Byron Writers Festival 2019 features a stellar line-up of more than 140 writers and thinkers spanning a mix of genres including fiction, memoir, crime, environment, society, politics, poetry, art, comedy and music.
Nicole Abadee is the books writer for The Australian Financial Review Magazine. Nicole also works with writers, helping them to polish their work pre-publication.
Sarah Armstrong has written three novels. Before moving to Byron Bay to write, she was a journalist at the ABC, where she won a Walkley Award.
Dennis Atkins is a freelance writer and commentator. After a long career as political and national affairs editor for The Courier Mail, he now writes book reviews, news for The Saturday Paper and appears regularly on ABC TV's Insiders.
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Amal Awad is an author and screenwriter. Amal is the author of several books. Her latest, Fridays with My Folks, deals with ageing in Australia.
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Sunil Badami is a writer and broadcaster, who’s written for most major Australian publications and appears regularly on ABC Radio and TV
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Dr Bronwyn Bancroft is a Bundjalung woman and multi-disciplinary artist who has served on many arts organisation Boards. She paints, curates, creates public art and illustrates and writes books.
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Paul Barclay is a Walkley Award winning journalist and broadcaster on ABC Radio National with an appetite for ideas and in-depth analysis and discussion.
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Maxine Beneba Clarke
Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian writer and poet of Afro-Caribbean descent. She has authored numerous books and currently writes for The Saturday Paper.
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Tony Birch is the author of Shadowboxing, Father's Day, Blood, The Promise, Ghost River, Common People and The White Girl. He was awarded the Patrick White Literary Prize in 2017.
John Birmingham has written for Rolling Stone, Playboy, Long Bay Prison News, Quarterly Essay and The Monthly. His published works include He Died With A Falafel In His Hand.
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Jesse Blackadder is an author of novels for adults and children, a freelance writer, passionate youth literacy ambassador, and adventurer. Her latest novel is Sixty Seconds.
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Paul Bongiorno is a columnist with The Saturday Paper. He has been reporting federal politics as a member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery Canberra for the past 31 years.
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Behrouz Boochani is a celebrated writer incarcerated on Manus Island whose book No Friend But The Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison won the 2019 Victorian Prize for Literature.
Phil Brown is a Brisbane journalist, poet and author. He is currently Arts Editor of The Courier-Mail. His latest book is The Kowloon Kid.
SOLID AIR EVENT
Pascalle Burton is an experimental poet, artist and performer with an interest in conceptual art and cultural theory. Her collection About the Author is Dead was shortlisted for the 2019 Mary Gilmore Award.
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Jennifer Byrne is a senior journalist and broadcaster, the founding host of ABC TV’s Book Club who presents BBC’s Mastermind.
Barbara Carmichael is the author of the memoir I’ve Come to Say Goodbye. Barbara lives in Byron Bay.
Isobelle Carmody is one of Australia’s most highly regarded and prominent authors of fantasy with a host of award-winning novels to her credit.
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Gianrico Carofiglio is one of Italy’s bestselling authors. His books have sold more than five million copies in Italy and have been translated into twenty-seven languages.
Gabrielle Chan has had a career in political journalism that has spanned over 30 years. Her latest book is Rusted Off: Why Country Australia is Fed Up
Uncle Jack Charles is an Australian legend: survivor of the Stolen Generation, Indigenous elder, actor, musician, and activist. His upcoming memoir is titled Born-again Blackfella.
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Melanie Cheng’s much-anticipated first novel is Room for a Stranger, out in May. Her short-story collection Australia Day has won two Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.
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Jennifer Clement is President of PEN International. She is the author of Widow Basquiat, four novels, several poetry collections and is co-founder of the San Miguel Poetry Week, Mexico.
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Matthew Condon is a prize-winning Australian journalist and author of several novels and non-fiction works. His latest book is The Night Dragon.
Maddison Connaughton is the editor of The Saturday Paper. She has twice been nominated for the Walkley Award for Young Australian Journalist of the Year.
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Rev Tim Costello AO, is one of Australia’s most respected community leaders and a sought after voice on social justice issues, leadership and ethics.
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Sophie Cunningham is the author of five books, the most recent of which is City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death & the Need for a Forest.
Marele Day is the author of seven novels including the highly acclaimed Lambs of God.
Karla Dickens is a Wiradjuri woman, artist, mother—upheld with the power of her eagle totem—a bowerbird by nature—in-between worlds, cultures and time.
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Tishani Doshi is an award-winning poet, novelist and dancer. Her most recent books are Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods, shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Poetry Award, and a novel, Small Days and Nights.
SOLID AIR EVENT
Tug Dumbly is a poet and satirist who has performed his poems, songs and monologues on national radio (as a regular on Triple J and the ABC Local Network), and in schools, venues and festivals in Australia and abroad.
Jill Eddington has had a long and varied career in arts and education. Throughout, she has been a staunch advocate for Australian writing and writers.
Sara El Sayed
Sara El Sayed is an Egyptian-born freelance writer and Master of Fine Arts student based in Brisbane.
Russell Eldridge is a journalist, novelist and media trainer and founding Board member of Byron Writers Festival.
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Claire L. Evans
Claire L. Evans is a writer and musician. She's the singer of the group YACHT and author of Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women who Made the Internet.
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Matthew Evans is a farmer in Tasmania, the author of over a dozen books and is the presenter of the popular SBS Gourmet Farmer series.
Richard Fidler presents Conversations, broadcast across Australia on ABC Radio. He is the author of Ghost Empire and Saga Land.
Carly Findlay is an award-winning writer, speaker and appearance activist. Her memoir, Say Hello is published by HarperCollins Australia.
John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice and Brotherband adventure series have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and are available in more than 100 countries. He lives with his wife in Sydney.
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Tim Flannery is a paleontologist, explorer and conservationist. He is a leading writer on climate change and the 2007 Australian of the Year.
Tony Flowers is an internationally acclaimed Illustrator and artist. His children’s books, co-created with Nick Falk, include the Samurai vs Ninja and the How to…series.
Clementine Ford is a writer, broadcaster and public speaker and is the bestselling author of Fight Like a Girl and Boys Will Be Boys.
Karen Foxlee is an award-winning Australian author who writes for both children and grown-ups. Her latest novel is Lenny's Book of Everything.
Antony Funnell is an author and Walkley Award-winning broadcaster. His books include The Future and Related Nonsense and the satirical novel So Far, So Good.
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Damon Gameau is the author of the bestselling book That Sugar Book and creator of the documentary That Sugar Film, both released in 2015.
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Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin is a scientist, writer, and artist immersed in jellyfish. However you connect with nature, join Lisa to ‘find your jellyfish’.
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Former lawyer David Gillespie is devoted to exposing dangerous social forces. His latest target is the addictive impact of technology on children as outlined in Teen Brain.
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Morris Gleitzman is a bestselling Australian children’s author and the current Australian Children's Laureate. His books explore serious and sometimes confronting subjects in humorous and unexpected ways.
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Dr Alice Gorman is an internationally recognised leader in the field of space archaeology. In 2017 she won the Bragg Prize for Science Writing.
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Ginger Gorman is an award-winning social-justice journalist. After suffering the effects of online hate first-hand, Ginger has become an in demand expert on online hate.
A.C. Grayling is the Master of the New College of the Humanities, London, and its Professor of Philosophy and author of more than 30 books.
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Peter Greste is an award-winning journalist who spent 25 years with the BBC and Al Jazeera. He is now an academic and media freedom advocate.
Ash Grunwald is an Australian musician. He is the author of Surf by Day, Jam by Night which explores the connection between music and surfing.
SOLID AIR EVENT
David Hallett has been writing and performing poetry since the mid '70s. Host of two of Australia's longest running spoken word venues Byron Bay's 'Writers at the Rails' and Lismore's 'Live Poets' for the past 28 years David has taken his poetry from outback schools and festivals to the Sydney Opera House to the beat cafes of New York.
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Chris Hanley OAM is the Founder of Byron Writers Festival and was Chair for 20 years until 2016. He is the Principal of Byron Bay First National.
Sarah Hanson-Young was the youngest woman to be elected to the Australian parliament. She has been a Greens Senator for a decade and is a leading voice for progressive change.
Dr Lynda Hawryluk is Course Coordinator of the Associate Degree of Creative Writing and Graduate Diploma of Creative Writing at Southern Cross University and is published in academic and creative publications.
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Ashley Hay is an award-winning novelist and essayist and the editor of Griffith Review.
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Jess Hill is an award-winning investigative journalist, writer, and producer. Her book on domestic violence, See What You Made Me Do has just been released.
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Chloe Hooper is the author of The Arsonist. Hooper’s The Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island won numerous literary awards. She is also the author of two novels.
Shep Huntly & Simi Genziuk
Simi and Shep are circus performers who travel the world and call Byron Bay home. They have a huge bag of tricks and are sure to astound the crowd with their antics.
Jen Hutchison has launched a new publishing imprint, Journeys to Words Publishing, focussed on the work of mature-age writers. The first book, Motherling, was released May 2019.
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Daniel James is a Yorta Yorta Melbourne based writer. He is the 2018 winner of The Horne Prize for his essay Ten More Days.
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Zacharey Jane is a teacher and tour manager of Writers on the Road for the Byron WF. She is the author of The Lifeboat and Tobias Blow.
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Erik Jensen is the editor-in-chief of The Saturday Paper. He is the author of two books, Acute Misfortune and On Kate Jennings.
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Gail Jones is an award winning novelist and short story writer. Her most recent book is The Death of Noah Glass.
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Toni Jordan is the author of five novels, including her latest, a literary mystery The Fragments. Her international bestseller Addition was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award.
Sarah Kanowski is a presenter of Conversations on ABC Radio. Her essays have appeared in Griffith Review, The Monthly and Australian Book Review.
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Samia Khatun is a historian whose documentaries have screened on SBS and ABC. She has recently been appointed Senior Lecturer at SOAS, University of London.
Sarah Lambert is an award-winning writer/producer best known as the creator of the smash-hit drama, Love Child and the show-runner of upcoming Lambs of God.
Christina (aka author C.A. Larmer) has written 12 crime novels, including the Amazon-bestselling Agatha Christie Book Club series. She’s a Byron-based journalist, editor and indie publisher.
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Vicki Laveau-Harvie is the author of The Erratics, winner of the 2019 Stella Prize and shortlisted for the 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.
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Benjamin Law is an author, screenwriter, and journalist. He is the editor of the anthology Growing Up Queer in Australia.
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Hung Le is a violinist turned comedian who has appeared at comedy festivals around the world. He is the author of The Crappiest Refugee.
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Angela Ledgerwood is the host of the Lit Up Podcast, a weekly conversation with the world's most provocative writers.
Senior Manager with Ingram Lightning Source, Deborah works with publishers large and small, to make titles available print-on-demand, for distribution to a worldwide market.
Min Jin Lee
Min Jin Lee is a journalist and author of Free Food for Millionaires and the New York Times bestseller, Pachinko. She lives in Boston.
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David Leser is an award-winning journalist and author of eight books, including his just-released Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing.
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Alison Lester is one of Australia's bestselling children's authors. A lifetime Indigenous Literary Foundation Ambassador, Alison was Australia’s Children's Laureate from 2011 to 2013.
S. L. Lim
S. L. Lim was born in Singapore but now lives in Sydney. Her debut novel Real Differences casts young Asian-Australians searching for meaning in their lives.
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Caro Llewellyn is the former director of Sydney Writers’ Festival and several international cultural events. She is currently a director at Museums Victoria. Diving Into Glass is her first work of autobiography.
Zanni Louise has published 12 books for children, including picture books and chapter books for young readers. Her books are sold internationally.
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Melissa Lucashenko is a multi-award winning Goorie novelist, essayist and poet who lives between Brisbane and the Bundjalung nation.
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Scott Ludlam is a former Greens Senator for WA (2008-2017). He is currently a columnist for Guardian Australia and his first book on ecology, technology and politics will be published in 2019.
Professor William MacNeil is a prominent cultural legal scholar, as well as Dean of the School of Law and Justice, Southern Cross University.
Alex Mankiewicz is an award-winning illustrator who specialises in graphic narrative. Until We Are All Free with Behrouz Boochani was shortlisted for a 2019 Ledger.
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John Marsden has written more than 40 books and sold over five million copies. His new non-fiction book, The Art of Growing Up shares his insights into education and parenting.
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Kate McClymont is an investigative journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald. She is a seven-time winner of journalism’s most prestigious award, the Walkley.
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Phillipa McGuinness is an author and acclaimed non-fiction publisher who has been commissioning books of history, politics, current affairs, biography and memoir for twenty-five years.
Performing writer, Miles Merrill directs the literary arts organisation Word Travels and is founder of the international spoken-word program: Australian Poetry Slam.
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Karen Middleton is The Saturday Paper’s chief political correspondent and author of Albanese - Telling it Straight and An Unwinnable War - Australia in Afghanistan.
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Rosemarie Milsom is the founding director of the Newcastle Writers Festival and an award-winning journalist.
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Evelyn Ida Morris
Evelyn Ida Morris is a gifted musician, celebrated for their dexterity across multiple instruments and for song writing that is complex and structurally adventurous.
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Di Morrissey is one of the most successful and prolific authors Australia has ever produced with over 25 best-selling novels.
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Rick Morton is an award-winning journalist and social affairs writer for The Australian. He is the author of One Hundred Years of Dirt.
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Sisonke Msimang is a South African writer living in Perth. She is the author of a memoir, Always Another Country, and The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela.
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Melanie Mununggurr-Williams is a Djapu woman, a wife, and mother of two young children. She writes about family, place and identity and is the 2018 Australian Poetry Slam champion.
SOLID AIR EVENT
Anisa Nandaula is the 2016 Queensland poetry slam champion, the runner-up Australian poetry slam champion and nationally renowned poet. A published poet, she has performed her work at festivals around the country.
Joanna Nell is a GP with a passion for women's health and care of the elderly. Her bestselling debut novel is The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village.
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Mandy Nolan is as an outrageously entertaining stand-up comedian and podcaster for Mamamia, she has four humorous memoirs, the latest of which is Women Like Us.
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Zoë Norton Lodge
Zoë Norton Lodge is a writer and broadcaster best known for her work on ABC’s The Checkout. She co-created the Elizabella series with her sister, Georgia.
Georgia Norton Lodge
Georgia Norton Lodge is a designer and illustrator. When she's not creating brands, she's working on, Georgia Draws A House, where hand draws people's homes.
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A geologist by profession, Patrick Nunn, Professor, University of the Sunshine Coast, has decades of experience researching ancient stories, many passed down orally for millennia.
Kerry O’Brien is an Australian journalist and author. Over 25 years he anchored the iconic ABC current affairs programs – Lateline, 7.30 and Four Corners. His memoir is Kerry O'Brien: A Memoir.
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Mick O'Regan is a journalist and broadcaster with more than two decades experience with the ABC and Seven Network.
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Kristina Olsson writes literary fiction and non-fiction. Her most recent work includes the novel Shell and the memoir Boy, Lost. She lives in Brisbane.
SOLID AIR EVENT
Hope One is respected as one of the top female beatboxers in the world. Descending from the Te Ati Haunui-a-Pãpãrangi tribe and the Ngati Maniapoto tribe she is currently the only Maori female professional beatboxer.
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Bruce Pascoe is a writer of Tasmanian, Bunurong and Yuin descent. He has written several children's books, as well as the multi-award winning Dark Emu.
Mark Pesce is an inventor, author, educator, entrepreneur, broadcaster and speaker. Pesce hosts the award-winning The Next Billion Seconds podcast and writes an award-winning column for The Register.
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Ailsa Piper is a “triple threat” - writer, performer and director. Her books Sinning Across Spain and The Attachment navigate life’s small moments and big questions.
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Helen Pitt is a Sydney Morning Herald senior writer and author of The House, which won the 2018 Walkley Book award for excellence in journalism.
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Steve Pyne is the author of 35 books, mostly on the history and management of landscape fire, but also on Antarctica, exploration, and nonfiction writing.
Roman worked for the Queensland Police Force and went on to become Commissioner of the Australian Border Force. His recently memoir is Tour De Force.
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Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger winning and Edgar short-listed author Michael Robotham’s newest thriller is Good Girl, Bad Girl.
The Honourable Kevin Rudd was twice Prime Minister of Australia. A former diplomat, he is now Senior Fellow at Boston’s Harvard Kennedy School and President of the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York.
Harry Saddler is the author of The Eastern Curlew: The Extraordinary Life of a Migratory Bird. His writing explores interactions between humans and the environment.
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Omar Sakr is a bisexual Arab-Australian poet, who has performed his work nationally and internationally and been published in English, Arabic, and Spanish. He lives in Sydney.
Leigh Sales is one of Australia’s most respected journalists and anchor of ABC’s 7.30. Her most recent book is Any Ordinary Day.
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Margot Saville is a freelance journalist who has worked for ABC TV and The Sydney Morning Herald and in 2007 wrote The Battle for Bennelong.
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Professor Julianne Schultz is the publisher and founding editor of Griffith Review and Professor of Media and Culture for the Griffith University Centre for Social and Cultural Research.
Nathan Scolaro is editor of Dumbo Feather magazine, a Melbourne-based media company that tells stories of extraordinary people to create a more resilient, compassionate world.
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Jock Serong is a novelist and freelance writer whose latest book, Preservation, was published in 2018.
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Dr Julia Shaw is an expert in Psychology at University College London. Her academic work has focused on different ways of understanding criminal behaviour.
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Professor Adam Shoemaker is one of Australia's leading researchers in the area of Indigenous literature and culture. He is currently Vice Chancellor of Southern Cross University.
Dominic Smith’s acclaimed novel The Last Painting of Sara de Vos was a bestseller in both the US and Australia. The Electric Hotel is his new book.
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Jeff Sparrow is a writer, editor and broadcaster. His books include Trigger Warnings: Political Correctness and the Rise of the Right and No Way But This: In Search of Paul Robeson.
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Adam Spencer is an Australian comedian, media personality, maths geek, former radio presenter, prolific author and the Ambassador for Mathematics and Science at University of Sydney.
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Tracey Spicer AM is a multiple Walkley Award winning author, journalist and broadcaster. The national co-founder of Women in Media, Tracey spearheaded the #metoo movement in Australia.
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Ranajana Srivastava is an award-winning author, broadcaster, Fulbright Scholar, oncologist and mother of three. Ranjana is a frequent columnist for The Guardian and broadcaster for the ABC.
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Megan K. Stack
Megan K. Stack has reported on war, terrorism, and political Islam from twenty-two countries since 2001. Women's Work: a personal reckoning with labour, motherhood, and privilege is her latest memoir.
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Andrew Stafford is a freelance journalist and the author of Pig City, a book about Brisbane, and Something To Believe In, a musical memoir.
David Stavanger is an award-winning poet, performer, cultural producer and lapsed psychologist. Author of The Special and Co-Editor of SOLID AIR: Australian & New Zealand Spoken Word.
Jason Stephens is the Creative Director and Co-Owner of Lingo Pictures, and the Producer of shows such as Upright, and Lambs of God.
Natasha Stott Despoja
Natasha Stott Despoja is Chair of Our Watch. She is a former ambassador, senator and party leader. She is among the global top 100 influencers in gender policy.
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Gabbie Stroud is a recovering teacher and writer. Her memoir, Teacher, brings readers into the reality of today’s challenging classrooms.
Adam Suckling has been CEO of the Copyright Agency since 2015. He has held senior leadership roles at News Corp, Foxtel, Singtel and Optus.
Mark Swivel Is a lawyer, performer and writer. Mark runs a community legal clinic, moonlights as a comic and MC and is the founder of The Together Party.
Anne-Marie Te Whiu
Anne-Marie Te Whiu is an experienced cultural producer, editor, theatre practitioner, and emerging Māori-Australian poet & weaver. Co-Editor of SOLID AIR: Australian & New Zealand Spoken Word.
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Author and academic philosopher Omid Tofighian is concerned with displacement and discrimination. He befriended Behhouz Boochani and sensitively translated his book No Friend But The Mountains.
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Barbara Toner is the author of 15 books, fiction and non-fiction. Her novels are much admired comedies of manners about women triumphing over adversity in the end.
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Michael Veitch began his career in TV Comedy, diverging into radio, and is the author of eight books, ranging from travel, to history and military aviation.
Kate Veitch is the author of two novels - Listen and Trust - and assorted discursive essays. She lives on the small round hill in Mullumbimby.
Don Watson’s award-winning books include the bestsellers Recollections of a Bleeding Heart, Death Sentence, Watson’s Dictionary of Weasel Words, American Journeys and The Bush. He lives in Melbourne.
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Peter Watt is the author of 19, Australian- based action, adventure, romance novels set against past history. His books are published in Australia and Europe.
Jessica White is the award-winning author of A Curious Intimacy and Entitlement. Her latest work is a memoir, Hearing Maud: A Journey for a Voice.
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Debbie Whitmont is an investigative journalist, author, former Middle East correspondent and lawyer. She has won two Walkleys and three Human Rights Commission Awards for TV journalism.
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Michael Williams is the Director of the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne.
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Geordie Williamson is a writer, editor and critic. His new book, Lairds of Rapa Nui, a family history involving Scottish merchants and Easter Island, is forthcoming.
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Tara June Winch
Tara June Winch is a Wiradjuri author born in Australia and based in France. She was named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist and has won numerous literary awards.
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Eddie Woo is a Sydney-based maths teacher and creator of Wootube. He is the author of Woo’s Wonderful World of Maths.
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Dr Clare Wright is an award-winning historian and author who has worked as an academic, political speechwriter, historical consultant and radio and television broadcaster.
Nevo is a Jewish, queer, non-binary writer, activist and public speaker. They are also the author of award-winning Finding Nevo, a memoir on gender transition.
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Markus Zusak is the bestselling author of six novels, including Bridge of Clay and worldwide phenomenon The Book Thief. His books have been translated into more than 40 languages.