The Writing Network

Welcome to The Writing Network – the home of Curtin’s established and emerging novelists, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, memoirists and writers of creative non-fiction. The Network includes some of Australia’s best known names whose work is recognised both in Australia and overseas.

The Writing Network supports the creative writers within the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry. Our creative writers work across many different areas; from Creative Writing, through Professional Writing to Film, Television and Screen Arts. Our network provides a public space to recognise and celebrate the artistic achievements and contributions to literature and the creative arts and media.

The Writing Network Members

Jane Armstrong Educator, reader and professional writer.

Jane Armstrong is a lecturer within the Professional Writing and Publishing course. She has a BA (Hons) in Literature, and an MA and PhD in Cultural Studies. She has worked in diverse contexts as an educator and a writer. Much of her writing has been undertaken and published under the auspices and direction of a variety of non-government organisations. She has written a number of academic papers. Above all, Jane is a reader of all genres, styles and periods of fiction and non-fiction.


  • Armstrong, Jane. Reading Girls: Reading Pleasures: Adolescent Girls’ Use of Reading to Become Women. Proceedings of the Inaugural DVC’s Humanities Graduate Student Conference, Black Swan Press, Perth WA, 1997 146-150. Print.
  • Armstrong, Jane. The Look, the Book and the Girl: Cultural Studies, Psychoanalysis and Identificatory Reading Practices. Third Curtin Humanities Postgraduate Research Conference Proceedings, Black Swan Press, Perth, WA, 2000. 45-50. Print
  • Armstrong, Jane. Radio. In Alison Bartlett & Margot Henderson (eds) Things that Liberate: An Australian Feminist Wunderkammer, Cambridge Scholars Pub., Newcastle upon Tyne UK, 2013. 151-162. Print.
  • Armstrong, Jane, Liz Byrski and Helen Merrick. Love Works: Reading and Writing Romance in the 21st Century. In The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, 3:3. 257-261. Print.
  • Oxenham, Darlene, Jane Armstrong & Dawn Besserab. A Framework for the Development of a Ways of Working with Indigenous People Training Program for the Department of Community Development. 2004. Print.
  • Oxenham, D. & Armstrong, J. Final Evaluation of the Ways of Working with Aboriginal People Program for BHP Biliton. 2003. Print.

Deepti Azariah Lecturer, researcher and writer.

Deepti is a Lecturer in the Professional Writing and Publishing course at Curtin University, focusing mainly on units concerning writing, editing, and publishing.

Her PhD in Communication and Cultural Studies examines discourses of travel and tourism in travel blogs and other social media. Her current research interests include digital publishing, particularly blogs and e-books. She is also writing a research monograph titled Tourism, Travel and Blogging, to be published by Ashgate. Deepti previously worked as a lecturer in India for eight years, teaching communication skills, journalism (editing, reporting, Internet and broadcast journalism), mass communication, literature, media studies, creative writing, and various media-related subjects. She has worked as a freelance children’s writer for The Hindu and as a full-time writer and senior copy editor for India Pvt. Ltd.

View Deepti’s blog

Liz Byrski Novelist, author of non-fiction books, essays and creative non-fiction, journalist.

Liz’s articles and essays have been published in national and international magazines and newspapers, she has also been a columnist and book reviewer. She has won several awards for her work as a print and radio journalist including the CSIRO Award for Science Journalism, the Australian Journalists Association Award for best Radio Documentary, and three Equal Opportunity Commission Media Awards.

Liz lectures in writing at Curtin and her PhD is on the topic of popular fiction and feminism. She has been an advisor to a Minister in the WA Government, and is a former President of the WA Women’s Advisory Council to the Premier.

See Liz Byrski’s publications


Sean Gorman Writer, lecturer and researcher.

Sean Gorman has studied and worked in the Indigenous Studies field for 20 years.

In that time he has tutored, lectured and researched in the Indigenous studies programs at Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University and the University of Melbourne. He currently works at Curtin University as a Senior Research Fellow and is affiliated with both the Centre for Aboriginal Studies and MCCA.  Gorman’s PhD, based on the life of the Krakouer brothers, was published as a biography in 2005.  Brotherboys: The Story of Jim and Phillip Krakouer was adapted for theatre in 2009 and in 2011 Krakouer! commenced a national tour.  His latest book Legends: The AFL Indigenous Team of the Century is a collection of life stories of the Indigenous players chosen by an expert AFL panel spanning the years from 1904-2004. Gorman’s work draws on social history, sports history, local history, memoir and memory and gives insight and voice to contemporary Indigenous society and people. He is the lead CI on an ARC Linkage grant entitled: Assessing the Australian Football League’s Racial and Religious Vilification Laws to Promote Community Harmony, Multiculturalism and Reconciliation. The project aligns itself with the national research priority of Promoting and Maintaining Good Health and Strengthening Australia’s social and economic fabric. Gorman is a member of one other ARC project Managing diversity in junior sport, Lead CI Dr Ramón Spaaij, La Trobe University.

See Sean Gorman’s publications

Deborah Hunn Creative writer, lecturer and researcher.

Deborah Hunn is a Lecturer in Creative Writing in the Department of Communication and Cultural Studies at Curtin University, and also makes contributions to the Professional Writing and Publishing Major, most notably in the area of humour writing.

Deborah has also taught at the University of Adelaide and at the University of Western Australia, where she completed her PhD. As a creative writer Deborah’s specialist area is in narrative, with a focus on short prose, experimental writing, metafiction, parody, satire, irony and the exploration of memory, identity and desire, in particular as these are inflected by gender, sexuality, ethnicity and nationality. In academic research Deborah has focused on British modernist narrative and on contemporary Australian, British and American queer fiction, film and television. More recently she has sought to explore the role that informal creative practice, manifest in such hobby activities as fan fiction writing and zine making, can have in shaping the development of new and emergent writers.

Deborah has published short fiction, poetry, academic essays and creative non-fiction and reviews in journals such as Westerly, Southerly, Polari, Continuum and Blithe House Quarterly, and in edited collections for publishers such as Manchester University Press, Cleis Press and Fremantle Press.

Select Publications

Creative Works

  • “The Russian Boy.”  Westerly. 60:1. 2015. (In press)
  • “The Red and the Blue: Confessions of an (unlikely) Dockers fan.” Purple Prose.  Eds.Liz Byrski and Rachel Robertson. Fremantle: Fremantle Press. 2015. (Forthcoming)
  • “Endless Winter.” Westerly. 58:2. 2013.
  • “ ‘A Subject Torn’ beside The Waves (Or: another Act of Thievery Passed Off as Borrowing)”.  Polari.  Issue 5. 2012.
  • “Badly.”  dotdotdash. Issue 6. 2011.
  • “Four Laundromat Shorts.” Polari. Issue 4. 2011.
  • “Just a Few Simple Questions.”  Westerly 55:2, 2010.
  • “Unrequited: A Western.” Southerly 63:3. 2003.
  • “Reading Jack.”  Blithe House Quarterly. 6:1. 2002.
  • “Ideal for Development.” EmPOWa 2. 2001.

Academic and Critical

  • “’The dark side of Naomily’: Skins, fan texts and contested genres.” Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies. 26:1.
  • “Finding the Gap: A Conversation with Liz Byrski.” Indigo 3. 2009.
  • “Australian Film.” The Queer Encyclopaedia of Film and Television. Ed. Claude J. Summers. San Francisco: Cleis Press. 2005.
  • “Andrea Weiss.” The Queer Encyclopaedia of Film and Television. Ed. Claude J. Summers. San Francisco: Cleis Press.  2005.
  • “Mark ‘Chopper’ Read and Adam Cullen: Hooky the Cripple.” Journal of Australian Studies. No. 82. 2004.
  • “ ‘It’s Not that I Can’t Decide: I Don’t Like Definitions!’ : Queer in Australia in Christos Tsiolkas’s Loaded and Ana Kokkinos’s Head On.”  Territories of Desire in Queer Culture. Eds. David Alderson and Linda Anderson. Manchester: Manchester University Press. 2000.
  • “ ‘Something Highly Contraband’: Woolf, Female Sexuality and the Victorians.”  Australasian Victorian Studies Journal. Vol 1: Victorian Bodies. 1995.

Leah Mercer Playwright, theatre producer and director.

Leah Mercer coordinates the Performance Studies course at Curtin University. In 2004 she co-founded The Nest Ensemble. In 2014 she directed and co-wrote Joey: the Mechanical Boy at the Blue Room Theatre. In 2013 she directed The Hardest Way to Make an Omelette written/performed by Jessica Harlond-Kenny as part of the 2013 Fremantle Festival in partnership with the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre.

In 2012 she directed/co-devised Eve at the Blue Room Theatre (Perth) & Metro Arts Theatre (Brisbane) and Home as part of La Boite Theatre’s Indie season (Brisbane). She directed and co-wrote The Nest Ensemble’s first production, The Knowing of Mary Poppins, at the Darlinghurst Theatre (Sydney, 2009), the Adelaide Fringe Festival (2008) and the Brisbane Powerhouse (2005, 2006). At the 2007 Matilda Awards in Brisbane it was awarded a Special Commendation in recognition of an outstanding independent production and the Silver Matilda for Directing. It was published by Playlab Press in an anthology entitled Independent Brisbane: Four Plays (2008).

Other work by The Nest Ensemble: A Mouthful of Pins (written by Leah) at the Brisbane Powerhouse (2008), previously known as Melancholia it was produced at the Looking Glass Theatre in NYC (2005) and showcased at the Playworks’ Festival (Sydney, 2006); Joey: the Mechanical Boy, which she directed & co-devised had a work-in-progress showing at the Blue Room Theatre (2010); and The Physics Project, which she directed & co-wrote as part of her practice-led PhD at QUT (2006), won a Philip Parsons Prize for Performance as Research in 2008. Leah’s other directing credits include: Stace Callaghan’s between heaven & earth (one hand clapping, Brisbane Powerhouse, 2006); Ted Hughes’ Metamorphoses (Metro Arts, 2006); Michael Gurr’s Something to Declare (Actors for Refugees/Qld Arts Council, 2005); and Joy Gregory’s Dear Charlotte (Metro Arts, 2004). As a Fulbright scholar she completed an MFA in (Directing for Theatre) at CalArts in LA (1999).

See Leah Mercer’s publications

Rachel Robertson Essayist and writer of creative non-fiction and memoir.

Dr Rachel Robertson is a writer and lecturer in Professional Writing and Publishing at Curtin University.  She has a BA (Honours) and MPhil from UWA and a PhD from Curtin University.  Her short fiction and essays have been published in journals and anthologies such as Griffith Review, Island, Best Australian Essays, Australian Book Review and Sitelines.  Her first book, Reaching One Thousand: a story of love, motherhood and autism, was published by Black Inc in early 2012 and shortlisted for the National Biography Prize 2013.

See Rachel Robertson’s publications

Anne Ryden Writer, lecturer and editor.

Dr Anne Ryden is a lecturer in Professional Writing and Publishing at Curtin University. She has a BA (Honours) in literature and cultural studies, and a DCA from Curtin University in literary translation. She has 10+ years industry experience working as an editor in publishing (manuscript development and editing of fiction, non-fiction and illustrated books), as a freelance writer-editor (articles, proposals, tenders, and submissions management) and in the corporate sector (technical, commercial, legal and promotional documents).

Creative Work

    • ‘Framed by Dignity’, Lifewriting Annual: biographical and autobiographical studies, vol. 2, AMS Press Inc., New York, 2008.

Key edited work

    • Beudel, Saskia, A Country in Mind: memoir with landscape , UWA Publishing, Crawley, 2013.
    • Gaynor, Andrew, Guy Grey Smith: Life force, UWA Publishing, Crawley, 2012.
    • Hughes, John, The Remnants, UWA Publishing, Crawley, 2012.
    • Kenny, Robert, Gardens of Fire: an investigative memoir, UWA Publishing, Crawley, 2013.
    • Macris, Anthony, Great Western Highway. A love story, UWA Publishing, Crawley, 2012.
    • Walker, David, Agnieszka Sobocinska, Australia’s Asia: From yellow peril to Asian century, UWA Publishing, Crawley, 2012.
    • Weldon, Annamaria, The Lake’s Apprentice, UWA Publishing, Crawley, 2014.

Kim Scott Novelist and author of non-fiction and creative non-fiction books and essays.

Kim Scott’s most recent novel is That Deadman Dance. His other books include True Country, Benang and Kayang and Me. He has won many Australian literary awards, among them the Mile Franklin (twice), a regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Australian Literature Society’s Gold Medal. He is also the recipient of an Australian Centenary Medal (2003) and is the 2012 West Australian of the Year, having been nominated in both the Indigenous and Arts and Culture categories. A descendant of people living along the south coast of Western Australia prior to colonisation and proud to be one among those who call themselves Noongar, Kim is founder and chair of the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Story Project which, among other achievements, has resulted in the publication of two English/Noongar language picture books, Mamang and Noongar Mambara Bakitj (UWA Publishing, and see Kim is currently Professor of Writing at Curtin University.

See Kim Scott’s publications

Susan Bradley Smith Award-winning creative writer and essayist.

Susan has an Honours degree in History, a PhD in English, and is a NIDA playwright’s studio graduate. An award-winning creative writer and essayist, she specialises in feminist cultural history, creative non-fiction, and poetry. Since beginning her professional writing life as an Arts journalist in Sydney and London she has worked as an academic in both Australia and the UK, publishing extensively as a literary critic, theatre historian, and creative writer. A regular media commentator and former host of Literary Links at the London Australian High Commission, she has extensive board and committee experience. Her most recent books are the poetry collection Beds For All Who Come, and the memoir Friday Forever. In 2013 Susan founded the writing and well-being consultancy Milkwood Bibliotherapy, building on her award-winning work in the Medical Humanities. Currently co-authoring a history of psychiatry and poetry, Read Me Madly, Susan is also completing a biography of the bohemian actress and poet, Winston Churchill’s daughter Sarah, Lady Audley. She lives in Perth, Australia, and is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Curtin University.

Select publications


  • Beds for all who come, Five Islands Press, Melbourne, 2014 [poetry]
  • Friday Forever, Radcliffe, Oxford, 2011 [memoir]
  • Supermodernprayerbook, Salt, Cambridge, 2010 [poetry]
  • Marmalade Exile, Southern Cross University Press, 2006 [poetry]
  • Griefbox, Salt, Cambridge, 2001 [plays]

Books (edited)

  • Playing Australia: Australian Theatre on the World Stage (with Elizabeth Schafer), Rodopi, Amsterdam/New York, 2003
  • Tremendous Worlds: Australian Women’s Drama 1890-1960, Currency Press, Sydney, 1999

Short stories

  • ‘How to kill a Labrador’ in John Schad & Oliver Tearle (eds) Crrritic, Sussex Academic Press, Eastbourne, 2011
  • I can still taste you’ in Donna Lee Brien and Adele Wessell (eds) Rewriting the Menu/Text, October 2010.

Essays/Journal articles

  • ‘Absent Without Leave’, European Journal of Lifewriting; Vol 2 (2013): EJLW
  • ‘Writing an Obituary in a Hot Climate’, Creative Non-fiction, Issue#46, Fall 2012: 57-62 (ISSN#1070-0714)
  • ‘The truth about love: Memoir as ethical decomposition’, Text, February 2012

David Whish-Wilson Novelist, and author of short stories, essays and creative non-fiction.

David Whish-Wilson is the author of short stories (anthologised in Pascoe Publishing’s Best Fifty Stories Collection) and a novella that was short-listed for the Vogel/Australian Literary Award. He has received Australia Council, ArtsWA and Film Victoria grants, and had his first literary fiction novel The Summons published in 2006 with Vintage/Random House. His second novel, Line of Sight was published by Penguin Australia in 2010 and was short-listed for a Ned Kelly award in 2011. He has edited two collections of contemporary South Pacific writing, and has taught in the prison system in Australia and Fiji, where he inaugurated a multi-lingual creative writing program which currently operates in all Fijian prisons.

David currently sits on the governing body of the Australian Crime Writer’s Association. His most recent publications are Zero at the Bone (Penguin 2013), his second crime novel in a triptych looking at Perth’s policing and political culture in the 1970s and 80s, and Perth (2014), part of the NewSouth Books city series, which was shortlisted for a WA Premiers Book Award. David recently won the Patricia Hackett Award for the best short story published by Westerly in 2014, for his story ‘The Cook’. His forthcoming works include a social history of Cathedral Square and State Buildings (Fremantle Press), Old Scores (his next crime novel) and a book commissioned by Fremantle Press on Western Australian football rivalries, plus short stories for a Spineless Wonders crime anthology and for the Review of Australian Fiction.

See David Whish-Wilson’s publications