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Evelyn Araluen Corr - James Bradley - Lisa Chaplin - Claire Corbett - Catherine Cole - Craig Cormick - Delia Falconer - Libby Gleeson AM - Natalie Haynes - Witi Ihimaera - Maggie Joel - Katherine Johnson- Karen Lamb - Vanessa Kirkpatrick - Malcolm Knox - Mardi McConnochie - Amy McQuire - Jennifer Mills - Peter Minter - Di Morrissey - Marilla North - Mark O'Flynn - Wendy Rogers - James Roy - Joanna Sassoon - Graeme Simsion - David White - Sandra Yates AO

   Araluen Evelyn

Evelyn Araluen Corr

Evelyn Araluen Corr is a poet, activist, and PhD candidate teaching and researching Indigenous literatures at the University of Sydney, Eora country. Born and raised on Dharug country with Bundjalung ancestry, her poetry and criticism can be found in SoutherlyOverland, and The Best Australian Poems of 2016.

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James Bradley

James Bradley is an award-winning writer and critic. His books include the novels Wrack, The Deep Field, The Resurrectionist and Clade, all of which have won or been shortlisted for major Australian and international literary awards, a book of poetry, Paper Nautilus, and The Penguin Book of the Ocean. His first young adult novel, The Silent Invasion, is published by Pan Macmillan.



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Lisa Chaplin

Lisa Chaplin began writing fiction in 1991 after taking an agent's advice to write romance novels for the editing discipline. She was subsequently published with Harlequin as Melissa James selling over 1.6 million books in 25 countries. After discovering a Napoleonic history text in 2006 and researching and living in Switzerland and France, she produced an acclaimed work of historical fiction, The Tide Watchersas Lisa Chaplin. Her most recent work is The Memory of Cardamom literary fiction series.



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Claire Corbett

Claire Corbett was born in Canada and has worked in film and government policy. Her first novel, When We Have Wings was published in 2011 by Allen & Unwin and shortlisted for the 2012 Barbara Jefferis Award and the 2012 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction. Recent fiction and essays have been published in a range of journals, including Best Australian Stories 2014 & 2015, Griffith Review, Southerly and Overland. Her second novel, Watch Over Me, is published by Allen & Unwin in May 2017.

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Catherine Cole

Catherine Cole has published widely including novels, poetry, short stories, memoir and critical writing and has edited a number of books. Her short story collection, Sea Birds Crying in the Harbour Dark, will be published by UWA Press in late 2017. She has judged some of Australia's leading literary prizes, worked in the fields of human rights and equal opportunity at all government levels and is currently Professor of Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool, UK.


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Craig Cormick

Craig Cormick is an award-winning Canberra author and science journalist. He has been writing for over 30 years and has published over 25 books of fiction, non-fiction and children’s fiction, with both small and mainstream publishers, in Australia and overseas. Much of his work deals with reinterpretations of history. His writing awards include a Queensland Premier's Award, ACT Book of the Year Award, the Tasmania Writers Prize and a Victorian Community History Award. 

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Delia Falconer

Delia Falconer is the author of two novels, The Service of Clouds and The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers. Sydney, a personal history of her hometown, was part of New South’s City series. Delia Falconer is also a prize-winning essayist, short story writer and literary critic. She is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Technology Sydney.  



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Libby Gleeson

Libby Gleeson AM has published over 30 popular, highly acclaimed books for children and teenagers, been shortlisted for 13 CBCA Awards, and won three. Libby has been a teacher and lecturer and contributes regularly to national conferences and was awarded membership of the Order of Australia in 2007. She won the 2011 Dromkeen Medal, awarded for contributions to children’s literature. Libby’s latest book is Mahtab’s Story.


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Natalie Haynes

Natalie Haynes is a broadcaster and comedian and the author of The Amber Fury and The Ancient Guide to Modern Life. She also writes for the Guardian and The Independent. She has spoken widely on the modern relevance of the classical world. Her latest book The Children of Jocasta will be published in early May.

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Witi Ihimaera

Witi Ihimaera is a novelist, short story writer, filmmaker, anthologist, playwright and one of New Zealand’s most prolific and accomplished writers. He is a three-time winner of the Wattie/Montana Book of the Year award beginning with Tangi, followed by The Matriarch and Bulibasha, King of the Gypsies in 1995. He was a Katherine Mansfield Fellow in France and is a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters. Witi’s most popular novel is Whale Rider and he was associate producer for its film adaptation. His most recent play is All Our Sons, which won six Wellington Theatre Awards. His memoir Maori Boy won the non-fiction category of the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2016.

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Maggie Joel

Maggie Joel is a British-born writer and the author of four novels: The Past and Other Lies, The Second-Last Woman in England, (which was awarded the 2011 Fellowship of Australian Writers’ Christina Stead Award for Fiction), Half the World in Winter and, most recently, The Safest Place in London. Maggie lives and works in Sydney.

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Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson was born in Queensland and worked in science journalism before moving to Tasmania and writing fiction: stories of love, loss and resilience set against wild landscapes. Her first novel Pescador’s Wake won a Harper Collins Varuna Award. Her second novel, The Better Son, a story of secrets, lies and the yearning for love, was published by Ventura Press last year and was recently longlisted for the Indie Book Awards. Katherine is now completing a PhD in creative writing.




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Vanessa Kirkpatrick

Vanessa Kirkpatrick’s first collection of poetry, To Catch the Light, won the inaugural John Knight Memorial Poetry Manuscript Prize and was Commended for the 2013 Anne Elder Award. She has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Sydney and her poetry has been broadcast on national radio.

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Karen Lamb

Karen Lamb is the author of (Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather), UQP 2015, shortlisted for six national literary awards, and winner of the prestigious Prime Minister’s Award for Non-Fiction for 2016. She has edited a book of Australian short stories, and published book chapters and articles on Australian authors, including a book on Peter Carey. She lives in Sydney.

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Malcolm Knox

Malcolm Knox is the author of 21 books of fiction and non-fiction with six acclaimed novels, including (Summerland), (The Endangered List) and (The Wonder Lover), that have won various literary prizes. His books have been published in the USA and the UK and translated into six other languages. As a journalist, he has won two Walkley Awards and a Human Rights Commission Award and been runner-up for Australian journalist of the year. He has also ghost-written 15 memoirs.

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Mardi McConnochie

Mardi McConnochie is the author of four novels for adults: (Queen Coldwater), (The Snow), (Fivestar) and (The Voyagers). She has also published four books for younger readers: Melissa, Queen of Evil, Dangerous Games, and the Quest of the Sunfish series: Escape to the Moon Islands and The Castle in the Sea.  
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Amy McQuire

Amy McQuire is a Darumbal and South Sea Islander freelance journalist and writer from Central Queensland. Her work is focused on justice, and she is currently co-hosting an investigative podcast called Curtain, about an Aboriginal man wrongfully convicted of murder.

   Mills Jennifer

Jennifer Mills

Jennifer Mills is the author of two novels, Gone and The Diamond Anchor, and a collection of short stories, The Rest is Weight. Her work has received wide critical acclaim and won numerous awards both nationally and internationally. In 2012 she was named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian novelist. She lives in regional South Australia and is currently the fiction editor at Overland.

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Peter Minter

Peter Minter is a poet, editor and writer on poetry and poetics. His many books include the award-winning (Empty Texas) and (Blue Grass), and his poetry has been widely published and translated internationallymost recently in the (Serious Light of Nothing) (Chinese University Press Hong Kong, 2013). He was a founding editor of (Cordite), co-edited the pioneering anthologies (Calyx: 30 Contemporary Australian Poets) and the (Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature), and has been the poetry editor for leading Australian journals (Meanjin) and (Overland). He teaches Indigenous Studies, Creative Writing and Australian Literature at the University of Sydney.




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Di Morrissey

Di Morrissey wanted to write books from age seven. She worked as a journalist and broadcaster before publishing her first book. Landscape is the inspiration for her novels and she lives in each place where a book is set. She writes of relationships, intrigue and family issues, weaving in the history, the environment, cultural, social and political issues of each place. Di has established and supports a primary school in Myanmar. She also writes and publishes a monthly newspaper, The Manning Community News.

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Marilla North

Marilla North was born and educated in Newcastle, NSW where she first read Dymphna Cusack’s WW II novel (Southern Steel), the book that ignited her passionate commitment to Cusack’s life and work. Marilla’s poetry has been published in the press and literary journals and her collection, (Blue Glass and Turtles’ Eggs), was published by Jacaranda Press. Her narrative (Yarn Spinners) won the 2001 FAW Biography Prize. Marilla lives in Leura.


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Mark O'Flynn

Mark O’Flynn was born in Melbourne and now lives in the Blue Mountains. He has published several collections of poetry, most recently The Soup’s Song (Picaro, 2015), and Shared Breath (Hope St. 2017). His novels include Grassdogs and The Forgotten World (both Harper Collins, 2006, 2013), and The Last Days of Ava Langdon (UQP, 2016). In 2013 he also published the comic memoir, False Start, (Finch), and a collection of short stories White Light, (Spineless Wonders).

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Wendy Rogers

Wendy Rogers initially trained as a GP before undertaking philosophy honours and a PhD in medical ethics at Flinders University. She spent five years leading the ethics, law and professionalism teaching in the School of Medicine at Flinders before her current position as Professor of Philosophy at Macquarie University.

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James Roy

James Roy is the author of over thirty books for young people, including (Town), winner of the NSW Premier's Literary Award, and (One Thousand Hills), co-written with Noël Zihabamwe, which won the 2016 NSW Premier's History Prize. He lives in the Blue Mountains.

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Joanna Sassoon

Joanna Sassoon is an internationally respected historian and archivist and has managed archival collections in cultural institutions, worked as a State and Commonwealth public servant and taught in several universities. She has published widely on photography, oral history, heritage, environmental history and Australian history. Based in Western Australia, she works as a researcher. Her first book, (Agents of Empire) was published by Australian Scholarly Publishing in March 2017.



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Graeme Simsion

Graeme Simsion sold his IT business at the age of 50 and enrolled in a screenwriting program at RMIT. Five years and ten short films later, he had a screenplay that nobody wanted to finance. So he re-wrote The Rosie Project as a novel, which has now sold over 3 million copies, and Sony Pictures duly acquired the screenplay. A sequel, The Rosie Effect, was also an international bestseller. Graeme's latest novel is The Best of Adam Sharp.

   White David

David White

Varuna Chair David White is the principal of Zentricity, a consultancy established to deliver practical corporate governance advice. David coaches boards of directors, chairs and chief executives in how to achieve effective and prudent governance of their organisations, with a focus on the not-for-profit sector. David is a writer and blogger, and serves on or advises a number of NFP boards, including KidsXpress, Society for Knowledge Economics, Red Dust Role Models, Greening Australia and the Katoomba Men’s Shed.

   Yates Sandra

Sandra Yates AO

Sandra Yates AO was the Chair of Sydney Writers Festival from 2000 – 2011. She is a former Chair of the advertising firm, Saatchi & Saatchi Australia, and the NSW TAFE Commission Board. Now happily retired to Blackheath, she maintains her passion for the arts by chairing the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, held annually in Townsville.



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