About Isobelle Carmody

Australian writer of science fiction, fantasy, children's literature, and young adult literature.

Isobelle Carmody grew up the eldest of eight. When left to babysit she would entertain her younger siblings with oral story-telling as a way of maintaining some semblance of order. It’s safe to say Isobelle has had an extensive career in holding an audience’s attention and she has won an embarrassment of awards doing just that.

Isobelle is a many-faceted individual, deeply curious about the external, and perhaps more importantly, about the internal world. She is one of Australia’s most beloved and awarded fantasy authors, however over the years she has grown to treasure not only writing but illustration, discovering this passion through collections such as the Little Fur series and The Kingdom of The Lost series. Isobelle has made a strong fore into the academic world, achieving her PhD in literature in 2020 and going on to help devise projects such as the upcoming My Future Town initiative run by The University of Queensland in 2022. Other important ventures in recent years include Isobelle’s activism against the inhumane detainment of refugees in Australia’s numerous detention centres.

Isobelle didn’t come from a background typically conducive to further education. Her’s was a journey built on the simple hunger for ‘something more’. Following this instinct, Isobelle went on to complete a BA in Literature and Philosophy at Deakin University and obtain a job with a Geelong publication. At the time of this achievement, Isobelle had only completed one semester in journalism but she knew she could write, and most importantly she had the drive to do so. Relegated to cataloguing in a dark basement in her current position, she had little to lose, and a week after one unblushing and determined call to the chief of staff at the Geelong advertiser Isobelle received what she thought was a prank call. To her surprise and elation, her brazen approach had earned her the coveted position of journalist.

Between jumping from a plane lounging with lions and most importantly writing a lot, she published her first book somewhere around age 24. Isobelle began writing Obernewtyn at 14 and through a genuine curiosity in humanity’s foibles and a stroke of luck she secured a deal with the first publishing house she ever wrote to. Obernewtyn is now a little orange Penguin Classic, and the entire Obernewtyn chronicles, with Isobelle’s infamously voluptuous novels, can be found often filling one whole shelf of a commercial bookstore near you. Since then she has also published numerous other series, standalone novels, and short story collections, all of which can be found in her Books section.

Isobelle has travelled the world and lived many different lives. Her present existence is spent predominantly in balmy Brisbane. At this very moment she could be focusing on anything between her post-doctoral work, fastidiously marking undergraduate essays, and finishing several series (yes, including The Legendsong Saga‘s Darkbane.). She also hopes to release the novel that resulted from her PhD research, titled The Theatre of Death, as soon as practicable (only five pages of editing to go at last check). Some as of yet classified undertakings may include several newly illustrated characters for us to one day have the pleasure of joining on their adventures.

  • PhD Topic

    “This thesis explores the complementarity of the literary modes of realism and the Fantastic by means of the writing of a slipstream novel, The Theatre of Death, and through its analysis in a critical essay, “Riding the Slipstream”. Where writers such as Sterling (1989) have used the term slipstream to describe a subgenre of fantasy, I use it to describe a writerly set of techniques in which an author oscillates...

  • Awards & Accolades

    Awards Aurealis awards: Green Monkey Dreams, YA short story, 1997 Greylands, YA novel, 1998 Dream Walker (by IC, illustrated by Steven Wollman), YA short story, 2002 Alyzon Whitestarr, Golden Aurealis novel, 2006 Alyzon Whitestarr, YA novel, 2006 The Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards: The Red Wind, Younger Readers Book of the Year, 2011 The Gathering, Book of the Year for Older Readers (joint winner), 1994 The Farseekers: the Obernewtyn...

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Here you will find some of the more commonly asked questions and their answers. If you have a question you would like answered, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page, and we’ll either reply to you or add it to this list.