Fiction and Non-Fiction Author
Terri Janke is an Indigenous Australian. She is a lawyer and has her own law firm that represents Indigenous artists and creators. She is the author of Our Culture: Our Future: A report on Australian Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights. She writes and speaks internationally. Her short stories have been published in Southerly and Island. She and her daughter co-authored a Picture Storybook for children which was published by Magabala Books in 2004.
Wendy Orr is an internationally published and award-winning author of more than thirty books, ranging from picture books to adult. She was born in Canada, and grew up in France, Canada and USA. After high school she studied occupational therapy in England, married an Australian farmer, and moved to Australia. They had a son and daughter, and now live on five acres of bush on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne. Her books have won awards in Australia and around the world, and have been translated into twenty-seven languages.
When Wendy was nine, she wrote a story about an orphan girl living on an island. Many years later, she remembered the feeling of writing that story, and started writing Nim’s Island. In 2008 the book became the first Australian children’s book to become a Hollywood feature film.
Author and Visual Artist
Gordon Reece is the author of MICE, the YA/Adult crossover thriller which was published by Allen & Unwin in Australia and throughout the world, including USA, UK, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Russia, Portugal, Brazil, Poland, the Czech Republic and Taiwan. Film rights are under option with Blossom Films and Made Up Stories. Gordon was born in England, studied English Literature at Oxford and worked as a teacher before requalifying as a lawyer. In 1999 he moved to Spain where he began to write and illustrate for children. He moved to Australia in 2005 and currently lives in Northern NSW.
Poet and Author
Adamson’s beautifully written autobiography, Inside Out, first published in hardback in March 2004 by Text Publishing was released in soft cover in July 2006. In this wonderful book, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny, Robert tells the story of his childhood and early adulthood in fifties and sixties Australia. Having spent much of his adolescence in boys’ homes and prisons he is introduced to books and dreams of becoming a writer.
Vicki Bennett is a public speaker, training consultant to business, salesperson and author. Her Brisbane based consultancy, Vicki Bennett Training, has an impressive clientele which includes Government authorities and top corporations. She believes that success on a business level must first begin with success on a personal level.
Michele is a Melbourne based author and freelance writer whose feature articles have been published regularly in Eureka Street magazine since 2001 and also appear in the daily newspapers The Courier Mail (Brisbane), The Age (Melbourne) and The Australian (throughout Australia). She is an experienced public speaker who is booked regularly in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Paul Valent was born in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 1938. He survived the Holocaust in Hungary and in 1949 he and his parents migrated to Australia. Valent studied medicine in Melbourne (1956-1962). He graduated as a psychiatrist in London in 1966. 1967-70 he worked in Israel where he researched the psychological effects of the Six Day War. Back in Australia, from 1971 to 1996 Valent worked as a consultant psychiatrist, mostly in emergency departments at Prince Henry's Hospital and Monash Medical Centre. He has also worked in private practice.
His latest work of non-fiction was published in March 2020 - Heart of Violence: Why People Harm Each Other.
Adult Non-Fiction Author
Kevin Walsh (22.11.57-14.6.22) was known as a garden designer, horticulturist and writer. His latest book, published in 2017, Waterwise Plants and Gardening combined the contents of his best selling books Waterwise Gardening and Waterwise Plants. It included many colour photographs, easy to follow text and diagrams so that you can pick up handy hints, plan changes to your garden's layout, get into the finer points of setting up a tank and using grey water; as well as learn about waterwise plants suited to your gardening conditions. Kevin was a finalist in the 2006 Savewater Awards in the "Individual Action" category, for his contribution to the education of home gardeners and horticultural professionals on waterwise gardening. He had a Graduate Diploma in Applied Science (Horticulture) from the VCAH Burnley, as well as a Trade Certificate in Horticulture and a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a major in writing.
Robert Adamson was appointed Professor of Poetry at University of technology Sydney (UTS) in February 2012. At the Sydney Writers' Festival in May 2016, Adamson launched the historic Australian issue of Poetry, which he edited, with Don Share, editor of Chicago’s Poetry Foundation. He edited Black Inc's Best Australian Poems 2010 and Best Australian Poems 2009. Adamson's latest collection of poetry, Net Needle, was published in May 2015 by Black Inc in Australia and by Flood Editions in the US, and by Bloodaxe Books in the UK in May 2016.
Children’s Author and Poet
Janine Fraser lives on Phillip Island in Victoria. She loves to travel and meet new people, and listen to their stories. She found the story of Abdullah in Malaysia, and the Sarindi stories in Indonesia.
Janine's latest book, Sarah's two Nativities was published by the Black Dog Books Imprint of Walker Books in September 2019
Poet, Non-Fiction Writer
Kevin Hart was born in the UK in 1954, and grew up in London and Brisbane. He was educated at the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne. An award winning poet, he is the Edwin B. Kyle Professor of Christian Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. He has written extensively on critical theory, modern poetry and eighteenth century literature. He is at present working on a memoir.
Kevin Hart's latest book of poetry. Barefoot, was published in 2018 by Notre Dame Press, and has been selected as a finalist in Poetry in the 2018 Foreword INDIES.
Young Adult Author
Robyn Bavati has taught dance and English and worked as a shiatsu therapist. She is an award winning fiction and short-story writer who grew up in Melbourne and as an adult has lived in both Australia and Israel. She is the author of four novels.
Her latest book, A Weekend with Oscar, was published by Walker books in July 2021. Sixteen-year-old Jamie lives with his mother and younger brother Oscar, who has Down syndrome. Though Jamie is still grieving the death of his father, life starts to look up when he meets Zara, the new girl at school. When their mother goes away for the weekend, Jamie volunteers to look after Oscar. But when the weekend is over and their mother doesn't return, Jamie faces the toughest challenge of his life.
"This is a moving story with many twists and turns. Each character and location is vividly created. Jamie is a sympathetic character, kind and compassionate, very easy for readers to warm to. Oscar is totally believable, not a sugar coated version of someone with a disability.
A Weekend with Oscar is an important, powerful YA novel. Highly recommended."
~ Pauline Hosking, Magpies, Vol. 36, Issue No.4, September 2021.
Adult and children’s non-fiction author
Vicki Bennett is an author, artist, filmmaker, writing coach, and corporate trainer. She has written over 10 books and written and co-produced a documentary, Never Forget Australia. Most recently she has written a number of Picture Stroybooks introducing young readers to special stories about WWI and WWII. Vicki's latest children's book, Charlie's War, will be published by Windy Hollow in October 2023. This story is based on true events and is about a young Aboriginal boy, Charlie Bird and two friends who served in WWI. Vicki has been the curator of this narrative from Des Crump, Charlie's great nephew and Charlie's daughter and grand-daughter who support this project. The Promise (2022), was launched at the 80th Anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Milne Bay. It is based on a true story about a Papua New Guinea Nurse who saved the life of an Australian Airman. The bravery of nurse Maiogaru Taulebona was recognised when she was awarded the Royal Australia Air Force Loyalty Medal.
Jayne Lyons is married and a full time working mother, with one daughter. She was born and raised in the UK and has been living in Perth since January 2005. Jayne works for a major Australian corporation offsetting carbon emissions. She has also worked in the developing world and seen first hand the challenges faced by children there. She is passionate about children being given the opportuity to achieve their dreams. Jayne loves talking about books and writing to students and adults of all ages and is available as a speaker.
A second feature film based on her debut novel for young readers, 100% Wolf, titled 200% Wolf, is in production with screenings planned for 2024. The second TV Series, 100% Wolf: The Book of Hath, was premiered on ABC ME and ABC iview in May 2023.
Wendy Orr is an internationally published and award-winning author of more than thirty books, ranging from picture books to adult ficiton. She was born in Canada, and grew up in France, Canada and USA. After high school she studied occupational therapy in England, married an Australian farmer, and moved to Australia. They had a son and daughter, and are now proud grandparents who live on five acres of bush on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne. Wendy's books have been translated into twenty-seven languages.
When Wendy was nine, she wrote a story about an orphan girl living on an island. Many years later, she remembered the feeling of writing that story, and started writing Nim’s Island. In 2008 the book became the first Australian children’s book to become a Hollywood feature film. In 2020, to celebrate 21 years since the publication of the first Nim book, Allen & Unwin have published The Complete Adventures on Nim's Island, including all three Nim stories.
Alan Sunderland is married with three sons and lives in Sydney. He is a retired, award winning journalist who now consults and writes and talks about children’s books and journalism. His latest book is The Ten Rules of Reporting.
He won a Walkley Awards for covering an attack on the Iranian Embassy in Canberra in 1992, and for a series of exclusive reports from East Timor. He has also won the prestigious Council of the Deans of Education Award for education journalism three times in two years, which constitutes something of a record. Alan is an entertaining presenter for schools and libraries. See our Speakers section and Alan's web site at www.alansunderland.com for more information.
Alan writes children’s books for 8-12 year olds. His latest novel for young readers, Six Seconds, was pubished in 2021 and is part of the Scholastic My Australian Story Series. Growing up by the beach in Newcastle in 1989 means footy, sandcastle competitions and school. Michael's dad's a journalist and his small world gets bigger as he starts to pay attention to the news. His interest turns into anxiety and obsession as Michael begins to see the world as a dangerous place that is fast collapsing around him. When the Berlin Wall comes down, most see it as a sign of change and freedom but Michael isn't convinced. But when an earthquake hits his home down, Michael discovers that the worst that can happen is not always as bad as your fears.
Kevin Nemeth is a popular and award winning scriptwriter with over 25 year experience in the industry. He has been awarded five Australian Writers' Guild Awards and has received another nine nominations. He graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Diploma in Dramatic Arts and has received an Australia Council Literature Board Fellowship.
Scriptwriter and Non Fiction Writer
Heather wrote Grasping at Shadows: Balfour the mining town in the Tarkine for the Circular Head Historical Society.
Heather Nimmo’s engaging book is a chain of reminiscences as well as the story of the swift rise and fall of the gallant mining field called Balfour. Of the hundreds of books on the history of our mining fields, this is the only one I know which so neatly combines these two ingredients of history and memoir.
~ Professor Geoffrey Blainey
Heather was born in the UK and immigrated to Australia with her family as a child. She grew up and attended school and university in Adelaide and before settling in Perth, lived in several isolated places around Australia through her involvement in the mining industry. She is at present living with her husband in Adelaide.
Visual Artist and Book Illustrator
Bronwyn is a highly acclaimed Aboriginal artist and designer whose artworks have been collected by galleries and museums throughout Australia, in the USA and Germany. Exhibitions of her art have been shown in Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, The USA, France and Germany. A descendant of the Bunjalung people of New South Wales, Bronwyn grew up in the small country town of Tenterfield. She now lives in Sydney with her three children. She holds a Master of Studio Practice and a Master of Visual Arts from the University of Sydney and currently serves on the boards of Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative, the Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) and the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME).
Visual Artist and Book Illustrator
Ritva Voutila was born in 1946 in Nokia, Finland and now lives in Australia in country Victoria. She spent her first twenty two years in Finland, and came to Australia for the first time in 1968. After two and a half years working in Sydney she returned to Europe, and spent the next ten years in the Canary Islands, Spain. She moved to Australia for the second time in 1981, and since then Australia has been her permanent home. Before becoming a full time artist/illustrator/graphic designer in 1983, she worked as a garden designer, computer programmer/analyst and computer sales representative.
Barry Hill, award winning poet, non-fiction author and essayist, was short listed for the 2009 Melbourne prize for literature. Barry's latest book, Reason and Lovelessness, Essays, Encounters, Reviews 1980-2017 was published in March 2018 by Monash University Press.
"Barry Hill’s collection of essays from the last four decades is commanding and impressive. Few could match his range of subjects: from Tagore to John Berger, Lucian Freud to Christina Stead – all, for the most part, carried off with aplomb."
~ Patrick McCaughey, Australian Book Review
Author and Poet
Doris Brett, born in 1950, is a Clinical Psychologist and writer who is married, has one daughter and lives in Melbourne, Australia. She has published eight books ranging from poetry to novels to therapeutic storytelling for children. Her debut work of middle-grade fiction, Philomella and the Impossible Forest, was published by HardieGrant Books in April 2023.
The Sunday Story Club, published in July 2019 by Pan Macmillan in Australia, is a heart-warming book, including some of the stories told by participants in salons run by the authors.The book also guides the reader through the process of running their own salon, so they too can experience the life-enhancing magic of the salons.
For International rights outside of Australia and New Zealand contact Golvan Arts Management (https://www.golvanarts.com.au/contact-us)
Doris Brett is a clinical psychologist, award-winning poet and critically acclaimed memoirist. She has published seven books, ranging through a variety of genres.
Kerry Cue is the author of over 20 books and has written columns for every major Australian Newspaper. She is also a maths blogger and spoke at the International Congress of Mathematical Education in Hamburg in 2016.
Gail Morgan was the first Australian writer to be published in Virago UK’s new fiction list with 'Promise of Rain'. It was reissued by Heinemann and is available today as an ebook.
Morgan’s career extends from the eighties to current projects including a novel with the working title ‘El Contento Drive, set in Hollywood.
Helen Edwards' debut novel for middle-grade readers, The Rebels of Mount Buffalo, an historical fiction time-slip adventure featuring Guide Alice Manfield, has been acquired by Riveted Press. She is now working on a number of other stories for this age group.
Edwards is an award-winning health and sustainability writer and advocate, and has been blogging since 2001, after founding an online counselling service for people with diabetes, which she ran for 16 years. There are over 140,000 people following her on social media where her platforms are all about inspiring action for people and planet, with kindness and hope. In particular, focusing on our children's future. She has won a number of awards for her work, including being a South Australian State Finalist for Australian of the Year and Telstra Business Woman of the Year in 2016; the bronze award winner for Sustainability in the 2018 AusMumpreneur awards; and the winner of the ZestFest short story competition in Adelaide in 2018.
Shanghai Acrobat: An orphan boy's inspiring true story of courage and determination in revolutionary China was published by Black Inc in Melbourne, Australia, Apollo Publishers in the USA and as an audio book by Wavesound in March and April 2021.
Jingjing Xue was a star performer with the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe after graduating from the Acrobatic School of Shanghai. He was admired as one of China’s best acrobats and, from 1961 to 1987, performed all around the world with the Shanghai Circus. He later trained circus performers with the Shanghai Circus troupe and then at the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne, where he now lives.
Shanghai Acrobat tells the story of an orphan who became an international circus star and a trainer of Chinese and Australian gold-winning acrobats. Set in China from the early years of the Communist era through the turbulent period of the cultural revolution and in Australia, Shanghai Acrobat is a story of hope and perseverance, of overcoming adversity, and finding a place to belong.
Di Walker’s second novel Everything We Keep was published by Scholastic Australia in 2021 and shortlisted in the Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards 2021. It is a 60,000 word length story aimed at the 11+ market, and is contemporary fiction with a strong female protagonist. Agatha has been in and out of foster care for several years, having been removed from her parents because they are hoarders. When the story begins she is about to be returned yet again to her parents. The foster carers are a retired nurse and her naval husband, who is currently away on a ship.
Agatha has a growing realisation that if she stays with her parents she will be consumed by the stuff; she sees herself becoming like her mother. As much as she loves them she knows, to survive, she needs to be away from her parents. As the story unfolds she discovers that it is through friendship and courage the struggle to both save herself and love her parents is a possibility.
Patricia Johnson has been a trail-blazer for women script writers. Her early work as a journalist, in Sydney, then London and Madrid nourished her talent for writing 'true' stories. Her original work for stage and screen has been inspired by real events and her fictional characters interpret these events. Her receipt, as yet unpublished and unproduced, work includes a novel in which the central character is an 8-year-old boy who is a Ward of the State in Queensland, as well as several scripts including a screenplay, Tessie, for a Feature about cloning, science and the Tasmanian Tiger.
Patricia's first full-length stage play, Gladbags, was praised by the Sydney Sunday Telegraph: The playwright's characters are sharply perceived and deftly drawn ... and unforgettably funny; and the Perth Western Mail: Deliriously funny. The success of this play led to Patricia's appointment as the STC's writer in residence, in 1984, where she wrote And the Best Man Makes Three. The Sydney Morning Herald said: "And the Best Man Makes Three" will be one of the most memorable productions of the season. Her script is exemplary. She offers two wonderfully original characters, carefully observed and generously conceived. The dialogue is sparse, purposeful and idiomatic. It is a thoughtful, funny and gently profound play.
Maura is an award-winning Canberra-based author, playwright and filmmaker who creates across art forms for children and adults. Her acclaimed play, Fragments, has been adapted as a hybrid young adult fiction novel and award-winning web series, and is now a feature-length film touring festivals in Australia and overseas. Maura’s latest picture book, What Will You Make Today? (Storytorch Press, June 2023) invites children to explore the many ways they can make a difference in the world. Maura has a Ph.D. in philosophy and has worked as an ethicist, business owner and Editor of Australian Medicine. Maura is working on an exciting new Non Fiction work for young readers to be published in 2024.
Praise for Fragments, the play:
"Fragments…. gives audiences a multi-sensory, embodied experience of what it’s like to be a teenager in distress….. It’s an effective exploration of not quite being able to communicate effectively, and what happens when those around you can’t quite see your reality under fake smiles and photoshopped selfies…..And despite the angst, the script also contains moments of genuine humour, of wit, and of hope. "
Erin Stewart, Review in Arts Hub
Praise for Fragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection, the book (2nd Edition):
"Fragments offers a raw, authentic glimpse into the lives and struggles of young people. The play and web series are essential experiences for any young person searching for the light at the end of their tunnel, and a literary space where they can exist as more than just a fragment."
Jade Breen, Review in Reading Time, 2023