Jane Abbott

Jane AbbottJane is a co-founder of The Cringe and has contributed several pieces to the blog. She tweets irreverently @bigbadwords.

A full profile can be found at her own site: Big Bad Words






Vanessa Blakeslee

Headshot_Vanessa BlakesleeVanessa Blakeslee’s debut story collection, Train Shots, won the 2014 IPPY Gold Medal in Short Fiction, was long-listed for the 2014 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and has been optioned for a feature film. Blakeslee’s writing has appeared in the Green Mountains ReviewSouthern Review, the Paris Review Daily, the Globe and Mail, and Kenyon Review Online, among others.

Blakeslee’s latest novel, Juventud, is available from Curbside Splendor Publishing.

Lesley Boland 

Lesley has a Bachelor of Communications in Creative Writing from the University of Canberra. Her poetry, short stories and articles have been published in journals and anthologies, including Quadrant, BlockFirstBurleyWinds of Change, and lip magazine. She is also an editor for Blemish Books, a Canberra-based small press. With Blemish Books she has edited three collections of poetry, three novellas and an anthology of fictocriticism. Her unpublished manuscript, The Lesser, was selected for the HARDCOPY2014 professional development program.

Frances Chapman


Frances Chapman is a freelance writer and editor from Sydney. Her short fiction and essays have been published through the Rag and Bone Salon, Lip, Famous Reporter, Island, Ampersand, and Bread, Wine & Thou. She was a staff writer for the Lip Magazine from 2011 to 2013 and has been an editor, features writer and reviewer for the online theatre magazine, Theatre People, since 2010. She has lived in London, Munich, Melbourne, and Hobart, and now lives in Sydney with her partner and one-year-old daughter.

Jane Downing

PENTAX ImageJane was born in Australia but was taken to live on Manus Island three weeks later. She has since lived in Tanzania, Ireland, Indonesia, the (then) USSR, China, the Marshall Islands and Guam, as well as Australia. While living and working in the Marshall Islands, where truth was often stranger than fiction, she began to write. She has since had over one hundred and fifty short stories and about a hundred poems published in journals including Southerly, Westerly, Overland, The Big Issue, Griffith Review and Best Australian Poems 2004. A collection of her short stories, Searching for the Volcano (fourW press), was released in 1999 and her two novels – The Trickster (2003) and The Lost Tribe (2005) – were published by Pandanus Books at the Australian National University. She has a Doctor of Creative Arts degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and has taught creative writing at Charles Sturt University, Albury for the last eight years.

George Dunford

george3 copyGeorge Dunford has written for Lonely Planet, ABC, The Age Good Food Guide and few others. He co-founded Cardigan Press and wrote The Big Trip (a bestselling guide to gap years) for Lonely Planet. He was long listed for the CAL/Scribe prize and received the Rosebank Residency in 2010. He is currently Director of Digital Engagement at the National Library of Australia and is working on a novel that equally loves technology and paper. He blogs at and you can find him on Twitter: @hack_packer.



Conan Elphicke

ConanConan is a former freelance journalist and travel writer whose work has appeared in most major newspapers and magazines in Australia, and several overseas.

His fiction has appeared in the University of New England magazine Social Alternatives and his appalling short play, Australian Faust, was produced at the Newtown Theatre, Sydney, in 2007.

Still, you can tell he’s a proper writer from this photo taken in the Noel Coward Suite at the Raffles Hotel, Singapore. You could do worse than follow him on Twitter @ConanElphicke. Much worse.

Nigel Featherstone

jonnys-nf-photo-20123Nigel Featherstone’s latest work is the novella The Beach Volcano (Blemish Books, 2014). He is a longstanding freelance writer for Fairfax Media and other publications, and, on a contract basis, is currently assisting the ACT Writers Centre with the delivery of HARDCOPY. For more information about Nigel, visit and find him on Twitter @ngfeathers

Author photo by Jonny Lewis (2012)

Sam Hawke

Author photoI was born, raised and educated in Canberra, Australia, and have wanted to write books since realising as a child that they didn’t just breed between themselves in libraries. My first novel, penned in first grade, consisted of twenty pieces of paper stapled together with a dramatic chapter name (‘A nasty shock’; ‘What was in the box?’; ‘Simon gets his comeuppance’) and one sentence on each. Having contemplated careers as varied as engineer, tax accountant and zookeeper I eventually – and largely accidentally – settled on the law. I married my jujitsu training partner and travelled to as many countries as possible before returning to Canberra to raise our two small ninjas and two idiot dogs.

Elise Janes

Elise tried to play by the rules. It didn’t take so now she writes. With a background in music she has performed as a contemporary singer, classical violinist and chamber chorister, and worked behind the scenes as a writer, director, conductor and teacher. Elise won a place in the ACT Writer’s HARDCOPY program with her novel Vision, an adult dystopian thriller. Now completing the Vision trilogy she balances writing with forays into film, fashion, theatre and music. Elise is an ardent fan of bright colours and long discussions over red wine.   View her posts here.

Website  Instagram @elisejanes  Twitter @elise_janes

Current inspirations:  An Infinity of Lists – Umberto Eco, On Writing – Stephen King, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed – Jon Ronson, Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel, At Swim-Two-Birds – Flann O’Brien.

Penny Jones

profile pic smaller file size cropped

Penny Jones has a background as a roller derby skater, waitress, aid worker, diplomat and Bollywood extra. She has skated for the Canberra Roller Derby League, and lived in Timor-Leste, Haiti, New Zealand, Canada and Australia.  Penny’s favourite books include Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie, The Monkey’s Mask by Dorothy Porter and Loaded by Christos Tsiolkas. One of the founders of The Cringe, Penny now blogs at and tweets as @pennyalicejones.


Sean Macgillicuddy

Sean MacgillicuddySean lives in rural New South Wales with his family and other animals. His current novel, The Deep Shallow, was shortlisted for the Varuna Publishing Fellowship and accepted into the Hardcopy Manuscript Development Program in 2014.





Seán Maguire

IMG_0666Seán Maguire lives in Newry in the North of Ireland. Seán has self-published four collections of poetry. Seán is seeking publishers for new collections of poetry and short fiction. Seán’s work reflects heavily on the human tragedies of the violent political conflict in Northern Ireland. He has a BA (Hons) Degree in English Literature and postgraduate qualifications in History and social development. Apart from family life Seán’s biggest passions are music, the creative arts, and human rights.

Christine McPaul

Christine McPaul is a Canberra writer whose crime fiction manuscript was selected for the ACT Writers Centre HARDCOPY2014 professional development program. She has been twice shortlisted for the ANUTECH Prize, has published academic articles about literature and women’s writing, and more recently, book reviews, and a biographical piece for the Australian Dictionary of Biography. Christine was awarded a PhD from the Literature and Theatre Studies Department of the Australian National University in 2009. She is a founding editor of the e-journal, Softcopy.

Christine tweets @christinemcpaul. She muses about writing, reading, and finding that illusive inspiration on her blog, Capable of Anything.


Ashlee Poeppmann

Ashlee Poeppmann is a Brisbane-based writer and a fresh Creative Industries graduate from The Queensland University of Technology. Her short fiction has appeared in Literary Salons in Queensland, and has poured some of her imagination into creative performances in The Woodford Folk Festival. She enjoys writing about culture, the city and existential crises.



Carmel Purcell

Carmel PurcellCarmel Purcell is a realist short story and feature writer. She lives in Brisbane, Queensland and studies Entertainment Industries and Creative & Professional Writing at Queensland University of Technology. Carmel is a third year student and bakery assistant with a lust for travelling the world. She hopes to become a successful female travel writer. In July, she will begin work on a novella, which will be based on experiences travelling in Mumbai, India. The purpose of her trip to Mumbai is to experience Bollywood first hand and see what she can learn from top Bollywood industry professionals and their culture.

Jayde Taylor
Bio PhotoJayde Taylor is from a rural area in Queensland, but now resides in Brisbane in order to attend the Queensland University of Technology. In 2015 Jayde received her Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Creative and Professional Writing, and is now studying to become an English teacher. Currently a member of the Brisbane City Writers, Jayde hopes to one day publish a novel and to continue to create short works of fiction.

Maria Vantsos

VANTSOSdesign Jodhpur Rajasthan, IndiaA Little Gypsy In my Soul is a collection of bold, rich fine art photography taken by Maria Vantsos, which celebrates the raw essence, spirit and aesthetic beauty of colour and culture around the world. She has travelled extensively for over a decade inspired by people and life. Through these experiences her images capture the dramatic and uninhibited ways in which people adapt colour into their day-to-day lives, how they embrace living in the exquisite details of the surroundings they have created. Create a wall display of block-mounted tiles or choose a single, stand-out canvas print from her extensive collection and transform any living space into a cultural experience.


Ken Ward

Ken Amp

A writer. Fiction and music, mostly. A guitarist. Hidden inside music are these beautiful patterns that manifest as triumphant noise. A one-time band manager – eight and a half, the dream still burns in my heart for you. A gig promoter. I’m always looking for something Neu. My second novel, Born Under Punches, got me into 2014’s ACT Writers HARDCOPY professional development program. Tweets as @jofixi – my views are my own, unless I retweet. Does that count?

There are books I never stop reading, that are on a constant loop in my head: American Tabloid – James Ellroy, Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco, The Discovery of Heaven – Harry Mulisch, Room – Emma Donoghue, Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk, The Yellow Birds – Kevin Powers, High Fidelity – Nick Hornby, Libra – Don DeLillo, Glamorama – Bret Easton Ellis, Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh, and, The Tao of Pooh – Benjamin Hoff.

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