About Elyne

The Elyne Mitchell Writing Award commemorates Elyne’s life and work, and hopes to encourage individuals all over Australasia to write their stories and send them in.

Elyne-and-TomElyne was born in 1913 in Melbourne.  In 1935, she married Tom Mitchell, a barrister and later parliamentarian, and lived at Towong Hill, 10km from Corryong.



Elyne was a keen sportswoman. She enjoyed skiing, perhaps most of all.


Although she is remembered particularly for the Silver Brumby series of children’s books, she wrote other novels and non-fiction relating to the Snowy Mountains and family and military history.



Although interested in all facets of nature and particularly the Upper Murray region, Elyne had a soft spot for the Azure Kingfisher. She would often float in the lagoon, hoping that the kingfishers might forget she was there and she would catch a glimpse.



Elyne had a soft spot for New Zealand and paid tribute to the country in her memoir Chauvel Country:

‘It was New Zealand and New Zealand that had given me the start of my enjoyment of skiing, and now they gave me something else.  I was already a member of the Ruapehu Ski Club and I came second in the club girls’ slalom.  The prize was a copy of Geoffrey Winthrop Young’s On High Hills, his book about all his magnificent mountain climbs before he lost a leg as an unarmed stretcher-bearer in the First World War.  Not only did this book increase my awareness of all the mountain world, which I had already found profoundly beautiful, but it awakened an ever-growing insight, and transported me with delight.’


Elyne received a number of awards including:

  • an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Charles Sturt University (1993);
  • Order of Australia Medal for services to literature (1990);
  • Children’s Book Council awards (1959-1968).

In 2001 the Corryong Branch of the Upper Murray Regional Library was renamed The Elyne Mitchell Public Library and a permanent display of her work can be viewed there.


EMWR 5 copy


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Click here for all the details, categories, entry fees and prizes for 2019.

EMWR 15 copy


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