Archive Festival 2016
Program by Writer: Surnames W...

This is an event from the May 2016 Festival.

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Vikki Wakefield (Australian)

Vikki Wakefield’s first young adult novel, All I Ever Wanted, won the 2012 Adelaide Festival Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction, as did her second novel, Friday Brown, in 2014. Friday Brown was an Honour Book, Children’s Book Council of Australia in 2013 and among other awards was also shortlisted for the prestigious Prime Minister’s Awards. Her new novel is Inbetween Days. Vikki lives in the Adelaide foothills with her family.

Ian Walker (Australian)

Ian Walker is executive producer of First Run, ABC’s digital-first podcast project. In a media career spanning 35 years, Ian has worked as a newspaper reporter, Triple J newsreader and in various senior editorial roles across different platforms at ABC. He has made award-winning TV documentaries and produced numerous radio features for Radio National. His writing has appeared in magazines, online and in two books. He likes busking with his ukulele, walking the dog and making mix tapes. This is the best job he’s ever had.

Tommy Wallach (International)

Tommy Wallach is a writer and musician from Brooklyn, NY. His debut novel, We All Looked Up has spent more than 14 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and been translated into 12 languages. His second novel, Thanks for the Trouble, is out in hardcover now.

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Adele Walsh (Australian)

Adele Walsh is the Program Coordinator for the Centre for Youth Literature, providing online content as well as programming events to promote literature for, and to, young adults. Adele has extensive experience as a passionate youth literature advocate sitting on the Melbourne Writers Festival schools advisory and the LoveOzYA committees. In April, she travelled to the US as a Melbourne City of Literature travel grant recipient to observe public youth literature programming. She is the co-host of the forthcoming podcast, Unladylike.

Maggie Walsh (Australian)

Maggie Walsh is a Bwgcolman woman from Palm Island in North Queensland. Walsh writes about her time growing up in her Community as well as on the mainland. Walsh has read her poetry at various functions and events over the last 10 years, NAIDOC in Townsville, Palm Island Spring Festival, Sydney Writers Festival, Queensland Poetry Festival, The 3rd Anniversary Of The Apology Breakfast at Government House. She also read with Jack Thompson one of her poems at his 70th Birthday Bash at The Basement a few years ago. Maggie's first book Sunset published by Vagabond Press in conjunction with Sydney Writers' Festival, is a collection of old and new poetry, thoughts and observations. Maggie is currently working on her second book, also to be published by Vagabond Press.

Jessica Walton (Australian)

Jessica Walton was inspired to write the picture book Introducing Teddy, a story about a transgender teddy bear, after her father transitioned into the woman she had always been on the inside. Jess wanted books that reflected the diversity in her family to read to her young son. The book started out as a Kickstarter project, and will now be published by Bloomsbury. A former secondary teacher, Jess is passionate about literature, board games, the ukulele, and funky prosthetic legs (her current one features green dragon scales). Jess lives with her wife, son, and cats in Melbourne. Introducing Teddy is her first book.

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Rosie Waterland (Australian)

Other than writing one of the most honest memoirs this decade, Rosie Waterland is a media phenomenon. Only 28 years old, she rose to fame with her laugh-out-loud funny recaps of The Bachelor, which had people clicking onto the Mamamia website in astounding numbers. Richard Glover announced it as 'the best television writing since Clive James'. The Anti Cool Girl is her first book. She also is the host of The Binge, a podcast about television.

Robert Watkins (Australian)

Robert Watkins is a publisher of literary fiction and non-fiction at Hachette Australia, and has been working in the Australian book industry for 20 years. Throughout his career he’s worked across sales, marketing and publicity – which has given him a wide perspective on what books have big commercial appeal. Robert has worked with award winners Maxine Beneba Clarke, Inga Simpson and Steven Amsterdam alongside bestsellers William McInnes and Julie Goodwin.

Don Watson (Australian)

Don Watson's books, articles and essays have been widely acclaimed. Recollections of a Bleeding Heart was the Age Book of the Year and won several other awards; American Journeys won a Walkley and was also the Age Book of the Year, and his 2014 book The Bush was the Indie and NSW Premiers Book of the Year. Since the publication of the best-seller Death Sentence in 2003, his website,, has been documenting the viral spread of management-speak and the decline of public language. Worst Words is his latest book.

Richard Watson (Australian)

Richard Watson is a writer, speaker and strategist who works with leadership teams to challenge existing thinking about what is obvious or inevitable. He is also the founder and publisher of What's Next, a website that documents global trends, and the co-founder, with Oliver Freeman and Andrew Crosthwaite, of Futures House Europe, a specialist scenario planning consultancy. Richard is the author of the bestselling book Future Files (Scribe), which has been translated into 14 languages. He lectures regularly in London Business School's Executive Education programmes. His most recent book is Digital vs. Human.

Frances Watts (Australian)

Frances Watts was born in Switzerland and grew up in Australia. Her bestselling picture books include Goodnight Mice! (ill. Judy Watson), the winner of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Award for Children’s Fiction; 2008 Children’s Book Council of Australia award-winner Parsley Rabbit’s Book about Books (ill. David Legge) and Kisses for Daddy (ill. David Legge). Frances is also the author of a fantasy/adventure series, The Gerander Trilogy, and the medieval Sword Girl series (ill. Gregory Rogers), as well as two historical YA novels: The Raven’s Wing, set in Ancient Rome, and The Peony Lantern, set in nineteenth-century Japan.

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Cat Weatherill (International)

Cat Weatherill is one of Europe’s leading performance storytellers for adults. She is magical, passionate and strong, and performs with extraordinary focus and intensity. Her current work is joyously autobiographical, from true online dating adventures in Meet Me at Machu Picchu to celebrating the reality of midlife in How to be Glorious. Cat is also a bestselling children's author. Her most recent book Wild Magic is a re-imagining of the Pied Piper legend.

Nerrilee Weir (Australian)

Nerrilee Weir has been the Rights Manager at Random House Books, Penguin Random House Australia since 1998, and is responsible for selling rights in both the adult and children’s lists in all markets outside of Australia and New Zealand. Nerrilee handles English language rights sales (North America and the United Kingdom), translation rights sales, and film, television and audio rights. She is involved in the process from the initial pitch through to negotiation of offers, and finalising of contracts.

Alexis West (Australian)

Alexis West is an Aboriginal performer, dancer and script writer originally from Queensland. Since 2007 she has tutored many performances with No Strings Attached Theatre Of Disability in Adelaide. Her latest short film TOO RICH featured at the Mercury Cinema SA in 2015. Alexis is a graduate of Eora College of Performing Arts, Aboriginal Dance Theatre Redfern and NAISDA and holds a BA in Aboriginal Studies.

Kylie Westaway (Australian)

Kylie Westaway has spent most of her life travelling and living in different countries. Her background is in theatre where she worked on the Australian production of The Lion King and for the Bell Shakespeare Company. Kylie spent a year teaching 2-6 year olds in South Korea and started working in publishing when she returned to Australia. She is a performed playwright and has written for magazines. Whale in the Bath is her first book.

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Anna Westbrook (Australian)

Anna Westbrook is a Sydney-based writer. Her debut, Dark Fires Shall Burn (Scribe; 2016), is a literary crime novel exploring the impact of an unsolved murder of a young girl in Newtown in 1946. She is a creative writing lecturer at New York University in Sydney and holds a PhD from the University of New South Wales. She has been shortlisted for The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award and received an Australian Society of Authors' Mentorship Award. She is on the Board of Directors at The Red Rattler Theatre in Marrickville.

Deborah Westbury (Australian)

Deb Westbury has been a familiar and respected voice in Australian poetry since her work was first published in 1975. Her first collection of poetry, Mouth to Mouth, was published in 1990. Since then, she has written Our Houses are Full of Smoke (Angus & Robertson), Surface Tension (Five Islands Press), and Flying Blind and the View From Here, published by Brandl and Schlesinger. Deb has a degree in teaching and a Master of Creative Arts in writing, and teaches courses in creative writing throughout Australia.

Judith Whelan (Australian)

Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, Judith has almost 30 years experience as a journalist, both in Australia and overseas. She currently oversees all the content that runs across the SMH's many platforms - its daily and weekend newspapers, mobile and desktop sites, its tablet editions and social media posts. She is also the manager of the masthead's newsroom. Judith was previously the editor of the flagship Saturday edition of The Sydney Morning Herald, a job she took after more than seven years as the editor of Good Weekend, Australia's premier weekend colour magazine. 

Anne Whitehead (Australian)

Anne Whitehead is an author, historian and former TV producer-director with the ABC. She is the author of Bluestocking in Patagonia and her book Paradise Mislaid was winner of the NSW Premier's Award for Australian History. Her latest book is Betsy and the Emperor: The True Story of Napoleon, a Pretty Girl, a Regency Rake and an Australian Colonial Misadventure.

Wendy Whiteley (Australian)

Wendy Whiteley was Brett Whiteley's wife, muse and model. An artist herself, with a finely honed aesthetic sense, she also created the interiors at the heart of Brett's iconic paintings of their Lavender Bay home. When Brett died, followed by the death nine years later of their daughter Arkie, Wendy threw her grief and creativity into making an enchanting hidden oasis out of derelict land owned by the New South Wales Government. Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden by Janet Hawley explores the garden at Lavender Bay and Wendy’s life.

Debbie Whitmont (Australian)

Debbie Whitmont is a lawyer, journalist and author. After working in legal aid, she joined the ABC and is now a reporter with Four Corners. She has reported from all over the world as the ABC's Middle East Correspondent and for Four Corners. She has won two Walkley Awards and is a three time winner of the Australian Human Rights Commission's award for TV journalism. She is the author of An Extreme Event, an investigation of the tragic 1998 Sydney to yacht race.

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Phil Wilcox (Australian)

Multi-award winning poet, Philip Wilcox, is the 2015/16 Australian Poetry Slam National Champion and a two time NSW Poetry Slam Champion. Philip hosts and co-organises Three Poets Speak – a Sydney showcase of the finest spoken word artists from around Australia. He has featured in major events like the China Bookworm International Literary Festival, Wollongong Writers’ Festival and Newtown Festival, where he performed for a crowd of over 8,000.

Marian Wilkinson (Australian)

Marian Wilkinson is a reporter with ABC TV's Four Corners program. She is a multi-award winning journalist with a career that has spanned radio, television and print. She has covered politics, national security, terrorism, environment and refugee issues as well as serving as a foreign correspondent in Washington DC for The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age. She has also worked as Deputy Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, as well as Executive Producer of Four Corners. She has written several books including the political biography, The Fixer, on one of Australia’s most controversial Labor figures, Graham Richardson, and Dark Victory, on Australia’s response to asylum seekers, which she co-authored with David Marr.

Tammy Williams (Australian)

Tammy Williams is a Murri woman and was admitted as a barrister in 2002. Her legal career includes Commonwealth prosecutor and appointments to quasi-judicial bodies. She has been a member of the National Human Rights Consultative Committee and in 2003 was named the Queensland Women Lawyers Association Emergent Lawyer of the Year. Tammy was profiled in the documentary Black Chicks Talking and in 2011 was included in the International Women’s Day ‘Power of 100’ – a list of one hundred women who have helped to shape Australia.

Lesley Williams (Australian)

Lesley Williams is a respected Murri (Aboriginal) Elder. She is best known for instigating the domestic and international Justice for Aboriginal Workers campaign. In 2002 this campaign resulted in the Queensland State Government delivering an historic reparation package of $55.4 million to all Indigenous workers who had their wages and savings controlled by past governments. In 2003 she was awarded the Centenary Medal for her distinguished services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Lesley has co-produced and consulted on a number of documentary films including The Ration Shed and For Their Own Good, and co-wrote On The Banks of the Barambah: A History of Cherbourg. She is a proud and devoted ‘Nana’ to six grandchildren.

Michael Williams (Australian)

Michael Williams is the Director of the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne.
He is also the host of Blueprint for Living on Saturday mornings on ABC Radio National and was formerly a Breakfast presenter at Melbourne’s 3RRR. Michael has also worked as a member of the Australia Council’s Literature Board, in publishing and has written extensively for The Guardian, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and elsewhere.

Sean Williams (Australian)

Sean Williams has been called many things, including the ‘Emperor of Sci-Fi’ (Adelaide Advertiser), and the ‘Lord of the Genre’ (Perth Writers’ Festival). His award-winning output includes over forty novels, one hundred-plus short stories, and even a sci-fi musical. On the sci-fi front, he has written six novels set in the Star Wars universe – his computer game tie-in The Force Unleashed was the first such adaptation ever to debut at number one on the New York Times bestseller list.

Graham Wilson (Australian)

Graham Wilson is a self-published author of nine e-books. They include a memoir about growing up in an Aboriginal community in Arnhem Land and eight novels divided into two series. The first series with three books is a historical fiction family saga titled Old Balmain House. The second series of five books, titled Crocodile Spirit Dreaming, is a murder mystery series set in outback Australia. Graham's books are published on web publishing platforms including Smashwords, Amazon, iBooks and Kobo.

Jeanette Winterson (International)

Jeanette Winterson OBE was born in Manchester. A novelist whose honours include England’s Whitbread Prize, and the American Academy’ s E. M. Forster Award, as well as the Prix d’argent at the Cannes Film Festival, Jeanette Winterson burst onto the literary scene as a very young woman in 1985 with Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. Her subsequent novels, including Sexing the Cherry, The Passion, Written on the Body, and The PowerBook, have also gone on to receive great international acclaim. Her latest novel The Gap of Time is the first in the new Hogarth series, a rewriting of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, that ‘takes the play’s themes of love, jealousy and estrangement and spins them into a taut contemporary tale’. – New York Times

Jennifer Wong

Jennifer Wong is a writer and comedian. She presents Bookish on iView, a weekly complement to The Book Club. Her first job in TV was writing for Good News Week in 2008. As a stand-up, she’s performed at arts and comedy festivals in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, and Edinburgh. She was a writer/performer in The Serpent’s Table, a Performance 4a and Griffin Theatre co-production for Sydney Festival 2014, and recently appeared in the TV comedy Plonk.

Charlotte Wood (Australian)

Charlotte Wood is the author of five novels and a book of non-fiction, and for three years was editor of The Writer's Room Interviews magazine. Her novel, Animal People, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin and shortlisted for the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction. The Australian has described her as ‘one of our most original and provocative writers.’ Her most recent book The Natural Way of Things will be published in the UK and US in 2016.

Ben Wood (Australian)

Ben Wood is the hugely talented illustrator responsible for bringing Squishy Taylor to life in illustration! Ben has been illustrating kid’s books for over a decade and has worked with many Australian authors, including the likes of Margaret Wild. Ben’s charming and expressive illustrations capture Squishy’s cheeky confidence and laidback nature. The vibrancy and energy that Ben puts into all his work perfectly mirrors Ailsa’s writing style – his detailed, movement-filled internal illustrations are the ideal companion to these wonderful stories. Fun fact: a twin himself, Ben completely relates to Squishy’s relationship with her twin step-sisters, giving him an extra-special insight into this family dynamic!

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Frank Woodley (Australian)

Frank Woodley is built from funny - it's in his bones. Whether he's being a comedian, clown, actor or acrobat, he is constantly creating characters and worlds to engage audiences of all ages. Since emerging from the acclaimed duo Lano and Woodley in 2006, Frank has created four new stage shows and his own ABC series Woodley - created by, written, produced and starring Frank as the title character opposite Justine Clarke. Although Frank continues to perform on stage, he has also turned his immense talent to children's books, writing and illustrating his first books: Kizmet and the Case of the Tassie Tiger and Kizmet and the Case of the Smashed Violin

Jamila Woods (International)

Called ‘a modern-day Renaissance woman’ by the Chicago Sun-Times, Jamila Woods is a poet, singer, and teaching artist. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and her poetry has been published by MUZZLE, Third World Press, and Poetry magazine. She is the associate artistic director of Young Chicago Authors and a founding member of its Teaching Artist Corps. 
Woods is a member of Dark Noise, a collective of poets & educators of color. She is also the frontwoman of the Chicago-based soul duo M&O, whose music has been featured in SPINOkayPlayerJET, and Ebony. In 2015, she was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. She lives in Chicago.

Jeremy Wortsman (Australian)

Jeremy Wortsman is the founder and director of The Jacky Winter Group, Australia’s leading creative services agency, and it’s associated gallery space, Lamington Drive, and most recently, the luxury guesthouse and artist residency, Jacky Winter Gardens. He is also the host of the Melbourne chapter of Creative Mornings. In a previous life, he was the co-founder of the design practice, Chase & Galley, as well as one of the founding publishers and designers of Is Not Magazine.

Fiona Wright (Australian)

Fiona Wright’s poetry book Knuckled (published by Giramondo in 2011) won the Dame Mary Gilmore Award for a first collection. Her poems and essays have been published in The Australian, Meanjin, Island, Overland, The Lifted Brow, Seizure and HEAT. Small Acts of Disappearance, Essays on Hunger, was her first book of prose, published in September 2015.

Tom Wright (Australian)

Tom Wright is a Sydney-based dramaturg. Over the last 20 years, 30 of his plays or adaptations have been produced professionally in Australia. He was Associate Director of STC 2004-12. The radio version of his play Lorilei won the Gold Drama Award (British Radio Academy) and BBC Radio Drama Award, 2007. His adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, The Lost Echo, won five Helpmann awards in 2007, including Best Play. His adaptation of Shakespeare’s History Plays, The War of the Roses, won six Helpmanns in 2009, including Best Production.

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Edwina Wyatt (Australian)

Edwina Wyatt is a children’s author, lawyer and secondary teacher from the south coast of New South Wales. Edwina is the author of three picture books: In the Evening illustrated by Gaye Chapman; Together Always illustrated by Lucia Masciullo; and Before You Were You illustrated by Bren Luke. She is currently working as an English teacher and awaiting the arrival of her second child.

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Elizabeth Wymarra (Australian)

Elizabeth Wymarra practises as an actor, writer, producer, director for online, radio, stage, film and television. She is currently appearing on ABC’s sketch comedy show Black Comedy and also appears in the viral online hit #BlackGinChronicles. Poetry is close to Elizabeth’s heart and she performs her poetry nationally. Three of Elizabeth’s short documentary films have recently been broadcast on NITV, and her other films have been featured in festivals nationally. Elizabeth is also a published author of a children’s book, Wandihnu and The Old Dugong, with Magabala Books.

Susan Wyndham (Australian)

Susan Wyndham is literary editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, author of Life In His Hands: The True Story of a Neurosurgeon and a Pianist, and contributing editor of My Mother, My Father: On Losing a Parent