Creative Non-Fiction Festival 2017

“Creative non-fiction is the search for more eloquent and elegant ways to tell the truth in a world where demagogues seem bent on pursuing the ugliest way to frame a lie,” says Mark Dapin, director of the 2017 Creative Non-Fiction Festival.

The NSW Writers’ Centre is delighted to have the award-winning author and journalist at the helm of this year’s festival, pulling together a dynamic program of some of Australia’s biggest non-fiction names and brightest up-and-comers.

The festival is a space to connect with and learn from a community of writers, publishers and editors committed to the power of words. As Mark says, it’s all here – “discussions of the topics that dominate the working lives of creative non-fiction writers: the joy and pain of research; the glamour and exhaustion of travel; the endless search for new ways to wrench a living out of words.” Plus pointers from some of Australia’s leading editors, publishers and book reviewers.

Hear from Stella Prize and Alice Award-winning author and historian Clare Wright, literary editor at the Australian Stephen Romei, Ned Kelly and Walkley Award-winner Malcolm Knox, critically acclaimed journalist and author Helen O’Neill, Junkee Media political reporter Osman Faruqi, journalist and writer Jack Latimore, Guardian Australia editor Lenore Taylor, and many more.

Book tickets  |  Download the full program

Saturday 25 March, 10am-6pm

NSW Writers’ Centre, Callan Park, Balmain Rd, Rozelle

Members – $60, Conc. Members – $50, Non-Members – $90

***Lenore Taylor will replace Paul Daley on Writing Australian Politics***

Program and speakers are subject to change without notice.



Mark Abernethy is a journalist, novelist, ghostwriter and speechwriter. He is the author of six spy thrillers – four of which star Aussie spy Alan McQueen – and has written for the Australian Financial Review for twenty years. He has ghost-written 10 books and is currently working on a two-book series. @Markabernethy



James Bradley is an award-winning writer and critic. His books include four novels, Wrack, The Deep Field, The Resurrectionist and Clade, and The Penguin Book of the Ocean. In 2012 he won the Pascall Prize for Australia’s Critic of the Year. His first novel for young adults, The Silent Invasion, will be published in April. @cityoftongues



Meredith Curnow is the Knopf Vintage publisher at Random House Books (PRH) where she publishes fiction and narrative non-fiction and is always on the lookout for new storytellers to add to her list. Prior to joining Random House, Meredith was director of the Sydney Writers’ Festival. @MeredithCurnow



Paul Daley is an author, short story writer, journalist, essayist and playwright. His most recent book is the political novel, Challenge. He is the author of five non- fiction books, and has been a finalist for the Prime Minister’s History Prize, the Manning Clark House Cultural Awards, The Nib, and ACT Book of the Year. He has won numerous journalism prizes including two Walkley Awards, the Paul Lyneham Award for political journalism and two Kennedy Awards. @PPDaley


Mark Dapin is an award-winning author and journalist. He is a long-time features writer and columnist for Good Weekend magazine, and his latest book-length work of non-fiction, The Nashos’ War, won the national Nib/Waverley Library People’s Choice Award and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award. Mark also teaches writing at the NSW Writers’ Centre.



Osman Faruqi is the news and politics editor at Junkee Media. Before that he ran a polling startup. He’s worked as a political advisor and campaigner and has written for The Guardian, Fairfax, The Australian and the ABC. @oz_f




Kirsten Galliott is the editor-in-chief of the Qantas magazine and Travel Insider. She has been the editor of InStyle and B for Pacific Magazines and the(sydney) magazine and Sunday Life for Fairfax Media. Kirsten is an official ambassador for Dress for Success Sydney, a charity that promotes the economic empowerment of disadvantaged women. @KirstenGalliott



Jane Gleeson-White is the author of Six Capitals: The revolution capitalism has to have and Double Entry. Six Capitals was nominated for the 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards. Double Entry won the 2012 Nib Award and was shortlisted for other major prizes including the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. @janelgw



Gabrielle Jackson is the opinion editor for Guardian Australia. She was previously a senior journalist at The Hoopla, and her work has appeared in the Village Voice, CNN, the Sydney Morning Herald and New Matilda. @gabriellecj



Matthew Kelly is a non-fiction publisher with Hachette Australia, a prominent mainstream publisher. He focuses on good stories, well told, from colonial or contemporary Australia, ranging from military history to popular biography. He has worked at a variety of publishing companies, including Allen & Unwin, Random House Australia, ABC Books and Hachette Australia.



Malcolm Knox has published six novels and fifteen non- fiction books. His books have won a Ned Kelly Award (A Private Man), a Colin Roderick Prize (Jamaica) and the Ashurst Business Literature Prize (Boom), and have been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch and Slovakian. He has ghostwritten a further 13 books. A journalist since 1994, he has won two Walkley Awards and a Human Rights Commission Award.



Birpai man Jack Latimore is a journalist and writer living in Melbourne. His journalism appears in Koori Mail, Guardian Australia, IndigenousX, and Overland. His short fiction has appeared in various anthologies and periodicals. Currently he is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne. @LatimoreJack



Benjamin Law is a journalist, columnist, TV screenwriter and author of two books – The Family Law (2010) and Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012). Both were nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards. The Family Law is now an AACTA-nominated TV series for SBS. @mrbenjaminlaw



Catriona Menzies-Pike is the editor of the Sydney Review of Books. @catri





Helen O’Neill is an award-winning, internationally published journalist and author. Her critically acclaimed books include Daffodil: Biography of a Flower, Florence Broadhurst: Her secret and extraordinary lives, A Singular Vision: Harry Seidler and David Jones: 175 years. She serves on the board of directors of the ASA and Copyright Agency. @helenoneill



Lauren Quaintance is co-founder of Storyation, a content marketing agency that counts Tourism Australia, Tourism Queensland and Carnival Cruises among its clients. A former General Manager and Editor-in-Chief of Travel for Fairfax Media, she writes travel stories for Qantas and Etihad’s magazines among others. She also writes about stylish adventures with her kids on her blog Luxe Travel With Kids. @lquaint, @storyation


Stephen Romei is literary editor and film critic at the Australian. @PairRaggedClaws





Kerri Sackville is an Australian writer, social commentator and author. She has written extensively for print and online publications, and is currently a columnist for Sunday Life magazine, the Fairfax websites Daily Life and Essential Kids, and @kerrisackville




Angela Saurine is a freelance writer based in Sydney, who specialises in travel, lifestyle and social issues. She was named Best Travel Writer in the 2012 AFTA National Travel Industry Awards, was a finalist for Best Responsible Tourism Story in the 2013 Australian Society of Travel Writers Awards and a finalist for Travel Photographer of the Year in the 2014 awards. @angela_saurine



Chris Sheedy is one of Australia’s most successful freelance writers. He has been published regularly in the Sydney Morning Herald, Virgin Australia Voyeur, The Australian, GQ, In The Black, Men’s Fitness, Qantas and countless other big-brand publications. He is also regularly commissioned to carry out professional writing projects for corporates, universities, charities and other businesses. @thehardword



Lenore Taylor is Guardian Australia’s editor. She has won two Walkley Awards and has twice won the Paul Lyneham Award for excellence in press gallery journalism. She co- authored a book, Shitstorm, on the Rudd government’s response to the global economic crisis. @lenoretaylor




Jimmy Thomson has published 10 books, including two sports biographies, three military histories and a true crime memoir. He has created and co-written three successful TV drama series and writes a weekly column on apartment living called ‘Flat Chat’ for the Sydney Morning Herald. He also writes travel features and wrangles four active websites, one of which is



Judith Whelan is the head of spoken content at the ABC and former editor of the Sydney Morning Herald. @whelan60





Dr Clare Wright is an award-winning historian and author who has worked as an academic, political speechwriter, historical consultant and radio and television broadcaster. Clare’s most recent book, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, won the 2014 Stella Prize and the 2014 Nib Award. She is currently an associate professor in history and ARC Future Fellow at La Trobe University. @clareawright



Susan Wyndham has been a reporter, feature writer, Good Weekend editor, New York correspondent for The Australian, a deputy editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and, most recently, the Herald’s literary editor. She is the 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. @SusanWyndhamSMH



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