Kathryn Apel

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Kathryn Apel is a born-and-bred farm girl who’s scared of cows. She lives among the gum trees, cattle and kangaroos on a Queensland grazing property. Kathryn writes poetry, picture books and verse novels. Her early books were misadventures inspired by life on a the land. More recently, Kat has achieved acclaim as a verse novelist – dealing with emotive issues such as bullying, sibling rivalry, self-doubt, and the intricate balance of friendship.


‘Another stunning read. Kathryn Apel has mastered the art of word selection and uses dialogue sparsely to successfully sculpt images and capture emotions.’ Kids Book Review – ‘Too Many Friends’


Kathryn’s rhyming picture book manuscript, ‘This is the Mud!’ won the inaugural CYA Picture Book competition in 2006, was published in 2009, and celebrated at the 2010 CYA Conference. Her verse novel for younger readers, ‘Bully on the Bus’ won the published author’s category in 2012, was published in 2014 and celebrated at the same CYA Conference, going on to win the Australian Family Therapists’ Award for Children’s Literature – Younger Reader, in 2015. ‘Bully on the Bus’ has been followed by ‘On Track’, (2015) and ‘Too Many Friends’ (2017) – both verse novels.


Kat presents poetry workshops for children and adults – and professional development sessions for teachers – engaging them with a creative play with words.

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The CYA Competition gave me;


  • feedback on my writing.

  • an opportunity to jump the slush pile and land my manuscripts clear on the editor’s desk.

  • credibility and credentials

  • hope (vital as a beginner – and published! - author)

  • my first published picture book … and later, my first verse novel.

The CYA Conference took me out of my bubble of isolation and introduced me to lots of warm and wonderful children’s writers, illustrators, and other industry professionals, many of whom I correspond with regularly today.


The CYA Competition and Conference is an investment in your writing career.

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