2015 Festival Authors

We are delighted to announce the following Authors will be in attendance at the Writers Festival.

By clicking on the Authors name you will be taken to either their Website, Facebook page or Twitter account.


NicoleAlexanderNicole Alexander is the bestselling author of five Australian Fiction novels; The Bark Cutters, A Changing Land, Absolution Creek, Sunset Ridge and The Great Plains.

A passionate writer with over twenty-five years experience, her novels, poetry, travel, creative writing and genealogy articles have been published internationally. Nicole’s novels have been praised for their authenticity and rich historical detail, much of which is drawn from primary source material in the form of family archives dating back 120 years.

Nicole has been profiled/appeared in National and International magazines, radio and television programs including; Time International, The Australian Women’s Weekly, ABC Landline and Radio National, among others. Nicole’s new book Wild Lands, will be published on 1 September.


Matthew Condon 2Matthew Condon was educated at the University of Queensland and the Goethe Institute, Bremen, Germany, he is the author of ten novels and short story collections, including The Lulu Magnet, A Night at the Pink Poodle, The Motorcycle Cafe, and The Pillow Fight. The Trout Opera, an epic novel that took him more than ten years to write, examines the Australian character through its chief protagonist Wilfred Lampe, a rabbiter and farm hand who spends his entire life in the township of Dalgety, on the banks of the Snowy River. The Sydney Daily Telegraph described the novel as “an instant classic”.

In 2013, Condon published Three Crooked Kings, a the first part of a biography of former Queensland Police Commissioner Terry Lewis who was charged in 1989 and later jailed on multiple corruption charges. The book was based on Condon’s extensive interviews with Lewis and others as well as archival material. The biography is continued in Jacks and Jokers (2014) and an unpublished third volume.

Condon, who now writes for The Courier-Mail and is the father of two children, is based in Brisbane, Australia..


David Hunt David Hunt  is the  author of the best-selling Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia (vol 1: Megafauna to Macquarie), which stirs Australia’s cultural melting pot  with the wooden spoon of schadenfreude, adds a dash of rum, and garnishes the resulting historical feast with the crushed stems of tall poppies. Girt won the 2014  Indie Award for non-fiction, and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and the Australian Book Industry Awards. It was also listed as one of iBooks  and Herald Sun’s best books of 2013.  David has written nothing else of merit, although he claims to be working on a sequel. He has worked as an historical consultant  and comedy writer for television and also has a proper job.  He also owns a cat and has a birthmark that looks like Tasmania, only smaller and not as far south.

Nick Earls


Nick Earls  is an award-winning novelist from Brisbane, Australia. He  writes humorous popular fiction about everyday life, and is often compared to Nick Hornby. The majority of Earls’ novels are set in his hometown of Brisbane, a fact which led to his high local profile, and his fronting of a major Brisbane tourism campaign.

Nick Earls is the author of novels including The Fix, Zigzag Street, Bachelor Kisses, The True Story of Butterfish and Perfect Skin and the collection of short stories Welcome To Normal. His work has been published internationally in English and in translation. Zigzag Street won a Betty Trask Award in the UK in 1998, and Perfect Skin was the only novel nominated for an Australian Comedy Award in 2003. 48 Shades of Brown was awarded Book of the Year (older readers) by the Children’s Book Council of Australia in 2000, and in the US it was a Kirkus Reviews selection in its books of the year for 2004. 48 Shades of Brown and Perfect Skin have been adapted into feature films, with Solo un Padre, the film adapted from the Italian edition of Perfect Skin, a top-ten box office hit in Italy in 2008.  His latest titles being Analogue Men and for children New Boy.


Dominique Rizzo Dominique Rizzo

Dominique Rizzo is one of Queensland’s leading female chefs who creates purely delicious, healthy and real food recipes that inspire people to make a change for the better while still loving their food. “I love the essence of clean, simple whole food cooking. It is so wonderful to be a chef and to have available at my fingertips an amazing palette of different flavours and textures to create what I like to call little mouthfuls of flavour explosions”.

As a Chef, Author and Presenter Dominique’s aim is to inspire people to cook with fresh, seasonal and local produce. Through her innovative recipes and a healthy attitude her mission is to improve general wellbeing, build confidence in the kitchen, inspire creative cooking and bring vitality onto peoples plates. “I am deeply passionate about creating innovative food using quality safe and clean fresh produce. My heart lies naturally within the pages of Italian cuisine, while my inspiration takes you on a culinary journey of world food flavours.” Dominique’s life and work centers around her philosophy;   “Through the sharing of food we share life and one is never lonely or hungry.”


hodgeRobert Hoge has worked as a journalist, a speechwriter, a science communicator for the CSIRO and a political advisor to the former Queensland Premier and Deputy Premier. He has had numerous short stories, articles, interviews and other works published in Australia and overseas. He also enjoys photography, and is interested in disability advocacy and social engagement. While he never went far with his professional lawn bowls career, Robert did carry the Olympic torch in 2000. He is married and lives in Brisbane. He has an eleven-year-old daughter who thinks his Olympic torch would make a really great cricket bat.

Robert Hoge was born with a giant tumour on his forehead, severely distorted facial features and legs that were twisted and useless. His mother refused to look at her son, let alone bring him home. But home he went, to a life that, against the odds, was filled with joy, optimism and boyhood naughtiness. Home for the Hoges was a bayside suburb of Brisbane. Robert’s parents, Mary and Vince, knew that his life would be difficult, but they were determined to give him a typical Australian childhood. So along with the regular, grueling and often dangerous operations that made medical history and gradually improved Robert’s life, there were bad haircuts, visits to the local pool, school camps and dreams of summer sports.

This is Robert’s account of his life, from the time of his birth to the arrival of his own daughter. It is a story of how the love and support of his family helped him to overcome  incredible hardships. It is also the story of an extraordinary person living an ordinary life, which is perhaps his greatest achievement of all.


Tania 2013 crop photoTania Cox   was born in Ayr and is now one of Australia’s best loved picture book authors with Snap went Chester and With Nan nominated for Children’s Book of the year Awards. Tania’s other titles include Baby, The Scary Bear, What makes My Mum Happy, Millies Special Something and a short story in Stories For 6 Year Old Girls.

 During the day Burdekin writer, Tania Cox,  camouflages herself as a chauffeur, mediator, combat medic, chef, bedtime party pooper etc, etc and at night as a children’s author.   Some of Tania’s books include ‘Little Bat’ a Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Notable Book, ‘Snap! went Chester’ a CBCA Book Awards short-listed book and more recently ‘With Nan’ an Honour Book at the 2013 CBCA Book Awards.    DonDouglas


Don Douglas 2

Don Douglas comes from a family of story tellers with pastoral experience going back five generations, to the days when Queensland was the colony of Moreton Bay. His aim is to tell an entertaining yarn that fits the historic period of the story, without pretending to be history.

Curlew Enigma
From harsh beginnings in the mid nineteenth century the enigmatic Elijah Henry evolves to lead a band of bushrangers who become the focus of law enforcement in the fledging state of Queensland. When the doggedly determined Detective O’Reilly becomes their nemesis Elijah defiantly responds by staging the gang’s most brazen coup, risking all in the process. Curlew Enigma is the first novel of the curlew series which traces Eliza’s family into the twenty first century from this beginning.

Curlew Calls Sequel to Curlew Enigma the adventure continues

With a cache of stolen gold bars Buster McDonald sets out to build on the start he’s been given by the exploits of the Elijah Henry gang. Just as his plans seem to augur well, he’s faced with the hard decision whether to intervene to prevent a massacre by the local Aboriginal tribe of an arrogant neighbour who has provoked the attack. To save the whites he could place his relationship with the tribe in jeopardy. But no setback will daunt his quest to build an empire for his growing family as he faces drought, financial recession and violence. Along the way he sometimes resorts to the bush ranging past he’s been attempting to leave behind, as he treads a fine line between respectability and notoriety.


Annabelle BrayleyAnnabelle Brayley trained and qualified as a registered nurse before she married in 1980 and went to live on a remote sheep station in south west Queensland. Having sold the property and dissolved a family partnership in 2001, Annabelle and her husband Ian relocated to the Morven district where they now live.

In 2006, almost by chance, she wrote her first story for RM William’s OUTBACK Magazine and has been telling the stories of other people who live in rural and remote Australia ever since. Her first book, Caging OctopusesA Tale of the First Decade of Condamine Cods Rugby was privately published in 2009. In 2012, Penguin Books Australia offered her an irresistible opportunity to curate a publication called Bush Nurses. Since then she has gone on to write Nurses of the Outback and the recently released Outback Vets. Annabelle is currently working on her next book to be released by Penguin in 2016.

Facebook tag- Australian Outback Storyteller


Lindsay Simpson 2Lindsay Simpson was an investigative journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald and the first female Chief Police reporter. Lindsay has teaches life writing and she founded two postgraduate writing programs at the University of Tasmania and James Cook University. Lindsay Simpson is author and co-author of eight books. Brothers in Arms, co-authored with Sandra Harvey, was made into a successful six part mini-series called Bikie Wars:Brothers in Arms. Other books include Fatal Honeymoon Dive with Jennifer Cooke, and Where is Daniel?, written with Bruce and Denise Morcombe in August 2014.

Lindsay will be conducting a very inspiring Life Writing workshop at the Ignite Your Mind Festival.

Helene Young Helene Young’s idea for her ‘Border Watch’ series started one early morning.  “I discovered a body washed up on the beach. While there was nothing sinister in that discovery, it planted the seed of an idea for a novel focusing on the terrorist threat to Australia. Working as a captain with Australia’s largest regional airline I fly with crews who have flown for Surveillance Australia – the current Coastwatch contractor. That made it easy to draw on their experiences and weave my characters through a realistic scenario.”

Helene continues to work as the Regional Flying Manager with Qantas link, flying throughout regional Australia. When she’s not flying you’ll find her sailing the Coral Sea with her husband and manic Staffordshire Bullterrier, Zeus, aboard their catamaran, Roo Bin Esque. She’s also custodian of several million bees, a lover of tropical gardens and an avid reader. In what other spare time she has left she conducts writing workshops for QWC and schools and other writing organisations.

Helene recently won the 2014 Favourite Romance Suspense award at the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA) awards for novel Safe HarbourNorthern Heat is her latest book.