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Author/Editor #01: Mem Fox & Jane Covernton


Mem Fox + Jane Covernton

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Mem Fox

Mem Fox

Mem Fox was born in Melbourne, grew up in Africa, went to drama school in England, and came back to Australia in 1970, aged 23.

In 1983 Mem became Australia’s best-selling writer. Possum Magic, her first book, is still available in hardback after 36 years and has become a beacon of children’s literature for millions of Australian families. She has written over 40 children’s books and several non-fiction books for adults. Her books have been translated into twenty-one languages, and many of them have been international best sellers.

Mem is a retired Associate Professor of Literacy Studies from Flinders University, South Australia, where she taught teachers for 24 years. She has received many civic honours and awards, and three honorary doctorates.

Her recent book: I’m Australian Too, takes her back to where she started: her passion for Australia. She hopes it will spark spirited discussions about Australian-ness, create an awareness of Australian immigration over the centuries, and begin to calm the rising racism in her country.

Jane Covernton

Jane Covernton

Jane Covernton was born in South Australia in 1951. She trained as a newspaper journalist but switched to publishing after taking up a position with Berkeley Publishers in London.

From 1975 to 1980 she worked as a general and educational editor for Rigby Limited. In 1981 she left Rigby to set up the specialist children’s book publishing house, Omnibus Books, with co-founder Sue Williams. In the years that followed, Sue and Jane published many Australian classics, including One Woolly Wombat, Possum Magic, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge and I Went Walking.

In 1991 they sold Omnibus Books to Scholastic Australia but continued to work with the company until 1997, when they left to set up a new children’s picture book company, Working Title Press.

In 2001 Jane Covernton became the sole publisher/director of Working Title Press. She retired in 2017.