Hakea in Halls Creek WA


Hakea Hustler

Hakea is an avid reader, nature lover, vege eater, writer, artist and adventurer. She loves to spend time imagining and daydreaming on long drives, in baths and around the garden.  

Hakea holds her Bachelor of Education (P-12 English and Humanities), Graduate Certificate of Special Needs and is a facilitator of Trauma Informed Teaching and Classroom Management Skills (CMS). 



Carl and the Clontarf boys courtesy ABC

Carl Merrison

Carl is a Jaru/Kija man from Halls Creek in the Kimberleys in Western Australia. Carl loves spending time out bush with his family; fishing, hunting and swimming in waterholes. He loves AFL- he is a Level 3 coach! 

Carl was awarded State Finalist of the Australian of the Year Award- Local Hero for Western Australia in 2016 for his work as lifeguard, football coach, Clontarf worker and youth mentor. Carl was the 2020 Black&Write Fellowship recipient for his series of picture books: Backyard Sports. He was a shortlisted author for the Western Australian Writing Fellowship.

 Carl in the Media

ABC News Article: Carl’s Local Hero Nomination
ABC Kimberley Morning Radio Interview
Australian of the Year Honour Roll
Behind the News: Interview about Clontarf ICC Cricket Match in Broome


These friends, co-parents and co-authors met in 2013 before beginning a writing journey in 2016. 

Since then we have enjoyed collaborating on many more children’s books, middle readers and YA books. 

Media Kit

Blak&Write Fellowship winning ‘Backyard Tennis’ (Lothian 2024) published.

‘Kimberley Kickers- Jy Goes for Gold’ (Harper Collins 2024) published. 


‘Dirrarn’ nominated as a notable in the Children Book Council of Australia (CBCA) awards. 

Backyard Footy‘, the first picture book in Carl Merrison and Samantha Campbell’s Blak&Write Fellowship winning ‘Backyard Sports‘ series, was published with Hachette. 

Hakea’s chapter in the ‘Teacher, Teacher Anthology’ published by Affirm Press and edited by Megan Daley. 

Carl and Hakea’s Daisy Utemorrah award-winning ‘Dirran‘, the sequel to the CBCA Honour Book ‘Black Cockatoo‘ was published with Magabala Books. 

My Deadly Boots‘ was shortlisted for the Speech Therapy Book of the Year and Queensland Literary Awards.

‘Tracks of the Missing’ (Magabala 2022) and ‘My Deadly Boots’ (Hachette 2022) were published. 

A year of writing, grants, growth… and delayed publications due to COVID.

– Carl was shortlisted for the SLWA Fellowship in 2020 for a middle reader series proposal.

– Carl wins the 2020 Blak&Write Fellowship for his ‘Backyard Sports’ series of picture books.  

– Hakea was shortlisted for the Red Room Poetry- Poetry Object in 2020. 

‘Black Cockatoo’– Honour Book CBCA Young Reader category as well as shortlisted in Readings Children’s Book of the Year, Queensland Literary Award, ABiA Small Publisher Children Book, Australian Speech Therapists Book Award. It was selected as a feature text for the 2018 Summer Reading Challenge and included in the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge 2019.

Our debut novella, ‘Black Cockatoo’, was released in 2018 starting our author career. 

Alex Adsett Agency

We joined Alex and her Literary Agency in 2019 after the success of our debut novella, Black Cockatoo. Alex has supported us with advice on our author careers, contract reviews, finding homes for our new manuscripts and has been a great part of our support team. 



A Worded Life Editing

Shel Sweeney from A Worded Life has been with us from our very first manuscript in 2016. We have enjoyed working with A Worded Life for early manuscript editing, writing mentorship and publishing advice. 



Magabala Books

Magabala Books were willing to take a punt on us as as unpublished authors with a small novella. They have been in our corner since our first book and we have loved working with this First Nations publishing house alongside other amazing authors. We are excited about our future collaborations with the Magabala team.  



Hachette (Lothian division)

We are excited to have been signed up with the Hachette/Lothian team for several upcoming titles. We have enjoyed working with the Hachette publishing teams to make our books shine!



Harper Collins

We are excited to have the Harper Collins team believe in the Kimberley Kickers series on outback sports stars.



Dub Leffler

Dub was the amazing illustrator on our debut ‘Black Cockatoo’, as well as in ‘Dirrarn’, and his stunning black cockatoo feather is a chapter marker in ‘Tracks of the Missing’. 

Dub has written and illustrated a variety of books including ‘Once there was a boy’, ‘Sorry Day’ and ‘Bindi’ to name a few. 


Samantha Campbell (nee Fry)

Samantha has been the talented illustrator on  Hakea and Carl’s texts, and on Carl’s independently written pieces. Her colourful vibrant images add depth and life to the words.

Samantha is also a small business owner at Coolamon Creative and creates illustrations for businesses around Australia.  




Jade Goodwin

Jade is illustrating an upcoming picture book with a working title ‘Loved you then’. Jade’s stunning artwork brings warmth and to the text.