Susanne Gervay

Susanne Gervay
Occupation Author
Nationality Australian
Genre Fiction

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.

Youth disability

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. [1][2]

'I am Jack' the stage play

I am Jack series has been adapted into an acclaimed play by MonkeyBaa Theatre.[3] which has toured nationally in Australia since 2008 and toured the USA in 2014.

Published works


Literary journals

And many others



  2. Gervay, Susanne. "Butterflies: Youth Literature as a Powerful Tool in Understanding Disability". Disabilities Studies Quarterly. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
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