Author/Poet, Presenter & Literacy Consultant:

Kathryn Apel has worked as a teacher and literacy coach, but now devotes her time to writing poetry, picture books and verse novels – and talking about writing! Kathryn is best known for her verse novel,  ‘Bully on the Bus’, which won the 2015 Australian Family Therapy’s Award for Children’s Literature – younger reader/picture book category, was awarded a 2019 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People in America, and chosen as a Pacer National Bullying Prevention Centre resource. Kathryn’s poem, ‘Big Blue Whale’ has been print-published in five countries and loved by children across the globe, via the internet.

Pumping poetry builds writing muscle – and with so many different forms to choose from, there is a poetry style for everyone! Kathryn is happy to tailor activities to best suit your context. In addition to Australian schools and festivals, Kathryn has presented at both the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (United Arab Emirates), and the Sharjah International Book Fair, and in 2019, undertook a 2-week speaking tour within American schools.

Kathryn was a judge for the 2019/2020 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Competition.

During author talks, Kathryn shares what inspired her stories. Content varies dependent on the age group, and the focus book, but can touch on topics of bullying, friendships, identity, self-worth, sibling rivalry, sporting excellence, life on an Australian cattle property, a glimpse at Antarctica, and creative things kids can do without a TV! Always a teacher at heart, Kathryn’s author talks enrich student learning and support classroom practises.

During workshops, Kat engages participants of all ages with poetry and wordplay, equipping them with fun and creative techniques that can be applied to all writing. 

Kat also offers short-burst poetry workshops for staff in both Primary and Secondary contexts, with specific activities to engage students across curriculum areas. Whilst face-to-face is preferred, Kathryn offers a 2hour online staff Poetry PD – and is flexible to shorten or extend this, as required. 

Kathryn’s poetry workshop for counsellors equips them with a variety of engaging activities to add to their professional toolbox, when working with troubled children.


To enquire about an Author Visit, contact Kat via the contact form below. (Your information is not visible to the public.) Kathryn is also registered with SpeakersInk, Becky’s Literary Bookings and Creative Net.


•   Your name
•   Location
•   Brief description of your event
•   Any questions you may have
•   Contact details

Travel and accommodation are extra, as required. If other schools/organisations within your area are also interested in an event, expenses can be shared amongst schools, to minimise costs.



“What the students learned was phenomenal! As an added bonus, staff came away just as inspired as the students and feeling far more confident in their ability to teach and create poetry.” Megan Daley – Librarian, St Aidan’s Anglican Girl School

“I think Kat Apel may be our Book Week treasure. The boys love you! Teachers, students and parents have loved hearing you talk about your books and your family, and all the teachers have been impressed with your style and your activities.” Michelle Worthington – Librarian, Toowoomba Grammar Junior School

“What an absolute joy it was to have Kat working at our school this week, as part of the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust. Both students and teachers have been inspired with her passion for poetry and children’s literature. Kat conveyed how only a few select words on a page can be the makings of a great piece of poetry!  How brilliant, is this sage advice for the reluctant writer!  Thank you for sharing with us the amazing zentangles, Storybird, and cinquain examples. Kat’s lesson content and creativity will definitely help our students continue to shine like diamonds!” Debra Catt – Acting Deputy Principal, Victor Harbor R-7 School

“I thoroughly enjoyed the poetry focus and inspiration. You certainly re-ignited my passion for poetry and how we can embed it in the curriculum. Thank you Kat for your work and teaching.” Amy Delvin – Teacher, Walford Anglican School for Girls (Feedback from Staff Professional Development)

“We loved having you visit us, the students and teachers got so much out of your sessions. Even our P.E teacher was raving about your poetry PD – thinking overnight about how he can incorporate reflections, descriptions and similes into his program!” Kylie Miller, New Gisborne Primary School

It is better you not working in one school. Now you can share your skills with the world.” Teacher, Sharjah International Book Fair (UAE)

“Kathryn exceeded all my expectations. She offered an engaging, informational presentation welcoming to all of elementary school by not only sharing her own bullying story but also inviting students into what could be considered her quirky world of unfamiliar words and an unexpected writing style. A charming combination of Australian culture, word choice and opening a discussion to a touchy topic is exactly what you’ll get, and what the students needed.” Beth Paiva (UBAM Educational Consultant, USA)

“Kathryn Apel is an engaging presenter who has a wonderful flair for transporting prose to poetry … Inspiring, can’t wait to try out the ideas … Helped me to understand my own strengths.” Poetry Verses Prose participants (QWC/WriteLinks)


Kids’ Quotes

“Poetry is not just about writing. It was fun and it was great to meet an author who wrote books that I loved as a kid.” Lydia, Year 7, Gin Gin High

“I loved the creativity of making words out of others and drawing pictures with poetry makes it all the better.” Lincoln, Year 7, Gin Gin High

“I thought the workshop wasn’t just fun – it also made us think and it let us express ourselves in the activities.” Georgia, Year 7, Gin Gin High