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Rachel Hennessy

A photograph of Rachel Hennessy

Rachel Hennessy is the award-winning author of novels The Quakers (Wakefield Press, 2008) and The Heaven I Swallowed (Wakefield Press, 2013). Her first novel, about a group of obsessive teenagers, was described by cult novelist John Birmingham as ‘un-put-down-able’ and was winner of the Adelaide Festival’s Best Unpublished Manuscript Award. This manuscript was also long-listed for The Australian/Vogel Literary Award, shortlisted for the Varuna Writers Centre Manuscript Development Program and winner of the ArtsSA prize for Creative Writing. Her second novel, which took the perspective of a white woman who “adopts” an Aboriginal child, was Runner Up in The Australian/Vogel Literary Award, long listed for the Nita B Kibble Award, and described by Australian Aboriginal Studies as ‘an important book’. Rachel’s first book in a Young Adult speculative trilogy, River Stone, was published by MidnightSun in 2019. ReadingKids described it as ‘a gripping Young Adult dystopia with a unique flavour, filling the genre’s bones with its vibrant characters, relentless storytelling and a phenomenal world’. The second novel in the trilogy, Mountain Arrow (MidnightSun, 2020) was reviewed as ‘a brilliant read and a fantastic follow up to River Stone’ (Kids’ Book Review). The final book in the trilogy – City Knife – will be published in 2023. Rachel’s short fiction have been published in various anthologies including: Scorchers: A Climate Fiction Anthology; Small City Tales of Strangeness and Beauty; Emerge: New Australian Writing; On Edge and The Body. She has also had nonfiction and academic work published in TEXT: The Journal of Writing and Writing Programs, New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, Overland, Kill Your Darlings, The Lifted Brow and Daily Life. She has been a manuscript assessor for Writers Victoria and an assessor on the Literature panel of Creative Victoria and the Australia Council. She was most recently a Lecturer in Creative Writing in the Department of English and Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and two young daughters.

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