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 is a visual artist living in Eumundi, Queensland. She was born in Sydney to an Aboriginal mother, from Wiradjuri country. Sue was adopted into the McPherson family, landowners from the Batlow area in New South Wales, when she was very young. A weekend writing workshop inspired Sue to join a writers’ group and commit to writing her first young adult novel, Grace Beside Me, which was turned into a TV series for young people.
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 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 was born on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait and is descended from the Meriam and Maluyigal clans. She is inspired by contemporary artists and holds a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art from Griffith University in Brisbane.
Tori-Jay has loved drawing from a very young age and is inspired by contemporary artists like Jae Liu Wubao, Russ Mills, James Jean, Aaron Horkey and Banksy.
Book: Bakir and Bi
Teagan Chilcott is a first time author living in Redcliffe, 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 Teagan began working on Rise of the Fallen. The idea came in a dream, and she wrote the final chapter of the novel first before writing the beginning. In her spare time Teagan likes reading true crime books, and watching horror movies.
Book: Rise of the Fallen
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.
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.
Tristan Savage was born in Maryborough and grew up in Townsville. He attended James Cook University and was awarded a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in Theatre and a Bachelor of Theatre (Honours). Since graduating in 2010, Tristan has gone from strength to strength. In 2011 he won first place at a national stand-up comedy competition at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival; in 2012 he toured his one-person theatrical comedy show Australian Ghost to audiences across the country. Outside of writing and performing comedy, Tristan likes reading, watching movies, riding his scooter, playing Tetris and jogging to keep fighting fit.
Book: Rift Breaker
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 is a descendant of the Muruwari people of NSW. She is an award-winning playwright and has an MA in Playwriting from the Queensland University of Technology. In 2002, her first play Stolen was the co-winner of the Kate Challis RAKA Award. It has since been performed throughout Australia as well as the UK, Hong Kong and Japan. Her most recent play The Visitors formed part of the Melbourne Theatre Company 2014 Cybec Electric Series. Jane has been the recipient of several playwriting awards and her essays have been published in various journals. Jane lives in Melbourne and has two daughters.
Book: Becoming Kirrali Lewis
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 is a Gomeroi poet life writer and essayist from Gunnedah and Tamworth north-western New South Wales. She now lives in Sydney on Wangal land where she studies a combined Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Technology Sydney. Her work has been published in Meanjin, Vertigo, Colouring the Rainbow: Blak Queer and Trans Perspectives.
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 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 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 is an award-winning writer. She grew up in Far North Queensland and descends from the Guugu Yimithirr, Birri Gubba, Torres Strait Islander people, and also has Scottish-New Zealand ancestry. As a mother of two and wife of one, Lystra loves the Gold Coast lifestyle—surfing, wandering along the beaches, and using this inspiration in her storytelling.
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. She has won the 2017 David Unaipon Award for an Unpublished Indigenous Writer, the 2018 Varuna Eleanor Dark Flagship Fellowship and a 2018 Copyright Agency Fellowships for First Nations Writers.
Currently working as a sessional academic at the University of Canberra, Lisa also works as a freelance editor, writer and publishing consultant. Her debut novel, Ghost Bird, recently won the Readings 2020 Young Adult Book Prize. It has also been shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards, the Norma K Hemming Award, the 2020 CBCAs Book of the Year Older Reader, and the 2019 Aurealis Awards
Tania Crampton-LarkingTania is a Kokatha, Mirning and Anglo-Australian woman from the west coast of South Australia. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Adelaide and lives in Adelaide with her daughter. Tania adores writing. When not working in government administration, she is passionately writing a novel.
Carl Merrison is a Jaru and Kija man from Halls Creek. Carl works with young Indigenous boys through the Clontarf Academy focusing in improving engagement with education and providing a positive role model. Carl was nominated for Australian of the Year in 2016.
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 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 Adyamathanha 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 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.