

All his other books have been shortlisted for or have won numerous children's book prizes. These include The Other Facts of Life, Second Childhood, Misery Guts, Worry Warts, Puppy Fat, Blabber Mouth, Sticky Beak, Belly Flop,Water Wings, Bumface, Gift Of The Gab,Toad Rage, Wicked! and Deadly!, two six-part novels written in collaboration with Paul Jennings, Adults Only, Toad Heaven, Boy Overboard, Teacher's Pet, Toad Away, Girl Underground, Worm Story, Once, Aristotle's Nostril, Doubting Thomas, Give Peas A Chance, Then, Toad Surprise, Grace, Now,Too Small To Fail, Pizza Cake, After, and his latest book, Extra Time. Morris' children's books have been published in the UK, the USA, Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Indonesia and Czechoslovakia, Russia and China.


Grevillea Ensemble

Grevillea Ensemble was founded in 1999 by soprano Wendy Dixon (Guest Artist - Opera Australia) and pianist David Miller AM (Chair of Ensemble Studies, Sydney Conservatorium) with violinist Marina Marsden (then Assistant Concertmaster - Sydney Symphony) who left the group at the end of the 2003 season.
Grevillea was formed by these accomplished artists to communicate and share their love of music with their audience. During recitals, the artists talk to the audience about the music they are playing in an informal, intimate atmosphere. At the end of each recital the audience has the opportunity to chat with the musician.


Jan Latta

In 1994 Jan came face-to-face with a mountain gorilla in Rwanda and the experience changed her life. When her guide said there were fewer than 600 mountain gorillas left in the wild, she decided to publish books for children on endangered animals. But first she became a wildlife photographer so she could tell the animal's stories in pictures as well as words.
She went back to Africa to learn wildlife photography. She followed elephants, dangerous rhinos, prides of lions, gentle giraffes, and had a wonderful experience with two cheetahs. Then to the Wolong mountains in China for pandas, jungles of Borneo with orangutans, Sri Lanka for the elusive leopard and Uganda for Dr Jane Goodalls’ chimps. She has had some amazing adventures, and near-death experiences, following her dream to help the survival of endangered animals.
Each True-to-Life book has stunning photos of animals in their natural habitat. They are full of facts, maps, links to interesting websites and fun activities. The Diary of a Wildlife Photographer book is a journal of 20 years in the wild creating the True to Life Books – and many exciting adventures along the way.


Duncan Lay

Duncan Lay is the author of the best-selling fantasy trilogies, The Dragon Sword Histories and the Empire Of Bones. The Dragon Sword Histories has also been published in German. He has just finished an Australia-wide tour of 50 store in 50 days to promote his latest book Wall of Spears and, in his spare time, is Masthead Chief of the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs.




Dub Leffler

Dub Leffler is a Writer,Illustrator , Musician & Mixed Media Artist. He has worked in many facets of the Art world including; Film , TV,  Muralism and Art Education.

He is a eclectic mix of Aboriginal,French,Syrian and Irish.

His Aboriginal heritage is from the Bigambul people from South-west Qld.

Dub has become a recognized force in the Australian world of Children’s Book Illustrators with over 15 feature books to his name including a collaboration with such luminaries as Colin Thompson, Shaun Tan and Bansky and has taught both here in Australia and Indonesia.

“Dubs work reminds you of the film 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' ”              
Guillermo Arriaga (acclaimed Director,Novelist & Screenwriter


Sophie Masson

Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, of French parents, Sophie Masson came to Australia at the age of 5. All her childhood, the family moved back and forth between Australia and France, unable to make up their minds as to where to live, so Sophie grew up between worlds, and between languages, an experience which has formed a lot of her work. A bilingual French and English speaker, she was educated in schools in both Australia and France, and has a BA and M.Litt in French and English Literature from the University of New England in northern NSW. Sophie has had more than 50 novels published in Australia and internationally, mostly for young adults and children, but also for adults, including the internationally-selling Forest of Dreams, an adult fantasy trilogy based on the life and work of the medieval French writer Marie de France. Much of her work for children and young adults has also been in the fantasy genre, but she has also written ghost stories, mysteries, thrillers, family stories and a graphic novel The Secret Army: Operation Loki. Her 2010 novel, The Hunt for Ned Kelly, won the Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Literature in the 2011 NSW
Premier's Literary Awards. She adapted one of her novels, The Green Prince, for the stage and it was performed in a successful season in 2001. She has also written novels under the pseudonyms of Isabelle Merlin (Three Wishes, 2008; Pop Princess, 2009; Cupid's Arrow, 2009 and Bright Angel, 2010) and Jenna Austen (The Romance Diaries, Ruby, 2013, and the Romance Diaries: Stella, 2013.) Sophie is currently the Chair of the Australian Society of Authors and of the New England Writers' Centre.


Tim Miller & Matt Stanton

Tim Miller is a Marketing Campaign Manager and writes hilarious picture books for kids of all ages in his spare time. His first picture book with Matt Stanton, THERE IS A MONSTER UNDER MY BED WHO FARTS, was an instant hit.
By night, Matt Stanton is the illustrator of There is a Monster Under My Bed Who Farts and The Moose is Loose. By day he is the Head of Design at one of Australia's leading publishers and an award-winning book designer. His unique illustration style combines hand-drawn images with digital colouring to create lively and humourous picture books for children. He lives in Sydney with his wife and daughter.

Katrina Nannestad

Katrina Nannestad is author of Bungaloo Creek, the humorous Red Dirt Diary series and The Girl Who Brought Mischief. Katrina celebrates family, friendship and belonging in her writing. She also loves writing stories that inspire laughter - contagious belly giggles, chook-like cackles and wild guffaws that end in a snort.




Oliver Phommavanh

Oliver Phommavanh loves to make people laugh, whether it's on the page writing humour for kids or on stage as a stand-up comedian. Oliver’s funny books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and his latest book, Thai-no-mite. He also shares his passion for writing with the kids he teaches at a primary school in Western Sydney. As a comedian, Oliver has appeared on stage, and on national TV and radio. He has also appeared in many anthologies such as Growing Up Asian in Australia, Places a Map Won’t Show You and the Aussie Jokebook, Funny Buggers. Oliver is a fresh voice for multi-culturism and has appeared at festivals and conferences spreading his love of wacky stories and comedy to thousands of kids. He's a die-hard Nintendo fan and cheers for the Wests Tigers in the NRL! Check out his website at


Yvette Poshoglian

Yvette writes books for children and young people. She writes the bestselling 'Ella and Olivia' series for young readers and has also written historical fiction for middle readers - 'My Australian Story: Escape from Cockatoo Island'.

As well as writing a bunch of other non-fiction and activity books, Yvette keep busy as a high school English teacher in Sydney. She is also a freelance journalist, restaurant reviewer, food blogger, history buff, and avid Sydney harbour kayaker.

"I always have a huge pile of books on my bedside table - what about you?"


Jessica Shirvington

Jessica Shirvington lives in Sydney with her husband of twelve years, FOXTEL presenter and former Olympic sprinter Matt Shirvington, and their two daughters. Her urban fantasy series Embrace debuted in 2010 and has since been published internationally. In 2012, the series was picked up by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and CBS Studios to be adapted to a television drama for The CW Network. Between the Lives, published in 2013, was Jessica’s first standalone novel. Disruption, the first in a thrilling duology, is out in April.

Jen Storer

Jen Storer is author of the best-selling Truly Tan series. Her gothic novel, Tensy Farlow and the Home for Mislaid Children, was shortlisted for a string of awards, including the Prime Minister's Literary Awards (Best Children's Fiction) and the 2011 CBCA, Book of the Year. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Jen worked in the publishing industry as an editor, a project manager and in creative development. Jen has a studio at the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne.

Lana M.Taylor

Lana Taylor is a new author with one book published and three new stories in process. Her inspiration for her first children's book, The Children and The Rainbow, came from her four year old grandson. The Children and The Rainbow is a fun story of how young children open the channels to respect and accept others who are different by changing the colors of their clothes.



Jol Temple, Jon Foye and Kate Temple

Jol Temple, Jon Foye and Kate Temple are the author/illustrator team behind the books and apps of
        - Parrot Carrot
                (Allen & Unwin 2011),
        - I Got This Hat
                (Harper Collins/ABC For Kids 2013)
        - Mike I Don't Like
                (Harper Collins/ABC For Kids 2014)
Their thing is matching rhymes to ridiculous looking illustrations and all of their titles mix wordplay, rhyme and bold, offbeat illustrations to illustrate the importance of rhyme.


P.J. Tierney

PJ Tierney grew up in the Blue Mountains where every day was an adventure. When PJ left school she enrolled at the University of Wollongong in the Creative Arts Department and majored in Writing. It was there she discovered the magic of theatre and producing concerts became her goal, and to quote PJ: 'I have worked with some of the world's biggest artists. I sat in the truss beside Madonna as she descended on her mirror ball, I executed the world's worst follow spot cue for U2, and for the Eagles I was responsible for a pin spot pickup so precise it made the Lighting Designer applaud. I've been pushed aside by Elton John's security and was called 'babe' by B.B. King.' Following this came a stint working on the production of the Hong Kong Handover Celebrations. It was while in Hong Kong that PJ spent time in the world where the real Jamie lived, and so it was the story grew and came alive.


Gabrielle Tozer

Gabrielle Tozer is a YA author, journalist and copywriter from Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. Her debut novel The Intern was released in February this year and has received great reviews from the likes of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, Girlfriend, Cosmopolitan and DOLLY magazine. Since moving to Sydney almost a decade ago, Gabrielle has worked as a magazine managing editor, deputy editor, chief subeditor, senior features writer and freelancer, and she is a previous winner of the ABC’s Heywire competition. When she is not churning out her next novel (yes, that’s why she hasn’t brushed her hair for a while), she loves tweeting, dancing, chocolate and watching too much television.


Caroline Webber

Caroline has always had a passion for books and writing. She is an experienced editor and dabbles in writing. Caroline is the Publisher of Green Olive Press.
Caroline has a Masters degree in Renaissance and Romantic Literature and a doctorate from the University of Liverpool (UK) for her research on eighteenth-century literature and editorial practices in Gaston de Blondeville by the Gothic novelist, Ann Radcliffe


Sue Whiting

Sue Whiting started her working life as a primary school teacher with a special interest in literacy education and children’s literature. In 2005 Sue left teaching to pursue a career in children’s book publishing and is now Publishing Manager for Walker Books Australia. She is also a successful children’s author who has written numerous picture books, chapter books and novels for teens. Her teen novel Get a Grip, Cooper Jones was a 2011 CBCA Notable Book. Her latest books include Portraits of Celina – a creepy thriller for readers 13+ - and the picture book, A Swim in the Sea.


Monkey Baa Theatre Company

Monkey Baa Theatre Company with Tim McGarry. "Monkey Baa isn’t just about putting good books on stage. It shows kids how ideas and characters can be translated from one art form into another, keeping the essence of the book but refining it. It’s an adventure of the mind and spirit. It makes kids think as well as feel. Live theatre is kid’s heritage – the unbroken link with the storyteller around the campfire or ancient Greek dramatists. Country kids may not have a local doctor, or a telephone that works. But thanks to Monkey Baa they do get the magic of theatre” Jackie French. Monkey Baa has carved itself a reputation for producing award-winning, outstanding theatre that is vibrant, thought provoking, imaginative, relevant and sometimes downright silly. As Australia’s widest reaching touring company, we have performed in just about every corner of the country across metropolitan, rural and remote Australia. Over 900,000 young people aged 3-18 have engaged with the company over the last 15 years. In 2012 we moved into our new home, the Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre, Australia’s first purpose built theatre dedicated to work for young people. Monkey Baa has a unique artistic niche – we adapt the very best of Australian children’s literature for the stage. The common thread weaving through all our works is a focus on the belief that young people’s interests are valued and respected and that they are engaged in the performing arts through the telling of stories that entertain, inspire and encourage a greater understanding of the world and their place within it.