Phillip Gwynne

Phillip Gwynne

New South Wales

Speaker type

  • Author

Phillip Gwynne Author/Screenwriter/Publisher/Speaker

Raised in rural South Australia, Phillip Gwynne has written books for kids, young readers, teenagers and adults as well as the screenplay for the feature film Australian Rules, which was based on his highly awarded first novel Deadly Unna? Considered a modern Australian classic Deadly Unna? is studied extensively at schools and universities within Australia and abroad and has sold over 250,000 copies.

Phillip is currently based in Bali, Indonesia, where he finished writing The Debt, the six part high octane thriller series for younger readers which was released by Allen and Unwin in 2013 and has been published in the US, Germany, Brazil, France and Belgium.

Since moving to Bali he has also found the time - and the inspiration! - to write several picture books, including The Queen With The Wobbly Bottom, Yobbos Do Yoga, Ruby Learns to Swim, Little Piggy's Got No Moves, Ten Green Geckos, What's Wrong With the Wobbegong and Little Owl. Brothers From a Different Mother and The Shy Zebra will be released in the next year or so.

His latest book Michael, part of the incredibly successful Stuff Happens series, has recently been released.

Phillip has also recently been working in Myanmar (Burma) as the principal scriptwriter on The Sun, the Moon and the Truth, a 16 X 1 hour episode TV series, an initiative of Aung San Suu Kyi. (

And Phillip has become a publisher himself, working with his wife Eliza McCann to create My Awesome Bali Adventure, an interactive activity book for kids holidaying in Bali. (

He is currently working on a YA novel that, amongst other things, deals with capital punishment.

Why Phillip Gwynne?

Phillip's own story: how one of eight children who grew up in a house that had no books managed to become a multi award winning writer, is funny, moving and absolutely inspirational. Along the way he also managed to be a professional footballer, a marine biologist, a fruit picker, a computer programmer, and a teacher of English as a second language, so Phillip is able to incorporate a rich amount of life experience into his talks. Phillip has been giving school talks and running writing workshops for over fifteen years. And as a father himself - he has a 23 yo son who is a professional skateboarder and 9yo and 7yo daughters - he thoroughly enjoys working with kids, nurturing and developing their reading and writing.

What will he talk about?

Below is a selection of some of the topics covered in Phillip's talks:

  • How somebody who grew up in a house that had no books ended up writing them for a living.
  • Ideas: where do they come from and what do you do with them?
  • The importance of revision -- most writing is rewriting!
  • My influences -- who do I like to read?
  • Research: is driving to Uluru and back with your son really work?
  • Life/work balance -- is a writer a writer 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
  • Writing Deadly Unna -- the impetus, the process, how I got my first book published.
  • From Page to Screen -- adapting my book Deadly Unna to the film Australian Rules.
  • Living outside of Australia -- is that useful thing for a writer?
  • Working across cultures and languages -- how difficult/rewarding is it?
  • Self-publishing -- pros and cons.


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Phillip Gwynne