Last night, I attended the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and what a wonderful event it was! The winner of the children’s category was ‘Open Your Heart to Country’ a picture book by Jasmine Seymour. It was an honour to be there at the National Library of Australia to catch up with other authors and illustrators: […]
I am thrilled to announce that ‘Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon’ has been shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards! Congratulations to the other finalists in the Children’s category: Aunty Shaa Smith, Jasmine Seymour, Randa Abdel-Fattah, Maxine Beneba Clarke and Zeno Sworder. It is such an honour. Thank you to Puffin Books […]
I’m thrilled and honoured my novel ‘Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon’  has been shortlisted for the 2023 Queensland Literary Awards. Thank you so much to the judges. ‘When eleven-year-old Zadie Ma discovers the stories she writes come true, she conjures her dream dog to bring love, joy and hope back to […]
In May, I attended the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards held at the State Library of NSW. Despite ‘Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon’ not taking out the Patricia Wrightson Prize, we had a wonderful time. Congratulations to all the winners and shortlisted authors, especially Corey Tutt and Blak Douglas, who were the […]
The Garden of Empress Cassia is 20 years old today. It was my first novel and is still in print so it’s doing fairly well for its age. The story is loosely based on how I felt as a child not fitting in. It’s about a Chinese Australian girl who, due to racism is ashamed […]
My next stop in South Australia as Australian Children’s Laureate was to Kangaroo Island. Over two days, I spoke at the three primary schools there – Kingscote, Parndana and Penneshaw campuses. I talked about being Laureate, then about books and writing followed by a dragon drawing workshop. This is Emma from Kingscote campus who kindly […]
Happy snaps from my bookshop visits in Sydney and Melbourne. I love booksellers. I love my job.
What a super special afternoon we had with Australian children’s laureate and master storyteller Gabrielle Wang We listened to her read from her wonderful new book Zadie Ma and the dog who chased the moon, she taught us how to draw dragons and gave us some brilliant writing tips. We talked a lot about imagination […]
I so enjoyed speaking with Katherine Collette on The First Time Podcast Our conversation covered: Stories and storytelling as a part of early life Growing up Chinese-Australian in a very white Australia Prophetic dreams Mentor Hazel Edwards, author of There’s a Hippopotamus on our Roof Eating Cake Rejection Magical experiences in life Writing process – […]
We had the most wonderful afternoon hosting the book launch of : Zadie Ma and the Dog who Chased the Moon by Gabrielle Wang. Gabi shared her inspiration for writing this beautiful book about courage, friendship and the power of stories. Gabrielle is an author and illustrator and the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2022-23. We […]
I’m loving the audiobook of Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon. Veronica Chan in action in the Penguin Audio Australia recording studio, has made such a beautiful reading and captured the feeling I wanted to convey so perfectly. The audio version is slightly different from the print version. Obviously it was impossible […]
Kids, teachers, librarians, parents and caregivers, did you know that there are free downloads on the @ozchildrenslaureate website? To download an Imagine a Story dragon poster, book plates or book marks plus this month’s hermit crab activity go to
Almost there. I’m finishing the last few illustrations for my middle grade novel, Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon and reading through the proofs. This is the dedication page and it reads, “For Rusty, and all the other dogs who were lost and never found their way home.” The photo is of […]
On my walk today I met a dog called Tulip so now Tulip has become the name of Mr Shoeberry’s Clydesdale in my current work in progress. Mr Shoeberry is my fictitious milkman. I remember the clip, clop of hooves on the road before dawn and the clinking of milk bottles as the empty ones […]
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to write a regular blog post. I have very much admired my dear friend and fellow author, Corinne Fenton who, without fail writes a post every Wednesday. I’m not good at keeping NY’s resolutions but I’ll see how I go. I have just come back from Sydney. It […]
Come along to Clunes Booktown Festival May 4-5th I’ll be appearing in 3 events – A panel session ‘Reading to Escape or Face Reality’ In Conversation about my latest middle grade novel Ting Ting the Ghosthunter An illustration and writing workshop for 8-12 year olds.  You can book tickets HERE I hope to see you […] Watch out for the pus-eating ‘tumour ghosts’ Author and illustrator Gabrielle Wang won the prestigious Aurealis Award for best children’s fiction with her novel A Ghost in My Suitcase, a young adult story about ghost-hunting traditions in China. The book has been adapted by playwright Vanessa Bates into a stage blockbuster of the same […]
The Melbourne season of A Ghost in My Suitcase is over. I’m exhausted but I’m sure the cast and crew of Barking Gecko Theatre are more so. There have been sensational reviews of the play! I cannot be any prouder. Here are some of them. 4 1/2 STARS  Kelly-Louise Austin (Theatre People).  “The themes of […]
Please join me to celebrate the launch of my latest middle grade novel, Ting Ting the Ghosthunter (the sequel to A Ghost in My Suitcase).    
I am thrilled to announce that the play of my novel A Ghost in My Suitcase will be premiering at the Playhouse Theatre Arts Centre Melbourne as part of this year’s Melbourne International Arts Festival. The wonderful creators at Barking Gecko Theatre have been developing the play for nearly 3 years and I cannot wait […]
Here is the cover for my next novel for 10 + readers. Ting Ting the Ghosthunter is the sequel to Ghost in My Suitcase. It is an adventure story about finding yourself, ghost-hunting, Chinese mythology and culture. Thirteen-year-old Ting Ting has learned the ancient skills and art of ghost hunting from her adopted grandmother, Por Por, a famous ghost hunter. […]
Ursula Le Guin is my literary hero. Her translation of the Chinese classic, ‘Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching, A Book About the Way and the Power of the Way’ is my bible and if I was allowed only one book to take with me to a desert island it would be that one. In the […]
The first half of this year is filled with exciting happenings and much travel. Chinese painting, Port Fairy, writers’ festival, Perth, art exhibition, Melbourne, children’s book fair, Bologna, volcanoes, Hawaii, Ting Ting the Ghost Hunter launch, Melbourne, Ting Ting the Ghost Hunter bookshop and schools tour, Brisbane. At the end of January, I’ll be travelling down the […]
This is my latest book where I retell two traditional Chinese fables – The Magic Fishbones which is an early Cinderella story. It first appeared in Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang by Duan Chengshi around 860. The other story is The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd. It is one of the four great fables of China. It […]
This is my entry to the Migrations Postcard exhibition held in Bratislava, Slovakia. The exhibition hopes to draw attention to the plight of thousands of children and their families who are forced to flee their homes. It will feature original postcards of birds by illustrators from all over the world.
Review taken from The Never Ending Bookshelf Recommended for children 10 -13 years old. The Beast Of Hushing Wood is an adventure style novel perfect from children on the cusp of young adulthood, but not necessarily ready for the older themes of Young Adult books. It’s the kind of book that will appeal to adventure/risk […]
I am very happy to reveal the cover of my forthcoming novel The Beast of Hushing Wood.  Ziggy Truegood has always felt like an outsider and lately she has been having dreams that she is going to drown on her twelfth birthday. She lives in a tiny town deep in Hushing Wood, where strange things […]
Looking to entertain your children musically in Melbourne next week? This is a one off show for 5 – 8 years old. Friday January 13, at 11 am If you come along I’ll be there so please say hello. There will be no books available to purchase but if you have your own copy, I […]
It’s been a busy few months. My gorgeous daughter, Lei Lei was married in February and now she’s off on her honeymoon road-tripping around the US. I took this in the bridal car as we headed to the ceremony. So now it’s back to writing and illustrating and thinking about story. Really though, once you’re […]
I’m superstitious. It goes hand in hand with believing in magical things which is why I write the kind of books I do. So when Chinese New Year Day comes around, or Spring Festival as it is called in China, I follow some of the traditions. I’m selective though. I follow only the ones that […]
For the past week I have been writing at Varuna, the beautiful writers’ retreat in the Blue Mountains. Every time I go there, and this is my third visit, I come away with an incredible sense of achievement and satisfaction. It has to do with being in the mountains, in the quiet, in a writer’s […]
  The first day of 2016 and I’m sitting at home, alone. It is lovely and peaceful. The local magpies are carolling in the paper bark tree and a single crow caaws in the oaks that line the street. I’m at my desk looking through the door of my writing room down the kitchen to […]
I’m a slow reader and being a writer, my eyes grow tired so audiobooks are perfect for me. I subscribe to Audible and borrow Eaudiobooks for my iphone from my local library through BorrowBox which is a Bolinda audio app. This app is one of my best finds for 2015. I listen while I’m driving, cooking, cleaning, […]
I have several projects on the go at the moment. First up is my Our Australian Girl, Poppy series which will come out in November next year in a beautiful new hardback omnibus of all four stories in one volume. What is really lovely is that it will have a magnetic clasp – something that […]
I was interviewed by lovely friend and fellow children’s author and illustrator, Sally Rippin on Triple R. Sally has a regular spot once a month on The Grapevine.
I only realised this morning that when I paint a child I unconsciously paint her being Asian and not white. It has taken me this long to feel that my skin belongs to me. Writing has done that. Writing is going into those dark and muck-filled corners of your mind and cleaning them out. Then […]
Here is the story of a Melbourne primary school and how they are connecting with children in detention on Nauru. Your school can get involved just as Bell Primary is doing.
Into the snowy woods
      Chinese brush and ink with watercolour.
I love Japanese fabric and design so a few years ago I made a patchwork quilt for our bed. I found the act of doing was the most rewarding part of making that quilt. As I don’t have a sewing machine I hand stitched it all. I am inspired to do more craft. It is […]
The Children’s Book Festival on Sunday was a wonderful event. I had the chance to meet a lot of my young readers and their parents. Apart from wanting to inspire kids to read, write, draw and use their imaginations, I love being part of a festival such as this so that I can meet my audience. […]
On Sunday March 22, I’ll be appearing with authors and illustrators such as Shaun Tan, Andy Griffiths, Tristan Bancks, Hazel Edwards, Ursula Dubosarsky and Oliver Phommavanh and more. Here’s the programme if you’d like to come along.      
While at Bookaroo Festival of Children’s Literature, I was interviewed by Malini Sen of The Times of India. You can read the interview HERE  
The weather was sad this morning, all dreary and grey and shadowless. Now there is sunshine and it is quite lovely. It will not last. Melbourne is a city where weather is the most talked about topic, that and football. It is a city that makes you live in the moment. 2015 is the Year […]
Look at these wonderful drawings a grade 3/4 teacher sent me. They were inspired by
Today I received a large envelope from a school in Queensland. Inside the envelope
I often feel like a monk transcribing and decorating an illuminated manuscript. Patiently, painfully working over years in minute detail on the one book until it is done. I wrote my first two novels in the corner
  Today Saturday 22nd November, I will be teaching a Dragon drawing workshop at the Myer Music Bowl as part of Playfest. Bring the kids along. It should be great fun. To find out more about the festival Click  HERE  
At last I am saying goodbye to Pearlie. Checking final pages for ‘Pearlie’s Ghost’ Book 4 in the Our Australian Girl series before it goes to print. Publication date is September 26th. Sad to be leaving her but very happy that she is on her own now. I hope you like her story. xx
The Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) (May 30- June 4) is a wonderful festival held each year in Singapore with speakers from all around the world including Australia, New Zealand, USA, Korea, UK, Japan
“During Term 1 each year children across Victoria are asked to recommend their favourite Australian books to other children by nominating four Australian titles.
Somerset Celebration of Literature is one of my favorite festivals to attend.
Here’s the link to an interview I did with Zheng Yunfeng for his programme ‘Voices From Other Lands‘
I am inside my mind writing a night time ghost scene A lily petal drops on my table and I jump I look up, surprised at the bright summer day
I never thought I’d ever make onto the New York Times. But here is proof. I was so pleased to see this wonderful review... “New York City, which has the largest Chinese population of any city outside Asia, will celebrate the Lunar New Year with a bang on Jan. 31, heralding the start of the Year […]
My writing goal for the Our Australian Girl Pearlie books is to complete the first draft of a chapter per day. Usually I’m done by lunchtime which gives me the rest of the day to do whatever I like. I love setting writing goals. But sometimes the brain is dull and distracted. Today was one […]
Week 2 – ‘Kids’ Week 1  –  ‘Eggs’    
I had my last school visit for the year yesterday where I was at Melbourne Girls College. Here are some of the beautiful Chinese paintings the Year 7 students did. Thank you to Lucy Chen for organising this lovely workshop. ]    
As writers we spend much of our day at our desks. Our desks reflect who we are, what we’re working on at the time, what is happening in our lives. They are like three dimensional diaries. They encapsulate a moment. These are the things on my desk on Sunday November 24.
Nov 11: Book News
Review of The Wishbird in Good Reading Magazine “When the paths of the two young people intersect, Boy bravely chooses to help the girl. Can they, together, hold off the barbarian hordes and overcome the darkness that has consumed the city? After all, even with Oriole’s magic, they are only children and the enemy is […]
I am thrilled to receive this wonderful review of The Wishbird in the latest Magpies magazine. “There is not a word out of place in The Wishbird, a sweet, enchanting novel. In the city of Solace – known as ‘Soulless’ since its heartbroken king outlawed music and destroyed all the birds and trees – the […]
I got caught reading to raise funds for Indigenous literacy via The Indigenous Literacy Foundation You can join in too:  
1. When did you first start writing your books? I started writing books in 2000. My first book The Garden of Empress Cassia was published in 2002. 2. Where do you get your ideas from your books from? From lots of different places – dreams, places, movies, childhood memories, the world around me.
Here are the dates and events I’ll be appearing in at the Melbourne Writers Festival Schools Program Saturday August 24 Chinese brush painting at 12.30 Learn the secrets and traditions of Chinese brush painting from author and illustrator Gabrielle Wang
Here is a bit of the interview I did with Marjorie Coughlin.  Interview with author and illustrator Gabrielle Wang After she left school, Australian author Gabrielle Wang studied and worked in Graphic Design before deciding to delve deeper into her Chinese heritage, which led her to study Chinese painting and calligraphy in Taiwan. She lived […]
I bought a new bicycle. It reminds me of when I was young. It smells of clinkers, sherbert bombs, snakes and honey bears,
Thirty years ago psychotherapist and author Pat Williams, asked a number of high achievers if there had been any stories that were their favourites in childhood.
  1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.  I’m scared of injections.
  In my two weeks at Varuna I achieved all that I set out to do. I finished editing The Wish Bird and created 6 new illustrations which will go inside the book.  
  I have been privileged to receive a two week writing fellowship at Varuna, the writers’ house in the Blue Mountains. Varuna was the former residence of writers Eleanor and Dr Eric Dark. Through its various programs Varuna offers writers and illustrators some alone time to concentrate on their work in progress. For me it […]
On this first day of 2013, (or New Year’s eve for those in the northern hemisphere), we all like to make New Year resolutions. Derek Sivers says it’s best to keep goals to ourselves. The same thing, I believe applies to writing fiction.
Having finished the structural edit for The Wish Bird, I’m putting it away for a while. When I get back to the story next week I’ll hopefully see it with a set of fresh eyes.
Dec 05: Book News
This is gold! In 1959 Alan Watts made this short documentary on Chinese thought – Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism and how we should adopt this way of thinking in the West, especially in our attitude towards Nature. It is even more relevant today.
These fantastic illustrations were drawn by Sweet after she read A Ghost in My Suitcase.    
  Where is her green pavilion? ‘Tis high up among the blue clouds. Her precious mirror hangs like the autumnal moon; Her silk gown weighs lighter than the spring breezes.
Now that almost all my school visits are over for the year, I thought I’d make a list of what I think makes a successful school visit for an author/illustrator.
I am very honoured to have The Race for the Chinese Zodiac included on the list for picture books. And The Garden of Empress Cassia and A Ghost in My Suitcase included on the list for junior fiction.
POPULAR children’s author Gabrielle Wang dropped in to Stonnington Primary School to share her love of reading and writing. Wang’s visit was part of the eighth annual Premiers’ Reading Challenge, which encourages students to discover the magic of books.
Yesterday I was chased by an angry swarm of bees. I disturbed them when I lifted the lid of the compost bin. I ran like the devil waving my arms about my head trying to get rid of the bees
  “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” ~ William Morris 
I was at the hairdressers today and the lady who washed my hair asked me where I had been and what exciting thing I had done this morning. I wanted to tell her that only an hour ago I was in an ancient walled city with rat infested alleyways. That I was a ten year […]
On the train coming home after a meeting, I was reviewing my notes when a man in his 70’s asked where I was from and if I was studying English. I used to be offended by this assumption.
After months of school visits and being indoors, I felt the need to spend time in Nature – to listen instead of being listened to. Although I am not one to swim or lie on the beach, I love the sea. It is a dream of mine to one day own a small writing cottage […]
Tan Hong Ming in Love is one of those rare and lovely advertisements that captures the innocence of children.    
Li Bai is one of China’s most loved poets. He lived during the Tang dynasty (618-907) which is also known as the ‘Golden Age’ of classical Chinese poetry. Here is one of Li Bai’s beautiful poems translated by Sun Yu.
  Every so often I get a letter that confirms the fact that I have one of the best jobs in the world and makes the long, hard process of writing a novel so worthwhile. Here is one such letter. Hi Gabrielle, I am reading one of your books The Ghost in my Suitcase. It […]
Short stories are a great way to exercise your writing muscle and they also show publishers that you are serious about your craft. Here is a competition for young Queensland writers between the ages of 18 and 25. It closes July 13th. State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award 2012   The competition The judging panel […]
On Friday I appeared in a panel session at the 2012 CBCA conference in Adelaide. My fellow panelists were Rosanne Hawke whose new YA novel Wolf Mountain was launched at the conference by Ruth Starke. Ruth was another panelist along with Sally Heinrich. Rosanne’s novel is set in Pakistan and looks to be a great read.
My daughter’s tribute to one of the greatest children’s authors and illustrators of all time. Read her blog post Here  
THE WISH BIRD How do you know when it’s the right time to send your manuscript off to the publisher? For me it is when I read my novel out aloud to someone (this step is important) and don’t feel the need to change anything. Of course you need to pick just the right person […]
  I love this visual journal I bought at the Frick Museum in New York City. It’s called ‘One Sketch a Day’ and each page has space for 2 days of sketching. Sometimes I forget to draw now that writing has taken over my life. If you need to be reminded to practice your art like […]
Hello from New York! You would think that being in this incredible city would inspire me to blog. But inspiration comes when you’re not looking for it. It will come to me while I’m driving or in the shower or