Write Teach Place
My first book was a collection of stories, Small Indiscretions: Stories of Travel in Asia (Transit Lounge, 2011). My second book was a young adult novel set in Parramatta, The Incredible Here and Now (Giramondo, 2013), which has won the Prime Minister’s Literature Award (YA) and the IBBY Honour Book for Australia. It has also been shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literature Awards, the WA Premier’s Book Awards and The Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award. I turned The Incredible Here and Now into a play which premiered at The National Theatre of Parramatta in July 2017 and was published by Currency Press. My work has been produced for ABC Radio National and ABC television and I’ve also written for journals and newspapers such as Heat, The Age, The Sun Herald, Island, Wet Ink and Award Winning Australian Writing. My last book No More Boats (Giramondo,2017) was a finalist for The Miles Franklin and The Voss Award. My next book, Girls in Boy’s Cars (YA) is due out with PanMacMillan in 2021.
In the past few years I’ve grown more and more interested in cross-artform collaboration and have worked with artists in many different fields to produce work for The Sydney Festival, The Four Winds Festival, Parramatta Lanes and many other places. I also make all sorts of collaborative, complex and dynamic stories with The Finishing School Collective.
I loved being a high school English teacher for several years but I now do a lot of other kinds of teaching. I’ve been employed to administer and participate in writing and community arts projects for organisations such as Arts NSW, WestWords, Express Media, Bankstown Youth Development Services, Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Information and Cultural Exchange, Arts Access, Writing NSW and the Katherine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre. I also teach writing at Western Sydney University, where I completed a PhD with the Writing and Society Research Centre. I have also served as the Department of Education and Training’s National Ambassador for Literacy Week and I run a huge amount of workshops for both school students and teachers. I’ve been a guest lecturer and teacher at a number of Australian universities and loads of writers’ festivals as well as providing one-on-one mentoring to many writers at all stages of their careers.
I’ve always been really interested in writing that has a focus on place. I guess this is because I’ve moved around a lot in my life before moving to Parramatta permanently over fifteen years ago. I was born in Australia but I spent most of my youth living in a lot of different places like all over North America and Asia. I’m really interested in how writing about place can help us understand more about ourselves and where we are. How place can shape people has been a big theme in my writing. I’m also interested in ways to teach reading and writing to students through an emphasis on place.
If you’d like to get in touch, please use the Contact Me form on my website.