Jennifer Rowe

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This article is about the Australian author. For the British civil servant, see Jenny Rowe.
Jennifer Rowe (Emily Rodda)
Born Jennifer June Rowe
(1948-04-02) 2 April 1948 (age 67)
Residence Blue Mountains
Other names Emily Rodda, Mary-Anne Dickinson
Occupation Author
Known for Deltora Quest, Rowan of Rin, Teen Power Inc.
Children Kate Rowe (illustrator, singer, song writer), Hal Rowe, Clem Rowe, Alex Rowe

Jennifer June Rowe (born 2 April 1948) is an Australian author. Her crime fiction for adults is published under her own name, while her children's fiction is published under the pseudonyms Emily Rodda and Mary-Anne Dickinson.[1][2] She is well known for the children's fantasy series Deltora Quest, Rowan of Rin, Fairy Realm, Teen Power Inc., the Rondo trilogy, and The Three Doors trilogy.


Jennifer Rowe was born in Sydney, and raised with two younger brothers on Sydney's North Shore. Her father was Jim Oswin, the founding general manager of ATN7 in Sydney, and was responsible for classic 1960s TV shows such as My Name's McGooley, What's Yours? and The Mavis Bramston Show.[3] She attended the Abbotsleigh School for Girls on the upper North Shore of Sydney. She attained her Master of Arts in English Literature at the University of Sydney in 1973. Her first job was assistant editor at Paul Hamlyn publishing. She later worked at Angus and Robertson Publishers where she remained for fourteen years as Editor, Senior Editor, managing director, Deputy Publisher and finally Publisher. During this time she began writing children's books under the pseudonym Emily Rodda (her grandmother's name). Her first book, Something Special, was published in 1984 and won the Australian Children's Book Council Book of the Year for Younger Readers Award. She has now won that award a record five times.[4] From 1984 to 1992, Rowe continued her career in publishing, then as Editor of the Australian Women's Weekly, while writing novels in her 'spare time'. In 1994 Rowe became a full-time writer. She now divides her working day between consultancies for book publishers and her own writing. She lives in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia with her husband Bob Ryan and her four children.[5]

Rowe's acclaimed Verity Birdwood murder mysteries for adults, written under her own name are: Grim Pickings (1988) (made into an Australian TV mini-series), Murder by the Book, Death in Store, The Makeover Murders and Strangehold. Later she also wrote about Homicide Detective Tessa Vance in Suspect (also published as Deadline) and Something Wicked, and both books were incorporated as episode story lines in the Australian TV-show Murder Call. Rowe also edited a collection of crime stories Love Lies Bleeding and has contributed to the 1997 "Crimes for Summer" collection Moonlight Becomes You.

Emily Rodda[edit]

The most notable of her children's works, authored under the pseudonym Emily Rodda, are the series Deltora Quest, Teen Power Inc., Fairy Realm and Rowan of Rin. The pseudonym is based on her grandmother's name.

Total worldwide sales across all the Deltora Quest series have now exceeded 15 million.[6] It has been published in Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, Japan, Italy, Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and the UK. A Deltora Quest anime series was broadcast on Japanese television in early 2007.

Among her other successful novels is the 1990 science fiction novel Finders Keepers which was made into a television series called The Finder, and the Teen Power Inc. series (re-published as The Raven Hill Mysteries), a mystery series involving six teenagers, both of which are written for young adults.

Her most recent books are the Three Doors trilogy.


  • 1985 – Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA): Junior Book of the Year – Something Special
  • 1987 – CBCA: Junior Book of the Year – Pigs Might Fly
  • 1989 – CBCA: Book of the Year for Younger Readers – The Best-kept Secret
  • 1991 – CBCA: Book of the Year for Younger Readers – Finders Keepers
  • 1994 – CBCA: Book of the Year for Younger Readers – Rowan of Rin
  • 1995 – The Dromkeen Medal[7]
  • 1997 – CBCA: Honour Book for Younger Readers – Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal
  • 1999 – Dymock's Children's Choice Awards: Favourite Australian Younger Reader Book – Rowan of Rin Series
  • 2000 – COOL Awards Fiction for Younger Readers Award for Bob The Builder and the Elves
  • 2003 – YABBA award (VIC children's choice) – Deltora Quest 2
  • 2002 – KOALA award (NSW children's choice) – Deltora Quest series
  • 2002 – Aurealis Awards: Peter McNamara Convenors' Award – Deltora Quest series
  • 2002 – WA Young Reader's Book Awards: Most Popular Book – Deltora Quest – The Forests of Silence
  • 2003 – COOL Awards Fiction for Younger Readers Award for the Deltora Quest 2 series
  • 2004 – COOL Awards Fiction for Younger Readers Award for the Deltora Quest 3 series
  • 2008 – Aurealis Awards Best Children's Novel for The Wizard of Rondo

Select bibliography[edit]

Fiction by Jennifer Rowe[edit]

  • Verity Birdwood series (1987–1995)
  • Tessa Vance series (1998)
  • Angela's Mandrake & Other Feisty Fables (2000) [published in the UK as Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups (2002)]

Fiction edited by Jennifer Rowe[edit]

  • Love Lies Bleeding (Allen & Unwin, 1994), anthology of crime short fiction[8]

Non-fiction by Jennifer Rowe[edit]

  • The Commonsense International Cookery Book (1978)
  • The Best of Women's Weekly Craft (Ed. Jennifer Rowe, 1989)

Novels by Emily Rodda[edit]

  • Something Special (1984)
  • Pigs might Fly (1986) (also published as The Pigs are flying)
  • The Best-kept Secret (1988)
  • Finders Keepers (1990) and sequel The Timekeeper (1992)
  • Teen Power Inc. series (1994–1999) (re-published as The Raven Hill Mysteries 2006)
  • Fairy Realm series (1994–2006) (also published as the Fairy Charm series)
  • Rowan of Rin series (1994–2003)
  • The Julia Tapes (1999)
  • Deltora series (2000–2005)
  • Dog Tales (2001)
  • Squeak Street series (2005)
  • Rondo trilogy (2007–2009)
  • The Three Doors trilogy (The Golden Door 2011, The Silver Door 2012, The Third Door 2012)

"Early Readers" books by Emily Rodda[edit]

  • Bob the Builder and the Elves, illustrated by Craig Smith (1998) (re-published as Bob and the House Elves)
  • Fuzz the Famous Fly, illustrated by Tom Jellet (1999)
  • Gobbleguts, illustrated by Stephen Axelsen (2000)
  • Bungawitta, illustrated by Craig Smith (2011)

Picture Storybooks by Emily Rodda[edit]

  • Power and Glory, illustrated by Geoff Kelly (1994)
  • Yay!, illustrated by Craig Smith (1996)
  • Game Plan, illustrated by Craig Smith (1998)
  • Green Fingers, illustrated by Craig Smith (1998)
  • Where Do You Hide Two Elephants?, illustrated by Andrew Mclean (1998)
  • The Long Way Home, illustrated by Danny Snell (2001)

Film and television[edit]

  • Grim Pickings, television mini series (1989), based on a novel and scripted by Peter Gawler and Graeme Koetsveld.
  • Finders Keepers, children's television series (1991–1992)[9]
  • Blue Heelers, television police drama (1994)
  • Murder Call, television drama (56 episodes, 1997 – 2000) writer and creative consultant[10]
  • Deltora Quest anime series for Japanese television (2007)


External links[edit]