Writers S-Z

S-Z

John Safran

 

John Safran is an award-winning documentary-maker of provocative and hilarious takes on race, the media, religion and other issues. John first hit TV screens in 1997 on Race Around the World. Both John Safran’s Music Jamboree and John Safran vs. God won Australian Film Industry awards for Best Comedy Series and Most Original Concept, and were also nominated for Logie Awards. Other shows include John Safran’s Race Relations and Speaking in Tongues. John currently co-hosts Sunday Night Safran, a radio talk show on Triple J with cranky but beloved Catholic priest, Father Bob Maguire. John’s first book, Murder In Mississippi – the true story of how he met a white supremacist, befriended his black killer and wrote a book – is currently out through Penguin and was named iBooks 2013 Best Non-Fiction.

 

Chris Sarra

chris sarra_credit justine walpole 2Born in Queensland’s Bundaberg in 1967 as the youngest of 10 children to an Italian father and an Aboriginal mother, Chris Sarra is now the head of the Stronger Smarter Institute. He was formerly the principal of Cherbourg State School. He has had an extensive career in education, completing a Diploma of Teaching, a Bachelor of Education, a Master of Education and a PhD in Psychology.
Sarra’s autobiography, Good Morning, Mr Sarra (UQP, 2012), outlines his vision for a stronger, smarter future for indigenous children.
Photo by Justine Walpole.

Appearing:

 

John Saunders

Saunders - webJohn Saunders is the author of Sexual Abuse Survivor’s Handbook which details his personal experience of being sexually abused by a lay teacher as a child and bullied by Catholic teachers as a teenager. The book details his legal wranglings with the Catholic Church, and exposes cover-ups and hush payments that reach all the way to the top of the church hierarchy.
In Mid. 2013 in collaboration with the Sydney Morning Herald, a feature article was published on John’s experience. This article was instrumental in lifting the silencing clauses in victim’s cases nationally.
John’s personal account of his psychological and legal journey provides the reader with insights and constructive tools to help other victims navigate their way through the emotional and legal issues that arise when taking on the Catholic Church.
John Saunders has a background in corporate training and currently owns an advertising business in Byron Bay. John is also the director and facilitator of forums and workshops on institutional child abuse, with a focus on religious institutions. John is dedicated to assisting others who have experienced such abuse, and he is currently seeking funding to take this educational program Australia-wide.

Moya Sayer-Jones

Moya Sayer-Jones is a novelist (Penguin, Allen & Allen), columnist and screenwriter. As the original Modern Guru for Good Weekend magazine, Moya mused on the mercurial dynamics of human behaviour. And used her own life as a typical example.
These days, as Chief Story Activist for onlyhuman.com.au, Moyais focused on helping other stories be told and heard.
When she’s not writing, blogging, keynote speaking or in pursuit of the latest app, you can find her working with government, NFPs, corporate clients and restless creatives bringing more meaning to their storytelling.
A graduate of Sydney University and the Australian Film and Television School, her idiosyncratic voice reminds us that it’s our stories that keep us human.

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Claire Scobie

Scobie - webClaire Scobie is an award-winning journalist who has lived and worked in the UK, India and now Sydney. She writes for the Daily Telegraph and the Observer in London, and the Sydney Morning Herald. In 1997 she won the Catherine Pakenham Award as best young woman journalist of the year. Her first book, Last Seen in Lhasa, is a memoir based on her friendship with a Tibetan nun, and won the Dolman Best Travel Book Award in 2007. Claire teaches writing workshops across Australia and has just completed a Doctorate of Arts at the Writing and Society Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney. The Pagoda Tree is her first novel.
http://clairescobie.com

Qaisra Shahraz

Qaisra Sha - webFellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Qaisra Shahraz is a prize-winning and critically acclaimed novelist and scriptwriter. Born in Pakistan, she has lived in Manchester (UK) since childhood and gained two Masters Degrees in English and European literature and scriptwriting. Being a highly successful and achieving woman on an international scale, Qaisra was recognised as being one of 100 influential Pakistani women in Pakistan Power 100 List (2012). Previously she was nominated for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards and for the Muslim News Awards for Excellence.
Her novels, The Holy Woman and Typhoon, are translated into several languages. The Holy Woman (2001) won the Golden Jubilee Award, was 'Best Book of the Month' at Waterstones and has become a bestseller in Indonesia and Turkey and in recent months remained in top 100 best selling list on amazon kindle. She has appeared in many international writers’ festivals and book fairs including in Ubud, Makassar, Abu Dhabi, Ottawa, Jaipur, Philadelphia and Beijing. Her award-winning drama serial Dil Hee To Hai was broadcast on Pakistani Television in 2003. Qaisra has recently published a third novel Revolt, two volumes of short stories: A Pair of Jeans and Train to Krakow; she is now working on her fourth novel The Henna Painter. Several of her prize-winning short stories are published in the UK and abroad. Her work is being studied in schools and Universities. A critical analysis of her works has been done in a book entitled The Holy and the Unholy: Critical Essays on Qaisra Shahraz’s Fiction (2011). She has another successful career in education, as a consultant, teacher trainer and inspector.
Qaisra has just been appointed one of Asia Pacific writers conference Directors.

 

 

Craig Sherborne

Sherborne -  webCraig Sherborne’s memoir Hoi Polloi (2005) was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s and Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. The follow-up, Muck (2007), won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Non-fiction. Craig’s first novel, The Amateur Science of Love (2011), won the Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Best Writing Award, and was shortlisted for a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and a NSW Premier’s Literary Award. His writing has appeared in most of Australia’s literary journals and anthologies. His most recent novel is Tree Palace.

Thando Sibanda

Thandowako is a writer, performing poet, arts consultant and youth programmer based in Zimbabwe. He is concerned with the human challenges in the journey of life. He touches on the inner individual battles, facing harsh realities of failureor victorious pride. Dealing with issues such as the loneliness ofheart, rush of fear, calmness of spirituality and the violence of uncertainty,he is a social commentator. Using deep imagery in his work, he isengaged with different humanitarian institutions in Zimbabwe, both local and international in context. He is impacting his creative skills in the addressing of a cocktail of political, economic and social ills bedeviling his society. Diverse audiences in places like The United States of America, Australia, South Africa, Zambia, Indonesia and the French-administered island of Reunion have heard his positive message.

Rabia Siddique

Rabia is a criminal and human rights lawyer, a retired British Army officer, a former terrorism and war crimes prosecutor, a professional speaker, trainer, MC, facilitator and published author. In 2006 Rabia was awarded a Queen’s commendation for her human rights work in Iraq and in 2009 was the Runner Up for Australian Woman of the Year UK.
After starting life as a criminal defence lawyer and youngest ever Federal prosecutor in Perth, Rabia moved to the UK in 1998 where she eventually commissioned as a Legal Officer in the British Army in 2001.
In a terrifying ordeal that garnered worldwide attention, along with a male colleague, Rabia assisted with the rescue of two SAS soldiers from Iraqi insurgents in Basra. Her male colleague received a Military Cross for outstanding bravery, while Rabia’s part in the incident was covered up by the British Army and Government. In a fight for justice she brought a landmark discrimination case against the UK Ministry of Defence, and won.
Rabia went on to become a Crown Advocate in the British Counter Terrorism Division, which saw her prosecuting Al Qaeda terrorists, hate crimes and advising on war crimes prosecutions in The Hague.
Rabia has recently written and published her memoir, Equal Justice, which is a story about strength, resilience, courage, conviction and determination. An Australian/UK feature film is shortly to be made about her life.

Inga Simpson

inga simpson_18

Inga Simpson is the author of the novel, Mr Wigg, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Indie Awards (debut fiction).
Her new novel, Nest, is about a bird artist returning to the area where she grew up and missing children.
Inga was the winner of the 2012 Eric Rolls Nature Writing Prize, and shortlisted for the 2009 Queensland Premier’s Award for best emerging author.
Inga has a PhD in Creative Writing (QUT) and a Masters in English Literature (UNSW). She is currently researching Australian nature writing for a PhD in English Literature (UQ).
Inga’s short story, ‘In the Wake of the Raftsmen’ was published in the Review of Australian Fiction (Vol 5, issue 3). She has also published academic and non-fiction articles, including in Clues, WQ, and the Dictionary of Literary Biography.
Before turning to creative writing, Inga had a career as a professional writer and researcher, including stints for federal Parliament and the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
Inga lives among trees at ‘Olvar Wood’, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Karin Slaughter

International bestseller Karin Slaughter grew up in a small south Georgia town and has been writing since she was a child.
She is the author of thirteen books that have sold over 30 million copies worldwide in 32 languages. A passionate advocate of reading and the invaluable part public libraries play in local communities, Karin spearheaded the Save The Libraries project (www.savethelibraries.com). She lives in Atlanta. To find out more about Karin Slaughter visit her website at www.karinslaughter.com and on Facebook.

Steven Snow

Internationally renowned travelling celebrity chef Steven Snow is the owner/chef of Fins, Australia’s most awarded regional restaurant. Fins has been a ‘hatted’ restaurant every year for the past 17 years. Previously a featured writer in the Sydney Morning Herald, Snow is also the author of the best selling cookbooks byron cooking and eating and Cooking on the Coast. He is the feature chef on Channel 7’s lifestyle program Guide to the Good Life.

Bhuchung D. Sonam

Bhuchung-webBhuchung D. Sonam was born in a tiny village in central Tibet. In exile, he studied at the Tibetan Children’s Village School in Dharamsala, a town in northern India. He graduated from St. Xavier’s College in Ahemedabad and later obtained his Masters degree in ecomonics from MS University in Baroda. Bhuchung’s first book of poem Dandelions of Tibet was published in 2002. His second book Conflict of Duality was published in 2007. In the same year, he got a Fulbright Scholarship to study in the US, where he wrote Songs from a Distance.
Bhuchung worked at the Department of Information & International Relationsof the Tibetan Government-in-Exile based in Dharamsala. His non-fiction book Yak Horns: Notes on Contemporary Tibetan Writing, Music, Film and Politics was published in 2012 and edited Muses in Exile: An Anthology of Tibetan Poetry. Bhuchung is also a well-known translator whose works include Mindful Education: Theory and Practice,My Life My Culture and Twenty Years of My Life in China's Death Camp.
Bhuchung is a founding member of TibetWrites, a Tibetan writers’ circle that runs www.tibetwrites.org and publishes the creative work of Tibetans. His writings are published in the Journal of Indian Literature, HIMAL Southasian, Hindustan Times, Tibetan Reviewand Seminar Journal among others.

Fiona Stager

Fiona Stager is the co-owner of Avid Reader Bookshop & Café an awarding winning independent bookshop located in the heart of West End, Brisbane. Avid Reader has gained a national reputation for its extensive events program which regularly features international, national and local authors. The Queensland Writers Centre named her the winner of the 2009 Johnno Award for her contribution to the Queensland writing community.
She is a regular judge of literary awards including the inaugural Stella Award. After sitting on the board of the Australian Booksellers Association for twelve years Fiona was recently made a life member for her services to the Australian bookselling industry. National Bookshop Day was one of her initiatives.
Fiona lives in West End with her family, four chickens and her native bee hive.

M. L. Stedman

M. L. Stedman was born and raised in Western Australia, and now lives in London. The Light Between Oceans, her first novel, is an international bestseller, having spent well over a year on the New York Times Bestsellers list. As well as being translated into almost forty languages, the book was nominated for the Miles Franklin Award, the Women’s Prize for Literature (the Orange/Bailey’s Prize), and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction to name a few, and won prizes including Best Literary Fiction, Best Newcomer and Book of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards, and Australian Indie Awards for Best Debut Novel and Book of the Year. Director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond The Pines) is adapting the story for film, in association with producer David Heyman (Gravity, Harry Potter) and Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios.

 

Jennifer St George

StGeorge - webJennifer St George writes sexy romance novels set in exotic international locations. She has four books published with Penguin’s Destiny Romance – The Billionaire’s Pursuit of Love (2014), The Love Deception (2013), Seducing the Secret Heiress (2013) and The Convenient Bride (2012). The Love Deception was nominated as a finalist in the Australian Romance Reader Awards in the Favourite Short Romance category. Prior to being published, Jennifer won the prestigious NZ Clendon award for best-unpublished romance manuscript in 2012.
Business was Jennifer’s first career. She graduated with a Bachelor of Business Communication from QUT then headed to London for an international marketing career. Upon her return to Australia, she completed her MBA at the Melbourne Business School. She was awarded the Rupert Murdoch Fellowship and the academic Award of Distinction. She also spent a semester studying at Fuqua School of Business at Duke University (USA).
Jennifer worked with McKinsey & Co, Ford Australia and established her own award-winning marketing firm for which she won The Outstanding Sunshine Coast Business Woman of the Year Award.
She’s currently the Communications Manager for the Byron Bay Writers Festival and has been the past Vice-President of Romance Writers of Australia.

Janet Steele

janet steeleJanet Steele is an Associate Professor of Journalism at the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. She received her Ph.D. in History from the Johns Hopkins University, and is especially interested in how culture is communicated through the mass media. 
She is a frequent visitor to Southeast Asia, where she lectures on topics ranging from the role of the press in a democratic society to specialized courses on narrative journalism. 
Her most recent book Wars Within: The Story of Tempo, an Independent Magazine in Soeharto’s Indonesia (Equinox Publishing and ISEAS, 2005) focuses on Tempo magazine and its relationship to the politics and culture of New Order Indonesia. 
She is has published numerous scholarly articles on media history and criticism, and has lectured on the theory and practice of journalism as a State Department Speaker and Specialist in India, Malaysia, The Philippines, East Timor, Taiwan, Burma, Sudan, Cambodia, Egypt, and Bangladesh. 
A former Fulbright professor in the American Studies program at the University of Indonesia (1997-1998), she was awarded a second Fulbright teaching and research grant to Jakarta’s Dr. Soetomo Press Institute in 2005-2006.  Fluent in Indonesian, she is currently working on a book on journalism and Islam in the Malay Archipelago.

Appearing:

 

Diana Sweeney

Sweeney - webBetween 1975 - 1990, Diana was one of Australia's top fashion models. She worked extensively both on the catwalk and in the print media, and appeared regularly in all the major fashion magazines, including covers on Cosmopolitan, Cleo, New Idea and Woman's Day.
In 1994, with both her children in high school, she entered university. She completed a BSocSci with first class honours, and was awarded a PhD scholarship in 2003. However, mid-way through her Doctorate, she began writing fiction. She completed the thesis in 2007, quit uni, and concentrated on the novel, Minnow. It took 5 years, and a few rejections, but in 2013, she entered it in the Text prize and won.

Kate and Jol Temple

Kate and Jol got their start writing picture books shortly after winning the Byron Bay Pitch Perfect Competition. They have since written two rhyming picture books. Their first book, Parrot Carrot, was shortlisted and also turned into an award winning app and the first augmented reality children's book.  Their second picture book I Got This Hat is due out August through ABC for Kids and has received Australia Council backing to become an app. 
Kate and Jol live in Rozelle with their two sons.

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Carrie Tiffany

 

Tiffany - webCarrie Tiffany was born in West Yorkshire and grew up in Western Australia. She spent her early twenties working as a park ranger in Central Australia and now lives in Melbourne where she works as an agricultural journalist.
Her first novel, Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living, was published in the UK, US, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia. In 2006 it was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize and the Guardian First Book Award, and was the winner of the Western Australian Premier’s Fiction Prize and the Dobbie Award.
Carrie Tiffany’s second novel, Mateship with Birds was published in 2012. It was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (UK) and the Miles Franklin Literary Award and shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, The Melbourne Prize for Fiction and the Kibble Award. In 2013 Mateship with Birds was the winner of the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and the inaugural Stella Prize

 

Meg Vann

Meg Vann is the CEO of Queensland Writers Centre. Meg formerly led The Australian Writer's Marketplace unit at QWC, and comes from a community development background in both the arts and legal sectors.
Meg is an emerging crime writer who leads the Queensland chapter of Sisters in Crime and regularly presents workshops on writing and publishing. Her novelette Provocation was published in The Review of Australian Fiction in 2012.

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Kate Veitch

After years of travelling, making programs for Radio National, organising author tours to rural and remote areas, and property development, Kate Veitch turned to writing novels (Listen in 2006, followed by Trust in 2010, both published by Penguin in Australia) and essays, four of which have been published by Griffith REVIEW. Her most recent essay, Abandoned Islands as Art Galleries, in Griffith REVIEW #44 Cultural Solutions, describes the visit she and a small group of friends made to Japan's beautiful Inland Sea in October 2013 to view the Setouchi Triennale, a vast visual arts exhibition. Kate lives in the Byron hinterland, and is currently working on her third novel. 

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Felicity Volk

VolkFelicity Volk’s debut novel, Lightning, was published in 2013 to critical acclaim. An odyssey across continents and centuries, Lightning draws from Felicity’s peripatetic past: her travels through Siberia by rail at the age of seven; a brief Bollywood acting career at nineteen; discovering Proust in Paris’s Ladurée tearooms; a visit to a refugee camp in Peshawar; and, trekking the Thar and Gobi deserts by camel. Her professional life, working as a diplomat in Bangladesh and Laos, has also provided a springboard into the exploration of self when far from home, and a useful vantage point from which to view Australia’s complex national identity.
Reviewing Lightning in the Australian Book Review, Alison Broinowski wrote, ‘Few first novelists are as assured and articulate as Felicity Volk’. Felicity has been described as a ‘powerful new voice in Australian literary fiction’ (Jennifer Peterson-Ward, The West Australian), and, in the Sydney Arts Guide, Richard Cotter commended Lightning as ‘an astonishing debut novel boasting pure, perfect crystalline prose, a prodigious intellect, and a propensity of storytelling talent and technique’.
Felicity’s award-winning short stories and Lightning were written with the support of Varuna, The Writers’ House (through residential fellowships), and an arts grant from the ACT Government. Felicity lives with her daughters in Canberra, where she works at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as adviser to Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls. She is writing her second novel.

Samuel Wagan Watson

 

Samuel Wagan Watson - webHailing from honourable ancestors of the Birri-Gubba, Munanjali, Germanic and Gaelic peoples, Samuel Wagan Watson grew up in a family of accomplished authors, political players, entrepreneurs, academics, artists and raconteurs. He was born ‘illegally’ in Brisbane in 1972, and survived his teenage years on the Sunshine Coast. The judges of the first writing competition he ever entered during primary school, felt his prose was ‘ill-conceived and probably the worst writing they’d ever read…’
Collected works of Samuel’s poetry have achieved prodigious accolades and are translated into 7 languages, various musical compositions, the subject of film and television productions and public/visual art projects.
Samuel has been commissioned to write for a number of government and corporate entities, ranging from Brisbane City Council to the Japanese Aeronautical Exploration Agency.
He’s currently a full-time writer working on selected commissions and radio copy for Brisbane Indigenous Media Association.
His new collection of poetry is entitled Love Poems and Death Threats.

 

Lisa Walker

lisa walkerLisa’s second novel, Sex, Lies and Bonsai (HarperCollins, 2013) is a quirky love story about a shy erotic writer. While the story is inspired by the surf culture of the north coast, its protagonist is scared of the water. Lisa is also the author of Liar Bird (2012), a comedy drawing on her experience working as a park ranger, and the ABC Radio National play, Baddest Backpackers (2008). She is an award winning short story writer and her story Blossom appeared in the Review of Australian Fiction in 2012. Lisa was born in Holland and grew up in Fiji and Brisbane. She now lives, writes and surfs near Byron Bay.
She has held a myriad of jobs including once being employed as an illustrator of crab larvae. She has also worked as a wilderness guide, tertiary lecturer and environmental communicator. She has a degree in zoology, a masters in natural resource management and is now studying towards a masters in creative writing at the University of Queensland. www.lisawalker.com.au

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Christopher Warren

warren - webChristopher Warren is the Federal Secretary of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, the union of people who inform and entertain Australia and New Zealand. As Federal Secretary, he is responsible for coordinating the industrial and professional campaigns of the organisation on issues to build a strong and independent media and entertainment sector that provides fair wages and conditions for creative workers. He has spoken and written widely on issues affecting the sector. A journalist, Chris is also CEO of the Walkley Foundation for Excellence in Journalism and a long-time trustee of the $3 billion Media Super. He is immediate past president of the International Federation of Journalists.

John Weiley

John Weiley has written, directed and produced an extraordinary range of films from documentary features for ABC and BBC to the AFI Award-winning experimental feminist feature Journey Among Women. His IMAX film ANTARCTICA is one of the most successful documentaries of all time having grossed more than $100,000,000 world wide. His 3D IMAX art film imagine! is widely considered an exemplar of creative expression in that format.In recognition of extraordinary achievement John Weiley was elected to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscars) a rare honour for an Australian film maker.

John’s career has encompassed many achievements only indirectly related to his filmmaking – for example the building the Darling Harbour IMAX theatre to house the largest screen on earth. As president of the Producers Association he deviseda film investment incentive scheme that is credited with kick-starting the modern Australian film industry and, by contrast, collaborated with Nigel Westlake in the creation of Missa Solis for choir and orchestra which won the ARIA award for “Best Classical Composition” of 2013.

While at BBC he made, with the backing of Sir David Attenborough, his “mesmerising, controversial” account of the Sydney Opera House affair - Autopsy on a Dream which recently premiered at the Opera House and on ABCTV after having been suppressed for more than 30 years!

Wendy Were

Wendy Were is a festival director, arts manager, academic and curator. A former Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sydney Writers’ Festival during 2006-2009, she also headed up the Perth Writers Festival from 2003-2005.She currently is Executive Director, Arts Development at the Australia Council for the Arts.
She is a Councillor for Voiceless: the animal protection institute and recently judged their published anthology with J.M. Coetzee and Susan Wyndham. She is an Arts Advisory Panel memberfor the Churchill Fellowship; occasional reviewer for Australian Book Review; a patron of the Fairbridge Folk Festival; and a regular judge of the WA Premier’s Book Awards. Her PhD on the novels of Toni Morrison was awarded with Distinction.
The Sydney Morning Herald listed Wendy in the top 100 of the most influential people in Sydney in 2008, and in 2009 she was listed in Artshub’s top 15 arts power players in Australia, along with Cate Blanchett, BazLuhrmann and Peter Garrett.

Agustinus Wibowo

Agustinus Wibowo is an Indonesian travel writer whose travel experiences have taken him through Asia to the Middle East. He is fascinated by cultures and traditions and is curious about how the world works as one when it is constantly divided by history and culture. He prefers to travel overland and once entered Tibet illegally by pretending to be a Chinese citizen. He also volunteered in disaster areas in Kashmir, before deciding on a career in photojournalism in war-torn Afghanistan.
His first book, considered a masterpiece by many, was SelimutDebu (A Blanket of Dust) and chronicles his journey in Afghanistan. It was followed by Garis Batas (Borderlines: A Journey Through Central Asia), which examines issues of borderlines across ex-Soviet republics, including psychological borders and the search for national identity.Most recently, in TitikNol (Point Zero), he has pioneered a new genre in Indonesian travel literature by allowing readers to experience the writer’s physical, spiritual and emotional journey as they contemplate their own conflicts and anxieties. As Agustinus recounts his final hours with his dying mother, and honors her journey toward the afterlife, the reader is given time for personal reflection. Parallel storylines between mother and son provide unusual insights.
Agustinus Wibowo’s contemplative approach toward other cultures and peoples has gained him a large following among readers and fellow writers. He has also set a standard on what it means to be a travel writer in Indonesia.

Geordie Williamson

Geordie Williamson is chief literary critic of The Australian newspaper, a position he has held since 2008, though his essays and reviews have been appearing in newspapers and magazines here and in the UK for over a decade.
Williamson has recently published his first book, The Burning Library, in which he explores the lives and work of Australian novelists, many of whom have unjustly disappeared from the public imagination.
In 2011, he won the Pascall Prize for criticism, Australia’s only major national prize awarded for critical writing.
Williamson lives in the Blue Mountains of NSW with his family.

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Jeanette Winterson

Winterson withDogJeanette Winterson OBE is one of the most acclaimed authors of our time. Whatever the genre - novels, screenplays, essays and journalism - Winterson takes risks and challenges us to think differently about identity and relationships. At 15, Winterson’s teenage love affair with another woman came to light. She was condemned by her church, leading to her expulsion from the community and her decision to leave home. She worked odd jobs, from an ice-cream van driver to a funeral parlour make-up artist, supporting herself as she obtained her English B.A. from St. Catherine’s College, Oxford. She would go on to write more than 15 books, including the celebrated novels Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. Her most recent work includes the memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? and the horror novella about witchcraft and superstition, The Daylight Gate.
Photo by Derry Moore

 

Clare Wright

WRIGHT Virginia CumminsClare Wright is an historian who has worked as a political speechwriter, university lecturer, historical consultant and radio and television broadcaster. Her first book, Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia’s Female Publicans, garnered both critical and popular acclaim. She researched, wrote and presented the ABC television documentary Utopia Girls and is currently co-writing a four-part series to commemorate the centenary of WWI for ABC1. Her most recent book, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, won the 2014 Stella Prize.
Photo by Virginia Cummins

 

Susan Wyndham

susan wyndhamSusan Wyndham is literary editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and contributing editor of the recent anthology My Mother, My Father: On Losing a Parent. In her career as a journalist she has been editor of Good Weekend magazine, New York correspondent for The Australian, and a deputy editor of the Herald. She is also the author of Life in His Hands: The True Story of a Neuroscientist and a Pianist.

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