Pamela Rushby

Pamela Rushby

Pamela Rushby was born in Queensland, Australia, more years ago than she cares to divulge.

She has worked in advertising, as a pre-school teacher, and a freelance writer. She was a writer and producer of educational television, audio and multimedia for the Queensland Department of Education for 16 years, and now freelances in children’s and young adult fiction and non-fiction; scriptwriting; and multimedia writing/designing.

Pam is a registered teacher.

Pam has written:

Books (and associated talks and workshops)

Over 250 titles for trade and educational publishers. Many have historical backgrounds, based on fascinating, little-known historical events. Pam gives talks on the historical backgrounds of these novels, with PowerPoints featuring archival photographs. Many have publishers’ teachers’ notes available. These include: 

When the Hipchicks Went to War

(Upper primary, secondary, adult)  The background story of sixteen-year-old girls who travelled to Vietnam as song-and-dance entertainers during the Vietnam War.

The Horses Didn’t Come Home

(Upper primary, secondary, adult) Australia sent 160,000 horses overseas during World War 1. Only one ever came back. The story of Australia’s war horses, the walers.

Flora’s War

(Secondary, adult) How Cairo was overwhelmed with wounded from Gallipoli during World War 1. The story of the volunteers who cared for them, and the very makeshift hospitals they worked in.

The Ratcatcher’s Daughter 

(Upper primary, secondary, adult)  1900, and the plague, the Black Death, arrives in Queensland. 13-year-old Issy becomes a very reluctant rat catcher.

Sing a Rebel Song

(Upper primary, secondary, adult)  1891, and Australia comes scarily close to outright civil war. The story of the Shearers’ Strike in western Queensland, and the start of the Labor Party.

The Secret Battle

(Upper primary, secondary, adults) In 1942, over two days, Australian and American servicemen fought each other, rioting in the streets of Brisbane. Then the Battle of Brisbane was totally hushed-up. Why? And why were Japanese Zeros commonly seen flying over Brisbane?

The Mummy Smugglers of Crumblin Castle

(Primary, lower secondary) Adventures on the Nile. Mummy unwrapping tea parties. And – an activity where students learn to write their name in hieroglyphs.

The Mud Puddlers

(Primary, lower secondary, adult) The history of mud larking on the Thames. What may happen if you wonder about an item from the past for too long … Includes real finds from the Thames, and an activity where students ‘lucky dip’ from a bag of simulated mud larking finds, and write or draw about them.

Those Girls

(Upper secondary, adult) In 1942, 7000 young women joined the Australian Women’s Land Army, working on farms and properties through the country, doing all the work men had done – many of them only 16 years old and weighing 7 stone wringing wet. This is the story of those girls with grit.

Pam has also written: children’s television scripts, short stories and freelance journalism.

Other Workshops and Talks under separate tab.


Literature Board of the Australia Council grant to work on archaeological excavations in Egypt and Jordan for research for a children’s novel.

Churchill Fellowship to study educational television at TVOntario, Canada

Two Arts Queensland grants to write young adult historical novels

Nine Notable Books in CBCA awards

Nance Donkin Award for children’s writer

Lots of long-listings and short-listings –

and a bag of gold coins at a film festival in Iran!

How a Book is Made

(Lower primary) From the first spark of an initial idea to the first scarily-messy draft, to edited text. Finally, the completed book! With examples of original, scarily messy first drafts, first and second proofs, illustration roughs and finished art. 

Mummies, mystery and magic

(Primary) Learn why – and how – the ancient Egyptians mummified people – and animals. See replicas of a mummified hand and cat – and a genuine mummified rat! Learn to write your name in hieroglyphs – and why you should always, always say a mummy’s name out loud. (Pam’s books on Egypt include Walking the Fields of the Blessed; Everything Egypt; The King of Egypt; Sone by Stone, Say My Name; Millions of Mummies; The Mummy Smugglers of Crumblin Castle)

How to write sizzling first sentences

(Upper primary, secondary, adult)  When a reader picks up your work, you’ve got about 15 seconds to keep them reading. This hands-on workshop outlines why sizzling first sentences are so important – and suggest eight effective ways of writing them.

Writing historical fiction

(Upper primary, secondary, adult) How to take an incredible historical moment and develop it into a gripping historical story. Participants work together to develop the outline of a historical story.

How nine questions - and three little pigs – can help you structure your story

(Upper primary, secondary, adult)  A practical workshop that assists writers to structure a story with a fine-tuned beginning, middle and end, based on an easy-to-use framework. Includes set-up, place and time, main characters, action, obstacles, conflict, climax and outcome.

Slaying the dreaded synopsis

If there’s anything that makes a writer turn pale, it’s having to write a synopsis. You’ll learn a formula to do it in this workshop. Yes, you can slay the beast – and produce a synopsis that will make your story sing.


  • Pamela is soft spoken and an engaging speaker. She is a fabulous storyteller. Pamela had the students enthralled with her stories, which demonstrated the amount of research she has conducted in writing her stories.

    St Stephen's Catholic College - March 2019

    St Stephen's Catholic College - March 2019
    Pamela Rushby
  • Pamela's visit was very well received by our girls. The PowerPoint presentations and worksheets she used to accompany her workshops with our year 8 and 10 girls were engaging and useful for the girls when thinking about how to successfully structure a story.
    I would thoroughly recommend Pamela for an author visit to other schools, particularly all girls' schools as many of her novels deal with females as the main protagonists.

    Pamela Rushby - Mary MacKillop College, August, 2014.

    Pamela Rushby - Mary MacKillop College, August, 2014.
    Pamela Rushby


Speaker type

  • Author
  • Memoir Writing
Pamela Rushby