Victoria Lane

Preferred audience: primary studentsPhoto of author Victoria Lane

Victoria is an award-winning journalist and writer who has worked in New York, London and Sydney and now calls Melbourne home.

She spent 17 years as a correspondent for Reuters, the international news wire. Victoria writes picture books and chapter books for kids aged 3 to 8.

Workshops can include any or most of these topics: fiction vs non-fiction, drawing on her background in journalism; her background as a writer and journalist; how children’s books are made: and the publishing process. Writing workshops focus on character, problem and resolution.

Victoria's current book is Celia and Nonna illustrated by Kayleen West.


Mitch Vane

Photo of illustrator Mitch VanePreferred audience: primary students

Mitch works in a variety of mediums but her favourite is a good old-fashioned messy dip pen and India ink. She often collaborates with partner and The Age writer Danny Katz & they are best known for the YABBA Award-winning Little Lunch series (which was made into a mockumentary series by the ABC).

Mitch has created many other children's books including The Patch by Justina Chen Headly, Bed Tails by Meredith Costain and many books in the Aussie Nibbles series including CBCA short-listed The Deep End by Ursula Dubosarsky.

Mitch concentrates on character development and laughter. She likes to brainstorm with the students to create a funny scenario on the whiteboard, giving a few drawing tricks of the trade, then gets them to create a character of their own. The emphasis is on ideas, encouraging them to loosen up and think outside the box.

Scot Gardner

Photo of author Scot GardnerPreferred audience: Years 5 – 10 (Ages 11-16)

Scot was born in suburban Melbourne but has lived most of his life near the small rural town of Yinnar in Gippsland, Victoria.

He got his big break in writing in 2001 after attending a writers’ conference with Australia’s grand master of realist young adult fiction, John Marsden.

His books include Burning Eddy, short-listed for both the CBCA and NSW Premier's Literary awards.

Scot’s books and talks could be broadly categorised as social realism and are suitable for upper primary to upper secondary aged audiences.

He is both funny and thought-provoking and his workshops lean heavily on personal narrative – the stories that make us who we are.

Stephen Whiteside

Stephen WhitesidePreferred audience: years 3 – 6

Stephen has been writing rhyming verse for over thirty years.

He writes for both adults and children, and many of his poems have been published or won awards. In May 2014, Walker Books published his collection of poetry for children, The Billy that Died with its Boots On and Other Australian Verse.

Stephen offers a 45 – 60 minute performance of poetry and song to a large group of children.

Alternatively, he can give workshops to smaller groups. In these, he provides guidance to encourage children to write poetry during the session, and then perform it to the rest of the class.


Susan Berran

Photo of author and illustrator Susan BerranPreferred audience: primary school students

Author/illustrator of the FREAKY series, Susan is passionate about encouraging kids to read and write, particularly those reluctant readers so close to moving on to high school. Her stories are largely gross but hilarious, so the series is striking a chord with many young readers.

Susan has been heavily involved with the Write Around the Murray Writers Festival in Albury for a number of years, workshopping and judging, among other things.

Her most popular workshop, 'From imagination to the shelf', has children writing a story about their holidays and then 'blowing it up' to see what they can really do with it. Susan also uses cartooning to discuss finding that first idea, hints towards better writing, character building Q&A/tricks'n'tips, and bringing your story/character to life.


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