Want to know more about our presenters for 2019? Find their profiles below.
Alex Adsett is a publishing consultant and literary agent. She represents a growing stable of authors from all genres, including literary and children’s, and advises authors and publishers on contract negotiations and deal terms. She regularly speaks on copyright and contracts, and is a former board member of the Small Press Network.
Social entrepreneur, Ali Green, is CEO and co-founder of #1 fastest growing independent Australian book publisher, Pantera Press. Green was named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women by Australian Financial Review for exemplifying, through Pantera Press, the trend towards integrating business and social good. Ali is a Harvard Business School Alumna and sits on a number of industry committees and boards.
Andrew Farrell has been working in publishing and book distribution for 30+ years, previously with Pan Macmillan, Dennis Jones & Associates. Currently he runs his own company, Ebook Alchemy, concentrating on global digital distribution of eBook and print-on-demand editions for over 50 Australian publishers and self-published authors, with almost 1000 ebooks and 500 PoD titles.
Anna Solding is a writer, editor and publisher. Her novel The Hum of Concrete was nominated for six awards, including the Commonwealth Book Prize. She is the founder and managing director of MidnightSun Publishing, an Adelaide-based publishing company, and the co-founder and co-director of The Australian Short Story Festival. Anna is a member of the SPN board and is passionate about unearthing new Australian talent.
Catherine Lewis founded Wild Dingo Press 11 years ago to bring more diverse voices to the Australian literary landscape, including those who have been silenced and disenfranchised. The first title, widely acclaimed The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif (2008) was a bestseller and for four years was on the VCE English text list. A number of subsequent titles have been award-winners or shortlisted, optioned for film or television rights, and/or had international rights sold. Previously, she was managing director of Insight Publications, the highly successful, Melbourne-based English textbook publishing company, a position she took up after a 20-year career as a sociology lecturer at Monash University, Melbourne.
Chiara Priorelli is the Acquisitions Manager at Wavesound – Australia’s premier audiobook publisher, and part of the global group RBMedia, the largest independent audiobook publishers in the world. They produce physical and digital editions for the library and retail markets, and work closely with the key digital retailers (Audible, GooglePlay, AppleBooks etc.). The group recently acquired global retailer Audiobooks.com. Chiara joined Wavesound in 2015 to build the Wavesound audio imprint, specifically dedicated to Australian authors – a very select list that has quickly become the new home for Australia’s top talent including Jane Harper, Tim Winton, Sophie Laguna, Charlotte Wood and Michael Robotham to exciting new names such as Chris Hammer and Affirm Press’ Christian White. She works across the large and small publishers, recently acquiring Hide, by S J Morgan from MidnightSun and Paris Savages, by Katherine Johnson from Ventura Press.
Christopher Black works in marketing and digital for Scribe Publications, and as a designer for Brow Books and Rabbit Poetry Journal. He also sets cryptic crosswords for The Big Issue.
Connor O’Brien is a Melbourne-based writer and designer. He currently runs Studio Sometimes, a print/web design studio for arts organisations and non-profits, and authors Change is Hard, a newsletter about the environment and activism. Connor founded the Digital Writers’ Festival, and has worked for organisations including The Stella Prize, The Wheeler Centre and Express Media.
Dagmar Davies is Assistant Director in the Literature and Contemporary Music Section in the Department of Communications and the Arts. She has more than 10 years’ experience in the Australian Public Service across a range of arts and culture policy areas. Dagmar completed her degree in Cultural Sciences in Germany and the UK, and had worked in cultural organisations in Germany and the USA, before moving to Australia.
Deborah Lee is Senior Manager, Content Acquisition and Business Development with Ingram Lightning Source. Formerly an academic publisher and a trade sales representative, Debbie has seen the world of publishing change dramatically over her 30-year career. She considers the advent of print-on-demand and global distribution among the most significant contributing factors, giving the indie author and smaller press the same capabilities and access to market as the traditional, mainstream publishing house.
Demet Divaroren is the author of Living on Hope Street, which won the Young Adult Prize in the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and was shortlisted for a 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Award. She is the co-editor of Growing Up Muslim in Australia, and teaches creative writing at Victoria Polytechnic.
Elise Jones is a Senior Editor of books for kids and teens with Allen & Unwin, where she’s worked since 2000. She’s won the FAW Barbara Ramsden Award for Excellence in Editing, judged the Aurealis Awards, served on the Express Media Board, completed the Varuna Residential Editorial Program, and participated in many conferences and festivals. She’s also the Melbourne Manager at Allen & Unwin’s Faber Writing Academy.
Elizabeth Allen is a Sydney poet, bookseller and student of French. She works as the Captain of Commerce at the multilingual children’s bookshop and creative hub, Lost in Books. The author of two poetry collections, Elizabeth won the Dame Leonie Kramer Prize in 2001 and the Anne Elder Award in 2012. She also has an Arts degree with first class honours in Australian literature, a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary), and she volunteered for over a decade as the Associate Publisher at Vagabond Press.
Emma Viskic is the author of the critically acclaimed Caleb Zelic series that has been published worldwide and won numerous awards. Resurrection Bay won the 2016 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction and an unprecedented three Davitt Awards. It was shortlisted for the UK’s
prestigious Gold Dagger and New Blood Awards, and was iBooks
Australia’s Crime Novel of the Year. And Fire Came Down won the
2018 Davitt Award for Best Novel and was longlisted for the Dublin
International Literary Award. The third novel in the series,
Darkness for Light, will be out Dec 2nd.
Gary Pengelly has worked within the publishing industry for 32 years, holding finance and operational roles at HarperCollins and McGraw-Hill. Subsequently, he started PacStream, the industry e-commerce business, which he ran for 15 years before accepting his current role of General Manager, Thorpe-Bowker.
George Dunford is Content Director at ArtsHub and screenhub. He has written for Meanjin, The Big Issue, Lonely Planet, The Good Food Guide and others. He has worked in digital leadership roles in the cultural sector for more than 10 years including at the National Library of Australia, National Museum of Australia and the Wheeler Centre.
Hiroki Kobayashi is the Wheeler Centre’s Special Projects Coordinator. He has previously worked in a variety of roles for organisations including the Melbourne Writers Festival, Emerging Writers’ Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival and Malthouse Theatre.
Jaclyn Crupi has worked in publishing and bookselling since 2002, and has a Graduate Diploma in Editing and Publishing from RMIT University. Currently she is a bookseller and events manager at Hill of Content Bookshop, and a freelance book editor and project manager. She has written several children’s and gift books.
She has also reviewed books for The Lifted Brow and Slow Magazine, and is a regular bookstagrammer.
Dr Jan Zwar worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow on the ARC project ‘The Australian book industry: Authors, Publishers and Readers in a Time of Change led by Professor David Throsby. In 2015 she served as a member of the judging panel for the business stream of the Australian Book Industry Awards. In 2013 she assisted the Book Industry Collaborative Council in drafting their final report on the future of Australia’s book industry.
Jen Hutchison established Journeys to Words Publishing in 2018. This new, indie publishing imprint is focusing on the work of mature-age writers. Three books have been published in 2019 – Motherling (May), featured in the Australian Women’s Weekly and by Myf Warhurst on ABC Radio. Bourke Street, My View from Here, is an absorbing in-conversation with Tony Brooks, which launches November 26. High Infidelity (July), a romantic novel by Queensland author Shelley Davidow, is under consideration as a movie. Enthralling books are scheduled for 2020, including The Place Between by Western Australian Suzanne Moore in March, and in June, Nikolai the Perfect by Melbourne writer Jim McIntyre.
Jens Troeger holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science. He has spent more than two decades working in academia, and in commercial research and development for Microsoft, Intel, or Oracle, developing and building software – from operating system internals to programming language compilers to high-level analysis tools. His love for books and typography eventually led him to build Bookalope, an AI-assisted document analysis and conversion toolset for publishing workflows.
Jessica Harvie is currently the Conference Coordinator for the Small Press Network and the Festival Administrator for Melbourne Writers Festival. Prior to this, she worked in student media, mental health, and drug and alcohol communications, has been a judge for the Aurealis Awards, and will not publicly admit the total of her current overdue library fines.
Kate O’Donnell is a writer, editor and bookseller specialising in children’s and young adult literature. She works as a Project Editor with Scribble, the children’s imprint of Scribe Publications, as well as at The Younger Sun bookshop.
Libby Cass is the Director Australian Collections Management at the National Library of Australia, making her responsible for the acquisition and management of all published Australian material. A key responsibility over the last 12 months has been the membership of the National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) National edeposit (NED) steering group.
NED is a world-first collaboration to build a national digital collection, led by the nine members of National and State Libraries Australia (NSLA).
Madeleine Manifold is a Rights Executive at Hardie Grant Egmont. She has studied Arts and completed the Juris Doctor in Law at the University of Melbourne. After graduation she worked at an immigration law firm, then moved to a market research company where she revised employment contracts and policy. Soon after, she undertook an internship at Hardie Grant Publishing which led to her current position at Hardie Grant Egmont.
Malcolm Neil, while based in Melbourne has worked throughout the region over the last ten years. A pioneer of ebooks in ANZ, he was the former CEO of the Booksellers Association, and chair of small literary organisation, Overland. Over the last few years, he has worked as a consultant through Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.
Marika Webb-Pullman has been working in publishing and online media for more than a decade, across roles in marketing, editorial, and digital strategy. Currently, she’s an associate publisher at Scribe Publications.
Mary Dalmau entered the book trade in 1977, was twice President of the ABA, and shortlisted for business awards. She has initiated the publishing of titles, and advised authors and publishers. Currently, Mary reviews books, undertakes freelance proofreading and organises events. She also works with libraries, is a member of the Institute of Professional Editors and is completing her law degree.
Melissa Cranenburgh is a writer, broadcaster, editor and educator. She spent more than a decade in senior editing roles, including associate editor and acting editor of The Big Issue, and co-editor of the magazine’s annual fiction edition. She now teaches in RMIT’s Professional Writing and Editing diploma, and hosts Triple R’s flagship weekly book show, Backstory.
Meg Whelan is an editor on the kids book team at Affirm Press. Prior to taking up this role, she was the kids book buyer at the Hill of Content Bookshop in Melbourne. Meg has a Graduate Diploma of Editing and Publishing and a Master of Communications, both from RMIT.
Michael Hanrahan’s father was a writer, so he grew up in a house overflowing with books. He has inherited his father’s love of words and writing, which is why he chose to work in publishing. Michael completed his Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing in 1997 and has since worked in-house and as a freelancer. He has held the positions of editor, production coordinator, and managing editor for Wrightbooks and John Wiley & Sons Australia. He has worked with many best-selling authors, and has experience in publishing, writing, editing and design for a wide range of clients, including Oxford University Press, Australian Book Review, Overland, RMIT Publishing, Hardie Grant, Five Mile Press, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Random House and the Australian Institute of Family Studies. Michael is a regular presenter at the annual Small Press Network publishing conference, founder and Director of Publish Central, and Co-founder of the Australian Business Book Awards.
A recipient of George Robertson Award for services to the book industry, SPN’s Chair Michael Webster has been involved in publishing and academia for more than 45 years, including board membership of the Australian Publishers Association, the Australian Booksellers Association, Copyright Agency, the Literature Board of the Australia Council and Melbourne Writers Festival. An Adjunct Professor at RMIT University, he researches and lectures on book sales trends and remains a consultant to Nielsen BookScan, which he introduced to the Australian and New Zealand book trades.
Nicola Evans is the Head of the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and Reading Australia. She has worked in the literature sector for over twenty-five years, as an editor, as Program Manager for the Literature Board of the Australia Council, and as Program and Communications Manager for the Australian Publishers Association.
Nicola Nelson is an editorial assistant at Lake Press, a children’s publishing house where she spends most of her time researching dinosaurs and coming up with ways to get kids from A to Z. She has a Bachelor of Arts from La Trobe University and is currently completing a Master of Writing and Publishing at RMIT University.
Olivia Lanchester is the incoming CEO of the Australian Society of Authors (ASA). She is highly experienced at advising writers and illustrators on publishing contracts and their intellectual property rights. Prior to the ASA, Olivia worked as a senior IP lawyer in private practice and as a freelance editor. Olivia is deeply interested in copyright reform and coordinates the ASA’s advocacy on copyright, unfair contracts and digital lending rights.
Patricia Genat has 20 years management experience within the Australian and New Zealand book industry including publishing, distribution, on-line services and printing. Her wide experience is built on a solid business and educational base, including a Master in Business, and a Graduate Diploma in Information Studies (Librarianship). She is Director of ALS Library Services and works closely with her staff and with an eye always on the future trends in the bookselling, publishing and library industries.
Patricia is a lifetime ABA & ALIA member and is currently privileged to sit on the Board of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
Dr Paul Crosby is a Lecturer in the Department of Economics at Macquarie University in Sydney. His research interests are primarily applied microeconomics with a principal focus on the economics of cultural industries.
From 2012 to 2017, Phil Crowley was part of the team that brought the world Review of Australian Fiction, a digital-only Australian short fiction title. He has sat on the SPN board since 2016. He teaches at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.
Rachael McDiarmid has been in the book industry for nearly 30 years in a variety of product, sales, marketing and senior management roles. She has spent time on both sides of the fence – working primarily in academic and professional publishing as well as a long stint in library supply where she managed publisher relations for the print, digital and multimedia supply chain as well as a trade distribution business. She was the face of the James Bennett/Nielsen Bookdata joint venture for many years in the mid-2000s, and has worked with Blackwell Book Services and Baker & Taylor on their retail and digital projects in this market. Rachael now runs RM Marketing Services which provides outsourcing solutions for publishers (predominantly in sales and marketing) as well as consulting services for publishers, distributors and library vendors. Through her business she is also the ANZ contact for publishers for ProQuest’s Ebook Central.
Robbie Egan has been bookselling for almost 25 years, both in Australia and New Zealand. After a long and rewarding 16 years at Readings, most recently as Operations Manager, he now heads up the Australian Booksellers Association as CEO. Robbie has dabbled in short story writing over the years, and studied the craft under Tony Birch and Kevin Brophy at Melbourne University.
Rosanna Arciuli is Manager, Member Communications and Stakeholder Engagement at Copyright Agency. Rosanna has worked in various roles at Copyright Agency since 2006.
Rowena Beresford is the Managing Director of Novella Distribution, and the founder and manager of The Book Curator, a membership service for school librarians.
Sandy Cull has been designing books for 25 years. Notable designs include Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook‘s Companion, Mirka Mora’s Love and Clutter, and more recently, covers for Peggy Frew, David Malouf, Heather Rose and Charlotte Wood. In 2011, Sandy was inducted into the APA Joyce Thorpe Nicholson Hall of Fame, in recognition for her services to publishing and in 2014, was a founding committee member of the ABDA.
Sarah Farquharson is the managing editor of Books+Publishing.
Stella Charls is the Wheeler Centre’s Programming Coordinator.
An emerging arts manager and event producer, Stella was previously the Marketing and Events Coordinator for Readings, and the Festival Manager for the National Young Writers’ Festival, Australia’s largest gathering of young and innovative writers working in both new and traditional forms.
Stella Kinsella was born and raised in Melbourne. She studied at the Victorian College of Arts, supporting herself working nights at the iconic Last Laugh theatre restaurant. She left college with a commission from the Playbox Theatre Company and headed north to write in Byron Bay where she stayed for seven years working for the Byron Shire Echo and writing for the stage, performing stand up comedy, hosting radio programs, and fostering indigenous wild life.
In 2000, she returned to Melbourne and spent a decade working with brilliant people in film and TV in the Australian Screen Industry. She has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Queensland and a National Australian Writers’ Guild award for screenwriting. She still performs regularly and curates live events with Stellavision at the Newport Comedy Room. She is the producer of Funny About Books podcast and the Program Director of the Williamstown Literary Festival. She has written a novel for children called Wild Orphans and a satirical crime fiction set in Williamstown called Poison Ivy.
Sue Ellson BBus MIML MAHRI CDAA ASA MPC WV is an author of four books, an experienced trainer, a professional learner, a consultant in practice, a Career Development Practitioner and an Independent LinkedIn Specialist. Her first social enterprise, NewcomersNetwork.com went online in 2001 and her second, CamberwellNetwork.com in 2012. She enjoys writing poetry, walking and dancing.
Sue McKerracher started out as a journalist and has been a media, marketing and advocacy professional for more than 30 years, working in the UK and Australia. In 2012, Sue joined the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), the peak body for libraries and information professionals, as CEO, based in Canberra. In her current role, Sue works with other stakeholders to pursue a broad range of interests, including supporting humanities research, championing Australian writing, developing an early language and literacy strategy, and ensuring quality education through higher education and VET course accreditation.
Susannah Bowen has been in the publishing industry since 1996, in marketing, sales, training, consulting and as an author, in Australia and Europe. She is co-author of How to Market Books 6e (with Alison Baverstock, Routledge 2019) and How to Get a Job in Publishing (with Alison Baverstock and Steve Carey).
Thuy On is a freelance arts journalist and critic who’s written for a range of publications including The Age, SMH, Australian, The Saturday Paper, ArtsHub and Books+Publishing. For the last 7 years, she’s been the editor of The Big Issue.
Tim Coronel has been involved in the book industry one way or another for over 25 years—variously as a bookseller; a journalist and commentator on the book trade; a writer, editor and publisher of books, magazines and online content; and as a publishing consultant. He is currently a sessional lecturer and subject co-ordinator in the University of Melbourne’s Master of Publishing and Communications. He was the co-ordinator of the Independent Publishing Conference for the Small Press Network in 2013 and 2014. He has worked as a publicist for Monash University Publishing and in the marketing department of Cengage, as well as continuing to work as a freelance editor and publishing consultant for clients ranging from trade publishers to statutory and government bodies.
Toni Jordan is the author of five novels, including the international best-seller Addition, the Indie award-winning Nine Days and Our Tiny, Useless Hearts, a bedroom farce inspired by her love of Molière. Toni teaches creative writing at Faber Academy at Allen & Unwin. Her latest novel is The Fragments.
Veronica Sullivan is the Programming Manager at the Wheeler Centre. She co-hosts Sisteria, a podcast about women’s experiences as creators and consumers of arts and culture, and is the chair of the Custodial Committee of the Kat Muscat Fellowship.
Wenona Byrne is the Arts Practice Director, Literature, at the Australia Council for the Arts. In that role Wenona advocates for writers and literary organisations to develop projects that benefit the sector including Council’s peer-assessed grants program. Prior to joining the Australia Council Wenona worked in publishing for 11 years, nine years as Rights Manager with independent publisher Allen & Unwin, working closely with Australian authors and agents to pitch titles to international publishers in North America, UK, Europe and Asia.