Hakea and Carl love interacting with readers. Both have spent over 10+ years each in the education system so are able to conduct school talks, workshops and Q&As to increase engagement. We have limited availability for author talks and workshops at schools, festivals, libraries and events.  

>5min Book Introduction Video- FREE

– A quick introduction video where we: say the name of your class/school, express our excitement that they are reading the book, say we look forward to seeing their work and hearing their feedback.


Whole Class Letter Reply- FREE

– We love responding to class letters. Collaborating as a whole class to share ideas about the book, share work samples or ask questions- allows us to reply in bulk to everyone in one reply letter. Send to PO BOX 3458 UKI NSW 2484.


Social Media Tags- FREE

– Tag us in your school, class, teacher social media pages and we will happily comment on your posts! @carlandhakeaauthors #carlandhakeaauthors #carlmerrison #hakeahustler #mydeadlyboots #tracksofthemissing #blackcockatoobook 



– Hakea and Carl can be available for author talks, or author talks with workshops. In 2023 each author has different availability. They may have limited availability for author presentations together. 

– Bookings are available for individual sessions, half day and full days. These are booked through Speakers Ink. 

– Carl and Hakea are often between the Kimberley WA and Northern Rivers NSW. Travel may be free if within a suitable distance- or may be charged depending on travel time. Travel and accommodation costs if working away from home. 

– Children in K-3 classes will need smaller class sizes and shorter session times. 


Hakea’s Presentations Include: 

Inspiration Station: Grades 3-6: Talk 30mins Workshop 45mins (can be adjusted)
Hakea talks about where she finds inspiration, the inspiration behind her books, how she records all her ideas. Hakea can then run an optional workshop: a series of short, sharp and sweet fun activities to generate writing ideas.
Writing suspense thrillers:  Grades 7-9 Talk 30mins Workshop 45mins (can be adjusted)  
In her author presentation, Hakea shares her experience co-authoring Tracks of the Missing (Magabala 2022) including idea generation, co-writing, using real life inspiration, creating suspense, breadcrumbs, show don’t tell and more. Hakea can then run an optional workshop: brainstorming suspense thriller ideas, narrative arch and plot, using suspense thriller writing techniques.
Writing short narratives: Grades 3-6: Talk 30mins Workshop 45mins (can be adjusted) 
Hakea shares her experience co-authoring Black Cockatoo (Magabala 2018), Dirrarn (Magabala 2023) and Kimberley Kickers (Lothian 2024). She can then run an optional workshop: idea generation, understanding audience, narrative arch and plot in short novellas, depth of character and ideas in a novella, writing techniques and a series of fun writing activities to leave students with stories to continue on with.  
Writing picture books: Grades K-6: Talk 30mins Workshop 45mins (can be adjusted ie. kindy will be a shorter presentation and workshop)
Hakea shares her experience co-authoring My Deadly Boots (Lothian 2022), Beautiful Night (Lothian 2024), Loved You Then (2024) and may give ‘sneak peeks’ and ‘behind the scenes’ into current work in progress books. She can then run an optional workshop around: picture book ideas, structure of a picture book and narrative arch, how words and illustrations work together, the challenge of cutting words and refining message, and a series of fun activities to create our own picture books. 


AUTHOR TALKS Virtual Talks/Presentations – (live)

  • Up to 60 minutes.
  • A degree of open interaction from students with the presenter.
  • The school provides the online platform link.
  • The school provides a moderator to be present during the session.

Recordings of Presentation:

  • Any recording of a virtual presentation should be specifically permitted by the presenter. 
  • The presenter owns the rights to the recording; any future use of the recording will attract an additional fee to be negotiated between the school and the presenter (specify fee); the permission / licence granted to the school to use the recording be limited to single use, or a specific, negotiated, period of time such as one or two weeks.

AUTHOR TALKS Pre-recorded Talk/Presentation

The pre-recorded author talks will be up to 30 minutes.

The author/s will specifically address the school and class by name. 

Answer some pre-submitted questions by students (this could be in video format from the students, in letter form or collated by the teacher- we love to have the names of students asking the question and questions in their own words so we can make the response personal. For example: “My name is Jack. I love football and play for Seagulls in Sydney. Why do you always include football in your books?” or “My name is Jenna from Year 5 Blue at Colac Primary School. My favourite animal is the horse. Why do you include animals in your stories?”). Limited number of submissions to 32 or less- presenters to decide on which to answer. 

Link the talk to the context of the students and make links between your student’s experiences and those in our books (such as referring to the local things nearby your school, making links to the things students have said they are interested in in their letters etc). 

The author talk will then include writing process, background of books and other details.

There will be no live Q&A. The file will be provided via Vimeo online or Google Drive for download by teacher. 

Presenter owns the rights to the recording. File provided to school on a non-exclusive basis- Term use in school only. 

Hakea Hustler and Carl Merrison base their presenter fees on the Australian Society of Authors recommended rates. Books, talks and resource sales allow Hakea and Carl to continue to write and produce books for your enjoyment. 

Happy with the above information? Ready to reach out to see if we can arrange a time to present to your students? 

Booking requests can be made via the Speakers Ink website: https://www.speakers-ink.com.au/ 

Please note- not all booking requests can be accommodated due to work-author-family-life balance. 

Did you know- if we are unavailable someone in our team may still be able to have a chat with your students? 

They all charge independent rates and will need to be contacted directly to discuss your presenting needs. 



Dub Leffler is an award-winning First Nations author and illustrator who is highly experienced at delivering school workshops, writers’ festivals and other events. Contact Dub via his website: https://www.dublefflerillustrator.com/home



Samantha Campbell (nee Fry) is an award-winning First Nations illustrator who has worked on some amazing books. Visit:

https://www.samanthacampbell.com.au/blank to see if Samantha is able to offer anything to your organisation. 



Shel Sweeney is the owner of editing and writing mentor service, A Worded Life, as well as a qualified counsellor at A Counselled Life. She holds a Bachelor of Arts-Literature, Bachelor Degree in Teaching-English, Master of Arts Professional Writing and Literature and has 8 years of experience in the publishing industry. She has judged national book awards. 

Shel runs engaging creative writing workshops and can be contacted through her website: www.awordedlife.com



Alex is an experienced agent who works with some of Australia’s biggest publishing names. Alex sometimes presents at festivals and larger events. Contact Alex through her website: https://alexadsett.com.au/ 



Rachel is the head of publishing at Magabala Books. She has worked in the industry for over 15 years. Rachel presents at some literary festivals and other larger events: https://www.magabala.com/collections/rachel-bin-salleh