Author Biographies 2019

Ali Whitelock (South Coast, NSW) is a Scottish poet. Her debut poetry collection, ‘and my heart crumples like a coke can’ is published by Wakefield Press in Australia and in the UK by Polygon, Edinburgh in 2020. Her memoir, ‘Poking seaweed with a stick and running away from the smell’ was launched at the Sydney Writers Festival 2008, published in the UK by Polygon in 2009. Her poems have appeared in The Moth Magazine, The Pittsburgh Quarterly Magazine, The Tahoma Literary Review, The American Journal of Poetry and others. She is the curator of Sydney Poetry Lounge.

Angelina Hurley (Brisbane, Qld) is an Aboriginal woman from Brisbane, Australia. Her heritage is of Jagera, Gooreng Gooreng, Mununjali, Birriah and Kamilaroi descent. She is the daughter of renowned Aboriginal visual artist Ron Hurley. For over 20 years Hurley has worked in Indigenous Arts, Education and Community Cultural Development. Angelina is an emerging writer who in 2011 was awarded the Australian-American Fulbright Commission’s Indigenous Scholarship, she is working on a Doctoral study entitled Pointing the Funny Bone: Blak Comedy and Aboriginal Cultural Perspectives on Humour.

Anne Casey (Sydney, NSW) from the west of Ireland, spent 25 years working as a journalist, magazine editor, corporate and government communications director, legal author and editor to follow her heart into poetry. She is currently Co-Editor of Other Terrain and Backstory, the literary journals of Swinburne University, Melbourne. Her poetry collection, where the lost things go, was published by Salmon Poetry in July 2017. She won the 2017 Glen Phillips Novice Writer Award and has been shortlisted for the Bedford International Writing Competition, Cúirt International New Writing Poetry Prize and Eyewear Books Poetry Prize, among others.

Anne Walsh (Newcastle, NSW) is a poet and a storywriter. She’s been shortlisted for the Newcastle Poetry Prize twice and for the ACU Prize for literature. Her first book of poems, I Love Like a Drunk Does, was published by Ginninderra Press (2009, Australia). Her second book of poems, Intact, was published in January, 2017 by Flying Island Books. Her poems have been published widely in Australia (Mascara, Cordite, Verity La, Poem and Dish) and abroad. Her work has also been published in the US, including a short story, The Rickman Digression, by the gorgeous Glimmer Train.

Edilia Ford (Sydney, NSW was a corporate escapee, business owner and technology trainer. Currently on an adult gap year after two years of upheavals following her husband’s serious illness and the death of her parents, she has decided to pursue her lifelong ambition of being a writer.

Elisa Cristallo (Western Sydney, NSW) is a writer, performer and independent producer. Her shows ‘Welcome to the Family’ and ‘Sunday Stories’ toured the Sydney, Newcastle and Adelaide Fringe Festivals. She was awarded a grant from Blacktown Council’s Creative Arts Fund to adapt ‘Welcome to the Family’ into a web series, has written for the late-night show ‘Mainland Tonight.’

Gayle Kennedy (Sydney, NSW) is from the NSW Ngiyaampa Nation. Her poetry collection, Koori Girl Goes Shoppin’ was shortlisted in 2005 for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award the David Unaipon Award. Gayle won the award in 2006 with Me, Antman & Fleabag published by QUP in 2007. She has published 11 children’s books with Oxford University Press and articles and poems in national and international publications such as Edinburgh Review, Southerly Review, Ora Nui, Phoenix International, Penguin, Currency Press and more.

Hannah Grace Fulton (Sydney, NSW) is a performer, writer, content creator and arts marketing professional. She has performed at Sydney Fringe Festival, Fringe World Perth, Adelaide Fringe Festival, Sydney Comedy Festival and Melbourne International Comedy Festival. She is 1/3 of The General Public, a female trio dedicated to creating new comedy and theatre work. In 2018 they won an Emerging Artist Award at the Adelaide Fringe Weekly Awards for their show ‘Noughty Girls’, and were selected to be part of FRESH at the Sydney Comedy Festival. Hannah has a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Arts (majoring in Drama and Film & TV) from UQ, and is currently studying her Masters in Communication at Deakin University.

Jamieson Rendall (Sale, Vic) is an English and Humanities teacher at a public high school in Victoria. ‘I spend my days empowering young people by teaching them to read, analyse and write. In fact, I was teaching a group of year sevens how narratives can have an impact on the world when I realised I had story I wanted to tell. My students were entering their narratives to a competition and I thought perhaps I should practice what I preach.’

Jamila Main (Adelaide, SA) is a self taught playwright, trained actor, and emerging artistic leader based on Kaurna land, Adelaide. She has written nine plays and written for self-devised theatre works including ActNow Theatre’s 2017 production ‘Zero Feet Away’. Jamila’s debut play Immaculate received a Senior Commendation from State Theatre Company of South Australia in 2016 and a public reading at Back Porch Theatre. ‘Butterfly Kicks’ the play was invited to be shown at Theatre Works’ Queer Quickies in the 2019 Midsumma Festival. ‘Butterfly Kicks’ has also been adapted into a short story which won the 2018 Feast Festival and Writers SA Queer Short Story Competition. Jamila recently attended a Playwriting Australia masterclass with Patricia Cornelius. She is currently working as an actor.

Jay-Lee Richardson (St Kilda, Qld) is an emerging teenage writer. ‘I write for my grandmother, she is an elderly woman, and I like write for her because she loves to read, so by writing I feel closer to her. I am not published or recognised in any way, nor have I been to any workshops and I am not apart of any writing groups. I write for passion and try to find competitions to test myself, my skills and ability.’

Jessica Andreatta (Lyra via Ballandean, Qld) read a great deal as a child and had three wishes: 1. Never get married; 2. Never have children; 3. Leave the family farm forever. So she grew up, moved to the city, got a real job, got married, had children and took over her family’s tomato farm with her husband. Her work appeared on billboards in 2017 as part of Queensland Writers Centre’s #8wordstory Project and in 2018 another of her stories was shortlisted for the Margaret River Short Competition, published in in Pigface & Other Stories. Jessica still likes reading and still hates tomatoes.

Jo Toscano (Sydney, NSW) is a published writer. Back on the Block (ASP publishers – AIATSIS) was her first co-authored book about the Kinchella Boys Home where the Stolen Generations were taken. Her co-authored book with Lynda Holden This is Where You Have to Go (ASP) about Indigenous forced adoption will be out later in 2019. Her two novels The River Child and Under Andromeda (Odyssey Books) will be out in 2019. Her Monologue Adventure piece, though fictional (and the name Rosemary Arunna Waters is also fictional) was loosely based on her friend, Lynda Holden’s mother’s relative. Lynda is an Aboriginal woman, lawyer and activist and has given her permission and her blessing for the monologue to be read.

June Hopkins (Kallangur, Qld) has self published eight books, mostly biographies of friends. ‘I enter writing competitions regularly and have had a few wins. I have been published in magazines, and some anthologies of short stories. I am 73, and currently doing the fifth of 8 subjects in a Grad Dip in Creative writing, online with Tabor College.’

(Aunty) Kerry Reed Gilbert (Canberra, ACT) is a Wiradjuri woman from Central New South Wales and has performed nationally and internationally. She was the inaugural Chairperson of the First Nations Australians Writers Network (FNAWN) and continues as Patron. She compiled and edited a collection of First Nations voices from across Australia titled A Pocketful of Leadership in First Nations Australia Communities 2017. Her poetry and prose have been published in many journals and anthologies nationally and internationally and has been translated in French, Korean, Bengali, Dutch and other non-English speaking languages.

Lliane Clarke (Sydney, NSW) is the producer and director of The Monologue Adventure. She is a published author, experienced journalist and non-fiction book publisher as well as a communications and media manager across performing and creative arts. She runs mentoring workshops at Writing NSW, has a passion for story-telling and working with artists. She writes short stories, poetry and essays, is studying her Master of Arts (Creative Writing and Literature) at Deakin University and sings a lot with Leichhardt Espresso Chorus.

Mikaela Castledine (Perth, WA) is a writer, artist and sculptor, born in the WA wheatbelt, living in the Perth hills. ‘I have a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Master of Arts in Literature and Writing so walk a careful line between fact and fiction. I use creativity to make sense of myself, of the world and of my place in it, finding that some things require pictures, some shapes and some words, so jump between my disciplines as needed. I have had poems and short stories published in various anthologies since I was 15, the latest being in Story Fire published by The Fellowship of Australian Writers WA in 2019.’

Rijn Collins (Spotswood, Vic) is an award-winning writer with over 100 short stories published in anthologies and journals, performed at literary festivals, and broadcast on ABC Radio National. In 2016 she won the inaugural Sarah Awards for International Audio Fiction in New York. She’s working on a novel inspired by her time as writer-in-residence in a remote Icelandic fishing village.

Roz Hall Farlam (Young, NSW) is a freelance writer who has written for various journals and newspapers along with a host of businesses ranging from a regional opera company to digital educational resource providers. She is currently attempting to complete her first theatrical play and two screenplays. Roz lives with her family in Young, which she finds inspiring and maddening in equal parts!

Sheryl Dixit (Western Sydney, NSW): ‘Writing is what I do best. I’m not bad at cooking and cleaning either, but I actually enjoy writing. From childhood diaries, eulogies for loved ones, notes to friends and family, published articles on personal experiences, a novelette, short stories and a memorable 500 word piece that won the Blacktown Mayoral Writing Competition in 2016, I’ve explored genres as they have come my way, discovering a strange gift I am good at. Sometimes all it takes is a shared glance, a gesture, people walking on the street, an overheard conversation, even a happy cat sitting in the sun and thoughts whirl around my head, finding form and shape, morphing into expressions and phrases that make a story. A good one. Now I am over making excuses for myself – career, children, money – that made me a random and spontaneous writer instead of a dedicated one. So here I am, ready to take on challenges as they find me. To write, because this is what I do best.’