Yellamundie 2019_photo Jamie James-64EvN is at the forefront of an Indigenous literary renaissance, and builds for others to follow. Ellen’s work, on the page and off, echoes across the very architecture of writing in Australia today and will echo long into the future. Alison Whittaker.

Ellen van Neerven is an award-winning writer and editor of Mununjali Yugambeh (South East Queensland) and Dutch heritage. They write fiction, poetry, plays and non-fiction.

Ellen’s first book, Heat and Light (UQP, 2014), was the recipient of the David Unaipon Award, the Dobbie Literary Award and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Indigenous Writers Prize. Heat and Light was also shortlisted for The Stella Prize, the Queensland Literary Award for State Significance, and the Readings Prize.

Ellen’s second book, a collection of poetry, Comfort Food (UQP, 2016) was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize and Highly Commended for the 2016 Wesley Michel Wright Prize.

Their new poetry collection, Throat, is forthcoming with UQP in May 2020.

Ellen’s play ‘SWIM’ featured at the Yellamundie First Peoples Playwriting Festival in Sydney in January 2019.

Ellen graduated with a BFA in Creative Writing at QUT in 2010. After graduating, Ellen completed training as an editor of Indigenous-authored manuscripts at the black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing Project at State Library of Queensland. Ellen was in the role of Managing Editor at black&write! until 2016, leaving the project in safe capable hands for next generation of Indigenous editors. Ellen works as a freelance editor on select projects.

agent: Emma Paterson 

photo credit: Jamie James, Yellamundie Festival


  • Upcoming

    Throat to be released May 2020!