Carol Baxter is the author of three works of narrative non-fiction published by Allen & Unwin: An Irresistible Temptation: the true story of Jane New and a Colonial Scandal(2006), Breaking the Bank: An Extraordinary Colonial Robbery (2008) and Captain Thunderbolt and his Lady: the true story of bushrangers Frederick Ward and Mary Ann Bugg (2011).
She is also the General Editor of the Biographical Database of Australia, an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of New England, and a Fellow of the Society of Australian Genealogists.
Passionate about words, Jesse studied creative writing at university (along with film and photography) when she completed a BA (Communication) at the University of Technology Sydney.
Yes, Jesse Blackadder really was born with that surname. When she finally had enough of people asking if she was related to Rowan Atkinson, she travelled to Scotland to find the origins of her surname. Her novel The Raven’s Heartgrew from there. It won the Varuna HarperCollins Manuscript Development Award in 2009 and was published in Feb 2011.
Jesse is an award winning novelist, short story writer and freelance journalist, fascinated by landscapes and belonging. Her first novel was After the Party (Hardie Grant Books 2005), which made the Australian Book Review list of all time favourite Australian novels in February 2010.
She’s been a writer in residence in Sitka Alaska, in outback New South Wales, at Byron Bay and at Varuna in the Blue Mountains. Jesse’s next book, which she is writing as part of a Doctor of Creative Arts at the University of Western Sydney, is about the first woman to see Antarctica and Jesse recently travelled to Antarctica.
She completed a Master of Applied Science (Social Ecology) and is currently undertaking her Doctor of Creative Arts at the University of Western Sydney. The Australian Antarctic Division has recently awarded Jesse the 2011-12 Antarctic Arts Fellowship and she travelled to Antarctica during November and December 2011 to research her novel about the first woman to reach Antarctica
Anna M. Campbell
Anna M. Campbell’s non-fiction book Honeycomb Kids – Big Picture Parenting for a Changing World…and to Change the World releases on Earth Day, April 22, 2012.
The book has received acclaim around the world from everyday mums and dads to university professors and people ranging from Tim Costello and Tim Flannery to American authors Richard Heinberg and David Wann. It has been picked up for distribution in North America by Chelsea Green Publishing, in Canada by Codasat and in Australia by Dennis Jones & Associates.
Anna is a writer, public speaker, sustainable living educator, beekeeper, balm-maker, farmer and entrepreneur. “Life shouldn’t be a monoculture” is one of her mottos and that’s why she’s always exploring, getting up to and sharing fun stuff.
In a past life Anna won a NSWFTO/Australian Writers Guild Screenwriting Mentorship and as a 23 yo got a taste of publishing when an assignment she was doing for a writing course landed her a book deal. In addition to writing she’s lived in the cities and suburbs of the USA and Australia, as well as on a coral island, in a rainforest and a snow-covered national park. You’ll now find her hanging around farmers markets, bookstores, blogs and beehives…and at the 2012 Gloucester Writers Festival.
Jacob Coates is an independent publisher with Jaffa Books, a venture of his own creation. Since it began less than a year ago, Jaffa Books has attracted a number of local and international authors, including Ged Maybury, Phil Berrie, and Barry Rosenberg.
Jaffa Books trades exclusively with e-books.
An avid reader of science fiction and fantasy, he credits authors such as JRR Tolkien, Douglas Adams, and Maggie Furey with keeping him engaged with the genre over the years.
He is currently based in Brisbane.
Claire Corbett was born in Canada and moved to Australia as a child. She studied Communications at UTS and crewed on feature films, including Sweetie and The Piano. After graduating, she lived in Paris for six months, which provided some of the inspiration for writing When We Have Wings.
Claire taught Communications at UTS and then became a government policy advisor in the NSW Cabinet Office. She was a senior policy adviser on water and genetically modified organisms for the Environment Protection Authority and child and family health for NSW Health. Boiling down complex research for half page policy briefs to the Premier has been excellent training for distilling research for fiction.
Claire has had essays and stories broadcast on Radio National and published in Cinema Papers, Picador New Writing and The Sydney Morning Herald, among others. She has completed the MA Writing (UTS) and a Varuna Mentorship with Amanda Lohrey in 2000.
When We Have Wings, a novel about humans genetically and surgically engineered to be able to fly, was published by Allen & Unwin in July 2011. It has been shortlisted for the 2012 Barbara Jefferis Award and is being published in Spain, Portugal and The Netherlands.
Claire has been contracted for a second novel for Allen & Unwin.
Aleesah Darlison writes picture books and novels for children. She also works as a reviewer for The Sun Herald.
Aleesah’s books include Puggle’s Problem and Warambi (picture books), Little Good Wolf and Fangs (chapter books) and her junior series Totally Twins: The Fabulous Diary of Persephone Pinchgut and Unicorn Riders.
Aleesah has won numerous awards for her writing including an Australian Society of Authors (ASA) mentorship. Aleesah’s short stories have appeared in the black dog books Short and Scary Anthology, Chicken Soup for the Soul, The School Magazine and Little Ears Magazine.
When Aleesah isn’t working on her next manuscript, she’s usually chasing after her three energetic children and her two frisky dogs.
Irina Dunn is the Director of the Australian Writers Network. She was formerly the Executive Director of the NSW Writers’ Centre, Manager of the Australian Writers’ Guild Authorship Collecting Society and Managing Editor at Booktopia.
She is the author of The Writer’s Guide: a Companion to Writing for Pleasure or Publication (Allen & Unwin) which was described by the Australian Book Review as ‘a godsend for writers’ and by author Christopher Cyrill as ‘one of the clearest and most commonsensical compendiums around’. The book she co-authored and co-edited with two scientists, A Natural Legacy: Ecology in Australia, won the Royal Australian Zoological Society Prize for best text on the subject.
Irina received an international prize for her documentary about the Australian women’s peace movement, ‘Fighting for Peace’. She also represented NSW as an Independent Senator from 1988 to 1990.
Irina was born in Shanghai, China, and is of Russian, Irish, Portuguese and Chinese background.
Jaye Ford is a former journalist and public relations consultant, who decided at 40 that her dream to become an author would never be realised unless she sat down and started writing. Almost ten years later, her first two thrillers are about to be published in seven languages.
Before chasing her dream to write fiction, Jaye worked in newspapers, radio and television in a variety of roles, including reporter, sub-editor, news reader and TV presenter.
In 1988, she became Australia’s first female presenter of a live national sport show, hosting Sport Report on SBS. She later fronted evening news on regional television.
After leaving the media, she ran her own public relations company for six years, then gave up self-employment to be a full-time mother, school volunteer and struggling unpublished writer.
Jaye now writes full-time from her home at Lake Macquarie in the NSW Hunter Valley. She is married with two children.
Susanne Gervay OAM
Susanne Gervay is an award winning author, recognized for her writing on social justice for youth & adult literature. Widely published in literary journals and anthologies including Quadrant, Southerly, Westerly, her story ‘Days of Thailand’ is included in the Picador Indian-Australian anthology 'Fear Factor, Terror Incognito' alongside Sir Salman Rushdie and David Malouf. The companion anthology ‘Alien Shores’ giving voice to refugees is to be launched at Gloucester Writers Festival. ‘Alien Shores’ includes stories by Linda Jaivlin, Arnold Zable, Sharon Rundle, Sophie Masson, Amitov Ghosh as well as Susanne Gervay.
She represented Australia in the IBBY anthology Peace Story that included works from 22 countries by 22 authors and 22 illustrators. Her young adult novel Butterflies is recognized as Outstanding Youth Literature on Disability while That’s Why I Wrote This Song’ is break through literature crossing mediums. Her I Am Jack is rite-of-passage youth fiction on school bullying adapted into a play premiere theatre company Monkey Baa, while Always Jack makes it safe for children and families to talk about cancer. It is the first time the Cancer Council have endorsed youth fiction.
Susanne’s books are endorsed by numerous organizations including the Room to Read, bringing literacy to the children of the developing world, Children’s Hospital Westmead, Life Education Australia, The Alannah & Madeline Foundation.
An Ambassador for the National Year of Reading, Susanne is an international and national speaker addressing audiences from New York, Delhi, Ubud Bali, Byron Bay to Beijing Literature Festival. She is co-head of SCBWI Australia & New Zealand, Chair of the board of the NSW Writers Centre, Australia Day Ambassador, Role Model for Books in Homes and author ambassador for Room to Read. As the child of refugees who found home in Australia, she values deeply receiving an OAM.
Lisa Heidke writes contemporary women’s fiction. Lucy Springer Gets Even (Allen & Unwin, 2009), her first book, was quickly followed by What Kate Did Next (2010).
Claudia’s Big Break, was published in January 2011 and the following month was listed in the Sydney Morning Herald as one of the Top Ten Australian Best Sellers.
In 2012, Claudia’s Big Break was a finalist in the Favourite Contemporary Romance category of the Australian Romance Readers Awards.
Lisa’s fourth novel, Stella Does Good, was released in January 2012.
Kathryn Heyman is the author of four novels, including The Accomplice, and Captain Starlight's Apprentice, published internationally and in translation.
She has won an Arts Council of England Writers Award, the Wingate and the Southern Arts Awards, and been nominated for the Orange Prize, the Scottish Writer of the Year Award, the Edinburgh Fringe Critic's Awards, the Kibble Prize, and the West Australian Premier's Book Awards. She's written several radio plays for BBC radio including adaptations of her own work.
She has been a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow, taught Creative Writing for the University of Oxford, and is now the Novel Writing Course Director for Faber Academy at Allen & Unwin.
Her fifth novel, The Floodline, is published by Allen & Unwin early next year.
Judy Johnson is a poet and novelist who has been writing and teaching poetry through university and elsewhere for twenty years.
Her first collection Wing Corrections came second in the Anne Elder Award and was reprinted. Her second Nomadic won the Melbourne University Wesley Michel Wright Prize, and her third book, a verse novel Jack won the Victorian Premier’s Award for poetry and was subsequently reprinted by Picador. Individual poems have won many prizes including the Josephine Ulrick, Val Vallis, Patricia Hackett, Bruce Dawe, John Shaw Neilson, Banjo Paterson, Tom Collins and Newcastle Poetry Prize.
Her verse novel Jack is on the syllabus at Melbourne and Sydney Universities and is the subject of a PHD thesis. Wing Corrections and a chap book Light and Skin are on the year 11 literature list in Western Australia.
She has judged many awards including the New South Wales Premier’s Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry, the Tom Collins, Henry Kendall, Roland Robinson and Newcastle Poetry Prizes.
In 2011, through the Varuna Alumni exchange program, she was awarded a month’s-long writer’s residency in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in County Monaghan, Ireland.
Jan Latta is author and wildlife photographer of True to Life Books educating children about endangered animals.
In 1994 she went to Africa and came face-to-face with a mountain gorilla in Rwanda. The experience changed her life. When her guide said there were only 600 mountain gorillas left in the world, she decided to publish books for children on endangered animals.
She traveled to Africa eight times, living in tents and hiring local guides to keep her safe. Every day she followed prides of lions, dangerous rhinos, herds of elephants and gentle giraffes. She came close to cheetahs and played with mischievous chimps. She went to China twice to photograph and write about pandas. Then orangutans in the Borneo jungle. And for the tiger book, she went to India. Recently she wrote about leopards in Sri Lanka.
Jan Latta was thrilled when the ABC asked her to write Diary of a Wildlife Photographer – a journal of her adventures in the wild.
Jan has travelled to Africa, China and Borneo twice, and also to India and Sri Lanka. She has played with chimps in Uganda, orangutans in Borneo and pandas in the mountains of China. She has walked with lions in Zambia and been charged by elephants in Amboseli. A cheetah came up to her in Nanyuki and she has held the horn of a rhino!
Jan is the author, wildlife photographer and publisher of a series of 12 True to Life books educating children about endangered animals.
Isolde is an author with an absolute passion for history and writing historical fiction is a wonderful way to share her enthusiasm.
Winning national awards in America and Australia for her debut novel The Maiden and the Unicorn was a tremendous thrill after years when 'Life' just got in the way of writing! Being married to a geologist who was away in the field a great deal meant bringing up her two children always came first.
Isolde has a History Honours degree from the University of Exeter, UK, with a specialisation in Yorkist England, a lifelong interest, and she has worked as a university history tutor, research assistant and archivist.
Her other strength is editing and she was a senior book editor with a major international publishing house before taking up writing fiction full-time.
Stephen Measday is well known for his adventurous and humorous novels for younger readers, such as A Pig Called Francis Bacon, Roger Bacon Reporting, Bringing Home the Bacons and The News They Didn't Use. A Pig called Francis Bacon and The News They Didn't Use have been listed as Notable Books by the Children's Book Council of Australia.
Stephen Measday has written fifteen books and three stage plays and is an award-winning scriptwriter.
His awards include an Australian Writers' Guild (AWGIE) award for the original ABC radio drama ‘Partners’, and a United Nations Media Peace Award for an episode of ‘A Country Practice’.
Recent television work has included script editing the Nine Network children's series ‘Hi-5’, which was nominated for US Emmy Awards in both 2005 and 2006.
Kiwi-born and raised, Meg first crossed the Tasman Sea in 1996, surviving nine days as a very seasick crew-member on a small boat. Since then, she’s been based in Melbourne.
Meg’s debut novel Black Glass (Scribe 2011), set in a near-future world ruled by surveillance, was highly commended in the 2012 Barbara Jefferis Award and shortlisted for the 2010 CAL/Scribe Fiction Prize.
Her short stories have been published in Best Australian Stories, New Australian Stories, Meanjin, Sleepers Almanac, Eureka Street and Australian Book Review.
Five years as deputy editor and staff writer at The Big Issue magazine fired up Meg’s passion for social justice, and her journalism has appeared in The Age, The Monthly, Sydney Morning Herald, the Financial Review and New Matilda. She has also written for Lonely Planet, run writing workshops in schools, and taught at the Universities of Melbourne, RMIT and Swinburne.
Meg’s now working on a PhD about how authors research sense of place; a non-fiction book on outback trucking; and a second novel, set largely at sea – a chance to relive that queasy feeling all over again.
Best-selling author Michael Pryor has published more than twenty books and fifty short stories. He is one of Australia’s leading fantasy writers. Michael has been shortlisted six times for the Aurealis Awards (including for Blaze of Glory and Heart of Gold), has been nominated for a Ditmar award, and five of his books have been CBC Notable Books, including most recently Moment of Truth.
Rob Riel has been an avid reader of SF since the days when a young bloke could buy the latest Heinlein or Asimov novel for well under a dollar. He’s been an occasional contributor of short fiction to the genre, for some years managed the SFWoE competition in Australia, and has twice served as a judge for the Aurealis Awards for science fiction short story.
Rob has worked as a sailor, metallurgist, university lecturer in English, electron microscopist, and disability services specialist. Ten years ago he established Picaro Press, which specialises in poetry publication using print-on-demand technology.
He has twice received Australia Council grants for New Work, and has published two books.
Rob lives in Cardiff, NSW, with partner Judy Johnson, whose second novel has just been accepted by Harper Collins for their Fourth Estate imprint.
Justin Sheedy’s first book, Goodbye Crackernight (a comic portrait of growing up in 1970s Australia - when a child’s proudest possession was not a Playstation but a second-hand bike), was warmly received by Australian readers and won him a place at the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival 2010. Justin’s latest book, Nor the Years Condemn, an historical fiction based on an iconic Australian story untold in recent fiction, has just been published as a Print-on-Demand Paperback at Amazon to excellent reader reviews. Based on the stunning true history of how the best & brightest of a generation crossed the Planet to fly against Nazi tyranny, the staggering 1-in-3 chance of survival for such shining youths promises to make Nor the Years Condemn a heart-rending read.
Justin is passionate about Australian history and is privileged to have been invited to The Gloucester Writers’ Festival 2012 where he looks forward to taking part in the festival’s “Mining the Past for Stories” panel and especially to meeting and talking with festival goers.
In the lead-up to the festival, Justin hopes to chat with Gloucester Writers’ Festival devotees at the GWF Facebook page, Justin’s personal and/or Nor the Years Condemn Facebook pages. He lives in Sydney. For further background plus reading excerpts of Nor the Years Condemn, visit Crackernight.com.
Lisa’s first novel was published by HarperCollins in January 2012. Liar Bird may not be the first romantic comedy about feral pigs but it could be the first to also feature a philosopher frog. With her second novel, which comes out in December, she hopes to corner the market in romantic comedies about shy erotic writers.
Lisa is an award-winning short story writer. Her short story Blossom appears in the Review of Australian Fiction in March this year. Her play Baddest Backpackers aired on ABC Radio National in 2008.
She has worked as a wilderness guide, tertiary lecturer and environmental communicator. She is studying for a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Queensland. Her research topic is ‘Can Popular Fiction Help Save the World?’
Lisa writes, works and surfs on the far north coast of New South Wales.
Michael Wilding has written and edited some fifty books including the novels Living Together (UQP), The Short Story Embassy (Wild & Woolley), Pacific Highway (Hale & Iremonger), The Paraguayan Experiment (Penguin), Wildest Dreams (UQP), Academia Nuts (Wild & Woolley), Wild Amazement and National Treasure (CQUP) and most recently Superfluous Men, and the private eye novels The Prisoner of Mount Warning and The Magic of It (Arcadia).
He was a founding editor of the University of Queensland Press's Asian & Pacific Writing series (20 volumes), the innovative short story magazine, Tabloid Story with Frank Moorhouse and Carmel Kelly, and of the publishers Wild & Woolley (with Pat Woolley), Paperbark Press (with the poet Robert Adamson) and Press On (with Phillip Edmonds and Nick Walker).
He has been a milkman, postman, apple-picker, newspaper columnist, Cosmopolitan Bachelor of the Month, Fellow of the AustralianAcademy of the Humanities, Chair of the New South Wales Writers' Centre, and is now Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney. 'The story of a maverick,' Dictionary of Literary Biography.
21 Denison Street
Gloucester, NSW 2422
Phone: (02) 6558 1208
Mobile: 0414 247 967
Fax: (02) 6558 2549