Our writers & illustrators

Eugen M. Bacon is African Australian, a computer scientist mentally reengineered into creative writing. Her work has won, been shortlisted, longlisted or commended in national and international awards, including the Bridport Prize, Copyright Agency Prize, Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Award, Nommo Award for Speculative Fiction by Africans and Fellowship of Australian Writers National Literary Awards.

Claudia R. Barnett is undertaking a Creative Writing PhD at Deakin university. She has completed a Master of Arts in Writing & Literature, also from Deakin, and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Australian Fairy Tale
Society’s ezine (Issues No 5 & 6) in 2017-2018. She is interested in how femininity is represented in seventeenth-century French fairy tales.

Erin-Claire Barrow is an author and illustrator who uses ink and watercolours to explore, retell and subvert traditional fairy tales and folklore. Erin-Claire is the author and illustrator of The Adventurous Princess and other feminist fairy tales, a book of traditional fairy tales retold and illustrated with a feminist

K. Z. Barton is a Melbourne-based writer and primary school teacher. Prior to teaching, she studied creative writing and anthropology at the University of Melbourne. Her short story, ‘Falling’, has been published in Growing Up Disabled in Australia. She’s currently raising her two-year-old son, working on her first novel, and learning how to thrive while living with chronic illness.

Carmel Bird, an Australian writer of fiction, has been working with the motifs and narratives of fairy tale since the 1980s. She has published over thirty books, including such novels as Red Shoes and Cape Grimm. Her most recent novel is Field of Poppies. In 2016 Carmel won the Patrick White Literary Award.

Gabi Brown is a Victoria-based writer who has often been described as being away with the fairies. After a lifetime spinning gold out of straw as a journalist and producer of BBC radio documentaries, she’s happily reverted to type and is currently writing a book about unpleasant faeries, ancient Persian birds and
why you should never throw stones.

Lorena Carrington is an award-winning and internationally published illustrator. She collaborates with authors on fairy tale collections, including Vasilisa the Wise & Other Tales of Brave Young Women, The Buried Moon, and Snow White and Rose Red, (Kate Forsyth) and French Fairy Tales (Sophie Masson), amongst other books. She is also an exhibiting artist. Find her at http://www.lorenacarrington.com

Natalie Cooke writes poetry and fiction for children and adults. Based in Canberra, she was a Katharine Susannah Pritchard Fellow in 2019 and was awarded the 2018 June Shenfield Poetry Prize. She has a particular fascination for the interaction between humans and the Australian landscape.

Muriel Cooper was a prominent talk radio personality in Melbourne and is now a writer, psychologist, and blogger at The Talking Room. She has also been a children’s fairy storyteller. Muriel writes fiction, non-fiction,
children’s stories, short stories and young adult fiction. She now lives on the Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne.

Kira Dandy is a Gurindji woman, mother of two young girls, who lives at Kalkaringi. She is passionate about Gurindji language and culture, and works as an assistant teacher at Kalkaringi School. She was raised by Ronnie Wavehill, her grandfather, who often told her the mermaid story and others as she was growing up.

Spike Deane is a visual artist specialising in cast glass, making art about fairy tales, folklore and mythology. Her mixed media arts practice is focused on the underlying narratives found in folk and fairy tales to consider questions of becoming, transformation and ‘the hopeful journey’.

Rebecca-Anne C. Do Rozario taught and wrote about fairy tales at Monash University. Her book, Fashion in the Fairy Tale Tradition: What Cinderella Wore, came out in 2018. Her short fiction has appeared in publications
including Gramarye, Aurealis, and Scheherezade’s Bequest. She currently makes jewellery and publishes the odd knitting pattern.

Jaquim Duggan is a Kamilaroi-Chinese/Chinese-Kamilaroi man who finds inspiration in the natural environment. The stories passed down to him come from both sides of his heritage. He is a teacher and poet, whose writing has appeared in The Victorian Writer under mentorship of Bruce Pascoe, and Overland.

Carolyn Eldridge-Alfonzetti has had short stories, poems and articles published in mainstream Australian and UK magazines, as well as a variety of literary anthologies. Her publications for children include the picture books Rainforest Feasts and Rocky the Cocky, and a verse novella, Around the Globe with Gramps. A former home economist, food often sneaks into the fiction she now creates. http://www.carolyneldridgealfonzetti.com

Kathryn Gossow has been writing and publishing short and flash fiction in a variety of genres since 2006. Her debut novel Cassandra (Odyssey Books) was an Aurealis finalist for Best Fantasy Novel. Her second novel, The Dark Poet, is a collection of short stories on the dangers of charisma. Taking Baby for a Walk will be published in 2021.

Cindy-Lee Harper loves the tree-scape of the Dandenong Ranges. Thirty years storytelling, she writes spoken word tales. She was surprised by the interest in her thoughts and experiences from her blog readers – http://www.clhharperblog. wordpress.com Whilst Cindy-Lee does not identify as Aboriginal, her heritage
can be traced back to the People of North East Tasmania, which she explores in her storytelling and writing.

Sarah Hart is a Ballarat-based, mixed-media artist and writer with an abiding passion for fairy tales, feminism, the glory in the ordinary, and the stories and experiences of women. She has been involved in both group and solo exhibitions, and her illustrations and writing have appeared in a range of magazines and journals. She lurks on Instagram under @huffinmade

Melissa Min Harvey is a professional storyteller, published poet and a Waldorf/Steiner teacher, with a passion for bringing creative arts to community spaces. As President of the Storytelling Guild of Western Australia (2018, 2019), she is particularly dedicated to preserving rare artistic practices and oral storytelling traditions, working with folk tales, fairy tales, world stories, myth and legend.

Jo Henwood is an Accredited Storyteller with the NSW Storytelling Guild, tour guide, education officer, museum theatre creative, workshop leader, public speaker, and co-founder of the Australian Fairy Tale Society. She has a Master of Cultural Heritage, and qualifications in library science, museum studies, tour guiding, and gifted education.

Helen Hewitt is a self-taught artist working in various mediums, with an overriding passion for illustration, mostly in pen, ink and pencil, utilising technical pens and a magnifying lamp. Her subject matter predominantly reflects a love of the natural world and/or fascination with fantasy and storytelling. Pieces are imagined, stylistic and extensively detailed, often accompanied by her original poetry.

Leila Honari is Head of Animation Art Direction at Griffith Film School. Her PhD research melds animation with Persian carpet design, linking her background in traditional crafts to her academic role. Leila’s research accomplishments include publications, exhibitions, performances, screenings and international conference presentations. She illustrated The Stolen Button, a book with Marianna Shek, and directs The Sufi Art Group.

Roger Howley was born and raised in Adelaide, where he studied Fine Arts and Graphic Design plus music and education. After working and teaching in arts areas in Adelaide, he was lured to Melbourne, working as a project manager on a national education project. He still indulges his creative side by playing guitar badly and knocking out the odd image.

Kathleen Jennings writes and illustrates in Brisbane. She has been shortlisted for a Hugo and four World Fantasy Awards, and has won several Ditmars. Her stories have been collected in US and Australian Year’s Best anthologies. Her Australian Gothic novella Flyaway is out from Tor.com and Picador in
2020, and she has started a PhD on contracts in fairytale novels.

Louisa John-Krol has released albums on record labels abroad, chiefly in France. Bushland drew her to Animism; elementals haunt her. A singerstoryteller gadding from Wonderwings Fairy Shop to Trolls et Légendes (Belgium) and Faerieworlds (Oregon), she’s published widely, cherishing
words, plants and fée lions.

Cate Kennedy likes a steady diet of stories. She’s published short ones, long ones, true ones and made-up ones. Two collections of her work are currently on the VCE syllabus, and she enjoys talking to other people who share her passion.

Jackie Kerin has written two award-winning children’s picture books, Lyrebird! A true story and Phar Lap the Wonder Horse. Her stories reflect an interest in non-fiction and a playful approach to history. When not writing, Jackie works as an oral storyteller in schools, literary and folk festivals in
Australia and overseas.

Yvette Ladzinski has an ongoing interest in the stories of people who have come to call Australia home. Originally from Perth, she graduated from the University of Western Australia in 2004 with an Honours degree in English and Anthropology. In 2007 she moved to Melbourne where she lives with her two young kids.

Ella Lamb wrote her first book – a ghost/alien-invasion story illustrated with stick figures – after a camping trip to the Grampians when she was nine. She still loves writing about ghosts, aliens and things that are possible only in the imagination. Ella lives in Melbourne with her husband and two teenagers.

Jennifer Lehmann wrote ‘Cricket’ as a challenge by a friend and it saw her enter a new genre of short story writing. Jennifer has a background in rural social work and enjoys the rich experiences of country life that have encompassed breeding border collies, playing the piano, baking for agricultural shows, and
teaching and research at university. She writes too!

T. D. Luong was born during the Vietnam War and his family were political refugees. His debut novella Refugee Wolf (Flying Pig Media, 2013) is abridged for this anthology. The story shines a dark light on a society of excess and how it fears asylum seekers. The 2017 Special Education edition contains a glossary of symbols and questions for students.

Sophie Masson was born in Indonesia of French parents and brought up in France and Australia. She is the award-winning author of over 70 books for children, teenagers and adults. A former Chair of Australian Society of Authors and current Chair of the New England Writers’ Centre, Sophie received an AM (Member, General Division) award in the Order of Australia in 2019.

Reilly McCarron is a musician, folklorist and playwright, who co-founded the Australian Fairy Tale Society. Reilly’s 2012 one-woman multimedia play Sleeping Kingdom, Waking Beauty toured interstate, including at The Butterfly Club in Melbourne and Sydney’s Fringe Festival. Reviewers praised the production for its artistic complexity, humour, and insight. She can be found at Meadowlark Soundscapes.

Danielle McGee is a PhD candidate in creative writing at the University of Western Australia, currently drafting her debut fantasy novel, Awakening, whilst researching transcultural fairy tales. Her short fiction has been published in Australian Love Stories (2014). ‘The Origami Mother’ is dedicated to her wee granny Cathy Andrew (1922-2017) who always had faeries at the bottom of her garden.

Lindy Mitchell-Nilsson is a storyteller, author and reformed glossophobe. After writing her first children’s book, Lindy discovered her passion for oral storytelling. She trained at the International School of Storytelling, UK,
where she met Swedish storyteller, Ulf Nilsson. They married and became Heart to Heart Storytelling; Storytellers, Celebrants, Imaginators. Lindy is currently President of the Australian Storytellers, NSW.

Belinda Morris uses colourful layers of watercolour to paint in a style that harkens back to the Golden Age of Illustrators. Her main body of work includes portraits of people through history, scenes of ancient cultures and
characters from fantasy. Based in Melbourne, Belinda is currently painting ‘The Powerful Women Oracle’, written by Angela Hartfield and to be published by Blue Angel Publishing in 2021. Her website is belindaillustrates.com

Monique Mulligan is a writer and freelance editor who works out plot tangles in the shower. Outside work, you will often find her a) writing, b) reading, c) cooking, e) hanging out with other introverts and e) taking photos for her cat’s Instagram account. Her debut contemporary fiction novel Wherever You Go was released in September 2020.

Rachel Nightingale is an author, award-winning playwright, educator and actor. With a passion for storytelling and the theatre, it was only natural her first fantasy series, the Tales of Tarya trilogy, would centre on both. She often finds herself at the mercy of stories that demand to be written. Rachel lives in regional Australia with her family, a very bossy cat and the cutest dog in the world.

Zoya Nojin grew up partly on an outback farm and partly by the sea. Now a medical scientist, Zoya has won multiple awards for her short stories and two mentorships for novels with the Australian Society of Authors and Children’s Book Council of Australia. She’s also been published in The School Magazine, anthologies and online. In 2016, her co-written middle-grade novel, Into Tordon, was published by MidnightSun.

June Perkins is a multi-arts creative born to a Papua New Guinean Indigenous mother and Australian father. She was raised in Tasmania as a Bahá’i and combines poetry, blogging, photography, story and more to
explore themes that interest her – peace, ecology, spirituality, cultural diversity, resilience and empowerment. Her works include Illuminations (2020) and Magic Fish Dreaming (2016). Her website is https://juneperk.wixsite.com/gumbootspearlz

Debra Phillips’ recent PhD delves into how fairy tales are useful tools for navigating a way out of personal trauma. She’s had recent academic publications and art exhibitions and is involved in yarn-storming community art projects. Bringing art, healing and creative expression to the streets, she reworks fairytale themes to expose their dark edge and our morphable lives.

Patricia Poppenbeek has had romances published in Little Gems, the Romance Writers of Australia anthology. Her short stories have appeared in Timeless Tales, the AFTS Ezine, Tirra Lirra and Tango Australis. Dick Whittington style, her little writing group, the Cartridge Family, won a City of Melbourne grant to publish Melbourne Subjective (2014), an anthology which includes three of her works.

Angie Rega is a writer and teacher based in Canberra. Her short stories have been published in Australia, Canada, United States, United Kingdom and Norway. Her publications have appeared in The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror, PS Publishing and Overland. She is an Aurealis and Norma K. Hemming Award Finalist and runner up of the Overland Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize.

Rachel Roberts has always been fascinated by the power of drawing to communicate ideas and feelings. She combines traditional and digital techniques to create her pictures, exploring different styles and effects. Her
work is published on book covers and in magazines, and she’s illustrated an award-winning children’s picture book. Rachel’s larger works on paper have been exhibited in Australia.

Anezka Sero is a PhD student at Monash University, specialising in narratology, childhood and war trauma and fairy tale. She’s written three novels and two childrens’ series. Currently, she’s writing a novel retelling
Hoffman’s ‘Nutcracker’ story in a contemporary Melbourne setting. She lives with her two young boys in Williamstown and dreams about snow, sugarplum fairies and large vats of black coffee.

Leife Shallcross has been fascinated by stories about canny fairy godmothers, heroic goose girls and handsome princes disguised as bears ever since she can remember. Her debut novel, The Beast’s Heart, a retelling of ‘Beauty and the Beast’, was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2018, and her short fiction
has been published in a bunch of Australian and international anthologies.

Marianna Shek is a fantasy writer with a PhD in transmedia storytelling. Her short stories have been published by Australian Fairy Tale Society, Tiny Owl Workshop and Griffith University. Her writing has been shortlisted for
the Deborah Cass Writing Prize (2018) and won the Conflux Short Story Competition (2017). Marianna lectures at Griffith Film School in animation and games.

Anne E. Stewart is an award-winning storyteller whose velvet voice swings from croon to boom. Her first ‘proper’ job was Children’s Librarian in Darwin, a life-changing experience that opened her eyes to the songlines and true history of Australia. ‘Storytelling is a quest for learning’: she has travelled Australia and worldwide honing her craft, sharing her rich repertoire of stories.

Margaret Storey was born in 1957 and spent her growing years at Rosebud where she sold her first painting at the age of eighteen. Her subjects vary, but her real love is animals and birds painted in traditional style. Margaret works in acrylics, watercolour, and oils. Margaret is presently a tutor with Clayton-Clarinda Arts.

Clare Testoni is a writer, puppeteer, and podcaster. Recent plays include ‘The Double’, ‘Tale of Tales’, ‘The Beast and The Bride’ and ‘West of The Moon’, all performed at The Blue Room Theatre in Perth. Clare also created the podcast series ‘Singing Bones’ which looked at the cultural history of fairy tales.

Ronnie Wavehill, a revered Elder and Custodian of the Gurindji people in the Northern Territory, was born on Wave Hill Station in 1936. His grandparents would take him hundreds of kilometres on foot to stations for ceremonial business, teaching him to share stories and songs. Ronnie spent years working with linguists documenting Gurindji language and the stories he had learned. He passed away on the 20th May 2020 a few months after preparing this story for publication.

Nola Wernicke has enjoyed fairy tales for a while now. Over the past few years her poetry has been influenced by them. She’s had some haiku and free verse published in various places, such as Page Seventeen (Vic), Free Xpression (NSW) and The Mozzie (QLD). She lives in regional Victoria among trees and hills, ripe places for fairytales to be written.

Danielle Wood’s books include two collections of contemporary fairy tales, Mothers Grimm and Rose Little’s Cautionary Tales for Girls. In addition to the literary fiction she writes under her own name, she writes commercial fiction as ‘Minnie Darke’ and children’s fiction as one half of ‘Angelica Banks’ (the other half is Heather Rose). She lives in Tasmania.

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