I was born in Brisbane, but grew up on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of Queensland, where my Dad was a sugar cane cutter. As a child I was always surrounded by pets and quickly turned into an animal fanatic. At 11, I made the connection between the cow and the steak and turned vegetarian (which I still am today).
In the early seventies, the Sunshine Coast was not a terribly enlightened place. Nambour High School was nestled in a conservative farming community, so being vegetarian was akin to having leprosy. My refusal to wear leather shoes and to use ‘exotic’ ingredients like carob, brown rice and lentils in cooking classes, adding to my notoriety. One of the prefects who regularly sent me up to the office for not wearing regulation leather shoes was our ex PM, Kevin Rudd.
After 12 years of education I was sure about one thing; I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life other than a vague idea of becoming a writer. Although university beckoned, going on the dole and creating angst ridden poetry (I was a teenager remember), growing organic vegetables and indulging my menagerie of pets (including a small herd of dreadfully spoilt goats) seemed like more fun.
This utopia ended when a job came up in the public service, ironically with the Commonwealth Employment Service. While the dream of becoming a writer still burnt, the office routine dried up my creative juices. During 18 long uncreative years in the public service, I managed to squeeze in an Arts degree, Graduate Diploma in Women’s Studies, get married and have a child.
In 1996, I decided I needed a career change, before succumbing to death by forms. I completed a Dip Ed in Early Childhood, began teaching and rediscovered my love of writing. Not surprisingly, my interests are writing and dogs!
1993: Bachelor of Arts (majored in literature and history),University of Queensland.
1996: Graduate Diploma (Women’s Studies), Deakin University.
1997: Graduate Diploma in Education (Early Childhood), QUT.
Member of Queensland Writers Centre (QWC)
Member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
Member Australian Society of Authors (ASA)
Member Booklinks Qld
*Qld Writers Mentorship September 2011 – I was one of eight participants chosen nationally to attend QWC/Allen & Unwin’s manuscript development program in Brisbane.
Books – trade published
2018 Bruno the Boisterous Blue Dog from the Bush, picture book, Big Sky Publishing, Sydney.
2017 My Dog Socks, picture book, Ford Street Publishing, Victoria.
2014 Midget Bones’Diary, paperback and eBook, Puppy Care Education, NSW.
2014 Going Fishing & Going Camping (picture books), Big Sky Publishing, Sydney.
2010 & 2012 Dog Logic – a pooch’s guide to dogs behaving badly, Big Sky Publishing, Sydney.
2005 D.O.G. (junior novel), Macmillan, Melbourne.
Short stories and articles – trade published
‘After’ (short story) Grieve Anthology, Hunter Writers Group, NSW, Sep 2016
‘The Workin’ Dog’ (short story) The Best of Times Short Story Competition June 2016
‘Bruno Bright, The Big Boisterous Blue Dog from the Bush’ (children’s short story) Short Tales 2. June 2016
‘Cooking with Kids-Tales for the Unwary’ (article) Parenting Express Magazine April 2017
‘Teenagers – A Parent’s Survival Guide’ (article) Parenting Express Magazine November 2016
‘The Thief ‘ (short story) Tantalising Tales 2015
Sox the Philosophical Pooch (column) Dogs Life magazine, 2011 – 2016
‘Life’s a bowl of cherries'(travel article) The Weekend Australian, May 14-15 2011.
‘Bothersome Barking’ (article) Gympie Women, Edition 6, Jul-Sep 2011.
‘The Working Dog’ (short story) The Bridge anthology, ed. David Vernon, Stringybark Publishing, 2011.
The Philosophical Pooch (column) bark! Australia, ed. Ita Buttrose, 2006 -2007.
‘The Heartworm War’ (short story) Smart Animals Outwit Us, Avocado Press, Melbourne, 2005.
‘The Heartworm War’ (short story) Smarter than Jack, Avocado Press, Melbourne, 2004.
‘Young Vegetarian’ (article) New Vegetarian and Natural Health, Summer 2001/02.
2016 Shortlisted story Grieve Project, Hunter Writers Group, NSW.
2016 Shortlisted short story Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction.
2016 Commended short story The Best of Times Short Story Competition
2013 2nd Short Story Good Dog Film Festival, Sydney.
2012 1st Short Story Coral Coast Writing Competition, W.A.
2011 Finalist Junior Novel CYA Conference, Brisbane.
2009 1st & H.C. Picture Books CYA Conference, Brisbane.
2007 Finalist Picture Book Ipswich festival of Children’s Literature.
2007 3rd Short Story Henry Lawson Society of N.S.W.
2005 Finalist Short Story ABC Radio Short Story Project.
2003 1st & H.C. Short Story Gold Rush Literary Competition, Gympie.
2003 H.C. Short Story Bauhinia Literary Awards, C.Q.U.
2003 2nd Picture Book Ipswich festival of Children’s Literature.
One response to “Biography”
Hi Robyn, I really enjoyed reading your biography. I was wondering if you still live on the Sunshine Coast? I’m a children’s author living in Noosa and would love to make contact with other children’s authors. Margo Gibbs