Lisa Nicol is an internationally published, award-winning writer and documentary-maker.
Her feature Wide Open Sky about a children’s choir won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2015 Sydney Film Festival and is now streaming on Netflix. Her charming and funny middle-grade novel Dr Boogaloo and The Girl Who Lost Her Laughter was a 2018 CBCA Notable, Top Ten Children's Books of the Year 2021, Shenzhen Reading Month, and is currently being adapted for the screen as a musical. Her 2019 middle-grade novel Vincent and The Grandest Hotel on Earth has drawn comparisons to Roald Dahl and Kate DiCamillo and been described as a modern classic. Her most recent book, The What on Earth Institute of Wonder was released to critical acclaim and has just been shortlisted for Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award 2022.
Lisa lives in Sydney with two out of her three children and a dusty old dog who smells worse than an elephant fart.
Wide Open Sky
(film) – Winner, Audience Award, Best Documentary, Sydney Film Festival 2015
Dr Boogaloo and The Girl Who Lost Her Laughter
- 2018 CBCA Notable, Top Ten Children's Books of the Year 2021, Shenzhen Reading Month, China.
The What on Earth Institute of Wonder
– shortlist, Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award, 2022.
The Ballad of Dexi Lee - Illustrations by Lucy Culliton
Words & Music
Good writing is catchy! Just like a pop song. This workshop explores the intimate connections between words and music. Using examples from my books and actual pieces of music, the workshop explores the narratives hidden in music and the musicality of language.
The workshop explores rhythm and writing (eg sentence length, the importance of reading work aloud), as well as how the sound of words can help to convey meaning. (For example words that sound funny. Roald Dahl’s Gobblefunk.)
This workshop is hugely popular with both younger and older kids and can be tailored to suit any age groups.
Creating unexpected characters, settings, and original story ideas by playing around with our reader’s expectations.
How Grand Can We Go?
A fun-filled ride through the story behind Vincent and The Grandest Hotel on Earth. From exploring the world’s most unusual and incredible hotels to collaborating with my nine-year old godson, this talk revisits the origins of the story and how I met the daunting task of creating a hotel that would befit the title of ‘Grandest Hotel on Earth’. Encompasses how writers kick-start and fire up their imaginations as well as the usefulness of creative collaborations.
Everything Starts out Small
Using the character of Doctor Boogaloo to explore how stories begin with a flash of imagination and are then built up piece by piece. This talk encompasses the story behind the hugely popular Dr Boogaloo and The Girl Who Lost Her Laughter.
What On Earth!
The What On Earth Institute of Wonder features two rare and endangered animals – the New Zealand Kakapo and the African Forest Elephant. This talk tells the story behind the book whilst weaving in fascinating facts and stories about these and other magnificent creatures and the world around us. Full of humour, hope, and wonder.
So You Want to Be an Author?
-One writer’s guide to Magical Thinking
A personal retelling of my journey of becoming an author. As a kid, I never thought of myself as creative and never in a million years would I have imagined I would end up writing fiction. So how did I get here? A mash-up of tips for want-to-be-writers, as well as a way to stimulate creative thinking and original ideas.
“Meeting up with kids and talking books and writing is simply the best part of being a children’s author. As a kid who grew up believing I wasn’t creative, I have a personal interest in fostering creativity and wonder. My presentations involve laugh-out-loud readings, music, stories (personal and fantastical), audience participation and occasionally a stuffed kakapo.” Lisa Nicol
Sessions can be tailored to suit any age group.
Not only are Lisa’s books fabulously entertaining and full of heart, she is an awesome and very engaging presenter.Her sessions are fun, inspiring and encourage the kids to think and talk about a range of issues whilst having a seriously good giggle too. She is hands down one of our favourite author guests at our children’s book club and an absolute delight to run sessions with.
Gleebooks - 2022Gleebooks - 2022Lisa Nicol
Lisa writes stories that you can't put down. Her unique ability to share her process and pass on her skills to students is formidable. We see these techniques appear in students' writing transforming their engagement and elevating their writing.
LittleScribe - 2022LittleScribe - 2022Lisa Nicol
Lisa’s presentation was highly engaging, entertaining and informative. A fun and dynamic speaker great at plugging into kid’s imaginations.
CBCA Qld Readers Cup - 2021CBCA Qld Readers Cup - 2021Lisa Nicol
We had Lisa speak to our year 4-6 students ... The sessions were much like her books – funny, engaging, quirky and with something for everyone. Lisa adapted each session beautifully to the age group, using her different stories to inspire writing activities and imaginative thinking. …the girls were captivated for the whole session.
Roseville College - 2021Roseville College - 2021Lisa Nicol
Our students loved meeting Lisa after enjoying her stories. She was well prepared with a captivating presentation. She communicated beautifully with the students and addressed their many questions. Her stories have remained favourites in our Junior School Library.
Redlands Junior Campus - 2021Redlands Junior Campus - 2021Lisa Nicol