Monthly Member Milestones 2023

Every month we take a moment to congratulate Writers SA members on their writing successes, from new book releases, to prizes, fellowships, awards, publication credits and more.

If you’re a Writers SA member who has celebrated a writing achievement recently, fill out this form to be included in our next feature.


Cameron Rutherford was a finalist for the Best Australian Yarn 2023, for their story ‘The Culinarian’. Read on.

Anne-Marie Smith‘s online story was broadcast on ABC Radio National Life Matters Program on 25 October 23. Listen here.

Phil McNamara‘s first novel, Red Reflection, is now available as an audiobook. Phil says: “I was really lucky to find and work with Australian/Austrian actor, Chloe Schwank, and editor Dave Stokes. Up until the end of December, I will be donating $5 from every sale to the Nature Conservation Society of SA.” Buy here.

David Haddin‘s next horror instalment of the dead screenplay series has been released, entitled Big Cat Out Back. A ruthless hunter, Bill Stolz, and a disgraced journalist, Maja Krigg, agree to a Faustian pact to pursue the existence of the fabled Australian ferocious big cats prowling in the hellish outback. Buy here.


Alex Sawyer won the 2023 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers, held by Emerging Writers’ Festival in partnership with Hachette. Alex receives a 12-month mentorship with Hachette to continue work on his winning book, Rat Daniels, as well as $10,000. This goal was realised after Alex received a Writers SA’s manuscript assessment service. Read on.

Rebecca Burton won the inaugural 20/40 Publishing Prize for Ravenous Girls. The 20/40 prize is an annual publishing prize for works of fiction and non-fiction between 20,000 and 40,000 words, and is designed to encourage this form of writing by Australian aspiring authors. Read on.

Paris Rosemont is delighted to be releasing her debut poetry collection, Banana Girl, at a very special launch party on 8 November. She will be joined by special guests ali whitelock and Mark Tredinnick (OAM). Find out more.

Xandra Fowler‘s short story has been published in the Strangely Enough anthology and the book will launch during the Australian Short Story Festival. Read on.

John AD Fraser has been chosen by the Australian Short Story Festival for the mentorship program with Irish writer Paul McVeigh on the strength of his short story, Seven Smokes. The festival is in Adelaide this year, 9-12 November. Find out more.

September 2023

Recently, Harlequin’s Escape Publishing published Jo Speirs‘ debut ‘Second Chance Love in Point Perry’. “My writing journey began six years ago with the inaugural Manuscript Incubator course at Writers SA. The following year, I successfully pitched that manuscript to Harlequin at the RWAus conference.” Find out more.

Nancy Cunningham recently won the Romance Writers of Australia Pacific Hearts Award for best unpublished author manuscript.

Rebecca Douglas was awarded a Varuna residential fellowship for 2024, and her crime short story ‘Needs Must’ has been shortlisted in the Scarlet Stiletto Awards

Rachael Mead was shortlisted for the 2023 Newcastle Poetry Prize for her poem ‘Social distance’. Read on.

August 2023

Charlie Archbold won the Davitt award for Best Children’s Novel for The Sugarcane Kids and the Red-bottomed Boat (Text Publishing). More information here.

Alex Sawyer was one of 20 writers long listed for the 2023 Richell Prize. Find out more here.

C.R. Page travelled to Tasmania for the release of his third travel novel, Hurdles in Hobart, with a launch at the Tasmanian Racing Club and an author talk at the Hobart Library. Find out more.

Brid Cummings’s horror story, ‘The Lair’ won the Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition (USA). The story is to be printed in the anthology 21st Century Ghost Stories Vol 3. Find out more.

Elizabeth Crowley is publishing a three-book series of children’s books, starting with The Silence in the Forest. She says: “I wrote these books over 20 years ago for my nieces and nephews. I am so excited to announce they are finally coming to life and being published. The first book is about a fairy in Australian bushland and the second book is about the adventures of a red tailed black cockatoo.” Buy here.

Local multi-form poet Indigo Eli launches her second solo exhibition of visual poetry as part of SALA Festival and national Poetry Month. The Poetry of Object 0.2 … object is a verb is an online exhibition exploring themes of ethics, rights, law and language through a poetic lens. Find out more.

Dr Samantha Battams published her 3rd novel The Rhynie Poisoning Case in October 2021, and recently promoted this at ‘Reading between the Vines’ at the Saddleworth Institute, 2nd September 2023, an event with 22 authors. Find out more

July 2023

Charlie Archbold was shortlisted for the 2023 Sisters in Crime Davitt Awards for the best crime and mystery books by Australian women, Children’s Novel category for The Sugarcane Kids and the Red-bottomed Boat (Text Publishing).

Sally Colin-James was longlisted for the 2023 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award which celebrates excellence in research and writing in Australia, for One Illumined Thread by (Harper Collins). Find out more.

Rachael Mead published her latest novel, The Art of Breaking Ice (Affirm Press). Buy here.

Pamela Zajac held the successful Scottish and Australian launches of her self-published book Sheila “There’s no use crying over spilt milk”. Find out more.

Rebecca Douglas’ crime fiction manuscript Welfare Queens has been shortlisted for a Penguin Random House Write It Fellowship. Find out more.

Mia Formichella‘s manuscript, Part of the Game has been shortlisted for the Penguin Write It Fellowship. Find out more.

Lauren Mullinder won the 2023 CYA Writers & Illustrators Competition for the category: Illustration (Published). View more information.

The MEAA SA Media Awards featured several Writers SA members, including finalist Jane Howard, and winners Walter Marsh (Culture and Arts Report, Freelance Journalist) and Royce Kurmelovs (Business, Economics or Finance Report). View more.

June 2023

Bronwyn Tilley (writing as Bronwyn Stuart)‘s novella Denying the Duke is a finalist in Romance Writers of Australia’s Ruby awards, their highest award for published authors. Book available here.

Jared ThomasUncle Xbox (Book 2) – Getting Dusty has won The Daisy Utemorrah Award for Unpublished Indigenous Junior and Young Adult Fiction (administered by Magabala Books) at the WA premier’s book awards. More information here.

Social media poet Kate Larsen‘s debut collection was published by Fremantle Press in July 2023. Public. Open. Space. is a collection of poetry inspired by spaces, places and situations that are controlled, contested and protested online and in real life. Buy here.

Steve Evans‘ newest poetry collection, Animal Instincts, was launched at The Halifax Cafe. His work has been praised by such key poets as Anthony Lawrence and Geoff Page. These ‘cunning and gritty’ poems (David Ades) consider how we see animals and how they might see themselves. Buy here.

May 2023

Verity Laughton has been shortlisted for the 2023 $10,000 Text Prize, for Una and the Many Worlds of Dream. The recipient of the Steph Bowe Mentorship will also be chosen from the shortlist, and both winners will be announced on 19 June. Find out more.

Alysha Herrmann‘s speculative short story Drowned was published in Issue 3 of The Saltbush Review. Drowned is a short story told in verse vignettes imagining a very different future for the dry land farming community of Pinnaroo in regional South Australia (hint: a future featuring mermaids and magic). Read here.

Guthrak, also written by Alysha Herrmann, premiered at the DreamBIG Festival in Adelaide in May 2023. School audiences travelled from right across regional South Australia and Adelaide to see the show, and there were four general public performances. The show received a 5-star review from Glam Adelaide. Find out more.

Mandy Foot‘s Bev and Kev has been awarded a SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, presented annually for PAL books that represent excellence in the field of children’s literature. View more here.

JV Birch‘s new collection, ice cream ‘n’ tar, has just been published by SurVision Books. A winner of the James Tate International Poetry Prize 2022, it offers ‘a somewhat surrealist take on climate change’. Read on.

Tony Doyle‘s Vistas and Visions of a Blind Man is out now. ‘These poems will entertain, challenge, amuse and perhaps even shock you. Some of them take a critical look at modern life, recent cultural changes and possible future scenarios. The widening gap between rich and poor is referred to in several poems. Some of Tony’s poems will make you laugh.’ Find out more.

Lauren Mullinder’s Birdie Lights Up The World is out now, and she is hosting a book launch with fun activities for kids at Burnside Library, Saturday 24 June. Find out more.

April 2023

Steve Evan‘s poem Storm was selected for the top ten showcase for publication in the Mind Shine Bright’s anthology Storm. A second poem by Steve Evans, Coackroach, Honey was commended. Find out more here.

Jude Aquilina‘s poem Storm Over Lake Alexandrina, was shortlisted for publication in the Mind Shine Bright’s anthology Storm. Find out more here.

J V Birch‘s poem ‘Turning’ has been nominated by Ink, Sweat & Tears for the Forward Prize Best Single Poem 2023. Find out more here.

Pam Makin has been appointed Spoken Word SA’s Poet in Residence at Adelaide City Library – the first for 2023. Pam will be conducting a sonnet writing project titled Shakespeare’s Monkeys. The project will culminate in a showcase of works on Sunday 6 May. More here.

Kerry Taylor‘s debut novel Mr Smith to You, is to be published May 30 by Affirm Press. Inspired by the true story of an Australian jockey’s life lived in secret, this is a work of fiction that explores themes of gender identity, solitude and trust. The novel will also be available in audiobook form. Available here.

Ryan Morrison was hired as a creative consultant for a new podcast hosting service here in Adelaide, P. Zinner & Co. Ryan was asked to flesh out the mysterious origins of the fictional benefactor of the company, P. Zinner, through a fictional (and contradictory) article. Read here.

Rob deKok invites you to the launch of new book The Clearing, at Mitcham Memorial Library, 154 Belair Rd, Mitcham, Sunday, April 30, 2:30 – 4pm. Admission is free, and wine and nibbles will be provided. Please RSVP by email [email protected].

Fay Patterson was interviewed on Vision Australia Radio’s new Emerging Writers program. Listen here.

March 2023

Heather Taylor-Johnson has been shortlisted for the 2023 Penguin Literary Prize for her manuscript The Guggenheim: “during their honeymoon in New York, Julia and Dex survive a massacre that veils their marriage in tragedy and death. Four years on from the shooting, The Guggenheim sees them back in Adelaide, where Julia finds the chaos of her coping unsustainable.” Winner to be announced 15 June 2023.

Edoardo Crismani, Writers SA’s First Nations Writers Coordinator, was awarded the 2023 Boundless Indigenous Writer’s Mentorship for Finding Billy Brown, a fast-paced story about an AFL player who is hit by a car, only to wake up in the 1930s, where he meets his boxer great-grandfather; and will be mentored by Wiradjuri writer Tara June Winch.

Jill Jones has been shortlisted for the Red Room Fellowship for 2023, awarded to a previously-commissioned poet to foster and enhance their poetic and professional development. Established to recognise and develop the achievements of contemporary Australian poets, the Fellowship supports the artistic growth of the individual as well as the wider community.

Allayne Webster is launching her book Selfie at 6.00pm Wednesday 12th April 2023, register via this link or contact Dymocks Adelaide.

Mandy Foot has been shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year: Early Childhood for Bev and Kev.

Lucia Schwenker‘s non-fiction essay ‘Pandemonium’ has recently been published by Puentes Review, in their Issue 3.

Eddy Pengelly‘s latest book in a series of 25 relates to astounding time travel discoveries made by Queensland reseacher Ronald Pegg, has been added to the World Breaking Discoveries title list and is now available here.

Stella Damarjati’s poetry collection, My Home, was published on the 29th of March 2023 thanks to Ginninderra Press. Stella is originally from Indonesia, migrating to Australia when she was young. My Home invites the reader into Stella’s world and what home means to her. More information here.

Fay Lee was interviewed about her sc-fi thriller Empathy on The Evening Show on 7 March, Peter Goers calling it an “extraordinary book”.

February 2023

Natalie Pearce published her novel Don’t Fade Away after completing our Manuscript Incubator program.

Janeen Brian released a new, lighthearted, mid-grade novel (for the younger end), The Fix-it Princess, published by Walker Books Australia, with illustrations By Cherie Dignam,, and has a free launch event on March 18 at Burnside Library. 

Walter Marsh’s deep dive into the origins of the Murdoch press, and how truth, power and newsprint collided in 1950s Adelaide is now available for pre-order. ‘Young Rupert: the making of the Murdoch empire’ is out in August via Scribe.

Lisa Stanbridge self-published her latest novel on 16th January, which is first in a three book series. Available here.

Derek Pedley‘s CRAZY BASTARD – A memoir of forced adoption went to press early (Thanks, Wakefield Press) so he could take copies to Perth Festival for Writers Weekend. Derek says: “Living the dream!”

Caroline Reid‘s ‘Rhyming Poem’ was highly commended, Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize.

Harald Shulten self published his first book, a partial memoir, Stories from my Home-based micro-Business. Available here.

Bronwyn Tilley (writing as Bronwyn Stuart) has been longlisted for Queensland Writers Centre’s Adaptable program. More information here.

January 2023


Bronwyn Stuart‘s latest novel Dear Diary was released on January 31, in print, ebook and Kindle Unlimited. He’s under a court order to rein in his temper but when a cat lady in training crashes into his life looking for Mr. Right Now, she’ll test his patience to its limits. He might even enjoy it just a little bit… Buy here.

Allayne Webster‘s 2019 novel Sensitive (UQP Books) has been selected by IBBY – The International Board of Children’s Books as a 2023 Outstanding Book for Young People with Disabilities. Sensitive was one of 20 books chosen from across the globe to be awarded this honour. The novel will now be displayed at the IBBY stand at the forthcoming Bologna Book Fair in Italy. More information here.

David Lewis‘s short story/picture book Penelope Poet and Billygoat Bubble was commended in the 2022 Toolangi CJ Dennis Poetry Competition.

Paul Kohn‘s debut poetry collection titled Soul Refraction was released 4th February 2023 thanks to Dragonfly Publishing. A blend of written and spoken word poetry and prose, it takes the reader on a journey from soul break to soul heal, soul grow to soul soar. Order here.

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