Jess Black

Jess Black

Speaker type

  • Author
  • Storyteller / Performer

Jess Black is the author of over thirty books for children. She has written the Keeper of the Crystal Series and is the co-author of the highly successful The Kaboom Kid, The Bindi Wildlife Adventures series and the RSPCA Animal Tales series. TheKeeper of the Crystals Series and Animal Tales books are on the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge booklist for 2017 for year 3-4.

Jess has a new series coming out with Penguin Random House in April 2017. Little Paws is a chapter book series about Guide Dog puppies and the families who volunteer to raise them.

Jess has written a picture book called Moon Dance. She has a second picture book coming out in July 2017 called The Bold Australian Girl.

Jess has worked as a writer and director in children’s theatre, a writer and editor in children’s television; a book seller and a book buyer.

Jess is a senior tutor at The Writers Studio and tutors their ten month First Draft Novel or Screenplay course.

Series Summary

Little Paws

A fun, heartwarming series about the puppies that train to become Guide Dogs and the families who help raise them. Little Paws is published in association with Guide Dogs Australia.

Keeper of the Crystals

Keeper of the Crystals is an adventure fantasy series full of secrets and mystery. Eve and Oscar, two unlikely friends, accidentally tap into the power of crystals. They are thrust into different and dangerous worlds where unicorns, tigers, dragons and panthers communicate with people and where native communities and their way of life are under threat. What are the secrets of the crystal keeper and why does Eve have these powers? 

The Kaboom Kid

Meet Little Davey Warner. He lives in Sandhill Flats with his mum and dad and his brother Steve – and his stinky dog Max. Davey and his schoolmates –even Max – are MAD for cricket. All they want to do is play … but there’s always something getting in their way. David Warner is a sporting hero to many kids, and they’ll relish reading about the exploits of young Davey Warner, cricket-mad and learning how to cope with all that life throws at him.

Bindi Wildlife Adventures

Come and join Bindi on her wildlife adventures! The books are fast paced adventures that travel to destinations such as Africa, Thailand, Madagascar and of course around Australia!

‘I love to read so I thought these books might be another way to share with kids my love for wildlife! Every kid can make a difference and I hope that these books get all kids excited about changing our world!’

Bindi Irwin

Animal Tales

An adventure series based around helping animals big and small, fully endorsed by the RSPCA.

Talks for Children

Jess shares her own experience with writing plays, television scripts and books for children. She uses stories from her own life as a director, producer, writer, teacher and mother who has always championed stories for children. She shares her own tips and advice for creativity and story structure and empowers children to tell their own stories.

Jess is available for creative writing workshops. These range from year 3 through to year 8.

All workshops and general talks can be customised to suit the school or students’ needs.

The Magic Door

Fantasy writing is a genre that children are naturally drawn to. In this workshop children can explore their own portal into a magic world through the device of a magic door. They will work on the world, the setting, characters, magical creatures and devices and how to make it back to their own world!

Loud Macaws and Muddy Paws

Join Jess as she takes you on a rollicking journey to create stories about her favourite subject – animals! Discover how to inject humour, surprise, suspense and loving characters into your stories.

The Call to Adventure

Whether your hero is on the cricket pitch, fighting tigers in a jungle or a bully at school; their adventure begins by answering the call to adventure. This workshop gives you the tools to create exciting and suspenseful stories filled with non stop page turning action.

From Foxes in Soxes to Bums going Psycho

Is it really all about poo, farts and snot? Why do kids laugh at Dad jokes? Join Jess for a look at some of the best comedy writing for kids from Dr Seuss to Andy Griffiths. You will explore what works, why it works and how to apply it to your own writing. Learn how to write stories that will make you and your friends laugh!

The Importance of Planning

This two-hour workshop gives students the structure they need to plan their own stories prior to writing. Jess focuses on structure, character and plot to give students tools and confidence to work both within the structure of story planning and the creative freedom of the actual story writing.

Workshops for Teachers

As an author, parent and tutor who has been speaking in schools for over 10 years, Jess Black is passionate about teaching creative writing.  Jess has taught hundreds of writing workshops for kids and adults and knows how to make the process fun and engaging. Jess knows how to help students understand the balance between planning and writing, using character to drive story and helping tap into the imagination to come up with inventive plots. Jess helps students tap into their own lives and memories to create exciting stories that resonate. 

Workshops for Adults

Writing for children means thinking about your own past, while staying in touch with young people of today.

Michael Rosen

As a writer for children this is the line you will walk – using your own memories of life but making them relevant to a new generation of children. It means staying open to the world around you, in touch with the child inside you while also having an idea of what sells and why.

An introduction to the market of children’s publishing, what publishers look for and the perennials kids love. This course will help you find the hook for your idea, pitch a story and write a synopsis. You’ll also learn about themes and language suited to different age groups and basic story structure used when writing for children. You will get a taste for the three-draft process, your character arc, as well as themes and language suitable for your chosen age group.

 

Testimonials

  • We had the opportunity to listen to Jess Black speak during the Newcastle Writer’s Festival. The students found her presentation entertaining and very interesting. Listening to stories from Jess’ youth and her love for animals and the pleasure she received from their many adventures were both enjoyable and engaging. Like the books Jess has written, she really had the ability to relate to the children and take their imaginations on a memorable journey.
    During the presentation Jess was able to inspire the students to become better writers by suggesting practical strategies and ideas for them to get started with their own writing. The benefits of this were definitely evident in the work samples the children produced afterwards.
    I would most definitely recommend selecting Jess Black for an author visit to your school. Thanks Jess for a fabulous presentation!


    St Joseph Primary School - 2016

    St Joseph Primary School - 2016
    Jess Black
  • I had the absolute pleasure of attending two sessions at Newcastle Region Library on Thursday 4 April.
    The sessions gave the school children an insight into how Jess became involved in writing the very popular Bindi Irwin series and the RSPCA series of books.
    Jess also shared with the children some great creative writing tips, where do ideas come from? how to overcome writers block, and most importantly to have fun with their writing.
    I can highly recommend Jess for school visits, library visits and creative writing workshops.
    Well done Jess!


    MacLean's Booksellers - 2016

    MacLean's Booksellers - 2016
    Jess Black
  • We were fortunate to have Jess Black visit us last Thursday. She brought with her excellent communication skills and love for what she does.
    Jess has had a background in publishing and editing as well as a love for reading. During her visit Jess spoke openly about the positives of reading and using imagination every day. She engaged with the students in developing characters for future stories.
    The students were keen to find out about Bindi Irwin and Australia Zoo as well as the development of the stories in the Bindi Series that Jess wrote. Jess told tales of her life and adventures in South Africa, Mexico and Australia. The children were spellbound. Jess came with beaded animal toys made in South Africa as a stimulus for character development and asked various students to carry on the building of each new animal character.
    I would like to thank Jess Black for her great rapport and desire to meet the brief for her visit to our College.


    Bishop Tyrell Anglican College - 2016

    Bishop Tyrell Anglican College - 2016
    Jess Black
  • We would highly recommend choosing Jess Black as your guest Author. Jess has a warm conversational style that really puts the children at ease. They enjoyed hearing tales of her childhood; listened intently as she read from one her books; and during jointly constructed story time, the students were all engaged, critically thinking and wanting to contribute to the discussion.

    Al Noori Primary School, Greenacre - 2016

    Al Noori Primary School, Greenacre - 2016
    Jess Black
  • Fun, engaging and informative. Jess Black visited our preschool children to discuss the importance of caring for animals. During the visit the children asked many questions about Jess’ love for animals and about how she comes up with ideas for stories. Jess then invited the children to join in with her, and with the use of puppets, engaged the children in the reading of an animal story. There were lots of laughter and smiles and a great time was had by all. We can’t wait to have her visit again!

    Riverview Early Learning Centre - 2016

    Riverview Early Learning Centre - 2016
    Jess Black

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Jess Black