B Michael Radburn Holly Throsby Sue Whiting Gabrielle Lord
Gabrielle Lord Gabrielle Lord survived being ‘razed’ by the nuns, acquired an education despite this, and after working in many different areas, sales, teaching, brick-cleaning, peach-picking and packing, and in the Public Service as an employment officer, started writing seriously aged 30.
Her first two manuscripts ended up composting the tomatoes at her market garden – another attempt to make a living – but the third one FORTRESS was picked up internationally and made into a feature film starring Rachel Ward. A later novel WHIPPING BOY was made into a telemovie starring Sigrid Thornton. The film rights money, coinciding with her daughter leaving school, allowed Gabrielle to resign and instead of getting up at 4.30am and writing for several hours before heading off for work, she could write full-time and lead a more ‘normal’ writer’s life – hanging around with scientists and detectives, badgering forensic anthropologists (she studied some Anatomy at Sydney university) and doing work experience with a busy private security business and of course, writing. You can find out more about Gabrielle at her website.
B. Michael Radburn Radburn is a self-professed bloke from the “wrong side of the tracks”, whose fall into writing offered an escape from the fatal attraction of drugs and alcohol. Wonderful high school teachers made him realise that writing, when shared, offered faith in one’s self. Writing from his farm in the hauntingly beautiful Southern Highlands of NSW, his work reflects both natural and supernatural environs. Described as “Ian Rankin meets Stephen King”, Radburn is the author of three full-length novels: The Crossing, BlackwaterMoon and The Falls. Radburn loves his family, jamming out the blues and his motorcycle! He also loves giving back and inspiring others from all walk of life – his Harley Davidson chapter (Sydney HOG) works with Father Chris Riley’s Youth off the Streets program. Radburn uses these opportunities to talk to youth living rough in Sydney – offering reading and writing as “therapy” and sharing his own teenage experiences. You can find out more about Radburn's books at Pantera Press.
Amanda Hampson Amanda Hampson grew up in rural New Zealand and moved to London in her early twenties. Eventually settling in Australia, she has a particular interest in the themes of place, family and the meanings of home. She now lives in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Amanda is the author of two non-fiction books and three novels: The Olive Sisters, Two for the Road and The French Perfumer. Find out more about Amanda at her website.
Holly Throsby Holly Throsby is a Sydney-based songwriter and musician. She has released five solo albums and a children’s album called See! Holly has been nominated for four ARIA Awards--two for Best Female Artist, one for Best Children’s Album, and one as part of Seeker Lover Keeper, her band with Sally Seltmann and Sarah Blasko. Holly has a distinctive lyric and a distinctive voice and has brought both to GOODWOOD, her first novel, to create something truly special. Find out more about Holly at her website.
Patricia Leslie Patricia Leslie is a Sydney writer with a passion for combining history, fantasy and action into stories that nudge at the boundaries of reality. Her debut novel, The Ouroboros Key (2014), ran with conspiracy theories, a mysterious religious brotherhood, a supernatural race and a hero quest through the Rocky Mountains of Northern Colorado. A Single Light (2016), set in her hometown of Southern Sydney where she had many an adventure on the beaches and in the Royal National Park, is the focus for a Gathering of vampire-like Ghouls and the heroes chosen to stop them. You'll never experience the walking trails and cliffs of the Park in quite the same way again. Her current work-in-progress, also set in Sydney, will mix history and fantasy with a dash of science fiction and travel on the high seas.
Patricia thoroughly explores locations (camera in hand) and combines her experiences with detailed research to create a single entity.
Patricia is also a dedicated reader and collector of books, photographer of the old and abandoned, and erstwhile traveller. You can contact her at her website.
Georgia Carter Mathers Georgia Carter Mathers is a freelance editor and writer. She has a lot of fun writing about vampires, gods and mythological creatures, but within her dark fantasy romances, the reader will find gritty realism and parallels to real life. Her academic background includes an Associate Degree in Creative Writing, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and she is currently working on a Graduate Certificate in Publishing. Georgia has lived in the Sutherland Shire for the past sixteen years with her husband and son. When she is not reading, writing, editing or conversing over social media, she is sleeping. Find out more about Georgia at her website.
Felicity Pulman Felicity Pulman is an award-winning author of numerous novels for children, teenagers and adults, many of them inspired by historical events both here in Australia and in the UK. Ghost Boy has a flashback to the grisly past of Sydney’s Quarantine Station in 1881, and there is a special Ghost Boy tour at the QS for students studying the novel. Ghost Boy is also in pre-production for a movie. A Ring Through Time tells the story of a doomed romance from the time of the second penal settlement on Norfolk Island. Her medieval crime series for YA and adults, The Janna Chronicles, is set in the 1140s during the turbulent and treacherous civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda. The Shalott trilogy (for teenagers) plus I, Morgana and The Once and Future Camelot (adult fiction) are a rewriting and reinterpretation of Arthurian legend, with a glimpse into the (imagined) life of the poet, Marie de France. A recipient of the May Gibbs Fellowship and the Di Yerbury/Society of Women Writers residencies to facilitate her writing, Felicity has also travelled to Norfolk Island, England and France as well as in Australia to research her novels. Many of Felicity’s short stories have been published and/or won awards. She has many years experience talking to both adults and children about researching and writing her novels, and conducting workshops in a variety of genres. Find out more about Felicity at her website.
Sarah Ayoub is a freelance journalist based in Sydney. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, Marie-Claire, Girlfriend, Cosmopolitan, House & Garden, Sunday Style, Yen, CLEO and more, and she tutors journalism at the University of Notre Dame. Sarah is the author of Hate is Such a Strong Word and The Yearbook Committee, contemporary novels that make great supplementary texts for units on Belonging and Discovery. Sarah regularly speaks at schools and writer’s festivals about identity and self-worth in YA fiction, and is passionate about empowering young people to see the value in their own personal stories. Find out more about Sarah at her website.
Dave Reardon was a journalist with The West Australian and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers, covering crime, politics and crocodile attacks for 10 years. After this, he worked with indigenous youth and staged major music festivals before finally moving online. Dave and his wife Ann now produce one of the world’s biggest lifestyle shows HowToCookThat (3M YouTube subscribers and half a billion views).
Dave actively engages this audience in the writing process and received more than 30,000 submissions when he asked fans to name a character in his book, The Deep Enders. Over the years, Dave has ghostwritten several books but The Deep Enders is his first young adult novel. Find out more about Dave at his website.
Deborah Abela Deborah has always been short and a bit of a coward, which is why she writes books about spies, ghosts, soccer legends and kids living in a flooded city with sea monsters and flying machines. There's Grimsdon, New City and Teresa A New Australian, which was inspired by her dad who was born in a cave during one of the heaviest bombing raids of WW2 before migrating to Australia. Her latest book is TheStupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee. Deb’s won awards for her books but mostly hopes to be as brave as her characters. Find out more about Deborah at her website.
Sandy Fussell Sandy Fussell is a mum, an author and a computer programmer. Much to her surprise, these jobs go together very well. She calls herself the Cinderella Author, firmly convinced someone has waved a magic wand over her head.
She is the author of the award-winning historical fiction series, Samurai Kids. Three titles were CBCA Notables and the first book, White Crane, won an international IBBY award for books related to disabilities. The first two and final books are set in Japan, with the remaining titles set in China, Korea and Cambodia.
Her greatest love is historical fiction. Polar Boy, set in the 14th century Arctic was shortlisted for the 2009 CBCA Awards in the Younger Reader category, and Jaguar Warrior set at the end of the Aztec Empire was a CBCA Notable. All Sandy’s titles are on state reading Challenges. She is currently writing her first young adult novel and has a picture book Sad the Dog published in 2015. Sandy enjoys interacting with young readers and writers and has given a number of workshops including a CBCA master class at the Sydney Writers Festival. Find out more about Sandy at her website or about the Samurai Kids series www.samuraikids.com.au.
Geoffrey McSkimming Geoffrey is a children's novelist and poet. He is the author of the 19 volume Cairo Jim chronicles and Jocelyn Osgood jaunts and Phyllis Wong series of mystery novels. To write his Cairo Jim stories, he travelled vastly to Egypt, Peru, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Greece, Mexico, Turkey, Italy and and other locations. Geoffrey has contributed to magazines and poetry anthologies and he has also narrated the Cairo Jim chronicles as audio books. He wrote five character tours, which were performed in the galleries at the Art Gallery of NSW from 2000 - 2013. In June 2006 he undertook an author tour of the UK for Walker Books, who released ten titles in the Cairo Jim series in the UK. He is currently writing the fifth story in the Phyllis Wong mysteries series. Find out more about Geoffrey at his website.
Allison Tait is the author of the children’s adventure series The Mapmaker Chronicles, and a multi-genre writer and speaker with more than 20 years’ experience in magazines, newspapers and online publishing. Race To The End Of The World, the first book in The Mapmaker Chronicles series was published in October 2014, The Book Of Secrets, the brand-new Ateban Cipher series, is coming out this September. In recent years, Allison has shared her passion for writing at events such as the Sydney Writers’ Festival, Somerset Celebration of Children’s Literature, Emerging Writers’ Festival and Romance Writers’ of Australia Conference. Allison’s podcast So You Want To Be A Writer, co-hosted with Valerie Khoo, has been rated by iTunes as the #1 Literature/Writing podcast in Australia. She lives on the south coast of NSW with her family and a cheeky Border Collie.
Professionals Editors / Copywriters
Cathie Tasker Cathie Tasker began her professional life as a librarian, then worked in publishing for many years, creating about 700 books — at Scholastic, HarperCollins and Koala Books. As an editor and publisher she worked on popular and award-winning titles, many of which are still in print. She is now in her third career as a creative writing teacher, mostly at the Australian Writers' Centre. She also enjoys judging literary awards — currently for the Aurealis Awards and the CBCA Book of the Year Awards for 2014-2015. Find out more about Cathie at her website.
Sue Whiting Sue lives and works in a coastal village south of Sydney. She has written numerous books in a variety of genres: fiction and nonfiction, picture books through to YA, including the best-selling The Firefighters, and the award-winning A Swim in the Sea. Her latest book Platypus, illustrated by Mark Jackson, was a CBCA 2016 Notable Book. Sue was Publishing Manager and Senior Commissioning Editor at Walker Books Australia for ten years, before leaving in 2016 to concentrate on her writing and to work from her home as a freelance editor, writing coach and mentor. A former primary school teacher (in another life) with a special interest in literacy education and children’s literature, Sue loves sharing her passion for story and storytelling, reading and writing with people of all ages. Find out more about Sue at her website.
Zoe Walton Zoe Walton is Publisher – Random House Young Readers at Penguin Random House Australia. Zoe edits New York Times bestselling author John Flanagan with his Ranger’s Apprentice and Brotherband series, which have sold eight million copies worldwide. She also publishes many popular and award-winning Australian authors, including Deborah Abela, Tristan Bancks, Fleur Ferris, Emily Gale, Darren Groth, Nicole Hayes, Skye Melki-Wegner and Belinda Murrell.
Clare Hallifax has worked in publishing since 1990. As publishing manager at Scholastic Australia, she is both publisher of Omnibus Books, and manager of Scholastic’s Digital publishing program.
Studying both journalism and literature led Clare to publishing. Her first job in children’s books involved “fact-checking” - standing on one foot, and flicking rubber bands, under the guise of editing primary school science texts.
During her career, Clare has worked with some of the esteemed names of Australian publishing. She retains a love of both fiction and non-fiction and the excitement of discovering new stories and new voices never gets old (unlike Clare!)
James Read James Read is an Editor at Pantera Press, a boutique publishing house with a focus on finding and nurturing fresh Australian talent. He handles manuscript submissions at Pantera Press, actively seeking strong new writing that showcases great storytelling, regardless of genre. James is actively involved in structural editing, copy editing and proofreading of manuscripts plus author liaison.
A vivacious reader with a passion for Australian authors, you’ll always find James with a book in his hands!
Kimberley Atkins Kimberley Atkins is a Commissioning Editor at Penguin Random House Australia. She has worked in publishing for the last eight years in both Sydney and London, where she has held roles in editorial and marketing. In that time Kimberley has worked across academic, education and trade publishing at three of the world’s largest global publishing houses. Most recently Kimberley has been commissioning commercial adult fiction and non-fiction at Penguin, discovering debut authors and working with international bestselling authors including Lesley Pearse, Jojo Moyes, Liane Moriarty and Stephen Fry. In her spare time, she has also self-published a bestselling novel on behalf of her mother, which has since led to a traditional publishing contract, seventeen international rights deals and four further novels.
Presenters will be updated regularly so keep your eye on this page.