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Avon Valley Readers & Writers Festival Guets 2016

Download the full program here.

Tabetha Beggs can sum her life up in one word, ‘busy’. She is the Chairwoman of the KSP Writers’ Centre, Tourism Marketing Officer for the City of Perth and a board member of writingWA. She facilitates a weekly writing group and blogs for websites ‘Tweet Perth’ and ‘Ladywanderluxe’ as well as being a founding member of the newly created Writers United collaboration.  She lives in the Perth foothills with her husband and young family and spends much of her time attending and writing about local arts and culture. Tabetha is currently working on her first full-length novel.

Wendy Binks grew up in Denmark, Western Australia and has drawn and painted all her life. She has run her business, ‘Stunned Emu Designs’ for 35 years and has a shop in Fremantle, WA.   Her work features brightly coloured, quirky Australian animals, especially emus. Wendy has created three picture books about Stripey the emu chick, which she wrote, illustrated and independently published. The first book in the series, Where’s Stripey? won the 2005 WA Premier’s Book Award for children’s literature.

Sam Carmody is a writer and award-winning musician from the mid-west town of Geraldton on the central coast of Western Australia. His debut novel, The Windy Season, was shortlisted for the 2014 Vogel’s literary Award, Australia’s most prestigious award for an unpublished manuscript by a writer under the age of thirty-five. It will be published in Australia by Allen & Unwin in August 2016.

Brooke Davis grew up in Bellbrae, Australia, and now lives in Perth, where she works as a bookseller. Her best-selling debut novel, Lost & Found (Hachette Australia, 2014) will be published internationally in thirty countries. Lost & Found was announced as the ibooks Fiction Book of the Year in 2014.

Ron Elliott is a scriptwriter, director and academic.  His directorial credits include a feature film, Justice, and episodes of ABC programs such as Dancing Daze, Relative Merits and Studio 86.  Ron has written for Home and Away, Minty, Wild Kat, Ship to Shore and many more children’s television series. In 2001 he wrote the AFI nominated telemovie Southern Cross. Ron also lectures in Film and Television at Curtin University. His books include Spinner, Now Showing, and Burn Patterns, all published through Fremantle Press.

Sara Foster is the bestselling author of four psychological suspense novels: All That is Lost Between Us, Shallow Breath, Beneath the Shadows and Come Back to Me. Her books have been published in Australia (by Random House) , the US and Germany. Sara lives in Western Australia with her husband and two young daughters, and is a doctoral candidate at Curtin University.

Portland Jones is both a writer and a horse trainer. She has a PhD in literature and runs her own horse training business. She lives in the Swan Valley with her partner and three children.  Seeing the Elephant (Margaret River Press) is her first novel and was short-listed for the 2014 T.A.G. Hungerford Award.

John Kinsella is Professor of Literature and Sustainability at Curtin University. He has published over sixty books and his many awards include three Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards, the Grace Leven Prize for Poetry (twice), the John Bray Award for Poetry, the Victorian Premier’s Award for Poetry, the Christopher Brennan Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry and the Judith Wright Calanthe Award for Poetry (twice). His most recent collections of poems are Firebreaks (WW Norton, New York, 2016) and Drowning in Wheat: New and Selected Poems 1980-1995 (Picador, London, 2016). His most recent story collection, Crow’s Breath (Transit Lounge, 2015) is shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Book Awards.  
 He lives and writes in the Wheatbelt.

Julia Lawrinson has published 12 books for children and young people, including The Flyaway Girls (Puffin, 2015) and Losing It (Penguin, 2012). Her next novel, about a 16 year old girl whose father develops early onset Alzheimer’s, will be published by Penguin Random House in February 2017. She lives in Perth and loves Jack Russells.

Brigid Lowry began her writing career by self-publishing two dreadful poems when she was eight.  She spent her twenties living in a Buddhist community, veered into performance poetry in her thirties and subsequently gained a Masters Degree in Creative Writing before writing eight award-winning young adult books. Her most recent book, Still Life with Teapot (Fremantle Press) is described as “an essential brew for people who love to make lists, for people who love to write and people who love to read about writing.”

Corina Martin is a Mulgyin Jaru/Kitja and Gooniyandi woman, born and raised mainly by her Grand-parents, Grace and Vincent Martin, in Broome Western Australia. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Marketing and the Media and Bachelor of Law. Granny always made her own bread and grandpa would take thick pieces of toast to work. Grandpa would bring leftover toast home and we would eat it. He then began to tell us that the toast grew on a tree, thus is the story of the toast tree. It is based on my sister and I and the story that grandpa told us of the toasts.

Kelli McCluskey is an artist and co-founder of tactical media art group, pvi collective. Formed in 1998 pvi create participatory artworks that incorporate elements of performance, visual art and intervention. Kelli has toured extensively throughout Australia and internationally with pvi’s critically acclaimed performances. A passionate advocate for live art and experimental practice, in 2016 Kelli received the prestigious ‘outstanding achievement in emerging and experimental arts’ award from the Australia Council for the Arts for her work within the sector. 

Fleur McDonald has lived and worked on farms for much of her life. After growing up in the small town of Orroroo in South Australia, she went jillarooing, eventually co-owning an 8000-acre property in regional Western Australia.  Fleur likes to write about strong women overcoming adversity, drawing inspiration from her own experiences in rural Australia. She is the bestselling author of Red Dust, Blue Skies, Purple Roads, Silver Clouds, Crimson Dawn, Emerald Springs and Indigo Storm (all published through Allen & Unwin). She has two gorgeous children and a Jack Russell.
Karina McRoberts was born in San Pedro, California and, following a period of travel now lives in Perth with her husband their dog, and a plethora of wildlife, on a rehabilitated bush property just west of York. Karina worked as a teacher and scientist (her doctorate is in the ecology of disease) before chronic illness forced her into early retirement.  Although her novels are fiction, she colours them with her scientific background and interest in history, combined with her certitude that not all is as it seems.

Michelle Michau-Crawford’s short fiction has been published in Australian Book Review, Westerly and Spiny Babbler. She has also published poetry, non-fiction and plays.  In 2013 she won the prestigious ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. She has worked as a university lecturer, speechwriter, researcher and public relations officer, and has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature.  Her debut short story collection, Leaving Elvis & Other Stories, was published by UWA Publishing in February 2016.

Dr. Rashida Murphy has a Masters in English Literature and a PhD in Writing from Edith Cowan University. In 2016 she won the Magdalena Prize for feminist research for her thesis which includes the novel The Historian’s Daughter.  She has published her short fiction and poetry in various literary journals and anthologies, in Australia, India, the U.K and U.S.A. The Historian’s Daughter was shortlisted in the Dundee International Book Prize in 2015 and published by UWA Publishing in 2016. Currently she is an editor at Westerly and Books Editor at Cafe Dissensus.   She lives in Perth with her husband and visiting wildlife.

Ian Reid is the author of over a dozen books (fiction, nonfiction and poetry) and editor of several more. Some of his work has been translated into foreign languages and won international awards. His publications include three historical novels, The End of Longing, That Untravelled World and The Mind’s Own Place.

Tracy Ryan was born and grew up in Western Australia and began publishing poems and short fiction in her teens. She has published four novels, the latest of which is Claustrophobia (Transit Lounge, 2014), which is shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Book Awards. The most recent of her eight books of poetry is Hoard (Whitmore Press, 2015).  Tracey has twice received the Western Australian Premier’s Prize for Poetry for The Willing Eye (2000), and The Argument (2011) and her work has received other awards including the ABR’s Peter Porter Poetry Prize and the Times Literary Supplement’s Poetry on the Underground Competition. She has worked in libraries, bookselling, editing, and community journalism, and has a strong interest in languages and translation.

Guy Salvidge is a WA teacher and author of the novels Yellowcake Springs and Yellowcake Summer. He’s twice been Emerging Writer-in-Residence at Perth writers’ centres and his short fiction has been published in Westerly, Tincture Journal and The Great Unknown. Guy’s crime story ‘Frank’ won the 2015 City of Rockingham Short Fiction Award.

Melinda Tognini has always been a scribbler of stories and cannot imagine a life without words. She is the author of Many Hearts, One Voice (Fremantle Press) and is a former youth worker and high school English teacher.  Melinda’s feature articles, travel articles and personal essays have appeared in magazines and anthologies in Australia and the US. Melinda also has a Master of Arts in writing and currently acts as a mentor with the charitable 12 Buckets Program for school children.

Dianne Touchell is the author of edgy contemporary young adult fiction. Her first book, Creepy & Maud (Fremantle Press, 2012) was shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year Award in the Older Readers category, 2013. A Small Madness, her second novel, was also acknowledged in the Notable category for the CBCA Book of the Year Awards. Her most recent book is Forgetting Foster (Allen & Unwin, 2016).

Josephine Wilson is a Perth-based writer. She completed her Masters of Philosophy at Queensland University and her PhD at UWA. She currently teaches at Curtin University in the Humanities Honours Program, and in Creative Writing, and Art and Design. Josephine’s writing career began in the area of performance; her works include The Geography of Haunted Place, with Erin Hefferon, which toured nationally and to the London International Festival of Theatre.  Her first novel, Cusp (UWA Publishing) was published in 2005. In 2015 she was awarded the first Dorothy Hewett Prize for an unpublished manuscript for her novel Extinctions which will be published in October 2016, by UWA Publishing.

Dianne Wolfer is a passionate advocate for children’s literature in Australia. She served six years as WA Advisor for SCBWI (2006-2012) and was a member of the Albany Sprung Writers Festival committee for 10 years. In 2013 she won the Louise Schofield Award for services to SCBWI WA. Dianne lives on the south coast and loves regional stories. Lighthouse Girl, the tale of an Albany lighthouse keeper’s daughter, was part inspiration for the Little Girl Giant who walked through Perth streets, and her just-released YA title, The Shark Caller is set partly in the Southern Ocean and partly in the New Ireland Province of PNG. Dianne is currently working on a PhD in Creative Writing (Anthropomorphism in Children’s Literature) at UWA.

William Yeoman is Literary Editor at The West Australian newspaper. A former York resident, William is also a keen guitarist and a regular contributor to Limelight and Gramophone classical music magazines.

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