Our People

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Bernard Cohen
Author, Educator

Dr Bernard Cohen is a multi-award-winning author and founder of The Writing Workshop.

"I'm passionate about teaching writing to young people.

"Making literature is a brilliant way to test ideas, to understand the world and the beings in it, and to learn to control the power of language in an imaginative and constructive way."

"I believe that to teach creative writing you have to model both parts, writing and creativity, so my approach to teaching combines a Socratic-style dialogue with participants in the workshops as well as making up new stories just about every week - improvising them as I go. Both of these aspects join up to illustrate the task for the week and the subject matter or terrain."

"Sometimes the stories grow and grow, and sometimes participants find the biggest holes in them - but that means they're using their critical faculties and that thinking definitely shows up in their writing."

Bernard’s most recent novel, The Antibiography of Robert F Menzies, won the 2015 Russell Prize for Humour Writing and he has previously won the Australian/Vogel Literary Award, Arts Council of England Writer’s Award and three listings in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelists.

Bernard's seventh book and first collection of short stories (for adults), When I Saw the Animal, was published in 2018. According to the Sydney Morning Herald’s review, “Bernard Cohen is more than good at the undervalued craft of writing short fiction… His writing sets flame to the small tinder of life.”

 
 
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Felicity Plunkett
Poet, Critic, Educator

Dr Felicity Plunkett is an award-winning poet, critic and educator.

it is a joy and privilege for me to share my passion for reading and writing with teachers, students and writers. Working with Bernard is inspiring — our approaches are congruous, our experiences complementary and our debates (usually) productive.

Felicity is the author of several collections of poetry. Vanishing Point (UQP, 2009) won the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Prize and was short-listed for several other awards. She is the author of a chapbook Seastrands (Vagabond, 2011) and editor of Thirty Australian Poets (UQP, 2011).  Her new collection, A Kinder Sea, will be published by UQP in 2020. Felicity has a PhD from the University of Sydney, and has worked as an academic for a number of years, most recently at the University of Sydney. She has an Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of New England. From 2004 to 2008 she was Chief Examiner of English Extension 1 and 2 in NSW. She was Poetry Editor at the University of Queensland Press for nine years and holds Australian Book Review’s 2019 Fellowship.

Lynda Delacey

Lynda Delacey
Online Workshop Leader

Lynda Delacey is author of Australia’s Greatest Inventions, a contributor to Australia Through Time and co-author with Tara Winkler of How (Not) to Start an Orphanage. Her fiction has appeared in literary and consumer magazines across Australia, the United States and the UK, including the children’s magazines Challenge, Pursuit and Comet.

“I was that kid who filled notebooks with stories and threw myself into mad adventures to feed my ‘art’. Fiction writing makes us more empathetic, more tolerant, more resilient and more engaged with the world. passing the torch on other young writers.”

watching Young Writers learn how to blend real life and imagination into their incredibly creative work is the most satisfying of all the things I do.

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Tanya Vavilova
Author, Essayist

Tanya Vavilova is an emerging writer has published essays and short stories in literary magazines including Meanjin, The Lifted Brow, Seizure, the Mascara Literary Review, Slow Canoe and the UTS Anthology. Her story 'Artichoke Hearts' won the 2018 Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize. She has been awarded the Writers NSW Varuna Fellowship for 2019 and a Bundanon artist-in-residency. Her debut collection of essays We are Speaking in Code will be published by Brio in early 2020. Tanya describes herself as “preoccupied with liminal spaces and outsider perspectives—by life on the margins.”

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Emily Gibbs
Workshop assistant, general whizz-kid

Emily Gibbs is studying a Bachelor of Communications with Creative Writing at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and works as the sub-editor of the optical trade publication, mivision. Her first published creative writing piece – Breathe - is featured in the UTS student publication, Vertigo: Flux, Vol. 2 (2019). Emily was a student of The Writing Workshop from year 4 to year 12. She currently assists with workshops, website and publication development.

From the moment I walked into my first workshop (in year 4) I knew I was in the right place. With creative writing I’ve always felt free to explore anything and everything I want to. Nothing excites me more than the power to transport people to a whole different world.

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Margo Daly
Writer, Educator

Margo Daly is the author of The Rough Guide to Australia and a contributor to The Rough Guide to Paris. She is co-editor of the anthologies Gas and Air (Bloomsbury) and My Look's Caress (Local Consumption Press). Margo has a Master of Arts in Creative Writing and is a qualified teacher.

"Developing ideas for writing activities for kids and young people is a very creative process for me. I like the building excitement as the idea forms in my mind, then the feeling of immersion as the writing flows through my hand. I love to see this excitement/immersion mind­/hand response to the writing activities I devise, which all involve a concept to be explored (imagination flies) and a technique to try out (writing is focused). Kids who love words and stories and images, kids who love to read, pour their own words onto the page and fall in love with writing too."