James Phelan


James Phelan is the author of 30 books, including thrillers, Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction. He is noted for a fast-paced and suspenseful writing style that appeals as much to boys as girls. James is a highly entertaining and engaging speaker who has delivered keynotes and presentations all around the world. He was won many categories of children’s and Young Adult literary prizes, including at the YALSA, ABIA, YABBA, KOALA, COOL, and REAL awards.

As a teenager James discovered a love of thrillers, of being entertained and informed along the way. His first novel, FOX HUNT (Hachette), was started while he was at high school. His 13-book adventure series about the dream world, THE LAST THIRTEEN (Scholastic) was written in response to his experiences with nightmares as a child.

James has a passion for promoting literacy in Australia. He is involved in many creative writing groups and regularly talks at literary festivals and events. He is a member of the Australian Society of Authors, Fellowship of Australian Writers, and state writers’ centres.

After studying Architecture and working on Melbourne’s Federation Square design team, James switched to English Literature, graduating with an MA in Writing and PhD in Literature. James worked as a staff writer at The Age for five years, and has since published fiction and non-fiction. He has been a full-time novelist for almost 20 years, and has sold 5 million books.


Talks / Workshops

  • Primary
  • Secondary

James lives in Melbourne and is available for writing workshops, or talks to students on His Career as a Writer and Encouraging Reading as well as Motivation to Follow Your Dreams.

Find out more about James at his website: www.jamesphelan.com.au


“James was absolutely wonderful and thoroughly entertained us all with his stories.”

Teacher Librarian, St Carlo Borromeo, Greenvale