Deborah Abela trained as a teacher and completed a BA (Comm) before becoming writer/producer of the children’s TV show, Cheez TV, at Network TEN. After seven years she left to write over 20 books for children, including the Max Remy Superspy and Jasper Zammit (Soccer Legend) series and New City, the sequel to her bestselling Grimsdon. Teresa: A New Australian was inspired by her dad, who, with a million other refugees, made the journey to Australia after the devastation of WW2. Her latest book The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee came about because of Deborah’s Year 4 teacher Ms Gray and her love of words.

Deb has won many awards for her books, including an Outstanding International Book Award in the USA and the Maurice Saxby Award for services to Children’s Literature. She is also an ambassador for Room to Read and Books In Homes.

Deb’s presentations are informative, interactive and fun. As a trained teacher, Deb loves leading author talks and writing workshops for the reluctant writer to the gifted and talented. She also presents at staff development days, sharing ideas on activities to get kids excited about writing.

Deborah has been part of WestWords from our earliest days, delivering creative writing workshops for us in places like Casula Powerhouse and as part of the St Marys Storymakers program and the Education Knowledge Network Scheme (EKN) with Western Sydney University.


2013 Maurice Saxby Award for Services to Children’s Literature

New City (Random House 2014)
2015 Honour Book YABBA awards
2015 Shortlisted KOALA awards 

Ghost Club (Random House 2012-2013)
2016 YAABA awards
2013 Sisters in Crime Davitt Awards

Grimsdon (Random House 2010)
2012 Shortlisted REAL awards (kid’s choice Vic, NT, NSW, ACT)
2011 Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards 
2011 Most Enthralling Junior Fiction Award, Kids Book Review2011 Shortlisted Aurealis Awards2011 Shortlisted REAL awards (kid’s choice Vic, NT, NSW, ACT)

The Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen (Random House 2009)
2012 Shortlisted USBBY Outstanding International Book (US)
2010 Children’s Book Council Noteable Book2010 Shortlisted Aurealis Awards for Best Children’s Book

Max Remy Superspy series (Random House 2002-2008)
2005, 2007, 2010 KOALA awards Shortlisted Best series
2007, 2010 YABBA awards Shortlisted Best series
2008 Angus & Robertson’s Top 50 kids Books
2007 Shortlisted CBC Children’s Choice Awards US
2007 WAYRBA (Western Australia Children’s Choice Awards)
2007 CROC awards
2006 Annual Ellie Awards, Madison Alabama, USA – Honor Book
2005 Winner Gold Oppenheim Award, New York: Max Remy Part 1
2004 Australia Council Literary Grant New Work/Developing Writer
2003 Shortlisted Aurealis Awards Max Remy The Hollywood Mission
2002, 2003 Winner of Read and Write Award by Vocaleyes Narrator of audio books

Have a read of Deb’s guest post for WestWords, where she shares with us the spooky stories that have inspired her over the years.

Learn more about Deb at her website: