Kerri Sackville began her career as a child actor in the 80’s, until her ambitions were thwarted by bad acting and significant weight gain. Happily for all, she turned instead to writing. Kerri’s highly successful blog Life And Other Crises (at lifeandothercrises.com) details the daily dramas of her life as a 40-something working mum and chaos wrangler. She also writes extensively for mainstream media and online publications, including the Sydney Morning Herald, the Melbourne Age, The Telegraph, Sunday Life magazine, Mamamia.com and Practical Parenting. Kerri appears regularly on the speaking circuit, and as a commentator on television and radio. She teaches social media at the Australian Writers Centre and is hopelessly devoted to Twitter and Facebook.
Twitter: @kerrisackville
Facebook: Kerri.Sackville


  • When My Husband Does the Dishes (Penguin, 2011)
  • The Little Book Of Anxiety: Confessions From A Worried Life (Penguin, 2012)
  • Out There


Sue Saliba is the author of young adult and children's fiction. She has also published poetry and short stories, the most recent appearing in Hecate. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from Melbourne University, has worked as a secondary school English teacher and now teaches Novel Writing part –time at RMIT University. www.suesaliba.com


  • Watching Seagulls (Longman, 1997)
  • The Skin of a Star (Longman Australia, 1998)
  • Something in the World Called Love (Penguin, 2008) Winner, 2009 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Prize for Young Adult Fiction
  • Alaska (Penguin, 2011) Winner, 2012 Australian Publishers Association Awards APA Book Design Awards for Best Designed Children's Fiction Book; Shortlisted, 2012 Prime Minister's Literary Awards for Young Adults' Fiction
  • For the Forest of a Bird (Penguin, 2015) Winner, 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Prize for Young Adult Fiction, 2016 Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards, Notable Book


Imre Salusinszky was born in Budapest in 1955. He and his family came to Australia as refugees after the 1956 uprising. Imre was educated at Melbourne High School, the University of Melbourne, and Oxford. Following a brief career in journalism in the late 1970s, he spent 25 years teaching and studying literature in universities. In 2003 he returned to full-time journalism with The Australian newspaper. He was Chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts between 2006 and 2009, and in 2003 was awarded the Centenary Medal for services to the study and teaching of English.


  • Gerald Murnane (Oxford University Press, 1993)
  • Gerald Murnane: An Annotated Bibliography of Primary and Secondary Sources (Footprint, 1993)
  • The Oxford Book of Australian Essays editor (Oxford University Press, 1997)
  • On Rabbits, Morality, etc.: Selected Writings of Walter Murdoch editor (UWA Publishing, 2011)

SAMS, Lauren

Lauren Sams is the author of She’s Having Her Baby and is currently working on its sequel. She’s also a freelance writer and her work has appeared in ELLE, marie claire, Cosmopolitan, Good Food, delicious., Sunday Style and dailylife.com.au. She used to be Lauren Smelcher, then (confusingly) she was Lauren Smelcher Sams. She’s pretty set on Lauren Sams now, pending a call from Rob Lowe. She lives with her husband, daughter and two dogs in Sydney. Elaine Benes is her spirit animal.


  • She's Having Her Baby (Black Inc, 2015)
  • Crazy Busy Guilty: A Novel (Black Inc, 2017)

SARA, Sally

Sally Sara is an award-winning foreign correspondent with the ABC. She recently spent five years living and working in Africa. Sally has reported from more than 25 countries including Iraq, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa. She was appointed as the ABC’s Africa correspondent at the age of 29. Sally’s first book Gogo Mama profiles the lives of 12 women across Africa and was published by Pan Macmillan in mid 2007. She is currently writing a book about inspirational women in Asia.


  • Gogo Mama: A Journey into the Lives of Twelve African Women (Pan Macmillan, 2007)

SAVAGE, Angela

Angela Savage is a Melbourne-based crime writer, who has lived and travelled extensively in Asia. Her first novel, Behind the Night Bazaar won the 2004 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. She is a winner of the Scarlett Stiletto Award and has twice been shortlisted for Ned Kelly awards.
Twitter: @angsavage


  • Behind the Night Bazaar (Text Publishing, 2006)
  • The Half-Child (Text Publishing, 2010)
  • The Teardrop Tattoos (Spineless Wonders, 2016)
  • The Dying Beach (Text Publishing, 2013)


Stephen Scheding is a psychologist who researches and writes about Australian art. He is the author of A Small Unsigned Painting and The National Picture and is working on My Friend W and the Meaning of Art as well as writing and illustrating three children’s books.



Sarah is from Melbourne and has spent longer than she cares to admit working on her first novel, See What I have Done (Hachette, 2017), a fictional account of the Lizzie Borden murders. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Professional Writing and Editing) from Deakin University, a Master of Arts (Creative Writing) from RMIT and a Graduate Diploma in Information Management from RMIT. Sarah was awarded a 2009 Varuna Publishing Fellowship and a 2014 Varuna Fellowship for Writing Retreat, has had shorter work published in Canada (poetry) and Australia (Overland, Verandah), and was short listed for the Lord Mayor’s Literary Prize for her short story, The Dolphin, in 2011. Sarah works as a Reading & Literacy Coordinator for a public library and tries to maintain a blog at sarahschmidt.org


  • See What I Have Done (Hachette, 2017) (Grove Atlantic US, and Tinder Press UK, 2017)

SCHOLES, Katherine

Katherine Scholes was born in Tanzania, the daughter of a missionary doctor and an artist. She has fond memories of going on safaris to remote areas where her father operated a clinic from his Land Rover. When she was ten the family left Tanzania, going first to England, then migrating to Australia. She now lives in Tasmania but makes regular trips back to Africa where many of her books are set. She is the author of international bestsellers including The Rain Queen, Make Me An Idol, The Stone Angel, The Hunter's Wife and The Lioness. She is particularly popular in Europe where she has sold over two million books. Her novel The Blue Chameleon won a New South Wales State Literary Award and The Stone Angel was longlisted in the International Dublin Literary Awards. Her work has been translated into over a dozen languages, and includes children’s titles as well as novels for adults. She has also worked as a documentary filmmaker.


  • The Boy and the Whale (Viking Kestrel, 1985) Winner, 1986 Whitley Awards, Best Children's Fiction; Shortlisted, 1986 Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards, Book of the Year for Younger Readers
  • The Landing: A Night of Birds (Hill of Content, 1987) Shortlisted, 1988 Children's BOok COuncil VOok of the YEar Awards, Book of the Year for Younger Readers
  • Peacetimes with Robert Ingpen (Hill of Content, 1989)
  • The Blue Chameleon (Hill of Content, 1989) Winner, 1990 Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature, 1990 New South Wales State Literary Awards, Children's Book Award
  • We the Earth (Hill of Content, 1995)
  • Make Me an Idol (Pan Macmillan Australia, 1996)
  • The Rain Queen (Macmillan, 2000)
  • The Stone Angel (Pan Macmillan Australia, 2006)
  • The Hunter's Wife (Michael Joseph, 2009) Finalist, 2010 Romance Writers of Australia, Romantic Book of the Year Award for Romantic Elements
  • Lioness (Michael Joseph, 2011)
  • The Perfect Wife (Penguin, 2013)
  • Congo Dawn (Penguin, 2016)

SCOULLAR, Jennifer

Jennifer Scoullar lives with her family on a rural property in West Gippsland. Her house is on a hilltop, overlooking valleys of messmate and mountain ash. She grew up on the books of Elyne Mitchell, and all her life she’s ridden and bred horses, in particular Australian stock horses. Jennifer’s novels include Wasp Season (Sid Harta), Brumby’s Run, Currawong Creek, Billabong Bend, Turtle Reef and Journey’s End (Penguin Random House). Currawong Creek was a finalist in the 2014 RUBY (Romantic Elements) Award.
Facebook: AuthorJenScoullar
Google+: +JenniferScoullar
Twitter: @JenScoullar


  • Wasp Season (Temple House, 2008)
  • Brumby's Run (Penguin, 2013)
  • Currawong Creek (Penguin, 2013) Finalist: Romance Writers of Australia, Romantic Book of the Year Award for Romantic Elements
  • Billabong Bend (Penguin, 2014)
  • Turtle Reef (Penguin, 2015)
  • Journey's End (Penguin, 2016)


Born in Sri Lanka, Graham joined the Royal Navy from Cambridge University. Migrating to Australia, he joined the Royal Australian Navy before taking up a second career in corporate finance and settled in Sydney. His ‘planet-stomping’ space opera series, Books 1-4 of 'Helfort’s War', are published by Del Rey (Random House US).



Tamara Sheward is a writer for jmag, triple j’s magazine, and is the author and editor of a number of books for kids and adults, including Bad Karma: Confessions of a Restless Traveller in Southeast Asia, Your Mother Would be Proud, the 'Little Aussie' series (The Little Aussie Alphabet Book, The Little Aussie Numbers Book and The Little Aussie Opposites Book) and 101 Suduko for Kids, and was editor of the War Child anthology Kids Night In 3 (Penguin 2010). She also features in the Lonely Planet National Geographic series Road Less Travelled.



Chloe Shorten is a communications specialist, Queensland girl, mother of three and an advocate for improving the lives of women, children and people with disabilities. She lives in Melbourne and is married to Bill.


  • Take Heart: A Story for Modern Stepfamilies (Melbourne University Press, 2017)


Ever since she learnt to hold a pen, Laura Sieveking has loved creating stories. She remembers hiding in her room as a six-year-old, writing a series of books about an unlikely friendship between a princess and a bear. As an adult, Laura has spent the vast majority of her career working in publishing as an editor. After several years, she decided to put down her red pen and open up her laptop to create books of her own. Laura’s books revolve around all the things she loved as a child – friendships, sport and a little bit of magic. Her series include 'The Royal Academy of Sport for Girls' and 'Amelia Chamelia'. Laura lives in Sydney with her husband and two children.


  • Runaway Turkey (Blake Education, 2010)
  • Leap of Faith (Penguin, 2017)
  • Running Free (Penguin, 2017)
  • In Too Deep (Penguin, 2017)
  • High Flyers (Penguin, 2017)
  • Amelia Chamelia and the Gelato Surprise (Puffin, 2019)
  • Amelia Chamelia and the Birthday Party (Puffin, 2019)

SKELTON, Russell

Russell is contributing editor for The Age. A former deputy editor and Japan correspondent for the paper, he has worked in senior editing and foreign correspondent positions at Fairfax, News Limited and the ABC where he was executive producer of the 7.30 Report. An award winning journalist, he was a Fulbright scholar at Stanford University in the US and has been regularly reporting on indigenous issues since 2005. Last year he won a United Nations award and a Quill Award he was also a Walkley Award Finalist for his reporting of corruption in Papunya. Russell lives in Sydney, has three children and is married to ABC broadcaster Virginia Trioli. His non-fiction book about Papunya, King Brown Country, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2010.



Pip is a writer of songs, poems, and stories short and long. She was the organiser of the monthly writing event Penguin Plays Rough, for which she edited the multimedia anthology. She was a Faber Academy Writing a Novel scholarship recipient, has been a co-director of the National Young Writers’ Festival, and is currently a doctoral candidate at Western Sydney University. She is one quarter of garage-punk-pop band Imperial Broads and works in a bookshop.


  • Too Close for Comfort (Sydney University Press, 2013) Winner, Helen Ann Bell Award
  • The Penguin Plays Rough Book of Short Stories (Ed., 2011)
  • Half Wild (Allen & Unwin, 2017)


Anna Spargo-Ryan is a Melbourne writer and digital strategist, former Ramsay Street local and lurker in Formula 1 pits. She is the author of The Paper House (Picador, 2016) and The Gulf (Picador, 2017), and won the 2016 Horne Prize for her essay "The Suicide Gene". Her work has been published by The Guardian, The Big Issue, Meanjin, Overland, Kill Your Darlings, the ABC, and other places. In her spare time, she plays video games in the dark and hides from her furious cat.


  • The Paperhouse (Picador, 2016) Longlisted, 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards, Matt Richell Award for New Writers
  • The Gulf (Picador, 2017)


Dr Ranjana Srivastava OAM was educated in India, the UK, the USA and Australia. She is a recipient of a prestigious Fulbright Award and was recognised by Monash University as Distinguished Alumni of the Year in 2017. She is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and works in the public hospital system. In 2017, Ranjana was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her contribution to doctor-patient communication. Ranjana’s writing has been published worldwide in prominent medical and popular press. She is a regular columnist for The Guardian newspaper and was a finalist for the Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism. Ranjana is also a regular health presenter on ABC radio. Her acclaimed non-fiction books include Tell Me the Truth: Conversations with My Patients about Life and Death (shortlisted, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards), Dying for a Chat: The Communication Breakdown between Doctors and Patients (winner, Human Rights Literature Prize) and What it Takes to be a Doctor (finalist, Australian Career Book Award).


  • Tell me the Truth: Conversations with My Patients about Life and Death (Viking, 2010) Shortlisted, 2011 New South Wales Premier's Literary Award Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction
  • Dying for a Chat: The Communication Breakdown between Doctors and Patients (Penguin, 2013) Winner, Human Rights Literature Prize
  • A Cancer Companion (University of Chicago Press, 2015)
  • After Cancer: A Guide to Living Well (Penguin, 2015)
  • A Better Death: Conversations about the Art of Living and Dying Well (forthcoming, Simon & Schuster).


Peter Stanley, a Research Professor at UNSW Canberra, has published 28 books, mainly in Australian military-social history, though he has also published in British imperial military history, battlefield research, medical history and bushfires (Black Saturday at Steels Creek). His 'Great War' books include Men of Mont St Quentin, Lost Boys of Anzac and Die in Battle, Do Not Despair: The Indians on Gallipoli, 1915. His book Bad Characters: Sex, Crime, Murder, Mutiny and the Australian Imperial Force was jointly awarded the 2011 Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History. Peter is well-known for his television and radio appearances and for his outspoken involvement in representing history as President of Honest History. He has recently been elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and also writes historical fiction.



Rebecca Starford is a Melbourne-based writer, editor and publisher. She has worked previously at Australian Book Review and Affirm Press, and she is currently an editor at Text Publishing. She writes regularly for The Age, The Australian and The Guardian Australia. In 2010, she co-founded Kill Your Darlings where she is now publishing director.
Twitter: @RebeccaStarford


  • Bed Behaviour: A Memoir of Bullying and Boarding School (Allen & Unwin, 2015)

STARR, Kimberley

Kimberley Starr moved to Victoria's Yarra Valley, the setting for Torched, just months before the Black Saturday bushfires, which form the basis for this manuscript. She is the author of The Kingdom Where Nobody Dies, which won a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award, was shortlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award and elected by popular vote to be the subject of a One Book, One Brisbane reading campaign. She has degrees in literature and teaches English and Creative Writing. Her writing has appeared in a diverse range of publications including The Griffith Review and The Age, and her most recent novel, The Book of Whispers won the 2015 TEXT prize. She continues to live near Melbourne.


  • The Kingdom Where Nobody Dies (University of Queensland Press, 2004) Winner, 2003 Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, Best Manuscript for an Emerging Queensland Author, 2005 One Book One Brisbane Prize
  • The Book of Whispers (Text Publishing, 2016) Winner, 2015 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing


Benjamin Stevenson is an award-winning stand-up comedian and author. He has sold out shows from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival all the way to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has appeared on ABCTV, Channel 10, and The Comedy Channel. Off-stage, Benjamin has worked for publishing houses and literary agencies in Australia and the USA. He currently works with some of Australia’s best-loved authors at Curtis Brown Australia.


  • Green Light (Michael Joseph, 2018)


Meg Stewart, the daughter of poet Douglas Stewart and artist Margaret Coen, has written both fiction and non-fiction and is the author of the prize-winning, best-selling biography of Margaret Olley, Far From A Still Life. Meg initially trained as a documentary filmmaker at Film Australia and went on to direct a number of films both there and independently. Among the independent documentaries she directed was an impressionistic study of Australian writer Eve Langley, titled She’s My Sister. She also wrote and directed a fifty minute, prize-winning fiction film, Last Breakfast in Paradise. During this same period she put together a number of arts documentaries for ABC radio about Sydney’s artistic and bohemian life of the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s. She has been a freelance contributor to various newspapers, including the National Times, Sydney Morning Herald and Good Weekend magazine. Her account of her mother’s life, Autobiography of My Mother was published to acclaim in 1985. In 1993 she was the first Nancy Keesing Fellow at the State Library of NSW and as a result of this edited The Woman I Am, a collection of Keesing’s poetry. In the last ten years she has had two novels published, as well as the Olley biography and a revised and extended version of Autobiography of My Mother.



Jen Storer has written many books for children, including the best-selling ‘Truly Tan’ series. Jen is also Chief Inspirationalist at girl & duck.com where she teaches the art of writing for children.
Website: www.jenstorer.com
Twitter: @jenstorerauthor


  • Tensy Farlow and the Home for Mislaid Children (Penguin Random House, 2011)
  • Truly Tan series (HarperCollins, 2012 -)
  • Crystal Bay Girls series (Penguin Random House, 2014)
  • Crystal Bay Girls series (Penguin Random House, 2014)
  • Danny Best series (HarperCollins, 2015 -)
  • The Accidental Princess (Penguin, 2016)
  • The Fourteenth Summer of Angus Jack (HarperCollins, 2015)
  • Clarrie’s Pig Day Out series (HarperCollins, 2016)
  • Blue the Builder's Dog series (Penguin Random House, 2016)


Since founding the Melksham and District Film School in 1958 at the age of 19 David Stratton has dedicated his life to film becoming the Director of The Sydney Film Festival from 1966 – 1983 and co-hosting The Movie Show (SBS) and At the Movies (ABC) with Margaret Pomeranz since 1986. David is also a regular film critic for The Australian and has also contributed to Variety, The Age, The Bulletin, The Sydney Morning Herald and Sight and Sound (UK). He is the author of The Last New Wave and The Avocado Plantation. His memoir I Peed on Fellini was published by Random House in 2008.


STROUD, Gabbie

Gabbie Stroud is a freelance writer, novelist and recovering teacher. Her critical commentary of Australia’s education system was published in Griffith Review’s Fixing The System.



A practising physiotherapist for 35 years in Sydney, Juju Sundin conducts labour pain management programs for pregnant women. She has been a principal trainer for the Childbirth Education Association and the Australian Physiotherapy Association, training other health professionals in her cutting-edge methods in dealing with labour, fear and pain. A past Chairperson of the Australian Physiotherapy Association’s Women’s Health Group, she has been a regular contributor to a range of parenting and women’s magazines. Inspired by two difficult birth experiences of her own 30 years ago, Juju is passionate about educating and empowering women during childbirth. Allen & Unwin published Birth Skills, which Juju wrote with Sarah Murdoch, in 2007.



Beverley Sutherland-Smith has written a wide range of cookbooks and regularly contributes to magazines such as New Idea.



Cherie Sutherland is an expert on near-death experiences and the author of the bestsellers Transformed by the Light and Children of the Light. She lives and writes on the north coast of New South Wales and teaches throughout Australia.


SWINN, Louise

Louise Swinn is a writer, editor, publisher and reviewer. Her work appears regularly in The Age, The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald. She was one of the founders of Sleepers Publishing, the Small Press Network and the Stella Prize.


Magda Szubanski is one of Australia’s best known and most loved performers. She began her career in university revues, then appeared in a number of sketch comedy shows before creating the iconic character of Sharon Strzelecki in ABC-TV’s Kath and Kim. She has also acted in films (Babe, Babe: Pig in the City, Happy Feet, The Golden Compass) and stage shows. Reckoning won the 2016 Indie Award for Non-Fiction, the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, the 2016 Nielson Bookdata Booksellers Choice Award, the 2016 Australian Book Industry Award for Biography and the Australian Book Industry Award for Book of the Year 2016.
Twitter: @magdaszubanski


  • Reckoning: A Memoir (Text Publishing, 2015)