Heather’s work spans literary fiction, magical realism, crime fiction, political fiction, fantasy and memoir. Her novels have won numerous prizes including the Stella Prize, the Christina Stead Prize, the Margaret Scott Prize and the ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year. Her work has been published internationally and translated into numerous languages. Heather is a passionate teacher of writing and a mentor for developing novelists. She is also one half of the children’s author Angelica Banks. Heather’s latest book is a memoir – Nothing Bad Ever Happens Here. Heather lives between mountain and sea on one of the islands surrounding Tasmania.
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Heather’s memoir – Nothing Bad Ever Happens Here – was published in November, 2022. It was shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards 2022 ‘recognising and rewarding the best Australian writing as chosen by Australian independent booksellers.’ It has received extraordinary review from readers and reviewers alike.
Heather’s most recent novel is the bestselling, genre-bending Bruny. It won the 2020 Fiction Book of the Year in the Australian Book Industry Awards.
Bruny was also shortlisted for the 2020 INDIE’s (Independent Bookseller Awards) and the Davitt Crime Fiction Award, and longlisted for the NIB Literary Awards and the International Dublin Literary Award.
Bruny was one of Australia’s top 10 bestselling novels of 2020 and is currently being adapted for screen.
Heather’s seventh novel is The Museum of Modern Love. Internationally acclaimed and multi-award winning, The Museum of Modern Love was launched in the US at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the first novel to ever have such an honour. The film of the New York MoMA launch is here. Enjoy!
Inspired by the life and work of the artist Marina Abramovic who appears (with permission) as a character in the book, The Museum of Modern Love won The Stella Prize in 2017 for the best book (either fiction or non-fiction) written by an Australian woman. It has been translated into numerous languages across the world and is currently being adapted for both screen and stage.
The Museum of Modern Love won the 2017 Christina Stead Prize for fiction in the New South Wales Premier’s Prizes. It was the first novel written by a Tasmanian to win the award since Helen Hodgman in 1989 for her book Broken Words. Other winners of the Christina Stead Prize include Helen Garner, Peter Carey, David Malouf and Michelle De Kretser.
The Museum of Modern Love also won the 2017 Margaret Scott Prize in the Tasmanian Premier’s Prizes and the People’s Choice Award. It was shortlisted for the Australian Literary Society medal and the Queensland Premier’s Prizes and long-listed for the International Dublin Literary Award in 2018.
The Museum of Modern Love is being adapted for both screen and stage.
Heather’s first novel White Heart was published in 1999. It was followed by The Butterfly Man in 2005 – a story based on the disappearance of Lord Lucan in 1974. It was long-listed for the IMPAC International Dublin Literary Award, shortlisted for the Nita B Kibble Award and won the 2006 Davitt Award for the Crime Fiction Novel of the Year written by an Australian woman
In 2007 Heather received the Eleanor Dark Fellowship for a manuscript titled The River Wife. This took her to Varuna, The Writer’s House in the Blue Mountains, and to Scotland as a guest of the Edinburgh City of Literature. She was also the recipient of an Arts Tasmania Wilderness Residency. The River Wife was published in 2009.
In 2010 Heather began collaborating with award-winning author Danielle Wood and the Tuesday McGillycuddy series for primary age readers was born. The series is Finding Serendipity, A Week Without Tuesday and Blueberry Pancakes Forever. In 2015 and 2016 the novels were shortlisted for the Aurealis Awards for Best Children’s Fiction. They are published in Australia, Germany and the United States.
Heather’s work has appeared in major newspapers and magazines, plus journals and anthologies including Art and Australia, Dumbo Feather, Meanjin and Island magazine.
Heather has also had a significant career in business. She is a Telstra Tasmanian Business Woman of the Year (2004) and the recipient of two national Creative Partnerships (formerly ABAF) awards for her contribution to the arts (2010 & 2011). She has won over 25 national and international awards for advertising and marketing.
Heather is the mother of three wonderful adults. Heather’s love of parenting lead to her collaboration with award winning author Danielle Wood on a children’s fantasy series that has been published internationally.
Heather undertakes various forms of teaching about writing, creativity and imagination for students of all ages from primary school to university and beyond. Heather also offers private classes in The Basics of Novel Writing Courses and mentors talented writers with fiction and non-fiction books in development.
For more about our Tuesday McGillycuddy series for younger readers please visit Tuesday’s website
Heather has been represented in Australia by Gaby Naher, Left Bank Literary, since 1999.
Heather gratefully acknowledges photographer Peter Mathew for his wonderful portraits.