Visiting writers


Nevo Zisin, writer, spoke on their book Finding Nevo on gender on 1 August. Fleur Kilpatrick, playwright, as a Law and the Humanities Artist in Residence, gave a seminar on her play Whale on  7 August. The 2019 Miles Franklin award-winner Melissa Lucashenko is the inaugural recipient of the Barry Conyngham Creative Arts Fellowship/Artist in Residence at Southern Cross University. Melissa was in conversation with Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker in August.


Dr Philip McLaren gave the second SASS guest research seminar. In ‘WRITING ABORIGINAL: what it is that I do’,  Dr McLaren spoke of his motivation as well as research and story elements that make it into his novels (historical novels, crime fiction and political thrillers as well as an ongoing ten-year attempt at a true international Aboriginal Australian crime story). He also spoke of how he balanced authenticity, story sequences and beats that drive and dictate the crafting of a work as a plotter, panser or hybrid writer, and of his influences and dialogs with literary notables plus movements into experimental prose.


Professor Anna Gibbs, Western Sydney University, gave the inaugural SASS guest research seminar, which was on writing. Anna is both a creative and critical writer, and her work includes performative writing/writing for performance and art writing. TITLE: "Undoing Things With Words: Fictocriticism and the Futures of Writing". ABSTRACT: If the hyphen attempts to join the 'ficto' with the 'critical' it also inevitably severs them and holds them apart. In this tense and quivering gap between them arises the possibility of a writing otherwise: a writing in which the confident authority of argument gives way to hesitation and doubt, and the house of fiction begins to fall apart. Here place is displaced; setting becomes unstable; site gives way to constantly shifting situation. We are in the middle of something, immersed in the materiality of writing as doing and making, a thinking taking shape in action, and then shifting that shape again at the very moment it forms. It is in this process that writing takes place.


In August, local performance poet David Hallett visited the Writing Poetry class on the Lismore campus and performed his work for the students. He followed this up with a recorded performance for students studying Writing Poetry by distance education.


Lisa Walker, the Northern Rivers Writers' Centre Development Manager, and novelist publishing with Harper Collins gave a talk in May to students of Contemporary Reading and Writing Practices about the role of Writers Centres across Australia.

Local author, Jesse Blackadder, spoke to Writing for Young People students about the writing process and publication of her children's book Stay.


Sophie Cunningham, novelist, former publisher and editor, and Chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council in 2012, gave the Dr Tania Lienert Memorial Lecture for Social Justice and Diversity on 'We Won't Be Silenced' Feminism and Social Justice.

Maarten Renes as a scholar of Australian literature, gave a guest lecture on the Gothic in Australian literature for the unit Writing Genre.

Arnold Zable and Alice Pung spoke at Coffs Harbour campus.


Robert Pyle, from America, gave a guest lecture on nature writing.

Marion May Campbell gave a guest lecture 'Textual Cruising' on the role of research, critical reflection, journal work, improvisation, fortuitous accident, montage and conscious compositional strategies, which made the experimental text 'konkretion', forming the creative part of her PhD thesis. She emphasised the importance of what Mary Shelley called the 'filthy workshop of creation', or graft (and risking monstrosity) in building a work that is new and not just a repetition of what has previously been attempted.

Ardold Zable spoke on storytelling and justice at a student day on justice, and also gave the Dr Tanya Lienert Memorial Lecture on 'The Healing Power of Storytelling'.

Marele Day, fiction writer, co-supervised Maria Simms's PhD, and has given a guest lecture on Crime in Writing Genre.

Judith Beveridge, poet, is co-supervising a PhD thesis.

Robert Drewe launched Coastlines 4, a Southern Cross University student anthology.


Helen Garner launched Re-Placement (a national student anthology edited by writing staff J. Conway-Herron, M. Costello and V. Marsh)at UTS.

Professor Nicholas Jose gave a seminar on the Macquarie Pen Anthology of Australian Literature.

Associate Professor Donna Lee Brien gave a seminar on writing and publishing.

Barbara Bowden, Publishing Coordinator, SCU Press and Digital Printing Services, gave a lecture on publishing.


Shashi Kapoor was in conversation with Janie Conway-Herron.

Editor Shelley Keningsberg gave a seminar on editing for getting published.

Karen L Brooks has given a lecture on speculative fiction in the unit Writing Genre.

Other visiting writers include: Stephen Muecke, Philip McLaren, Drusilla Modjeska, Ruby Langford Ginibi, Amanda Lohrey, Alan Close, Janus Balodis.