Students and Alumni

Alumni of Deakin’s Writing and Literature program include writers Paddy O’ReillyTom Cho, Liam Guilar, Ania Walwicz, Sam Cooney, Sophie BlackEmma Alberici, Kieran Carroll, Fiona McCallum, Gregory Day, and Kevin Brophy. Other graduates have gone on to forge careers as academics, teachers, librarians, critics, editors, communications specialists, copywriters, or digital storytellers. Each year, a select group of students edits Verandah, Deakin’s flagship arts and literary journal. Meet some of our current HDR (Higher Degree by Research) students…


Toni Jordan, PhD candidate in Creative Writing

Toni Jordan‘s novels include the international best-seller Addition,  long-listed for the Miles Franklin Award, and the Indie Award-winning historical drama Nine Days. Her latest novel, Our Tiny Useless Lives, is a bedroom farce inspired by her love of Molière. Toni’s PhD is a critical and creative enactment of romantic comedy using the historical examples of Molière, Jane Austen, Nora Ephron, and Darren Star.


Craig Sherborne, PhD candidate in Creative Writing

Craig Sherborne’s memoir Hoi Polloi (2005) was shortlisted for both the Queensland and Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, and the follow-up, Muck (2007), won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award (Non-fiction). His first novel The Amateur Science of Love (2011) won the Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Best Writing Award, and his second novel Tree Palace (2014) was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin. His latest novel is Off the Record (2018).


Anna KrienAnna Krien, PhD candidate in Creative Writing

Anna Krien is the award-winning author of Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport, Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania’s Forests; and two Quarterly Essays: Us and Them: On the Importance of Animals, and The Long Goodbye: Coal, Coral and Australia’s Climate Deadlock. The creative element of Anna’s PhD, a linked short story collection called Act of Grace, will be published by Black Inc. in September 2018.


Rod Jones, PhD candidate in Creative Writing

Rod Jones‘s first novel, Julia Paradise (1986), won the fiction award at the 1988 Adelaide Festival, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, and was runner-up for the Prix Femina Étranger. It has been translated into ten languages. His five other novels – Prince of the LiliesBilly SundayNightpicturesSwan Bay and The Mothers (2015) – have all either won or been shortlisted for major literary awards.


Anna Spargo-Ryan, PhD candidate in Creative Writing

Anna Spargo-Ryan is the author of The Gulf and The Paper House​, stories that try to break open ribcages and stomp on hearts. She won the 2016 Horne Prize for her essay “The Suicide Gene”. Her PhD seeks to understand the experiences of destitute women in nineteenth-century South Australia, and to restore their voices through creative nonfiction writing.

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