Local and Visiting Authors
Townsville has a wealth of writing talent - from well-regarded authors to those just starting out on their writing journey. CityLibraries Townsville is proud to showcase our local authors, and to let you know when visiting authors are in town to talk about their books and present writing workshops.
Townsville has welcomed many popular authors over the years and they have worked with people of all ages in writing workshops, author talks and literary festivals. Visiting authors have included Graeme Simsion, Dr Anita Heiss, Nick Earls, Matt Condon, Alex Miller, Nick Bland, Narelle Oliver, Nicole Alexander and Benjamin Law.
Check What's On Townsville to find out who's coming next.
Discover Townsville authors through their stories. Read more about our authors below.
[Brothers in Arms, Honeymoon Dive, The Curer of Souls]
Lindsay Simpson is the author and co-author of eight books including the bestselling Brothers in Arms, co-authored with Sandra Harvey about the Milperra bikie massacre which was made into a six-part mini series by Screentime, producers of Underbelly. Lindsay is the Co-ordinator of Write in the Tropics, the postgraduate writing program at James Cook University. Her novel, The Curer of Souls was shortlisted for the Colin Roderick award in 2007 and that same year she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ned Kelly Crime Writers Association. Her book Honeymoon Dive about Tina Watson’s death from scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef was co-authored with Jennifer Cooke.
Sylvia Kelso lives in north Queensland, works part-time at James Cook University, and has been writing or telling stories for as long as she remembers.. She is a contributing editor for Paradoxa: Studies in World Literary Genres and guest edited a special volume of Paradoxa on Ursula K. Le Guin. Her first fantasy novel, Everran’s Bane, was published in 2005, and two of her novels have been shortlisted in the Australian Aurealis genre fiction awards. Sylvia wrote The Solitaire Ghost and The Time Seam, books 1 and 2 of Blackston Gold as contemporary north Queensland fantasy.
[Blossoms of Snow, Saffron Sunsets]
Mary Casolin’s parents were born in Torrebelvicino, Provincia di Vicenza, Italy. Mary was born in Innisfail, and grew up in Monica Street. She gained her Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Education, and a PhD. from James Cook University. As a secondary school teacher she taught Sciences and Maths, and later Italian at the University. After retiring Mary started writing poetry and joined Writers in Townsville Society. She has embarked on an autobiography, with episodes of psychological interpretation for some of the more obscure reasons behind reported incidences. This brings her to the satisfying final movement of her life.
[Zoe’s Muster, Home Before Sundown, Molly Cooper’s Dream Date,The Bridesmaid’s Baby]
Books: 39 titles for Harlequin Mills and Boon as well as titles for Penguin.
Sales: over 5 million
Translations: 26 different languages
Awards: Barbara has received nominations for RITA awards from Romance Writers of America. These awards are judged by fellow authors, and are highly prized in the industry – romance writing’s equivalent to the Oscars. Barbara won a RITA for best traditional romance for Claiming His Family in 2007, and won the Australian R*BY award for best category romance in 2005 for Her Playboy Challenge.
Reading and writing have always been a big part of Barbara Hannay’s life. She wrote her first short story at the age of eight for the Brownie’s writer’s badge. It was about a girl who’s devastated when her family has to move from the city to the Australian Outback.
Since then, a love of both city and country lifestyles has been a continuing theme in Barbara’s books and in her life. Although she has mostly lived in cities where she was an English teacher for many years, now that her family has grown up and she’s a full time writer, she enjoys a country lifestyle.
Barbara and her husband live on a misty hillside in Far North Queensland’s Atherton Tableland. When she’s not lost in the world of her stories, she’s enjoying farmers’ markets, gardening clubs and writing groups, or preparing for visits from family and friends.
Barbara records her country life in her blog Barbwired and her website is www.barbarahannay.com
Boori Monty Pryor
[Shake a Leg, Maybe Tomorrow, My Girragundgi]
Storyteller / Writer / Performer / Australian Children’s Laureate
Boori is a multi-talented performer who has worked in numerous industries including film, television, modelling, sport, music and theatre-in-education. He is also known as an articulate
public speaker on Aboriginal issues. Monty was born in Townsville, north Queensland. His father was from the Birrigubba of the Bowen and Whitsunday region and his mother is from Yarrabah (near Cairns), a descendant of the Kungganji
Boori has collaborated with Meme McDonald on five books including the bestseller Maybe Tomorrow which received a Special Commendation at the 1998 Human Rights Awards. Their second book, My Girragundji, was awarded The Children’s Book Council of Australia 1999 Book of The Year Award. In 2000 The Binna Binna Man received three of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards including Book of the Year. Early in his career Boori received an award for the promotion of indigenous culture from The National Aboriginal and Islander Observance Committee. His recent picture book with Jan Ormerod, Shake a Leg, was awarded the Prime Minister’s Literary Award 2011, and in 2012 Boori was named Children’s Laureate for National Year of Reading.
[Life as an Australian Horseman]
For more than 25 years Fiona Lake has specialised in photographing and writing about Australia’s largest cattle stations, which are the largest in the world. Fiona has published two coffee-table style books called A Million Acre Masterpiece and Life as an Australian Horseman. Best sellers, these unique records of Australian outback culture are sold all over the world via her website. The cattle stations included are located across the top half of the continent - between Queensland’s remote Cape York Peninsula and Channel Country, throughout the historic Northern Territory and across Western Australia’s beautiful Kimberley region.
Fiona’s work featured in an ABC television Landline story and she has also held numerous exhibitions in city and rural locations located between Melbourne and Cairns, opened by a variety of people such as Governor General Michael Jeffrey and Peter Holmes a Court.
In 2011 Fiona’s website was selected for inclusion in the National Library of Australia’s Pandora project, which records websites deemed to be of significant cultural importance for posterity.
[A Hint of Darkness, The Journey of Emmaline]
Lori T Hurst grew up in Townsville. After living in Melbourne for seven years and spending another six years in Mt Isa she was happy to move back home with her family.
Lori has been an avid reader since childhood and starting writing at an early age. She has had numerous short stories and articles published. The seeds for her two historical/contemporary novels, A Hint of Darkness and The Journey of Emmaline, were planted whilst she was researching north Queensland history for her BA, as a mature age student.
Her dream of becoming a published author finally came to fruition in 2016. Lori is currently working on two novels, one historical/contemporary paranormal and the other Young Adult. She is also doing research for a nonfiction book.
[The Paradoxophies, co-authored with Martha Landman]
Poet Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke moved to Townsville in July 2009, and is happy to now call the city home. Since 2002, he has had collections of his poems published by American small presses, and since the mid-1980s many poems published in newspapers, magazines and journals the world over. Michael mostly composes poetry the old fashioned way, with a pen and notebook – not so old fashioned as to use papyrus and a quill! – but is computer literate enough to have founded online The South Townsville micro poetry journal. If Michael could have one wish, he would give the wish away.
[The Second Beginning]
Tony Green was born and raised in the Black Country, West Midlands, UK. Over a fifty-six-year working life, he has had well over one hundred different jobs, including forge worker, rigger & scaffolder, miner, excavator driver, sheet metal worker, door-to-door salesman, real estate salesman, businessman, wildlife carer, taxi driver and won an award for the best door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman in Australia. He served in the British Army Territorials and the Australian Army Reserves. He lives with his wife in Townsville, Australia and has six children, thirteen grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and is well on the way to Greening the planet.
Lynn Scott-Cumming has had short stories, poetry, and art reviews published in a variety of anthologies, magazines, and the Townsville Bulletin. She is a visual artist and writer who is fascinated by the local environment. She was awarded a Master of Creative Arts degree from James Cook University in 1994. She has lived in Townsville for 30 years. You can find her at https://artstownsville.com/
She has been published in:
- 2008 Lowdown Magazine, Play Review: Stone Fragments
- 2006 Townsville Bulletin, Arts Reviews
- 2005 Journal of Australian Ceramics, Vol. 44, No. 3
- 2005 Eyeline, Winter edition, No. 57
- 2005 Sunlight & Shadow, A WITS Anthology
- 2004 Townsville Bulletin, Arts Review (weekly column)
- 2002 Wait-a-while, A WITS Anthology.
- 1999 North Queensland Poets Journal, Vol 1, issue 1: Meditation, Shaman, Time Traveller, Train Stop
- 1998 And Look Beyond, An Anthology of Poems by North Queensland Poets, NQCC: Looking Glass Land, Tears
- 1998 The Women’s Art Register Bulletin, Plenty Townsville Artists on a Journey to Spirit
- 1998 Lord of the Parks: A WITS Anthology, The Rock
- 1997 Libraries Change Lives, The Australian Story: From Kosciusko & Adelaide to Carnarvon & Townsville
- 1997 Excerpt from Homage published in the full-colour catalogue for the exhibition Plenty: Women Artists of Townsville
- 1996 Assisted with editing & collating the Queensland Chapter of A National Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia
- 1994 Flying Arts School Gazette: Harlequin
- 1994 Parallel Worlds: A WITS Anthology. A Forgotten Land
- 1992 LiNQ Vol 19 No 1: Jane and I
[Angor to Zillmanton: Stories of North Queensland’s deserted towns]
As an engineer, Colin has background in mining yet his passion is researching and compiling the history, maps, town plans, photos and the stories of north Queensland. His research spans over two decades and he is currently embarking on ten volumes covering north Queensland.
Angor to Zillmanton is regarded as the encyclopaedic reference to north Queensland and chronicles 520 deserted towns and mining camps. It is entering its 7th edition. Colin says, 'Writing this book has been a journey. Its well springs covered most of Queensland from a boy running through the scrubs with a dog and a rifle, learning of the bullockies and their teams and the old fossickers' huts of beaten kerosene tins on White Hill at Clermont, to the man receiving instruction in tin prospecting with old miners at Herberton and gold with the solitary prospector on the Palmer. It travelled back through our past and on into our future with the hospitality of the bush folk, their stories, theories and dreams. It led past the realisation of changes in attitudes of all the people who made and make up this country.”
[Some Magnetic Island Plants]
Donald Simpson was born in Townsville in 1929, and went to school here. He moved to Brisbane to continue his education, and worked as a teacher and a headmaster, first in Queensland, and then in England. He retired in 1994 and came to live on Magnetic Island, a place much loved by him from many holidays there as a boy. Although mathematics was his subject, he has always been interested in things that grow (he was head of an agricultural school for some years), and this encouraged him to photograph and write the series of volumes on island plants.
Dorothy Gibson-Wilde PhD, OAM
[A Pattern of Pubs: Hotels of Townsville 1864-1914]
Consultant in history and heritage Dr Dorothy M. Gibson-Wilde is the author or co-author of eleven major publications relating to Australian Federation, to Queensland and Townsville history, as well as being a contributor to four other major publications. In addition she has written over 100 journal and newspaper articles, as well as numerous unpublished papers and reports. Born in Townsville, she spent her earliest years in Proserpine before returning with her parents. She has spent several years overseas and has undertaken research in a various libraries and museums in Europe and the United States. However, she enjoys best living in and writing about the history of Townsville.
[Tiny Office: Great Views]
Aussie larrikin Ross Isaacson was born in 1944 in the Riverland district at Waikerie in South Australia. Commencing his working life on the family fruit properties, he remained in the Riverland for 30 years. Not being content to pick fruit all his life, Rossco left the fruit farming and his role as Waikerie’s youngest Local Government Councillor to pursue a flying career, and has lived in Townsville, Cairns, Brisbane, Adelaide and Whyalla.
Having retired from commercial flying after nearly 18,000 hours flying, his great enjoyment is being out in nature. “I enjoy camping, fishing, four-wheel driving and canoeing, as well as great company and a nice dinner – even if I have to do the cooking! The camp oven is my speciality.” Ross lives in Townsville with his partner and is working on his second book, a novel.
[After the Rains & other stories, Literary Licence]
My humorous novel Literary Licence and a collection of short stories After the Rains & other stories were self-published in 2011.
My short stories have been published in America, United Kingdom and Australia, in magazines and online, including in Skive, The Outpost, The Yellow Room, Ripples Magazine, Linnet Wings, Artgaze Magazine and the Queensland Writers Centre magazine WQ. My non-fiction writing encompasses the boating scene and I have been widely published including in Cruising Helmsman, Multihull World, Afloat, Yachting Monthly, and Practical Boat-Owner. Several of these articles allude to the humorous side of boating. My speculative fiction novel The Mask of Deceit was highly commended for a Varuna Writers Scholarship in 2007. It has been signed with Morris Publishing for spring publication 2012.
My writing has been broadcast on ABC Radio National for the Book Show. I collaborated to write a humorous radio play in 2006 for ABC North Queensland which was subsequently produced for the Townsville Writers Festival. My blog highlights my writing successes and has a dedicated following. I also post monologues on YouTube and contribute to the ABC Pool website.
[Lion of Scythia]
Max travelled widely and lived in many countries before settling down in Australia. He has lived in Townsville since 1990, with five years in the United States during that time. He has 19 published novels, mainly historical fiction but with other genres represented. Titles include Lion of Scythia, The Golden King, and Funeral in Babylon. He is a member of EPIC (The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) and has won three awards in their annual competition, as well as the LiFE award (Literature for Environment) for his book Sequestered. His publisher is Writers Exchange in Atherton, Far North Queensland.
Author image by Julie Napier.
CityLibraries Townsville launched this promotion of Townsville authors during National Year of Reading. You can read more about our local authors and then find their works in our collection (search 'Townsville author' in the catalogue or click on their names above).
To become a part of Townsville Authors online, please note details from the list below and forward your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your submission will be reviewed by staff.
- Are you a published local author?
- Brief author biography (100 words)
- Were you born in Townsville or have lived here?
- High resolution portrait image of author (300dpi)
- Is your book set in Townsville?
- List of author's works in our collection
- Does CityLibraries have your stories or poetry in our collection?
- Author's website if applicable