Kathryn Apel has worked as a teacher and literacy coach, but now devotes her time to writing poetry, picture books and verse novels – and inspiring others to delve into the wondrous world of words. Kat is best known for her verse novel Bully on the Bus, which won the 2015 Australian Family Therapists’ Award for Children’s Literature – younger reader/picture book category, and was awarded a 2019 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People in America, amongst other accolades. Kat’s picture book Up and Down on a Rainy Day is one of 12 picture books published in 2020 by State Library of Queensland in their Stories for Little Queenslanders series. March 2021 sees the release of her cumulative rhyming story ‘The Bird in the Herd’, published by UQP.
Kathryn is passionate about poetry and creativity – and combines the two in an innovative writing experience, often using poetry as art and play. Pumping poetry builds writing muscle – and with so many different forms to choose from, there is a style for everyone! In addition to Australian schools and festivals, Kathryn has presented at both the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (United Arab Emirates), and the Sharjah International Book Fair, and in 2019 undertook a 2-week speaking tour in America. Kat engages participants of all ages with poetry and wordplay, equipping them with fun and creative techniques that can be applied to all writing.
Kat also offers short-burst poetry workshops for educators and counsellors equipping them with a variety of engaging activities to add to their professional toolbox.
During interactive author talks, Kathryn shares snippets that shaped her stories – with a slice of life on a Queensland grazing property. Talks are tailored to suit your audience, from Prep to Year 12, and may cover topics of; bullying, friendship, sibling rivalry, self-worth. Kathryn often shares pics from her family album, showing the things kids can achieve when they switch off the screen and create.
Kathryn was the 2019/2020 Primary judge of the prestigious Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Competition.
Up and Down on a Rainy Day – Picture Book illustrated by Janet Turner and published by State Library of Queensland (2020) in the Stories for Little Queenslanders collection.
The Bird in the Herd – Rhyming picture book illustrated by Renée Treml and published by UQP (2021)
Bully on the Bus – Younger reader verse novel published by UQP (Kane Miller Books, USA).
• Winner of the CYA Competition (manuscript)
• Winner of the 2014 Australian Family Therapists’ Award for Children’s Literature
• NZ Listener’s Top 50 Children’s Books
• NCSS and CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2019 (America)
• Selected resource - Reading Australia and Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Centre (USA)
On Track – Middle grade verse novel published by UQP
• NZ Listener’s Top 50 Children’s Books for 2014.
Too Many Friends – Younger reader verse novel published by UQP.
• CBCA Notable Book 2018.
This is the Mud! – Rhyming picture book illustrated by Warren Crossett and published by Lothian Hachette.
• Winner of the inaugural CYA Competition (manuscript)
• Read on ABC PlaySchool.
What an absolute joy it was to have Kat working at our school this week, as part of the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust. Both students and teachers have been inspired with her passion for poetry and children’s literature. Kat conveyed how only a few select words on a page can be the makings of a great piece of poetry! How brilliant, is this sage advice for the reluctant writer! Kat’s lesson content and creativity will definitely help our students continue to shine like diamonds!
Victor Harbor R-7 School - 2018
I think Kat Apel may be our Book Week treasure. The boys love you! Teachers, students and parents have loved hearing you talk about your books and your family, and all the teachers have been impressed with your style and your activities.
Toowoomba Grammar Junior School - 2018
What the students learned was phenomenal! As an added bonus, staff came away just as inspired as the students and feeling far more confident in their ability to teach and create poetry.
St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School - 2018