May Gibbs Fellows

Meet the authors



Children’s Literature Trust

Adelaide-based Fellows 2012



Stephen Axelsen is a graphic novelist. His May Gibbs Trust Fellowship is from March 1 – 31 2012. He has been writing and illustrating, mostly illustrating, for children since 1974. He lives with his wife Jennifer, dog and budgie (in descending order of size) in New Brighton, far Northern NSW. Stephen has worked for The School Magazine since 1985. His first graphic novel was The Mostly True Adventures of Matthew and Trim(with Cassandra Golds, Penguin Books, 2004). Stephen’s Fellowship project is the second instalment of The Nelly Gang, a series of graphic novels for primary school aged children. Part of his Fellowship time is at Victor Harbor R – 7 School.


Sydney-based Oliver Phommavanh is in residence as the inaugural May Gibbs Trust City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters Fellow from April 29 – May 12 and again from November 25 – December 8 2102. He burst onto the children’s literature scene in 2010 with Thai-riffic!(Penguin Books). His second title Con-nerd(Penguin Books) came out in 2011 and his latest, Punchlineshas just been released. Oliver has been described as an Asian Paul Jennings. He is a stand up comedian and motivational speaker. His Fellowship project is Bookish, which he describes as a lifelong love letter to librarians. Oliver is appearing as part of the City of Norwood’s Cultural Heritage Festival in the Norwood area libraries, at the Mary Martin Bookshop and as guest speaker at a Thai literary dinner hosted at Chabaar Restaurant, Norwood.


Also from Sydney, Jeni Mawter is the best selling author of the hilarious So…and Freewheelers series, both published by HarperCollins. Her picture books include There’s a Sun Fairy in our Gardenand The Snugglebump Jump. She has a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature and teaches creative writing. Her Fellowship project is Kiss Kill, a young adult experimental narrative and three picture book manuscripts: Boo School, Egg’s Easter Surprise and Ten Fallen Angels. Jeni is spending time at Scotch College Junior School during her two stage Fellowship from July 22 – August 4, and again from September 17 – 30 2012. Jeni is running professional development for writers and teachers during her time in Adelaide.


Aimee Said is from Melbourne and has a wide range of skills having worked in administration and communications roles in the arts and publishing sectors. Since 2000 she has been working as a writer with online content. In 2006 she began to write creatively, her first young adult novel, Finding Freia Lockhart, being published by Walker Books in 2010. Her second, Little Sisterwas released in 2011. For her Fellowship project between August 7 and September 4 2012, Aimee wants to immerse herself in her fourth novel for young adults, a dark tale of mystery and revenge set in a girls’ boarding school in the country. She is also scheduled to be in residence at Seymour College, a real girls’ boarding school - though in metropolitan Adelaide rather than in the country!

Aimee is the May Gibbs Trust’s 2012 Book Week Fellow and is guest speaker at the annual MGCLT Book Week lunch.