John Larkin


John Larkin began life as a professional soccer player but was forced to retire at twenty-one due to a serious knee injury and an even more serious bout of apathy. Disillusioned and heartbroken, he backpacked around Europe for a year, and was bitten by the writing bug while sitting in a café in Paris reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and sipping an outrageously expensive cup of coffee.

John’s books for young adults include his latest release The Pause (winner of the Queensland Literary Awards Griffith University Young Adult Book Award 2015), as well as Shadow Girl (winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Prize for Writing for Young Adults 2012); Goon Town; Spaghetti Legs, Pizza Features and Lasagne Brain (the pasta trilogy); Ghost Byte; Growing Payne; Nostradamus; Instant Noodles; and the Western Wildcats series. His books for younger readers include Horse Girl, Horse Girl Rides Again, Dog Boy and Harry Highpants and the Salivating Beast. He has also released a Generation X novel entitled Deja Vu and a collection of short stories, Bite Me!


Talks & Workshops

  • Primary
  • Secondary

Talks: Since the publication of his hugely successful first novel Spaghetti Legs in 1993, John has written over twenty-two books for children, teens and adults. He is also a sought-after guest speaker for schools with his stand-up comedy show about the creative process called ‘You’ll be Laughing on the Other Side of Your Face in a Minute’. His talks are based on how to take the simple things in life and how to turn them into stories.

Workshops: John has a B.A. in English literature, an M.A. in Creative Writing, he is also working towards completing his PhD in the process of adaptation. As a primary trained school teacher John also conducts engaging workshops that completely demystify the process of writing and is also available for Writer in Residence stints and teacher professional development lectures.

“John Larkin spoke with passion and injected enthusiasm into every pore of every child. He entertained, amused and connected with the students, challenging them to read, be true to themselves and follow their dreams. In workshop groups, he explicitly taught the children how to write and drew out amazing pieces of writing from within them. Teachers and students alike left inspired and hugely impressed.”
Sydney Grammar Prep School St Ives