Morris Gleitzman was born in 1953 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England. He and his family emigrated to Australia in 1969. Morris began his writing career as a screenwriter, and wrote his first children's novel in 1985. Before he began to write full time, he held various jobs as a paperboy, bottle-shop shelf-stacker, department store Santa Claus, frozen chicken defroster, fashion-design assistant and sugar-mill employee. In between, he managed to gain a degree in Professional Writing at the Canberra College of Advanced Education. Later he became sole writer for three award-winning and top-rating seasons with the TV comedy series The Norman Gunston Show. Gleitzman has written a number of feature film and television movie screenplays, including The Other Facts of Life and Second Childhood, both produced by The Australian Children's Television Foundation. The Other Facts of Life won the 1985 AWGIE Award for the Best Original Children's Film Script. Gleitzman has also written live stage material for Rolf Harris, Pamela Stephenson and the Governor General of Australia. Morris is also well known through his semi-autobiographical columns in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald magazine, Good Weekend, from which he has recently retired after nine years. Collections of his columns have been published by Pan Macmillan in Just Looking and Gleitzman on Saturday, and by Penguin in Self Helpless. One of his most successful books for young people is Two Weeks with the Queen, an international bestseller which was also adapted into a play by Mary Morris. The play had many successful seasons in Australia and was produced at the National Theatre in London in 1995, as well as in South Africa, Canada, Japan and the USA. His other books have been either shortlisted for, or have won numerous children's book prizes around the country. These include The Other Facts of Life, Second Childhood, Misery Guts, Worry Warts, Puppy Fat, Blabber Mouth, Sticky Beak, Belly Flop, Water Wings, Bumface, Gift Of The Gab, Toad Rage, Wicked! and Deadly!, two six-part novels written in collaboration with Paul Jennings, Adults Only, Toad Heaven, Boy Overboard, Teacher's Pet, and his latest book, Toad Away. Gleitzman's children's books have been published in the UK, the USA, Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Sweden and Finland. Gleitzman himself was voted Favourite Australian Author for 1999 in the Dymocks Booksellers Children's Choice Awards. Bumface was voted Second Most Popular Children's Book Of All Time in the 1999 Angus & Robertson National Readers' Survey.