Enda Walsh is a playwright and screenwriter who shot to fame when he won both the George Devine Award and the Stewart Parker Award in 1997 with his play Disco Pigs. In 2007 and 2008 Enda won Fringe First Awards at two consecutive Edinburgh Festivals for his plays The Walworth Farce and The New Electric Ballroom. The former led the Guardian to name him ‘one of the most dazzling wordsmiths of contemporary theatre’. Enda’s other plays include Chatroom, Bedbound, Small Things, and his latest Penelope.
War Child is a charity set up to aid children all over the world whose lives have been torn apart by war. Jessica Adams has co-ordinated the publication of several anthologies including Girls Night In, Big Night Out and Kids Night In 1, 2 and 3 to raise money for War Child. A children’s CD was produced in 2004 by Shock Records. Girls Night In 4 and Kids Night In 2 were published in the UK and Australia in 2005. Kids Night In 3 has just been published and Girls Night In: The Collection launched in November 2010.
Dave Warner is the author of six novels and five non-fiction books, including the winner of the 1996 West Australian Premier’s Award for Fiction, City of Light, and most recently his series for girls featuring Charlotte the Starlet. He originally gained national recognition as a musician and songwriter, with 8 albums to his name, but more recently music has been secondary to Dave’s career as a writer for stage, television, feature films, radio and newspapers. He currently has a number of feature scripts in development and has recently completed his series of books for children 'Charlotte and the Starlet'. Dave lives in Sydney with his wife and two daughters.
Albert Wendt moved to New Zealand from Samoa and is professor of English at the University of Auckland. He has published numerous novels and poems as well as short stories. His latest novel The Mango’s Kiss was published by Random House New Zealand.
Ella West lives on a small sheep farm in Otago, New Zealand with her husband and two teenage sons. She started writing plays for children for the New Zealand School Journal but soon crossed over to fiction and her first teen novel Thieves was published in 2006. Since then she has also written several adult plays including The Middlemarch Singles Ball. She enjoys writing for children and teenagers because anything can happen in a story for children. There's always magic. West was awarded the Louis Johnson New Writers' Bursary in 2006 and Thieves was a finalist in the 2007 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and was listed as a Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction Book.
- Thieves (Longachre Press, 2006)
- Anywhere But Here (Longachre Press, 2008)
- Real Life (LongAchre Press, 2009)
- Night Vision (Allen & Unwin, 2014)
- Rainfall (Allen & Unwin, forthcoming 2017)
James West is a young journalist and radio broadcaster who worked as a ‘foreign expert’ in Beijing from 2005 to 2006. His book Beijing Blur was published by Penguin Books in June 2008.
Madeleine West is an actor who has been a star of some of Australia's most popular dramas. She commenced a degree in Law, before deferring her studies indefinitely to turn to acting. She joined the cast of Neighbours in 1999, an 11-week stint which turned into a four-year role and saw a return in 2016. She has since been seen in Winners & Losers, Satisfaction, Underbelly, House Husbands and The Wrong Girl. Madeline has been in a relationship with restaurateur Shannon Bennett since 2005. The couple have six children together: Phoenix, Hendrix, Xascha, Xanthe and twins Xalia and Margaux. Six Under Eight is her first book.
- Six Under Eight (Penguin Random House Australia 2016)
Terry Whidborne has worked in the Brisbane advertising industry for many years, and has bagged many awards for his efforts as a senior Art Director. Over time his interest grew in illustration and stories, and found he was doing high end illustrations for clients like Vogue, Virgin Blue and for many London’s top ad agencies. He decided that his new path was to create illustrations and stories for books, film and animation. Terry co-created the trilogy 'Word Hunters' with Nick Earls, published by UQP. Due to his insomnia, he also has many projects in the works. Terry lives in Brisbane with his wife and two kids.
Jessica’s debut novel A Curious Intimacy was published by Penguin in 2007. It won a SMH Best Young Novelist of the Year Award, was short-listed for the Dobbie Award and Western Australia Premier’s Award, and long listed for the international IMPAC award. Her second novel, Entitlement, was released by Penguin in 2012.
She is currently writing a non-fiction work, Rosa’s Ghosts: on reading, writing and deafness, and a third novel, Depths Exceeded. Jessica also has a PhD from the University of London.
Winthrop Professor Andrew Whitehouse is a medical researcher, who also writes about popular science and child development.
Andrew trained as a Speech Pathologist before completing his PhD in Psychology. He has been working at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Perth, Australia, since 2009, having arrived back in Western Australia from the University of Oxford. He is a prolific scientific researcher, having published 60 peer-reviewed articles in the past 5 years. He has also published two books and two internationally-used clinical assessments. His research has garnered worldwide media interest, having been profiled in TIME,The New York Times, CNN, and the BBC among others.
In 2011, he was named a Western Australian Tall Poppy of the Year; in 2012 he was a finalist in the prestigious Eureka Award, and in 2013 was named as ‘one to watch’ in The West Australian’s list of 100 most Influential Western Australians. He currently writes a column on child development for The Conversation and The West Australian.
Sue Whiting started her working life as a primary school teacher with a special interest in literacy education and children’s literature. In 2005 Sue left teaching to pursue a career in children’s book publishing and is now Publishing Manager and Senior Commissioning Editor for Walker Books Australia. She is also a successful author who has written numerous books for children and young adults: fiction and nonfiction, picture books through to YA. Her middle grade novel Get a Grip, Cooper Jones was a 2011 CBCA Notable Book, and her picture book, A Swim in the Sea, illustrated by Meredith Thomas, was the Speech Pathologists’ 2014 Book of the Year, 3–5 years category. 2015 will see the US release (Switch/Capstone) of her YA novel, Portraits of Celina, and the Australian release (Walker Books) of her narrative nonfiction picture book, Platypus, illustrated by Mark Jackson, which will be published in the US in 2016 (Candlewick Press).
Kate Wild is an investigative journalist whose work for the ABC has been recognized with three Walkley Awards and a Logie. Her reports from Darwin where she lived from 2010 to 2016, laid the groundwork for a Four Corners story on juvenile detention that prompted the calling of a Royal Commission. Like Elijah Holcombe, Kate grew up in country New South Wales. She spent the majority of her professional life in Sydney before she moved to the Northern Territory for six years. She returned to Sydney in September. Waiting for Elijah is her first book.
- _Waiting for Elijah (Scribe, forthcoming 2018)
For the past 15 years Gina Wilkinson has worked as a reporter, correspondent and radio documentary maker for various media. In 2002, Gina put her journalism career on hold to move to Saddam Hussein’s Baghdad with her husband, an aid worker with the UN Children’s Fund. With foreign reporters forbidden to reside in Iraq, Gina gained a unique opportunity to experience the final year of Saddam’s tyrannical rule from the inside. After the fall of Baghdad she was appointed as the ABC’s correspondent in Iraq. Gina is currently writing Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sky, a narrative non-fiction account of love, loss, ambition, and betrayal in Iraq which East Street Publications published in 2007.
Joe is a proud Wiradjuri, first Nations Aboriginal man born in Cowra and raised in Wagga, NSW. Joe played in the National Rugby League (NRL) for many years before switching to professional Boxing in 2009 and winning two welterweight championships despite suffering severe mental illness. Joe currently spends his time between Australia and the United States, travelling across both continents delivering workshops and talks to inspire people to think differently about their mental health.
- The Enemy Within (HarperCollins, forthcoming 2018)
Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios is a lapsed archaeologist who grew up in Melbourne before travelling and working in the Mediterranean and Middle East. She holds a PhD in art history and cultural economics and lectures at the University of Melbourne. Meaghan has written for academic publications and in the popular press, and her media experience on radio and TV includes involvement with a Four Corners program for ABC TV that looked at questionable practices in the Australian art auction market and the Aboriginal art trade. Meaghan has worked at major public institutions including the National Gallery of Victoria and Artbank, and held management-level positions at commercial art businesses, including Leonard Joel Australia. During that time she qualified as an art valuer for the Australian Government under the Cultural Gifts Program. In addition to her academic pursuits, Meaghan is a scriptwriter and researcher for film and TV. As a scriptwriter she is an accredited member of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). She has written and researched several series for Australian television, including Shane Delia’s Spice Journey: Turkey and Gourmet Farmer Afloat. Meaghan’s first novel was an adaptation of the script for Russell Crowe’s historical war drama feature, The Water Diviner (the multi-award winning film, the script for which was written by Meaghan’s husband Andrew Anastasios and Andrew Knight). The novel was published by Pan Macmillan in 2014 and sold over 40,000 copies in Australia. Meaghan lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, their two children, a dog, a cat, two chickens and a multitude of tropical fish. Although she seems to have stalled on ‘A’ in the careers handbook (archaeologist, art expert, auctioneer, academic), now she has worked her way to ‘author’ she plans to stay put. The Honourable Thief is her second novel – but in a sense her debut as an original novelist.
- The Water Diviner (Pan Macmillan, 2014)
- The Honourable Thief (Pan Macmillan, forthcoming 2018)
Fleur is a fashion and homewares designer with boutiques and stockists Australia wide. Her collections are also available in the US and Europe. Fleur’s first book, Food, Fashion, Friends was published by Lantern in 2010. Fleur’s follow-up, Food, Fashion, Family will be published in 2014.
Stephanie Wood comes from an award-winning background in journalism. She was a features writer and a former staff writer at Good Weekend and has worked for newspapers including The Independent and The Daily Mail in London and The Asian Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong. Her Good Weekend story on Melbourne’s thunderstorm asthma incident received the award for Outstanding Feature Writing in the NRMA Kennedy Awards, while her article on the prescription opioid epidemic won the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Media Award.
Her interest in telling stories about people who struggle on the edges of society has been reflected in articles about the life of a Kings Cross heroin addict; the travails of a mentally ill young man who was a victim of the NSW foster-care system; and the alarming increase in elderly abuse.
She is a former editor of The Age Good Food Guide and The Age Epicure section.
Michelle Wright is the author of Fine (Allen & Unwin), the short story collection which was shortlisted in the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript. She lives in Eltham, Victoria. Her short stories have won awards from The Age, Alan Marshall, Grace Marion Wilson, Orlando, and Magic Oxygen and have come second in the Bridport Prize, Overland VU Prize, Folio Journal and Orlando Flash Fiction Awards. Michelle is currently writing on her first novel.