Prana Writers are a group of Gold Coast writers that came together as a result of a Gold Coast City Council writing competition called Write That Book in 2009. They were mentored for a year under award-winning fantasy author, Louise Cusack. The Group then applied for a RADF grant for further mentoring with Louise the following year. Since then many of the members of the group have been published and enjoyed various successes. The group together won the National title for “Write-A-Book-In-A-Day” in 2011. The Coral Sea Monster was the resulting children’s book which has since been published on Smashwords. Prana Writer’s next project is to create an anthology of Gold Coast stories inspired by images from the Picture Gold Coast collection.
TOM BETTS has been an actor, script writer and journalist and for many years he has promoted Bond University on the Gold Coast to local students. Story is his main interest, and his focus at the moment is fiction, with a plan to return to script writing before long. Betts has a particular interest in romantic and other forms of comedy, and love stories where time gets distorted, with interesting implications.
J.S. CHOINSKI is an explorer of fiction in digital frontiers. She has successfully participated in many competitions, including Brisbane’s Fab 48 Hour Game Making Challenge, LudumDare, NaGaDeMo and The IGF. Her entry for 2012’s NaGaDeMo, “Circa Regna Tonat”, an interactive text game, was featured by industry notables Porpentine (“Howling Dogs”), Auntie Pixelante (“Dys4ia”) and Free Indie Games (www.freeindiegam.es).
She holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Writing and Theatre and a Bachelor of Game Design. She is excited about the new possibilities provided by storytelling and technology combined, and passionate about the future of game design. Her current projects include a Visual Novel collaboration and a game that explores the commonality between fairytales.
PENNER CHOINSKI writes to escape, and reads in order to escape writing. Ultimately there is no escape.
Publications: ‘classics’ such as Sagittarius 2005 and Taurus 2004 (Penguin New York). For two years Penner wrote a monthly astrology column for Succulence, a Brisbane-area women’s magazine. Other: mail-out campaigns, speeches, love letters (for friends), eulogies, and did the astrology behind two arranged marriages in India. Professional: Information Systems Analyst (Langara College); UBC medical library, built and designed website Earth Elephant Astrology, member of Association of Professional Astrologers (Australia) and Federation of Australian Astrologers (Qualified Practitioner).
Past member of Storyteller’s Guild of Australia, performed publically, and taught oral storytelling for five years as part of a specialty-school module. Completed NaNoWriMo in 2009. Participated in Write-A-Book-In-A-Day. A founding member of Prana Writers, Penner’s first novel “The Cul-de-sac” is based on the Gold Coast. Currently writing “Up There,” about the mysterious disappearance of a woman climbing Mt. Everest.
REBECCA FRASER is an Australian author based on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. She has a keen interest in dark speculative fiction…and anything that goes bump in the night. Her short stories and poems have appeared in various genre publications, anthologies and magazines. To provide her muse with life’s essentials, Rebecca supplements through copywriting for the professional world….however, her true passion lies in Disturbia! She is currently undergoing studies towards a Masters of Creative Writing through Macquarie University. You can visit Rebecca at her blog (http://rebeccafraser.wordpress.com/) or find her on Twitter @BecksMuse.
Rebecca’s short story publications include: Just Another City Night, 2086, Polluto Magazine, Issue 10; Don’t Hate Me Cause I’m Beautiful, FutureCycle Press; William’s Mummy, Short Sips, Coffee House Fiction 2, Wicked East Press; The Hungry Ghost, AntipodeanSF, Issue 159; Clarrie’s Dam, Evolutionary Blueprint “ Strange Tales of Cryptozoology Anthology; Uncle Alec’s Gargoyle, Day Terrors Anthology, Released by The Harrow Press; Paranoia, Antipodean SF, Issue 132; Cycle, New Myths Magazine, Anniversary Issue 5; In The Shadow of Oedipus, Ripples Magazine, Issue 10
PAUL GARRETTY has been writing stories all his life, but started as a serious writer in 2000. He currently works full time for QBE Travel Insurance but has had a great deal of success in publishing novels and short stories, and has won a number of literary awards. Paul is currently working on his next novel Mine the Darkness and The Fourth Horse. His preferred genre is Spec fic: urban fantasy with a crime twist.
Here is a list of Paul’s publications: The Helix Prophecy:Book 1, The Seventh Wave, Harper Collins-Voyager, February 2011,Book 2 The Emerald Tablets, Harper Collins-Voyager, September 2011; One Book, Many Brisbanes,(Anthology) The Box editor Rosie Fitzgibbon; The Seventh Book of Sins(Anthology) Are You Scared Yet? and Aquarius Publisher Crimewriters Qld – editor, Sandy Curtis; Fantastical Journeys to Brisbane, (Anthology) Lost Publisher IZVORI (Croatia) editor Zoran Zikovic; The Devil in Brisbane,(Anthology) The Agreement“ Prime editor Zoran Zikovic; Voices from the Forest (Anthology) Where Love Lives“ Winter Retreat (writers) – Forward Sue Wolfe and editor Barbara McKenzie; Ticket to Trouble (Anthology) Life Cycle publisher Crimewriters Queensland “editor Ron Serdiuk
Paul’s Contest Prizes include: 2009 Olvar Wood Fellowship (Sunshine Coast, Queensland); 2nd plus Honourable Mention Bundaberg Short Story Contest; 3rd prize Tom Howard Short Story contest (USA); Winner Bayside Bulletin short story contest sponsored by Qld Writers Centre, Quest Newspapers and Harper Collins-Voyager
KAY GIBBS is a commercial lawyer by day, and aspiring novelist by night. From her humble beginnings as editor of her school newspaper in South Africa, Gibbs aspires to making her publishing dreams a reality. She started on this path by by winning a place in the 2009 Write That Book initiative run by the GCCC after immigrating to Australia.
A founding member of the Prana Writers, Gibbs was also a member of the Prana Team who successfully won the Write-A-Book-In-A-Day competition in 2011. She has completed one crime novel, several erotic short stories and is currently working on a YA project. She is hoping to expand her published work from the academic arena into the non-fiction in the near future, and is also considering independent publishing opportunities.
JANIS HANLEY aspires to be a published novelist. By day she is a policy analyst, and her special interest in Cultural Heritage and museums has drawn her into writing Museum Excursion programs for schools. Since winning a place in the Gold Coast Write That Book competition, Janis has drafted two YA manuscripts, The Gift of Time and Neanderthal. She has written a number of short stories and participated in NaNoWriMo 2010. Janis joined with Prana Writers in the successful Write-A-Book-In-A-Day competition in 2011.
Janis is also a founding member of GCSpeckies, a Gold Coast group for writers and fans of speculative fiction, and is also a member of Qld Writers Centre and VisionWriters. Janis lives and works on the Gold Coast.
DAVID STRINGER is a New Zealand-born writer who now calls the Gold Coast home (though he will always cheer for the All Blacks) and has three, and soon to be four, wonderful Australian grandchildren.
He spent most of the last decade on his novel, Islands of the Heart, which was long-listed in the Hachette Competition and is currently entered in the NZ Book Awards Competition 2013.
In 2012 an essay he entered into the ABR-Calibre Essay Competition, (Australia’s premier essay competition), was long-listed in the top 20 out of 200+ entries.
He has entered poetry into the Peter Porter Competition and currently is writing a short story to enter into the Elizabeth Jolly Competition, both run by the ABR (the Australian Book Review).
NICOLA TIERNEY has been creative ever since she was young, including writing stories. She became absorbed in the miniature world and for the last thirty years has been building her own collection of models out of gourds, full of fantasy creatures and she continues to do so. In 2005 Nicola met Jeff Gilberthorpe, the world-renowned artist of the Icon Collection. Over the next three years, until he moved to Spain, they regularly met at his gallery in Surfers Paradise. He encouraged Nicola to write stories about her creations, to bring to some order to the world that lived in her head. Through him she was introduced to a lady who suggested Nicola apply to the Gold Coast Council 2009 Write That Book initiative. Upon being accepted she met a group of very creative people. Three years later she became a founding member of Prana Writers. Nicola’s first novel is presently being professionally edited (2013) and she is now working on her second novel. Nicola is also a member of QWC. Nicola’s website is www.gourdhouses.blogspot.com