We are proud to announce our Kimberley Writers Festival guest artists for 2021
Dervla McTiernan is one of Australia’s best crime writers. Her debut novel, The Ruin, is a critically acclaimed international bestseller for which she has won numerous awards including the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction, the Davitt Award for Best Adult Fiction and the Barry Award for Best Original Paperback. Screen rights have also been snapped up by Hopscotch Features. Dervla's second book, The Scholar, debuted into the Nielsen Bookscan Top 5 on release in 2019, and her third, The Good Turn, went straight to no.1. Born in County Cork, Ireland, to a family of seven, Dervla practised as a corporate lawyer for twelve years. Following the global financial crisis, she moved with her family to Western Australia, where she now lives with her husband and two children. An avid fan of crime and detective novels from childhood, Dervla now writes full time. www.dervlamctiernan.com
Christian White is an Australian author and screenwriter whose debut novel, The Nowhere Child, won the 2017 Wheeler Centre Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript. Rights to The Nowhere Child have also been sold in 17 international territories and acquired for a major screen deal. His second and most recent novel, The Wife and the Widow, became an instant bestseller and was shortlisted for the 2020 Indie Book Awards for best fiction. Christian co-created the television series Clickbait, with Tony Ayres (The Slap), starring Zoe Kazan, Betty Gabriel and Adrian Grenier, currently in production for Netflix. He also co-wrote the feature film Relic, a horror/drama starring Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote and Robyn Nevin, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. He lives in Melbourne with his wife, Summer DeRoche, and their adopted greyhound, Issy. www.christian-white.com
Holden Sheppard is an award-winning author born and bred in Geraldton, Western Australia. His debut coming-of-age novel Invisible Boys (Fremantle Press, 2019) has won several accolades including the 2019 West Australian Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Writer and the 2018 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award. In 2020, Invisible Boys was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and the Readings YA Book Prize, and was named a Notable Book by the Children's Book Council of Australia. The book is currently in development as a television series.
Aśka (pronounced Ashka), is an energetic visual storyteller and science communicator. She has illustrated many published books, comics and is a regular contributor to The School Magazine and other children’s publications. Aśka believes visual literacy is one of the most important skills in today’s world and she loves projects that explore new ways of communicating and presenting ideas with images. She also enjoys challenging her audiences with riddles and drawing stories made up by them, in real time. In her past life, Aśka was a physicist, and she still finds time to share her love of science and explosions with kids big and small. www.askaillustration.com
Cindy Solonec, a Nigena (Nyikina) woman from the West Kimberley, recently had her first novel published, Debesa: The Story of Frank and Katie Rodriguez. Graduating with a PhD in History from UWA in 2016, Debesa is a rewriting of her thesis that explored a social history in the West Kimberley based on the way her parents and extended family lived during the mid-1900s. Cindy is an occasional university lecturer and tutor in addressing Aboriginal themes and is also an Indigenous rep on the History Council of Western Australia. Married with two daughters, five grandchildren and one great grand child, Cindy also plays violin with Encore, a fun, seniors’ all-strings orchestra.
Mel Hall is a writer and musician based in Walyalup (Fremantle), Western Australia. Her fiction has been longlisted for major writing awards, such as the Peter Carey Short Story Prize (2019), the Fogarty Literary Award (2019) and the Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award (2018). Her novella The Choir of Gravediggers was published by Ginninderra Press in 2016, and her short fiction has appeared in Westerly, The Sleepers Almanac and other Australian journals. Latest from Mel is The Little Boat on Trusting Lane.
Susan Midalia is the author of three short story collections, A History of the Beanbag, An Unknown Sky and Feet to the Stars. All were shortlisted for major Australian literary awards, including the QLD Premier’s Literary Awards and twice for The West Australian Premier’s Book Awards. Holding a PHD in contemporary Australian women’s fiction, Susan has also written two novels: The Art of Persuasion and her most recent, Every Day Madness. When she isn’t writing, Susan works as a freelance editor, mentor and workshop facilitator, and has had articles published on contemporary Australian women’s fiction in national and international journals.
Tanya Dalziell works in English and Literary Studies at the University of Western Australia. She writes on topics related to Australian literature, film, music and modernism. With Paul Genoni, she was the recipient of the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction for Half the Perfect World: Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955-1964 (2018), which is being made into a feature film. Her latest book is Gail Jones: Word, Image, Ethics (2020). She is also the co-editor of Cultural Seeds: Essays on the work of Nick Cave (2009) and with Paul Genoni of Telling Stories: Australian Life and Literature 1935-2012 (2013).
Paul Genoni is an Adjunct Associate Professor with the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry at Curtin University. His research and publishing includes Australian literary and cultural studies. Paul is the author of Subverting the Empire: Explorers and Exploration in Australian Fiction (2004); and co-editor with Susan Sheridan of Thea Astley’s Fictional Worlds (2006). With Tanya Dalziell he co-edited Telling Stories: Australian Life and Literature 1935-2012 (2013), and co-authored Half the Perfect World: Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955-1964 (2018). He is a former President of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature.