Presenters

Guest presenters at the LitFest

Tristan Bancks

Tristan Bancks is an accomplished children’s and young adult author. His works include the children’s series, My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up and Nit Boy; plus stand alone novels, Mac Slater Coolhunter and Galactic Adventures: First Kids in Space, Two Wolves (published as On the Run in the U.S.), and The Fall.

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Helen Chebatte

Helen Chebatte is a young adult author. Her first novel, Bro, was published in 2017 and was inspired by her childhood and growing up in the multicultural and multiethnic Western Sydney suburb of Granville.

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Sean Choolburra

Sean Choolburra is a widely renowned Aboriginal Australian performer and actor. He started his career performing cultural Indigenous shows. He has performed in many television and film roles and is a familiar face on the national and international comedy circuit.

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Matt Cosgrove

Matt Cosgrove is an Australian children’s author and illustrator. He is most renowned for his picture books, including: Macca the Alpaca, Alpacas with Maracas, Macca’s Christmas Crackers, My Dad is a Robot, Bears Don’t Bounce and Pigs Don’t Fly. He has also written a series for children: Epic Fail Tales.

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Kirsty Eagar

Kirsty Eagar is a young adult novelist. Kirsty’s works reflect a number of young adult themes including: sexuality, masculinity, the natural world, social media and disjointed families. She is also a passionate surfer.

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Abbas El-Zein

Abbas El-Zein is a a scholar, academic and author. He has published two acclaimed fiction works – a novel, Tell the Running Water, and a collection of short stories, The Secret Maker of the World. He is also the author of a gripping memoir, Leave to Remain, exploring his youth growing up in a war-stricken Lebanon and his migration to Australia.

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Jules Faber

Jules Faber is a cartoonist and illustrator.

His illustrations include cover art of Anh Do’s Weirdo series, The Stinky Street Stories with Alex Ratt, Leo DaVinci v. The Furniture Overlord with Michael Pryor, and The Awesome Book of Rap, Rhyme and Putrid Poetry with Andy Jones.

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Brian Falkner

Brian Falkner is a prolific young adult and junior fiction author.

His novels include The Outlaw, Shooting Stars, Brainjack and The Tomorrow Code. His young adult series include the Recon Team Angels and Battlesaurus. He has also published a collection of short stories in That Stubborn Seed of Hope.

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Lisa Forrest

Lisa Forrest is an Australian swimmer, sports commentator, actor, and journalist. She represented Australia in the 1978 and 1982 Commonwealth Games and was the captain of the Australian swimming team in the 1980 Summer Olympics.

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Kate Forsyth

Kate Forsyth is a prolific children’s, young adult and adult fiction author. She writes largely fantasy and historical fiction for children, young adults and adults. A number of her works reference and explore her literary passion: fairy tales.

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Scot Gardner

Scot Gardner is an Australian young adult fiction writer. He has published a number of works including: The Dead I Know, Bookmark Days, The Detachable Boy, The Legend of Kevin the Plumber, The Other Madonna, Burning Eddy, Happy As Larry and The Way We Roll.

Scot is one of the Literature Festival’s Community Speakers for 2019.

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Susanne Gervay

Susanne Gervay is an Australian author. She has published a number of works including: Butterflies, The Cave, Ships in a Field, That’s Why I Wrote This Song, and her coming of age series beginning with I Am Jack. Susanne writes from the heart and uses personal experiences to inspire her works.

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Lesley Gibbes

Lesley Gibbes writes picture books, poetry and chapter books for children..

She is most known for her Fizz the police dog series. Her works have been translated into various languages including Brazillian Portuguese, French, Norweigan, Slovenian, Czech and Arabic.

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Tim Harris

Tim Harris is a children’s short story author and songwriter. He specialises in writing short stories for children and reluctant readers. He has published three titles in his Exploding Endings short stories series.

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Barry Heard

Barry Heard is an Australian author of war fiction and non-fiction. His fiction works include Tag and The View from Connor’s Hill: A Memoir; his first published work, an autobiography, Well Done, Those Men: Memoirs of a Vietnam Veteran, details his personal experience as a soldier in the Vietnam War.

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James Knight

James Knight is a non-fiction writer. He has worked previously as a print journalist, sports news reporter, and radio broadcaster. He specialises in writing biographies and memoirs.

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Zohab Zee Khan

Zohab Zee Khan is an nationally and internationally award winning spoken word poet, motivational speaker, and musical and dance performer. He is the winner of the Australian Poetry Slam Championship in 2014.

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Will Kostakis

Will Kostakis is an Australian young adult author and newspaper columnist. He has three published novels: Loathing Lola, The First Third, Stuff Happens: Sean and most recently, The Sidekicks. His newest work, Monument, the first novel in a brand new fantasy series, will be published in late-2019. Will graduated Newington College in 2006.

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Isabelle Li

Isabelle Li is an Australian short story writer and Chinese-language translator. Isabelle was born and spent her formative years in China before immigrating to Australia in 1999. She has been writing short stories since her university days and has been published in a number of literary journals and anthologies.

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Matthew Lin

Matthew Lin is an illustrator, designer, graphic novel and manga artist. He runs workshops all over New South Wales. He works largely with children and young adults, helping them release their creativity and imagination through graphical arts.

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Jack Lynch

Jack is a professional writer with a diverse and interesting portfolio. Starting his career as a freelance music journalist, Jack moved into a full time role at RIDE Media as sub-editor. He is currently the speechwriter for the Premier and Deputy Premier of New South Wales. Jack will be the supervising editor of the Newington Postscript team.

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Oliver Phommavanh

Oliver Phommavanh is a children’s author and stand-up comedian. A former primary school teacher, he has written a number of comedic children’s novels including Stuff Happens: Ethan, Punchlines, Thai-no-mite, Con-nerd, Thai-riffic, and Natural Born Loser. His passions include making people laugh and engaging children and young adults with literature.

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Liam Pieper

Liam Pieper is an award-winning fiction writer, journalist and columnist. His 2014 memoir, The Feel-Good Hit of The Year, is a true story of loss, grief, addiction, and mental illness. It’s a comedy.

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Christopher Richardson

Christopher Richardson is an academic, researcher and young adult fiction author. Christopher’s debut novel, Voyage of the Moon Child, took ten years to reach publication. It is the first novel of a fantasy, swashbuckling pirate series entitled Empire of the Waves.

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Mark Smith

Mark Smith is a young adult fiction writer.

His stories merge his love of the outdoors, his experiences as a teacher, and the message of personal strength and resilience. He has written two dystopian novels: The Road to Winter and Wilder Country.

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Lian Tanner

Lian Tanner is a children’s fantasy writer.

She has written numerous novels through three series: The Hidden/Icebreaker series, The Keepers trilogy and The Rogues trilogy.

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Tiffany Tsao

Tiffany Tsao is a writer and literary translator.

She is the author of The Oddfits fantasy series and Under Your Wings.

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Bronwyn Vaughan

Bronwyn Vaughan is a visual storyteller and performer.

She specialises in visual storytelling for children. Her performances take her audience on fantastical journeys, covering a wide range of themes and cultures.

Philip Wilcox

Philip Wilcox is a primary school teacher, poet and playwright and the current Australian Poetry Slam Champion and a two-time NSW Poetry Slam Champion. Philip’s slam poetry is raw, relatable and challenging. His poetry mixes humour, social commentary and wit.

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