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About

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I am a Pittsburgh-born, American-expat writer who has spent the last ten years slowly acquiring an Australian accent. (Or so some people say. I still think I sound like a Yank.) Besides Pittsburgh, I have lived in Wooster, New York, London, Münich, and now Sydney.

People often ask me if I always wanted to be a writer. The answer is (surprisingly) ‘no.’ My mother was a writer, and even though I adored her, and adored reading, I always tried to be different from her. Actually, when I was growing up, most people thought I was going to be a veterinarian because of my intense, head-over-heels love for animals. I became a vegetarian at the age of twelve, and I have always believed that non-human animals are equal to humans, and deserved to be treated as such. But I was never very good at math, and I cringed at the sight of blood, so veterinary science was not a viable career choice.

View More: http://karenracephotography.pass.us/elizabethalbertsI tried music for awhile, playing piano, flute, oboe, and doing a bit of singing. I even went to college as a music major, but in my sophomore year, I switched to theatre. Then, during a semester in New York City interning at the Vineyard Theatre, everything began to change. I had started scribbling in a spiral-bound notebook about some of my recent travel experiences, and I found that I couldn’t stop. During rehearsals the Vineyard, I slumped in my seat in the audience, zipping my black bic pen through notebook after notebook. When I told my mother I was writing, she was (as you’d expect) pretty excited. She wired me money so I could buy books like Natalie’s Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones and Ann Lamott’s Bird by Bird. She even mailed me my brother’s old clunky laptop so I could type up my first young adult stories and poems. I had fallen madly and deeply in love with writing.

After I graduated with my theatre degree from the College of Wooster in 2004, I left for my next adventure – Australia. I had always dreamed of scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, bushwalking through gumtree forests, and observing kangaroos and koalas in their natural environment. I got to do all these things…and much more! I also never stopped writing. In 2006, I started my MA in creative writing (with a concentration in young adult writing) at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, graduating with the Vice Chancellor’s Commendation and the Fred Rush Convocation Prize for creative writing. A few years later, I began a PhD in creative writing at Macquarie University, focusing on children’s and young adult verse-novels.

Paul Watson, Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, with Elizabeth Claire Alberts

Paul Watson, Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, with Elizabeth Claire Alberts

During my PhD candidature, I got very involved with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an experience I wrote about in the book, Stories of the Great Turning. While my passion for children’s and young adult literature has never diminished, I have started thinking more and more about how I can use my writing to make a difference for the environment and for non-human animals. In addition to scribbling poems and young adult novels, I now write for a number of environmental journals including Audubon, The Ecologist, Resurgence, Alternatives Journal, and Earth Island Journal