BIO SOPHIE MASSON—WRITING AND PUBLISHING
Born in Indonesia of French parents who are themselves of mixed ancestry—French, Spanish, Basque, Portuguese and French-Canadian–and brought up in Australia and France, Sophie Masson is the acclaimed, internationally-published author of more than 60 books for children, young adults and adults. She has won the Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards (for The Hunt for Ned Kelly) and the Young Adult category in the Aurealis Awards(for The Hand of Glory). Her books have been frequently shortlisted for major awards, including, most recently, the 2018 Davitt Awards for her YA historical thriller Jack of Spades, her picture book, Two Rainbows, illustrated by Michael McMahon, as a Notable Book in the 2018 CBCA Awards, and another picture book, Once Upon An ABC (illustrated by Christopher Nielsen) was shortlisted in the 2018 Crichton Award(also CBCA). In 2018 Sophie had two books out: a picture book for young children, See Monkey (illustrated by Kathy Creamer, Little Pink Dog Books) and an adult historical novel, Black Wings (Greystones Press, UK).
Out in 2019 are a historical novel for children, War and Resistance(Scholastic Australia) and three picture books, On My Way(illustrated by Simon Howe, Scholastic Australia), There’s a Tiger Out There(illustrated by Ruth Waters, Little Hare) and A House of Mud(illustrated by Katrina Fisher, Little Pink Dog Books).
Sophie has also written four popular YA romantic thrillers under the name of Isabelle Merlin (all published by Random House Australia). Under the name of Jenna Austen, she has also published two romantic comedies for tweens and early teens(published by Harper Collins Australia).
She is a founding partner and co-director of Christmas Press, an acclaimed boutique children’s publishing house based in New England, New South Wales, specialising in beautiful illustrated books for children, from picture books and anthologies to fiction, plays and poetry, books featuring both established and emerging writers and illustrators.
She recently completed a successful PhD at the University of New England, comprising a YA speculative fiction novel and accompanying academic exegesis.
A former Chair of the Australian Society of Authors, Sophie is the current Chair of the New England Writers’ Centre and is also on the Board of the Small Press Network. As well, she has served on the Literature Board of the Australia Council, and on the Book Industry Collaborative Council. She is a member of the Children’s Book Council of Australia (NSW branch) and of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators(Australia East and New Zealand chapter).
In 2019, Sophie was awarded an AM(General Division) in the Order of Australia, announced in the Australia Day Honours List. Her citation reads: ‘For significant service to literature as an author, a publisher, and through roles in industry organisations.’
You can watch a short presentation on You Tube which is an overview of Sophie’s life and career in writing and publishing, here: