John Heffernan

Primary & Secondary

Workshop Availability

Metro & Remote NSW

Australia, SE Asia & Europe

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(John Heffernan)
(Charlie Carter)

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John Heffernan wanted to be many things when it came time to morph into an adult. He wanted to be an inventor, designing gadgets like a People-Making Machine, Hover-Boots or a Genius Cap. He wanted to be a Spartan warrior, a Viking chief called Erik Skull-Splitter, a zoo-keeper fluent in Animalese, a climber of unknown mountains – or whatever happened to be the last exciting idea to leap into his mind.

Instead, John went to university and did several degrees in useless subjects like psychology and philosophy, even lecturing in them. Then he became a farmer, with sheep and cows, horses and dogs, wombats, joeys, guinea pigs and giant jungle mice. He even married a wonderful woman and became a father with two beautiful daughters.

But then one day he morphed into an author, writing books about horses and dogs, rats and pirates, kids in war, genius mice and mad scientists, ghosts and ghouls, wizards and warriors, as well as a few serious books about growing up and families and trying to work out what life is all about.

John reckons it’s the best thing he ever did, inventing stories around whatever exciting ideas leap into his mind. Better than growing up, that’s for sure.

He has produced two bodies of work: over thirty books under his own name, and another sixteen in the Battle Boy Series by Charlie Carter. His latest book under his own name is Harry’s War, while a new Charlie Carter series called Omega Squad has been started with book one titled Time Thieves. Two more titles to follow in the Omega Squad series are History Hackers and Time Makers.

John's Books

John Heffernan, published 1997 by Scholastic Australia.

Spud, a blue heeler pup, begins her life in the city, at a time when blue heelers are fashionable. These dogs are bred to work on the land and when Spud is no longer a cute puppy, she is abandoned.

Luckily she is adopted by a new master. She goes to a new home in the country, and receives love and respect from the caring man. Spud’s fortunes change again when she comes under the control of a new owner. He is cruel and violent, and treats her terribly and Spud must rely on her instincts to ensure her survival …

John's Workshops

John conducts workshops and author talks to students of all levels K-12, doing anything from straight author talks about his books, to writing workshops, to a mix of book talks and brainstorming sessions that help students with creative writing. John's workshops have been linked to the Australian Curriculum English Standards and Outcomes. For more information about the following workshops or to have something customised to suit your needs please contact

Author Talks:

General author talks are aimed at inspiring students to read, especially reluctant readers. Author talks can be delivered to small or large groups. Online sessions available.

Suitable for K-12 students.


John’s workshops can be as detailed as required, and span anything from one session to several days, even a whole week on occasions. They are based on a series of exercises that John calls Getting a Head for Tales, which encourage students to develop a mindset for seeing the world in terms of stories. Workshops are usually for between twenty to forty students. Online sessions available.

Suitable for K-12 students.

NAPLAN workshops

John’s NAPLAN workshops focus on writing Persuasive Texts. These workshops are of most benefit if conducted early in the school year. Book early so you don’t miss out!

Suitable for years 5, 7, and 9 students.

Public Libraries

John is available to work in consultation with Public Libraries, Writers’ Centres and Arts Councils on adult writing workshops. These are tylically delivered in the evening.

Suitable for all ages.

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