The Centre for Children’s Literature

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Romancing the Stars – Sunshine Coast 2018

Fri, February 23, 6:00pm – 9:30pm

Immanuel Lutheran College, 126-142 Wises Rd, Buderim QLD 4556 (In the library)

Speed date the authors, see the latest releases, buy books. Food and drink supplied.

Check out a video from 2017 to see what Romancing the Stars looks like. YouTube Video

Bookings now open on Voices on the Coast website.

Taryn Bashford

Taryn BashfordTaryn The Harper Effect HI RES

Taryn lives the typical writer’s life, with characters from her books insisting they help make dinner. This can be disconcerting as many of them can’t cook. Taryn’s been an English Literature student, an advertising rep and a digital CEO, but writing is her first love.

Taryn is fascinated by teens that surpass the norm. This is what she likes to explore in her writing, remembering that elite teens have flaws too. Now training for triathlons, Taryn is an adrenaline junkie and during her last writer’s retreat, found herself dangling on an abseiling rope 2000m from the ground.

The Harper Effect (Pan macmillan, 2017)



Peter Carnavas

Peter CarnavasPeter Carnavas The Elephant

Peter Carnavas writes and illustrates stories for children and their grown-ups.  He has created many of his own picture books, illustrated Damon Young’s Ninja Nanna series, and recently released his first novel, The Elephant.

My Brother is a Beast and The Elephant (both UQP, 2017)


Shona Innes

shona-innesShona Innes book cover

Shona is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist with many years of experience helping others.  As well as individualising psychological interventions for a wide range of people and behaviours, Shona has advised organisations, big and small, about promoting better mental health, safe behaviours and the right kind of ways to manage and support others with problem behaviour or in troubling situations.

The Big Hug Books are a series of picture books designed to gently talk about topics that many find emotional.  Each of the stories has grown from psychological sessions with children (and sometimes with grown-ups) to help them understand and talk about complex emotional situations in simple and gentle ways. Each book includes some notes for parents or teachers that can be used to guide the ways they assist their children and students.  Psychologists and students of psychology will recognise the evidence-based strategies that the Big Hug Books promote.

Anger is like Armour and Your mind is like a garden (File Mile Press, 2017)


Emily Larkin

Emily Larkin_CYA_photoEmily Larkin book cover

Emily Larkin is an Australian author based on the Sunshine Coast. She is undertaking a doctorate in creative writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and her picture book, The Whirlpool, was published by Wombat Books in 2017, and traces a polar bear’s journey through the highs and lows of life. It is illustrated by award-winning artist Helene Magisson.

The Whirlpool (Wombat Books, 2017)


Prue Mason

Prue mason (from her page)prue mason book cover

While researching and writing ‘Amazing Australians in Their Flying Machines’ Prue and Kerry Mason were restoring a vintage aircraft. Kerry is a professional pilot and works for Virgin Australia and Prue has her private pilot’s licence and when not at her desk likes to fly. Now, like the book their 1947 Auster Adventurer has been launched and they are having so much fine flying it might be awhile before their next book comes out.

The Amazing Australians in Their Flying Machines (Walker Books, 2017).


Sue McPherson

Sue_McPhersonSue_McPherson Grace beside me

Sue McPherson is a storyteller who lives on the Sunshine Coast. Sue’s first novel Grace Beside Me, published by Magabala Books has been commissioned by NITV as its first ever scripted live-action series. It will make its debut on Australian screens in early 2018.  Sue’s most recent novel “Brontide,”  written for the reluctant reader will be out in June 2018.  Sue continues to write for TV, film, scripted podcast and Young Adult fiction.

Grace beside me (Magabala Books, 2012)


Emma Middleton

Emma MiddletonEmma Middleton book cover - Lion

Emma Middleton is an Australian children’s picture book author and illustrator. Her debut title The Lion in our Living Room was published in October 2017 along with her illustrations for Clover’s Big Ideas.

The wellspring for Emma’s creative passion is fed by her love of reading and art-making, her career as a professional ballerina; and the deeply rewarding experience of teaching a generation of children at her own ballet school.

Now, Emma has found in children’s literature, a place where her passions have a natural creative connection; Emma shares her stories through workshops and performances for children. She looks forward to the release of The Bear in our Backyard and The Dream Bird (Illustrator) in 2018.

The Lion in our Living Room (Affirm Press, 2017)


Lynette Noni

Lynette Noni - JPG Author PicLynette Noni book cover

Lynette Noni is the author of the bestselling YA fantasy series, The Medoran Chronicles, with the fourth book, Graevale, releasing in February 2018. She is a regular speaker at local and national events and has a rapidly growing international following. Her next book in a brand new series, Whisper, has been acquired by the editor of The Hunger Games and is due for release globally in May 2018.


Graevale (4th book in The Medoran Chronicles Pantera Press, Feb 2018)


Maryanne O’Flynn

maryanne o'flynnmaryanne o'flynn pokadotfloat

Maryanne O’Flynn is a Sunshine Coast Author/illustrator. She currently has two picture books which focus on self acceptance. Maryanne is the mother of 5 boys she loves cats, sheep, chickens, actually she loves all animals.

Polka Dot Float (Little Steps, 2015)


Robyn Osborne

Robyn Osborne and her latest book My Dog SocksRobyn Osborne book cover

Robyn Osborne is an author, teacher and animal fanatic originally from the Sunshine Coast and now based in Gympie. To date she has six books trade published, five featuring dogs.

My Dog Socks (Ford Street Publishing, 2017)


David Rudkin

David Rudkincover David Rudkin

David Rudkin lives in Queensland, Australia with his wife, Kym and their three young sons. He emigrated from the UK in 1995. He has two rules to live by; ‘Keep your inner child alive’ and; ‘The glass is definitely half full!’  He is busy writing a series of adventures about a mysterious boy named Quirky Miller. They are illustrated by American, Nina-Marie Rothfuss, and this is what David has to say about Quirky; ‘I love the fact that all children can visit imaginary worlds at will. I wanted to write about a boy who could actually visit these worlds. I want anyone who reads about him to identify with his desire to experience new places and make new friendships and to feel like they are part of the adventure.’

Quirky Miller and the Dragon (2016)

Quirky Miller and the Pirate (Feb 2018)


Tash Turgoose

Tash-BlackBackgroundTash Makeshift galaxy

Tash Turgoose is an author and illustrator based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia — her first book, Makeshift Galaxy, debuts in January, 2018.

Tash devotes her spare time to bizarre quests, like learning hieroglyphics and launching magazines. Follow her weird, wonderful and ever-varied adventures at

Makeshift Galaxy (Odyssey Books , Jan 2018)


Ross Watkins

Ross_Watkins_reducedRoss Watkins one_photo_cover

Ross Watkins is an author and illustrator for children and adults. One Photo (2016) was shortlisted for the 2017 CBCA Picture Book of the Year, and The Boy Who Grew Into a Tree (2012) was shortlisted for the 2013 Aurealis Award for Speculative Fiction. His debut adult novel The Apology will be published August 2018. Ross lives in the Sunshine Coast hinterland with his wife and two young sons. He teaches creative writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

One Photo (illus Liz Anelli, Penguin, 2016)


Samantha Wheeler

Samantha WheelerSamantha Wheeler turtle trackers

Samantha’s first children’s story Smooch & Rose, was inspired by koalas and published by UQP in 2011. Her subsequent books, which include Spud & Charli, Mister Cassowary, Wombat Warriors, and Turtle Trackers have been shortlisted for various awards, but mostly Samantha hopes they will encourage everyone to care for the environment.

Blurb for Turtle Trackers:

Ten-year-old Isaac is flat out. Helping his mum run a caravan park on the Queensland coast means no time for fun. So when he finds a sea turtle nesting on the beach, he’s disappointed that he can’t volunteer as a turtle tracker to watch over her eggs and hatchlings. How can he when summer holidays are the park’s busiest time?

To make matters worse, famous travel blogger Eddie Eastwood and his mischievous dog come to stay. Isaac must pull out all the stops because a zero-star review from Eddie would spell disaster for his mum and the park.

Can Isaac keep everyone happy while still finding the time to protect his turtles?

Turtle Trackers (March 2018)


Jenny Woolsey

JennyWoolseyJenny Woolsey Daniel Barker

Jenny Woolsey writes stories and blogs about difference and diversity. She is a primary teacher, trainer, youth worker, and a strong advocate for people living with facial differences, mental illness and disabilities.

Jenny’s writing is influenced by her life. She was born with a rare craniofacial syndrome, has anxiety and depression, and a visual impairment. Her three children have disabilities. Jenny’s heart is for children and teens who struggle with finding their self-identities and way in the world.

Jenny’s previous published novels are: Ride High Pineapple and Brockwell the Brave.

Land of Britannica (2017) and Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight (2018)


Richard Yaxley

Richard Yaxley 2017richard yaxley this-is-my-song

Richard Yaxley is an author and teacher, based in Brisbane. He has written seven novels for adult and young adult audiences, his latest being This Is My Song which was shortlisted for a Queensland Literary Award and will be published in the Czech Republic in 2018. His new young adult novel, The Happiness Project, will also be published, by Scholastic, in 2018.

This is My Song (Omnibus Books, 2017)

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