Welcome to Creative Kids Tales, Ursula Dubosarsky.
Author Ursula Dubosarsky was born in Sydney in 1961 to parents, Verna and Peter Coleman. She adopted her recognised first name from the 1915 novel, The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence.
Ursula comes from a family of writers and from as young as six she showed signs she would continue in the family’s footsteps. From her early primary school days through to high school Ursula wrote short stories, poems and plays she acted out with puppets.
Her University days were spent studying English and other languages including Greek, Latin and Old Icelandic at Sydney University and later at Macquarie University. Today Ursula is an Honorary Associate in the Department of English at Macquarie University.
After graduation Ursula moved to Canberra spending her days in the public service and her nights writing a time-slip adventure, Zizzy Zing.
Ursula spent a year travelling, during which she met her Argentinean husband Avi while working on a kibbutz in Israel. Falling hopelessly head over heels, the pair married in London before returning to Australia to settle down.
It was shortly after the birth of their daughter, Maisie, Ursula wrote Maisie and the Pinny Gig which was illustrated by Roberta Landers, an old school friend. The book proved a hit for the 27-year-old and was published by Macmillan in 1990 shortly followed by children’s novel, High Hopes, published by Penguin Books.
Fast forward 25 years and Ursula now published over 40 books both children’s and adults including The Terrible Plop, The Red Shoe and Too Many Elephants in This House. These books have been adapted into stage productions with Too Many Elephants in This House illustrated by the popular Andrew Joyner chosen by ALIA as the National Simultaneous Storytime read for 2014. The book proving an excellent choice was the NSS most successful to date with 460,000 participants in over 3,100 locations.
The Word Spy books, illustrated by Tohby Riddle have won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, the CBCA Junior Judges Award and the Book of the Year Award.
She is the recipient of many prestigious national awards such as the NSW, Victorian, Queensland and South Australian Premier’s Literary Awards. In fact, Ursula has been the winning recipient of the NSW Premier’s Literary Award more than any other writer in the awards history, a staggering five times.
Some of her other awards include the 2011 CBCA Book of the Year Award for The Return of the Word Spy. In 2013, she was inducted into the Speech Pathology Australia’s Hall of Fame for her contribution to children’s literature. Ursula was nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2014, she was noted on the IBBY Honour Book List for The Golden Day.
In 2006, Ursula began working as an editor for the NSW School Magazine a position she held for a number of years.
In 2014, David Jones (Sydney department store) celebrated Ursula’s work using her Reindeer’s Christmas Surprise as their inspiration for their annual Christmas window display.
Ursula lives in Sydney with her husband Avi and three beautiful children. When she is not writing, Ursula is making creations of a different kind, cakes. The more unusual the recipe, the better.
Last month Ursula and illustrator, Bronwyn Bancroft were nominated by IBBY Australia (International Board of Books for Young People) as the Australian candidates for the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Awards. 28 writers and 29 illustrators are nominated for this prestigious award and winners will be announced at the 2016 Bologna Children’s Book Fair in March. The winners will then receive their medals at the IBBY International Congress to be held in Auckland in August. We wish Ursula the very best of luck and will keep everything crossed for her.
To find out more about the brilliant Ursula Dubosarsky visit her website: ursuladubosarsky.squarespace.com
Read Creative Kids Tales' May 2015 interview with Ursula Dubosarsky
Some of Ursula's books