The writers

Natalie Sprite was shortlisted for the Australian Vogel Literary Award for her novel Grace Notes. She is the winner of several literary fellowships and awards, including a 2016 AsiaLink fellowship, the NT Literary Awards and Australia Council grants as both a songwriter and a novelist. Her work has appeared on the ABC as well as in Meanjin and Australian Award Winning Writing.

Sarah Jean is a poet, adventurer and storyteller with a gift for finding beauty in darkness. In 2015, her life was transformed when her son Noah was stillborn. She left her corporate career, picked up her pen and traveled North. Inspired by Noah, her heart is open to all the mysteries of life. This is her first publication.

Alene Ivey has crammed three homelands and over forty countries into her life. She has shown movies and sold popcorn to remote mining communities in Australia, dived with whale sharks in Thailand, sailed the Greek islands and climbed Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. She has been a printer, a website designer, a fisherman, a belly dancer and a firefighter. She draws on these life experiences in her four books and has won prizes for her short stories, both overseas and in Australia.

Mary O’Brien Kingman has been the owner of a photographic art gallery, a jazz pianist and a rouseabout in a shearing shed. Her fiction has been published in the Macleay Island Inspirational Writers’ publications and she was running-up in the 2012 NSW FAW competition and winner of the Award in the Cumbrian(UK) Carlisle Book Festival poetry competition in 2010.

Russell Dorries has been living in the bay islands for almost a decade and the spirit of the bay is evident in his writing.

Margaret Smeaton was a counsellor in the criminal justice system for many years before deciding to try and keep people out of prison. She successfully completed a Graduate Diploma in Child Psychotherapy with Honours to equip her to work with children. A voracious reader, dog-lover, and bush-walker who recently hiked 322 kilometres of the Camino Trail. Her work has been published and she is currently working on a novel based on her experiences in the Correctional system.

Ellen Trewin is the great great granddaughter of a Maori Princess and a Suffragette from King Arthur’s home of Cornwall. From travelling through remote Japanese islands, editing music videos in London and cleaning toilets in Byron Bay, Ellen has never shirked a challenge.  An adventurer of heart and body, her quest for truth, feathers and great music remains unabated.

Michele Newton enjoys travelling. Having lived in New Zealand, USA and Australia, she found her home on Macleay Island. Michele values family, friends and living in our community of artistic, caring people, enjoys renovating and photography.

She still maintains a life interest in political and community matters. Her writing often illustrates these values. In 2012 Michele was shortlisted in the Redlitzer short story competition for a memoir piece based on her Mother’s dementia.

Susan Sommerlad is a writer and award-winning poet. Her poems have won or been placed in competitions including Scribes Poetic Licence, Ipswich Poetry Feast, Eyre Writers Literary Awards and the Tom Black Memorial Prize. She lives on Macleay Island, and her passion for the natural world, in all its moods, constantly inspires her writing.

Robbie Kirk writes contemporary short stories and non-fiction books for fun. She’s also a ghost writer. The Water Stories project taught her to dig deep and be courageous. ‘The Big Walk’ is the result of shedding many tears and turning a life experience into fiction.

She’s a founding member of The Macleay Island Inspirational Writer’s Group and long-standing member of the Queensland Writers Centre.

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