Kathryn Apel

Kathryn Apel


Speaker type

  • Author
  • Poet
  • Educational consultant
  • Virtual visits
available for virtual visits

Kathryn Apel has worked as a teacher and literacy coach, but now devotes her time to writing poetry, picture books and verse novels – and talking about writing! Kathryn is best known for her verse novel, Bully on the Bus, whilst her shape poem Big Blue Whale is loved by children across the globe.

Pumping poetry builds writing muscle to use in all subjects - and with so many different forms to choose from, there is a poetry style for everyone! Kathryn tailors activities to best suit your context - from Prep to Year 12 (across the curriculum areas). Kat talks about what inspires her stories - which incorporates topics of bullying, friends, sibling rivalry, self worth - and life on a Queensland grazing property. She loves to inspire kids to be creative, and often shares pics from her family album, showing the things kids can achieve when they switch off the screen.

Kathryn presents writing workshops for adults, and her professional development for educators and counsellors is very well received!

Kat’s Books:

Bully on the Bus - Younger reader verse novel published by UQP (Kane Miller Books, USA).

  • Winner of the CYA Competition (manuscript)
  • Winner of the 2014 Australian Family Therapists’ Award for Children’s Literature
  • NZ Listener’s Top 50 Children’s Books
  • NCSS and CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2019 (America)
  • Selected resource - Reading Australia and Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Centre (USA) 

 On Track - Middle grade verse novel published by UQP

  • NZ Listener’s Top 50 Children’s Books for 2014.

Too Many Friends - Younger reader verse novel published by UQP.

  • CBCA Notable Book 2018.

This is the Mud! - Rhyming picture book published by Lothian Hachette. 

  • Winner of the inaugural CYA Competition (manuscript)
  • Read on ABC PlaySchool.




  • What an absolute joy it was to have Kat working at our school this week, as part of the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust. Both students and teachers have been inspired with her passion for poetry and children’s literature. Kat conveyed how only a few select words on a page can be the makings of a great piece of poetry! How brilliant, is this sage advice for the reluctant writer! Kat’s lesson content and creativity will definitely help our students continue to shine like diamonds!

    Victor Harbor R-7 School - 2018

    Victor Harbor R-7 School - 2018
    Kathryn Apel
  • I think Kat Apel may be our Book Week treasure. The boys love you! Teachers, students and parents have loved hearing you talk about your books and your family, and all the teachers have been impressed with your style and your activities.

    Toowoomba Grammar Junior School - 2018

    Toowoomba Grammar Junior School - 2018
    Kathryn Apel
  • What the students learned was phenomenal! As an added bonus, staff came away just as inspired as the students and feeling far more confident in their ability to teach and create poetry.

    St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School - 2018

    St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School - 2018
    Kathryn Apel
Kathryn Apel