Our Team

EDITOR: Di Bates

Founding editor of Buzz Words (2006) and author of many books for children, Dianne (Di) Bates makes a living from full-time writing. Some of Di’s books have sold overseas in translation; others have won state and national literary awards, including two children’s book choice awards. Di is an avid reader and over the years has reviewed many books for a wide variety of literary magazines. She is a recipient of the Lady Cutler Award for Services to Children's Literature and the founder of the website Australian Children’s Poetry.


Buzz Words reviewers are active members of the children’s book community. They are all volunteers and may be writers, illustrators, teachers, librarians or parents. Above all, they share a love of children's and young adult books. Meet the Buzz Words’ reviewing team.

Dannielle Viera                                                                                                                                  

Dannielle has been involved in the Australian publishing industry for over 20 years, first as a copywriter and then as an editor, project manager, proof-reader and author. She has worked on more than 70 printed books and has written about subjects as varied as the history of Christianity, Native American mythology, vampires, knights and the death of Hollywood film stars. Some of the books for which she is credited as a contributor include Outside in Takes a Stab (2018), From Quarantine to Q Station (2016) and How to Act Like a Champagne Expert (2013). Her first love, however, has always been children’s books, and she has written stories for young children for many years (with an increase in inspiration since the birth of her two daughters). She is listed as an Emerging Author on the Creative Kids Tales website, and her children’s story entitled ‘The Tree’ has been shortlisted for the ZineWest 2018 awards.  

Jeffery E Doherty 

Jeffery E Doherty makes up stuff, he's arty and a bit of a nerd, well quite a big nerd. He loves to read, write, illustrate and review books and stories for children. He is the author of Pager Magic, and the junior fiction series, The Guardians of St. Giles as well as illustrating The Adventures of Teddy and Karl, a collection of bedtime stories for children. To find out more visit his web site at www.jefferyedoherty.com

Julie Thorndyke   

A graduate of the University of Sydney Master of Creative Writing program, Sydney writer Julie Thorndyke’s two collections of tanka poetry, Rick Rack and Carving Granite, were published by Ginninderra Press. A librarian in the education sector for more than thirty years, she now concentrates on writing, editing and facilitating writers’ workshops. Editor of Eucalypt: a tanka journal since 2017, Julie also writes fiction and other poetry forms. Waiting for the Night, Julie’s picture book illustrated by Anna Seed, is available from IP Kidz. Julie’s website is https://jthorndyke.wordpress.com/

Kylie Buckley                                                                                                                                     

Kylie is an avid reader and full time Primary School Teacher. She is passionate about children’s literacy and developing a book-loving culture at her school. Besides teaching her class, she particularly enjoys coordinating whole-school reading events such as Book Week, author visits and the Premiers’ Reading Challenge. In her spare time Kylie likes running, playing tennis, drinking wine and eating cheese

Nean McKenzie             

Nean lives in western Melbourne where she writes in between working as an optometrist. She enjoys travelling, bush walking and training for fun runs. Her debut novel
 Cryptosight, a middle-grade adventure story, came out in 2019. Her second novel Xenoflight, also published by MidnightSun Publishing, will be out in May 2022. 

Nikki M Heath              
Nikki is an aspiring children’s book author, drawing inspiration from her two young daughters and their enthusiasm for the world around them. She admires innovative and challenging children’s books and loves to support Australian authors. When not writing or working her corporate office job, Nikki is a keen baker of sourdough bread, which, along with cheese and chocolate, constitutes most of her diet. 

Karen Hendriks

Karen is an emerging children’s writer and is passionate about children’s literacy. In April,
2019 Karen established the Shellharbour Children’s Writers and Illustrators at Shellharbour
City Library. She is a moderator for the Creative Kids Tales site which supports fellow

Karen has many short stories published both online and in books. This includes The Toy
Chest Anthology (2018), It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas Anthology, 2018, The
Creative Kids Tales Story Collection (2018) and Things That Go Bump and Enchanted, a flip
book Anthology (2019) and Spooktacular Stories (2019).

Feathers is Karen’s picture book being published by Empowering Resources (2020). Go
Away, Foxy Foxy will be released in August (2020) and is being published by Daisy Lane
Publishing. This is being followed by Home, a picture book story being released in April
(2022), also published by Daisy Lane Publishing.

Kerry Gittins

Kerry is an emerging author, a musician, traveller and teacher librarian from Newcastle, Australia. She has a Masters in Education and is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Creative Kids Tales (CKT) and the Australian Society of Authors (ASA). Kerry is passionate about books and literacy, especially the role picture books have in learning for children of all ages. She is a huge fan of animation and still drags her children along to the latest animated movies whenever they’re home. You can follow her on Twitter @gittins_kerryInstagram @gittinskerry or find out more on her website The Book Tree

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