New South Wales

Michelle Heeter

Photo of writer Michelle Heeter

Preferred audience: teenagers and adults

Michelle has a master’s degree in English and has been a technical writer and a copywriter throughout her career.

She has also sold many short stories to women’s magazines, including That's Life's 'Fast Fiction' and Family Circle.

Riggs Crossing was her first novel, published in 2012 by Ford Street.

Michelle talks to teenagers and adults about making a career out of writing, writing for different genres, and how to overcome writer’s block.



Charlotte Calder

Photo of author and presenter Charlotte Calder

Preferred audience: students of all ages and adults

Charlotte has written a number of successful novels for children and young adults. Her titles include The Ghost at the Point, Stuck!, Settling Storms, Cupid Painted Blind, Surviving Amber and Paper Alice. Her latest book is The 12th Dog illustrated by Tom Jellett.

Charlotte enjoys giving fun, interactive talks to all ages, tailoring the content and delivery appropriately.

The key word here is interactive! Charlotte engages her audience, leading to a really collaborative, absorbing experience.

The learning comes from sharing snippets of stories and writing produced by the participants in a relaxed, accepting and creative atmosphere.


Jess Black

Ohoto of author and presenter Jess Black

Preferred audience: kindergarten to year 6

Jess Black is the author of the popular children's series, Keeper of the Crystals, and has co-written several others including the Bindi Wildlife Adventures series and the Kaboom Kid series with David Warner.

Her first picture books, Moon Dance and The Bold Australian Girl, are being launched in 2016.

Jess regularly presents in schools on a range of topics including the stages of narrative, story planning, the creation of characters and setting, and her own writing process. She also runs creative writing workshops.

Jess holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Film with Honours in Theatre Directing.


Nathan Luff

Photo of author and presenter Nathan Luff

Preferred audience: upper primary, but does have experience with younger children

Nathan has trained as both a playwright and a screenwriter and has had various plays, short films and television programs produced.

Nathan’s debut novel, Chicken Stu, was inspired by the crazy antics he and his brothers got up to as kids on their farm. His next novel, Bad Grammar is set in an outback boarding school for bad boys.

Nathan’s talks and workshops are funny and engaging and can be tailor-made to suit a school’s needs. He is particularly good at engaging boys in the joys of reading and storytelling. Nathan spent many years working alongside teachers and students as Festival Director of the Wakakirri National Story Festival.


Jill Carter-Hansen

Photo of illustrator and author Jill Carter Hansen

Preferred audience: adults, but will work with children aged 7 and older

Jill is an author and illustrator, having published a number of her own children's books and collaborated with authors on several others, including Bearly There with Aleesah Darlison.

Jill's talks for adults take 1-1.5 hours and focus on her own original and/or screened work. She shares the often amusing stories behind the creation of her works and invites the audience to examine the originals. She also gives advice and encouragement to attendees on their own creative pursuits.

Her workshops for children range from simple experimental creative exercises with text and illustration to creating a simple illustrated story. Additional investigation into storyboarding and progressive exercises are available for older students interested in visual narrative for both still series (books) and/or animation.

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