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2022 Festival Lineup

We are still adding to the 2022 program, it’s going to be a big one.

Festival Ambassador • Mirandi Riwoe

I am so excited to be the ambassador for this year’s Kyogle Writers Festival. It’s such a privilege to be able to share my love of reading and writing with old and new friends in the beautiful setting of Kyogle. The Kyogle Writers Festival celebrated its first year in 2021 with an intimate and thoroughly thought-provoking festival, and I know that this year it will be even better. After the ups and downs of the last couple of years it will be a comfort to gather again on the lands of the Bundjalung people to share ideas and stories. This year KWF will explore the question: ‘Close to Home?’ which is a perfect theme for a festival that harbours such a lovely sense of connection and community.

Kyogle might be a small town, but it sure packs a punch with the calibre of writers it attracts. I have no doubt that the Kyogle Writers Festival will introduce a whole community of readers to books and writers they will surely love. I am honoured to be part of the 2022 line-up, which also sees the expansion of the writers-in-residence program, open to First Nations writers based anywhere in the country. I hope you will join us at the Kyogle Writers Festival 2022 for a really wonderful, inspiring time.

You get a chance to share the love of reading and writing amongst a wide group, matching a whole community of readers to books and writers they will surely love.

Festival Ambassador ● Mirandi Riwoe

I am so excited to be the ambassador for this year’s Kyogle Writers Festival. It’s such a privilege to be able to share my love of reading and writing with old and new friends in the beautiful setting of Kyogle. The Kyogle Writers Festival celebrated its first year in 2021 with an intimate and thoroughly thought-provoking festival, and I know that this year it will be even better. After the ups and downs of the last couple of years it will be a comfort to gather again on the lands of the Bundjalung people to share ideas and stories. This year KWF will explore the question: ‘Close to Home?’ which is a perfect theme for a festival that harbours such a lovely sense of connection and community.

Kyogle might be a small town, but it sure packs a punch with the calibre of writers it attracts. I have no doubt that the Kyogle Writers Festival will introduce a whole community of readers to books and writers they will surely love. I am honoured to be part of the 2022 line-up, which also sees the expansion of the writers-in-residence program, open to First Nations writers based anywhere in the country. I hope you will join us at the Kyogle Writers Festival 2022 for a really wonderful, inspiring time.

You get a chance to share the love of reading and writing amongst a wide group, matching a whole community of readers to books and writers they will surely love.

Adele Wessell

Adele is Associate Professor of History at Southern Cross University. Her research focus is food history, in particular the Northern Rivers. Adele is editor of Locale: Pacific Journal of Regional Food Studies. Her latest publication is Unsettling the History of Macadamia Nuts in Settler Colonial Food Cultures, forthcoming in 2022.

Andrew Spencer

Andrew Spencer is a local writer, poet, editor and producer. He is the director of Raised Ink Press, a community based creative support service. Andy is a passionate advocate for local writers and loves to share their works on community radio and at live local performance events. Andy believes we can all catch the elevator to the top together. He produces the White Lines Podcast and curates both writing and poetry events. In his other life, Andy is a social worker.

Alex Wisser

Alex Wisser is an artist and creative producer living and working in regional NSW in the town of Kandos.  His practice involves large scale, long term projects within a cross disciplinary, community engaged practice exploring the potential of art to participate in everyday cultural contexts such as Cementa Festival and the artist cooperative The Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation.

Barbara Sweeney

Barbara has co-owned a country café, worked as a food consultant in a boutique hotel in Italy, and is a judge at the annual National Honey Show. She has written about food, farmers, and restaurants for more than twenty years, spending a very happy decade with Country Style magazine. Barbara is also the instigator of several creative food projects, including the annual food writers’ festival Food & Words. In March this year, Barbara published the first of a series of small cookbooks, One Dozen Scones, which aims to bring people together for afternoon tea and raise money to support the work of Psychs on Bikes, a group of mental health professionals who raise awareness of mental health issues in rural and remote communities and who also have a passion for motorcycles.

Barnaby Smith

Barnaby Smith is a writer, editor, critic, poet and musician. His poetry, arts criticism and journalism have appeared in myriad publications in both Australia and around the world, with recent poems in the UK’s Blackbox Manifold, Orbis and Marble and Australian Poetry Journal. He won the 2018 Scarlett Award for art writing, and recently undertook a Lamplight Poetry Residency at Varuna. As a singer-songwriter he records music as Brigadoon and in 2020 released his debut album, Itch Factor. An album of lo-fi, DIY, quite miserable folk songs, the LP was named Pick of the Week by the Sydney Morning Herald and awarded a five-star review, and received widespread radio play – to his considerable surprise. After six fragrant years in the Northern Rivers he now lives in the Blue Mountains with his partner and two sons.

Belinda Eslick

Belinda Eslick is an academic and writer. She works at the University of Queensland, where she teaches gender studies and feminist philosophy. Her research and teaching interests include feminist philosophy and theory, including ecofeminist and decolonial perspectives in feminist and gender studies. She writes about women’s political practices, ecofeminism, reproductive labour, and feminist perspectives on ‘the home’.

Belinda Jeffery

Belinda lives, cooks, and teaches in the beautiful Northern Rivers hinterland – a region known for its wonderful farmers markets. It’s these markets and the produce in them which informs and inspires the dishes she cooks. She has a wonderful knack of creating recipes for food you genuinely want to eat, and a warm, distinctive writing style that makes you feel as though she’s standing beside you in the kitchen as you cook. This award-winning author has worked as a chef, television food presenter, freelance writer, restaurant reviewer and cooking teacher. Belinda’s books include Belinda Jeffery’s Collected Recipes, the immensely popular Mix & Bake, The Country Cookbook, Desserts, Utterly Delicious Simple Food, The Salad Book, and the newest addition to her books, A Year of Sundays.

Ben Gilmour

Benjamin Gilmour is a local author and filmmaker. His Screen Australia-supported 2019 feature film Jirga was selected for the Toronto Film Festival and became Australia’s official entry into that years’ Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film. Gilmour won a NSW Premier’s Award for the screenplay. His other critically acclaimed features Paramedico and Son of a Lion also appeared at various international festivals, including Berlinale. He is the author of five books, including Warrior Poets, Paramedico, and The Gap published by Penguin, which has been optioned by a leading Australian production company to be made into a TV series. He lives in Bangalow.

Ben Walter

Ben Walter is one of Australia’s most widely published contemporary writers of literary short stories. His fiction has been produced for Radio National, and has appeared internationally in Lithub and Dark Mountain, as well as a broad range of Australian publications, including Meanjin, Overland, The Saturday Paper, New Australian Fiction and Westerly. He has been shortlisted in the Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Prizes four consecutive times, and co-edited Breathing Space, a recent anthology of environmental writing. He works as the fiction editor at Island.

Britt Portelli

Britt has always loved physical movement and performing. She graduated from the National Institute of Circus Arts in 2010. From 2011 – 2017 Britt was a full-time ensemble member with CIRCA Contemporary Circus. Whilst at CIRCA Britt was part of the creative ensemble for many shows and spent the majority of her years touring and performing internationally.
Now living in Murwillumbah, she is navigating her greatest balancing act of raising two little humans whilst creating, connecting, and collaborating.

Brooke Maddison

Brooke Maddison is a writer and editor working on unceded Turrbal and Yuggera land. She is completing a Master of Writing, Editing and Publishing at The University of Queensland and is the founder and co-editor of Crackle, the university’s anthology of creative writing published by Corella Press. Her writing has been published in Antithesis, Kill Your Darlings and Queer as Fiction, among others. In 2021 she was awarded a Next Chapter fellowship, a University of Queensland Press mentorship and an HW Fisher scholarship with Curtis Brown Creative London. Originally from Lismore, she lives in Brisbane with her son.

Chelsea Watego

Chelsea Watego is a Munanjahli and South Sea Islander woman with over twenty years of experience working within Indigenous health as a health worker and researcher. She is a prolific writer and public intellectual, having written for IndigenousX, Meanjin, The Guardian, and The Conversation. She is a board member of Inala Wangarra, Director of the Institute for Collaborative Race Research, and was one half of the Wild Black Women radio show, and she is a proud mum to five beautiful children. Her debut book Another Day in the Colony was shortlisted in two categories for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

Chris Mansell

Chris Mansell’s latest publications are 101 Quads and Foxline. Her previous collections include Spine Lingo: New and Selected Poems, Schadenvale Road, Seven Stations Letters, The View from a Beach, Love Poems, The Fickle Brat, Day Easy Sunlight Fine and Mortifications & Lies. Chris has won the Queensland Premier’s Award for Poetry, the Amelia Chapbook Award, the Meanjin Dorothy Porter Poetry Prize, and has been shortlisted for the National Book Council Award and the NSW Premier’s Award.

Dan Ilic

‘Investigative Humourist’ Dan Ilic is one of Australia’s most prolific comedy voices, known for his work across TV, film, radio and stage – both at home and abroad.

Host of the popular podcast and live comedy show A Rational Fear, Dan brings together industry leaders, journalists, comedians and politicians, to use comedy to explore big issues such as climate change, press freedom and the intersection of culture and the internet. A Rational Fear won Best Comedy Podcast at the Australian Podcast Awards in 2020.

David Hallet

Winner of the 2019 Reciter of the Year Award, twice winner of the Poetry Olympics at the Sydney Writers Festival, plus the Woodford Story award and Byron Bay Writers Festival poetry prize, David Hallett is currently featuring poems from his fourth collection titled Out of the Blue addressing issues of the spin of politics and media, climate chaos, love, shopping and our maddening digital world. David’s poems remain on the cutting edge of contemporary Oz poetry.

Delia Falconer

Delia Falconer is the author of two novels and one work of creative non-fiction. Her first novel, the bestselling The Service of Clouds, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, and the Australian Booksellers’ Book of the Year. Her second novel, The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her most recent book is Sydney, a personal history of her hometown, which was shortlisted for seven national awards in history, biography and non-fiction and won the 2011 ‘Nib’ CAL/Waverley Library Award for outstanding research.

Dettra Rose

Dettra Rose is an award-winning flash fiction author. She wrote her first flash in 2018, which won the inaugural Australian Writers’ Centre Furious Fiction prize and a love affair was born. Since then, her pieces have won and been placed in many international competitions and widely published online and in print. Her first collection, The Rumba of Second Chance, is available in April. Dettra is passionate about inspiring others to craft powerful stories in tiny wordcounts. She is an experienced educator and workshop facilitator. Her love for flash is infectious.

Ellen van Neerven

Ellen van Neerven is the award-winning author of Heat and Light (UQP, 2014), Comfort Food (UQP, 2016) and Throat (UQP, 2020). They belong to the Mununjali people of the Scenic Rim.

Emily Brugman

Emily Brugman grew up in Broulee, on the far south coast of NSW, on the lands of the Yuin people. Her writing has previously appeared in literary journals, magazines and anthologies, including Tracks, the UTS Writers’ Anthology and Lines to the Horizon: Australian surf writing. She currently lives in Mullumbimby, on Bundjalung country, and works at Byron Writers Festival. The Islands, her first novel, is inspired by her family’s experiences living and working on the Abrolhos Islands, WA, between 1959 and 1972.

Fiona Robertson

Fiona Robertson is a writer and doctor. Her stories have been published in Australia and the UK, and have been shortlisted for international competitions. She was a finalist in the Richell Prize in 2018, and won the Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer in the 2020 Queensland Literary Awards. Her short story collection, If You’re Happy, was published in February 2022 by University of Queensland Press.

Frank Lopez

Francisco Lopez is a Brooklyn-born senior producer who wrote and produced the documentary series Who is Daniel Johns? for Spotify, and The Last Outlaws for Impact Studios, UTS. Who is Daniel Johns? features the lead singer of Silverchair, who shot to worldwide fame at the age of fifteen. The mental health sensitivities and high-profile interviewees (including Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman Billy Corgan) required a delicate balance of skills to bring the series to life. Frank has a decade of experience as a New York sound engineer, working with recording artists such as Sonic Youth and celebrities such as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

Harry Saddler

Harry Saddler is a Melbourne-based writer. His writing about the interactions between people, animals, and the environment has been published in The Lifted Brow, Meanjin, and The Guardian, among others. His book The Eastern Curlew: the extraordinary life of a migratory bird was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards in 2019. His most recent book is Questions Raised by Quolls: fatherhood and conservation in an uncertain world.

Hayley Katzen

When South African Jewish lawyer Hayley Katzen moved to her girlfriend’s cattle property in the Northern Rivers after the devastating 2002 bushfire, she hoped at last to find home. Replacing lecture halls and law reform with castrating calves, shovelling manure, fire-fighting and anti-gas blockades, Hayley learned too about the art of belonging in a small community. During and since the 2019 bushfires, which struck while Hayley was undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer, she has worked on communications, creative recovery and social cohesion projects for her bushfire-affected community, and as a Clarence Valley co-designer on the Fire to Flourish program. Her short stories and essays have won awards and been published in Australia and internationally, and her debut memoir Untethered was published in 2020.

Hugh Murray & Grace Hickey

Hugh and Grace spend their time travelling across Australia, pushing a half-tonne piano down back roads and side alleys. The true stories Grace and Hugh encounter provoke new songs and musical collaboration, making for a rollicking visual and sonic celebration of Australian culture. Grace and Hugh’s biggest storytelling adventure to date culminates with Up Armidale Road. This feature-length film pays tribute to the resilience and creativity of the Nymboida bushfire survivors, and showcases the importance of music and human connection… when everything else has burned away. Grace and Hugh are currently touring free screenings of Up Armidale Road to bushfire-affected communities around Australia.

Jackie Huggins

Jackie Huggins, a Bidjara/Birri Gubba Juru woman from Queensland, is an historian and author with over four decades of knowledge and experience in Aboriginal Affairs. She has worked across community, government and non-government fields and is well versed in leadership, language and governance. Her positions held include Co-Chair Treaty Advancement Committee, Co-Chair National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Reconciliation Australia, Stolen Generations National Inquiry, and Chair Domestic Violence Council Qld. She is Patron of Reconciliation Qld, NATSIWA, First Nations Australia Writer’s Network, Black Rainbow, Sisters Inside. Jackie’s desire is to see true justice for her people.

Jane Fuller

Jane has worked extensively in the Northern Rivers region as an independent producer, placemaking producer for the Lismore Quad, festival producer for the Boomerang Festival — a Bluesfest initiative, and programming manager for NORPA. From 2014 to 2018, Jane was the general manager for BlakDance – the national peak organisation for First Nations dance. Other roles have included executive producer for Australian Performing Arts Market, associate producer for the Australian Cultural Festival, Australian Embassy, Jakarta and Executive Producer for the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, Bali.

Jane Laverty

Jane Laverty is a self-confessed regionalist with a personal mission and passion for sustainable economic development and quality community and business engagement in the Northern Rivers.  Jane is the Regional Manager for Business NSW (NSW Business Chamber) with over 25 years experience in economic development, placemaking, project management and engagement roles which she draws upon to support businesses to maximise their potential.

Jarrah Dundler

Jarrah Dundler was raised on Bundjalung country in Kyogle where he has returned to raise his family and write. His debut novel Hey Brother a coming-of-age story set in and around a fictional version of his hometown – was shortlisted for the 2017 Vogel award. Jarrah’s shorter form fiction and non-fiction have appeared in fourW, WOB and Northerly. He is currently working on a second novel, a kids’ short story collection, and a non-fiction book and audio-documentary about the 2019-2020 bushfires on the Northern Rivers.

Jasmine Phillips

Jasmine Phillips is the busy bee behind Creative Culture Australia, including design and web studio Wild Honey Creative (winner of the 2022 Regional Business Award for Business & Professional Services), regional co-working space The Business Hive, and Kyogle Culture Magazine. Jasmine grew up in the Northern Rivers, spending the first half of her career as a radio and television journalist with ABC, WIN, and the Austereo network, before sidestepping into all things design, marketing, and websites. Like most creatives, she’s tried her hand at many paths, at times working as a dance teacher, children’s entertainer, backup singer, visual artist, and body painter. Jasmine is always up for a deep-diving conversation about creativity, good business, and building cultural capacity in our regional areas.

Jazz Money

Jazz Money is a poet and artist of Wiradjuri heritage, currently based on sovereign Gadigal land. Her poetry has been published widely and reimagined as murals, installations, digital interventions and film. Jazz’s poetry has been recognised with the David Unaipon Award, the Aunty Kerry Reed-Gilbert Poetry Prize, the University of Canberra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Poetry Prize, a Copyright Agency First Nations Fellowship and a First Nations Emerging Career Award from the Australia Council for the Arts. how to make a basket is her first book. 

Jean Hinchliffe

Jean Hinchliffe is a seventeen-year-old climate activist and a lead organiser within School Strike 4 Climate. She campaigns for legislative action against the sourcing and usage of fossil fuels, along with pushing for Australia to become fully carbon neutral. Jean is passionate about social, political, and environmental issues and began her activism at age thirteen, when she volunteered with the Vote Yes campaign for marriage equality. Since then, she has also volunteered with organisations such as GetUp and Stop Adani. Jean’s first book, Lead the Way: How to change the world from a teen activist and school striker, was published by Pantera Press in 2021.

Jenny Fraser

Jenny Fraser is a digital native working within a fluid screen-based practice, celebrated internationally. Her old people hail from Migunberri Yugambeh Country in the Scenic Rim, the Northern Bundjalung, on the border district between South East Queensland and the NSW Northern Rivers region. Her current focus is healing work with Bush Foods, Plant Medicine, Flower Essences and other Body Work, using the raw energy of plants, helping people to help themselves and revitalising ancient practices. Dr Jenny Fraser has a professional background in Art and Media Education spanning over three decades. She also runs Solid Screen Retreats and maintains a creative practice alongside lecturing and publishing.

Jessie Cole

Jessie Cole grew up in an isolated valley in northern New South Wales and still lives in her childhood home. Her first novel, Darkness on the Edge of Town, was shortlisted for the 2013 ALS Gold Medal and longlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award. Her second novel, Deeper Water, was released in 2014 to critical acclaim. Staying, a memoir, was longlisted for the 2019 Colin Roderick Award and shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction. Her latest work, Desire: A Reckoning, will be out in August.

Julianne Schultz

Professor Emeritus Julianne Schultz AM FAHA is the Chair of The Conversation. She was the publisher and founding editor of Griffith Review and is Professor Emeritus of Media and Culture at Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research. She is an acclaimed author of Reviving the Fourth Estate, published by Cambridge, Steel City Blues, Penguin, and the librettos to the award-winning operas Black River and Going Into Shadows. Julianne became a Member of the Order of Australia for services to journalism and the community, and an honorary fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities the following year. She has served on the board of directors of the ABC, Grattan Institute and Copyright Agency, and chaired the Australian Film TV and Radio School, Queensland Design Council and National Cultural Policy Reference Group.

Kaitlyn Sawrey

Kaitlyn Sawrey is an award-winning journalist and host of the hit documentary podcast Who is Daniel Johns? for Spotify and The Last Outlaws for Impact Studios, UTS. Previously she was the co-founder and senior producer behind the hit podcast Science Vs for Gimlet Media/Spotify in NYC. Months before Covid emerged, Kaitlyn published a fact-based fiction episode (featuring interviews with Dr Anthony Fauci) about what would happen if a pandemic hit. She was the youngest Executive Producer of Hack on triple j and has more than sixteen years experience producing audio.

Katinka Smit

Katinka Smit is a local poet, writer and performer. She is fascinated by lived realities and is particularly interested in examining assumptions through the prism of place and the events that have shaped them. As a culture maker, she is passionate about the necessary, ongoing conversation about the founding of present-day Australia, and the ‘where to from here’. Her work is published in Westerly, Northerly, Paradiso, and various print anthologies, online journals and youtube. She is a poetry mentor for youth with Poets Out Loud in Murwillumbah and was a finalist in the 2018 Nimbin Poetry World Cup.

Krissy Kneen

Krissy Kneen is the author of the memoir Affection, the novels Steeplechase, Triptych, The Adventures of Holly White and the Incredible Sex Machine, and the Stella Prize shortlisted An Uncertain Grace. They are also the author of the Thomas Shapcott Award winning poetry collection Eating My Grandmother. Krissy was the 2020 Copyright Agency Non-fiction Fellow and the resulting book, Fat Girl Dancing, will be published in 2023. Krissy has previously written and directed broadcast television documentaries with SBS and ABC TV and is developing a TV series for STAN. Their latest book is the memoir The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen.

Liam Ferney

Liam Ferney’s most recent collection Hot Take, published by Hunter Publishing, was shortlisted for the Judith Wright Calanthe Award. His previous volume Content was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. He is a public affairs manager and all-time games record holder for the New Farm Traktor Collective. He lives in Brisbane with his wife and daughter.

Libby Hathorn

Libby Hathorn attests to the power of poetry in all her writing from picture books to YA novels. Her books have been adapted for stage and screen including Hallmark’s Thunderwith which starred Judy Davis.  She was recently awarded the Lady Cutler for her services to Children’s Literature. She has made short videos on the lives of poets, as well as an animation about a hearing impaired child What Rosie Hears. Recent work includes CBCA Picture Book of the Year No! Never! published by Hachette, The Best Cat, the Est Cat and We Children and the Narrow Road to the Deep North.

Luca Collins

Luca Collins is the publishing pen name of Colin Lucre. Three volumes of children’s plays sold internationally as The Big Black Drama Attack were produced in the 1990’s under the name Colin Lucre and more recently Writer a ‘how to’ manual for emerging writers under his pen name. These are available as e-books and print on demand through IngramSpark. 

He completed a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Technology in 2018. His latest novel, a hybrid of historical fiction and magic realism set in Poland in 1944 and 45, has been in development for five years and is nearing completion.

Lynda Hawryluk

Dr Lynda Hawryluk is a Senior Lecturer in Writing at Southern Cross University where she is the Course Coordinator of the Associate Degree of Creative Writing. Lynda lectures in Writing units and supervises Honours, Masters and PhD students. An experienced writing workshop facilitator, Lynda has presented workshops for community and writing groups in Queensland and Canada. She is the immediate past President / Chair of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, a Committee Member of the Byron Writers Festival and has been published in a variety of academic and creative publications.

Lynette Lounsbury

Lynnette Lounsbury is a writer, filmmaker and lecturer. She lives in Sydney, Australia and is the author of Afterworld (Allen & Unwin) and We Ate the Road like Vultures (Inkerman & Blunt), and the producer of The Meaning of Vanlife (Stan Originals). She has a Phd in Speculative Fiction and teaches English literature and Creative Writing at Avondale University.

Mandy Beaumont

Mandy is an award-winning writer, academic and book reviewer living in Melbourne. Her debut novel The Furies, is out now and her critically acclaimed collection of short stories, Wild, Fearless Chests, was shortlisted for the Richell Prize and the Dorothy Hewett Award, and a story from the collection won the MOTH International Short Story Award. She teaches at Griffith University in Creative Writing and is also a researcher at RMIT where she is engaging, through fiction, with the work of Simone de Beauvoir.

Mark Olive

As a Bundjalung man, Mark’s family originated from the Northern Rivers region in NSW. Born in Wollongong, he became interested in cooking as a child, watching his mother and aunts prepare meals. Also known as ‘The Black Olive’ Mark has been a chef for over 30 years and his passion for fusing native food and culture with contemporary lifestyle cooking has led to an international profile specialising in gourmet Australian Indigenous Cuisine. He created and starred in his own television series, Outback Café, which can still be seen internationally, and as a host on SBS’s The Chef’s Line. He has cooked on the Oprah Winfrey show and for dignitaries around the world. Mark is passionate about the land and all that grows from it, he is an expert in native fauna and the food and medicinal purpose produced from them.

Martine Kropkowski

Martine Kropkowski is a writer and researcher whose work has appeared across literary journals, magazines and anthologies. She was awarded the UQP Writing Mentorship in 2020 for her manuscript This Wretched Self. Martine teaches professional and creative writing at The University of Queensland, where she also investigates the role of fanatical language in fiction that features cult-like organisations.

Megan Albany

Megan Albany is a proud Kalkadoon woman who lives with her ten year old son, husband and moodle in the Northern Rivers of NSW. Her debut novel, The Very Last List of Vivian Walker, was published by Hachette Australia in February 2022 and will also be released in the UK in August 2022.

No stranger to the written word, Megan has spent twenty years working as a journalist, editor, scriptwriter and songwriter/composer. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and was recently granted a research scholarship to complete her Doctorate of Philosophy in Creative Writing at QUT in Brisbane. Megan has taught literacy in the Pitjantjatjaran lands as well as teaching creative writing as part of the Disadvantaged Schools Program.

Melaina Faranda

From a barefoot wild story-loving kid exploring the creeks and mountains of the living green citadel of the Tweed Caldera, Melaina Faranda grew to write over fifty young adult and children’s books published nationally and internationally by major publishers who keep swallowing each other to get bigger. That’s the out-loud public Google-it version of her writing career, but she’s equally passionate about teaching and working with young people, helping to foster their creative talent, and be inspired by infinite possibilities. A highly engaging speaker, her workshops and presentations at literature festivals, writers’ centres, and in schools throughout Australia, have resulted in rave feedback and repeat invitations.

Melissa Lucashenko

Melissa Lucashenko is a leading novelist from Queensland. A Bundjalung woman, her work has been awarded the Queensland Deloitte Literary Prize, the Nita B. Kibble Award, and the Victorian Premier’s Award for Indigenous Writing. In 2019 Too Much Lip won Australia’s premier writing prize, the Miles Franklin and the Queensland Award for a Work of State Significance.

Melissa is also a Walkley Award winner for her Griffith Review essay Sinking Below Sight: Down and Out in Brisbane and Logan, and a founding member of prisoner human rights organisation Sisters Inside.

Melissa writes about ordinary Australians and the extraordinary lives they lead.

Merinda Dutton

Merinda Dutton is a Gumbaynggirr and Barkindji woman, emerging writer, First Nations critic, and the co-founder of Blackfulla Bookclub, an online community for First Nations stories. In 2019 Dutton was recognised for her legal aid work with Aboriginal communities and awarded the National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year

Michael Burge

Michael Burge is an author and journalist who lives at Deepwater in the New England region. After graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Art, he undertook media studies in the United Kingdom. His non-fiction debut Questionable Deeds: Making a stand for equal love lifted the lid on familial and institutional homophobia in Australia during the marriage equality campaign. Michael has written, edited and broadcast for Fairfax Media, Guardian Australia, Intermedia, United News & Media, and Margo Kingston’s NoFibs. He is director of the annual High Country Writers Festival in Glen Innes. Tank Water is his first novel.

Monica Davidson

Monica is Doyenne of Creative Plus Business (C+B). She is the boss, and also very bossy. She is the lead business advisor for C+B, their key consultant and conducts most of their workshops. If left alone for too long she also comes up with most of the company’s zaniest new ideas. Monica loves working with more experienced businesses and arts organisations. She is C+Bs keynote specialist and the loudest person in the office. She adores salty language, and has no idea where the tea towels live, even after all this time.

Mykaela Saunders

Mykaela Saunders is a Koori and Lebanese writer, teacher, community researcher and the editor of This All Come Back Now, the world’s first anthology of blackfella speculative fiction, forthcoming with UQP in 2022. Mykaela is a 2021 Next Chapter recipient, and has won the Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, the Oodgeroo Noonuccal Indigenous Poetry Prize, the National Indigenous Story Award, the Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Prize for Nonfiction and the University of Sydney’s Sister Alison Bush Graduate Medal for Indigenous research. Of Dharug descent, and working-class and queer, Mykaela belongs to the Tweed Goori community.

Nadia Johansen

Nadia is a Gungarri writer and editor from Mitchell in south-west Queensland who is living on unceded Jagera and Turrubal land. Working at black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing project, Nadia gets to share the magic, power and resilience of First Nations storytelling with the world. She is particularly interested in Indigenous Futurism and how the stories we tell shape our past, present and futures. Nadia is in the final year of studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing.

Nancy Cushing

Nancy Cushing is Associate Professor in History at the University of Newcastle on beautiful Awabakal and Worimi country. An environmental historian whose interests range from coal mining to human-other animal relations, she was co-editor of Animals Count: How Population Size Matters in Animal-Human Relations and is currently taking a slight diversion by writing a book on the history of crime in Australia.  Nancy is on the executives of the Australian Aotearoa NZ Environmental History Network and the Australian Historical Association and the NSW Working Party for the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Nick Kelly

Dr Nick Kelly is a Senior Lecturer in Interaction Design at the Queensland University of Technology in the School of Design. He is an academic specialising in design-led collaboration with all kinds of interesting folk. His teaching and writing look at the intersection of design and education. He enjoys playing trumpet with the Brisbane Riff Raff Marching Band.

Odette Nettleton

Odette Nettleton is a Kyogle based comedian. She has performed alongside Mel Buttle and Ellen Briggs. Elton John once kissed her on the mouth but it wasn’t creepy.

Patti Miller

Patti Miller – author of ten books including best-selling writing texts Writing Your Life, The Memoir Book and Writing True Stories; a novel, Child; and six books of creative nonfiction, The Last One Who Remembers, Whatever The Gods Do, the award-winning The Mind of a Thief, Ransacking Paris, The Joy of High Place and her latest, True Friends. Her personal essays and articles are published regularly in national newspapers, magazines and literary and art journals. She teaches memoir and creative nonfiction around Australia and gives memoir courses in Paris and London each year.

Paul Wilson

Paul grew up on a dairy farm at Woodlawn near Lismore.  After studying Agricultural Science degree at University of New England in 1988, he worked with a team to develop computer software for irrigation management, and at one of Australia’s pioneering businesses that grew beneficial insects for biological control systems. Along with his partner Kerry, he operates Nimbin Valley Dairy which produces goat and cow milk cheeses sold into delis and restaurants. Their current focus is regenerative farming and as such are implementing a soil carbon management system, generating on farm energy, and eliminating chemical fertilisers.

Peter Mitchell

Living on Wijabul/Wia-bul Country, Peter Mitchell writes memoir, short fiction, poetry and literary criticism. His writing has appeared in international and national print and online journals and anthologies. His poetry chapbooks are Conspiracy of Skin (Ginninderra Press, 2018) & The Scarlet Moment (Picaro Press, 2009). Conspiracy of Skin was Highly Commended in the 2019 Wesley Michel Wright Prize for Poetry.

Richard Tipping

Richard Kelly Tipping was born in Adelaide and studied humanities at Flinders University and the University of Technology Sydney. He runs a gallery of Art and Poetics in Maitland, NSW has published ten collections of verbal and visual poems and is best known as an artist through many exhibitions in Australia, Europe and the USA. Examples of his sculptures and prints are held in public collections including the Australian National Gallery Canberra, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the British Museum. Tipping explores the physical qualities of language and making art with words, getting poetry off the page and into the street.

Rohan Wilson

Rohan Wilson is a writer, teacher, and critic. He is the author of three novels, The Roving Party, To Name Those Lost, and Daughter of Bad Times. His work has won numerous awards, including the 2011 The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award, the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Award, and the 2016 Adelaide Festival Award. He lectures in Creative Writing at QUT. His academic research has focused on fiction’s difficult relationship with history and the ways in which the Australian novel imagines its connection to the past.

Sarah Armstrong

Sarah was a journalist at the ABC and has written four novels, including Salt Rain which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Big Magic is her first novel for young readers and its sequel will be out in 2023. She lives in Mullumbimby.

Sarah Daley

Sarah Daley is a Kyogle local who works with the Mijung Jarjums Kids in Mind program at Social Futures. Sarah has supported community publishing with projects in Timor-Leste and in Kyogle with the local KidZ Space group.

Sarah Temporal

Sarah Temporal is a prize-winning poet, writer, mother, and educator from Murwillumbah NSW. Her work has been published in Best of Australian Poems, Cordite, Meniscus and others, and shortlisted twice for the Arts Queensland XYZ Prize for Innovation in Spoken-Word. Sarah created a regional arts initiative, Poets Out Loud, through which she facilitates a youth slam program, workshops, open mic nights and more. She performs with Britt Portelli in the circus-poetry duo ‘The Birth Suite’.

Stuart Cooke

Stuart Cooke is a poet, scholar and translator. His latest books include the poetry collection Lyre, University of Western Australia Press, and a translation of Gianni Siccardi’s The Blackbird, published by Vagabond. A new chapbook, Land Art, has just been published by Calanthe. Stuart grew up in Sydney and Hobart but now lives in Brisbane, on Turrbal country, where he lectures in creative writing and literary studies at Griffith University. He is a current recipient of the BR Whiting Residency in Rome, Italy.

Tina Wilson

Tina Wilson is an author and illustrator with a passion for books. She founded WA’s national portraiture prize, the Lester Prize, in 2017 and was its executive director for ten years, as it grew into Australia’s third-richest portrait prize. In 2013 she was awarded the City of Perth Premier’s Active Citizenship Award for her contribution to the arts. Tina now lives in a rainforest in the Northern Rivers of NSW and moves between painting, drawing, writing, curating … and drinking chai! Afloat in Venice is the first book in her Monkey’s Great Adventure series.

Vincent Stead

Vincent Stead is a local poet who has won People’s Choice Award at the Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup twice and was People’s Choice at the Lismore Poetry Cup in 2019. He has been Feature Poet at a number of events in NSW and QLD and regularly performs around the Northern Rivers. Vincent runs the Poet’s RADIO SHOW from 12 – 2pm Sundays on 92.9 RIVER FM which features all types of poetry and promotes poetry events, with a Facebook group ‘Poet’s RADIO SHOW Group’ for poets to share their work on air.

Wendell Hussey

Wendell is a writer, podcaster and content creator at The Betoota Advocate. Deciding against treading the well-worn path of traditional news organisations, Wendell left a role at the Daily Telegraph to pursue a career at The Advocate. He’s broken numerous Walkley snubbed stories, knocked out the successful podcast week on week for years and been involved in various other projects.

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