Taryn is the author of The Harper Effect, a young adult novel published by Pan Macmillan in Australia and Skyhorse Publishing in the USA. Her second novel, The Astrid Notes, was published next and is a companion novel to Harper. Next came The Tide Trilogy, a romantic suspense high seas drama, self-published and highly reviewed.
Taryn lives in Brisbane where her grown up children now attend university, but her characters never leave home and often insist on helping make dinner. This can be disconcerting as Jacob is always sticking his fingers in the cheese sauce and Harper can’t cook. Taryn holds a doctorate in creative writing, but has also been an advertising sales rep, a BBC Radio news reader, and a CEO of an internet company.
Now, whilst writing her next book (she got to travel to Paris to research it!), Taryn continues to teach and mentor undergraduate writers at the University of Queensland and also teaches adult writers at the Queensland Writers Centre.
How to Write a Page-Turner using a Pogo Stick
symbols, motifs, themes, word choices & more
How to have Self-Esteem as High as Harper – from feeling awful to feeling awesome.
Who Said That?
How to shake up Point of View and Narrators.
Playing with Words:
choosing the right words, moulding, playing, collecting to create the right sentences. Then how to create mind boggling sentences that lead to memorable paragraphs and stories.
The X-Factor Every Story Needs. How to find it, create it, & put it in your story.
Girl Power Strikes Back. FOR GIRLS:
People throw rocks at things that shine – how to set and reach goals like a girl.
Let’s over-write, write sentimentally, melodramatically and lazily. This exercise shows you how to write brilliantly, rather than tells how to write brilliantly.
Character through dialogue, classic mistakes, dialogue that brings characters to life.
Let’s Shake up that Novel!: A unique insight into ways of writing your novel using innovative and unusual techniques. In today’s post-modern world, and in a market saturated with Middle Grade and Young Adult submissions, authors need to push the boundaries and shake up the usual methods that are tapped into when creating their ground-breaking masterpiece.
The Time Is Now: Nothing that speaks louder than an author’s writing, but the days of being an unsociable, rarely seen recluse that hides out in your writing cave. Many authors fear the terms “author brand” “author platform” and “social media”, but they needn’t. Come learn about the bare essentials of how to have an online presence, which should start well before you’re published, from a simple website to networking via social media.
Book Tours & Marketing
How to make them unique and meaningful: These days it’s very hard to stand out from the crowd, with new books being published every single week. Find out how to organise a book tour with a difference.
Make them Count: Jump out of the slush piles with great query letters and First Pages.
At our Literature Event, Taryn talked to our Year 7 students about the importance of reading and gave many tips on creative writing. She was well organised, and we had a lovely day. In the last session’s question time, the final question asked by a teacher was not to Taryn but to the students. What were they taking away from the presentation? It was wonderful that the students’ answers were many and varied.
Student feedback during the day included:
She was really good, and I learnt so much.
I found it enjoyable as she provided helpful tips on writing stories.
Can she come back, so we can do some writing sessions with her?
St. Peters Lutheran College - July 2023
Taryn’s creative writing sessions with Toowoomba Region Libraries were fantastic. Taryn has great content to share on the entire process of creative writing, editing and publishing which she presents in an easy and conversational style.
Toowoomba Region Libraries - July 2023
Taryn's story writing workshop was jam packed with fantastic advice for budding writers and I know our students got a huge amount out of it. Taryn was engaging and generous, sharing her process and journey as a writer; she also tailored the workshop exactly to our needs. We were left with lots to unpack in subsequent lessons, and as a teacher it was also great PD.
Brisbane Montessori School - September 2021
It was a pleasure to have Taryn at our school, working with our Aspiring Writing group. The students were engaged and challenged to approach writing in different ways… many ideas for them to really think about throughout the sessions.
Sunnybank State High School - October 2020
Taryn was an engaging speaker who visited our school as part of our Book Week 2020 celebrations. She encouraged our young students to enjoy writing and to find inspiration around them. Taryn taught them tips of the trade such as showing not telling and had students involved in dialogue language games. Students heard about the story behind her novel 'The Harper Effect', inspired by her meeting of a famous 16 year old international tennis star. CDSHS students gained insight into the writing process and learnt that there are no limits to our imagination.
Cleveland District High School - October 2020