Melina Marchetta

Melina Marchetta
Melina Marchetta
Born 25 March 1965 (1965-03-25) (age 46)
Nationality Australian
Genres Young female adult fiction
Notable work(s) Looking For Alibrandi, Finnikin of the Rock
Notable award(s) CBCA Award

Melina Marchetta (born 25 March 1965) is an Australian writer and teacher. She is the middle child of three daughters. Melina is best known as the author of Looking For Alibrandi. She has twice been awarded the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers, in 1993 and 2004.[1]



Melina Marchettaborn in Sydney on 25 March 1965. She is of Italian descent. Melina attended high school at Rosebank College in the Sydney suburb of Five Dock. She left school at age fifteen as she was not confident in her academic ability. She then enrolled in a business school where she gained useful office skills, such as typing, which helped her gain employment with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and later at a travel agency where she worked as a consultant. This work gave her confidence to return to school and gain a teaching degree. She then got a job teaching at St Mary's Cathedral College, Sydney in the heart of the Sydney CBD until 2006. She now writes full time.

Her first novel Looking for Alibrandi was released in 1992 to much acclaim with a first print-run sellout within two months of its release. Published in 14 countries, including 11 translated editions, Looking for Alibrandi swept the pool of literary awards for young adult fiction in 1993 including the coveted Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Award (Older Readers). Dubbed "the most stolen library book" the popular novel has sold more than half a million copies worldwide and was followed by her film adaptation of the same title released in 1999.

While writing the AFI award-winning screenplay Melina taught English, Italian and History full time for ten years at a city high school for boys. During that time she released her second novel Saving Francesca in 2003, followed by On the Jellicoe Road in 2006. Both novels have been published in more than 6 countries, with Saving Francesca translated into 4 languages. On the Jellicoe Road was recently awarded the prestigious 2009 US Michael Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature.

Melina's fourth novel, the fantasy epic Finnikin of the Rock, was released by Penguin Australia in October 2008. It has since won the 2008 Aurelius Award for Best Young Adult Novel and the 2009 ABIA (Australian Booksellers Industry Awards) Book of the Year for Older Children, and was recently shortlisted for the 2009 Children's Book Council of the Year (Older Readers) Award. In the USA Finnikin has received starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal, Booklist and Bulletin Centre for Children's Books.

Melina has also written short stories including the recent Twelve Minutes - part of the Books Alive anthology 10 SHORT STORIES YOU MUST READ THIS YEAR, along with reviews and opinion pieces for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and The Australian Literary Review. She has also been a writer-in-residence around the country, as far north as Thursday Island and as far south as Hobart.

Her fifth novel The Piper’s Son was released in Australia in 2010 [2]

Awards and nominations

  • Children's Book Council Book of the Year Award, Book of the Year: Older Readers, 1993: winner for Looking for Alibrandi
  • Film Critics Circle of Australia, Best Screenplay - Adapted, 2000: winner for Looking for Alibrandi[3]
  • New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, Script Writing Award, 2000: winner for Looking for Alibrandi
  • Australian Film Institute Award, Best Adapted Screenplay, 2000: winner for Looking for Alibrandi
  • BILBY (Books I Love Best Yearly) Awards, Older Readers, ca.2000: winner for Looking for Alibrandi[4]
  • South Australia Premier's Awards, Children's Literature Award, 2004: shortlisted for Saving Francesca
  • Children's Book Council Book of the Year Award, Book of the Year: Older Readers, 2004: winner for Saving San Francesca
  • Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA), Australian Book of the Year for Older Children, 2007: shortlisted for On the Jellicoe Road[5]
  • Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, Best Young Adult Book, 2007: shortlisted for On the Road
  • Aurealis Award, Young Adult Division, Best Long Fiction, 2008: winner for Finnikin of the Rock
  • Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, 2009: winner for On the Jellicoe Road


Marchetta wrote the screenplay for the film Looking For Alibrandi (2000), a film starring Pia Miranda, Greta Scacchi and Anthony La Paglia. The film received rave reviews and was a huge box office success, winning five awards including an AFL award and an Independent Film Award for best screenplay, as well as the NSW Premier's Literary Award and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award.[6]


  • Looking For Alibrandi (1992)
  • Looking For Alibrandi Screenplay (1999)
  • Saving Francesca (2003)
  • Jellicoe Road (2006)
  • Finnikin of the Rock (2008)
  • The Piper's Son (March 2010)[7]
  • The Gorgon in the Gully: Pocket Money Puffins (September 2010)[8]
  • Froi of the Exiles (2011)


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Melina — The female name Melina is of Greek origin and means honey . Mel can be derived from names such as Melanie meaning black, dark or Melissa meaning honey bee . It can refer to the following: Melina Kanakaredes, Greek American actress Melina León,… …   Wikipedia

  • Looking for Alibrandi (novel) — Infobox Book name = Looking for Alibrandi title orig = translator = image caption = author = Melina Marchetta illustrator = cover artist = country = Australia language = English series = genre = Young adult novel publisher = Penguin… …   Wikipedia

  • On the Jellicoe Road —   Author(s) Melina Marchetta …   Wikipedia

  • Pia Miranda — Infobox Celebrity name = Pia Miranda caption = birth date = Birth date and age|1973|6|15|df=y birth place = Melbourne, Victoria, Australia death date = death place = occupation = Actor salary = networth = spouse = Luke Hannigan website = Pia… …   Wikipedia

  • Das Geheimnis der Alibrandis — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Das Geheimnis der Alibrandis Originaltitel Looking for Alibrandi …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Looking for Alibrandi — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: Das Geheimnis der Alibrandis Originaltitel: Looking for Alibrandi Produktionsland: Australien Erscheinungsjahr: 2000 Länge: 103 Minuten Originalsprache: Englisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Michael L. Printz Award — Printz Award Awarded for literary excellence in young adult literature Presented by Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) a division of the American Library Association (ALA) Country …   Wikipedia

  • Looking for Alibrandi — This article is about the film. See Looking For Alibrandi (novel) for the book. Infobox Film name = Looking For Alibrandi caption = Sometimes what you’re looking for is closer than you think... director = Kate Woods producer = Robyn Kershaw… …   Wikipedia

  • Bilby Award Winners — The Bilby Award is awarded annually by the Queensland s Branch of the Children s Book Council Awards.cite web |title= What are the BILBY awards? |publisher= Children s Book Council of Australia (Qld Branch) Inc |url=… …   Wikipedia

  • Children's Book of the Year Award: Older Readers — Awarded for Excellence in Australian high school books Presented by Children s Book Council of Australia Country Australia First awarded 1946 …   Wikipedia