Chris Mansell studied Economics at the University of Sydney – because she’d read Das Kapital as a teenager and thought economics was the way to understand what is going on. She spent the first ten years of her life on the central coast of NSW, and then she moved to Niugini (Papua New Guinea). At 14, she decided she would be a poet. She has won the Queensland Premier’s Award for Poetry, Amelia Chapbook Award (USA), the Meanjin Dorothy Porter Poetry Prize, and was short-listed for the National Book Council Award and the NSW Premier’s Award.
Brian Purcell graduated with an MA in Writing from Sydney’s UTS in 2001, specialising in the novel. He has been publishing poetry for forty years. Apart from being an award-winning poet, he is also a painter, and was the singer/lyricist for the band Distant Locust, which released records and toured Europe in the nineties. He was the founder and for many years the coordinator of the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival. He’s worked as an editor/proofreader and manuscript assessor for both his own agency, and for the major manuscript agencies Lynk (2003-06) and The Manuscript Agency (2015-2016).
Helen Hopcroft is an artist, producer and writer. She holds a Masters degree from London’s Royal College of Art, and a Creative Writing PhD from the University of Newcastle, Australia. In early 2020, she was selected for a L’AiR Arts multi-artform residency in Paris, an opportunity facilitated by a grant from Create NSW. After returning from Paris, Helen created a solo exhibition, The Re-enchantment, for Maitland Regional Art Gallery. Later in 2020, she produced The Road to Tibooburra, a multi-media art project and super 8 film starring Steve Kilbey, legendary frontman of The Church.
Ben Allan ACS CSI is a producer, cinematographer and colorist with over twenty years experience. He has been at the forefront of the digital revolution in cinematography and post production including color grading & sound mixing and as a multi-award winning Director Of Photography.
Having wanted to be an artist since he was old enough to hold a pencil, Graham Davidson is a professional creative with over 40 years experience in a broad range of creative fields. In the early 80s he was one of Australia’s pioneers in special effects and computer animation. He also has extensive experience as a director, editor and cinematographer. His work in advertising has been recognised with over 30 national industry awards.
Karen has been director of the Hunter Writer’s Centre since 2012. She holds a Masters degree in Writing from the University of Newcastle. Karen is passionate about connecting the Arts with important social issues of the Hunter: reconciliation, homelessness, disability, grief, loss and trauma.
Katrina McKelvey is a children’s author, former primary school teacher, wife, and mother to two tweenagers and a cocker spaniel. She’s written many children’s picture books and educational readers including No Baths Week, Up To Something, Isla’s Family Tree (April, 2020), and Chasing Rainbows (August, 2020).
Emily S. Smith is an author and Early Childhood Teacher who divides her time between educating children in a long day care setting, being an awesome aunt to her young nephews and niece, and writing stories that will entertain and engage children of all ages, from 2 to 102.
Once upon a time, there was a young girl who would sit at her father’s knee and listen as he read a bedtime story. As she got older, he began reading chapter books to her and her siblings and they would beg for “just one more chapter.” Once a book was finished, she would read them over and over again herself. Now that girl is a grown-up and writes bedtime stories for other kids. She hopes they are the sorts of stories that kids want to read over and over. If you haven’t figured it out, that girl was Sharon J. Boyce. Boyce believes in magic, that somewhere dragons are hiding, and that trees are the best of all growing things. All around us are whispers of stories waiting to be told. She loves camping and adventures, animals, and, of course, reading. One day, Boyce would love to have a pet donkey… and a wombat… and an owl… Instead, she has a dog, a cat, and some fish.
Poet and artist Richard Tipping has three degrees including a doctorate from the University of Technology Sydney (2007). He is a widely-published poet and makes artworks which incorporate his own poetic texts – such as in engraved stone sculpture, in original and altered sign designs, and with visual poetry graphics on paper.