In the late ’90s, Claire Zorn was discouraged from taking three-unit related English because her class ranking was not high enough. It’s now 2015, and she’s just won the Children’s Book Council ‘Book of the Year’ Award (‘CBCA’) for young adult fiction.

“I’m very, very cynical about our education system,” she said.

A self-proclaimed ‘glitch’, the multiple-award winning author credits very little of her success to her school years, saying she learned to develop concepts and produce works in her undergraduate degree at Western Sydney University.

In her controversial acceptance speech for her CBCA earlier this month, Mrs Zorn reached out to teens in schools who don’t necessarily conform to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ model.

“(the award) does qualify me to… look those kids in the eye — the off-beat ones, the weird ones, the ones who haven’t done that biology assignment but have written 67,000 words, sometimes on their phones — and tell them that they will be okay,” she said.