Libby Hathorn

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Hathorn at Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2012

Libby Hathorn (born 1943) is an Australian writer[1][2] primarily for children, and a poet who works with schools, institutions and communties.[3] She has received many awards for her books, some of which have been translated into several languages. In 2003 she was awarded a Centenary Medal for her contribution to children's literature. In 2014 she was awarded the Alice Award for her contribution to Australian literature.

Early life[edit]

Elizabeth Helen Hathorn was born in Newcastle, New South Wales.[1] She attended Balmain Teacher's College (soon part of the New South Wales Institute of Technology) and worked as a teacher and librarian from 1965 to 1981.[2] She has attained a Master of Arts, Macquarie University.


Hathorn's stories have been translated into several languages and adapted for stage and screen.[4] Her work has won honours in Australia as well as in the United States, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. She was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2003; and the Alice Award, a national award for a woman writer 'who for her written work has made a distinguished and long term contribution to Australian literature' in 2014.

Hallmark Hall of Fame has made a movie of her best-selling young adult novel, Thunderwith, re-titled The Echo of Thunder. It starred Judy Davis, who was nominated for an Emmy Award in the US for her performance as Gladwyn.[5] In 2004, Libby’s children's picture storybook, Sky Sash So Blue, published in the United States, was performed as an opera in Birmingham, Alabama. Previously, Grandma's Shoes was performed as an opera by Opera Australia and Theatre of Image. Libby was awarded an AWGIE for the libretto based on this picture storybook, in 2001. Her CDROM series "Weirdstop" won the Australian Interactive Media Industry Awards (AIMIA), 2004 as Best Children’s Product; and in 2005 the New South Wales Society of Women Writers' Bi-annual Award for Older Readers. "Wonderstop" won the Energy Australia National trust Heritage Award (Education) 2007.

Hathorn has lectured part-time in Creative Writing at Sydney University and is a frequent speaker at conferences and festivals. As an Australia Day Ambassador, she travels to country towns each year where she talks about the importance of Australian literature. Libby’s novels include, Letters to a Princess, (ABC books, 2007); historical novel, Georgiana: Woman of Flower's (Hachette Livre); a play based on her picture storybook, The Tram to Bondi Beach (Currency Press, 2008); and Fire Song (ABC/Harper Collins, 2009) which was highly commended in the inaugural Prime Minister's Literary Awards. Her current Anzac novel is Eventual Poppy Day (Harper Collins for 2015)

Poetry is a major interest for her, and many of her works are either written in or inspired by poetry. She has worked on an arts project entitled "100 Views" in several schools, both in Australia and internationally celebrating community through poetry and a festival; Power Poetry with the Powerhouse Museum; and on video conferencing poetry workshops with the NSW State Library. In 2010 she compiled The ABC Book of Australian Poetry: a treasury for young people with artwork by Cassandra Allen (ABC/Harper Collins)and in 2013 she published Women's Work. A Collection of Contemporary Women's Poetry (Pax Press). Both her recent picture books A Baby for Loving, illus Tamsin Ainslie and Outside, illus Ritva Voularis are poetry texts (Hardie Grant/Egmont, Little Hare, 2014).


  1. ^ a b "Libby Hathorn". AUSTLIT ( Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  2. ^ a b "Libby Hathorn (1943-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Work in Progress, Sidelights". Brief Biographies ( Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  3. ^ "Biography, Video Clip: Biography and some video clips of Libby Hathorn". Libby Hathorn ( Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  4. ^ "Libby Hathorn and Andrew Johnstone". Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  5. ^ Judy Davis at IMDB

External links[edit]