Welcome to Creative Kids Tales, Janeen Brian.
Janeen grew up in a small, red-bricked house in the coastal suburb of Brighton in Adelaide, South Australia. The middle child, Janeen spent many hours playing in her backyard with her older brother and younger sister.
Primary school life did little for the imagination with the absence of a school library and outdoor activities. Students spent their days seated at their desks with the occasional distraction of folk-dancing or marching. Even from an early age Janeen was interested in the creative side by participating in the choir and enjoying sewing or craft time. She also excelled in sporting activities as an integral member of the top school teams.
By the time Janeen began at Brighton High, she had developed a love of Latin, English and French. In 1966 at 16 she entered Wattle Park Teacher’s College and began a two-year Primary School teaching course. In 1990 after 20 years inspiring hundreds of young minds, Janeen decided to close the chapter on her teaching life and follow her writing ambitions. However, it didn’t come easy with the difficulties of her new chosen profession becoming evident. Rejection letters far outweighed acceptance letters, but Janeen was determined not to give up, instead attending courses, reading, joining author groups, writing and more reading. It’s a good thing for children around the country she did.
With over 80 titles now published across many genres, including picture books, poetry, short fiction, novels and non-fiction. Many of her books have been translated and won awards, including CBCA Honour Awards for Where does Thursday go? (my personal favourite), Hoosh! Camels in Australia and Pilawuk- When I was Young. She has poems in over 16 anthologies and also over 200 poems, stories, articles and plays in national and international children’s magazines.
Janeen is an Ambassador for the Premier’s Reading Challenge and a Role Model for the Books in Homes program. She has travelled around the world including Britain, New Zealand, Bali, Singapore, America, Spain, Hong Kong, Canada and South America.
Janeen carries her message on the importance of reading to places around the country each year through school visits, library talks, author sessions and workshops.
Many of the activities Janeen enjoyed at school she continues to enjoy today – making mosaics, walking, swimming, aqua-classes and singing. She still lives in South Australia, near the sea with her husband, and you can find out more about Janeen Brian on her website: janeenbrian.com
Did I mention Janeen has moonlighted on television commercials voice-overs for documentaries and radio?
Read CKT's interview with Janeen Brian (Nov 2015)