Matt Zurbo

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Matt Zurbo
GenreChildren's literature, young adult fiction

Matt Zurbo is an Australian writer of children's literature and young adult fiction.


Zurbo grew up in the inner north of Melbourne, Australia, before moving to the Otway Ranges, where he worked in the bush and wrote for most of his adult life.

Zurbo's first works to be published were short stories in Pascoe Publishing. His first full work was in 1996 with his children's picture book, entitled Blow Kid Blow!, by Penguin Books and illustrated by Mambo artist Jeff Raglus. He also self-published a book of poetry, entitled Writing By Moonlight.

In 1997 Zurbo along with illustrater Dean Gorrissen published his second picture book entitled I Got a Rocket!. It was later turned into an animated TV series of the same name by SLR Productions and won the 2008 Emmy Award for new approaches, daytime children's programming. He also released his first young-adult novels in 1997, with Idiot Pride and Flyboy and the Invisible, both published by Penguin Books.[1] Idiot Pride was a short-list nominee for the 1998 Children's Book of the Year Award: Older Readers award[2] and went on to be listed in Victoria's 150 Greatest Books List as a part of that State's 150 year celebrations.

In 2004 Zurbo released his third young-adult novel, entitled Hot Nights, Cool Dragons which was a runner-up for the 2004 Aurealis Award for best young-adult novel.[3] He also released a compilation CD of the same name, featuring artists including Cris Wilson, Tony Gould, Vasco Era, the Exotics and Gian Slatter, bands that inspired parts of the book.

In 2008 Zurbo returned to children's picture books, releasing two with publisher Hachette.[1] Fred the Croc, with Sarah Dunk and Lulu's Wish with Ben de Quadros-Wander. In 2009 he teamed up with Dean Gorisson again to produce My Dad's a Wrestler, based loosely on his stand-up comedy character, the Perculator. He wrote a cartoon proposal for this book, that has yet to be optioned. Zurbo has since moved to Windy Hollow, releasing Tommy Tuckers, 2012, a collection of three short children's stories with Alex Tyers. His latest children's book, I Love Footy, which he painted himself, was released in 2013.

Zurbo has spent the last several years writing a column for the Footy Almanac, and providing pieces, interviews and short stories for the music magazine,

Tired of the publishing world's growing conservatism, Zurbo has spent the last ten years writing 14 books, ranging from children's, YA, adult novels, to poetry and collected short stories, which he will self-publish in 2017 under the banner Zurbo Inc.,[citation needed] the covers all drawn by Eddy Current Suppression Ring drummer, and tattooist, Danny Young. After a brief stint living in the Far North Queensland tropics, Zurbo now resides in northeast Tasmania, where he combines his writing and music with bush work regenerating temperate rainforest.


Children's fiction[edit]

  • Blow Kid Blow! (1996, illustrated by Jeff Raglus)
  • I Got a Rocket! (1997, illustrated by Dean Gorrissen)
  • My Dad's a Wrestler (2009, illustrated by Dean Gorissen)
  • Lu-Lu's Wish (2008, illustrated by Ben de Quadros-Wander)
  • Fred the Croc (2008, illustrated by Sarah Dunk)
  • Tommy Tuckers (2012, illustrated by Alex Tyers)
  • I Love Footy (2013, illustrated by Matt Zurbo)


  • Writing by Moonlight (1996)

Young-adult novels[edit]

  • Flyboy and the Invisible (1997)
  • Idiot Pride (1997)
  • Hot Nights, Cool Dragons (2004)


  • The Footy Almanac - column (2011-)
  • Veri.Live (2011-)


Aurealis Awards

Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Matt Zurbo Books". Archived from the original on 2008-05-29. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
  2. ^ "Winners and Shortlists 1990 - 1999". Children's Book Council of Australia. Archived from the original on 2013-12-27. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
  3. ^ "The Locus Index to SF Awards: 2005 Aurealis Awards". Locus Online. Archived from the original on 2010-04-02. Retrieved 2010-05-04.

External links[edit]