A Day in the Life of an Author on a School Visit

Meet Susanne Gervay. You probably know her as the award-winning author of the I Am Jack series, along with many other picture books and books for young adults. When she is not working overseas talking to kids about bullying, promoting the power of story, she gets to visit school libraries and share her passion for writing and reading with school students. She shared what her days looks like when she does an author visit.

What is your role in the school library?

Author Visitor and Ambassador for the Premier’s Reading Challenge NSW, a program that reaches thousands of schools and could not exist without school librarians.

What do you love best about your job?

The opportunity to relate to kids, reading and of course working with my favourite people, school librarians who prepares the kids with research, story and more before my visit. THANK YOU school librarians.

What age students do you work with?

Pre-school to Year 12. I adore little kids because their answers and questions are so unexpected. I adore seniors because their answers and questions are so insightful. Well, I adore all the students I engage with whoever they are. It’s an exciting challenge to enthuse them about story and challenge them to examine their own values.

What three words that best describe you?

Storyteller. Empathic. Searcher.

What do you spend most of your time doing?

Writing, speaking at schools and festivals, launching books, working for not for profit literacy organisations … and my family.

What tasks are the next biggest spenders of your time?

Working with not-for-profit organisations. I am the head of the Society of Children’s Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), on the committee of Children’s Book Council, ambassador and role models for Books in Homes, Room to Read, Monkey Baa Theatre and others.

What do you fill in the rest of the time with?

Musicals – I love singing in the shower too. No-one else loves it!!!!

What are some things that you only do occasionally?

Visit the zoo. My favourite animal is the koala. The fires have broken my heart as they are more threatened than before.

What would you do if you had more time?

Visit more schools. Speak at more festivals. Write more books and excite young people in believing they can contribute to a positive future.

What is the coolest project you have worked on or the coolest thing about your work/day?

Coolest project was my journey to a small indigenous school deep in the Kimberley, where I shared story with the children and teachers. Heart moment.

What’s the best thing that has happened to you in your role?

When young people come up to me and share their stories. When my stories reach them.

What made you want to be a children’s and YA author?

As the child of refugees, books were my safe place. The library, was my safe place. I wanted to give that haven to all children.

What is one thing you would really like someone to know about your job?

It is never, ever boring.



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