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.


Michelle Hamer

Michelle HamerPreferred audience: primary and secondary students

Michelle is a prolific freelance journalist who writes for a broad cross-section of Australian media, from daily newspapers and national magazines to news websites. She was previously an editor at The Age.

She is a widely-published author for adults, and her first four books for children were published 2014 as part of the Our Australian Girl series.

Michelle is an experienced and dynamic presenter who has taught writing to children and adults for many years. She has a passion for inspiring children to ignite their imagination and embrace reading.

She can also present workshops on the media, drawing from her 25 years of experience in the industry.

Kayleen West

Photo of artist and illustrator Kayleen WestPreferred audience: prep to young adults

Kayleen is an internationally renowned artist and illustrator. Her most recent picture books are Without Me? and Adoptive Father

Her art has won many awards and hangs in private and corporate collections in France, United States, Italy, in the Australian Embassy in Ireland and in government collections in Australia.

When Kayleen is not painting in her studio or typing in her office, she enjoys presenting to schools, libraries, churches and various societies. She works with both secular and Christian audiences, virtually or in person.

She always arrives full of contagious enthusiasm.


Coral Vass

Coral VassPreferred audience: kindergarten and primary school students

Coral is a childrens' author with a passion for storytelling.

She had her first children’s picture book published in 2011.

With bestsellers under her belt, her titles include The Great Bird Poo War, Goodnight Possum, Good Morning Possum, and The Hottest Dingo.

Known as a writer of amusing rhyming text, Coral is an engaging and entertaining presenter for kindergarten and primary school children.

Coral loves sharing her passion for picture books with storytelling and writing workshops that ignite imagination and help children create their very own stories.


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