Welcome to Creative Kids Tales, Lesley Gibbes!
Lesley Gibbes is an internationally published children's author, primary school teacher and presenter at the Australian Writers' Centre in Sydney.
Her credits include the CBCA Early Childhood Book Of The Year Honour Book, Scary Night, CBCA Notable Book, Little Bear's First Sleep, Bring a Duck, Quick as a Wink Fairy Pink, Fluke, Bouncing, Bouncing Little Joeys and the hilarious CBCA Notable Book series Fizz, illustrated by Stephen Michael King.
Growing up in the leafy suburb of Avalon on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Lesley has fond memories of enjoying her favourite books by Richard Scary and Dr Seuss. Aged 10, she moved to Wagga Wagga in country NSW, and later returned to Sydney where Lesley attended Barrenjoey High School. Here she enjoyed studying her favourite subjects, Biology, English, History and Art, and still wishes she had developed her art further so she could illustrate her own books. During her studies in Primary Education, she became interested in children’s literature. She graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Primary) from The University of Sydney in 1991 and began teaching in Sydney’s inner west at Concord Public School, where she specialised in drama and dance. She went on to teach at a number of other public schools in NSW between 1999 and 2008.
Whilst teaching, Lesley met and married her husband and shared a passion in the art of ballroom dancing. One of the highlights of her dancing career was performing at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics!
Over her sixteen years of teaching she read as much quality literature as possible to her students, which helped her absorb the structure of children’s picture books, chapter books and novels. She took leave to have her two children, Austin and Georgia and soon began to chase her dream. She actively started writing in 2011, after taking a writing course at the NSW Writers’ Centre with author and editor Frances Watts. With a goal to write a picture book each month in mind, she spent most evenings writing once her children were in bed.
She found courses where she could read her stories out loud, receiving feedback from industry professionals, which further encouraged her to enter manuscripts into competitions and manuscript appraisal services, and send stories off to publishing houses.
Her first picture book, ‘Scary Night’, was picked out of the slush pile in 2012 at Working Title Press, and the rest is history!
Lesley is actively out and about in the writing community, recently speaking on the Pitching Panel at CBCA Northern Sydney, teaching writing workshops for Kindy to Year 2 students at Abbotsleigh Literary Festival and been a guest lecturer at Sydney University enthralling enthusiastic Early Childhood and Masters of Education students.
When she’s not mucking about with her family and two naughty Jack Russell terriers Cosworth and Porsche, Lesley teaches a chapter book writing course available through the Australian Writers Centre.
Find out more about Lesley and her wonderful collection of books here:
or follow her on social media here:
View some of Lesley Gibbes' books: