AustLit logo
Jenny Pausacker Jenny Pausacker i(A1296 works by)
Also writes as: Jaye Francis ; Jade Forrester ; Mary Forrest ; Rosa Tomaselli ; Jane Carlson
Born: Established: 1948 Adelaide, South Australia, ;
Gender: Female
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Jenny Pausacker was born in Adelaide, her family moving interstate when she was still a baby. Writing, storytelling and books have been central to Pausacker's life since a very young age, and she still remembers her first story, written at the age of five. When she was ten, soon after the death of her father, she won first prize in a literary competition, and it was at this stage that her interest in writing became a passion.

In the difficult times following her father's death, when to Pausacker's family was struggling to come to terms with loneliness and the sense of loss, reading books and writing were her escape. She went to the Methodist Ladies' College, Melbourne, then gained a BA (Honours) from Melbourne University in 1969. In 1971 she spent some time in London, where she became involved with the counterculture, consciousness-raising and protest. Pausacker completed her MA at Melbourne University in 1972 and a Diploma of Librarianship at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1974.

Pausacker lived in South Australia between 1975 and 1981, lecturing and tutoring in children's literature at Flinders University, the Salisbury, Adelaide and Torrens Colleges of Advanced Education and the SA Institute of Technology, and gaining a PhD in children's literature from Flinders University (1981). She has also taught at Deakin University. The story of Jenny Pausacker's writing life is recorded in Something About the Author Autobiography Series 23 (Gale 1997).

Pausacker's writing for children and young adults has challenged accepted stereotypes, and as well as the creative writing listed below she wrote Role Your Own: A Book About Women's Liberation for Fourth Form Students (1976) and Hands On: Trade and Technical Careers for Girls and Women (1985). She has also written about women and mathematics. Her lyrics were included in the feminist 'sing-along' book, Something Good (1981). Pausacker wrote novels for the Reading Rigby scheme from 1979, and following the death of her mother in 1985 and a period of suffering chronic fatigue syndrome, her writing changed direction and she wrote a series of teenage romances, writing under various pseudonyms, and some award-winning young adult novels under her own name. She has also, as 'Jade Forrester', written romances for adults. Pausacker contributed revue sketches for 'Out of the Frying Pan' (Arts Theatre, 1980) and she was script consultant to 'Is This Seat Taken?' (1989, The Space, Adelaide Festival Centre). She has also written and edited scripts for film and video, and has regularly written reviews for newspapers, including The Advertiser, The Age and The Australian, and various journals. In all she has written over sixty works of crime, fantasy, sci-fi, romance and picture books for young people, winning several awards along the way.

Pausacker has spoken at a number of conferences and festivals, and been on boards and planning committees for Writers' Week festivals in both Adelaide and Melbourne. Pausacker is a collector of detective stories and teacups.

Most Referenced Works


  • "Jane Carlson", a name assumed to be a pseudonym of Jenny Pausacker's, is the name of another Dolly Fiction writer. Jenny writes, "The books [Dolly Fiction] were published two by two and at one point the author attributions got muddled, so I ended up with Jane Carlson on Change of Heart [1989] and she got Jaye Francis on her book." (Personal communication)

Affiliation Notes

  • Born in SA but moved to Victoria

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Dancing on Knives South Melbourne : Lothian , 2004 Z1141809 2004 single work novel young adult
2005 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature
y separately published work icon A Tale of Two Families : The Diary of Jan Packard, Melbourne, 1974 Diary of Jan Packard; Diary of Jan Packard, Melbourne, 1974 Sydney : Scholastic Press Scholastic Press , 2000 Z950274 2000 single work novel young adult Jan Packard's family and the family next door meet once a month for a barbeque. One family has a son who went to the Vietnam War; the other has a son who was a draft resister. Then... Jan's mother joins the Women's Movement... and Jan wants to play football but is rejected by the boys. It is a time of change. (Libraries Australia)
2001 commended Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature Older Readers
y separately published work icon The Rings Melbourne : Lothian , 1997 Z833983 1997 single work novella young adult horror 'Mary and Alice and Sarah vowed to be friends forever, but it didn't quite work out that way. And if something like that happened to your best friend, wouldn't you want revenge too? A story of real-life horror from leading young adult author Jenny Pausacker and international award-winning illustrator Gregory Rogers.'
Soure: Bookseller's website
1998 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Notable Book
Last amended 15 Apr 2021 14:22:01
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: