Writers and storytellers

Aśka is a passionate advocate of visual literacy. She has illustrated nine published books, the latest being the graphic novel Stars In Their Eyes (2021) written with Jessica Walton.

Sheila Armstrong is a writer from the northwest of Ireland who now lives in Dublin. She spent ten years in publishing and now works as a freelance editor. Her short stories have been published in The Stinging Fly, Litro, Young Irelanders, gorse and the Best European Fiction series. Her first collection of short stories, How To Gut A Fish, was published in 2022 and is longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. Her debut novel, Falling Animals, will follow in 2023.

Eugen Bacon is an African Australian author whose short story collection Danged Black Thing was a finalist in the British Science Fiction Association, Foreword Indies, Aurealis and Australian Shadows Awards. Her creative work has appeared in literary and speculative fiction publications worldwide. Her most recent books are the novel Mage of Fools, the short story collection Chasing Whispers and a collection of essays, An Earnest Blackness.

Devika Brendon is a teacher, editor, reviewer and writer of English Literature. She is Consultant Content Editor of SEALA, and a Board Member of New Ceylon Writing. Devika’s poetry and short stories have appeared internationally in literary journals and anthologies, and her academic articles, journalism and opinion pieces have been widely published, both digitally and in print media, in Australia, the USA, Europe, Sri Lanka and India.

Cristy Burne has worked as a science writer for CSIRO, CERN, Scitech and the WA Museum. Her work is all about empowering our next generation of science-savvy citizens.

Amanda Curtin is the author of the novels Elemental and The Sinkings, the short story collection Inherited, and a work of narrative non-fiction, Kathleen O’Connor of Paris. She has twice been nominated for the Alice Award, a national biennal award that honours Australian women who have made a long-term contribution to Australian literature. She was awarded the Western Australian Writer’s Fellowship for her current work-in-progress, a novel set in late nineteenth-century Ireland, Perth and Coolgardie.

Brooke Dunnell’s short fiction has been widely published, including
in Best Australian Stories, New Australian Fiction 2021The Big Issue, Meanjin and Westerly. Her collection Female(s and) Dogs was shortlisted for the 2020 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award and the 2021 Woollahra Digital Literary Award. Her first novel, The Glass House, won the Fogarty Literary Award in 2021 and will be published in November 2022 by Fremantle Press. Brooke is also a moderator at the Festival.

Chemutai Glasheen is a teacher, sessional academic at Curtin University and a creative writer. She writes fiction for young people. Her work is influenced by her interest and experience in human rights and education with particular emphasis on African perspectives. Her creative work has been published in Unlimited Futures, Meniscus Volume 9 Issue 2, ACE: Arresting Contemporary Stories by Emerging Writers, and in the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance website.

Award-winning California writer Allen C. Jones has an MFA in poetry, a PhD in English, and presently serves as associate professor at the University of Stavanger in Norway. His scholarly research investigates the potential for literary games in the high school and university classroom. His creative work includes a novel, Her Death Was Also Water, from MidnightSun Publishing, and an experimental book of poems, Son of a Cult, forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

John Kinsella is the award-winning author of short story collections, novels, poetry, criticism and essays. His most recent short story collection, Pushing Back, was shortlisted for the ASAL Gold Medal.
His forthcoming publications include a memoir, Displaced: a rural life, and a collection of poems, Harsh Hakea. He is Emeritus Professor of Literature and Environment at Curtin University. He often works in collaboration with other poets, writers, artists, musicians and activists.

Carol Lefevre has published short fiction, essays, journalism and
the novel Nights in the Asylum, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and winner of the 2008 Nita B. Kibble Award for Women Writers and the People’s Choice Award. Her novella Murmurations was shortlisted for the 2021 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and the Fiction Prize in the 2022 South Australian Festival Awards for Literature. Her new book is a collection of interlinked stories, The Tower.

Jane Cornes Maclean is an award-winning writer and editor. She won the 2020 AAWP short story competition for her story ‘Cockroach,’ which is included in her forthcoming collection. She also teaches creative writing and songwriting, and as a member of the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association, she offers a therapeutic creative writing program to women who have experienced trauma.

Wayne Marshall’s stories have appeared in Overland, Going Down Swinging, Kill Your Darlings, Island, Review of Australian Fiction, and other places. His story collection Shirl (then Frontier Sport) was shortlisted for the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, and was published by Affirm Press in 2020. He is the co-founder of the Peter Carey Short Story Award, and lives in regional Victoria with his partner and two daughters.

Susan Midalia has published three short story collections, all shortlisted for major Australian literary awards, and two novels. Her latest book is a collection of short short fiction, Miniatures. She has a PhD in contemporary Australian women’s fiction and has published on the subject in national and international literary journals. She is the Director of the 2022 Australian Short Story Festival, and is also a moderator at the ASSF.

Rashida Murphy is the author of the novel The Historian’s Daughter and a collection of short stories, The Bonesetter’s Fee, which was runner-up in the 2021 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award and is published by Spineless Wonders. She writes more books in her head at night when she can’t sleep and is currently (actually) working on a novel and a collection of narrative non-fiction. She lives in Boorloo/ Perth with a multilingual cat and a patient husband.

Sean O’Beirne grew up in Melbourne’s outer suburbs, and studied Arts, Law and Acting. His satirical short story collection A Couple of Things Before the End was published in 2020, and shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s and Queensland State Literary Awards.

Gillian O’Shaughnessy is a journalist and short fiction author whose stories have won several prestigious awards, including the UK Reflex Press Prize and US Fractured Lit Anthology Prize. She is an editor for American flash narrative journal, SmokeLong Quarterly. Gillian was a journalist at the ABC for 24 years and curated Writer’s Weekend for the 2022 Perth Festival. She is also a moderator at this year’s Festival.

Emily Paull is a former bookseller and newly qualified librarian from Perth, Western Australia, who writes short stories and historical fiction. Her debut collection of short stories, Well-Behaved Women, was published by Margaret River Press in 2019.

Fiona Robertson is a writer and doctor. Her stories have been published in Australia and the UK. She was a finalist in the Richell Prize in 2018 and won the Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer in the 2020 Queensland Literary Awards. Her debut short story collection If You’re Happy was shortlisted for the Steele Rudd Award at the 2022 Queensland Literary Awards. Fiona lives in Brisbane with her husband and children.

Andrew Roff’s debut short story collectionThe Teeth of a Slow Machine, was released in March 2022 by Wakefield Press. He was a winner of
the 2021 Griffith Review Emerging Voices Competition, the 2020 Peter Carey Short Story Award, and the 2018 Margaret River Press Short Story Competition. His short fiction and non-fiction have appeared widely. Andrew lives on the unceded Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains.

Laurie Steed’s short fiction has been widely published in literary journals. His debut novel You Belong Here was shortlisted for the 2018 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards. His short story collection Greater City Shadows is currently shortlisted for the 2022 Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. His memoir Better than Me, an exploration of early fatherhood, will be published in 2023.

Elizabeth Tan is the author of a novel-in-stories, Rubik, and the short story collection Smart Ovens for Lonely People, which won the 2020 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction and was longlisted for the 2021 Stella Prize. Her recent work has been published in Westerly, New Australian Fiction, Portside Review and LIMINAL. She lives in Boorloo/Perth.

Nyungar Elder, Marie Taylor is a proud descendant of the Whadjuk and Ballardong Nyungar people, the most ancient peoples of the world. She is the eldest of ten children and is a mother and grandmother with a long history of service to community. She was recently awarded WA NAIDOC Elder of the Year 2022. Marie possesses a wealth of knowledge and is an emotive storyteller who shares the rich culture and language of the Nyungar people in workshops, cultural tours and Welcomes to Country.

Clare Testoni is a playwright, fiction writer, and puppeteer. Clare won the AAWP/ASSF Emerging Writers’ Short Story Prize in 2021 and has been published in Westerly, UNSWeetened, and in the anthology South of The Sun: Australian Fairy Tales for the 21st Century. Originally from Sydney, she currently lives in Fremantle and is a PhD candidate in creative writing at The University of Western Australia.

Rita Tognini writes short fiction and poetry about, among other subjects, migration, language and the complexity of family ties. Her work has been published in collections and journals and has received commendations and prizes. In 2018 Rita was selected for the Western Australian Four Centres Emerging Writers Program. She completed her first collection of short stories, The Drift of Things, as part of this program.

Ellen van Neerven is a writer and editor of Mununjali and Dutch heritage. Ellen’s short stories, essays and poems have won several awards, including the acclaimed short story collection Heat and Light, which received the Dobbie Literary Award and the NSW Premier’s Award. Ellen recently co-edited, with Rafeif Ismail, the anthology Unlimited Futures: Speculative, Visionary Blak and Black Fiction.

Ben Walter is the author of the acclaimed short story collection, What Fear Was. A widely published writer of essays, stories, poetry and experimental nature writing, his work has recently appeared in Meanjin, New Australian Fiction and The Saturday Paper, as well as internationally in Lithub and Dark Mountain. He works as the fiction editor at Island.

Moderators

David Allan-Petale’s debut novel Locust Summer was longlisted for the 2021 ALS Gold Medal and shortlisted for the 2022 WA Premier’s Book Awards. The manuscript was shortlisted for the 2017 Australian/ Vogel’s Literary Award, and developed through a fellowship at Varuna, the National Writers’ House. David has worked for many years as a journalist in WA and internationally with BBC World and Al Jazeera.

Josephine Clarke has had poetry and short stories published in Australian journals including Westerly, Cordite and Southerly. Her work was featured in the ABR’s States of Poetry WA, Series 2. Her first collection of poetry, Recipe for Risotto, was published by UWA Publishing. She is a member of Out of the Asylum Writers Group and the Voicebox collective, which hosts poetry readings each month at the Fremantle City Library.

Eileen Herbert-Goodall is a creative writing instructor, editor, and sessional academic. She has written fiction and non-fiction for a wide range of publications and journals. She is the author of the 2017 novella The Sherbrooke Brothers. Eileen holds a Doctorate of Creative Arts.

Belinda Hermawan is a Pushcart Prize-nominated writer whose short fiction has appeared in Overland, Westerly and Going Down Swinging in Australia, and in Pithead Chapel, Pigeon Pages, Split Lip and elsewhere in the United States. She has previously served on the Australian Short Story Festival committee and has contributed to various local programs and publications.

Lekkie Hopkins is a recently retired feminist academic and teacher. She has published widely on the history of social protest and the lives of activist women, including biographies of Pat Giles and May Holman. She continues to be interested in the ways that the creative arts can inform social science research. She lives in Fremantle, where she spends much of her time singing and reading to her grandchildren.

Portland Jones is a writer, horse trainer and lecturer. She has a PhD in Literature and her first novel Seeing the Elephant was shortlisted for the City of Fremantle Hungerford Award. Her second novel Only Birds Above was published by Fremantle Press in March 2022. She has also published non-fiction texts including the book Horses Hate Surprise Parties. She lives and works in the Swan Valley and is currently working on her third novel and another non-fiction book.

Sarah McNeill is an actor, producer, arts writer, MC and facilitator. As an actor, she has appeared in films, television and theatre for over 30 years, and runs a literature in performance company, Lit Live. As well as regular theatrical performances, Lit Live is also part of the literary festival and book launch scene in WA. Sarah is also the arts editor for Post Newspapers.

Bindy Pritchard is a Fremantle writer and mentor whose fiction
has appeared in various anthologies and literary journals such as Westerly, Kill Your Darlings and Review of Australian Fiction. Pritchard’s debut collection Fabulous Lives (Margaret River Press) was shortlisted for the 2019 WA Premier’s Award for an Emerging Writer.

Josephine Taylor is a writer and editor, and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Writing at Edith Cowan University. Her creative and critical writing has been anthologised and published widely and her first novel, Eye of a Rook (Fremantle Press), was shortlisted in the 2021 WA Premier’s Book Awards. Josephine is a board member of Writing WA and a 2022 Emerging Writer- in-Residence at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre.