The 2019 Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival showcases an array of storytelling talent. With almost 60 writers, journalists, illustrators and presenters we invite readers to join writers as we hear wild, weird and wonderful stories.
Authors and Guest Speakers
Dr Joan Arakkal is an orthopaedic surgeon who grew up and trained in India, before moving to the UK where she was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. She later migrated to Australia and now lives in Perth. Slice Girls is her first book.
Jakob Boyd is a poet, organiser and indi-publisher who runs a myriad of grassroots projects in Perth’s art scene and has performed for events, festivals and theatre around Australia.
Cristy Burne is a children’s author and science writer. Her latest books are To the Lighthouse, Off the Track and Zeroes and Ones: The geeks, heroes and hackers who changed history.
Fiona Burrows is an emerging author-illustrator from Perth, WA. She is passionate about children’s literature, and her first three picturebooks will be published in 2019 (with more to follow!).
Liz Byrski is a novelist, non-fiction writer, former journalist and ABC broadcaster, with more than fifty years’ experience in the British and Australian media. She is the author of ten bestselling novels, including her most recent release, A Month of Sundays.
Image: Miles Lowry
Amanda Curtin is the author of novels Elemental and The Sinkings, and short story collection Inherited. Her new title, a work of narrative non-fiction, is Kathleen O’Connor of Paris.
Minnie Darke – Gemini with Virgo Rising, Scrabble cutthroat and knitter, lover of books, freshly sharpened pencils and Russian Caravan tea – wrote the book Star-crossed to amuse herself and to entertain you.
Tom de Souza
Tom de Souza tells stories. He works as a freelance journalist and writer, seeking personal and professional freedom through a different kind of life along the road less travelled.
Image: Nic Duncan
Sarah authored the commercial fishing memoir Salt Story and her second book The Sound is a fictional take on a sealing gang journeying from Van Diemens Land to Albany in 1825.
Pip Drysdale is a writer, actor and musician. The Sunday Girl is her first novel and she is working on a second.
Christina Fernandes is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Curtin University. Christina has worked in the areas of family and domestic violence, consumer involvement in health and refugee settlement and her research interests focus on caring and gender.
Image: Gaby Waldek
Anna Funder is one of Australia’s most acclaimed and awarded writers. Her non-fiction work Stasiland, hailed as ‘a masterpiece’, was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize. Her novel All That I Am won the Miles Franklin and many other prizes. Both books have been published in over 24 countries.
Maddie Godfrey is a writer, poet and educator who aims to facilitate compassionate conversations about social issues. At 23, they have performed poetry at The Sydney Opera House, The Royal Albert Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral (London) and Glastonbury Festival (2017).
Germaine Greer is an Australian writer, academic, journalist and scholar of early modern English literature, widely regarded as one of the most significant feminist voices of the later 20th century.
Image: Alex Ellinghausen
Chris Hammer was a journalist for more than 30 years, covering Australian federal politics and international affairs. His first book The River was the recipient of the ACT Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Walkley Book Award and the Manning Clark House National Cultural Award. He lives in Canberra.
Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith is an award-winning astrophysicist, presenter of ABC television’s ‘Stargazing Live’ and author of When Galaxies Collide (Melbourne University Publishing). She is the Australian Government’s Women in STEM Ambassador.
Tanya is a lawyer from outback Australia, who lived in Margaret River, and while there wrote her memoir of life in Prague, set four years after the Berlin Wall fell.
S.Hill & T.Pushman
Sandra & Tracie Pushman
Sandra is a Yorga (woman) of the Pibulmun people of the South-West and is a Wadandi Elder and Custodian. A professional artist of 26 years, Sandra’s work celebrates personal and cultural identity. “My art is about educating others”. Sandra and her daughter Tracie Pushman will share their cultural journey ‘Coming Home’.
Kylie Howarth is an award-winning, internationally published children’s author-illustrator from Western Australia. She not only draws inspiration from her underwater travels but also her own two fish-kids who are ocean explorers too.
Robert Jeffreys has worked as an actor, teacher, builder, labourer, cleaner, real estate agent, personal security agent and playwright. Robert’s debut novel, Man at the Window, is the first in the Detective Cardilini series, set in 1960s Western Australia.
After failing high school twice, Josh Langley went onto become an award-winning radio copywriter and award-winning children’s author. His quirky and inspirational books have inspired thousands of people around the world.
Image: Sam Cooper
Michael Leunig’s work spans more than forty years and often explores politics, human folly, spirituality and the innocent and sacred personal world in all of us.
Elizabeth Lewis is the Chairperson of the KSP Writers’ Centre in Greenmount WA; a welcoming community supporting writers everywhere. She is a published poet, reviewer, editor and teacher of poetry workshops.
Andy Macleod is a writer, poet and thinker. His poems have been published in two non-fiction books and several online journals. He’s studying a BA at ECU, majoring in Literature and Writing.
James Massola is the South-east Asian correspondent for Fairfax Media. He was previously chief political correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. He was on the ground at Tham Luang cave for the rescue operation.
Rachel McEleney lived in several countries before settling in Australia’s South West. She is a creative writing PhD candidate at Edith Cowan University’s Southwest campus. Her short stories and poetry have been published in several anthologies.
Image: Tessa Ross
William McInnes is one of Australia’s most popular writers and actors. His books include the bestselling memoirs A Man’s Got to Have a Hobby and That’d Be Right. His latest book is Fatherhood.
Susan Midalia is the author of three collections of short stories, all shortlisted for major national literary awards. Her novel The Art of Persuasion (2018) was published to critical acclaim.
Jodie Moffat co-edited Women of a Certain Age. She works as a generalist solicitor with a community legal service and is the 2019 Greens federal candidate for the Canning electorate.
Ian Mutch is an Australian contemporary artist and storyteller, exploring beauty through characters, nature and details. He has recently written and illustrated a children’s book titled More and More and More.
Saoirse Nash is a performance poet/freelance gig organiser/exiled queen. She once started an anarchist collective with regency author Jane Austen, having discovered the meaning of life in the 27th Century through a series of cat related mishaps.
Catherine Noske is a lecturer in Creative Writing and editor of Westerly at the University of Western Australia. Her research focuses on contemporary Australian place-making. Her first novel is forthcoming with Picador.
Jesse Oliver is a writer, educator and Australian Poetry Slam Champion. Jesse’s work highlights the strength in vulnerability, exploring his lived experiences of homelessness, gender transition and mental illness.
Ian Parmenter is a noted food, wine and travel writer, and broadcaster; the founding Festival Director of Tasting Australia; and the former presenter/producer of the award-winning ABCTV series Consuming Passions.
Rachel Robertson teaches at Curtin University. Rachel’s research interests include Australian literature, feminist maternal studies, life writing and critical disability studies. Her memoir, Reaching One Thousand, was published in 2012.
Kim Scott is one of Australia’s foremost authors, two-times winner of the Miles Franklin and author of the award-winning novels Taboo, That Deadman Dance, and Benang. He lives in Perth.
Kit Scriven has been published in Island and short story anthologies. He won the Olga Master Short Story Award in 2016 and 2017, and the SALA Short Story Prize in 2016. He has been highly commended or shortlisted in several other short story competitions.
Holden Sheppard is an award-winning Young Adult author. His novel Invisible Boys won the 2018 City of Fremantle T.A.G. Hungerford Award. His work has appeared in Griffith Review, page seventeen and Indigo Journal.
The odds were against him from the start. Dr Gregory P. Smith is a Forgotten Australian diagnosed as a ‘sociopath’ with dull to mid-range intelligence as a teenager. He now has a PhD.
Susan Laura Sullivan co-edited Women of a Certain Age. She writes fiction, poetry and essays, and currently lives in Japan. In 2012 she was shortlisted for the T.A.G. Hungerford Award.
Lisa is the author of five novels and an ABC radio play. Her most recent works are a YA coming-of-age story Paris Syndrome and a climate change comedy Melt.
Image: Bleddyn Butcher
Named by Bob Dylan as one of his favourite Australian musicians, Dave Warner is also an award-winning novelist (Ned Kelly best crime fiction, WA Premier’s Award literature) who writes crime fiction, children’s novels, screenplays, stage musicals and non-fiction books.
Image: Wayne Webb
Iszaac Webb is a Wadandi / Pibulmun Cultural Custodian and Undalup Association Board Chairperson. The Wadandi people have a long association with the environment of the South West and its natural resources, utilising the Country’s natural resources according to our lore.
Tabetha is the CEO of the Kalamunda Chamber of Commerce, the current Chairwoman of writingWA and the former Chairwoman of the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre in Greenmount. Tabetha is a published author with short stories published both locally and internationally.
Based in Perth, Allan Boyd (the antipoet) has been delivering performance poetry and organising dynamic poetry arts and music events since 1995.
Geraldine Doogue AO is a renowned Australian journalist and broadcaster who has carved out an enviable reputation across print, television and radio. She currently presents the ABC Radio National program Saturday Extra and ABC TV’s Compass.
Margaret River writer and editor Margot Edwards is known locally for her collaborative process over the last 30 years in creating colourful stories of place across numerous mediums, including short story, articles and online blogs and community theatre projects.
Rachel is a first-time MC to the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival stage but is far from a first-time reader, having established in primary school that reading was going to be her job.
Glynn Greensmith is a lecturer in journalism at Curtin University, and the host of It’s Just Not Cricket on ABC Radio. He has been a journalist, newsreader, producer, and presenter with the ABC since 2005. He has been teaching and researching journalism since 2012.
James started out at the BBC in the UK and has been a regular on ABC Perth over the past 12 years. He’s Founder and Director of Lush the Content Agency.
Sarah McNeill is an actor, arts writer, MC and presenter. She is the arts editor for a Perth newspaper, covering theatre, arts, literature, film and food around Perth with interviews, previews and reviews.
A regular MC on the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival stage, Rosi also works internationally as a leadership coach to earn the money she needs to satisfy her two constant cravings, namely reading and travelling.
Rashida Murphy is a writer and facilitator living in Perth. She is the author of The Historian’s Daughter (UWA Publishing).
Gillian started work at the ABC in 1996 in the newsroom as a cadet reporter, and worked in television, radio and online news and current affairs as a journalist for 15 years. She currently presents the afternoon show on ABC Radio Perth and WA.
Rosemary Sayer is a writer, researcher and former journalist. Her third book More to the story – conversations with refugees was published in 2015 by Margaret River Press. She is currently undertaking a PhD in life writing at Curtin University. Her research focuses on refugees, collaborative life writing and human rights.
Nicole Sinclair has a PhD in Creative Writing and her first novel, Bloodlines, was shortlisted for the 2014 TAG Hungerford Award. Nicole’s short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in the Review of Australian Fiction, Westerly, Indigo Journal and Award Winning Australian Writing.
Former Literary Editor and Senior Arts Writer at the West Australian, William Yeoman is now a Travel Journalist with the West Australian and West Travel Club. He continues to write music criticism for Limelight and Gramophone classical music magazines.
Voyager Estate was the main venue for the 2019 Readers and Writers Festival. Our exciting feature events and workshops are held at a number of locations in and around Margaret River.