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Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, Monash University

Dr Penni Russon is an award winning author of several novels for children and young adults. She brings over twenty years experience as an editor, author and researcher to her teaching and research in Writing and Publishing at UTS. As well as writing fiction, she's applied her knowledge of young adult readerships to internationally recognised collaborative research in youth mental health. Her doctoral research involved designing and developing comics for use in youth mental health. This research has taken her to conferences around the world and has positively impacted the lives of young people through online mental health service delivery in Europe and North America as well as Australia.

Penni's research sits at the intersection of reading and writing, with an interest in the way texts generate meanings, in particular through readers embodied responses to gaps in the telling and the traces of the author residual in the text (such as the wobbliness of the hand drawn line in comics or the quality we call 'voice' in prose fiction). She is also interested in the way communities form around texts, whether through communities of practice in the classroom, or networking through and around literary and aesthetic reading and writing in 'intimate publics'. She is fascinated by liminality, the in-between spaces where meanings are contested and negotiated.


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, University of Technology Sydney