Professor Gary Crew

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Professor Gary Crew


Teaching areas

  • Creative Writing

Research areas

  • creative writing
  • all matters pertaining to youth fiction
  • postcolonial studies in fiction and non-fiction
  • innovations in the illustrated book
  • contemporary fiction
  • ficto-critical writings

Program coordinator


Gary Crew is Professor of Creative Writing at USC. In 1998 he began what has become the Bachelor of Creative Writing Program at USC. He subsequently also introduced the highly successful Doctor of Creative Arts (Creative Writing) program at USC. Gary has written over 80 illustrated books, short story anthologies, novellas and novels (many of which are published internationally) spanning a career of over 25 years in print. He is one of Australia’s most awarded authors, winning the Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year award 4 times: twice for Book of the Year for Young Adult Older Readers (Strange Objects in 1991 and Angel's Gate in 1993) and twice for Picture Book of the Year ('First Light' in 1993, illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe and The Watertower in 1994, illustrated by Steven Woolman). Gary's Memorial, illustrated by Shaun Tan, was awarded the Children's Book Council of Australia's Honour Book in 2000 and short-listed for the Queensland Premier's awards. His novels and illustrated books are published in translation all over the world.

Gary has been twice short-listed for the Crime Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Mystery Fiction award for Youth. Among his many Australian awards are: the Ned Kelly Prize for Crime Fiction, the NSW Premier's award and the Victorian Premier's award. He has been short-listed for both the Queensland Premier's and the Western Australian Premier's awards for Fiction, and twice the recipient of Europe's prestigious White Raven award for illustrated books. In 2004 he was the recipient of the Wilderness Award for Children’s Writing for his 'Extinction Trilogy' and also the Royal Geographic Society Whitley award for the same trilogy. In 2005, he received the Aurealis award for Speculative Fiction. His award nominations for illustrated books include:

  • 2013 Short Listed Aurealis Awards (In The Beech Forest).
  • 2013 Short Listed Aurealis Awards (The Boy Who Grew into a Tree)
  • 2012 White Ravens Award (Germany) Damon
  • 2011 CBCA Notable Book: Serpent’s Tale
  • 2009 Nominated for Aust. Wilderness Society Award: Cat on the Island
  • 2007 Shortlisted CBCA Crichton Award
  • 2006 CBCA Crichton Award
  • 2005 The Aurealis Award for Speculative Fiction (Beneath the Surface)

Gary has published two contemporary adult novels with Harper Collins (Fourth Estate): The Children’s Writer (2009) and The Architecture of Song (2012). His most recent novel is Voicing the Dead (Ford St 2015) a ficto-critical historical novel based on the wreck of the Charles Eaton 1834) off the coat of Queensland. His novel multi-award winning and best-selling novel Strange Objects and his illustrated book The Watertower are considered innovative icons of Australian publishing.

Gary regularly presents, addresses and workshops for adults, students and aspiring writers around Australia and South East Asia. His Master of Arts in Literature (University of Queensland) was a comparative Post-Colonial study of the fiction of Caribbean Writer Wilson Harris and Nobel Prize Winning Australian author Patrick White. His Doctorate of Creative Arts (University of Sunshine Coast) further developed his interest in Postcolonial Studies by focusing on Racism and Sexism in the Nineteenth Century Boy's Own Adventure novel.

Gary is a member of the Arts Research in Creative Humanities (ARCH) research cluster at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • ficto-critical writing
  • contemporary fiction
  • fiction in general (English / American canon)
  • Australian fiction
  • postcolonial fiction
  • young adult fiction
  • the illustrated book for older readers
  • the graphic novel
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