On your Writer’s Surgery application form please nominate one to three industry professionals you’d like to work with from the list below. If you are unsure who best matches your project or have any questions, please contact us at admin@qldwriters.org.au or on 07 3842 9922.

Please do not contact the industry professionals directly. All administration of The Writer’s Surgery program is coordinated by QWC.

Areas of interest

If your project isn’t represented in the matrix below, please still submit an application form to QWC as we may be able to match you with another industry professional.

General Notes

The Writer’s Surgery program is not a manuscript assessment service or a pathway to publishing. Your industry professional may refer you to publishers, commercial services and/or literary agents but this is their choice and they are under no obligation to do so.

Any opinions expressed by your industry professional are their own, and QWC recommends seeking the advice of an arts law professional before engaging in any publishing agreement.

Artist Biographies


Elaine Acworth

Availability: by appointment, in person or via phone/Skype conference

Consults on: playwriting

Bio: Elaine Acworth has been writing for performance for 23 years. Her work has been critically and popularly awarded: her most recent play, Gloria, commissioned by Queensland Theatre Company, was a finalist in the Rodney Seaborn Playwright’s Award (2012), a finalist for 5 Matilda Awards (2014), and was the “smash hit” of QTC’s 2014 season, playing to sold-out houses.

Recent productions: Gloria (2014), Water Wars (2011), Solitary Animals (1997-2001)

Kai Napier

Kali Napier

Availability: by appointment, in person, via email or phone conference

Consults on: Historical fiction, General fiction, Preparing proposals and grant applications

Bio: Kali Napier is the bestselling author of the historical novel The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge, published by Hachette Australia and Piatkus UK. She has had two manuscripts longlisted in the Bath Novel Award and was selected to participate in the QWC / Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program. Kali holds a Master of Arts in Writing, Editing, and Publishing, and a Master of Philosophy in Creative Writing from The University of Queensland, where she works as a tutor and supervisor in the writing program. She has 5+ years’ experience in developing tenders, preparing proposals and grant applications for submission.

Recent productions: The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge (2018)

Abagail Nathan

Abigail Nathan

Availability: by appointment, phone/Skype conference

Consults on: general fiction, genre fiction (fantasy, science fiction, romance, crime, horror etc), self-publishing, editing

Bio: Abigail Nathan is an editor who has run Bothersome Words Editing & Writing Services since 2004. With a background in copywriting and magazine and legal publishing, she is a genre fiction specialist who works with major Australian and UK trade publishers including HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Hachette and Gollancz; as well as with emerging and self-publishing writers.

Links: BothersomeWords.com / BothersomeWords Facebook / BothersomeWords Twitter


Robin Adolphs

Availability: by appointment, in person or via phone/Skype conference

Consults on: children’s picture books

Bio: Robin is a children’s author, the founding director of Butternut Books and works closely with illustrators, editors and other professionals in the publishing and marketing industries. She has a background in early childhood education, and has published ten picture books.

Recent publications: Brave Danny (2016), Lucy’s First Disco (2015), Sylvia’s Itch (2014)

Links: robinadolphs.com / @RobinAdolphs /facebook.com/authorrobinadolphs

Photo courtesy Robyn Hills robyngraphs.com.au

Anna Campbell

Availability: by appointment before 3pm, in person only

Consults on: general fiction, romance fiction, self-publishing, novellas

Bio: Anna Campbell has written 10 multi award-winning historical romances for HarperCollins and Hachette. She has also independently released 14 bestselling novellas. Since selling her first published novel at auction to HarperCollins US in 2006, she has written full-time. Anna regularly mentors other writers in technical skills, romance, and commercial fiction.

Recent publications: A Scoundrel By Moonlight (2016), The Seduction of Lord Stone (2015), Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed (2012)

Links: annacampbell.info / @AnnaCampbellOz / facebook.com/AnnaCampbellFans


Christopher Currie

Availability: Wednesdays, in person or via phone/Skype conference

Consults on: young adult fiction, general fiction

Bio: Christopher Currie is a Brisbane-based writer and bookseller whose latest book is the YA novel Clancy of the Undertow.

Recent publications: Clancy of the Undertow (2015), The Ottoman Motel (2011)

Links: furioushorses.com / @furioushorses


Aleesah Darlinson

Availability: by appointment, via phone/Skype conference

Consults on: children’s fiction and non-fiction, picture books

Bio: Aleesah Darlison is an award-winning Australian author who writes picture books, chapter books, novels and series.

In 2015, she won the Environment Award for Children’s Literature (Non-Fiction). Aleesah has published over thirty-five books.

Recent publications: Stripes in the Forest: The Story of the Last Wild Thylacine (2016), Awesome Animal Stories for Kids (2015), Ash Rover: Keeper of the Phoenix (2014)

Links: aleesahdarlison.com / facebook.com/AleesahDarlisonFanPage


J. M. Donellan

Availability: by appointment, in person

Consults on: young adult fiction, short fiction, poetry, general fiction

Bio: J. M. Donellan is a fictional character masquerading as an author. He came 2nd in the 2015 Australian Poetry Slam and has performed at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, Brisbane Festival and some very prestigious basements.

His YA sci-fi novel, Jennifer Cellardoor, will be released in 2017.

Recent publications: Stendhal Syndrome (2016), Killing Adonis (2014), A Beginner’s Guide to Dying in India (2009)

Links: jmdonellan.com / @jmdonellan / facebook.com/jmdonellanauthor


Dr Darryl Dymock

Availability: by appointment, in person or via phone/Skype conference

Consults on: narrative non-fiction and academic writing

Bio: Dr Darryl Dymock is a researcher, writer and teacher, and author of five non-fiction books including biography and history, and dozens of academic journal articles. He is a former editor of an international journal, and was selected for the QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program for his narrative non-fiction book, Hustling Hinkler.

Recent publications: The Chalkies: Educating an army for independence (2016), Co-editor, Supporting learning across working life (2016), Hustling Hinkler (2013)

Links: drdymock.wordpress.com


Trent Jamieson

Availability: Thursdays, in person

Consults on: speculative fiction, short fiction, general fiction

Bio: Trent Jamieson is a multi-award winning short story writer and novelist. He has taught as a sessional academic at QUT, and was a tutor at the intensive writing workshop Clarion South. He was also fiction editor of Redsine Magazine, and has edited short story collections, novels, and anthologies. He is a current recipient of a Queensland Writers Fellowship working on his new novel The Stone Road.

Recent publications: Day Boy (2015), Death Works series (2010-2014), The Nightbound Land Duology (2011-2012)

Links: trentjamieson.com / @trentonomicon


Caylie Jeffery

Availability: by appointment, in person or via phone conference

Consults on: memoir, self-help and mindfulness, blog-to-book projects and journaling

Bio: With a background in nursing, counselling and education, Caylie Jeffery became a blogger-turned-author after some particularly exciting ocean adventures. By writing mindful essays for The Social Conscience, iVillage and others, teaching creative writing and facilitating journaling workshops, Caylie helps children and adults connect with their authentic and courageous selves, in a bid to keep their worlds right-side-up.

Recent publications: Bedtime Stories for Busy Mothers (2014)

Links: cayliejeffery.com.au / @CaylieAuthor / facebook.com/CaylieJefferyWriter


Michelle Law

Availability: by appointment, via phone or Skype conference

Consults on: screenwriting, life writing, freelance projects and playwriting

Bio: Michelle Law is a freelance writer with experience working for many Australian publications including the Sydney Morning Herald, Frankie, Daily Life, the Griffith Review and Meanjin.

She is an AWGIE award winning screenwriter who has worked on productions for ABC, SBS, Fox, Channel Nine and Ten.

Recent publications and productions: Single Asian Female (2017), The Family Law (2015), Sh*t Asian Mothers Say (2014), Bloomers (2013)

Links: michelle-law.com / @ms_michellelaw


Dave Lowe

Availability: by appointment, in person only

Consults on: middle primary chapter books

Bio: Dave is the author of the Stinky & Jinks novels. Aimed at 7-10 year-olds, the books are published in Australia, the UK and in 6 translations. Three books in a new series, The Incredible Dadventure, about an explorer dad and his adventurous daughter, will be published in 2017 by Piccadilly in the UK and Australia.

Recent publications: Squirrel Boy series (2015-16), Stinky & Jinks series (2012-14)

Links: hachette.com.au/dave-lowe/


Cass Moriarty

Availability: by appointment, in person and via phone conference

Consults on: literary fiction, general fiction, corporate writing, preparing submissions and project development

Bio: After completing a Business/Communication degree at Queensland University of Technology, Cass Moriarty honed her corporate writing skills on media releases, annual reports, speeches and in-house magazine articles in various PR and marketing roles. In 2007, she began writing fiction. Her debut novel, The Promise Seed, was shortlisted in the 2013 Queensland Literary Awards, and went on to be published by The University of Queensland Press to critical acclaim.

Recent publications: Parting Words (2017), The Promise Seed (2013)

Links: cassmoriarty.com / @MoriartyCass / facebook.com/cassmoriartyauthor


Sally Piper

Availability: by appointment, in person or via phone conference

Consults on: literary fiction, short fiction, general fiction

Bio: Sally Piper’s debut novel, Grace’s Table, was shortlisted for the 2011 Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards. Her short fiction and non-fiction has been published in print and online in Australia and the UK, appearing in anthologies, literary magazines and The Weekend Australian. Sally assists writers to craft tight sentences and a strong narrative voice that will attract the attention of editors and literary award judges.

Recent publications: Grace’s Table (2014)

Links: sallypiper.com / @SallyPiper / facebook.com/sallypiperwriter


Lea Scott

Availability: by appointment, in person and via phone conference

Consults on: crime fiction and self-publishing projects

Bio: Lea Scott is a Brisbane-based writer who has published three indie crime thrillers in print and digital versions. She has also co-authored several short story anthologies. She holds a Commerce/Arts degree with studies in Communications and English Literature and is currently undertaking a PhD in Creative Writing.

Recent publications: One for All (2013), Eclipsed (2010), The Ned Kelly Game (2009)

Links: leascott.com


Edwina Shaw

Availability: by appointment, in person and via phone or Skype conference

Consults on: general fiction, literary fiction, memoir, essays and children’s chapter books

Bio: Edwina Shaw is a Brisbane writer of fiction, memoir and screenplays. Her novel, Thrill Seekers, based on her brother’s battle with adolescent onset schizophrenia, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award for New Writing and has recently been released as a new imprint by Raven Books UK.  In the Dark of Night (Raven UK) a chapter book for young readers was selected for the 2016/17 National Library Summer Reading Club. Since 2002, her short pieces have been published in Australian and international journals, including Best Australian Stories, Asia Literary Review, Griffith Review, ThirdFlatIron and FourWayReview. Her feature film screenplay M was awarded 2018 Talent Development funding from Screen Queensland and is currently under development with a producer attached. She is the commissioning editor of Bjelke Blues (AndAlso Books) a collection of stories about life in QLD during the Bjelke Petersen regime. She also runs retreats combining yoga and writing.

Recent publications: In the Dark of Night (2016), Thrill Seekers (2012)

Links: edwinashaw.com / relaxandwriteretreats.blog / facebook / twitter


Sally Wilson

Consults on: freelance journalism, blogging, food and travel writing, corporate writing

Bio: Sally Wilson is a freelance writer, editor, and restaurant reviewer with more than 13 years’ experience in magazine publishing and communications. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Collective Magazine, Good Food Guide, Jetstar Australia, and BBC Good Food.

She also tutors in the Writing, Editing & Publishing program at UQ. Sally blogs about some of her favourite subjects — food, books and travel — at Scribe & Spoon.

Recent publications: works appear at Scribe & Spoon, Collective Magazine, Australian Table and more

Links: sallywilson.com.au / @salwilsonwords / facebook.com/Scribeandspoon


Grace Lucas-Pennington

Availability: by appointment

Consults on: First Nations writing, publishing industry advice, general fiction, literary fiction, poetry

Bio: Grace has worked as an editor, and also as a consultant, guest lecturer, and publishing industry advisor. She has experience editing poetry, and both literary and general fiction. She has a lifelong interest in science fiction, fantasy, and speculative writing. Grace also has experience working with Australian Indigenous authors, and Indigenous content/themes. Grace currently works as Senior Editor for the black&write! Project at State Library of Queensland.

Links: black&write! 

Kylie Chan

Availability: by appointment

Consults on: Fantasy, science fiction, and horror (both adult and YA)

Bio: Kylie Chan has a BBus, an MBA in IT, and an MPhil in Creative writing. She started out as an IT consultant specialising in business intelligence systems in Australia, and then had her own consulting business for ten years in Hong Kong. When she returned to Australia in 2002, Kylie studied martial arts and Buddhist and Taoist philosophy, and wrote the bestselling nine-book Dark Heavens series, a fantasy based on Chinese mythology. She has recently released a new science fiction series.

Links: Website /@kyliecchan /  facebook.com/kyliechanauthor


David Stavanger

Availability: Tuesdays 10 am -2 pm and 3:30 pm- 5 pm or by appointment

Consults on: poetry for publication, writing/editing spoken word, and writing arts project grants

Bio: David Stavanger is a poet, performer and cultural producer. In 2013 he won the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize, resulting in the release of The Special (UQP), his first full-length collection of poetry which was awarded the 2015 Wesley Michel Wright Poetry Prize. David’s poetry was commissioned as part of Australian Book Review’s States of Poetry – QLDII in 2017, his prose-poem The Electric Journal was a finalist of the 2016 Newcastle Poetry Prize and he has been selected as the 2017 Melbourne Visiting Poets Program’s resident by RMiT/Australian Poetry. David was the Co-Director of the Queensland Poetry Festival (2015-17) and is also sometimes known as Green Room-nominated spoken word artist Ghostboy.

Links: Australian Book Review: David Stavanger / YouTube


Carmen Keates

Availability: By appointment, in person or via phone

Consults on: poetry

Bio: Carmen Leigh Keates is a poet whose work appears in many publications, most recently in Stilts, Tincture, Axon, and Best Australian Poems 2017 (Black Inc). Carmen won the 2015 Whitmore Press manuscript prize, leading to the cinema-themed collection Meteorites, which was shortlisted for the 2017 QLD Literary Awards. Carmen is co-editor of Foam:e online poetry journal and has a PhD in Writing from the University of Queensland.

Links: Blog / @Helgabrot