7 // Kristyn Maslog-Levis

The Missing Books in Children’s Literature in Australia: An Australian-Filipino Author’s Journey to Representation

University of Technology Sydney

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Kristyn Maslog-Levis is a marketing and communications coordinator for a non-profit organisation, author, ghostwriter and former journalist. She has previously worked as a TV reporter in the Philippines and a radio broadcaster with SBS in Sydney, where she still occasionally does voice-overs. Several of her stories have landed in The New York Times and Al Jazeera.

While working as a broadcast journalist in the Philippines, Kristyn covered bomb threats, rebel insurgencies, and political rivalries. She finished her masters degree in communication at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore under the ASEAN scholarship.

Kristyn self-published two children’s picture books prior to the release of her first young adult novel, The Girl Between Two Worlds, with Anvil Publishing in 2016. Her second book, The Girl Between Light and Dark, and third book, The Search for Adarna, were released by the same publisher in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Kristyn is represented by Annabel Barker Literary Agency. She started her Doctor of Philosophy candidature in 2021 with the University of Technology Sydney for Creative Writing under the Australian Research Training Program, focusing on cultural diversity in children’s literature in Australia.

Her thesis, The Missing Books in Children’s Literature in Australia: An Australian-Filipino Author’s Journey to Representation, is a creative and critical work that questions the limited opportunities given to children’s and young adult (CYA) authors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in the traditional publishing industry in Australia. The thesis argues that CALD authors face barrier after barrier, first within their own personal circumstance, then from the wider community – as well as the barriers within traditional publishing houses. For CALD authors to have a chance of being represented in the CYA space, big changes are needed from the industry and its adjacent spaces.

This episode of The Knowledge Mill was recorded in my office at UTS on September 15, 2023.

Show Notes

University of Technology Sydney

UTS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)

Erin Entrada Kelly


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The Knowledge Mill is a podcast about PhD researchers and their work. Each episode features a longform conversation with a PhD candidate, with a focus on how they found themselves doing a PhD and the research they’re undertaking.

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