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Kate McCaffrey

  • Young Adult Author talks and workshops | Teacher PD on Coded Marking and Feed Forward systems.
  • Kate’s books include Destroying Avalon; In Ecstasy; Beautiful Monster; Crashing Down; Saving Jazz; and, The (mostly) English Teacher’s Survival Guide to Marking.
  • Choose from a range of highly-relevant and specific topics, designed for students or for teacher professional development.
  • Perth-based, Kate is available for both online or in-person delivery and is available to travel to events.
  • Please contact Nudge Productions directly for bookings or enquiries.

‘Young Adult’ Author workshops and talks for school students | Teacher professional development

Young Adult Author workshops and talks by Kate McCaffrey, with a focus on creative writing. Plus teacher PD on Coded Marking and Feed Forward systems. Kate is based in Perth, Western Australia. She is available to deliver her talks online or in person across Australia and beyond.

Prospective audience for Kate’s  young adult author workshops:

Year 7 to year 12 students and teachers (professional development).

About Kate:

Kate McCaffrey is a popular Young Adult Author with five books on the Curriculum Council’s Recommended Reading Lists for secondary students.

Kate uses her 20 years of teaching experience to deliver highly-relevant and specific content, including workshops that particularly help Year 12 students with the Composing Section of the English ATAR Exam.

As well as her Young Adult Author workshops and talks, Kate regularly delivers professional development workshops for teachers on Coded Marking and Feed Forward systems – providing positive benefits for both students and teachers.

“…McCaffrey has a way of capturing the teenage voice and making her characters real. A must-read for teenage girls.” – The West Australian

Kate is a six time nationally and internationally published, award-winning author. Her novels are used as texts in many schools around Australia. She has over 20 years’ experience as an English and English Literature teacher and more than 15 years on the speaking circuit.

“… absorbing and useful.” – Weekend Australian

About Kate’s books:

Kate is the author of five award-winning novels for young adults. All are listed on the Curriculum Council’s Recommended Reading Lists for Secondary students:

  • Destroying Avalon (Fremantle Press 2006), winner of the WAYBRA Award for older readers and the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award for Young Adults, translated into Hungarian, Slovenian and Korean.
  • In Ecstasy (Fremantle Press 2008), winner of the Australian Family Therapists Children’s Literature Awards, translated into American.
  • Beautiful Monster (Fremantle Press 2010), named a 2011 White Raven, selected from newly published books from around the world as especially noteworthy by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany.
  • Crashing Down (Fremantle Press 2014), winner of the Australian Family Therapists’ Children’s Literature Awards.
  • Saving Jazz (Fremantle Press 2016), winner of the Australian Family Therapists’ Children’s Literature Awards, translated into Slovenian.

In 2019, Kate published something completely different, The (mostly) English Teacher’s Survival Guide to Marking (Tentacle Publishing), a reference book for teachers about using a Coded Marking and Feed Forward system, to reduce time spent marking and increase student results.

Workshop topics:

Kate is available to deliver the following talks and workshops:

Talks and workshops for students

Year 11 & 12 students  |  90 minutes

In the first half of this workshop, Kate shares her essential creative writing tips. She guides students on the dos and don’ts of how to approach and deliver their creative writing tasks.

The second half of the workshop covers what the examiners are looking for in the Composing Section of the ATAR exam. Kate explains the importance of purpose, context, audience, voice and point of view.

Kate emphasises two key areas for students to focus on in their exam preparation.  The first is researching a topic (or two), and the second is using examples from previous exam papers to “shape” responses.

As an additional option, Kate can mark a subsequent task set for the students and provide feedback to the cohort. This is particularly valuable, as Kate actively marks assessments and exams at over twenty schools across the metropolitan area. This allows her to deliver benchmarking and an accurate assessment of where your students are in relation to the other students she assesses. Kate provides individualised comments and a comprehensive marker’s reports.

Year 11 & 12 students  |  90 minutes

This expands and develops on one of the ideas introduced in her Writing for the Composing Section of the WACE ATAR Exam workshop.

In this workshop, Kate focuses on the concept of researching topics to enable students to create a knowledgeable and authentic voice in their writing. Students will learn what topics are the most appropriate and useful, and what information they need to gather.

Kate uses questions in previous exam papers to demonstrate to students how they can use their knowledge of a topic to adjust their writing to address a range of prompts.

Kate is able to deliver this workshop based around a school’s individual creative writing task. She can the mark the task set for the students and provide feedback to the cohort.

Year 7, 8, 9  & 10 students  |  45 to 60 minutes

Kate delivers a talk about “being an author”. Kate shares the story of how she became published, where she get her ideas for characters and stories, and how a book develops from a concept, to the finished, published product.

Kate discusses the issues that are examined in her novels, including cyberbullying, eating disorders, drug use, teen pregnancy and social media trolling.

This talk can be delivered to any size cohort, of the same age group, to allow for “appropriate” language and content!

Talks and workshops for teachers – professional development

English Teachers  |  45 to 60 minutes

In this professional development session, Kate demonstrates the benefits of using a coded marking system, including how to use the feedback and data it creates, to reduce marking time and improve student learning outcomes.

Kate will then guide participants through a hands-on activity using the system.

Kate has written and published a reference book that provides best-practice guidelines for teachers implementing a Coded Marking and Feed Forward system in their classroom.  It includes comprehensive Marking Code Banks and Analysis Rubrics, tailored to the Australian Curriculum.

The book can be pre-ordered, or made available to purchase at the workshop.


Kate is available to deliver her talks and workshops for students and / or staff.  She can be booked for a single, or multiple sessions in a day. Longer residencies are also available.

Please contact Nudge Productions directly to discuss your specific needs, or to make a booking. You can email, or call Greg Cumming on 0406 317 801.

Testimonials for Kate’s talks:

“The students were captivated by Kate’s humour and her story of wanting to write books that students could relate to in their plot and setting. She has certainly done that with her five important books dealing with issues that many teenagers or their friends may face. What safer way to navigate the complex and tricky world of today’s teenagers than through a book? Kate’s books make for essential reading for any parent and teenager.” – Louise Moreton – Iona Presentation College, iCentre Manager (November 2020).

Reviews for Kate’s books:

There are so many great reviews for Kate’s novels. Expand the button below to see a selection of them.

Kate McCaffrey Reviews

This well written, entertaining novel is highly recommended as an engaging and relevant read for teens and adults, as are McCaffrey’s previous YA novels including Destroying Avalon and Crashing Down.’ Kids’ Book Review

‘… we are instantly drawn into this small town high school setting where one too many drinks at a party leads to a heinous crime and four lives changed forever. This is a confronting tale about the power of social media in today’s culture …’ Monique, Goodreads

‘The novel deals with gender relations, the power of the internet, and personal responsibility in a comprehensive and compelling way; this is a book that will keep you up all night and keep you thinking for weeks afterwards. Saving Jazz is McCaffrey’s most powerful book yet, and it deserves to be widely read and discussed.’ WritingWA

‘This is a cautionary tale like no other … McCaffrey has written a book that will be hugely popular.’ Read Plus

‘… McCaffrey does a stellar job of exploring the pressure young people experience on the cusp of adulthood.’ Magpies

‘Kate McCaffrey is known for her emotionally hard-hitting accurate portrayals of teens under pressure, and her latest novel Crashing Down is her best yet.’ Junior Books+Publishing

‘Kate McCaffrey creates a strong lead character, who shows young adult readers that courage, belief in yourself and confidence in your decisions will make you happy in the end.’ Scoop

‘It is an involving novel with some unexpected plot developments, and I would recommend it as a light yet serious read.’ Launceston Examiner

‘… a very engaging and challenging novel for those looking for a book that will make them think, with a storyline that will linger and continue to raise questions long after the final page is read.’ Kids’ Book Review

‘McCaffrey pulls no punches in laying open a world in which anorexia and bulimia are used as weapons in the battle for self-esteem.’ Magpies

‘…McCaffrey has a way of capturing the teenage voice and making her characters real. A must-read for teenage girls.’ The West Australian

‘An involving read to begin a discussion around important issues.’ Courier Mail

‘This is a topical and moving story of an all-too familiar problem.’ Reading Time

‘The poetic prose style is an excellent medium for expressing Tess’ self-awareness and heightened perceptions …’ Viewpoint

‘The novel is engaging, spirited and addictive.’ Sun Herald

‘Australian teenagers will connect to this sad but ultimately realistic story.’ Australian Women Online

‘The story is fast moving, hard-hitting and thought provoking.’ Good Reading

‘Simple and effective writing takes the reader straight into issues affecting the health of the teenage mind and the complexity of aiming for perfection.’ Scan

‘… absorbing and useful.’ Weekend Australian

‘This novel provides an empowering read for teenagers and a learning experience for parents …’ Perth Woman

‘This very powerful novel … could be used as a catalyst for discussion … a moving story.’ Fiction Focus

‘McCaffrey has caught teen-speak accurately … reading Destroying Avalon may allow both victim and perpetrator to see themselves more clearly.’ Reading Time

Teachers’ guides:


Click on the above images to be taken to the publisher’s (Fremantle Press) teaching notes.

See all our available Young Adult Author workshops and talks.


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