Nick Earls

Nick Earls

Queensland

Speaker type

  • Author
  • Media personality
  • Motivational

Nick Earls is the author of twenty-six books for adults, teenagers and children, including novels that have appeared on bestseller lists in Australia, the UK and the Amazon Kindle Store.

Zigzag Street won a Betty Trask Award in the UK. Perfect Skin was the only novel to be a finalist in the Australian Comedy Awards in 2003. Its Italian edition was adapted into the feature film Solo un Padre, which was a top-ten box-office hit in Italy through Cattleya/Warner Bros.

He has written five novels with teenage central characters. 48 Shades of Brown was awarded Book of the Year (older readers) by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, and in the US it was a Kirkus Reviews ‘book of the year’ selection. A feature film adapted from the novel was released by Disney’s Buena Vista International. His earlier young-adult novel, After January, was also an award-winner.

Five of his books have been adapted successfully for theatre, with the Zigzag Street play touring to thirty-six cities and towns around Australia.

Nick Earls is also the author of the world’s first etymology-based time-travel adventure series for children, Word Hunters, which was shortlisted in both the Australian Book Industry Awards and the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards. His subsequent book for children, New Boy, won Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year (8-10 years) and was shortlisted for the Children’s Peace Literature Award and the Griffith University Children’s Book Award.

In 2012, the Age included him among its top ten Greatest Living Australians (along with Bob Hawke, Warwick Capper and Shane Warne).

His most recent published work for adults is the novella series Wisdom Tree, winner of gold medals in the Independent Publisher Book Awards and the eLit Awards in the US, and the People's Choice Award at the 2017 NSW Premier's Literary Awards. Wisdom Tree was also incorporated into his creative writing PhD, which examined the impact of technology on novella publishing in the twenty-first century.

Adults

After-dinner speeches

From lawyers to librarians to urban tunnellers, Nick Earls has produced entertaining and thought-provoking after-dinner talks for conferences, taking his own anecdotes and experiences and incorporating the event’s key messages and themes.

MCing conferences & awards nights, facilitating conference sessions

Since Mother’s Day at the Brisbane Sheraton in 1990, Nick Earls has put his MC and facilitating skills to good use at a wide range of events (way more than just the six times friends have called upon him to MC their weddings), working with organisers to ensure material is customised for the occasion.

This Writing Life

That time Nick had an Oscar winner as his publicist? The time his uni exam was saved by divine intervention? The canoe race when he partnered Mal Meninga? The test wicket he claims to have taken for Australia? One way or another, writing has taken Nick Earls to places he never thought it would, and he’s very happy to talk about it. He’ll even include some inside info on how some of his best-loved books came about, if you’d like him to.

Inside Story

How the creation of a story or book works, from the first idea to the final interview of the book tour, with images and some revealing anecdotes along the way. (needs data projection)

Smallish But Perfectly Formed: the Novella

From the author of ‘the most perfect novella in the history of the format’, an inside look at the crafting of mid-sized fiction, the features that can make novellas brilliant and an entertaining look at novella publishing across time. (needs data projection, can be done as a 45 minute talks for readers of a 2-hour masterclass for writers)

Real characters workshop

Two dimensional characters lie flat on the page. Real characters lift up from it and take their story with them, transporting the reader. In a series of exercises, Nick Earls shows how he finds and uses the details that make characters unique and compelling, and shows how these developing characters can help the author find their story and push past writer’s block.

Secondary School

Real characters workshop

Two dimensional characters lie flat on the page. Real characters lift up from it and take their story with them, transporting the reader. In a series of exercises, Nick Earls shows how he finds and uses the details that make characters unique and compelling, and shows how these developing characters can help the author find their story and push past writer’s block.

So, Where Do You Get Your Ideas From?

Too often, students and emerging writers get stuck waiting for a great idea to come.  In a writing career that has now lasted 25 years and 26 books, Nick Earls has worked out that writing itsn't so much about where your ideas come from, it's more about noticing them when you're having them, not losing them and working out how to use them to tell the most compelling stories you can.  Ideas are everywhere, but how do you find, recognise, invent and develop them to create a great book?  Nick Earls looks at his own work, particularly focussing on his early award-winning YA novels After January and 48 Shades of Brown, to reveal what he's learned.  (45 - 60 minutes, needs data projection).

Inside Story

How the creation of a story or book works, from the first idea to the final interview of the book tour, with images and some revealing anecdotes along the way. This talk looks at how to find and use details, how to structure a story and the editing process. (needs data projection)

Adaptations

You’ve read the book, now what did you think of the film? With five theatre and two feature film adaptations behind him, Nick Earls knows what can go wrong and right with adaptations, and why. He also has plenty of behind-the-scenes stories to tell ... (needs data projection, best with internet access to show YouTube videos).

This Writing Life

That time Nick had an Oscar winner as his publicist? The time his uni exam was saved by divine intervention? The canoe race when he partnered Mal Meninga? The test wicket he claims to have taken for Australia? One way or another, writing has taken Nick Earls to places he never thought it would, and he’s very happy to talk about it, incorporating material about books and writing, and themes relevant in the classroom and students’ lives.

Smallish But Perfectly Formed: the Novella

From the author of ‘the most perfect novella in the history of the format’, an inside look at the crafting of mid-sized fiction, the features that can make novellas brilliant and an entertaining look at novella publishing across time. Great for any students thinking of entering the Somerset National Novella Competition, or completing a sizeable piece of creative work for assessment. (needs data projection)

Years 4-6

Word Hunters

From the Word Hunters book series, comes this entertaining and energetic spin-off live show, featuring images, props, games and loads of audience interaction. Where do our words come from? Why do we spell them the way we do? Why is English the weird and complicated language it is?

This talk introduces Lexi and Al from the Word Hunters books, while at the same time making English and its story exciting, giving students the tools to be word hunters themselves and giving them a new way of thinking about our language and how it works, including the evolution of language and factors behind it, and applying conventions and patterns.

(Needs data projection, standard presentation runs 45-60 minutes, expanded version with extra etymology runs over two 45-minute sessions, relevant to ACELA 1487, 1779, 1500, 1513, 1526 and 1539, and ACELY 1686 [but fun])

New Boy and the Migrant Experience

Using his own childhood migration from conflict in Northern Ireland and his central character Herschelle’s experience in New Boy, Nick Earls weaves fascinating and entertaining stories into a talk that looks at the personal stories behind migrations to Australia, with many opportunities for student thought and input. Available as an extended session designed for Year 6 curriculum units ACHASSK136 and ACHASSK137 looking specifically at migration push and pull factors, migrant experiences in Australia (including dealing with language and cultural differences) and the impact of migrants and immigration on Australian society post-1945. (needs data projection, standard talk runs 45 minutes, extended session runs 75-90 minutes)

Testimonials

  • Nick did a fantastic job at engaging both students and parents at our awards night. Our students also thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend some time developing story ideas with him and getting valuable feedback.

    Blackwater State High School - November 2018

    Blackwater State High School - November 2018
    Nick Earls
  • Great performance. Students loved Nick's knowledge and creativity with many languages and their origins. They also enjoyed hearing about his own life experiences migrating to Australia.

    St Mary MacKillop Primary School - August 2018

    St Mary MacKillop Primary School - August 2018
    Nick Earls
  • Excellent presentation based on what I had requested. The boys were highly engaged and learnt a lot from Nick's experiences.

    Anglican Church Grammar School - April 2018

    Anglican Church Grammar School - April 2018
    Nick Earls
  • Really fantastic speaker. The students were highly engaged and loved every minute of it. Nick Earls was just a wonderful presenter and we'd have him back to our school in a heartbeat.

    Calamvale Community College - October, 2017

    Calamvale Community College - October, 2017
    Nick Earls
  • Nick is great to work with and the boys were very engaged by his presentations.

    Anglican Church Grammar School - August, 2017

    Anglican Church Grammar School - August, 2017
    Nick Earls
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Nick Earls