Our so far incomplete list of participants include:
Damien Becker is a community development youth worker and President of the Port Fairy Film Society, one of the largest and most successful film societies in Australia. Damien is more comfortable watching films than making them, but he has directed and edited numerous music videos and short films, including Snout's Circle High and Wide - one of the top ten music videos of 1998 on Channel V - and Velvet Tongue: On the Road to Nowhere. Damien has run filmmaking short courses at the Port Fairy Community House and loves creating videos quickly and chaotically. He describes his style as well timed mistakes.
Hannah Rachel Bell writes adult and young adult non-fiction, and children's fiction. Her first book Men's Business, Women's Business (1998) explores the role of gender in Ngarinyin culture (Kimberley Region of WA). Her latest book Storymen (Cambridge University Press November 2009) explores story and wisdom through the works of two great storytellers: Ngarinyin artist, actor, cultural activist Bungal (David) Mowaljarlai, and writer Tim Winton. Hannah now lives in Smythesdale after moving from Albany WA. For more than 3 decades she has maintained close connection and family friendship with the Ngarinyin people in the remote northern Kimberley. She and Mowaljarlai together initiated many co-cultural initiatives including education, cultural tourism with Bush University, publishing, art and workshops in men's business and women's business. Cultural 'two-way thinking' infuses all of her works.
Kate Cole-Adams is a Melbourne based writer and journalist. Walking to the Moon is her first novel, and was shortlisted in the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards (Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript) in 2006. Published this year, it is an 'enthralling, seductive first novel' that is both a psychological journey and a piercing exploration of abandonment and loss. A work of striking subtlety and maturity, it heralds the arrival of a brilliant new voice in Australian literature.' Kate is currently working on a non-fiction book exploring memory and awareness in anaesthesia.
Brigid Delaney is a former lawyer turned journalist. She has been a staff writer and editor for The Sydney Morning Herald and worked in digital news and on the foreign desk at the Telegraph. Her writing has appeared in The Age, Martha's Vineyard Gazette, The Spectator and The Guardian. She has contributed a short story to Some Girls Do (Allen and Unwin, 2007) and an essay for Griffith Review 's Next Big Thing issue. Her non-fiction book about young people and consumer culture called The Restless Life: Churning through Love, Work and Travel has recently been published by Melbourne University Press. She currently contributes features and opinion pieces to Fairfax newspapers in Melbourne and Sydney.Brigid grew up in Warrnambool and has lived in Port Fairy.
Robert Gott was born in the small Queensland town of Maryborough. He has published more than 70, mostly non-fiction, books for children, and is also the creator of the newspaper cartoon The Adventures of Naked Man. He is the author of the William Power series of crime novels, the latest of which Amongst the Dead, was shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Award for crime fiction (2008). 'Literature has had its share of heroes, heroes of many kinds: classic heroes, super heroes, accidental heroes, flawed heroes, anti-heroes. And now, at last, it has a dickhead hero.' Shane Maloney
Sonya Hartnett published her first book at the age of 15. She has now (2008) won the world's most prestigious children's and young adults' literary award, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Prize. She has written over 18 novels read avidly by children, young people and adults. As the jury for the above prize put it, "She depicts the circumstances of young people without avoiding the darker sides of life. She does so with linguistic virtuosity and a brilliant narrative technique." Her latest work is 'Butterfly'. "Butterfly is a gripping, disquieting, beautifully observed novel that confirms Hartnett as one of Australia's finest writers." Publisher Penguin Aus.
Leigh Hobbs is an artist and author who works in a wide range of mediums. He is perhaps best known though for the children's books he has written & illustrated, featuring his characters including Old Tom, Horrible Harriet, Fiona The Pig and of course Mr Chicken. The Guardian Review (UK) has referred to Leigh's work as "inspired and original". Booktrusted News (UK) referred to Leigh as ''one of todays best living children's book illustrators". Many of Leigh's cartoons have appeared in The Age newspaper. His ceramic Flinders Street Station Tea Pot is in The National Gallery of Victoria, and his huge Sydney Luna park Sculptures are in the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. The State Library collection holds much of the original Old Tom artwork.
Jan Hurlestone's experience in nursing, science and farming informs her first novel, Network Security Breached, which is a fast paced mystery/adventure with flashes of the supernatural. Jan will be available for book signings at the Reardon Theatre on the Ex Libris weekend.
Dmetri Kakmi is a widely published essayist and critic. His memoir Mother Land was shortlisted for the 2009 NSW Premier's Literary Awards. He works as senior editor at Penguin Books.
Andrew McKenna was a founding member of the innovative theatre company Whistling in the Theatre, and he has performed at festivals, schools and libraries around the eastern states. He is a recipient of an Australia Council Literature Board Grant for fiction, and winner of the Pat Glover Memorial Storytelling Award, Port Fairy Folk Festival, 2006. In 2007 he undertook a major tour of Ireland, performing in festivals, theatres and schools all over the country, and he will tour there again in October.
Bruce Pascoe is a teacher, aboriginal activist, linguist and writer. He has edited the Australian Short Stories magazine and is winner of the Radio National Short Story Award (1998) and the Australian Literature Award (1999). His books include:
Night Animals, Shark, Ocean, Cape Otway, Convincing Ground, Little Red Yellow and Black Boo and, most recently, Bloke (2009). He is a Board member of the Aboriginal Corporation for Languages.
Russ Radcliffe has worked as a bookseller, literary-events organiser, editor, and publisher. He can't draw to save his life but is quite happy to be a parasite on the genius of others. He has edited the annual Best Australian Political Cartoons (Scribe) since 2003, and Man of Steel: a cartoon history of the Howard years (Scribe, 2007). Russ recently launched the independent publishing company, High Horse, with the first book Bruce Petty's Parallel Worlds (High Horse, 2008).
Allan Scarfe now lives in Warrnambool but has lived and worked as a teacher in England, India and Australia. His considerable body of writing is 'a passionate denunciation of poverty a social inequality' deriving from his experiences working in a remote village in India. He has published 2 novels and much non-fiction together with his wife Wendy. In 1980 and 1989 they were joint recipients of Australia Council Literature Board Special Purpose Grants. His bibliographical listings include Who's Who of Australian Writers, Writers Directory (Chicago), and International Who's Who of Authors and Writers (London).
Wendy Scarfe travelled and taught with her husband Allan while also rearing 4 children. She writes poetry as well as fiction and non-fiction. She has addressed women's issues, exploring the struggles of women artists in nineteenth century Australia. Her 'fictions are insistently political' and show 'a consistent interest in the processes of perception and interpretation'. Her bibliographical listings include Who's Who of Australian Writers and International Who's Who of Authors & Writers (London).
Andrew Weldon's cartoon The Strip appears weekly in The Sunday Age. His cartoons have also appeared in The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, Private Eye, The Spectator, and The New Yorker. He has published two collections of his drawings, I'm So Sorry Little Man, I Thought You Were A Hand-Puppet and If You Weren't A Hedgehog... If I Weren't A Haemophiliac... (Allen & Unwin), as well as two children's books, The Kid With The Amazing Head and Clever Trevor's Stupendous Inventions (Penguin). He illustrated The Reading Bug, by Paul Jennings (2003), a non-fiction bestseller, and Written In Blood chosen by CBC as Notable Australian Children's Book 2004. He lives in Melbourne.
Andrew Weldon - Self Portrait