Susanne Gervay is an Australian author published in Australia and internationally. Her younger fiction in the I Am Jack series are rites-of-passage books focusing on school bullying reaching adults and children. The first instalment has been adapted into a play by the award-winning Monkey Baa Theatre for Young People. I Am Jack is the first of four books including Super Jack, Always Jack and Being Jack. Her powerful realistic young adult literature includes Butterflies, The Cave and That's Why I Wrote This Song which is a collaborative work with her teenage daughter Tory who wrote and sings the songs that are part of the book and downloadable from her website.
Gervay is widely published in literary journals and anthologies. She is included in an anthology together with Sir Salman Rushdie, David Malouf, Thomas Keneally, entitled Fear Factor Terror Incognito, edited by Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle, published by Picador India and Australia.
Gervay is head of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Australia East and New Zealand, former chair of the board of the New South Wales Writers' Centre, writer and ambassador of Room to Read, role model for Books in Homes, and patron of MonkeyBaa Theatre. She has been a speaker in many festivals and conferences including the SCBWI International Conference at the Bologna Book Fair, Byron Bay Writers Festival, Beijing Literature Festival, Somerset celebration of Literature Festival and festivals and conferences from Delhi to New York.
A second generation daughter of post World War II Hungarian refugees, Gervay was born in Sydney.
Gervay went to University of Sydney and became a teacher. She had two children James and Tory who are the inspiration for much of her writing. She completed a Master of Education (University of New South Wales) and a Master of Arts (University of Technology, Sydney). She decided to follow her two dreams – the creation with her mother and sister of the Hughenden, a literary and arts hotel in historic Sydney and becoming an author.
Gervay is a recognised Australian author of children's and young adult literature. She was awarded the Lady Cutler Award for Distinguished Services to Children's Literature in 2007, UTS Award for Excellence and an Order of Australia in 2011. Her books are endorsed by organisations including The Children's Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, Room to Read, Life Education Australia, The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, Variety Children's Charity, Cancer Council Australia, Courage to Care and many others.
Bullying at school
As a mother of Jack, a specialist in child growth and development and author, Gervay was inspired by a son's experience of school bullying, to write I Am Jack. It has become an Australian best-seller and has been translated into other languages including Vietnamese, Bahasa and Korean. I Am Jack has been adapted by Money Baa Theatre Company into a play. It is now published in the USA by Tricycle an imprint of Kane Miller USA.
Gervay researched burns extensively working with the Children's Hospital Westmead, Sydney to write Butterflies which is a best selling Australian YA title, awarded Outstanding Youth Literature on Disability by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Susanne Gervay addressed the World Burn Conference in New York in August 2009 on Butterflies.
'I am Jack' the stage play
- I Am Jack
- Super Jack
- Always Jack
- Being Jack
- Jamie's A Hero
- Shadows of Olive Trees
- The Cave
- That's Why I Wrote This Song
- Daisy Sunshine
- Gracie and Josh
- Ships in the Field
- Elephants Have Wings
- Voices (National Library ACT)
And many others
- Always Jack winner of Australian Family Therapists Award
- Lady Cutler Award for Services to Children's Literature 2007
- UTS Professional Achievement Award, Writing 2008
- The Cave The Biennial Book Award for YA Literature, Society of Women Writers 2003
- Super Jack The Biennial Book Award for Children's Literature, Society of Women Writers 2005
- I Am Jack Notable Award CBC, short listed for WA Young Reader Award, Family Therapy Awards and Children's Literature Prize for Peace and WAYBRA Award, runner up San Francisco Book Festival Award Children's Category 2009
- Butterflies Short listed for Children's Literature Prize for Peace; Family Therapists Award for Children's, WAYBRA Award, Outstanding Youth Literature on Disability (IBBY), Winner of New York Book Festival Award 2009
- That's Why I Wrote This Song shortlisted for WAYBRA Awards, winner of San Francisco Book Festival Award, Young Adult Category 2009
- National Society of Women Writers Short Story Award 1999
- Australian National University short story award 1996
- Finalist in AWG/Film Commission Mentorship Scheme 1995
- Gervay, Susanne. "Butterflies: Youth Literature as a Powerful Tool in Understanding Disability". Disabilities Studies Quarterly. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- Disability Studies Quarterly, Winter 2004, Volume 24, No. 1
- National Safe Schools Framework The Alannah and Madeline Foundation
- Life Education Australia Healthstar Information
- Somerset Celebration of Literature Festival 2009
- Beijing Literature Festival 2009
- Byron Bay Writers Festival 2008