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Deb Gilmartin



Date of Success:

Deb was born in the UK and grew up loving science, art, books and animals. She has an MSc in Medical Entomology and spent nearly five years working as a Medical Entomologist in South Africa. While there she studied the biology of bedbugs and helped identify spiders, scorpions, ticks and lice.


After emigrating to Australia Deb continued working as an Agricultural Entomologist in Qld, working with fruit fly and pests of stored grains. She then re-trained as a high school science teacher and taught in Queensland Schools for 13 years before finally pursuing her other passion art.


Deb regularly exhibits her work both in Australia and overseas and continues to practice as a fine artist and illustrator. Her first major solo exhibition, “Tigers, Rotors and Blokes” was as a result of working as the artist in residence with Australian Aerospace to document the introduction of the new the Tiger ARH Helicopter to Australia. Her other successful joint exhibition, Feline Groovy looked at all things to do with cats.


She has been a finalist in several major prizes including the Kedumba Drawing Award, and the Hans Heysen Landscape Prize. Deb has a real passion for drawing and loves to pass this on by teaching people how to see and draw as an artist.


The Gift is her first children’s picture book.


First of all I want to say an enormous thank you to the organisers of the CYA, Tina, Ally & Sam to have had the foresight to bring editors and agents and people like me, the opportunity to meet. Without this I don’t think that I would be here today with my first picture book, The Gift, A Helen Chamberlin Book published by Windy Hollows.


One of the big things that really helped me was the whole supportive environment that Tina, Ally & Sam have created. I was extremely nervous but found the whole process much easier than I had anticipated. Actually meeting editors with the pitch already sent allowed me more time to spend on selling my work as well as the story. I was so very lucky in that my first ever pitch struck gold, unreal and I remember spending the rest of the day in a complete haze. I then went to two thought provoking and insightful seminars after the meeting with a magical feeling of I can do this. I also found that the people who attended the conference are just brimming with love for children’s books and so generous in their help and knowledge.


I am really looking forward to being at the CYA this year and again I have booked in to see editors and an agent. I also look forward to sharing my success with you and encourage all people looking to get their work published that the CYA is a great place to start.


And here it is - The Gift


A Helen Chamberlin Book published by Windy Hollow Books


ISBN 9781922081070


The Story


Cat is well cared for, but his friend is not so lucky. To help, Cat journeys through the streets each day to share his dinner- a gift graciously received. All goes well until one day Cat can’t find his friend! He embarks on a perilous journey to fine her….


This wordless picture book demonstrates with gentle humour that true gifts can come in many forms.


I look forward to sharing my passion too! See you there!

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