VARUNA & SYDNEY WRITERS' FESTIVAL 2016

 

Program    Authors & Facilitators    Bookings & Tickets    Venues      Accommodation    Download Program

 

AUTHORS & FACILITATORS

Miles Allinson - Tegan Bennett Daylight - Carla Billinghurst - Barbara Brooks - Thomas Brown - Kit Carstairs - Graham Davis-King - Kate Fagan
Delia Falconer - Gabriel Farago - Andrew Fowler - Peggy Frew - Vivian Gornick - Billy Gruner - Steven Herrick - Amanda Hickie - Mireille Juchau
Leah Kaminsky - Julian Leatherdale - Jody Lee - John Low - Ignatius McGovern - Carol Major - Alison Manning - Sylvia Martin - Brenda Matthews
Stephen Matthews - Mahalya Middlemist - Sarah Mills - Peter Minter - Jenny Mosher - Lisa Murray - Heidi Norman - Mark O'Flynn - Naomi Parry
Ron Pretty - James Rebanks - Aedenn Rowan - Magda Szubanski - Deb Westbury - Lesley Williams - Charlotte Wood


 
  ALLINSON Miles

Miles Allinson

Miles Allinson is a writer and an artist. He was born in Melbourne in 1981 and has a Bachelor of Creative Arts and a Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne as well as a Masters of Fine Arts (Art in Public Space) from RMIT. Fever of Animals is his first novel and won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript in 2014.

 

 

 
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Tegan Bennett Daylight

Tegan Bennett Daylight is a fiction writer, teacher and critic. She is the author of three novels Bombora, What Falls Away and Safety as well as several books for children and teenagers. Her short stories have appeared in many anthologies and journals including Griffith Review, Meanjin and Best Australian Stories. Her first collection of short stories Six Bedrooms was published by Random House in July 2015.

 

teganbennettdaylight.com/

 
  BILLINGHURST Carla

Carla Billinghurst

Carla Billinghurst is a Blue Mountains blogger and writer who self-published her first book in 2015 Halibut Herring and You. Carla’s writing encourages readers to see archetypal forms in life’s characters - giants who can be brought down, sleepers that can be woken and magical helpers who together are on a quest to secure the happy ending of modern culture. Carla is also the creator of Kindle Runners, a self-publishing course running out of Cyber Shed in Blackheath.

 
  BROOKS Barbara

Barbara Brooks

Barbara Brooks is a Sydney writer and independent scholar. She has published Leaving Queensland, a book of short prose, and a biography, Eleanor Dark: A Writer’s Life.
Her essays and stories have been published in the UK, USA, France and Malaysia. She teaches writing at the University of Technology Sydney, and at James Cook University, as well as running classes and writing projects at writers’ centres, the State Library of NSW, with community groups and unions.
Verandahs is a memoir which crosses into fiction; it received the UTS Chancellor's Award for an outstanding thesis.

 

 
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Thomas Brown

Thomas Brown is a self-taught artist who produces digital art, books, animation and hand–painted wall works. He is a descendant of the Walbunja People from the Yuin Nation (through his father) of the South Coast of NSW. Through his father’s people he is also connected to the Gundungurra Nation through the Parmoo Clan. For the past ten years he has been artist in residence at Gundungurra Tribal Council and has produced a range of work based on the Gundungurra Peoples’ Dreamtime Stories.

 
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Kit Carstairs

Kit Carstairs is the Director of The Manuscript Agency, an organisation established to support authors in the publishing industry. Kit has worked as a freelance and an in-house editor in publishing and is experienced with a wide variety of content including: fiction (adult and children’s), general non-fiction (in book and magazine publishing), as well as with corporate material and academic content. Prior to working in the publishing industry Kit enjoyed a career in broadcasting.

 

 

 
  DAVIS KING Graham

Graham Davis-King

Graham Davis King is a Wiradjuri and Ngiyampaa artist and activist currently residing in the Blue Mountains NSW. From an early age King has been involved in projects that concentrate on Aboriginal culture and education as an outcome. In addition to his visual art practice, Graham performs as a dancer and storyteller. He established the Blue Mountains Aboriginal Artists Cooperative in Katoomba in 2006 and is a Director of the Blue Mountains Aboriginal Culture and Resource Centre.

 
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Kate Fagan

Kate Fagan is a Lecturer in Literary Studies at the University of Western Sydney and a member of the Writing and Society Research Centre. Her most recent volume of poetry First Light was shortlisted for both the NSW Premier’s Award and the Age Book of the Year Award. She is a former Editor-in-Chief of How2, an established U.S. based online journal of innovative women’s poetry. She is also well known as a musician and songwriter and opened for Joan Baez on her 2013 tour of Australia-NZ.

 

katefagan.com/

 
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Delia Falconer

Delia Falconer is the author of two novels, The Service of Clouds and The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers. Her 2010 nonfiction work, Sydney, a personal history of her hometown, won the CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature and was shortlisted for other major national prizes including the New South Wales Premier's History and National Biography awards. She is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Technology, Sydney.

 

 

 
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Gabriel Farago

Gabriel Farago is a published author, lawyer and novelist with a passion for history and archaeology. Gabriel holds degrees in literature and law, speaks several languages and takes research and authenticity very seriously. He travels extensively and visits all of the locations mentioned in his books.
‘I try to weave fact and fiction into a seamless storyline,’ he explains. ‘By blurring the boundaries between the two, the reader is never quite sure where one ends, and the other begins. This is a delicate balancing act: reality must rub shoulders with imagination in a way that is both entertaining and plausible.’
Gabriel lives with his wife in the Blue Mountains near Sydney.

gabrielfarago.com.au/

 
  FOWLER Andrew Wayne Harley

Andrew Fowler

Andrew Fowler is an award-winning investigative journalist and a contributing reporter for ABC's Foreign Correspondent and Four Corners programs. He has been chief of staff and acting foreign editor of The Australian newspaper and a reporter with SBS Dateline and Channel 7, as well as heading up the ABC's Investigative Unit. Andrew began his journalism career in the early 1970s covering the IRA bombing campaign for the London Evening News. He first interviewed Julian Assange for Foreign Correspondent in early 2010 and went on to write the bestselling book, The Most Dangerous Man in the World, which has been translated and published in countries as diverse as China, South Korea, USA, Russia, Indonesia, Romania and Taiwan. The Most Dangerous Man in the World was described by Daniel Ellsberg (whistle-blower of the Pentagon Papers) as ‘A gripping thriller. By far the best account of Julian Assange's motives and the talents that make him so dangerous' and by Geoffrey Robertson QC as ‘the most balanced, fair and factual account yet published of a saga much misrepresented in the media'. Andrew's original ABC program about Assange and WikiLeaks won the New York Festival Gold Medal and he has subsequently interviewed Assange in October 2011 and July 2012.

 
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Peggy Frew

Peggy Frew's debut novel, House of Sticks, won the 2010 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. Her story 'Home Visit' won The Age short story competition. Peggy is also a member of the critically acclaimed and award-winning Melbourne band Art of Fighting and her latest novel is Hope Farm.
 
  GORNICK Vivian Mitchell Bach

Vivian Gornick

Vivian Gornick is an American critic, journalist, essayist, and memoirist. She was a reporter for the Village Voice from 1969 to 1977. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, The Atlantic Monthly, and many other publications. She has published eleven books including a biography of Emma Goldman, the critically acclaimed memoir Fierce Attachments, and the essay collections, The Men in My Life and The End of the Novel of Life, which were finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her most recent book is the memoir, The Odd Woman and the City. In 2007, she was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. In 2014, she was the Bedell Distinguished Visiting Professor in Nonfiction at the University of Iowa.

 

 

 
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Billy Gruner

Dr Billy Gruner is a practicing professional artist. He founded MAP (Modern Art Projects) Blue Mountains and was the founder and curator of WEST, a project space of MAP focusing on International wall works, film and sound. Modern Art Projects (MAP) is a Not-For-Profit incorporated association designed to explore the nexus of art and architecture via a broad interdisciplinary field.
MAP has curated a series of public and private events where curated contemporary art is placed in unique domestic architecture and grounds.

www.modernartprojects.org/

 
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Steven Herrick

Steven Herrick is the author of twenty-three books for children and young adults. His books have twice won the NSW Premier's Literary Awards and have been shortlisted eight times for the CBCA Book of the Year Awards. He is also the author of five travel books. He spends nine months of the year visiting schools in Australia and three months on his bicycle somewhere in Europe.

www.stevenherrick.com.au
 
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Amanda Hickie

Amanda Hickie's first novel, After Zoë, took twenty years from idle thought to manuscript. It received no offers, but enough encouraging replies to persuade her to write a second novel. By then she realized that no one would ever read After Zoë if it stayed on her hard drive. So she decided to self-publish! Her second novel, An Ordinary Epidemic, has since been published by Adelaide independent, Midnight Sun Publishing, and will be released by Little Brown in the US in 2017.

 

www.amandahickie.com/

 
  JUCHAU Mireille Alex Craig

Mireille Juchau

Mireille Juchau is a novelist, essayist and critic. Her third novel, The World Without Us, is published in Australia, UK and US with Bloomsbury in 2015/2016. Her second novel, Burning In (2007), was shortlisted for 4 awards including the 2008 Prime Minister’s Literary Award, and published in France and Croatia. Mireille has written an international award-winning play and was longlisted in the 2015 international Notting Hill Essay Prize. Her short fiction, and literature and art criticism are widely published.

 

 

 
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Leah Kaminsky

Leah Kaminsky, a physician and award-winning writer, is Poetry & Fiction Editor at the Medical Journal of Australia. Her debut novel The Waiting Room is published by Vintage (2015) and will be released by Harper Perennial US in 2016. We’re all Going to Die is forthcoming with Harper Collins in June 2016. She conceived and edited Writer MD, a collection of prominent physician-writers, which starred on Booklist (Knopf US 2012). She is co-author of Cracking the Code, with the Damiani family (Vintage 2015). She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

 
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Julian Leatherdale

Julian Leatherdale is a novelist, researcher and journalist. He was a researcher and photo editor for the 16-volume Time-Life Australians At War series and later co-writer and researcher on ABC-Film Australia TV history documentaries The Forgotten Force (Australia’s role in post-war occupied Japan) and Return To Sandakan (Japanese POW camp atrocity and its legacy). His novel Palace of Tears (Allen & Unwin, 2015) is inspired by the history of the Hydro Majestic hotel and will be published by HarperCollins in Germany in May 2016.

 

 

 
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Jody Lee

Jody Lee has worked for almost twenty years in the publishing industry as an associate publisher (Simon & Schuster), commissioning editor and project editor (Random House and ABC Books). For the last ten years she has worked as a freelance editor working with all the major trade publishing houses (ABC Books, Allen & Unwin, Hachette Australia, HarperCollins, Murdoch Books, NewSouth Publishing, PanMacmillan, Penguin/Random House Australia, University of Queensland Press). She is an editorial consultant for Varuna, The National Writers House, and works closely with authors and literary agents to develop manuscripts for publication.

 
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John Low

John Low was Local Studies Librarian at the Blue Mountains City Library 1982-2007. An active member of the Blue Mountains Historical Society, he received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2012.
 
  MCGOVERN Iggy

Iggy McGovern

Iggy McGovern was born in Coleraine (Northern Ireland) in 1948 and educated in Belfast, earning BSc and PhD degrees in physics at Queen’s University Belfast. He was Professor of Physics at Trinity College, Dublin until retirement in 2013. Ignatius now holds the lifetime position of Fellow Emeritus of the College ("in which capacity I write poems for official occasions, such as the Annual Alumni Awards"). His most recent appointment was as Alexander von Humboldt Visiting Scholar in Science & Poetry at Erlangen University (Oct/Nov 2015). His 3 books of poetry published by Dedalus Press include The Kings of Suburbia, Safe House and A Mystic Dream of 4.

 
  MAJOR Carol

Carol Major

Carol Major is an author, teacher and writing consultant at Advanced Narrative. She holds a Doctorate of Arts Degree in creative writing from the University of Technology in Sydney, and has taught creative writing at both undergraduate and post graduate university levels. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Australian and Canadian literary journals and anthologies. She completed two novels as part of her thesis research and is author of ‘Closed Adoption Policy in the 1960s: Exploring the Construction of Motive Through Fiction’.

 

advancednarrative.com/

 
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Alison Manning

Alison Manning is a facilitator, former ABC radio broadcaster and consultant with a special interest in the working lives of writers. Her boutique consultancy, A Mind Of One’s Own, helps writers fulfil their creative potential. Alison has presented at the Sydney Writers’ Festival and runs groups and workshops for writers in her own practice, with novelist Charlotte Wood and for the Australian Society of Authors.

 

 

 
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Sylvia Martin

Sylvia Martin is a scholar based at the University of Tasmania. Her previous publications include Passionate Friends: Mary Fullerton, Mabel Singleton and Miles Franklin (Onlywomen Press 2001), and Ida Leeson: A Life - Not a Bluestocking Lady (Allen & Unwin 2006). Ida Leeson won the Margarey Medal for biography in 2008.
 
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Brenda Matthews

Raising four sons and working for DSS/Centrelink taught Brenda Matthews much about the joys and hardships of life. Writing poetry under her maiden name of Brenda Eldridge, her dream of being a published author finally came true. Since meeting Stephen in early 2009, she has retired from the Public Service and now happily works with Stephen at Ginninderra Press, where she is editor of two series of chapbooks – Pocket Poets and Picaro Poets.

 

 
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Stephen Matthews

After graduating from Cambridge University, Stephen Matthews was a teacher for nearly twenty years. He then had a successful bookselling career and was a book reviewer for The Canberra Times and The Australian Book Review for many years. In 2003, he received a Centenary Medal for his ‘contribution to the writing community and ongoing support for local authors’. He compiled How Did the Fire Know We Lived Here?, a best-selling collection of stories about the January 2003 Canberra bushfires.


www.ginninderrapress.com.au/

 
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Mahalya Middlemist

Mahalya Middlemist is a professional artist/filmmaker who produces a range of film, video and installed media work. Her background includes curatorial practice and arts administration. She served for ten years on the City of the Arts Trust for BMCC and eighteen years as an Academic in the Film and Digital Art Studio at Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney. She is on the board of MAP (Modern Art Projects) Blue Mountains and was the MAP coordinator of the event MAP: Wantanganura/Skyworld at Varuna.

 
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Sarah Mills

Sarah Mills is the author of GOM’s Gold, a tween fantasy with an Arthurian twist. When Sarah chose to self-publish she was able to draw on decades of experience as a reporter and production journalist with Australia’s major metropolitan newspapers, including the Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian. She was also able to draw on decades of marketing experience, consulting to Australia’s leading blue-chip companies on strategic public relations, promotion and branding.
Sarah’s next novel in the GOM’s Gold series is due in June and she has just published a “how-to” book on overseas hip replacements.


www.gomsgold.com

 
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Peter Minter

Dr Peter Minter is Coordinator of the Indigenous Australian Studies Major and Coordinator of Honours in Indigenous Australian Studies. He is an ARC Chief Investigator on the “AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource” consortium, contributing to the national "BlackWords" Aboriginal literature digital humanities infrastructure project.


peterminter.com

 

 
  MOSHER Jenny cropped

Jenny Mosher

Jenny Mosher is a self publishing facilitator, IPEd Accredited Editor, author and business operator. A long-term Blue Mountains resident, she enjoys making the most of 21st century technologies to run her business and make life easier. Under her MoshPit Publishing imprint, she helps people publish their books via her IndieMosh service.
In her spare time, Jenny likes to paint, bushwalk and research her family tree. With plans to write nine more books, she hopes to get some sleep one day!

 

www.indiemosh.com.au

 

 
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Lisa Murray

Dr Lisa Murray is the City Historian, overseeing a diverse program at the City of Sydney Council encompassing community, civic and urban history. Lisa is the award winning author of planning histories and a regular contributor to debates around public history, including being a speaker at TEDxSydney 2013. Her forthcoming book is A Field Guide to Sydney Cemeteries with NewSouth Publishing. Lisa is a Board Member of the Dictionary of Sydney, and Councillor of the History Council of NSW.

 
  NORMAN Heidi

Heidi Norman

Dr Heidi Norman is a Senior Lecturer in the Communication Program at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her research focuses on Aboriginal political and social history. She is the author of What Do We Want? A political history of Aboriginal land rights in NSW  published by the Aboriginal Studies Press in 2015. She is a descendant of the Gomeroi people of northwestern NSW.

 

 
  OFLYNN Mark

Mark O'Flynn

Mark O’Flynn has published five collections of poetry, most recently Untested Cures (Picaro Press), plus three novels including Grassdogs and The Forgotten World (Harper Collins). He has also published the comic memoir False Start (Finch Publishing). A collection of short fiction White Light, was published by Spineless Wonders in 2013. His reviews and short fiction have appeared in a wide range of magazines both in Australia and overseas. His most recent novel is  The Last Days of Ava Langdon (UQP). He lives in the Blue Mountains.

 
  PARRY Naomi

Naomi Parry

Naomi Parry is a Katoomba-based historian who has published widely on child welfare and Aboriginal history. She was the NSW historian on the Find & Connect web resource and project editor at the Dictionary of Sydney. In 2015 she received the National and State Libraries Australasian Honorary Fellowship at the State Library of NSW to research the life of the Aboriginal warrior Musquito. She is currently coordinating the NSW Centenary of Anzac Book NSW and the Great War.
   

 

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Ron Pretty

Ron Pretty’s eighth book of poetry, What the Afternoon Knows, was published by Pitt Street Poetry in 2013. He published Five Islands Press books for twenty years, during which time the Press published 230 Australian poetry titles. He has edited the magazines Scrap: New Arts and Writing and Blue Dog: Australian Poetry. He has taught creative writing in schools, universities and community groups in Australia and overseas. His book, Creating Poetry, was released by Pitt Street Poetry in 2015.

     
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James Rebanks

James Rebanks runs a 600 year-old family farm in the Lake District in northern England. The Shepherd's Life is his first book. He also uses his popular Twitter feed - @herdyshepherd1 - to share updates on the shepherding year. James is a graduate of Oxford University, and also works as an expert advisor to UNESCO on sustainable tourism.

     
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 Aedenn Rowan

Aedenn Rowan is from the Gamilaroi peoples from northwestern New South Wales with connections to the Wiradjuri, Ngemba and Yuin peoples who are New South Wales Aboriginal peoples. Aedenn’s artwork reflects his experiences in Aboriginal culture throughout his lifetime from the Stolen Generations to living as an Aboriginal person in the Blue Mountains where he lives with his wife and two children.

     
   SZUBANSKI Magda Konrad Winkler cropped

 Magda Szubanski

Magda Szubanski is one of Australia’s best known and most loved performers. She began her career in university revues, then appeared in a number of sketch comedy shows before creating the iconic character of Sharon Strzelecki in ABC-TV’s Kath and Kim. She has also acted in films (Babe, Babe: Pig in the City, Happy Feet, The Golden Compass) and stage shows. Reckoning is her first book.

     
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 Deb Westbury

Deb Westbury has been a familiar and respected voice in Australian poetry since her work was first published in 1975. Her first collection of poetry, Mouth to Mouth, was published in 1990. Since then, she has written Our Houses are Full of Smoke (Angus & Robertson), Surface Tension (Five Islands Press), and Flying Blind and The View From Here published by Brandl and Schlesinger. Deb has a degree in teaching and a Master of Creative Arts in writing, and teaches courses in creative writing throughout Australia.

     
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 Lesley Williams

Lesley Williams is a respected Murri (Aboriginal) Elder. She is best known for instigating the domestic and international Justice for Aboriginal Workers campaign. In 2002 this campaign resulted in the Queensland State Government delivering an historic reparation package of $55.4 million to all Indigenous workers who had their wages and savings controlled by past governments. In 2003 she was awarded the Centenary Medal for her distinguished services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Lesley has co-produced and consulted on a number of documentary films including The Ration Shed and For Their Own Good, and co-wrote On The Banks of the Barambah: A History of Cherbourg. She is a proud and devoted ‘Nana’ to six grandchildren.

     
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 Charlotte Wood

Charlotte Wood is the author of five novels and a book of non-fiction, and for three years was editor of The Writer's Room Interviews magazine. Her novel, Animal People, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin and shortlisted for the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction. The Australian has described her as "one of our most original and provocative writers." Her most recent book The Natural Way of Things, to be published in the UK and US in 2016, won the 2016 Stella Prize.

     


 

 

Program    Authors & Facilitators    Bookings & Tickets    Venues      Accommodation    Download Program

 

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