Jessica Walton is a queer, disabled writer, teacher and musician living on unceded Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri land with her wife and children.
Jess is the author of Introducing Teddy, a gentle story about a transgender teddy bear. She wrote it after realising that the picture books on her kids’ shelves didn’t reflect the diversity of her family.
Illustrated by Dougal MacPherson (@15mindrawings on Instagram and Twitter), the book started as a self-published Kickstarter project, but was published worldwide in English by Bloomsbury. It has now been translated into 9 different languages.
Since Introducing Teddy was published by Bloomsbury in 2016, Jess has been working on her skills as a short story writer, poet and screenwriter.
Jess is the author of graphic novel Stars In Their Eyes (artwork by Aśka) which will be published by Fremantle Press in late 2021. She has two short stories for teens and kids published in Australian anthologies Funny Bones (Allen and Unwin 2019) and Meet Me at the Intersection (Fremantle Press 2018).
In 2017 Jess completed a Write-ability Fellowship with Writers Victoria focused on poetry about disability, cancer and pain. In 2020 she completed their Publishability Fellowship, which continues this work.
Jess has had poems published in a few anthologies, magazines and journals. She also has a patreon where she shares her poetry directly with patrons.
Jess co-wrote an episode of Get Krack!n focused on disability, which aired on the ABC in February 2019.