Sally Murphy was born in Perth, the youngest of six children, and grew up in the southwest town of Collie. She started writing stories at a young age, entering local writing competitions throughout her childhood. After leaving school she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Western Australia and a Teaching Diploma at Edith Cowan University. She has worked as a teacher of high school English, and a range of primary school subjects including Music, and also in other jobs including running a tourist information centre and in local government.
Her first book, a book of printable educational activities, Speak Out, was published by Ready Ed Publications in 1997. Since then she has had thirty books published, including verse novels Pearl Verses the World (2009) and Toppling (2010), picture books, junior novels and educational titles.