The Heroines Festival is proud to present
Catherine McKinnon is an award-winning writer of novels, plays, and short stories. Her novel, Storyland, published by Harper Collins in 2017, was voted one of the 5 most popular books for 2017 on Jennifer Byrne's ABC Bookclub and has been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin prize. In Storyland five stories set in the Illawarra are woven together to tell a story about who we are: our past, present and future, and our connection to this land. Catherine was co-winner of the Griffith Review: Tall Tales Short – The Novella Project 111 award in 2015 and her novel The Nearly Happy Family was published by Penguin in 2008. Her short stories, reviews and articles have appeared inTransnational Literature, Text Journal, RealTime, Narrative and Griffith Review. She teaches creative writing and performance at the University of Wollongong.
Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel aged seven. She has since sold more than a million copies worldwide, and has won many awards including the 2015 American Library Association Award for Best Historical Fiction and the 2017 William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism. Her most recent books for adults include Beauty in Thorns, a reimagining of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ set amongst the passions and scandals of the Pre-Raphaelite circle of artists and poets; Bitter Greens, a reimagining of ‘Rapunzel’; and The Wild Girl, which tells the story of the forbidden romance behind the Grimm brothers’ famous collection of fairy tales. Her books for children include the collection of fairy-tale retellings Vasilisa the Wise & Other Tales of Brave Young Women, illustrated by Lorena Carrington. The Impossible Quest, her fantasy adventure series for children, has been optioned for a film. Kate also has a doctorate in fairy tale studies and is an accredited master storyteller.
Claire Corbett studied film and writing at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and crewed on films before becoming a policy advisor in the NSW Government. Claire has had stories, essays and journalism broadcast on Radio National and published in journals including Picador New Writing, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Monthly, Griffith Review, Overland, Southerly, and Best Australian Stories 2014 and 2015 among others. When We Have Wings (Allen & Unwin), a novel about humans genetically engineered to fly, was shortlisted for the 2012 Barbara Jefferis Award and shortlisted for the 2012 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction and published overseas. Watch Over Me, her second novel, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2017. Claire teaches creative writing at UTS and is a fellowship assessor for Varuna, the National Writers’ House and a Director of the Varuna Board. She has recently completed judging the inaugural Sutherland Shire Short Story Competition.
Pamela Hart is an award-winning author for adults and children. She has a Doctorate of Creative Arts from the University of Technology, Sydney. Under the name Pamela Freeman she wrote the historical novel The Black Dress, which won the NSW Premier's History Prize for 2006. Pamela is also well known for her fantasy novels for adults, published by Orbit worldwide, the Castings Trilogy, and her Aurealis Award-winning novel Ember and Ash. Pamela lives in Sydney with her husband and their son, and teaches at the Australian Writers' Centre. The Desert Nurse follows her bestselling novels The Soldier's Wife, The War Bride and A Letter From Italy.
Anna Westbrook is a Sydney-based writer. Her debut, Dark Fires Shall Burn (Scribe; 2016), is a literary crime novel exploring the impact of an unsolved murder of a young girl in Newtown in 1946. She is a creative writing lecturer at New York University in Sydney and holds a PhD from the University of New South Wales. She has been shortlisted for The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award and received an Australian Society of Authors’ Mentorship Award.
After practising in criminal law, Margaret Morgan became a professional writer, screenwriter and script editor in television for many well-regarded Australian drama series (including Water Rats, A Country Practice and GP). Margaret’s short fiction has been published in Meanjin and Going Down Swinging, and her works for stage (librettos for music theatre) have been performed at major Australian arts festivals. Margaret recently completed a bachelor’s degree in Advanced Science in Biology at Macquarie University, where she focused on plant science, genetics and parasitology. While studying, she won a prize for popular science writing in an international competition judged by Professor Richard Dawkins. Her debut novel The Second Cure is published by Penguin Random House.
Zanny Begg is a Sydney based artist and filmmaker who is interested in contested histories. She is the 2016 winner of the Incinerator Art Award (Art for Social Change), the 2016 winner of the Terrence and Lynnette Fern Cite Residency Paris, and the 2018 recipient of the inaugural ACMI and Artbank film commission. Her film works include; The City of Ladies (with Elise McLeod), and 1001 Nights in Fairfield (2015). Her most recent work The Beehive is a documentary on the life and death of anti-gentrification activist Juanita Nielsen. Zanny has a PhD in Art Theory, was the director of Tin Sheds Gallery at the University of Sydney, and is currently a lecturer at UNSW Art and Design
Jasmin Tarasin is a film and video director. Her credits include Utopia Girls, a documentary about how Australian women won the vote. She is the director of the inter-disciplinary film and dance project, Mother, with choreographer, Stephanie Lake, supported by the Australia Arts Council. Jasmin established, Free The Bid, a non-profit initiative advocating on behalf of female directors for equal opportunities to bid on jobs in the film and TV industry, in Australia. Her current long form work in development is her debut feature film, The Burial, based on the story of the most wanted woman in Australia in 1913, female bushranger Jessie Hickman, adapted from the novel of the same name by Courtney Collins.
Heidi Lee Douglas is a documentary and drama filmmaker. She wrote/co-produced/directed and edited the award winning short gothic thriller Little Lamb, supported by Screen Australia and Wide Angle Tasmania, which has screened in more than 25 film festivals worldwide, picking up awards for Best Film, Best Script, Best Production Design and Best Thriller. In 2017 it was theatrically released in the USA as part of the women in genre anthology feature 7 from Etheria. Heidi's Opening Shot broadcast documentary Defendant 5, about her personal experience of being sued by Australia's biggest logging company was broadcast nationally on the ABC and internationally on Al Jazeera. She is the co-chair of Sydney's Film Fatales, part of an international network of women filmmakers
With participating chairs
Sukhmani Khorana is Senior Lecturer in Media and Culture, and LHA Academic Program Leader of the South West Sydney campus at the University of Wollongong. She is the editor of a Routledge anthology titled Crossover Cinema (2013). Sukhmani has published extensively on transnational film and television, refugee media and the politics of empathy. She holds a current ARC Linkage project (with the Museum of Victoria and The Australian Centre for the Moving Image) examining the role of television in the experience of migration to Australia. She is the author of The Tastes and Politics of Inter-Cultural Food in Australia (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2018):
Judi Morison is a Gamilaroi woman, descendant of a north-west NSW settler family, who has recently completed a historical novel inspired by her great-grandparents’ stories, exploring issues of social justice, identity and place. After working as a librarian, antiques dealer, Indigenous project co-ordinator and academic, she is currently studying Creative Writing at UTS and, with the South Coast Writers Centre’s Black Wallaby Writers, is involved with the publication of Dreaming Inside, a series of anthologies of work from creative writing workshops for Aboriginal inmates at Junee Correctional Centre.
Hayley Scrivenor is a Creative Writing PhD candidate and sessional academic at the University of Wollongong who believes in fiction. Her work has appeared in TEXT, Seizure Online, SCUM, Mascara Literary Review, Phantasmagoria Magazine and Verity La. Hayley is the Director of Wollongong Writers Festival, an annual literary festival held in November.
Sarah Nicholsonis an academic who teaches in literature, philosophy, creative arts, gender and religious studies. She is a past director of the National Young Writers’ Festival, awardee of the Ian Potter Cultural Trust for Literature, and recipient of a Writer’s and Translator’s Centre of Rhodes fellowship. She was the 2017 Emerging Writer in Residence for the Katherine Susannah Pritchard Writers’ Centre. She is the author of The Evolutionary Journey of Woman and an editor of Integral Voices on Sex, Gender and Sexuality. She is a board member of the South Coast Writers Centre, the founder of the Neo Perennial Press, and the director of the Heroines festival.
Gabrielle Journey Jones is a full-time spoken word poet and percussionist born on Gadigal Country, Sydney. She is from Maori and African American bloodlines and lives in Thirroul, NSW with her family. Gabrielle is whole-heartedly inspired by and contributes to diverse creative communities which celebrate inclusion, activism and compassion. Contact via https://poeticpercussion.com.au/
Helena Fox is a writer and creative writing mentor living by the sea in Wollongong, Australia. She runs creative writing workshops for young people throughout the Illawarra and is the Facilitator of the Young Writers Program at the South Coast Writers Centre. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College in the US and her short stories have been published in Island Magazine and Aesthetica Magazine’s Creative Writing Anthology. She has recently completed her debut YA novel.
A coordinator of Enough Said Poetry Slam in Wollongong and a NSW State APS finalist, Bella Luna has been writing since the Big Bang. Her words are vulnerable and thoughtful, and mostly about her experience as a small, anxious planet. Bella has performed her work in Wollongong, Sydney, Canberra, and once in Texas via skype.
With featured readers
Kathryn Lyster is an MA Creative Writing student at The University of Sydney. Kathryn was born in South Africa and now lives in Sydney. Her first novel, The Inevitability of Stars, was published in 2013. She also writes short stories and poetry. She is currently writing a poem a day on her blog – www.kathrynlyster.com.
Kathryn will be reading her poems Siren, Midnight & Fire, from the Heroines Anthology.
Catherine Moffat is a writer who lives on the NSW Central Coast. She’s been published in literary magazines, on radio and in anthologies including The Mer-Creature and other stories, Things that are Found in Trees, Novascapes, The Lost Boy, Shibboleth, and the Hope Anthology. Catherine was the inaugural winner of the Hope Prize. She has won the Katharine Susannah Prichard Speculative Fiction competition, The Body in the Library prize, and the Wyong Short Story Competition. She’s been shortlisted or commended for other prizes including the Margaret River Short Story competition, the Scarlett Stiletto, the Newcastle Short Story prize, and the Elizabeth Jolley Short Story competition.
Catherine will be reading her short story Salt from the Heroines Anthology.
Aislinn Batstone is an Australian writer whose short stories have been highly commended in competitions and published in magazines and anthologies worldwide. She writes across genre boundaries with elements of romance, crime, speculative and contemporary fiction, but all her stories share her quirky humour and humanism. Aislinn spent her childhood in the Wide Bay-Burnett region of Queensland and later moved to Brisbane where she studied human sciences and philosophy at the University of Queensland. After completing her MPhil in Philosophy at St Andrews University in Scotland on a Commonwealth Scholarship, Aislinn turned to writing fiction. She has worked in various positions in tertiary education and project management while continuing to write, as well as raising a family with her husband. You can find Aislinn’s stories on her website,www.aislinnbatstone.com, and connect with her on Twitter @AislinnBatstone. Now based in Sydney, Aislinn is working on a contemporary novel series set in Sydney’s inner west in which a young couple come to grips with modern parenting.
Aislinn will be reading from her short story The Extra Chamber of My Heart from the Heroines Anthology.
Jane Frank is a poet and academic based in Brisbane where she lectures in cultural studies and creative writing at Griffith University. Jane’s earlier background is in regional arts development, festival administration, project management and publishing. She is a previous Board Director of Regional Arts Australia. Jane's chapbook Milky Way of Words was published by Ginninderra Press in 2016, and a collaborative work – Flotsam – (with Scottish poet Hugh McMillan) is forthcoming with Flarestack, UK in 2018. Her unpublished manuscript Dancing with Charcoal Feet was highly recommended in the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize in 2016. Jane’s poems have been anthologised and published widely in journals including Antipodes, Australian Poetry Journal, Westerly, Writ, Cordite Poetry Review; f:oame, Pressure Gauge, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Frogmore Papers, London Grip, Takahe and elsewhere. Jane’s poetry provides much needed oases in an otherwise frenetic existence of work and raising two energetic young boys. She relishes the freedom and possibilities of poetry, but also the discipline and the opportunity to distil experience. Her work aspires to find the surreal in the everyday and the historical – unusual juxtapositions – and also draws on her deep interest, and earlier qualifications, in art history. Palgrave Macmillan published the monograph adapted from her doctoral studies – Regenerating Regional Culture: A Study of the International Book Town Movement – in December 2017.
Jane will be reading her poem Embroidered Map from the Heroines Anthology.
Suzanne Burdon is author of an award-winning novel, Almost Invincible, a biographical novel of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein (Criteria Publishing) and a collection of poetry Socio-Illogical. Suzanne is a sociologist, research consultant, communication specialist and broadcaster (Radio National) living in Sydney. In writing about Mary Shelley she was fascinated by her scandalous life as a teenage rebel, a grieving mother, a determined author and a long suffering lover of a poet well ahead of his time, as well as her fraught relationship with her step-sister, Claire. Mary wrote Frankenstein at eighteen and this is the Bicentennial of its publication. In this, her best known work, Mary's amazing grasp of ethical dilemmas and sociological issues transcend the boundaries of geography and time and are still relevant today.
Lauren Elise Daniels’ literary career commenced with 1st prize in the 1987 Newport Poetry Contest in Rhode Island, USA. Her essays have appeared in Australia’s Antic, The Courier-Mail and Interactive Publication’s 20thanniversary anthology, Just Off Message. The manuscript for her novel, Serpent’s Wake: A Tale for the Bitten, shortlisted with Singapore’s Half the World Global Literati Awards in 2016 and was published this year on 8 March, International Women’s Day. An editor with a BA and MFA in Creative Writing, she has edited 70+ fiction/non-fiction titles, including the works of OAMs Harold Hunt and Russell Darnley and Olympian Nadine Neumann. She is a chair, panelist and literary judge for the Society of Women Writers Queensland and directs the Brisbane Writers Workshop.