Mario grew up in the Abruzzi mountains, Italy, where he travelled the hilltop villages with his uncle, a priest, and went on the study classical history and literature in Rome. He worked in Cinecita during the 1970s and acted in several Fellini films. Now living and working in Sydney as an artist, Mario’s meeting with fellow writer, Cheryl Hardacre, finally inspired him to work with her on his childhood memoir Chewing Gum in Holy Water which Allen & Unwin published in Australia and Arcade published in the US.
Elise Valmorbida’s first novel Matilde Waltzing (Allen & Unwin) was nominated for two national literary awards. She runs her own communications agency and teaches creative writing at Central Saint Martin’s in London. She is on the board of writers’ organisation ‘26’, and works as External Examiner for the Masters Programme in Professional Writing at University College, Falmouth. Honoured as a Trailblazer by the Edinburgh International Film Festival (2007), Elise is the script consultant and producer of award-winning indie feature film SAXON, released in 2009. Her short stories have been published internationally through Carve Magazine, the Ian St James Award and the anthologies From Here to Here, Common Ground and The Bard & Co.
Elise is the author of The Book of Happy Endings, a work of non-fiction which has been published in English (Cyan), German (Droemer) and Korean (Woongjin). The Serbian edition (publ. Alnari) is due to launch in 2013. Elise’s novel The TV President (CB Editions) was described by The Times Literary Supplement as “luridly entertaining fiction”, and her most recent novel The Winding Stick (Two Ravens Press) was reviewed as “a literary classic”. She is currently writing a non-fiction creative writing guide, and an Italian historical novel.
Claire Varley grew up on the Bellarine Peninsula and lives in Melbourne. She has sold blueberries, worked in a haunted cinema, won an encouragement award for being terrible at telemarketing, taught English in rural China, and coordinated community development projects in remote Solomon Islands. Her debut novel will be published by Pan Macmillan in 2015.
Kate Veitch was born in Adelaide in 1955. She left home and school at fifteen. Kate has published a non-fiction exploration of parenting, as well as journalism and book reviews for The Sydney Morning Herald and Vogue amongst others. She also produced ‘Their Brilliant Careers’, a series of programs on women writers for Radio National. Kate is based in Melbourne but spends half the year in New York with her partner. Kate’s first novel Listen was published to great acclaim by Penguin in August 2006 and was followed in 2010 by Trust.
Karen Viggers was born in Melbourne, Australia, and grew up in the Dandenong Ranges riding horses and writing stories. She studied Veterinary Science at Melbourne University, and then worked in mixed animal practice for seven years before completing a PhD at the Australian National University, Canberra, in wildlife health. Since then she has worked on a wide range of Australian native animals in many different natural environments, including Antarctica. She lives in Canberra with her husband (an ecologist also passionate about wildlife) and two children. As well as writing, she works part-time in a veterinary practice and provides veterinary support for biologists studying native animals. Her first novel entitled The Stranding was published by Allen & Unwin in 2008, followed by The Lightkeepers Wife in 2010.
VON ADLERSTEIN, Marion
Marion is the epitome of Australian style and savvy. Her book The Penguin Book of Etiquette was published in 2002 and released in paperback in 2007. Between 1976 and 1998, Marion held several posts with Vogue Australia and Vogue Living, including Travel Director. She is the author of Home Truths and The Passionate Shopper both published by Penguin.