Hannah Sommerville creates enchanting watercolour, pen and pencil drawings in her studio on the South Coast of NSW. The daughter of a ceramicist, Hannah earned a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts and Graphic Design) at the University of Wollongong in 2006. Hannah began illustrating after the arrival of her young children from whom she draws inspiration. Hannah is a storyteller, who enjoys creating picture books that capture the imagination, tenderness and playfulness that surround children and family life. Her picture book Digby & Claude, written by Emma Allen, made the CBCA 2019 Notables list.
Mike Dumbleton is an award-winning picture book writer with nine ‘Notable Books’ selected by the Children’s Book Council of Australia. His book, Muddled-up Farm, was the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year, 2004, and Cat was a CBCA Honour Book, 2008. Mike has also received a Federal Minister’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Improving Literacy for his work as an educator and a writer over an extended period of time. In his spare time, Mike enjoys reading, travelling, trying to keep fit, listening to jazz and watching sport.
Dominic Carew is a lawyer and writer from Sydney. He has practised law in Sydney, London, Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands in leading global law firms and financial institutions. He has an MA in Creative Writing from UTS, for which he received an Outstanding Student Award. Dominic has won or been shortlisted for many major short story awards, including the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
No Neat Endings is Dominic’s first collection of stories.
Nean McKenzie is a children’s writer and optometrist who lives in western Melbourne with her husband and two teenage children. Originally from Bendigo, Nean lived in New Zealand, Europe and North East Africa before returning to Victoria.
Nean has a Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing from RMIT. She currently reviews books for Buzzwords books magazine. In 2012 she was shortlisted for a Penguin Varuna Scholarship. In 2016 she was awarded a Maurice Saxby Mentorship for Cryptosight, which is her first published novel. Continue reading Nean McKenzie
Following a law degree and qualifying as a chartered accountant, Beverley McWilliams worked in corporate tax before running her own consultancy business. But she decided life was too short for facts and figures, and she ditched the rat race to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. Now Beverley happily spends her days surrounded by books: writing, reading, pondering and eating way too much chocolate.
Beverley publishes work in children’s magazines and particularly enjoys writing historical non-fiction. Born to Fly is Beverley’s debut picture book and was published by MidnightSun mid-2019. She has also published work in children’s magazines. Beverley lives in Adelaide with her husband, four children and a menagerie of pets, who provide endless inspiration.
Amber Moffat is a writer and visual artist based in Western Australia. She believes that being able to share stories is the most magnificent thing about being human. Amber is originally from New Zealand and still has strong ties to her hometown of Dunedin. She is an experienced teacher and a fierce advocate for arts education.
At the end of 2015 Amber was awarded an Emerging Writers’ Mentorship by the Australian Society of Authors. The judges said of her work, “This picture book text was absolutely wonderful – lyrical, evocative, poetic, and quite unusual. It had a really unique voice, and the imagery was very striking.”
Amber was the recipient of a Paper Bird Fellowship in 2018, and she completed the final artwork for her debut picture book, I Would Dangle the Moon, during her residency at Fremantle’s Paper Bird Books and Arts.
Rachel Hennessy is the award-winning author of two novels of contemporary fiction: The Quakers (Wakefield Press, 2008) and The Heaven I Swallowed (Wakefield Press, 2013). Her first novel, about a group of obsessive teenagers, was described by John Birmingham as ‘un-put-down-able’ and was winner of the Adelaide Festival’s Best Unpublished Manuscript Award. Her second novel was Runner Up in the Australian/Vogel Award, long-listed for the Nita B Kibble Award and described by Australian Aboriginal Studies as ‘an important book’. Rachel lives in Melbourne with her partner and their two young daughters.
Rachel’s novel, River Stone, was published by MidnightSun in May 2019.
After completing her BA and PhD in literature at UWA, Fiona Burrows is now focusing on her first love, children’s picture books. She has had work published in journals including the Australian Poetry Journal, Writ Review and Westerly, exhibited in local galleries, and won awards and commendations including in the Town of Mosman Park’s Open Art Prize, the CYA Writing and Illustrating Competition, and the ASA’s Ray Koppe Young Writers’ Residency.
Fiona’s picture book, The Friendly Games, with Kaye Baillie, will be published by MidnightSun in June 2020.
Samantha Tidy is a writer of children’s, young adult and adult fiction. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and is the author of Cappuccino Diva, The Blue Polar Bear and The Flying Dream. Her most recent adult novel, The Happiness Jar, won the ACT Writing and Publishing Award for Fiction, among several other award nominations.
Samantha’s picture book, The Day We Built the Bridge, was published by MidnightSun in February 2019.
S.J. Morgan grew up in the UK and arrived in Australia many years ago, via a twelve-month round-the-world air ticket. She lived in New Zealand for ten years before settling in South Australia. In her former life she was an Occupational Therapist, but she now writes full-time. She writes across several genres and has won prizes for short fiction as well as an Australian Society of Authors mentorship for her children’s writing.
She has been writing for over ten years and, in addition to short stories and articles, has written six novels. She won first prize for short fiction at the Salisbury Writers’ Festival and was awarded a year-long mentorship by the Australian Society of Authors.
She lives in the Adelaide Hills with her partner, daughters and two very slovenly greyhounds.
You can find more information at www.sjmorgan.com.au
Originally an actress, debut novelist D.M. Cameron is an AWGIE nominated radio dramatist, award-winning playwright and celebrated short film writer. She received funding to begin work on her first novel and was then selected for a Varuna Litlink residency to further develop this initial draft into what became Beneath the Mother Tree.
Kaye Baillie began writing stories and making books during the long, hot summer holidays on the orchard where she grew up in Victoria. With her sister, she sat at the kitchen table coming up with ideas and adding her own (not very good) illustrations. Now she writes stories at her kitchen table near the beach, where she lives with her family and their high-maintenance pets. Kaye has a strong interest in researching and writing stories about unique individuals and events.
Kaye’s picture book The Friendly Games with Fiona Burrows will be published in June 2020.
Narelda Joy grew up in a creative household with an inspired mum and a large sewing room, which contained a plethora of goodies with which she could use to create. She continues to create anything in two or three dimensions including puppets, models, creatures and illustrations. She considers herself fortunate to be able to create imaginary worlds anytime she wants to.
Narelda Joy lives surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna in the Blue Mountains, Australia. She has two dogs and a cat, as well as lots of native birds who visit her garden daily.
Timothy has illustrated a number of children’s books, among them: award-winning Tom the Outback Mailman and King of the Outback with Kristin Weidenbach, Max Fatchen’s A Country Christmas and Fiona McIntosh’s Fantastica: Shapeshifter series. He is also known for his court sketching work for the Adelaide TV news networks.
Jennifer Harrison lives in Adelaide with her son Nathaniel. Since leaving university she has worked as a graphic designer, commercial artist and art director. Her illustrations have been commissioned for book covers, magazines and packaging for overseas and local markets and she has exhibited in Adelaide galleries.