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Our Mentors

Writers Victoria works with a team of authors, editors and writing tutors to make sure you are matched with an expert in your genre.

Amra Pajalic

Amra Pajalić is an editor, teacher and award-winning author who has written young adult fiction, memoir and romance novels. Her debut novel The Good Daughter (Text Publishing, 2009) won the 2009 Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Civic Choice Award. She is co-editor of the anthology Growing up Muslim in Australia (Allen and Unwin, 2019) shortlisted for the 2015 Children’s Book Council of the Year awards. Her family memoir Things Nobody Knows But Me (Transit Lounge, 2019) was shortlisted for the 2020 National Biography Award. Her latest book is a short story collection The Cuckoo’s Song (Pishukin Press, 2022). She has been successful in obtaining funding applications and has been a panel assessor, and is an award-winning short story writer whose writing has been published in anthologies, journals and in online publications. Her freelance articles have been published in The Guardian, SBS Voices, Southerly and Meanjin journal. Her romance novels are published under her pen name Mae Archer. Amra is completing a PhD in Creative Writing at La Trobe University. Visit www.amrapajalic.com Specialises in:
  • Young adult fiction
  • Adult fiction
  • Memoir
  • Romance
  • Funding applications
  • Short stories
  • Self publishing

Andrew Nette

Andrew Nette is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. He is the author of two novels, ‘Ghost Money’, a crime story set in Cambodia in the mid-nineties, and ‘Gunshine State’. He is co-editor of ‘Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950 to 1980’, which will be released by PM Press in late 2017. He is currently working on a monograph about Norman Jewison’s 1975 dystopian classic, ‘Rollerball’ for independent film and media studies publisher, Auteur’s science fiction imprint, Constellations.

He is one of the founders of Crime Factory Publications, a Melbourne-based small press specialising in crime fiction and co-edited two of its publications, ‘Hard Labour’, an anthology of Australian short crime fiction, and ‘LEE’, an anthology of fiction inspired by American cinema icon, Lee Marvin. His short fiction has appeared in a number of print and on-line publications. He has contributed reviews and non-fiction to ‘The Los Angeles Review of Books’, The British Film Institute, ‘Time Out Melbourne’, ‘The Age’, ‘Guardian Australia’, ‘Overland’, ‘Crikey’, ‘Metro Magazine’, ‘Sight and Sound’, ‘Australian Book Review’ and ‘The Big Issue’.

He is currently undertaking a PhD examining the history of pulp paperback publishing in Australia.

Specialises in:

  • Long and short form crime fiction
  • True crime
  • Non fiction work relating to cinema and popular culture 

Camha Pham

Camha Pham is an accredited freelance editor based in Naarm/Melbourne, with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. She has worked in-house at Oxford University Press and Margaret River Press. As a freelancer, she has worked on copyediting and proofreading projects for publishers including Hachette, UQP, Hardie Grant, Affirm Press and Pantera Press, among others. She has sat on the Editorial Boards of Portside Review and Margaret River Press, and also works in the industry as a mentor and manuscript assessor.

Specialises in:

  • Literary fiction
  • General fiction
  • Essay collections
  • Short story collections
  • Editing
  • Freelancing

Christie Nieman

Christie Nieman is an author, essayist, anthology editor, parent, playwright, and librarian. Her latest novel Where We Begin, set on Dja Dja Wurrung country where she lives and works, fits the bill of ‘Australian contemporary gothic’ and won a Davitt Award and a CBCA Honour Book Award and was shortlisted for both the Victorian and NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Early in her career after her play Call Me Komachi was shortlisted for a Green Room Award she won an Asialink playwrights residency to Japan where she read Kaidan stories, traditional Japanese folk tales of the strange and supernatural, an influence later seen in her novel As Stars Fall. Whether writing novels, essays, short fiction, plays, opinion, or prose poems, her words concern themselves with women and bodies and social structures and human relationships with the environment. Her essay on human exceptionalism and the nature of storytelling, When the Clay Has You, was a feature of The Sydney Review of Books’ New Nature Series. She is also one of the editors responsible for the feminist anthologies Just Between UsMothers and Others, and 2019’s #MeToo: Stories from the Australian Movement. She is a fan of science and has studied a little bit of ecology and biology but she is an actual doctor of creative literatures and ecocriticism, though she finds the title a bit heavy to carry around and so is usually happy to just leave it at home unless she is defending the honour of women with doctorates everywhere and then she shouts it from the rooftops. She lives on the land of the Djaara people with her husband and two kids, a whole host of wild birds, and two very fluffy chooks.

Specialises in:

  • Fiction (literary, crime/mystery/thriller)
  • Short story
  • Young adult fiction
  • Playwriting
  • Essays
  • Memoir

Claire Gaskin

Claire Gaskin has been writing and publishing her poetry for over three decades. She has authored five books of poetry: ‘A Snail in the Ear of the Buddha’, ‘a bud’ (shortlisted for the John Bray SA Festival Award for Literature in 2008), ‘Paperweight’, ‘Eurydice Speaks’ and ‘Ismene’s Survivable Resistance’. Claire lectures at Melbourne University, and teaches poetry at various organisations and centres.

Specialises in:

  • Poetry
  • Short stories

Demet Divaroren

Demet Divaroren is a Melbourne-based writer, editor and creative writing teacher. Her writing has appeared in Griffith REVIEW, Island magazine, The Age Epicure, The Big Issue and From the Outer. Her debut novel ‘Living on Hope Street’ (Allen & Unwin, 2017) won the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award Young Adult category. Demet is the co-editor of the CBCA-shortlisted anthology ‘Coming of Age: Growing up Muslim in Australia,’ a collection of personal essays that challenge stereotypes and celebrate diversity, achievement, courage and determination.

Specialises in:

  • Young Adult fiction
  • Short stories
  • General fiction
  • Memoir and personal essays
  • Gothic fantasy

Earl Livings

Earl Livings has published poetry and fiction in Australia and also Britain, Canada, the USA, and Germany. He also has read his work in many venues around Melbourne and in the USA, England, Ireland, and Wales. Earl has a PhD in Creative Writing and taught professional writing and editing for 20 years. His writing focuses on nature, mythology and the sacred, with a particular interest in Celtic mythology and Welsh language and poetics.

In 2018, Ginninderra Press published his second poetry collection, Libation. Earl is currently finalising a dark ages historical fantasy series and is working on a new poetry collection. His philosophical fantasy verse novel, The Silence Inside the World, is due to be published in early 2022.

Specialises in:

  • Poetry
  • Science fiction
  • Fantasy

Eliza Henry-Jones

Eliza Henry-Jones is an author, PhD candidate and sessional academic in creative writing. She is the author of three adult novels and two novels for young adults, which have been listed for a number of awards. The most recent, Salt and Skin, was published in August 2022. She has qualifications in psychology as well as grief, loss and trauma counselling. She lives on a little flower farm on Wurundjeri land.

Specialises in:

  • Literary Fiction
  • Commercial Fiction
  • Short Stories
  • Young Adult Fiction
  • Trauma Fiction 
  • Memoir

Ellena Savage

Available

Specialises in: 

  • Essays
  • Creative nonfiction

For more information about Ellena, read her bio.


Fiona Murphy

Fiona Murphy is an award-winning writer and editor. Her work has appeared in The GuardianABCThe Saturday PaperGriffith ReviewThe Big Issue, among many other outlets and anthologies. Her memoir, The Shape of Sound (Text Publishing), was published in Australia, New Zealand, UK and North America. It was highly commended in the 2022 Victorian Premier’s Awards. Fiona is a guest lecturer for the RMIT Professional Writing and Editing program.

Specialises in:

  • General fiction and short story
  • Memoir
  • Biography/family history
  • Non-fiction essays

Hoa Pham

Hoa Pham is the award-winning author of seven books and a play so far. Her first adult novel ‘Vixen’ was awarded the Best Young Writer Award by the Sydney Morning Herald and shortlisted by the Aurealis Awards for the Best Fantasy Novel. Her book ‘Wave’ has been translated into Vietnamese and sold in Vietnam. ‘Silence’, a play for three Vietnamese-Australian women, was on the VCE Drama List in 2010. She is also the founder of ‘Peril’, an Asian-Australian arts and culture online magazine. You can find out more about her at www.hoapham.net

Specialises in:

  • Adult and Young Adult fiction
  • Fantasy fiction
  • Magic realism
  • Short stories

Jackey Coyle

Jackey Coyle is an author, editor and presenter. Her two commissioned books – In the End: A practical guide to dying (Fernlea, 2021) and Cancer Treatment Breakthroughs: Milestones, lessons and inspiration for patients, family, friends and survivors (co-author Tim Ladhams, Wilkinson Publishing 2022) – follow a portfolio career as a magazine founder and contributing editor, ghost-writer, freelance editor, postgraduate writing tutor and developer/presenter of short courses.

Jackey earned her Master’s in Writing and Literature by writing a novella themed around Hawaiian music in Australia, and studying fiction, nonfiction, editing, and travel and script writing.

Her magazine writing-editing career has included being Associate Editor of Rhythms magazine and Founding Editor of Inside Small Business and The Strategic Super Investor. After editing travel books for 10 years for Lonely Planet, she now mostly edits books and theses for publishers and emerging authors. See wordygurdy.com.au for recent work.

Writers Victoria has run Jackey’s short courses on running a freelance business for creatives and report writing. She taught writing at Deakin University for several years and holds a Certificate IV in training.

Jackey’s interviews, reviews, articles and short stories have appeared in magazines, anthologies and scholarly journals. She is currently working on a memoir about managing a remote Aboriginal art centre, as well as collection of short stories and poetry. She mentors writers and editors, and edits books and theses.

She is a member of Australian Society of Authors, the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) and Writers Victoria.

Specialises in:

  • Non-fiction
  • Freelancing
  • Editing
  • Business writing

Jinghua Qian

Jinghua Qian is a Shanghainese-Melburnian writer often found worrying about race, resistance, art, desire, queerness and the Chinese diaspora. Ey has been a performance poet, a radio broadcaster, a television journalist, and an arts critic. Eir work has appeared in The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Morning Herald, Overland, Meanjin, and Peril, on ABC TV’s China Tonight, and once on a brick wall. Jinghua lives in Melbourne’s west on the land of the Kulin Nations. jinghuaqian.com | @qianjinghua


Jock Serong

Available 

Specialises in:

  • Fiction
  • Crime, Mystery
  • Historical Fiction 
  • Travel

For more about Jock, read his bio.

 


Jodi McAlister

Jodi is the author of the Young Adult paranormal romance Valentine series, published by Penguin Teen Australia. She is also an academic, and works as a Lecturer in Writing, Literature and Culture at Deakin University.

Specialises in:

  • Young Adult fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Romance

Josiane Behmoiras

Josiane Behmoiras is the author of ‘Dora B: A Memoir of My Mother’ published in Australia and overseas and shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award. She has been teaching writing for a decade, and earned a creative writing PhD at the University of Melbourne. She considers the mentoring of fellow writers as a privilege. Josiane has particular interest in personal upheaval narratives, family history, travel writing, personal essays and dystopian fiction.  Read more on www.josianebehmoiras.com

Specialises in:

  • Fiction
  • Memoir
  • Biography

Please note that Josiane mentors through video link only.


Karen Andrews

Karen Andrews is an award-winning writer of both short stories and poetry, author, editor and publisher. Her work has appeared in many publications throughout the country. Her blog (www.karenandrews.com.au) is a two-time finalist in the Best Australian Blogs competition and she regularly conducts workshops on the subject. She can be found on Twitter (@KarenAndrewsAU). Her latest book is the poetry collection ‘On The Many Shapes Bodies Will Take’ (2017).

Specialises in:

  • Blogging
  • Poetry
  • Fiction

Kate Ryan

Kate Ryan writes fiction and non-fiction and has worked as an editor for publishing houses including Penguin and Lothian Books, as a manuscript assessor, writing mentor and writing teacher. Her work has appeared in publications including ‘New Australian Writing 2’, ‘The Sleepers Almanac’, ‘Kill Your Darlings’, the ‘Griffith Review’, ‘TEXT’ and ‘Best Australian Stories’ (2016), and her children’s picture books were published by Penguin and Lothian. Kate’s short stories have been shortlisted for the Josephine Ulrick and Boroondara Literary Awards and longlisted for the Elizabeth Jolley Prize. She won the Writers’ Prize in the Melbourne Prize for Literature (2015) and in 2016 the novella category in the Lord Mayors Creative Writing Awards. She has a PhD in Creative Writing (La Trobe University, 2013). Her debut novel The Golden Book (Scribe) was published in 2021 and she is completing her second novel HOUSE, about families, houses and emotion. Read more about Kate’s work at: www.kateryanauthor.com

Specialises in:

  • General fiction
  • Literary fiction
  • Short stories
  • Creative non fiction
  • Memoir
  • Young adult and children’s fiction

Kirstyn McDermott

Available

Specialises in:

  • General fiction
  • Short Story
  • Thriller 
  • Science Fiction
  • Horror
  • Gothic
  • Young Adult Fiction

For more information about Kirstyn, read her bio.


Koraly Dimitriadis

Koraly Dimitriadis is a writer of poetry, prose, short-stories and non-fiction who explores feminism, racism, sexuality and culture, while challenging the traditional norms of poetry through literature, performance, film and theatre. She is a freelance opinion writer for major media publications and has written for Daily Life, SBS, Rendezview, The Saturday Paper and many more. She is the author of the controversial poetry book ‘Love and F**k Poems’, which she initially self-published as a zine with English and Greek translation rights sold into Europe. Koraly has received Australia Council funding, has a diploma in professional writing and editing from RMIT, and a double degree in Business and Computing. She is an actor, performer, film and theatre maker.

Specialises in:

  • Poetry
  • Personal opinion journalism

 


Laurent Boulanger

Laurent Boulanger is a novelist and scriptwriter. He writes both literary novels and genre fiction. His literary novels include ‘The Research’, ‘Addiction’ and ‘The Girl From France’, winner of the 2014 Paris Book Festival Awards for ‘Best E-book’ in all categories (all genres, five languages) and the 2014 eBook Award (#1 Gold) for ‘Best Multicultural Fiction’. ‘The Novelist’ won the Grand Prize (Top Honor) and the Best General Fiction at the 2016 Pacific Rim Book Festival. The feature film adaption will be screened at the 2017 Colortape International Film Festival. His award-winning genre novels include ‘The Intern’ (suspense thriller), ‘First Kill’, ‘Second Cut’, ‘Third Victim’ and ‘Better Dead Than Never’ (crime). Laurent has a Ph.D. in Writing and has taught in the postgraduate writing program (M.A. in Writing) at Swinburne University since 2004 with a focus on Journalism.

Specialises in:

  • Literary fiction
  • Crime fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Scriptwriting
  • Script adaptation
  • Journalism

Laurie Steed

Laurie Steed is the Patricia Hackett Prize winning author of ‘You Belong Here’, and lives in Perth, Western Australia. His work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in ‘Best Australian Stories’, ‘The Age’, ‘Meanjin’, ‘Westerly’, ‘Island’, ‘The Sleepers Almanac’ and elsewhere. He teaches Advanced Fiction for Writers Victoria and is a former member of the Editorial Board of Margaret River Press and the Emerging Writers Festival Program Advisory Committee. In 2014, he became the first Australian writer granted fellowship in the history of the Sozopol Fiction Seminars and, in May 2015, he was selected for The 2016 Bernheim Writers Residency in Kentucky, USA.

Specialises in:

  • Short stories
  • Short fiction collections
  • Novels

Lee Kofman

Lee Kofman is the author of six books, including Imperfect (2019, Affirm Press), which was shortlisted for Nib Literary Award 2019, and The Dangerous Bride (2014, MUP); editor of Split (Ventura, 2019), which was longlisted for ABIA Awards 2020, and co-editor of Rebellious Daughters (Ventura, 2016). Her short works have been widely published and her blog was a finalist for Best Australian Blogs 2014. Her most recent book is The Writer Laid Bare (Ventura, 2022).

Lee Kofman is clasping her hands under her chin and is looking up towards the left, smiling

Lyndel Caffrey

Lyndel Caffrey is a Melbourne writer, mentor and creative writing teacher. She works to help writers build a deeper understanding of the story they have to tell and how to tell it. Lyndel has been published by ‘Southerly’, ‘Poetrix’, ‘Vignette Press’ and newmatilda.com, among others. Her novella ‘Glad’ featured in ‘Griffith Review’ 38. She’s working on two novels: ‘The Christmas Box’, set in 1930s Melbourne, and ‘The Gun Club’, her Great War novel, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Richell Prize. Lyndel works for Writers Victoria as Writeability Program Manager.

Specialises in:

  • Memoir and biography
  • Family history
  • General fiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Short story
  • Poetry
  • Crime and mystery
  • Self-help

Marisa Wikramanayake

Marisa Wikramanayake is a Sri Lankan-born, Australia-based, world-travelled author, editor and journalist. She works freelance covering science, politics, business, and arts and lifestyle news and edits books for authors and publishers. She has edited award-winning authors such as Amanda Jay, Theena Kumaraguruanathan and Jane Rawson and won the inaugural KSP Foundation Fellowship for her current book ‘Gin and Tonic’. She was longlisted for the 2018 KYD Unpublished Manuscript Award for her novel ‘Sedition’. She has written for Australian and overseas publications such as the Daily FT and The New Daily and has convened the 2013 IPEd National Editors Conference. In her spare time, she volunteers as a Federal Councillor and delegate for the union MEAA and sits on its Ethics Committee and the National Freelancers Committee. She has also previously sat on WA’s State Literary Board.

In her books, she writes about queer and diverse characters, about what drives people, about mental health, about love and shenanigans and what her friends call ‘the quiet sadness of life’. In the moments when she can breathe, she dances, paints, plays video games, sews and finds more hobbies to distract herself with. She tweets at @mwikramanayake and blogs at marisa.com.au

Specialises in:

  • Journalism – politics, business, news, features, science
  • Science fiction, speculative fiction
  • Crime fiction
  • Literary fiction
  • Short stories
  • Romance fiction
  • Narrative non-fiction
  • Freelancing
  • Working rights and conditions
  • Editing

Maryrose Cuskelly

Maryrose writes fiction and non-fiction. She is the author of the best-selling novel The Cane and of Wedderburn: A true story of blood and dust, which was longlisted for best non-fiction and best debut in the Davitt Awards. She also wrote Original Skin: Exploring the marvels of the human hide and co-wrote The End of Charity: Time for Social Enterprise, which won the 2016 Iremonger Award.

Specialises in:

  • General adult fiction
  • Literary non-fiction
  • Memoir

www.maryrosecuskelly.com.au


Myfanwy Jones

Myfanwy Jones is the author of Leap, shortlisted for the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award, and The Rainy Season, finalist for The Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Best Writing Award 2010. She also co-wrote, with Spiri Tsintziras, the bestselling Parlour Games for Modern Families, awarded ABIA Book of the Year for Older Children 2010.

Her third novel, Cool Water, will be published by Hachette in April 2024.

Alongside her own practice, Myfanwy works as a manuscript assessor and writing mentor, and has a particular keenness for structure and the character of place. www.myfanwyajones.com


Rachel Ang

Rachel Ang is an artist and writer. Their work has been published by The New Yorker, The Washington Post, kuš! and Australian journals like The Lifted Brow, Going Down Swinging and Meanjin. Rachel’s first book, Swimsuit (Glom Press, 2018), won a Silver Ledger Award for Excellence in Comics and Graphic Novels. Their next book, provisionally titled What You Seek (Is Seeking You) will be published by Drawn and Quarterly in 2024.


Roz Bellamy

Roz Bellamy (they/them) is a writer, the editor-in-chief at Archer Magazine and a PhD candidate at La Trobe University researching life writing. Roz’s memoir, Mood, about gender diversity, Judaism and mental illness, is forthcoming with Wakefield Press in 2022. Excerpts of Mood were shortlisted for the Scribe Nonfiction Prize and longlisted for the Kill Your Darlings Unpublished Manuscript Award. Roz’s writing has appeared in Growing Up Queer in Australia (Black Inc.), Going Postal (Brow Books), Living and Loving in Diversity (Wakefield Press), The Big Issue, Going Down Swinging, the Guardian, Kill Your DarlingsMeanjin, Overland, SBS, Seizure and the Sydney Morning Herald.
 

Specialises in:

  • Memoir
  • Personal essays
  • Queer narratives
  • Editing
  • Nonfiction
  • Journalism

Sam van Zweden

Sam van Zweden is a Melbourne-based writer interested in memory, food, mental health and the body. Her writing has been published by the Saturday PaperABC LifeMeanjin, The Big Issue, The Lifted BrowCordite, The Sydney Review of Books, The Wheeler Centre and others. Her work has been shortlisted for the Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers, the Lifted Brow and non/fictionLab Experimental Non-fiction Writing Prize, and the Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Awards. Her debut book, Eating with my Mouth Open, won the 2019 KYD Unpublished Manuscript Award, and is available now. 

Sian Prior

Dr Sian Prior is a writer, broadcaster and writing teacher. She has been a presenter on ABC radio and a regular contributor to The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. Sian teaches creative writing at RMIT University and for writers’ centres, runs her own online writing courses and mentors individual writers. Her essays have been published in Meanjin ‘The Saturday Paper and her first book Shy: a memoir’ (Text Publishing) came out in 2014. Her second memoir, ‘Childless: a story of freedom and longing’ (2022) was short-listed for The Age Non Fiction Book of the Year Award. For more information: sianprior.com.

Specialises in:

  • Short story fiction
  • Memoir
  • Travel writing
  • Self-help writing
  • Essays
  • Feature articles

Sonya Voumard

Sonya Voumard is a widely published non-fiction writer and teacher with a background in political and arts journalism. She spent more than 20 years as a journalist working for major newspapers and magazines, including eight years writing fulltime for the Age. This led her to long form non-fiction writing and publication in literary journals including Meanjin, Griffith Review and Island. She holds a Doctorate of Creative Arts and a Masters in Professional Writing (both) awarded at UTS where she taught non-fiction writing and journalism part time for 9 years until 2014. She has written three published book-length works, including a novel (Political Animals, 2008, Ginninderra Press) and two works of creative non-fiction. Her second book The Media and the Massacre (2016, Transit Lounge) was long listed for a 2017 Stella Award and a 2018 Nita B Kibble Literary Award. Her third book Skin in the Game, The Pleasure and Pain of Telling True Stories was published by Transit Lounge in March, 2018. Her areas of academic interest include the ethics of storytelling and questions of story ownership in the context of non-fiction and memoir. She is currently an adjunct lecturer at SCU and will undertake a writing residency at Bundanon in November 2020 to work on a new memoir titled Tremor

 

 

Specialises in:

  • Journalism
  • Nonfiction
  • Biography
  • Family History
  • Short Story 

Spiri Tsintziras

Spiri Tsintziras is the author of several books and award-winning stories, most recently the memoir ‘Afternoons in Ithaka’. She teaches creative writing at Swinburne University and regularly mentors writers to help them achieve their goals.

Specialises in:

  • Memoir
  • Creative non-fiction
  • Food
  • Travel
  • Can also help with time management if appropriate

Sumudu Narayana

Available 

Specialises in:

  • Adult Fiction
  • Young Adult
  • Fantasy
  • Nonfiction science and Academic writing 
  • Historical fiction 
  • Crime 

For more information on Sumudu, read her bio.


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