Marianne Musgrove


South Australian author, Marianne Musgrove, writes novels and poetry for young people. For over a decade, she has been running lively and engaging workshops for primary and secondary students on the craft of book writing. With a wide selection of props and practical examples, Marianne describes her creative process, how she conducts research and interviews, how to blend fact and fiction, the art of plotting and characterisation, editing, title and cover art selection, and getting published. 

Drawing on her background as a social worker, she also runs Worry Coping, Resilience & Mindfulness Workshops for Everyday Kids based on her novel, The Worry Tree.

Marianne enjoys bringing to light the hidden stories in our community. Frieda is about a German girl who migrates to Adelaide in 1914. After WW1 breaks out, Frieda’s budding friendships are tested when her father is falsely accused of being a spy and is interned. Marianne’s current project, Blackbird, is the fictional story of the kidnapping (blackbirding) of a South Sea Islander boy in the 1880’s who is sent to work in the sugarcane fields of Queensland.

Garnering awards here and overseas, Marianne is winner of the 2007 Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children’s Literature (The Worry Tree), winner of the 2011 Swiss Prix Chronos (Don’t Breathe a Word), and was short-listed for the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards (The Beginner’s Guide to Revenge). In 2016, she became a May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust fellow and a Max Fatchen fellow. In 2023, she is completing her upcoming blackbirding novel.

 A born storyteller, Marianne draws from her own experiences and imagination to captivate you in her presentation.’ – Lorraine P., librarian, Adelaide

‘Following Marianne’s visit, our students were much more enthusiastic about our creative writing assignments.’ – K.Persaud, teacher, Adelaide

Coming soon  

Blackbird  It's 1883 and a South Sea islander boy has been kidnapped by blackbirders and sold to Australian sugarcane plantation owners. His twin, Narua, must find his brother and bring him home.

Published Titles

Frieda: A New Australian, 2017, Scholastic

A German girl migrates to South Australia in 1914 then WW1 breaks out and her father is accused of being a German spy.

The Beginner's Guide to Revenge, 2013, Random House Australia

Two friends. One book of revenge. Zero consequences? As ANZAC Day approaches, Romola and Sebastian wrestle with forgiveness versus revenge.

Prime Minister’s Prize for Children’s Fiction 2013 short-list
Australian Children’s Peace Literature Award 2013 (Older Readers) short-list
Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards 2013 (Upper Primary) short-list
Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards 2013 notable book

Don't Breathe a Word, 2010, Random House Australia

Something strange is happening to grandpa. Now Mackenzie and Tahlia must care for him but no one must find out.

Swiss Prix Chronos 2011 Winner
Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards 2010 (Upper Primary) short-list
Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards 2010 notable book

The Worry Tree, 2007, Random House Australia

Behind the peeling wallpaper in her bedroom, Juliet finds a mural of Worry Tree that she can hang her worries on at night.  

Australian Family Therapists’ Award for Children’s Literature 2007 Winner
National Children’s Peace Literature Award 2007 short-list
South Australian Festival Awards for Literature, Children’s Book 2008 short-list
Queensland Premier’s Literary Award, Children’s Book Mary Ryan’s Award 2008 short-list
A Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year (US) 2009
UK Literacy Association Children’s Book Awards (3 – 11 Award) 2011 long-list.

Lucy the Good, 2009, Random House Australia

Lucy, a Dutch-Australian girl, can't understand why she's always in the Time Out chair. She sets out to prove her stern aunt she really is Lucy the Good.

Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year 2009 (Lower Primary) short-list

Lucy the Lie Detector, Random House Australia

When one tiny mistake turns into an enormous fib involving Lucy's best friend, Lucy's worst enemy and a guinea pig with an escape plan.