Jacqueline Kent

Andrew Daddo

Sydney based author Jacqueline Kent has worked as a journalist, radio producer and scriptwriter, and book editor and is the prizewinning author of adult non-fiction and young adult books. Her biography of a pioneering Australian book editor, A Certain Style: Beatrice Davis, A Literary Life, won the 2002 National Biography Award, as well as the Nita B. Kibble Award for Women Writers and was also shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award. She has also published Out of the Bakelite Box: The Heyday of Australian Radio, a social and oral history of Australian radio and In the Half Light: Life as a Child in Australia 1900-1970 which consists of reminiscences of people from all walks of life, with emphasis on events and personalities in Australian life seen through a child’s eyes. She has also ‘ghosted’ the autobiographies of Tom Uren, Helen Caldicott, Graham Richardson and Lindy Chamberlain.

Her books for young adults are Angel Claws I Love You, Bad Behaviour (stories with Joanna Horniman), and four novelisations of episodes from the popular ABC-TV Heartbreak High series. She is currently preparing for a Doctorate of Creative Arts at the University of Technology, Sydney, and her most recent books are An Exacting Heart: The Story of Hephzibah Menuhin, and a timely biography, The Making of Julia Gillard.

Jacqueline has worked extensively with students from years 7 to 12, presenting creative writing classes and mentor programs. She has been a writer in residence at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga and also a guest speaker at various schools and conferences in the Sydney metropolitan area. Her expertise lies in the areas of history, biography, life writing and oral history. She enjoys giving workshops for large or small groups, talking about ways in which history is made, how stories become facts and how to make facts ‘interesting’.

Jacqueline offers the following programs for students:

Author talks
Oral history: how it works, what it does, how to use it
Writing Biography / Biography: Fact and Fiction
Stories: how they become facts, and vice versa
History and the movies / Biography and the movies

Workshops
Journal writing / Keeping a Diary
Scriptwriting for movies and TV
Making facts into stories
Telling stories from various points of view

Supporting HSC syllabus
How history is made
How history has been recorded
The media and history/biography

Writer in Residence programs
Working with groups of varying sizes – from one-on-one to larger groups – in journal and diary writing, script writing, story preparation and editing, exercises in fact/fiction writing