Johanna is an award-winning author of fiction for children and adults. She lives in Darwin with her family and a backyard full of green tree frogs. When she’s not writing, she’s running StoryProjects, a creative production house that uses storytelling to strengthen communities.
Johanna grew up between Sydney and the Solomon Islands where her dad managed an aquaculture research station. She spent most of her holidays camping and fishing along the NSW coast and many of her stories are inspired by the sandstone cliffs, scrubby bush and empty beaches of her childhood.
Despite keeping a journal as a kid, Johanna was thirty before she embarked on her first creative writing adventure, a picture book project that took her to Tennant Creek to work with Aboriginal artist Dion Beasley. Together, they zigzagged their way through the unmapped terrain of cross-cultural creation. The resulting work, Too Many Cheeky Dogs was published by Allen & Unwin and followed by Go Home Cheeky Animals! which won the CBCA Book of the Year (early childhood) in 2017. Dion and Johanna then started work on illustrated memoir about Dion’s life, which resulted in the exuberant work Cheeky Dogs: To Lake Nash and Back, recently published by Allen & Unwin.
Johanna writes short fiction and poetry for grown ups too. Her work has been shortlisted for a number of literary awards including the Overland Story Wine Prize and the Alan Marshall Short Story Prize. In 2016, she won the Northern Territory Literary Award for her short story Turning back.
Johanna is also a Churchill Fellow, the Director of StoryProjects and a recipient of numerous arts and community grants. A full list of her publications and achievements is available via her online CV.