New South Wales

Deborah Abela

Photo of author and teacher Deborah Abela

Preferred audience: upper primary, but can also speak to younger children

Deborah trained as a teacher before producing and writing children’s TV at Network TEN. She has written over 20 novels including the series Grimsdon and New City. Her latest novel Teresa: A New Australian, was inspired by her dad, who made the journey from Europe to Australia after the devastation of WW2.

Deb’s presentations are informative, interactive and fun. As a trained teacher, she is comfortable giving author talks and writing workshops for both the reluctant writer and the gifted and talented. She also presents at staff development days, sharing ideas on activities to get kids excited about writing.

Deb gives author talks, writing workshops for kids and adults, PD session for teachers, and workshops on speaking in schools.

Deborah is a proud writer ambassador for Room to Read and Role Model for Books in Homes.


Pip Harry

Photo of writer and editor Pip HarryPreferred audience: secondary students

Pip is a freelance journalist and author of I'll Tell You Mine. With over 14 years experience as a writer and editor, Pip has worked as Entertainment Editor for NW and Deputy Editor for TV Week before turning herself into a yoga-loving frequent flyer as Health & Travel Editor for Woman’s Day. She is the co-founder of realitychick.com.au and teaches writing at university level.

Her talks on journalism teach how to write a great feature story; sources and leads; finding the right style and tone; getting work experience; blogging and new media; and the future of magazines in the digital age.

Her talks on young adult fiction focus on finding a great character and voice; how to workshop and find inspiration; researching; getting published and finding an agent; hands-on, fun writing exercises to get started; and the future of books in the digital age.


Louise Park

Photo of author Louise ParkPreferred audience: primary students

Louise writes books for children under her own name and as several secret identities, including H. I. Larry, Mac Park and Poppy Rose. She is the author of the best-selling series Zac Power Test Drive, Bella Dancerella and Star Girl—soon to be a television series for children. She is also the co-creator of Boy vs Beast.

Her writing aims to entertain, inform, aid the acquisition of literacy skills and most of all, inspire! Inside her books, you’ll travel to magical lands, battle beasts, attend a space boarding school where students save space from environmental threats, and even thwart the plans of the evil spy agency, BIG — whilst exploring the important issues of bullying, global citizenship, conflict resolution, self-esteem and more.

Louise loves nothing better than taking students on huge adventures and helping them to craft action-packed stories of their own. 


Stephen Axelsen

Photo of illustrator Stephen Axelsen

Preferred audience: upper primary

Stephen Axelsen, while studying sociology at university, taught himself to draw and has been writing and illustrating humorous works for children since 1975. Stephen has illustrated many books including a graphic novel, The Mostly True Story of Matthew and Trim. He wrote and illustrated the Piccolo and Annabelle series of novels, which were shortlisted three times for the Aurealis Awards and won once.

He has worked as a monthly contributor of illustrations for The School Magazine since 1985.

His presentations focus on the process of creating pictures and words, and answering the difficult question, ‘where do ideas come from’. Workshops encourage children to understand how text and pictures work together, and how to draw using a wide variety of simple expressions.


Nette Hilton

Photo of author Nette Hilton

Preferred audience: primary, secondary, young adults and adults

Nette Hilton is a multi-award winning author of many short-listed and translated books, including Proper Little Lady, The Web, Sprite Downberry and The Innocents. Her work is available throughout the world. She is a sought-after mentor with the ASA and primary and secondary schools where she runs workshops, talks, and information sessions for children, young adults and adults.

Nette Hilton’s school sessions deal with the structure of narrative. From this base, students are able to develop questions and language that allow them to edit their work and develop stories. Their awareness of character, setting, plot lines and audience awareness are positive outcomes from their narrative experiences.

She enables her students to meet NAPLAN expectations, including persuasive text for which she has developed new workshops.


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