My name is Penny Garnsworthy and I love to write!
I won my first award for fiction writing at the age of nine with a children’s fantasy story entitled The Magic Circle. At fourteen my first non-fiction article was published; a first- hand account of a bus breakdown at a Sunday School picnic.
But it wasn’t until the early 1990s I began to take my writing seriously. I took creative writing classes and wrote lots of short stories for adults. Many of these have won awards, been published commercially and presented on national radio. In 2004 a collection of my short stories was published in the UK under the title Recoil! because of their surprise endings.
I discovered the joy of writing for children and in 2003, my first children’s novel The Lighthouse Secret was picked up by Word Weavers Press, an educational publisher who found success with the Quick Reads series. The Lighthouse Secret subsequently sold 2,000 copies to schools, libraries and bookshops around Australia.
In 2004 a collection of my short stories entitled Recoil! was published by UK publisher Piper’s Ash. This collection comprised twenty of my adult short stories in a range of genres featuring surprise endings.
Word Weavers Press was considering my sequel to The Lighthouse Secret when they announced they would close due to the loss of their distributor. So in 2006 I self-published a fantasy novel for 9-13 year olds entitled Across the Line and followed this up in 2007 with The Cyber Riddles. Both books appear annually on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge.
The School Magazine (NSW) and Pearson Education Magazines have to date published ten of my non-fiction educational articles and a children’s short story. I enjoy researching and writing articles on topics including history, science and nature, and I hope to continue submitting work to magazines.
In 2010/11 I returned to adult writing to ghost-write an autobiography for a colleague with multiple disabilities. This was my first foray into full-length non-fiction writing and I enjoyed the challenge. However, my first love remains writing for children and young adults and I currently have several manuscripts in progress.
More recently I uploaded the following titles to amazon.com as Kindle e-books: two children’s novels, Jessie’s Ghosts and Time Out; and Tangled Tales, a collection of my short stories.
My professional memberships include the Australian Society of Authors, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre. At a local level I co co-ordinate a group that calls itself the Lonnie Writers.
When not writing, I love to read mystery, crime, fantasy and science fiction novels. And of course, books for kids! I tutor in a volunteer capacity and I am on the Executive Committee of the Children’s Book Council of Australia (Tasmanian Branch) Inc. for whom I am also the newsletter editor. You can find my blog at http://pennygarnsworthy.com/blog and I am also active on Facebook and Twitter.
I live in the beautiful Tamar Valley in Northern Tasmania and share our semi-rural property with partner Jim, pademelons, rabbits, wallabies, a bandicoot and an echidna.
Member since 2010
Region: Australia East/New Zealand
Published In Children's Market: