Ellen van Neerven is an award-winning Indigenous Australian writer, a proud Mununjali woman from South East Queensland. Her 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 was named as a Sydney Morning Herald‘s Best Young Australian Novelist in 2015. 

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 writing has appeared in publications such as McSweeney’s, Frankie Magazine, The Saturday Paper, The Griffith Review, The Lifted Brow, Meanjin, Overland, The Canary Press and Review of Australian Fiction. In 2015 Ellen contributed to iTunes best of 2015 selected SBS True Stories podcast with ‘Confidence Game’, a story about high school bullying and sport.

Ellen is an Associate Director of Sweatshop, a Western Sydney literacy movement. Until 2016 Ellen was the Managing Editor of black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing Project. In 2015 she received the Express Media Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Young Person in Literary Arts for her work as editor, mentor and advocate for First Nations writers.

Ellen has been invited to talk and perform her work in Canada, the US, India, Indonesia, The Philippines, and across Australia. Ellen is currently the Nakata Brophy writer-in-resident at Trinity College, University of Melbourne.

Ellen can be contacted here.