Dear Miss Blyton explores the influence

of English children’s author Enid Blyton

on one of her Australian readers. This fictional correspondent was inspired by a brief reference in Barbara Stoney’s seminal biography. The story reflects the evolving cultural relationship between Australia and Great Britain.


Adelaide office worker Alex Seeger is numb with grief. After the unexplained death of her little girl she buries her pain, abandons her literary studies and neglects her heartbroken partner. When Alex stumbles on a cryptic note, hinting at children under threat in 19th century Dublin, she becomes obsessed with finding answers. Her research leads her to the family of the young Oscar Wilde, and his father’s alleged lover Mary, the volatile woman who threatened to shatter the Wildes’ world. Unresolved grief, missing evidence and academic rivalry all stand in Alex’s way. Will she unearth a Wilde family secret, and will her obsession with the past change the course of her future?

Beyond the Dark River will appeal to readers of Jessie Burton, Dominic Smith and Geraldine Brooks.

Read the opening of Beyond the Dark River

Hear me read from the Beyond the Dark River (formerly Requiescat) manuscript on Varuna’s ‘Writer-a-day’ app

Read praise for the Beyond the Dark River manuscript

The novel was inspired by a poem Wilde wrote for his sister after her death:


Tread lightly, she is near

Under the snow

Speak gently, she can hear

The daisies grow

All her bright golden hair

Tarnished with rust

She that was young and fair

Fallen to dust

Lily-like, white as snow

She hardly knew

She was a woman, so

Sweetly she grew

Coffin-board, heavy stone

Lie on her breast

I vex my heart alone

She is at rest

Peace, peace, she cannot hear

Lyre or sonnet

All my life’s buried here

Heap earth upon it


In 2017 I taught creative writing to Year 6-8 students at Ocean View College in Taperoo, South Australia. The result is Ocean Views, an anthology of flash fiction that offers a fascinating range of perspectives on subjects from buried treasure to the war in Vietnam.

Contributors: Emmalene Athersmith, Sumah Austin, Felicity Bennett, Brayden Brandt, Stephanie Broadbent, Sam Clerke, Jacob Collins-Hall, Amba Fiorentino, Tiffany Hoen, Reilly Hogansen, Isabella Howell, Hayley Kennedy, Emma-Lee McGlashan, Dyani Montgomerie, Indy Nyhuis, Amy Pennington, Delacia Pride, Tayla Sandberg, Samantha Schaffer, Riley Slack, Zoe Stone, Brooklyn Taheny, Skye Taylor, Lachlan Walker, Matthew Watkins, Sabree Webb, Ethan White, Trinity Wogan-Provo.

#Radelaide (EDITOR)

In 2014 Adelaide High School students immersed themselves in my creative writing workshops to produce these short stories set on their home turf. From Hindley Street to the Princes Highway, from Aldgate to Glenelg, their remarkable tales reflect the diverse interests, fertile imaginations and keen insights of Adelaide’s youth. In these pages, you’ll be plunged into the highs and lows of family life, romantic relationships, bullying, disability, mental illness, scientific exploration, time travel, musical ambitions, sporting aspirations, Indigenous experience, pre-colonial utopias and future dystopias. You might even spot a zombie on King William Street!


Giacinta Arancio, Shashi Baltutis, Mia Barbuto, Alex Bui, Karmiina Buot, Dimitri Cotis, Ginny Ha, Chelsea Holt, Ismail Idris, John Maggs, Costas Mallios, Levi McKenzie, Amy Norton, Dianna Peters, Tony Pham, Aurelia Prunier, Georgia Schroeter, Carissa Stevens, Danielle Tang, Zack Taylor, Jerome Trimboli, Corey Tugwell, Bochen Wang.

Read a newspaper article about the #Radelaide project (The Advertiser, 18 November 2015)

Listen to my radio interview with student writers Chelsea Holt and Zack Taylor

Buy a copy of #Radelaide from the SA Writers Centre