Years ago, James Cooper travelled the world over and once spent three months tending sled dogs in Alaska. His work as a teacher took him from southern England to the remote Australian outback, and he completed his Ph.D. while living in a tin shed on 40 acres. Nowadays, his adventures mostly take place on the page. He loves reading and writing poetry and stories that reveal the extraordinary in the ordinary, and his work has appeared in such journals as Dappled Things, Light Poetry Magazine, and Continue reading J. A. Cooper
Penny Harrison has always lived in a world of stories. A journalist for more than 20 years, her work has appeared in a variety of leading magazines, newspapers and journals. Penny is the author of acclaimed picture books such as Extraordinary and the CBCA Notable Me & My Boots. Wild Bush Days is the story of her childhood. Penny grew up on a farm in the NSW Capertee Valley and spent much of her time exploring the bush, always dreaming up adventurous tales and the possibility of finding the Lady Bushranger’s cave. She now lives on the outskirts of Melbourne with her family and an ever-growing menagerie.
Born on Kangaroo Island in South Australia, Virginia developed at an early age a keen appreciation of nature in all its forms. Her family then moved to Adelaide where she continued her schooling, later training as a fashion illustrator. Moving to the UK, Virginia worked in London for many years as a fashion illustrator for Harrods, Selfridges and various advertising agencies. She adapted her style to illustrate children’s educational books, focussing on history, where her interest in costume detail and fashion proved very useful. Eventually Continue reading Virginia Gray
Anna Mandoki is an Australian author and artist. She was born in the UK and lived and worked in London and Budapest before making her home in Melbourne, on beautiful Wurundjeri woi wurrung country.
Anna has a Bachelor degree in Psychology from the University of York and a Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing from Melbourne’s RMIT. Her short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in various journals and anthologies including Island and Westerly, and has been broadcast on ABC Radio National. Random Acts of Unkindness is her first novel.
Scott Pearce is originally from Mooroolbark, Victoria. He received his PhD from Deakin University in 2016 and has published his academic research in journals and books, with a focus on the role of race and gender in the Western and Weird Western film/television genres. His first novel Faded Yellow by the Winter was published in 2019.
Scott has been teaching English and Literature at Alia College since 2003 and holds the all-time record for goals kicked in lunchtime soccer games. He lives in the Yarra Valley with his partner and their four children and enjoys early morning runs in the darkness, creating new reasons to never cut the lawn, and writing.
Scott’s novel, The Rider on the Bridge, was published by MidnightSun Publishing in May 2022.
Maggie Jankuloska was born in Ohrid, Macedonia. She has worked as a teacher/tutor in numerous settings. Maggie was one of the recipients of the 2018 Maurice Saxby Creative Writing Program. Her short fiction and non-fiction pieces have appeared in: The Age/Sydney Morning Herald, SBS Voices, Award Winning Australian Writing, n-SCRIBE and more. In 2020 she participated in the Written in the Time of COVID-19 public art display and was featured in the subsequent anthology. The Rat-Catcher’s Apprentice is Maggie Jankuloska’s first published novel. Continue reading Maggie Jankuloska
Michael Burge is an Australian author and journalist who lives at Deepwater in the New England region of NSW with his husband and their dogs. After graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Michael undertook media studies in the United Kingdom. His non-fiction debut Questionable Deeds: Making a stand for equal love lifted the lid on familial and institutional homophobia in Australia during the marriage equality campaign.
Michael has written, edited, directed and broadcast for Fairfax Media, Intermedia, United News & Media, Margo Kingston’s NoFibs and a range of lifestyle mastheads. He is director of the annual High Country Writers Festival in Glen Innes. His complete works can be found at burgewords.com. Tank Water is Michael’s first novel.
Stephen Orr has published eight novels, a book of short stories, as well as essays, columns and other scribblings. Thankfully, he has never written a poem, ever. He has taught Science and English in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia and, to be honest, has learnt more in schools than he’s taught (especially how to get pen refills to stick into ceiling tiles). He’s come second (or third or fourth) in many awards and competitions, so now believes that winning is overrated (although his vegetable soup did help the 1st Hillcrest Scouts win the 1979 Cohen Cup for best bush cooks!).
Matt Ottley is an award-winning multi-modal artist, working equally across the fields of literature, visual arts and music. Matt has had 37 picture books published and his work also appears in more than thirty nonfiction books.
His awards include the CBCA Picture Book of the Year and both the Queensland & NSW Premier’s Awards for literature. His international awards include Ibby Honour Book for Australia and a White Ravens listing, Bologna. He has recorded his music with the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Czech Philharmonic Choir.
Lisa Tiffen is a children’s picture book author, illustrator and composer. She has previously published a family of four quirky books; Grumps, Lovelies, Sorrows and Frights.
A piano teacher for many years, Lisa has recently commenced writing orchestral music to accompany her books. Being able to combine her love of music, art and writing makes her heart sing.
Kera Bruton lives on the south coast of New South Wales with her husband, two sons and Italian water dog Alfonzo. From a young age art has always been a major part of Kera’s life. Her previous careers saw her working as a special-effects make-up artist and milliner.
Kera loves creating illustrations that allow the viewer to enter a new world away from their own, where dreams can come true and new friends can be found. Kera loves to experiment with all mediums and uses multiple creative techniques in her illustrations. The Plastic Throne is her first picture book.
Amani Uduman is a children’s author and primary school teacher from Melbourne. In addition to her teaching degree, Amani has graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science, Health Promotion from Deakin University. She has numerous titles published by a non-profit organisation called Library for All, Australia, and her work has been included in many fundraising anthologies.
In her spare time, Amani enjoys reading, writing, walking and listening to R&B music. She also has a keen interest in metaphysics.
Irma Gold is an award-winning author and editor. She has previously published a short fiction collection, Two Steps Forward, and her short fiction has been widely published in anthologies and journals like Meanjin, Island, Westerly, Going Down Swinging and Review of Australian Fiction, among many others. She has also published three children’s books, with another two forthcoming in 2021. She is co-host of the Secrets from the Green Room writing podcast.
The Breaking is her debut novel. It won the NSW Writers’ Centre Varuna Fellowship Award and received development funding from artsACT and CAPO. Irma is Ambassador for Thailand’s Save Elephant Foundation and has worked with rescued elephants in Chiang Mai, Surin and Kanchanaburi. www.irmagold.com
Born in Indonesia of French parents, and brought up in France and Australia, Sophie Masson is the award-winning and internationally-published author of over 60 books for children, young adults and adults. A former chair of the Australian Society of Authors and current chair of the New England Writers’ Centre, in 2019 Sophie received an AM (Member, General Division) award in the Order of Australia.
Sophie’s novel The Ghost Squad was published by MidnightSun in February 2021.
Mandy Foot’s obsession with drawing animals began when she was two, with chalk, on her grandparents’ pavement. Now as a best-selling children’s book illustrator and author of over 20 books, her canvas has evolved and her studio is shared with her joined-at-the-hip Border Collies. An Ambassador for Raising Literacy Australia, Mandy shares her passion of literacy and drawing via workshops with thousands of school students every year.