facebook  instagram   twitter   linkedin

Introduction to the Artists

Our exciting inaugural festival boasts a wealth of creative talent from around the world. This is the amazing line-up of international, national and regional writers, poets, singer-songwriters, performers, publishers, illustrators, photographers and journalists we have secured for our foundation festival.  

Janet DeNeefe

Janet DeNeefe: Janet is the Founder and Director of the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival and an award-winning author. Janet earned a degree in Arts and Crafts at Burwood State College in Melbourne, before travelling to Bali in 1984 where she established her home, married and raised a family. Her award-winning books are: Bali: The Food of My Island Home which was nominated for Best Asian Cuisine Book of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for “Best in the World” 2012;

Continue Reading

Antoine Cassar

Antoine is a Maltese poet whose iconic work, Passport, is embraced by so many on his international tours. He is the founder of the Facebook page Spread Poetry, Not Fear launched in reaction to the 2015 Paris bombings; a translator, cultural organiser and a creative activist for migrants’ rights and universal freedom of movement.

Continue Reading

Herb Wharton

Herb Wharton is an internationally acclaimed Aboriginal author, poet, oral historian, novelist, short story writer and storyteller who left school at the age of 12 and began droving. He has possibly seen more of outback Australia from horseback than most of European explorers combined.Herb has experienced more than 40 years of living a bushman’s life; a drover, stockman, rodeo rider and all-round bush worker. He was awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal 2003 for service to Australian society and literature.

Continue Reading

Sean Choolburra

Sean is one of Australia’s best Aboriginal comedians and a huge inspiration to the youth of Australia. He is in constant demand as an MC, comedian, dancer, Hip Hop didge player and Traditional workshop performer. Sean is a vibrant, dynamic and captivating performer.

Continue Reading

Zohab Zee Khan

Hailing from country NSW, Zohab is Australia’s 2014 Australian Poetry Slam champion and the founder of the inaugural 2016 Pakistan Poetry Slam which launched with huge success in February. Zohab is a fourth-generation Australian of Pakistani heritage.

Continue Reading

Lynne Kelly

Victorian science writer Lynne Kelly discusses the traditional Aboriginal memory technique that unlocks the secrets of Stonehenge, Easter Island and ancient monuments the world over in her new book, The Memory Code. Lynne has discovered that a powerful memory technique used by the ancients can unlock the secrets of the Neolithic stone circles of Britain and Europe, the ancient Pueblo buildings in New Mexico and other prehistoric stone monuments across the world.

Continue Reading

The Lyrical

With an infectious blend of roots, reggae and hip hop in tow, The Lyrical commands a strong stage presence as Karl Smith spits his politically charged and socially conscious expressions.

Continue Reading

Lynette Noni

Lynette Noni is the author of the five-part young adult fantasy series, The Medoran Chronicles, described as a combination of Harry Potter, Narnia, and X-Men. Her first book, Akarnae, was released in 2015, with the second, Raelia, in April 2016, and the third, Draekora, coming out soon. A regular panelist at national and local events, Lynette has featured at Sydney Writers' Festival, Emerging Writers' Festival (as part of the National Writers' Conference), Supanova Pop Culture Exhibition, GenreCon, the National Young Writers' Festival, Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival, Voices on the Coast, and the Australian National Speculative Fiction Convention.

Continue Reading

Ray Kerkhove

Ray Kerkhove is a professional historian, researcher and writer. He conducts and compiles research into source texts, secondary sources, maps and museum items for various Indigenous and multicultural/ multi-faith projects (historical & cultural). His area of expertise is Indigenous southern and central Queensland history and culture. Occasionally he does projects on faith histories and religious culture. Ray has decades of experience working with Indigenous community groups in southern Queensland. He also has much experience in the disability sector, and in working with arts projects. Ray will be appearing with Lyndon Davis and Robin Wells in a special Dreamtime Stories conversation in the Dreamtime Stories marquee on Saturday, September 10.

Continue Reading

Simone Day

Simone Day is one of the pioneers of the Sunshine Coast’s 1970s and 80s surf scene. An elite competitor in her youth, Simone went on to a teaching career which she combined with surf coaching becoming one of the first of either sex to gain accreditation in the early 1980s.
Women's surfing began in earnest here in the late 1970s with the formation of the Sunshine Girls Surfriders Club driven by the likes of Lisa Perry, Lyn Jones, Simone Day, Kate Perry and the shark-catching water-woman Kym McKenzie. The influence of the late Helen Ewing and the formation of the Australian Women's Surfriders Association in the early 1980s were also powerful. Simone is speaking at our festival's Our Acclaimed Surfing Culture and History discussion panel on Sunday, September 11.

Continue Reading

Mark Heyward

Mark Heyward is a Tasmanian writer, researcher, musician and education consultant. He has been based in Indonesia for 25 years. He writes for various newspapers and magazines, and is the author of ‘Crazy Little Heaven, an Indonesian Journey’ and ‘Looking for Borneo’. Mark is married with four children, two grandchildren, and a golden Labrador. He currently divides his time between Jakarta and The Studio, an eco-resort he established with his wife in the coastal hills of Lombok.

Continue Reading

Robert Macklin

Robert Macklin has carved out a unique place among Australia’s literary biographers and historians. Queensland born, he has been a journalist at the highest level, a confidant and biographer of two Australian prime ministers; a documentary filmmaker in 32 countries of Asia and the Pacific; and is also political columnist and commentator in the nation’s capital. Robert has written 27 respected and popular works of fiction and non-fiction. His latest work, Hamilton Hume, tells the story of our unsung Australian explorer Hamilton Hume.

Continue Reading

Noel David

Noel David is a first-time, self-published author who hails from a background as a project manager in the building industry in Adelaide. Noel recently moved to the Sunshine Coast to pursue his dream of full-time writing inspired by our beaches and beautiful ocean.

Continue Reading

Emma Middleton

Emma Middleton is passionate about children's literature and illustration. She believes all her life experiences have led her full circle back to her love of picture books; from dancing in The Vienna Ballet, teaching children, having a family of her own and exhibiting art in galleries. She loves to interact with her audience through book readings, small plays and pantomimes and book-based craft activities. She believes the theatrical presentation of children’s books brings literature to life, and is currently involved in school and library presentations.

Continue Reading

Mary Atkins

Mary Atkins is a speaker, author, writer and coach who reckons she ‘retired’ seven years ago. Next year her non-fiction book, Anatomy of a Remarkable Healing, will be published. In 2014, she published her fiction work, Losing You, on Kindle and in 2005 she published Finding Your Voice – Ten Steps to Successful Public Speaking. 

Continue Reading

Bazza the Bush Balladeer

Better known as Bazza the Bush Balladeer, Barry Betts is an iconic figure in the Sunshine Coast region as he performs at festivals, fairs and markets with his heart-felt renditions of Australian bush poetry classics from Henry Lawson, Banjo Paterson, Dorothea Mackellar and more.

Continue Reading

Ron Day

Gondor Writers’ Centre’s Ron Day holds a PhD from Central Queensland University and is a published author of a series of computing text books for use in primary, secondary, and tertiary schools and colleges.  He has had more than 30 years’ experience in teaching and writing. He has worked as a school teacher and with many organisations and companies, writing text books, user manuals, technical reference documents, and learning materials. He is working on his family history, writing it as historic fiction.

Peter Carnarvas

Peter Carnavas is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator. He grew up in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, with lovely parents, two brothers, one sister and, from the age of 13, a big white dog called Floyd. Peter was a quiet kid who did things slowly most of the time.  He spent a lot of time drawing little pictures and writing stories.  Things haven’t really changed.

Continue Reading

Tah Riq Amawi

The inspirational Tah Riq was born in Amman, Jordan and now lives in Bali where he runs his SuperHero Factory - a fun indoor gym (parkour) concept for learning how to overcome mental obstacles. Tah Riq started writing poetry at eight, won a national writing competition, mastered the flamenco guitar as a teenager and won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London.  He is a TEDx speaker and in 2014 won the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival’s Poetry Slam championship.

Continue Reading

Ahmad Fuadi

Ahmad is an Indonesian writer, novelist, journalist and social entrepreneur. His debut novel Negeri 5 Menara (The Land of 5 Towers) broke the publisher’s sales record (Gramedia Pustaka Utama) for the last 37 years. Negeri 5 Menara is the first part of the Negeri 5 Menara trilogy,

Continue Reading

Tia Setiadi

Tia Setiadi is an Indonesian poet, essayist, and translator. His essays and poems have been published in leading magazines and journals, such as Kompas, Jawa Pos, Jurnas, Koran Tempo, Horizon, Sajak, Kritik, Poetika, Cipta, and Diskursus. He has received national and international awards for his essays and collected poems, including the Horizon Magazine Award, the Jakarta Arts Council Award, the Golden Pen Award, and the Southeast Asia Literary Council Award for his collected poems Tangan yang Lain (The Other Hand). 

Continue Reading

Sean Dorney

Sean is a Brisbane-based journalist and author who this year published his latest work, The Embarrassed Colonialist, about Australia’s colonisation of PNG.  Sean is a Non-resident Fellow at the Lowy Institute. After reporting on the Pacific (with a particular focus on Papua New Guinea) for over four decades,

Continue Reading

Jandamarra Cadd

Our festival is honoured that Jandamarra, a 2014 Archibald Prize finalist and local artist, has designed our beautiful signature art logo. Jandamarra is an Aboriginal Artist with his origins being the Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Warung People in Victoria.

Continue Reading

Bridgette Chilly (Davis)

Bridgette Chilly (Davis) is born of Mooloolah's Dhdugga Kabi Kai people. Bridgette is passionate in her work to preserve her family's culture and to educate Australians about her Sunshine Coast Aboriginal heritage and culture. 

Continue Reading

Gubbi Gubbi Dance

This regional troupe is a group of indigenous artists and performers. Gubbi Gubbi is the language spoken by the traditional custodians of the area.

Continue Reading

Dan O’Callaghan & Jessica Gibson

Ardent Comics began as a publishing platform for experimenting with the medium, designing different characters and writing different kinds of stories with deeper, more valuable sentimentalism. 

Continue Reading

Gordon G Smith

Gordon G Smith spent most of his life in sales, public transport and Traffic Management. He managed traffic movements through and around major road work sites throughout Queensland. His last project was as Traffic Project Manager on the construction of the Gold Coast Light Rail throughout the City of Gold Coast. After retiring to Queensland's Sunshine Coast in 2014, he took in interest in researching his family and discovered links back to the 1400's - and even a distant link to the Royal Family of United Kingdom.

Continue Reading

Robin Wells

Sunshine Coast historian Robin Wells is the author of the definitive book, In the Tracks of a Rainbow: indigenous culture and legends of the Sunshine Coast, illustrated with drawings by David Jones of the Dahungbara Tribe. Robin will be appearing with Lyndon Davis and Dr Ray Kerkhove in a special Dreamtime Stories conversation in the Dreamtime Stories marquee on Saturday, September 10.

Continue Reading

Ruth Bonetti

Ruth Bonetti will be hosting the Sunshine Coast launch of her novel, Burn My Letters: Tyranny to refuge, at our festival’s Smorgasbord of Authors venue on Saturday. Ruth grew up in the arid Queensland outback, intrigued by the strange-accented relatives she met on holidays near Byron Bay. She preferred Mozart to hillbilly music, books to horses. Ruth’s gift for music became a passport to the world. Destiny led her to live in Sweden, directly across the Gulf of Bothnia from her grandfather’s birthplace in Finland, where she researched the story of her ‘black sheep’ great-uncle - the result is her latest book.

Continue Reading

Samara Welbourne

Now just turned 16, the Sunshine Coast's Samara Welbourne was an author at the age of 12, one of Australia’s youngest social entrepreneurs, a Queensland Culture Champion (Dept Arts) and the 2014 Sunshine Coast Young Citizen of the Year (an award shared with Bindi Irwin). Samara’s book, How To Make Fairy Houses, was published by Boolarong Press in 2013 and became their best-selling children’s book of the year.

Continue Reading

Aishah Macgill

Aishah Macgill is an author, publisher and graphic designer. She began her writing career as an over-zealous student tormenting her teachers with epic essays. She then progressed on to soppy, romantic poetry, experimental fiction and legendary letters to friends and family.

Continue Reading

Colin Beard

Over his long career, Colin Beard has worked in many fields of photography always at the highest level.  He began photography in the mid-1960s as a founding member of Australia’s first Rock’n Roll Magazine, ‘Go-Set’ and subsequently worked in UK and USA. For many years he has been one of Australia’s most prominent Fashion and Advertising Photographers, working on many major national and international accounts for which he earned many photography awards world-wide.  He freelanced extensively for numerous leading fashion magazines (‘Vogue’, ‘Dolly’, ‘Cleo’, ‘Pol’) producing numerous covers and fashion spreads.

Continue Reading

Pamela Parker (PJ Parker)

Pamela J. Parker was born and raised in the once famous gold-mining town of Charters Towers in rural Queensland, Australia. She was educated locally before attending James Cook University in Townsville and later Queensland University in Cairns where she studied to become a teacher. Pamela has taught at schools throughout Northern Queensland, but now devotes her time to writing and lives at Caloundra. Pamela has been awarded Runner Up in the 2015 Olga Masters Short Story Award. "On 13th October my father killed my mother". And so begins this extraordinarily, moving and powerful memoir of an Australian family – The Long Goodbye. 

Continue Reading

Richard Marman

Ex-military and airline pilot, Richard Marman is now a Sunshine Coast based illustrator and author. His work includes illustrating pamphlets, calendars and poster for the Australasian Ground Safety Council promoting workplace safety at airport terminals. He has also been a regular cartoonist for several magazines and designed the labels for Providence Vineyards in northern Tasmania.

Continue Reading

Allison Marlow Paterson

Allison Marlow Paterson grew up on a farm near Pyramid Hill, the small Victorian town where she was born. She travelled 24 miles to school at Kerang on an ancient bus – top speed 40mph - loved shearing time and collecting mushrooms in the winter. Allison now lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast where she cannot tell if the wild mushrooms are safe to eat or not! "I am the author of Anzac Sons: The Story of Five Brothers in the War to End All Wars and the children’s version, Anzac Sons: Five Brothers on the Western Front,  which made the 2016 Australian Book Industry Awards longlist. My interest in the service of my ancestors began when I was studying to become a teacher. I used a selection of the letters  they sent from the Western Front to complete an assignment. The dream to honour their courage and sacrifice was ignited.

Continue Reading

Deanne Lister

Deanne Lister was born in Somerset, England, and had a classical education at a small convent school, then at the college of Sarum St. Michael in Salisbury.  "Literature and languages were my love at a time when much was learned by rote. I still remember most of my Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Keats and Matthew Arnold, not to mention a good smattering of Chaucer.  Since then I have fallen in love with Dylan Thomas and various Australian poets such as Judith Wright and Bruce Dawe. They may be a world apart, but they all have a wonderful way with words. (There’s a good case of alliteration!)

Continue Reading

  • 1
  • 2