Catherine McKinnon (002)

Catherine McKinnon

Catherine McKinnon’s novel Storyland, published by Harper Collins, was voted one of the 5 most popular books in 2017 on Jennifer Byrne’s ABC Bookclub and was longlisted for the 2018 Indie Awards. Five stories set in the Illawarra are woven together to tell a story about who we are: our past, present and future, and our connection to this land.

Catherine was co-winner of the Griffith Review: Tall Tales Short – The Novella Project 111 award in 2015 and her novel The Nearly Happy Family was published by Penguin in 2008. Her short stories, reviews and articles have appeared in Transnational Literature, Text Journal, RealTime, Narrative and Griffith Review. She teaches creative writing and performance at the University of Wollongong.

SESSION: 10am, School Of Arts, Nowra


Alan Baxter

Alan Baxter

Alan Baxter is a British-Australian author who writes supernatural thrillers and urban horror, rides a motorcycle and loves his dogs. He also teaches Kung Fu. He lives among dairy paddocks on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia, with his wife, son, dogs and cat.

He’s the multi-award-winning author of several novels and over seventy short stories and novellas. So far. Read extracts from his novels, a novella and short stories at his website – – or find him on Twitter @AlanBaxter and Facebook, and feel free to tell him what you think. About anything.

SESSIONS: Workshop: Writing Fight Scenes, 11am, Shoalhaven Arts Centre; Panel: Hearts and Horror, 1.30pm, School of Arts. 


Eleanor Limprecht

Eleanor Limprecht

Eleanor Limprecht is the author of three novels: The Passengers (2018, Allen & Unwin), Long Bay (2015, Sleepers Publishing) and What Was Left (2013, Sleepers Publishing). She has been shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal and longlisted for the Voss Literary Prize.

She also writes short stories, book reviews and essays, which have been published various places including Best Australian Stories. She has a Doctorate of Creative Arts from UTS where she works as a casual academic teaching creative writing. Eleanor lives in Sydney but spends as much time as possible on a family property on the South Coast. She was born the United States and raised in Germany, Pakistan and the US.

SESSIONS: Panel: A Place In History, 11am, School of Arts



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Jackie French

Jackie French is an author, historian, ecologist, dyslexic and honorary wombat (part time).  She is passionate about the right of every child to read, and the power of story to change lives. Some of her books have sold millions of copies and won awards nationally and internationally. Others were chewed up by the wombats.

She was Australian Literacy Ambassador 2011, Australian Children’s Laureate 2014-2014, Senior Australian 2015. Her latest books are The Lily and the Rose (adults) Just a Girl (10-14 year olds) Facing the Flame (YA-adult crossover) Barney and the Secret of the French Spies (6-12year olds)  Drought with Bruce Whatley and Millie Loves Ants with Sue De Gennaro.

SESSIONS: Panel: A Place In History, 11am, School Of Arts. Meet Jackie French, 1.30pm, Nowra Library (Children’s Festival)


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Tim Harris

Tim Harris is one of the most exciting children’s authors in Australia. His first book, Exploding Endings: Painted Dogs & Doom Cakes, was awarded Honour Book at the 2017 KOALAs. His new series, Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables, contains his trademark quirkiness, mixed with a touch of poignancy. The lead book was awarded a CBCA Notable in 2018 and has been shortlisted for the 2018 REAL Awards. He is a sought-after presenter, having spoken in over one hundred schools across Australia in 2016 and 2017 alone.

SESSION: Author talk/workshop, 11am, Nowra Library (Children’s Festival)




Allison Tait

A.L Tait is the internationally published bestselling author of two middle-grade adventure series: The Ateban Cipher and The Mapmaker Chronicles. She teaches creative writing for adults and children, and is co-host of the top-rating So You Want To Be A Writer podcast. A.L lives in the Shoalhaven with her family and a very cheeky border collie.

SESSIONS: In Conversation with Melina Marchetta, 2.30pm, School Of Arts; Author visits, Friday 3 August (Children’s Festival) 


Dianne BlacklockDianne Blacklock

Dianne Blacklock was originally plucked off the slush pile at Pan Macmillan, and has since published nine novels of commercial women’s fiction, both in Australia and overseas. Her tenth novel, Jack and Kate, is due out July 2018. Dianne is also a busy freelance editor, with a focus on debut authors of women’s fiction and romance titles.

SESSIONS: Panel: Hearts & Horror, 1.30pm, School Of Arts; Workshop: Writing Sex Scenes, 2.30pm, Shoalhaven Arts Centre


Melina MarchettaMelina Marchetta

Melina Marchetta’s first novel, Looking for Alibrandi, swept the pool of literary awards for young adult fiction in 1993. Saving Francesca and On the Jellicoe Road also won major awards. Finnikin of the Rock won the Aurealis Award for Best YA Novel and was shortlisted for the 2009 CBCA Award. Melina’s most recent novel for young people, The Piper’s Son was long-listed for the Miles Franklin and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Her first novel for adults, Tell The Truth, Shame The Devil, was published in 2016. Melina’s novels have been published in more than sixteen countries and twelve languages.

SESSION: In Conversation, 2.30pm, School Of Arts


Frank Moorhouse

We regret to announce that Frank Moorhouse has withdrawn from the festival due to personal reasons. This session has been replaced by Catherine McKinnon in conversation with Mark Whittaker.

We apologise for any inconvenience.