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James Foley



Date of Success:

James Foley makes picture books, middle grade novels and comics for kids. 

He’s the author/illustrator of the S.Tinker Inc graphic novel series for middle primary: 

  • Brobot (2016), 

  • Dungzilla (2017), 

  • Gastronauts (2018) and 

  • Chickensaurus (2020). 

The series stars Sally Tinker, the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, and Joe Tinker, full-time baby. 

James also illustrated the Toffle Towers series written by Tim Harris; the cult-favourite and CBCA-shortlisted My Dead Bunny (2015); and its follow-up, There’s Something Weird About Lena (2020). 

James contributed to Total Quack Up (2018) and Funny Bones (2019), both anthologies of funny stories with proceeds going to charity. 

His earlier books In The Lion (2012), The Last Viking (2011) and The Last Viking Returns (2014) have all scored several honours, including children’s choice awards, shortlistings in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year awards, and selection to the International Youth Library’s White Raven list.

James is an ambassador for Books In Homes and Room To Read. He is a massive Marvel movie nerd. He comes from a long line of queuing enthusiasts.


In 2009 I entered some picture book illustration samples into the CYA competition. They were for a story I was working on called "In The Lion". I didn't think much would come of it at the time, and was notably surprised when I received a Highly Commended award.


It gave me a huge boost to my self-confidence as a writer/illustrator- up until that point, I wasn't sure if I had the talent needed to be published.


In 2010, I was lucky enough to have a critique session with Sarah Foster from Walker Books. Due to the encouragement I'd received in my CYA feedback, I decided to show Sarah my text and illustration samples for "In the Lion". She said she was interested, and a few months later she offered me a contract. I was blown away. After a long development process, "In The Lion" came out in August 2012.


Thank you for the encouragement and support that CYA provides. It gave me courage to keep trying- and now after many years I can say I'm a published author/illustrator.


James Foley's first book:


The Last Viking


By Norman Jorgensen and James Foley


Fremantle Press


Nominated for the 2012 Western Australian Young Readers' Book Awards


Nominated for the 2012 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature


At last… the book that we saw in the CYA Conference competition as sketches….


In the Lion has been released by Walker Books.

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