About MeI am a Canozzie (Canadian-Australian), ex-PE teacher, proud parent of a son with lifelong cognitive and communication challenges, and author of nine novels, + read more including the acclaimed YA works ‘Are You Seeing Me?’, ‘Munro vs The Coyote’ and ‘Infinite Blue’. My new novel, 'Boy in the Blue Hammock', was released April 30, 2022.

I am a winner of the Adelaide Festival Award for YA Literature (Australia) and the HPL Teen Top Novel, and have been a finalist in the Governor General’s Literary Awards, the White Pine Award, the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award, the CBCA Book of the Year (Australia) and the Prime Minister's Literary Awards (Australia).

I have been a speaker, workshop/masterclass facilitator, competition judge and writer-in-residence for literary organizations, writing groups, schools and libraries, and was formerly a registered Mentor of young and emerging writers with the Australian Society of Authors.

For fun, I watch ‘American Ninja Warrior’ with my beautiful Canadian wife and eat Fatburger with my wondrous twins. Show Less

My Work Speaker Info Contact Me
You May Know Me For:
    Literature Types
  • Middle Grade Fiction
  • YA Fiction

Published Works'Kindling', published by Hachette (AUS/NZ), July 2010; by Global Group Holdings (Taiwan), March, 2011; and by Exciting Press (CAN/US), April 2013

'Are You Seeing Me?', published by Penguin Random House (AUS/NZ), August 2014; by Orca Book Publishers (CAN/US), August 2015; by Pegasus (TUR), June 2018.

'Munro vs. the Coyote', published under the title 'Exchange of Heart' by Penguin Random House (AUS/NZ), August 2017; by Orca Book Publishers (CAN/US), October 2017.

'Infinite Blue' (Brothers Groth), published by Orca Book Publishers (CAN/US), September 2018.

'Boy in the Blue Hammock', published by Nightwood Editions (CAN/US), April 2022.

Speaking InformationDespite my occasional confounding accent and Aussie-isms, I am an accomplished speaker and presenter for schools, libraries and writing organizations. My + read more presentations include:

'#AuthorLife'; a fun flyover of the scribbler life, answering such questions as 'How did you get here?', 'Where do your ideas come from?' and 'What's the best thing about being a writer?'; includes an interactive game with prizes; grades 7-12; 60 minutes; suitable for individual classes or larger groups.

‘Overcoming the Coyote’; a powerful and engaging exploration of the 2017 YA novel ‘Munro vs. the Coyote’, the First Nations folklore of coyote “trickster” medicine, and strategies to defeat inner voices of negativity; includes two interactive games with prizes: ‘Fair Go Facts’ and ‘Coyote Says’; Grades 7-12; 60 minutes; suitable for individual classes or large groups.

‘Seven Pieces of Priceless Advice from Perry’; an entertaining insight into the decorated YA novel ‘Are You Seeing Me?’ and an exploration of life lessons provided by protagonist, Perry Richter; includes two interactive games with prizes: ‘AYSM Numbers’ and ‘Jackie Chan or Ogopogo’; Grades 5-12; 60 minutes; suitable for individual classes or large groups.

My hands-on sessions feature co-operative learning techniques designed to not only produce great writing, but also great collaboration. My workshops include:

‘Authorship: The FAQ’; a comprehensive and interactive overview of ‘insider’ author knowledge; includes five co-operative group exercises; half-day, only for creative writing groups (max. 16); suitable for secondary students and adults.

‘Small Stories, Big Dreams: Adventures in Flash Fiction’; a deep dive into the world of flash fiction, its craft, its creation and its publishing opportunities; includes multiple writing exercises, an open mike session and a publishing opportunity on my website. Show Less

    I will visit:
  • Vancouver
  • Lower Mainland
  • Gulf and Vancouver Islands
  • Thompson Okanagan
  • Canada - beyond BC
  • USA
  • International
  • Virtually

    I Present to Age Groups:
  • Grades 7-8
  • High School
  • College / University / Adult

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Testimonials"It was so great to have Darren come to visit our classes. He was engaging, inspiring and certainly + read more knowledgeable about his craft. He read from his book, talked about the characters he created and shared bits from his personal life too. Darren was comedic, which always captivates kids, and summarized his presentation through a game. They loved it. We’d love to have him back. “

Tom Craik, Teacher, Laura Secord Elementary Show Less
"My students greatly enjoyed Darren's book talk. He was engaging and funny. They were spellbound. + read more There was a lot of time left for questions about writing and inspiration, too."

Jen Heiden, Teacher, Delta Secondary School Show Less
“Darren’s writing and presence resonated very well with teens…His talk was quick-moving, + read more incorporated subject matter geared to the age group, and got them participating, laughing and having fun. I felt that he had a big impact on the students and I can’t recommend him highly enough.”

Kate Longley, Teen Services Librarian, North Vancouver City Library Show Less

Awards and Recognition:2004 Shortlist, Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards (AUS)
2009 Shortlist, The Text Prize + show more (AUS)
2015 Outstanding Book, International Board on Books for Young Adults (IBBY)
2015 Shortlist, CBCA Older Readers Book of the Year (AUS)
2015 Shortlist, Ethel Turner Prize for YA Literature (AUS)
2015 Shortlist, Griffith University YA Book Award (AUS)
2015 Best Books for Young Readers, ABA (Children’s Group) (USA)
2015 White Raven, Internationale Jugendbibliothek (GER)
2015 Finalist, Governor General’s Literary Awards (CAN)
2015 Shortlist, Prime Minister’s Literary Awards (AUS)
2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults, YALSA (USA)
2016 Winner, Adelaide Festival Award for Young Adult Literature (AUS)
2016 Finalist, Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize (CAN)
2016 Shortlist, WA Premier's Book Awards (AUS)
2017 Best YA Books for Summer, Readings (AUS)
2017 Favourite Australian YA Titles, Booktopia (AUS)
2017 Favourite Australian YA Selections, Better Read Kids (AUS)
2017 Top Picks, Novel Ideas Show (CAN)
2018 Winner, Hamilton Public Library Teen Top Novel (CAN)
2018 Highly Recommended Selections, CanLit Books (CAN)
2018 Recommended Books, Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CAN)
2018 Best Books Selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CAN)
2018 Teen Committee Selection, Forest of Reading (CAN)
2018 Finalist, Amy Mathers Teen Book Award (CAN)
2018 Nominee, White Pine Award (CAN)
2019 Best Books Selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CAN)
2019 Best Teen Canadian Books Selection, Halifax Libraries (CAN)
2021 Showcase Selection, Children’s Book Council (USA) Show Less

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