Katrina McKelvey is a children’s author, former primary school teacher, wife, and mother to two tweenagers and a cocker spaniel. She’s written many children's picture books and educational readers including No Baths Week, Up To Something, Isla’s Family Tree (April, 2020), and Chasing Rainbows (August, 2020). For full details of Katrina's books please visit:
Trailer for Isla’s Family Tree
Katrina is highly involved in CBCA, SCBWI, literary conferences and festivals, and loves visiting schools. She’s left-handed, loves tea and rollercoasters, and is addicted to mint chocolate. While in lockdown in Disney World a few years ago, she survived Hurricane Gene (category 5) by eating awful brownies.
Visit Katrina's Website here:
For the kids:
Katrina can offer author talks for children K-6, writing workshops for Stage 2 and 3 (see below), and storytime sessions for children aged 3 - 7 years old. Katrina is willing to participate in Family Fun Days and Schools Programs linked to the festival. She is willing to travel to local schools who are unable to attend the festival.
For the adults:
Katrina can participate on panels that discuss topics such as: advice for beginning authors, how to get into the world of writing for children, and how to build relationships in the children's book industry and start an online profile. She has chairing experience and is willing to chair panels too.
You’re in charge! What rule would you like to break daily for a week?
In this workshop, using the structure of No Baths Week, children will write a story about breaking a rule every day for a whole week - such as not cleaning teeth, or eating junk food. What daily disasters happen along the way? How are they resolved? Narrative structure, conflict, character development, and narrative resolution will be featured during this workshop. Suitable for Stage 2 and Stage 3. (90 mins)
What are you chasing?
Using Chasing Rainbows as a springboard, children will write about chasing something they can’t reach/have. What are some of the methods used to catch it? What disasters happen along the way? What happens when it’s caught? Narrative structure, frustration, tension, character development and a satisfying resolution will be featured during this workshop. Suitable for Stage 2 and 3. (90 mins)
Chaos! Carts! and Champions!
In this workshop, children will be guided to continue my picture book, Up To Something by writing what happens next. In my story, Billie and his dad have built a billy cart together to enter the local Billy Cart Derby. But this is where my story ends and the workshop begins. So, what happens during the race? What chaos do they have to overcome to become the derby champions? Narrative structure, tension, action, pacing, character development, and narrative resolution will be featured during this workshop. Suitable for Stage 2 and 3. (90 mins)
What if you woke up and a new brother or sister was sitting at the end of your bed?
Using Isla’s Family Tree as inspiration, children will discuss the definition of ‘family’ and what their family looks/feels/sounds like. How is everyone connected together? From there, children will use a range of text types to try and draw/map/represent their family tree. Finally, they’ll write a story about: ‘What if you woke up and a new brother or sister was sitting at the end of your bed?’. This would lead to discussions about feelings, problems, and ideas of how this could be resolved. Would they feel/do the same as Isla?
• 2014/2015/2016/2017 Book Giving Assemblies for Books In Homes
• 2015 Book Expo panel participant with Oliver Phommavanh
• 2015/2016 Newcastle Writers Festival Board Member
• 2016 Newcastle Writers Festival author talk and stage performance
• 2016 SCBWI Conference participating chair
• 2016 Chair for a local discussion panel on crime writing for Newcastle Region Libraries
• 2016 Panel participant at Scone Literary Festival and Kids & YA Festival
• 2017 Newcastle Writers Festival Family Fun Day MC and volunteer
• 2019 SCBWI Conference chair - panel of publishers
• 2019 Newcastle Writers Festival Schools Program - two writing workshops for children
• 2019 Newcastle Writers Festival - Family Fun Day Book Launch of Up To Something
• 2019 Chaired a panel of publishers and agents at Kitlitvic Conference in Melbourne
• 2019 Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival Schools Program – 3 days
• 2019 CYA Conference – How to write picture books workshop for adult writers
• 2019 Supported Love Your Bookshop Day with Harry Hartog, Green Hills
• 2019 Play World Australia conference in Sydney – story time
• 2019 Gresford Billy Cart Derby – story time
• 2019 Facilitated event: Dr Karl’s Random Road Trip on behalf of Harry Hartog, Green Hills
• 2020 More school visits, and festival appearances as facilitator and chair
• Newcastle Writers Festival Schools Program advisor for past 4 years
• ongoing public appearances in book shops, local libraries and school visits (Preschool to Year 9)
For an extensive list of public appearances, please visit: