Author and speaker biographies

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Read more about the authors and speakers at the 2021 [untitled] Literary Festival.

View the full program

Alice Bishop

Alice Bishop has written about bushfire aftermath for the last decade after seeing her community struggle in the aftermath of the 2009 Victorian Fires. Her first book, A Constant Hum, was shortlisted for the 2019 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction and recognised in the Penguin Literary Prize. Alice’s short stories and essays have appeared in MeanjinOverlandAustralian Book ReviewKill Your Darlings and many more.

Can climate fiction help save the world?
Sunday, 21 November, 2 - 3.15pm

Read A Constant Hum in print and as an eBook.

Joanne Brookfield

Joanne Brookfield is a journalist and comedy writer. Joanne writes for The AgeSydney Morning Herald and the Canberra Times and has contributed to The Guardian UKThe Mercury and The Courier Mail. She has covered the three biggest comedy festivals in the world - Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Montreal Just For Laughs and is the author of No Apologies: Women in Comedy Claiming their Space, Finding their Voices and Telling their Stories

Humour in the everyday
Saturday, 20 November, 4 - 5.15pm

Read No Apologies in print and as an eBook.

Anne Buist

Anne Buist is the author of the psychological thrillers Medea’s CurseDangerous to KnowThis I Would Kill For and The Long Shadow, and Professor of Women’s Mental Health at the University of Melbourne. She lives with Graeme Simsion, co-author of Two Steps Forward and Two Steps Onward, in Melbourne, Australia.

Anne Buist and Graeme Simsion: A creative partnership
Saturday, 20 November, 11am - 12.15pm 

Read Two Steps Forward in print, as an eBook, eAudiobook and Audiobook.

Read Two Steps Onward in print and as an eBook.

Jessica Dettmann

Jessica Dettmann is a Sydney-based writer and performer. Her blog, Life With Gusto, turns a sharp but affectionate eye on modern parenthood. She has performed her work several times at Giant Dwarf's Story Club, and has appeared on their podcast. After a decade working as an editor for Random House Australia and HarperCollins publishers she made the transition to writing.

Mothers in fiction
Friday, 19 November, 11am - 12.30pm

 

Astrid Edwards

Astrid Edwards is an interviewer, podcaster and advocate. She is a bibliophile and hosts two bookish podcasts – The Garret: Writers on Writing and Anonymous Was A Woman. She serves as the Deputy Chair of Melbourne Writers Festival and teaches professional writing at RMIT University. Astrid is a Member of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council advising the Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers.

Growing up disabled in Australia
Sunday, 21 November, 12 - 1.15pm

Carly Findlay

Carly Findlay OAM is an award winning writer, speaker and appearance activist.  She writes on disability issues for publications including ABC, Daily Life and SBS. She was named as one of Australia’s most influential women in the 2014 Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards. She has appeared on ABC’s You Can’t Ask That and Cyber Hate with Tara Moss, and has been a regular on various ABC radio programs. Carly is the author of a memoir called Say Hello, and editor of Growing Up Disabled in Australia.

Growing up disabled in Australia
Sunday, 21 November, 12 - 1.15pm

Read Say Hello in print and as an eBook.

Read Growing Up Disabled in Australia in print and as an eBook.

 

Clementine Ford

Clementine Ford is a writer, broadcaster and feminist community builder living in Naarm/Melbourne. She is the author of Fight Like A Girl and Boys will be Boys, and has been a columnist for Daily Life and a regular contributor to The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. In 2017, she won the Matt Richell Award for Best New Writer of the Year at the ABIAs. How We Love: Notes from a life is her latest book.

Work. Love. Body.: Future Women
Saturday, 20 November, 6 - 7.30pm

Read How We Love: Notes from a life in print.

Helen Garner

Helen Garner’s first book, Monkey Grip, appeared in 1977. She is well-known for her novels, short stories, essays, journalism and influential works of non-fiction. Her most recent books are three volumes of her diaries, Yellow NotebookOne Day I’ll Remember This, and, in November this year, How to End a Story.

The end of a story: Diaries: 1995-1998
Saturday, 20 November, 2 - 3.15pm

Read How to End a Story in print.

Claire Halliday

Claire Halliday is a freelance writer and journalist whose work has appeared regularly in Australian newspapers and magazines for over a decade. She is the author of Things My Mother Taught Me and Things My Father Taught Me.

Mothers in fiction
Friday, 19 November, 11am - 12.30pm

Read Things My Mother Taught Me in print and as an eBook.

Read Things My Father Taught Me in print and as an eBook.

Fiona Harris

Fiona Harris co-wrote and starred in the internationally award-winning comedy web series, The Drop-off, with her husband, Mike McLeish. In 2020 it was adapted into a novel and Channel 9 screened it as a telemovie in 2021. Its sequel, The Pick-up was released in June 2021. Other book series written by Fiona include The Super MoopersTrollsMiraculous, No Apologies (Sharni Layton biography), Marcus Bontompelli’s picture book and a junior fiction series based on Sam Kerr. Fiona also wrote/co-starred in TV comedy shows, FlipsideComedy Inc and SkitHouse.

Humour in the everyday
Saturday, 20 November, 4 - 5.15pm

Read The Drop-off in print.

Read The Pick-up in print.

Tori Haschka

Tori Haschka is a Sydney based author, food writer and mum of two. Her articles have featured in GraziaThe Timesthe GuardianMammamia and the Sydney Morning Herald and her blog eatori.com was ranked by Saveur as one of the five best food and travel blogs in the world. Grace Under Pressure is her first novel.

Mothers in fiction
Friday, 19 November, 11am - 12.30pm

Read Grace Under Pressure in print and as an eBook.

Huda Hayek

Huda Hayek is a children’s book author and has worked as a primary school teacher and as a journalist. She is the second-youngest of seven children, born to Lebanese-Australian parents. She was born in Adelaide, grew up in Perth and now lives in Melbourne. Huda writes stories involving unique kids with unique backgrounds, and explores themes of identity - what it means to be Australian, Muslim, and Lebanese.

Workshop: Writing in your own voice
Sunday, 21 November, 10.30 - 11.30am

 

Bri Lee

Bri Lee is a Sydney-based author, freelance writer and speaker.  She is the author of Eggshell Skull and Beauty. Bri is completing a MPhil in Creative Writing. She is a non-practicing lawyer and continues to engage in legal research and issues-based advocacy.

Who gets to be smart?
Friday, 19 November, 2 - 3.15pm

Read Eggshell Skull in print and as an eBook.

Read Beauty in print, as an eBook and eAudiobook.

Bruno Lettieri

Bruno Lettieri founded the interview series Rotunda in the West while at Victoria University and has interviewed many acclaimed writers and thinkers. His love of story stems from many years as a teacher. His interviews and galleries can be found at brunogoeseverywhere.com

The end of a story: Diaries: 1995-1998
Saturday, 20 November, 2 - 3.15pm

Helen McCabe

Helen McCabe is founder and managing director of Future Women. Prior to founding Future Women, Helen was the Editor-in-Chief of The Australian Women's Weekly, Deputy Editor of the Sunday Telegraph and spent more than a decade working in television. She is on the board of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation and an ambassador for Adopt Change.

Work. Love. Body.: Future Women
Saturday, 20 November, 6 - 7.30pm

George Megalogenis

George Megalogenis has thirty-five years’ experience in the media, including over a decade in the federal parliamentary press gallery.  His book The Australian Moment won the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Book Award, and formed the basis for the ABC documentary series Making Australia Great. His other books include Australia’s Second ChanceThe Football SolutionFaultlinesThe Longest Decade and Quarterly Essays Trivial Pursuit, Balancing Act and Exit Strategy.

Exit strategy: Politics after the pandemic
Sunday, 21 November, 4 - 5.15pm

Read Exit Strategy in print.

Cath Moore

Cath Moore is an award-winning screenwriter, teacher and filmmaker. She holds an MA in screenwriting and a PhD in Danish screenwriting practices. Metal Fish, Falling Snow is Cath’s first novel and winner of the 2021 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards - Writing for Older Adults. She lives in Melbourne.

Workshop: Story Building Blocks
Saturday, 20 November, 10.30am - 12.30pm

Read Metal Fish, Falling Snow in print and as an eBook.

Rick Morton

Rick Morton is an award-winning journalist and the author of three non-fiction books. He is the author of One Hundred Years of Dirt and the extended essay On Money, and is senior reporter for the Saturday Age. He regularly appears on television, radio and panels across the ABC and commercial networks discussing politics, the media and writing and social policy. My Year of Living Vulnerably is his latest memoir.

This one wild and precious life
Friday, 19 November, 4 - 5.15pm

Read My Year of Living Vulnerably in print, as an eBook, eAudiobook and Audiobook.

Fiona O'Loughlin

Fiona O'Loughlin is a critically acclaimed stand-up comedian, writer, TV presenter and media personality. Her searingly honest book Truths From An Unreliable Witness is already a stage show. Fiona has always known the power of a great story and a good joke to show us a truth about ourselves. It is why she is one of our most loved comedians. In sharing her story, Fiona shows that there is always the promise of better days.

Humour in the everyday
Saturday, 20 November, 4 - 5.15pm

Read Truths From An Unreliable Witness in print.

Ailsa Piper

Ailsa Piper is a storyteller and has worked for over 35 years as a writer, director, actor, teacher, speaker and broadcaster. She is a passionate – some would say obsessive – walker, and her book Sinning Across Spain, reflects that.

Anne Buist and Graeme Simsion: A creative partnership
Saturday, 20 November, 11am - 12.15pm 

Read Sinning Across Spain in print.

Alice Pung

Alice Pung is a writer and lawyer who loves teaching. She is the author of the memoirs Unpolished Gem and Her Father’s Daughter, and the essay collection Close to Home, as well as the editor of the anthologies Growing Up Asian in Australia and My First Lesson. Her first novel, Laurinda, won the Ethel Turner Prize at the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. One Hundred Days is her latest novel.

Who gets to be smart?
Friday, 19 November, 2 - 3.15pm

Read One Hundred Days in print, as an eBook and eAudiobook.

Jamila Rizvi

Jamila Rizvi is Chief Creative Officer for Nine's Future Women and a bestselling author for adults and children. She is an opinion columnist for the Nine newspapers and hosts two podcasts, The Weekend Briefing and Anonymous Was A Woman. Jamila has advised governments at the highest levels on gender equality, child care, media and employment. She was named in the Australian Financial Review's 100 Women of Influence and is a 2020 Women and Leadership Australia award winner.

Work. Love. Body.: Future Women
Saturday, 20 November, 6 - 7.30pm

Alice Robinson

Alice Robinson is the author of Anchor Point, longlisted for the Stella Prize and the Indie Book Awards in 2015 and The Glad Shout, winner of the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction in 2019 and shortlisted for a Colin Roderick Literary Award and an Aurealis Award in 2020. Alice has a PhD by Research in Creative Writing, and her fiction, essays and reviews have been published widely in literary journals.

Can climate fiction help save the world?
Sunday, 21 November, 2 - 3.15pm

Read Anchor Point in print and as an eBook.

John Safran

John Safran is a writer and filmmaker who always gets in too deep for his own good. His debut book, Murder in Mississippi, won the Ned Kelly Award for best true crime. His follow up, Depends What You Mean by Extremist, found him lost among radicals and was shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards. His wild and hilarious documentaries, such as John Safran vs God and Jedis & Juggalos, play fire on the outer edges of religion and have received accolades from the Australian Film Institute and Rose d’Or Festival. Puff Piece: How Philip Morris set vaping alight (And burned down the English language) is his latest book.

Puff Piece: How Philip Morris set vaping alight
Sunday, 21 November, 6 - 7.30pm

Read Puff Piece in print and as an eAudiobook.

Graeme Simsion

Graeme Simsion is the internationally bestselling author of The Rosie ProjectThe Rosie EffectThe Rosie Result and The Best of Adam Sharp. He lives with Anne Buist, co-author of Two Steps Forward and Two Steps Onward, in Melbourne.

Anne Buist and Graeme Simsion: A creative partnership
Saturday, 20 November, 11am - 12.15pm 

Read Two Steps Forward in print, as an eBookeAudiobook and Audiobook.

Read Two Steps Onward in print and as an eBook.

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is an award-wining author. He lives, works and surfs on Victoria’s Surf Coast. The first book in his acclaimed Winter trilogy, The Road to Winter, is widely taught in secondary schools and loved by readers of all ages, and Wilder Country, the second book of the trilogy, won the 2018 Indie Book of the Year for Young Adults.

Can climate fiction help save the world?
Sunday, 21 November, 2 - 3.15pm

Read The Road to Winter in print

Read Wilder Country in print and as an eBook.

Read Land of Fences in print.

Jessica Walton

Jessica Walton is a queer, disabled writer, teacher and musician. She is the author of Introducing Teddy, a gentle story about a transgender teddy bear. She wrote it after realising that the picture books on her kids’ shelves didn’t reflect the diversity of her family. Jess has two short stories for teens and kids published in Australian anthologies Funny Bones and Meet Me at the Intersection. The graphic novel Stars In Their Eyes (artwork by Aśka) will be published in late 2021.

Growing up disabled in Australia
Sunday, 21 November, 12 - 1.15pm

Read Introducing Teddy in print.

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Wheeler Centre’s The Fifth Estate series and The Leap Year podcast, and is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Exit strategy: Politics after the pandemic
Sunday, 21 November, 4 - 5.15pm

Puff Piece: How Philip Morris set vaping alight
Sunday, 21 November, 6 - 7.30pm

Read Well May We Say in print.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson is a former journalist and TV presenter, author and activist. She wrote the New York Times bestsellers I Quit Sugar and First, We Make the Beast Beautiful and is the author of another 11 cookbooks that sell in 52 countries. Previously she was editor of Cosmopolitan Australia, host of Masterchef Australia and founder of the largest wellness website in Australia, IQuitSugar.com. In May 2018, she closed the business and gave all money to charity.

This one wild and precious life
Friday, 19 November, 4 - 5.15pm

Read This one wild and precious life in print, as an eBook and eAudiobook.