Archive for March 2015

June 2015 Festival Launched

Festival FlyerBelow is the media release for the 2015 Festival Launch.

Australian authors Graeme Simsion, Julie Janson and Gabrielle Lord are among the exciting presenters for the 2015 Batemans Bay Writers Festival, to be held over the June long weekend at the Coachhouse Marina Resort.

Eurobodalla Mayor Lindsay Brown launched the event and an excellent turnout of supporters and media ensured an exciting atmosphere.

All the Authors and Presenters details are now available on this site.

Download (DOCX, 97KB)


Anne Buist

Anne BuistAnne Buist is the Chair of Women’s Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and has over 25 years clinical and research experience in perinatal psychiatry. She works with Protective Services and the legal system in cases of abuse, kidnapping, infanticide and murder. She has published ten erotic romance-suspense novels under the pseudonym Simone Sinna. Medea’s Curse is her first mainstream psychological thriller.

In Medea’s Curse, a female forensic psychiatrist works with victims and perpetrators of violent crime. She also rides a Ducati a size too big and wears a tank top a size too small. This edge-of-the-seat mystery is a story of choices ─ and what happens when you make the wrong one.

Emma Ashmere

Emma AshmereEmma has worked as a bookseller, in arts and university administration, and as a research assistant on two Australian gardening history books.Her short stories have won awards, and have appeared in The Age, Griffith Review, Sleepers Almanac and Etchings. She is working on her second novel.

The Floating Garden is a beautiful novel evoking the hardships and the glories of 1920s Sydney.         It tells the little-known story of those who faced upheaval because of the famous bridge.     Peopled by misfits, bohemians, charlatans, and fly-by-nighters, The Floating Garden is about shedding secrets, seizing second chances, and finding love among the ruins.

Gabrielle Lord

Gabrielle LordGabrielle Lord is widely acknowledged as one of Australia’s foremost crime fiction writers. She is the author of fourteen adult novels, and her stories and articles have appeared widely in the national press and anthologies. Her contemporary psychological thrillers are informed by a detailed knowledge of forensic procedures. In 2012, Gabrielle Lord received a Ned Kelly Lifetime Award for Crime Writing.

Gabrielle’s series for young adults, the award-winning Conspiracy 365, has been sold in thirteen countries and adapted into a television series.

In Dishonour, a Detective-Inspector heads up a new police unit targeting violence against women. Can she help a young woman who yearns for freedom, to lead her own life, while her brothers are planning to send her into a forced marriage in Iraq? In this bestseller Gabrielle taps straight into issues that create headlines.

Graeme Simsion

Graeme SimsionGraeme Simsion is an IT consultant and data analyst with an international reputation. He has taught at four Australian universities and is currently a Senior Research Fellow at Melbourne University. Graeme writes short stories, plays, screenplays and non-fiction.

As Booktopia Buzz Editor Caroline Baum says of The Rosie Project: ‘When rights to a debut novel are sold in more than thirty countries, you know a book is generating serious buzz’. The book was on Bill Gates’ Six Books for Summer Reading list last year.

The Rosie Effect is a charming and hilarious romantic comedy and is the spellbinding sequel to the international bestseller The Rosie Project, which began life as a screenplay.

Hannie Rayson

Hannie RaysonHannie Rayson is a playwright and screenwriter. Her works, including Hotel Sorrento, Inheritance and Life After George, have been performed around Australia and internationally.   She has been awarded two Australian Writers’ Guild Awards, four Helpmann Awards, two NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. Her play Life After George was the first play to be nominated for the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

In her new book, Hello Beautiful! she shines the spotlight on herself. This collection of stories from a dramatic life, radiate with the great warmth and humour that has made Hannie one of the best-known playwrights in the country. From a childhood in Brighton to a urinary tract infection in Spain; from a body buried under the house to a play on a tram, Hello Beautiful! captures a life behind the scenes ─ a life of tender moments, hilarious encounters and, inevitably, drama.

Harry Laing

Harry LaingHarry Laing is a writer and comic performer. His most recent collection of poetry, Backbone, came out in 2010. He has written and performed 8 solo shows and his staged radio show Under Braidwood was a local success last year. Harry’s collection of poems for 8-12 yr olds, Shoctopus, is due out shortly. Together with his wife Nicola Bowery he runs PoetryAlive weekends at Geebung, their property near Braidwood.

Hazel Hall

Hazel HallPoet Hazel Hall is currently Cafe Poet at Biginelli Espresso at the ANU School of Music in Canberra. Along with other poets, Hazel explores the relationship between poetry and music, and liaises with composers and musicians to create and perform new works.

James Bradley

James BradleyJames Bradley is the author of four novels, WrackThe Deep Field, The Resurrectionist, and his recently published Clade. He has twice been named as one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelists and has won the Fellowship of Australian Writers Literature Award, the Kathleen Mitchell Literary Award and has been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. His novels have also been widely translated.

In Wrack, which is on the HSC list for 2015, an archaeologist is searching for a 400-year-old Portuguese shipwreck off the coast of New South Wales. Such a find would rewrite the history of Australia. But instead he unearths the body of a man murdered fifty years earlier. Wrack is a novel of unusual reach and suggestive power.

Clade is a provocative, urgent novel about time, family and how a changing planet might change our lives. Compelling, challenging and resilient, Clade canvasses three generations, from the very near future to late this century. And it raises profound questions about human survival.

Jane Cornelius

Jane CorneliusJane Cornelius lived and worked in Bali, until she met and fell in love with the wrong man, who abandoned her in the UK, leaving her five months pregnant and with no money or home. Desperate, she turned to her father, but he abandoned her too and she had to ask the Social Services for support. In a tiny cottage in Glastonbury, her daughter Poppy was born.

Jane hoped for a different life for her daughter. She sold everything and bought an around-the-world ticket. When Poppy was a 12-week-old baby, they left the UK and travelled through Bali, across Australia, Hawaii and America and Jane didn’t give up until she found what she was looking for. Baby and a Backpack is her story.

Jeff Apter

Apter_redIn a career spanning 20 years and 15 books, Jeff Apter has written extensively about the world of music. He is senior writer for Oz Rolling Stone and he also writes for South Coast Style and the Sydney Morning Herald where he frequently writes CD reviews. His critically well-received books include biographies of ‘Shirley’ Strachan from Skyhooks, and Dragon’s Marc Hunter. His latest book, Up from down under, tells the remarkable untold story of how Australian music took over the world.

Julia Prendergast

Julia Prendergast BBWFAfter earning the highly coveted Library Award upon graduating Primary School, Julia put her love for books to practical use and completed a Bachelor of Arts in history with honours in politics at University of Wollongong. She has now moved on to a Masters of Applied Anthropology at ANU. Julia loves all things expressive, including music, art and literature. A keen researcher, she pursues the why, who, what, when and where of anything to do with people, places and politics.

Julia volunteers at the Batemans Bay Old Courthouse Museum, where she continues to develop her skills and passion for historical research.

Julie Janson

Julie JansonPlaywright Julie Janson has worked for many years in Aboriginal education, as a teacher and lecturer, and in community, fringe, and children’s theatre. Julie has written 10 plays including Black Mary produced by Belvoir St Theatre Company B with SOCOG, for the Olympic Festival of the Dreaming.

The Crocodile Hotel is an epic story of a young Aboriginal single mother’s awakening of identity and compassion in a remote Northern Territory community in 1976. The story strikes deep into Australia’s heart and may challenge the way you think about Australia’s history. The Crocodile Hotel is the first novel by this celebrated Aboriginal playwright.

Kathy Kituai

Kathy Kituai

Poet and diarist, Kathy Kituai is the founder and facilitator of Limestone Tanka Poets. She has facilitated creative writing workshops in Australia and Scotland, and has received two Canberra Critics CircleAwards. Kathy has been an Assistant Editor for the Institute of PNG Studies, Creative Editor for Muse Magazine (Canberra) and Fellowship of Australian Writers President.

She has also published seven poetry collections, Deep in the Valley of Tea Bowls (forthcoming 2015), a CD The heart takes wing, anthologies, a children’s picture book, and a dramatized documentary for radio.  Her work is published internationally.

Linda Jaivin

Linda JaivinLinda Jaivin is the internationally published author of nine books, both fiction and non-fiction. Her first novel, Eat Me, was a best-seller in both Australia and overseas. Her fifth novel, The Infernal Optimist, was short-listed for the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal and has been optioned for a feature film. Linda is also the author of numerous published short stories and essays, including for The Monthly and Quarterly Essay. She has also written for the theatre and is a literary and film translator from Chinese.

Shifting between the 1940s and today, The Empress Lover tells the story of a scholar who may, or may not, have been the lover of the Empress Dowager of China, and that of an Australian woman who works as a translator subtitling films in Beijing. It is a novel of love, loss, identity and history from one of Australia’s finest novelists.

Maggie MacKellar

Maggie MacKellarMaggie MacKellar lectured in Australian and cross-cultural comparative history at the University of Sydney. She spent three months hiking, camping and kayaking in the Alaskan wilderness with the National Outdoor Leadership School. She has published two books on the history of settlement in Australia and Canada, and two memoirs.

In When It Rains Maggie shares her grief that follows the tragic loss of her young husband and beloved mother in two short years. Deciding to return with her children to the family farm in central western New South Wales, the book tracks Maggie’s gradual healing as she pieces her life back together. Her second memoir How to Get There is about the unexpected joys and complexities of finding love again, and moving with her two children and assorted menagerie to Tasmania.

Mark Henshaw

Mark HenshawMark Henshaw has lived in France, Germany, Yugoslavia and the USA, and currently lives in Canberra. His first novel, Out of the Line of Fire, won the Fellowship of Australian Writers Barbara Ramsden Award and the NBC New Writers Award. It was one of the biggest selling Australian literary novels of the decade. For many years Mark was a curator at the National Gallery of Australia. He recently returned to writing fiction full-time.

Set in Paris and Japan, The Snow Kimono tells the stories of an Inspector, a former Professor of Law, and a writer. The book is an intricate psychological thriller that is also an unforgettable meditation on love and loss, on memory and its deceptions, and the ties that bind us to others.

Michael Browning

MichaelBrowningA young street kid with an uncanny ear for music, Michael Browning kicked off his career running Melbourne’s Hard Rock Cafe. He was also at the forefront of ‘pub rock’ in the early ’70s, booking acts like The Loved Ones and Max Merritt and the Meteors, and managing the massive band, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs. In the ’80s Michael did it again, signing an up-and-coming band called INXS to his label Deluxe Records and setting them on the course to superstardom.

Dog Eat Dog, Michael’s first book, is an insider account of how he helped guide AC/DC to the top. It is the story of one of the true believers of the Australian music industry, the story of the man who helped the country’s two biggest bands achieve world domination … and he, the author, lived to tell the tale.

Nick Rheinberger

Nick RheinbergerNick Rheinberger has worked as a blues singer, children’s entertainer, songwriter and cook, but the one consistent thing in his CV is his work in radio.

Nick started in radio as a comedy writer in Canberra, eventually working as a writer and announcer for stations in Melbourne, Sydney, Geelong and Perth. He started working with the ABC on Overnights, before moving to NSW Statewide Drive, and most recently has been hosting the Morning Show on ABC Illawarra.

Nick has also spent quite a lot of time writing comedy for TV, including working with the first season of BackBerner and the final season of Good News Week.

Nikki Cooper

Nikki CooperNikki Cooper is an English Teacher with more than 25 years experience in Private, State Schools and TAFE Colleges throughout NSW and Queensland.

Her passion has always been to help and train others and make a difference in others’ lives. Her books and workshops dwell on the ‘Never Give Up” theme. Nikki spent most of 2013 learning the Art of Self-Publishing. She is completely self-taught. Nikki says ‘Once you start on your journey as a writer and experience the exhilaration of getting your thoughts and ideas in print, you will be unstoppable!  It is a skill that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.’

Paul Brunton

Paul BruntonPaul Brunton is Emeritus Curator at the State Library of NSW and Honorary Associate of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry at the University of Sydney. Paul is well known among rare book lovers and archivists for his contribution to Australian history. He worked with the Mitchell Library’s Australiana collections, was Curator of Manuscripts and was Senior Curator from 2002 to 2012. He has a special Interest in the European discoveries in the Pacific and was responsible for the acquisition of a number of significant manuscripts and printed books on this subject for the Mitchell Library.

Paul’s publications include his annotated edition of Flinders’ letters, Matthew Flinders: personal letters from an extraordinary life. Paul curated the exhibition Matthew Flinders: the Ultimate Voyage, which opened at the NSW State Library and travelled nationally.

Rita Wagner

Rita WagnerRita Wagner is an artist and writer living and working between Canberra and South Coast. Using mixed media she paints on commission and for exhibition, and holds art classes and workshops. In 1990 Rita had a horrific car accident. After being cut out of her car, with many broken bones, collapsed lungs and a leg severely crushed, it was feared she would not walk again. Unable to work Rita took up writing and painting.

Rita has written and illustrated three books, including Menopause Makes Mummy Mental, a light-hearted, funny look at menopause and all that goes with it. Her work as an author and illustrator of children’s books combines her love of art and writing.

Susan Wyndham

Susan WyndhamSusan Wyndham is the literary editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. In her career as a journalist she has been a reporter, feature writer, editor of Good Weekend magazine, New York correspondent for The Australian, and a deputy editor of the Herald. She is the author of Life In His Hands: The True Story of a Neurosurgeon and a Pianist, and has edited and contributed to several other books.

The loss of a parent is an experience that we all face without any training. My Mother, My Father is a collection of stories from 14 remarkable Australian writers, sharing what it is to feel loss, and all the experiences and memories that create the image of our parents.