- CHS 1959 and 1961
- Author of There’s A Hippopotamus On My Roof Eating Cake and several sequels
- Writer of numerous books for children and adults
- Society of Authors’ Medal 2009
- Ambassador for the National Year of Reading 2012
- Received Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for contribution to literature in 2013
After leaving Ashburton Primary School, Hazel’s secondary education consisted of years at Frankston High and Traralgon High, interspersed with periods at Camberwell High. When her father had health problems, the family went to live with Hazel’s grandfather who lived near Camberwell High School. After working at the State Bank for a year, she trained as a primary teacher at Toorak Teachers’ College, graduating in 1965.
Hazel’s first book, General Store, was published in 1970. Since then she has become well-known as the much-loved author of numerous children’s books, including the award-winning There’s a Hippopotamus on My Roof Eating Cake, written in 1980, celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2020, and seven sequels. Her books have been distributed world-wide and translated into several languages. There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake celebrated its earlier 33rd anniversary with a short film, shown at Sydney Opera House. Hazel also writes for children, young adults and adults. She has served as a director on the board of management of the Australian Society of Authors for 20 years. In 2009 she received the Society of Authors’ Medal. As a patron of the Society of Women Writers (Vic) she involves herself in furthering the writing careers of other women.
Describing herself as an Authorpreneur, Hazel Edwards believes writers are in the business of creativity and that their intellectual property should be valued. Displaying another side to her exuberant nature, Hazel started the first belly dancing class in Antarctica when stuck in the polar ice during an Australian Antarctic Division where she had joined the expedition as a writer. In that vein, she has stated that creativity is risking the combination of unlikely ideas in a productive way. Hazel also runs Non-Boring Writing workshops for genealogists, ‘Complete Your Book in a Year’ master classes and mentors online. Formerly Aust.-China electronic writer-in-residence with Nanjing Youfu West Street International School, she mentored their bi-lingual School Turtle book. The Authorpreneurship – The Business of Creativity e-book is available from her website.
Her picture books include Flight of the Bumblebee (with classical music CD); Plato the Platypus Plumber (Part-time); Antarctic Dad; Hooray! There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Having a Birthday Party, and the last hippo book, Ho Ho Ho, There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Christmas cake. Difficult Personalities, co-written with Dr Helen McGrath has USA, Russian, Korean, Mandarin and Polish editions. Hazel achieved an international first with trans ftm co-author Ryan Kennedy with the YA print novel f2m: the boy within about transitioning from female to male, with a comic graphic novel The Boy Within in progress.
Melbourne-based, Hazel is a frequent keynote speaker and gives webchats for remote writers. Married with two adult children and grandsons for whom she writes a story each birthday, Hazel is a long-term writing mentor for youth and involved with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library charity. Hazel was awarded an OAM in 2013 for her contribution to literature. Her website www.hazeledwards.com includes FAQs, notes, bios, bibliography and gigs.
Update: In 2020 Hazel is celebrating the 40th anniversary of There’s a Hippopotamus on My Roof. (September 2020)