My name is Penny Harris and I live in Melbourne, Australia. I have been telling children’s stories for a very long time and look forward to helping you tell yours. I have been an award-winning animator, children’s author and digital media director.
A Book in the Making
From an idea to a story. I can help you make this happen.
Even though you may not have heard of me or my work, I have won numerous awards for my animated films, writing and web design in Australia, Japan and the United States. The highlights have been second prize at the Chicago Festival of Children’s Films, a screening at the New York Museum of Television and Radio and first prize at the Hosu Bunka Foundation Awards in Japan.
Over the years, and without really intending to, I have found myself attracted to writing stories that have some meaning and that will nurture and feed young people’s imagination in a positive way.
This does not mean my work is without humour or without a light touch. Far from it. From writing scripts for the Australian Children’s Television Foundation to creative directing on various websites for the major Melbourne universities, I have always felt a light touch is the best way to communicate even serious issues which all children may face at some time.
For me, writing is a way to inform and encourage young people to think about things they may not always think about or help them come to terms with difficult issues. From my early books, ‘Molly Makes Music’ about divorce to ‘Grandma’s Knee’ about death to my latest series 'Ginnie & Pinney' ‘Learn & Grow’, all my stories are written in a gentle and sensitive way.
In this Talkabook series I am going to use Ginnie & Pinney ‘Learn & Grow’, a series of books that have taken eight years from first idea to publication. These will be the entry into the wonderful world of story creating and writing. These books cover a multitude of issues and have been awarded a nomination in Finland by the not for profit organisation, HundrED as one of a hundred of the most innovative educational programs for 2019 out of 37 countries. But do not be put off by the term ‘educational’; whilst the stories are serious in their message they are very lighthearted and heaps of fun.
My ultimate aim across the Talkabook interviews is to encourage you to tell YOUR stories in the way YOU want to tell them and to be excited by the opportunity that writing offers you.
I have had many years of experience holding workshops and talks in schools with students ranging in age from 8 to 18 years. The important thing, I have found is to give you a voice and believe in what you want to say.
I am a mother and a grandmother which puts me in a great position to talk to and understand young people.
I am really looking forward to the opportunity to impart my knowledge and encourage your interest in writing.
Hope to meet you very soon!