Kellie Byrnes

Kellie Byrnes


Speaker type

  • Author

Kellie is a children’s author, presenter, book reviewer, blogger, and freelance writer with a BA degree in Literature. Her first picture book, Cloud Conductor, was released by Wombat Books in 2018. She has three more picture books on the way. Two will be published by Little Pink Dog Books (2020, 2021), and one by EK Books (2020). Furthermore, Kellie’s first junior fiction novel will be published by Wombat Books in 2020.

Kellie is an active member of SCBWI and multiple writers' groups. She reviews and blogs about children's book monthly, and has been a judge for a kidlit competition.

Kellie was awarded a mentorship with author Adam Lehrhaupt as part of the 2018 (U.S.) Writing with the Stars program. She was also chosen as a mentee in the 2016 (U.S.) FicFest mentoring program.

Kellie has been a full-time writer for over five years, and has experience working in publishing in Australia, in both the publishing department and as a sales rep for Pan Macmillan, and then as a rep for Hardie Grant Gift (Taltrade Books at the time). Kellie's career also includes time spent in marketing and PR roles, and in business as an ecommerce store founder. She understands the writer's life from all angles, and is adept at wearing the many hats required to be a full-time creative.

Kellie’s freelance work has been published in magazines such as Fly Corporate's Regional Skies, and Boat Gold Coast, as well as on sites like Huffington Post, Forbes, Lifehacker, Entrepreneur, Gumtree, and Inc. She has written content for companies in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Her work has been used by firms such as MYOB, Intuit, Optus, St. George Bank, Fiji Airways, Bridgestone, Sheridan, Spirit of Tasmania, Natvia, Britz Campers, Lipa Learning and more. Kellie has also created some children's stories and TV scripts for various clients in recent years. 

Kellie is available to present entertaining and informative talks and workshops to children and adults around the country. She can speak at preschools, schools, literary events, libraries, festivals and the like on a variety of topics, including making a living as a writer. She adapts her presentations to fit in with the Australian Curriculum and can tailor presentations according to the needs of the audience and organisation.

Kellie is excited to be the Artist in Residence at The Crows Nest, Sunshine Coast, for four months, from 1 August til 1 December 2019, alongside her writer friend Ali Stegert. They will have the dedicated artist space on Chambers Island to write for four months. They were chosen by the Sunshine Coast Council as  one of only four  successful applicants  out of 189 for this, the inaugural year of the residency. 

Crows NestCrows Nest - Artist in Residence


Kellie is available to come and speak to your class, school, library patrons, festival visitors and other guests on numerous topics. Sessions can cover book readings and interactive activities; workshops with specific exercises; and talks on a writer's life, publishing, storytelling techniques etc.

Kellie can target her content towards early learning centre, primary, secondary or university students, or adults, as needed. Speaking engagements can be adapted according to the needs of different groups and venues. (At early learning centres and schools, teachers need to stay in the rooms, please. It helps students when they see their teachers taking an interest and participating, and also enables students and teachers to discuss the session afterwards, and/or follow up with related activities.)

Kellie is available for day-long programs, immersive residencies, professional development sessions for teachers, panels and talks at literary festivals, and more.

Kellie's first picture book, Cloud Conductor, addresses themes of creativity and dealing with challenging times. It also ties in to curriculum studies on the natural environment, weather patterns, the seasons, and clouds. The book is geared towards young readers, aged around 5 to 8 years. Kellie can perform a reading, answer a Q&A, and direct a craft activity for students in prep or years 1-3.

In addition, Kellie can speak on the following topics (generally 45-60 minute talks or 60-90 minute workshops):

- Imagination, and where ideas come from

- How we can use creativity to help ourselves and others

- Story Conductor - elements of story and structure

- Making of a picture book

- Fun with language

- Using the five senses in writing

- The roles of authors, illustrators, and publishers

- A writer's life and the business of being a full-time creative

- Writing effective story beginnings and endings

- Characterisation

- The many forms of storytelling and ways stories can be shared

- Revision, revision, revision

- How to say less and achieve more impact

- Creative resilience and positive mindset - how to deal with setbacks, challenges, and rejections

- Goal setting for greater results

- Productivity - tips and tools for greater output

- Author marketing - how to have an impact in a saturated market (can look at elements such as websites, SEO, social media, blogging, working with and pitching to journalists, creating an editorial calendar, and more)

- How to get publishers and editors to pay attention - tips on jumping the slushpile, writing an effective cover/query letter, interacting with decision makers, etc.


Kellie Byrnes