2021 Writers

Allen C Jones

Allen C. Jones was born in the servant’s quarters on the south side of the
Cohn vineyard in Sonoma, California, a tidy white shack, easily missed as you rush to your overpriced wine-tastings along Highway 12. Award-winning poet, novelist, and literary game designer, he serves as associate professor at the University of Stavanger in Norway. His writing appears widely, most recently in Great Weather for Media and Constellations. His novel, Her Death Was Also Water, is forthcoming from MidnightSun, and his dreams consist almost exclusively of large eucalyptus branches preparing to fall. Find links to his work at allencjones.com.

Andrew Roff

Andrew Roff’s debut collection of short fiction will be published next year 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 stories have appeared widely, including in Meanjin, Island, Overland, Southerly, Westerly, Griffith Review and Going Down Swinging. In 2016 he was shortlisted for the Wakefield Press Unpublished Manuscript Award at the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. He lives in Adelaide and tweets at @roffwrites.

Barry Lee Thompson

Barry Lee Thompson was born in Liverpool in the UK, and currently lives
in Melbourne’s west. His short stories are published in Australia, the UK,
and the USA, and recognised in awards including the Bridport Prize, The Age Short Story Award, and the Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize. His first collection is Broken Rules and Other Stories, published by Transit Lounge in September 2020. The book is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, and by Varuna, the National Writers’ House. Barry is a member of Elwood Writers, and of the Alumni Association of Varuna. You can find Barry at barryleethompson.com

Carol Lefevre

Carol Lefevre holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide, where she is a Visiting Research Fellow. Her novel Nights in the Asylum, Picador (UK) and Vintage (Australia) was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, won the 2008 Nita B. Kibble Award for Women Writers, and the People’s Choice Award. If You Were Mine (2008) was published by Vintage. She has published short fiction, essays, and journalism, and a non-fiction book, Quiet City: walking in West Terrace Cemetery (2016, Wakefield Press). Her most recent book Murmurations, a novella in eight stories (2020, Spinifex Press) was shortlisted for the 2021 Cristina Stead Prize for Fiction in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

Cate Kennedy

Cate Kennedy lives in regional Victoria and writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Her work has been widely published and she is the recipient of several awards including the Victorian Premier’s Award for poetry for her collection The Taste of River Water (2011) and the Queensland Literary Award for her short story collection Like a House on Fire (2012). Short stories are her first love (wait…after poetry) and her two collections are on the VCE syllabus as study texts. She has just completed her PhD in Creative Writing at La Trobe University and looks forward to getting back to travelling and teaching in person after the pandemic, especially her role as a member of the fiction faculty at the Pacific University, Oregon’s MFA in Creative Writing Low Residency Program. Until then, she’s home, writing, reading and noodling around.

Catherine McNamara

Catherine McNamara grew up in Sydney, ran away to Paris to write and ended up in West Africa co-running a bar, working in Mogadishu and Milan along the way. Praised by Hilary Mantel, her short story collection The Cartography of Others was a finalist in the People’s Book Prize (UK), and winner of the Eyelands Fiction Award (Greece). Love Stories for Hectic People, a collection of flash fiction, won Best Short Story Collection in the Saboteur Awards (UK). Catherine hikes, grows cherries and runs writing retreats in Italy. She is flash fiction editor for Litro Magazine UK.

Dominic Carew

Dominic Carew is a lawyer and writer from Sydney. His short stories have
appeared in publications such as Seizure, Mascara and Litro UK and have won or been shortlisted for several major prizes, including the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the Overland Story Wine Prize. His first collection of short stories, No Neat Endings, was released by MidnightSun in 2020

Emma Ashmere

Emma Ashmere’s short story collection Dreams They Forgot follows her debut novel The Floating Garden, which was shortlisted for the Small Press Network Book of the Year 2016. Her 2021 collection The Missing is a finalist in the Carmel Bird Digital Award 2021. Emma’s writing has been widely published including in Meanjin, The Age, Overland, Griffith Review, Sleepers Almanac, NGVmagazine and the Commonwealth Writers literary magazine adda. She was born on Kaurna country and lives on Bundjalung country in northern NSW.

Eugen Bacon

Eugen M. Bacon is African Australian, a computer scientist mentally re-engineered into creative writing. Her work has won, been shortlisted, longlisted or commended in national and international awards, including the British Science Fiction Association Awards, Foreword Book of the Year Awards, Bridport Prize, Copyright Agency Prize, Australian Shadows Awards, Ditmar Awards and Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans. Upcoming: Danged Black Thing, a short story collection by Transit Lounge Publishing, Saving Shadows, an illustrated microfiction collection by NewCon Press, and Mage of Fools, an Afrofuturistic dystopian novel by Meerkat Press.
Website: eugenbacon.com Twitter: @EugenBacon

Dr Frances Wyld

Frances Wyld is a Martu woman (Aboriginal People of the Pilbara region of Australia), Doctor of Communication, and lecturer at the University of South Australia. She teaches Indigenous Knowledges and cultural studies. Her doctorate used autoethnography, storytelling and mythography to centre Indigenous Knowledges within an academic environment to establish an Indigenous voice for ethical research and teaching. She has an ongoing collaboration with Sámi academics in Sweden that includes a project on climate change and Indigenous perspectives. Her publications include both scholarly and creative writing elements.

Jared Thomas

Dr Jared Thomas is a Nukunu person of the Southern Flinders Ranges and the Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art and Material Culture at the South Australian Museum, and an international award-winning author.

Julia Prendergast

Julia’s novel, The Earth Does Not Get Fat was published in 2018 (UWAP).
Julia’s short stories feature in the current edition of Australian Short Stories. Other stories have been recognised and published: Lightship Anthology 2 (UK), Glimmer Train (US), TEXT (AU), Séan Ó Faoláin Competition (IE). Julia is a Senior Lecturer in Writing and Literature, and Academic Director Pathways and Partnerships, Swinburne University, Melbourne. She is Chair of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP), the peak academic body representing the discipline of Creative Writing in Australasia. Julia is a member of the Australian Short Story Festival board of management.

Katherine Tamiko Arguile

Born and raised in Tokyo, Katherine Tamiko Arguile is a Japanese-British-Australian writer living and working beside the sea on Kaurna land. An art historian by training, with degrees from Cambridge University and the Courtauld Institute, she writes visual and performance arts pieces for InReview. Her award-winning short stories have been published in anthologies in the UK and in Australia. Her debut novel, The Things She Owned, published in 2020, was shortlisted for the MUD Literary Prize for best debut literary fiction novel.

Lisa L Hannett

Lisa L. Hannett has had over 75 short stories appear in venues including
Clarkesworld, Weird Tales, Apex, The Dark and in Year’s Best anthologies in Australia, Canada and the US. She has won four Aurealis Awards, including Best Collection for her first book, Bluegrass Symphony, which was also nominated for a World Fantasy Award. Her newest collection of short stories is Songs for Dark Seasons (2020). You can find her on Instagram @LisaLHannett.

Lucy Durneen

Lucy Durneen’s short stories, poetry and non-fiction have been published in journals including World Literature Today, Hotel Amerika, and The Amorist. Her fiction has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and Highly Commended in the Manchester Fiction Prize, while her non-fiction has been adapted for broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and listed as a notable essay in Best American Essays 2017. Her first short story collection, Wild Gestures, was published in 2017 and won Best Short Story Collection at the Saboteur Awards, London. She is a Teaching Associate in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education.

Luke Johnson

Luke Johnson was born and raised in Young, NSW. His short stories have
appeared in such places as Westerly, Griffith Review, Overland, Southerly, Island and The Lifted Brow, and listed for such awards as the Josephine Ulrick Prize, the Elizabeth Jolley Prize, the AAWP Chapter One Prize, the AlburyCity Short Story Prize, the Katharine Susannah Prichard Speculative Fiction Award, and two Varuna PIP Fellowships. He is a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Wollongong, and the author of the short-story collection, Ferocious Animals (RWP 2021).

Margaret Hickey

Margaret Hickey is a playwright and award-winning author from North East Victoria. Margaret holds a PhD in Creative Writing and she works as an
English teacher and a University lecturer. Margaret’s collection of short stories, Rural Dreams, was published in 2020 and her new crime novel, Cutters End, was recently published by Penguin Random House.

Margaret Merrilees

Margaret Merrilees’s novel The First Week won the Manuscript Award at Adelaide Writers’ Week and was shortlisted for a Barbara Jefferis Award, a NSW Premier’s Award, and a People’s Choice Award. Her second novel was Big Rough Stones (2018). She has had two collections published: Fables Queer & Familiar and Further Fables, which were also recorded as online and radio serials. Her stories and essays have appeared in Meanjin, Griffith Review, Island and other journals and anthologies.

Marian Matta

Marian Matta is an award-winning writer of short fiction, whose first short story collection, Life, Bound, was published by MidnightSun Publishing in 2020. She also writes non-fiction articles and historical novels. Her home surroundings in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges are a constant source of inspiration. As well as a writer, she’s a grandmother, circus student and ineffectual gardener. Optimism is her watchword. marianmattawrites.wordpress.com

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke is a widely published Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent. Clarke is the ABIA and Indie award-winning author of over nine books for adults and children, including the critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil, the best-selling memoir The Hate Race, the Victorian Premier’s Award winning poetry collection Carrying the World, and the Boston Globe/Horn Prize winning picture book The Patchwork Bike, illustrated by Van T. Rudd. She is the editor of Best Australian Stories 2017, and Growing Up African in Australia. Her forthcoming poetry collection is How Decent Folk Behave (Hachette).

Melissa Manning

Melissa Manning is the author of Smokehouse, an interlinked story collection set in southern Tasmania. Her writing focuses on turning points both small and cataclysmic, and has been recognised in awards and published widely, including in The Best Small Fictions (US), To Carry Her Home (UK), Award Winning Australian Writing, Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings, Forty South, and Overland. Smokehouse is Melissa’s debut collection, and was shortlisted for the 2021 USQ Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection.

Dr Michael Mohammed Ahmad

Dr Michael Mohammed Ahmad is the founding director of Sweatshop Literacy Movement and editor of the critically acclaimed anthology, After Australia. Mohammed is also the multi-award-winning author of The Tribe and The Lebs. His latest novel is The Other Half of You.

Paul McVeigh

Paul’s debut novel, The Good Son, won The Polari First Novel Prize and The McCrea Literary Award, and was shortlisted for many others including The Prix du Roman Cezam. Paul began his writing career as a playwright and comedy writer. His short stories have been in numerous anthologies, journals and newspapers, as well as on BBC Radio 3,4 & 5, and Sky Arts. He co-founded the London Short Story Festival and is associate director of Word Factory, London, ‘the UK national organisation for excellence in the short story’ The Guardian. He co-edited Belfast Stories and edited the Queer Love anthology and The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working Class Voices. He has judged numerous literary prizes and his writing has been translated into seven languages.

Rachael Mead

Rachael Mead is a South Australian poet, writer and arts reviewer. Her most recent poetry collection is The Flaw in the Pattern (UWA Publishing 2018) and her debut novel The Application of Pressure was published by Affirm Press in 2020. Her short stories won the 2019 Booranga Prize for Prose, the 2018 Campbelltown Literary Awards and in 2021 she won Varuna’s Mick Dark Fellowship for Environmental Writing. Her next novel is forthcoming with Affirm Press in 2022.

Rebekah Clarkson

Rebekah Clarkson is the author of Barking Dogs (Affirm Press), a short story cycle set in Mount Barker, South Australia where the author lives. Her stories have been recognised in major awards in Australia and overseas, including the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, Fish Publishing Short Story Prize and Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open. Her short stories have appeared in publications including Griffith Review, Best Australian Stories and Something Special, Something Rare: Outstanding Short Stories by Australian Women (Black Inc.). She has taught fiction writing at a number of Australian Universities and at the University of Texas at Austin. Rebekah is a Board Member of the Society for the Study of the Short Story

Sally Breen

Dr Sally Breen is the author of The Casuals (2011) winner of the Varuna Harper Collins Manuscript Prize and Atomic City (2013) shortlisted for Book of the Year QLD Literary Awards 2014. Her short form work has been published widely in Overland, Griffith Review, Meanjin, The Guardian London, The Age, Best Australian Stories, The Asia Literary Review, The Conversation and The Sydney Review of Books. Dr Breen has worked as associate editor of the Griffith Review, is executive director of Asia Pacific Writers and Translators and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Griffith University. www.sallybreen.com.au @breensally

Sean O’Beirne

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.

Sean Williams

Sean Williams is a multi-award-winning, New York Times best-selling author for readers of all ages. His work includes series, novels, short stories and poems that have been translated into multiple languages for readers around the world. His most recent novels Impossible Music and Her Perilous Mansion were nominated for the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature and the Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature respectively. Both are Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Books. He is a senior lecturer in creative writing at Flinders University

Susan Midalia

Susan Midalia has published three short story collections with UWAP: A History of the Beanbag (2007), shortlisted for the Western Australian Premiers Book Awards; An Unknown Sky (2008), shortlisted for the Steele Rudd Award; and Feet to the Stars (2012), shortlisted for the WA Premiers Award. She has also published two novels with Fremantle Press: The Art of Persuasion (2018) and Everyday Madness (2021). Her collection of flash fiction will be published by Night Parrot Press in 2022. She is the current Prose Editor of Westerly, and works as a freelance editor, workshop facilitator and mentor to emerging writers.

Wayne Marshall

Wayne Marshall’s stories have appeared in 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 in 2020 by Affirm Press. He is the co-founder of the Peter Carey Short Story Award, and lives in regional Victoria with his partner and two daughters.

Winnie Dunn

Winnie Dunn is a writer of Tongan descent from Mount Druitt. She is the general manager of Sweatshop Literacy Movement and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Sydney University. Winnie’s work has been published in the Sydney Review of Books, The Saturday Paper, Griffith Review, Meanjin, SBS Voices, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Southerly and Cordite. She is the editor of several critically acclaimed anthologies, most notably Sweatshop Women, which is Australia’s first and only publication produced entirely by women of colour. Winnie is currently completing her debut novel as the recipient of a 2019 CAL Ignite Grant