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Libby Gleeson AM is one of Australia's most eminent and beloved children’s authors who has published over 30 books for children and teenagers.
She was born in Young, a small town in south-western NSW. As a child, books and reading were hugely important to Libby. She remembers going to the library on a Saturday morning, borrowing five or six books and reading them all by Sunday night.
Libby completed a Bachelor of Arts with honours at the University of Sydney before returning to do a Diploma of Education. She went on to teach at Picton in NSW and then in Italy and London, where she started writing her first of many books, Eleanor, Elizabeth.
Libby is now a full-time writer who writes picture books, novels for younger readers as well as novels for young adults. She has also written books about writing and two episodes each of the ABC television series, Bananas in Pyjamas and Magic Mountain.
Libby’s books have been shortlisted for the CBCA Awards thirteen times, and won three times. The Great Bear (with Armin Greder) was the first Australian book to win the prestigious Bologna Ragazzi Award, in 2000.
In 1997 Libby was awarded the Lady Cutler Award for Services to Children’s Literature. She chaired the Australian Society of Authors 1999-2001, and in 2007 was awarded membership to the Order of Australia. Libby’s contribution to children’s literature was recognised with a special award at the 2011 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards – for her writing, her work in education, her advocacy and her mentoring of young writers. In February this year she was awarded the 2011 Dromkeen Medal, an annual award presented to an Australian citizen for a significant contribution to the appreciation and development of children's literature in Australia.
In her Adjunct role at the Faculty of Education and Social Work Libby conducts guest lectures and seminars for pre-service (qualifying) teachers as well as professional learning workshops in schools for fully-qualified teachers. She is also associated with the University of Sydney as a popular creative writing lecturer at the Centre for Continuing Education.
Libby Gleeson was a guest presenter at the Celebrate Reading National Conference - The Inside Story on Quality Australian Literature for Children, held at The Literature Centre in Fremantle on 13-14 September, 2013.