If she could, Tania McCartney would live inside a book, and as an Australian author, illustrator, editor and designer—she kind of already does. An experienced magazine and book editor, independent publisher, features writer and columnist, Tania has worked in magazines and publishing since 1988, and has worked in book layout, cover and internals design, typography and typesetting since 2007. As of 2024, she has over 65 books in print or in production (the majority of them children's books), published in around 25 countries, with over 20 translations. See books here.

Tania’s great passions include picture books and visual literacy. She has informally studied and worked in visual narrative since 2005, speaking to schools and institutions in Australasia, and lecturing for the National Library of Korea (2020). She has a deep love of juvenile literacy and has been an ambassador, consultant, friend and role model for several institutions, including the National Year of Reading (2012), Libraries ACT, Australia Reads, The Reading Hour and the ACT Chief Minister's Reading Challenge.

In 2013, Tania reconnected with a lifelong passion for illustration, and now creates predominantly digital but also hand-rendered works, specialising in watercolour, ink and printing techniques. Her first self-illustrated book, Australia Illustrated, was released in 2016. She has since illustrated a series of illustrated maps and puzzles, and over 20 books, including This is Home, a collaboration with Jackie French (National Library of Australia), Mamie, the first trade picture book on the life of May Gibbs (HarperCollins), Fauna: Australia's Most Curious Creatures (National Library Publishing), I Heart the World and Wildlife Compendium of the World (both Hardie Grant Explore), junior fiction series, Evie and Pog (HarperCollins), the Plume series of travel picture books (Hardie Grant Explore, 2021-2023), and Dorrie on the life of Blinky Bill creator, Dorothy Wall (HarperCollins, 2023). 

Her illustrations have been featured in a series of greeting cards with Nuovo Group, and one of her works featured in the Flow Magazine 2019 calendar (view it here). She also designed the Illustrator Showcase poster for the SCBWI Australia East/NZ International Conference, Sydney, 2019. 

Recent titles include Australia's Wild, Weird, Wonderful Weather (author Stephanie Owen Reeder, National Library Publishing, 2020), Dorrie on the life of Dorothy Wall (HarperCollins, 2023), Wildlife Compendium of the World (Hardie Grant Explore, 2023) and Plume: Christmas Elf, the fourth in her picture book travel series for kids (Hardie Grant Explore, 2023).

The founder of esteemed review site Kids’ Book Review, the 52-Week Illustration Challenge and the hugely successful The Happy Book children's book podcast, Tania is an experienced mentor, speaker and presenter, running workshops for schools and organisations such as the ACT Writers Centre, the Australian Society of Authors, the National Centre for Australian Children's Literature, the Children's Book Council of Australia and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Her festival experience include CBCA National Conferences, SCBWI Conferences, the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore, KidLitVic, the Newcastle Writers Festival and several smaller festivals.

Tania’s books have received many awards and shortlistings. A National Library of Australia author/illustrator, she is also published by several trade publishers (including HarperCollins, Hardie Grant Explore, Penguin Random House, Allen & Unwin, Windy Hollow, EK Books, Hodder), specialising in picture books, juvenile non-fiction and junior fiction.

Award wins and shortlistings include the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, ACT Writing and Publishing Awards, Museums Australasia Multimedia & Publication Design Awards,  Australian Book Design Awards, SCBWI Crystal Kite Award (for Australia/New Zealand), Speech Therapy Awards, World Illustration Awards, Wilderness Society’s Environment Award for Children’s Literature, Educational Awards Australia, WAYRBA, several CBCA Notable books and the CBCA Laurie Copping Award for Distinguished Service to Children’s Literature (2017). In 2017, she was awarded a May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust Fellowship to Adelaide. See Résumé for more awards and notable achievements.

Along with reading, writing and drawing, Tania loves calendars, maps, wreaths, gardening, yoga, wasabi, nutmeg, sparkling mineral water, animals, the wilderness, photography, travel, and very best of all ... sprouting a love of reading in children. She has lived in Paris, London and Beijing, and currently lives in Canberra with her family, a forest of artwork and a mountain of books.

For more, including creative background, bibliography, awards and works in progress, see Résumé. Or say hello by email...







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