Welcome to the AustLit Teaching with Fantasy Learning Resources
We are delighted to be delivering a rich collection of teaching and learning resources for these inspiring and exciting texts.
Click on the tiles to find links to teachers' notes, lesson ideas, author biographies and links to details of all of each authors' works.
Ambelin Kwaymullina is the author of children's and young adult fantasy fiction, picture books, and critical essays. Her essays often reflect on Indigenous futurisms and Indigenous authors in genre publishing: Kwaymullina's heritage is the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The interview and lesson plans provided here focus on The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, the first of the Tribe trilogy, in which a devastated post-apocalyptic world bands together against those they consider outsiders, the Illegals.
While the lesson plans are in progress, why not read some of Ambelin Kwaymullina's essays on fantasy and diverse voices?
Explores lesson plans in Teaching with Fantasy: Ambelin Kwaymullina, including video interview with the author.
Alison Goodman is the author of a diverse range of fantasy and horror novels, from the time-travel / alien-encounter Singing the Dogstar Blues, to the high-fantasy of Eona's struggle to learn the art of the Dragon Magic in the Eon duology, to the historical Regency fantasy of Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club. She has won multiple Aurealis Awards, and been nominated for additional prestigious awards in Australia and internationally.
The interview and lesson plans provided here focus on Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club, the first in a series in which Lady Helen Wrexham, on the eve of coming out into aristocratic society, discovers a second, much darker world, inextricably linked to the mother that everyone believes is a traitor.
Sean Williams is the author of fifty books and over one hundred short stories: an award-winning and best-selling author, he has published fantasy, horror, and science fiction for children, young adults, and adults.
The interview and lesson plans provided here focus on The Stone Mage and the Sea, the first in the Change trilogy. In a uniquely Australian fantasy landscape, Sal and his father seeks answers in a small town where everyone seems to know more about Sal than even Sal does.
Teaching with Fantasy: Sean Williams provides a video interview with Williams, accompanied by a set of comprehensive lesson plans. Using the novel in conjunction with the interview, work through twenty-two activities that bring students from 'before reading' activities through close analysis of the text to creating their own fantasy works and engaging critically with Australian fantasy.
Explore lesson plans in Teaching with Fantasy: Sean Williams, including video interview with the author..
Multi-award-winning fantasy writer Isobelle Carmody is best-known for her Obernewtyn Chronicles, which she began writing as a teenager. Beginning in 1987 with Obernewtyn, the series spanned nearly thirty years, ending with the publication of the final volume in 2015, and were a fundamental part of Australian fantasy readers' coming of age. Carmody has published numerous standalone novels, short stories, graphic novels, picture books, and plays, as well as other fantasy series in the Legendsong Saga, Kingdom of the Lost, Gateway Trilogy, and Little Fur.
The interview and lesson plans provided here focus on the standalone fantasy novel The Gathering, in which Nathanial finds himself unwittingly caught up in a power struggle on what seem to be quiet, suburban streets.
Explore lesson plans in Teaching with Fantasy: Isobelle Carmody, including video interview with the author..
A literary historian specialising in popular genres for and by women, Jodi McAlister has researched and published on romantic love and its manifestations in popular culture, from romance novels to reality dating shows to Olympic ice dancing. In 2017, she published her first novel, Valentine, the beginning of a paranormal romance trilogy.
The interview and lesson plans provided here focus on Valentine, as four teenagers in a small Australian town find that an accident of birth puts them in the sights of the Unseelie fairy court.
Explore lesson plans in Teaching with Fantasy: Jodi McAlister, including video interview with the author.
Born in New Zealand and raised on the Gold Coast, Maria Lewis began her journalism career as a sixteen-year-old cadet on the police beat, before getting her Bachelor of Journalism from Bond University. While working for a range of major Australian newspapers, she wrote the Tommi Grayson trilogy, the first volume of which was published as Who's Afraid? in 2016.
The interview and lesson plans provided here focus on Who's Afraid?, a search for self identity by Tommi Grayson, blue-haired, Scottish and Maori, and a werewolf.
Explore lesson plans in Teaching with Fantasy: Maria Lewis, including video interview with the author.
Former high-school teacher and now Associate Professor at the University of Canberra, Anthony Eaton is an author of children's and young-adult novels and a critic of teaching creative writing. From the publication of his first novel, The Darkness, in 2000, he has written a range of realist and fantastical novels, including the post-apocalyptic Darklands Trilogy.
The interview and lesson plans provided here focus on the first volume of the Darklands Trilogy, Nightpeople, in which Saria, the last child born into the quarantined and contaminated expanse of the Darklands, learns the truth behind her birth and the history of her people.
Explore lesson plans in Teaching with Fantasy: Anthony Eaton, including video interview with the author.
The interviews were facilitated by Associate Professor Kim Wilkins, an author of fantasy and horror fiction, children's fiction, and women's fiction; a researcher in contemporary genre fiction and medievalism; and an academic teaching creative and professional writing at The University of Queensland.
You can explore Kim Wilkins' AustLit record here, or check out some of the examples of her work for children and young adults below.
The Sunken Kingdom: Asa and Rollo's parents, the rulers of the Star Lands, have been deposed. The siblings are in hiding. But when they come into possession of a ghost ship, they have the chance to search for their missing baby sister.
The Pearl Hunters: historical fiction exploring the relationship between the aristocratic Constance Blackchurch and the pearl diver and artist Alexandre.
The Gina Champion Mysteries: Gina lives in a backwater beachside town, with workaholic parents and a tight-knit group of friends. She's also psychometric, and able to feel the history of objects that she touches, an ability to draws her into a series of mysteries.
Bonus: Kim Wilkins walks Year 9 students through how to write a speculative fiction short story, in this twelve-minute video lesson on AustLit.
In 2017, the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund awarded Kerry Kilner and Kim Wilkins funding to support the development of teaching and learning resources for the teaching of Australian fantasy novels for young adults and to run a professional development event for teachers. The grant has enabled us to bring these exciting writers together in person and in digital form.
Teaching with Fantasy is facilitated by the following:
Kim Wilkins, Associate Professor in the School of Communications and Arts, University of Queensland.
Kerry Kilner, AustLit Director.
Lindsay Williams, teacher and professional development provider.
You might be interested in...