A stand up comedian for well over 28 years, audiences adore Mandy on stage, and around Byron Bay where she lives, Mandy-jokes are as much a part of the vernacular as any surf speak.
Nolan has honed the ability to bring a room to its knees and Bruce Elder once called her ‘one of the country’s wittiest columnists.’
Nolan’s background in journalism, her work as a regular columnist and comedic skills come to the fore as a panel chair having fronted Brisbane’s Ideas Festival, Brisbane Rock N Roll Writers Festival and a regular chair for the Byron Writers Festival.
Nolan performs regularly at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and in 2016 she showcased her talents at the Upfront Gala where the Age raved she was one of the brightest female talents at the festival.
In 2015 Mandy Nolan teamed up with Ellen Briggs to create Women Like Us, a two hour two woman stand up national touring comedy show. The girls continue to travel their smash hit show around the country with their co-authored book Women Like Us launched May 2018.
Nolan’s previous titles include What I Would Do If I Were You, Boyfriend’s We’ve all Had and Shouldn’t have and Home Truths.
Nicole Abadee writes about books for Good Weekend and Australian Book Review and appears regularly as a moderator at writers’ festivals including Sydney Writers’ Festival, Adelaide Writers’ Week and Melbourne Writers’ Festival and other literary events at libraries and bookshops.
The State Library of New South Wales recently commissioned Nicole to do the Reflections Series, in which she interviewed Robert Drewe, Anna Funder and Markus Zusak about their bodies of work.
Nicole also has a books podcast, Books, Books, Books , in which she talks to Australian and international writers such as Helen Garner, Trent Dalton, Kate Grenville and Hilary Mantel about their latest books.
Nicole was a judge for the 2021 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, for the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction.
Antony Funnell is a Walkley Award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and author. He presents the weekly podcast/radio program “Future Tense” on ABC Radio National. He has worked for many of Australia’s leading news and current affairs programs. Antony is co-author of the satirical novel So Far, So Good. His non-fiction work The Future and Related Nonsense was published by Harper Collins. He has contributed to numerous publications including Griffith Review, Australian House & Garden and the anthology Best Australian Science Writing.
Roanna Gonsalves is the author of The Permanent Resident (UWAP) published in India and South Asia as Sunita De Souza Goes To Sydney (Speaking Tiger). The book won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award Multicultural Prize 2018 and was longlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award 2018. Her writing has been compared to the work of Alice Munro and Jhumpa Lahiri. Her four-part radio series On the tip of a billion tongues, commissioned and broadcast by ABC RN’s Earshot program, is a portrayal of contemporary India through its multilingual writers. Roanna is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award. She has been an invited Keynote Speaker and panellist at numerous literary events. She has been teaching and supervising creative writing students of all ages within communities, schools and at New York University Sydney, UNSW, Western Sydney University and Macquarie University. She is a recipient of The Bridge Awards’ inaugural Varuna – Cove Park Writing Residency Scotland. Roanna has a PhD (UNSW) and serves on the Board of Writing NSW. Roanna was born and raised in Mumbai and now lives in Sydney. For more information see https://roannagonsalves.com.au/
Alice Pung is an award-winning Australian writer, editor and lawyer. Her books include the bestselling memoirs Unpolished Gem (2006) and[Her Father’s Daughter (2011), and the novel Laurinda (2014). She is the editor of the anthology Growing Up Asian in Australia (2008), and created the Marly books for Penguin’s Our Australian Girl series (2015).Her latest book is the novel One Hundred Days (2021).
Dr Wendy Were is Executive Director, Thought Leadership and Engagement at the Greater Sydney Commission. Wendy has held many creative leadership roles over the last two decades, including Executive Director at the Australia Council for the Arts, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sydney Writers’ Festival, CEO of West Australian Music, Business Advisor with the Creative Industries Innovation Centre, and Producer at the Perth Festival. Wendy also holds a PhD in Literature, awarded with Distinction.
Sarah Kanowski Sarah co-presents Conversations on ABC Radio and podcast. She previously presented Books and Arts on ABC RN and joined the ABC as a producer on Late Night Live.
Sarah won a Commonwealth Scholarship to study English at the University of Oxford, where she wrote a thesis on the Mosley family. She then spent a year in South America before settling back in Australia. In Hobart she edited the literary magazine Island, until sun and family beckoned her back to Brisbane where she now lives with her husband, three children, and three chooks.
Sarah Armstrong was a journalist at the ABC, where she won a Walkley Award. She now lives in Mullumbimby, which is the setting for her three adult novels. Her first novel for readers aged 8 – 12 (also partly set in this area), BIG MAGIC, will be published by Hardie Grant next year. Sarah teaches creative writing in schools, for the Byron Writers Festival and at Southern Cross University.