The story whisperers

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Carina Bissett is a writer, poet, and educator working primarily in the fields of dark fiction and interstitial art. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in multiple journals and anthologies including Arterial Bloom, Hath No FuryGorgon: Stories of EmergenceMythic DeliriumNonBinary Review, and the HWA Poetry Showcase Vol. V and VI. In addition, she has published essays in Birthing Monsters: Frankenstein’s Cabinet of Curiosities and Cruelties and in the three-volume set American Myths, Legends, and Tall Tales: An Encyclopedia of American Folklore. She teaches online workshops at The Storied Imaginarium and she is a graduate of the Creative Writing MFA program at Stonecoast.

As an educator, Carina has taught at Pikes Peak Community College, Glendale Community College, and Arizona State University. She also participated in the Colorado Writing Project and works with educators to develop writing instruction in college and secondary school classrooms. She currently offers workshops focused on story generation at The Storied Imaginarium. Her fiction has been nominated for the Sundress Publications Best of the Net Award and was a finalist for the Ron L. Hubbard Writers of the Future Awards; her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Sundress Publications Best of the Net Award; and she was awarded the 2016 HWA Scholarship from the Horror Writers Association.

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Nike Sulway is a novelist, short story writer, researcher, and teacher who works across speculative and literary fiction. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from Griffith University and is a graduate of the Clarion South Writers Workshop. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in a range of journals, including Lightspeed, Shimmer, Interzone, Fantasy Magazine, Review of Australian Fiction, Meanjin, Liminality, Southerly, Verity La, Cordite Poetry Review and ASIM. She has also had works included in a range of anthologies, including The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, vol. 10 (edited by Jonathan Strahan), The Best of Shimmer, Letters to Tiptree, and Mythic Resonance.

As a novelist, she strays across speculative fiction and mainstream or literary fiction, though her works consistently focus on the role of magic and the imagination in ordinary and extraordinary lives (especially women’s lives). Her novels include The Bone Flute, The True Green of Hope, Rupetta, and Dying in the First Person, as well as two children’s books: What The Sky Knows (illustrated by Stella Danalis) and Winter’s Tale (illustrated by Shauna O’Meara). Her books have been shortlisted for and won a range of awards, including the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award, The Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards, the Aurealis Awards, the Norma K Hemming Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Best First Book), and the IAFA Crawford Memorial Award. Her novel, Rupetta—a novel about a queer automaton—was the first work by an Australian author to win the Tiptree Award (since renamed the Otherwise Award). Rupetta also won the Norma K Hemming Award, and was shortlisted for both an Aurealis Award and the IAFA Crawford Memorial Award.

In scholarly life, she researches creative practice, fairy tales, gothic fiction, queer writing and women’s writing. She has written scholarly essays on the work of James Tiptree, Jr, and on women’s uses of fairy tales in memoir and biography. She has co-edited a special issue of the scholarly journal TEXT on Australasian Fairy Tales, a collection of essays on speculative biography for Cambridge Scholarly Publishing (Forgotten Lives: Recovering lost histories through fact and fiction), a book of essays on Anne of Green Gables (Kindred Spirits), and is the author of a chapter of on Australian fairy tales and contemporary fairy tale fiction in The Routledge Companion to Australian Literature (forthcoming in 2021).

Nike coordinates the creative writing undergraduate and postgraduate offerings at the University of Southern Queensland, whose home campus is in Toowoomba, Queensland. She has also delivered online and face-to-face courses, workshops and seminars in a range of settings and contexts, from community centres to (women’s) prisons, schools to intensive residential workshops. There have been many highlights! Among them was delivering a residential workshop with Karen Joy Fowler at Springfield Writers Retreat in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, and being a guest of honour at ICFA (International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts), where her GOH speech was met with a standing ovation (a lightly edited version of the speech was subsequently published in the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts).