Sovereign Stories 10 years of black&write!


Overview | Books | Authors 

black&write! fellows are brilliant writers with distinct experiences, voices and styles from across the continent. Together they showcase the strength and diversity of First Nations writing at its best. 

Sue McPherson

Sue is a Freescribing Storyteller who lives on the Sunshine Coast.  As a writer Sue enjoys making change, pushing boundaries and challenging her readers and audience. Currently Sue writes for TV, Film, Scripted Podcasts and for Young Adult fiction. She loves meeting people from all walks of life, they are her inspiration.

Book: Grace Beside Me

Ali Cobby Eckermann

Ali Cobby Eckermann was born in Brighton, Adelaide, on Kaurna Country, and grew up on Ngadjuri country between Blyth and Brinkworth in mid-north South Australia. She travelled extensively and lived most of her adult life on Arrernte, Jawoyn, and Larrakia countries in the Northern Territory.  Her poetry reflects her journey to reconnect with her Yankunytjatjara/Kokatha family. In 2017, Eckermann won both the Red Room Poetry Fellowship and the international Windham Campbell Prize from Yale University.

Book: Ruby Moonlight

Jillian Boyd

Jillian Boyd was born on and raised on Thursday Island in the Torres Straits, far north Queensland. She is a budding author, poet and songwriter. She is a Torres Strait Islander who is passionate about her people, culture and shaping our future leaders, our children and youth. A single mother of six children – since becoming a young mother at the age of 20 – Jillian’s focus has been on providing for her children but she has always loved writing and at the age of 41 she made a decision to start writing professionally. Jillian is a perfect example of how anything is possible if you put your mind to it and it’s never too late to go after your dreams and aspirations.

Book: Bakir and Bi

Tori-Jay Mordey

Tori-Jay Mordey, born up on Thursday Island, is an established Indigenous Australian illustrator and artist based in Brisbane. Growing up she openly shared both her Torres Strait Islander and English heritage, which is often reflected in her contemporary Indigenous art practice - producing work based around her family and siblings as a way of understanding herself, her appearance and racial identity.

From a young age Tori-Jay had dreamed of becoming a children’s book illustrator, and black&write! helped open those doorways for her. They became the stepping stones that helped guide her to go on and do many wonderful projects and books both nationally and internationally.

Over the years Tori-Jay has honed her skills in digital illustration, drawing, painting, printmaking and film while also expanding her skills as an acclaimed mural artist in Brisbane.

Book: Bakir and Bi

Teagan Chilcott

Teagan Chilcott is an author living in Chermside, Queensland. She identifies with the Kamilaroi from Northern NSW and Wakka Wakka from Queensland. Born in Brisbane, she was raised by her mother and grandmother. In her senior year of high school, Teagan began working on Rise of the Fallen. She wrote the final chapter of the novel first before writing the beginning. In her spare time Teagan loves to read and watch all things horror.

Book: Rise of the Fallen

Dave Hartley

David Hartley is a deputy principal in the city of Logan, south of Brisbane. He lives on the Gold Coast with his wife and two daughters. Employed by Education Queensland for more than a decade, he has taught across many year levels and was awarded ‘Gold Coast Teacher of the Year’ in 2009. David’s people are Barunggam, the traditional people of the Darling Downs/Chinchilla region.

Book: Deadly D and Justice Jones: Making the Team

Scott Prince

Scott Prince, from the Kalkadoon People in Mt Isa, lives on the Gold Coast with his family. Scott has played Rugby League for the Brisbane Broncos and a number of other NRL teams, including Wests Tigers, where he won a premiership in 2005. Scott has represented Australia at an international level and has been part of the Queensland State of Origin side. In 2005, he won a premiership while playing for the West Tigers.

Book: Deadly D and Justice Jones: Making the Team

Tristan Savage

Tristan Michael Savage is a Brisbane based Writer-Performer. Through applying his creative talents, he has enthralled audiences across the country, resulting in a procession of national awards for his writing, stand-up comedy, and filmmaking respectively. He has performed live at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival where he was awarded Deadly Funny National Champion, and is Australia’s first Indigenous Science Fiction author for his novel Rift Breaker, for which he won both the prestigious black&write! Fellowship, and the Kris Hembury Encouragement award for emerging artists as presented at the Aurealis Awards ceremony. Tristan writes as a freelance Film and Television screenwriter for various production companies, and he is the inaugural winner of the Magabala Fellowship for his current work in progress.

Book: Rift Breaker

Jared Thomas

Dr Jared Thomas is a Nukunu person of the Southern Flinders Ranges, and Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art and Material Cultural at the South Australian Museum. He is a playwright and internationally award-winning author of Sweet Guy, Calypso Summer, Songs That Sound Like Blood and co-author of the Patty Mills Game Day series. Jared’s writing explores the power of belonging and culture.

Book: Calypso Summer

Jane Harrison

Jane Harrison is descended from the Muruwari people of NSW and is an award-winning playwright and author. Her latest play The Visitors premiered at Sydney Festival in 2020 in a sold-out season.  Her first play Stolen played across Australia and internationally for seven years, touring again in 2018. Rainbow’s End, was first produced in 2005, then again in 2009, 2011 and 2019. It is currently on the NSW English curriculum and won the 2012 Drover Award. Her novel Becoming Kirrali Lewis won the 2014 black&write! Prize, and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. Jane is artistic director of the Blak & Bright First Nations Literary Festival (2016, 2019 & 2022).

Book: Becoming Kirrali Lewis


Adrian Stanley

Adrian Stanley is a Boandik person on his mother’s side from Robe in South Australia, and a Kalali person from the channel country in Queensland on his father’s side. He is the working on country co-ordinator on the Gawler Ranges National Park in South Australia. He won the Unpublished Indigenous Writer award at the 2013 Queensland Literary Awards, and has previously been published in Seizure.


Alison Whittaker

Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi poet, essayist and legal academic.

Book: Lemons in the Chicken Wire

Jannali Jones

Jannali Jones is a Krowathunkoolong woman of the Gunai nation. She holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Technology, Sydney. Jannali was the winner of the 2015 black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowship and an inaugural recipient of Magabala’s Australian Indigenous Creator Scholarship. Her short stories and poetry have been published in literary journals in Australia and overseas, including Overland, Southerly, the Review of Australian Fiction and Westerly. When not writing, Jannali enjoys spending time with family, video gaming, going to the movies and reading. My Father’s Shadow is her first book.

Book: My Father's Shadow

Dylan Coleman

Dylan Coleman is a Kokatha-Greek woman who grew up in Thevenard, on the far west coast of South Australia. She has a PhD in creative writing from the University of Adelaide, where she teaches Indigenous health, and her short stories have been published in Southerly and various anthologies. For over twenty years Dylan has worked across Aboriginal education, health, land rights, and the Arts, with a focus on Aboriginal community engagement and social justice.


Claire G. Coleman

Claire G. Coleman is a writer from Western Australia. She identifies with the South Coast Noongar people. Her family are associated with the area around Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun. Claire grew up in a Forestry settlement in the middle of a tree plantation, where her dad worked, not far out of Perth. She wrote her black&write! fellowship-winning book Terra Nullius while travelling around Australia in a caravan. The Old Lie is her second novel.

Book: Terra Nullius


Nardi Simpson

Nardi Simpson is a Yuwaalaraay writer, musician, composer and educator from North West NSW freshwater plains. A founding member of Indigenous folk duo Stiff Gins, Nardi has been performing nationally and internationally for 20 years. Her debut novel, Song of the Crocodile was a 2018 winner of a black&write! writing fellowship.

Book: Song of the Crocodile

Lystra Bisschop

Lystra Bisschop, a descendant of the Guugu Yimithirr, Birri Gubba, Erub, and Scottish nations, is an award-winning writer, editor, and photographer who lives in a land where the rainforest meets the sea... the Yugambeh-speaking nation (Gold Coast), Australia, along with the rest of her surf-crazed family: husband, Ray, and their two children, Zoe and Bob.

When she’s not writing poetry or chipping away at her fictional novels The Upwelling trilogy, Lystra is the editor of Surfing Life magazine and executive producer of Surfing Life TV (globally broadcasted on Fuel TV). She is the first female—as well as Indigenous—editor of a mainstream surfing magazine in the world. Lystra loves catching waves at her local break with her family (an interlude between home-schooling and writing tasks).

Surfing is Lystra’s daily reminder “to never let fear stop you from doing the things you love or were meant to do.” It’s also her creativity generator.


Lisa Fuller

Lisa Fuller is a Wuilli Wuilli woman from Eidsvold, Queensland, also descended from Wakka Wakka and Gooreng Gooreng peoples. She is doing her PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Canberra, while fitting in sessional academic and freelance work. Her debut novel, Ghost Bird, has won a number of awards, including the 2020 Queensland Literary Awards, Griffith University Young Adult Book Award.



Tania Crampton-Larking

Tania Crampton-Larking is a proud Mirning woman from the west coast of South Australia. Based in Adelaide, Tania adores writing. She has a kids' educational reader published. Her latest kids' novel will be published by Hachette Australia in 2022.


Carl Merrison

Carl Merrison is a Jaru and Kija man from Halls Creek. Carl is an educator, mentor and football coach with a passion for empowering First Nations youth. Carl was nominated for Australian of the Year in 2016.

Eunice Day

Eunice Day (nee Graham) is a proud Aboriginal woman, who values connecting generations and connecting people. Her mother’s tribe is the Yimen Eaglehawk people from the Dawson Valley and her father’s tribe is the Lama Lama people from North Queensland. Her stories are inspired by stories passed down to her.

Tylissa Elisara

Tylissa Elisara is a children’s social worker who lives and works on Gimuy Walubara Yidinji land in Cairns with her husband and young family. She descends from the Narungga, Kaurna and Adnyamathanha people of South Australia and was born and raised on Mamu Country in Innisfail, Queensland – a heritage, alongside her Irish ancestry, she proudly regards as a long legacy of storytelling and resilience in the face of adversity. Tylissa has long enjoyed reading classic novels to her children and, after returning from maternity leave with her youngest in late 2019, she started working at a school where she regained her love and inspiration for writing. Tylissa has since pursued postgrad studies in writing at UQ in hopes to further develop this passion.  

Susie Anderson

Susie Anderson writes from the nexus of compassion and resistance. Her poetry and nonfiction are widely published online and in print, such as in Archer Magazine, Artist Profile, Artlink, un magazine, Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia and in many poetry anthologies. In 2018, she was runner-up in the Overland Poetry Prize and awarded the Emerging Writers Fellowship at State Library Victoria; in 2019, she was awarded a Writers Victoria Neilma Sidney Grant and a recipient of the Overland Writers Residency. In 2020, she edited the online journal, Tell Me Like You Mean It Volume 4, for Australian Poetry and Cordite Poetry Review. Her professional practice is as a digital producer in the arts and creative industries ranging from Sydney, London and Melbourne. Leveraging her position within institutions, she attempts to bring about change by uncovering and amplifying stories from her own and other communities. Descended from the Wergaia and Wemba Wemba peoples of Western Victoria, she currently lives on Boon Wurrung land in Melbourne. 

More black&write!


black&write! books continue storytelling traditions to celebrate, share and strengthen culture in a wide range of texts from children’s books to adult fiction to poetry. 

black&write! Editing Internships

As part of our writing and editing program, black&write! periodically provides internships to aspiring First Nations editors. 

Writing fellowships

Each year black&write! offers two Fellowships for unpublished manuscripts by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander writers.