Writer in Residence

At Editing in Paradise we aim to have a Writer in Residence on all our retreats. It gives an added dimension to the teaching and sharing of industry knowledge.

Ashely HayBali October 2015
We are delighted to announce that Ashley Hay will be Writer in Residence.

Ashley’s most recent novel, The Railwayman’s Wife, was published in Australia (2013) and the UK (2014) to critical and popular acclaim.

It won the People’s Choice Award 2014 NSW Premier’s Prize and was also long listed for the 2014 Miles Franklin and 2014 Nita B. Kibble awards, and shortlisted for the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction.

She has published two novels and four books of narrative non-fiction — The Secret and Gum, and Herbarium and Museum (the latter two in collaboration with renowned visual artist  Robyn Stacey). All these books reveal an ongoing fascination with stories about fabulous people and their obsessions.

Her essays, short stories and journalism have appeared in anthologies and journals including the Griffith ReviewBrothers and SistersThe MonthlyThe BulletinBest Australian EssaysBest Australian Short StoriesAustralian Geographic, and Brothers and Sisters.

Ashley is a generous, passionate soul waiting to share her very recent success stories.

Read about Ashley in recent article in SMH by Susan Wyndham
SMH article



Our previous (fabulous) EIP Writers in Residence

Charlotte Wood —  Bali 2013

Charlotte has been described as “one of the most intelligent and compassionate novelists in Australia” (The Age), and “one of our finest and most chameleonic writers” (The Australian).

Her latest book is a collection of essays on cooking, Love & Hunger: Thoughts on the Gift of Food. Her fourth novel, Animal People, won the People’s Choice medal in the 2013 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, was shortlisted for the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Her earlier novels were also shortlisted for various prizes, including the Miles Franklin Award and regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. She is editor of The Writer’s Room Interviews magazine, and writes a cookery blog at www.howtoshuckanoyster.com. She lives in Sydney with her husband and is working on her fifth novel.


Lisa Heidke —  Kangaroo Valley 2013

Once upon a time, Lisa made a New Year’s resolution to write a book. Like most people, Lisa woke up on January 1with a headache. Unlike most people who’d made resolutions the night before, she took two Nurofen and started writing.

The result was Lucy Springer Gets Even (A & U, 2009), followed by What Kate did Next (A & U, 2010), Claudia’s Big Break (A & U, 2011), and Stella Makes Good (A & U, 2012).  Lisa has a website where she occasionally blogs about writing.


Susan Wyndham —  2013. 

Susan is the literary editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. In her career as a journalist she has been a reporter and feature writer, editor of Good Weekend magazine, New York correspondent for The Australian and a deputy editor of the Herald. She is the author ofLife In His Hands: The True Story of a Neurosurgeon and a Pianist, and has edited and contributed to several other books.

She edited the 2013 collection of essays by fourteen Australian writers, My Mother, My Father  which looks at the universal question of how to make sense of the death of a parent, and comes around the premise that though much has been written about loss and grief, personal stories speak directly to experience or, at least, provide evidence that one is not mad or alone.


Bem Le Hunte — Kangaroo Valley 2012

is half Indian, half English and an Australian by choice. Her first novel, The Seduction of Silence, is the story of five generations of an Indian family, set in the Himalayas and London. Her second novel, There, Where the Pepper Grows, is a story about a group of refugees who escape Nazi persecution in Poland, to arrive in Calcutta during the war. Both novels have gone on to become international bestsellers and been published to great critical acclaim.


Mo Johnson —  Kangaroo Valley 2011

 is the author of two Young Adult novels—Boofheads (a CBCA notable book in 2009), published in Australia and the UK (Walker Books), and Something More (#11 in the popular Allen & Unwin Girlfriend Fiction series)—as well as several fiction and non-fiction titles and articles for the Education Press and two short stories published in the US Chicken Soup for the Soul series. In May 2010 her first picture book, Noah’s Garden, was released by Walker Books in Australia and by Candlewick Press in the US.

Mo lives in the same small coastal village in the Illawarra that she and her husband moved to 20 years ago, where she is currently working on her second picture book and a biography.


Shalini Gidoomal —  Bali 2010

 In 2010, Kenyan writer Shalini Gidoomal was our very first Editing in Paradise Writer in Residence. Shalini is a freelance journalist, writer, businesswoman and inveterate traveller, born in Nairobi, Shalini has worked on various international publications, including The Independent, News of the World, Sunday Mirror, Today, FHM, GQ and Architectural Digest, the East African, Travel News, The Standard, Care International and Camerapix.

Her short stories and non-fiction have been published in The Obituary TangoJungfrau, Kwani? 04 and 05 and the New Kenya fiction anthology. Shalini is deputy treasurer, PEN Kenya, and was festival director, Kwani Litfest 2008. She’s the founding director of Revisioning Kenya, and founder of Baharini multi-arts festival.