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 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.

Ellen’s new collection, Throat (UQP, 2020), is forthcoming. Their performance poem ‘swim’ featured at the Yellamundie First Peoples Playwriting Festival in Sydney in January 2019. They are also completing a novel.

Until 2016 Ellen was the Managing Editor of black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing Project at State Library of Queensland, working with writers Ali Cobby Eckermann, Jared Thomas, Jane Harrison and others. Ellen works as a freelance editor on select projects.

agent: Emma Paterson 

photo credit: Jamie James


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