2019 Sydney Writers Festival Brochure

  Australian Literary Management

  2019 Sydney Writers Festival Brochure


Sydney Opera House: Steps.
2019 Sydney Writers Festival Brochure
Australian Literary Management
2-A Booth Street, Balmain New South Wales 2041, Australia
Proprietor: Mrs Lyn Tranter       [lynalm8@gmail.com]




Jennifer Spence: The Lost Girls

Jennifer Spence’s new book: A HAUNTING TALE OF LOVE AND LOSS

What would you do if you had the chance to change a pivotal moment from your past?

Jennifer Spence- Cover image for The Lost Girls

How far would you go to save someone you loved?

These are just two of the fateful choices a woman is forced to grapple with in this highly original and hauntingly evocative detective story of love and loss.

At the core of the enigmatic Stella’s story, past and present, is a mystery she is compelled to solve, a beautiful young woman who went missing fifty years ago – and a tragedy much closer to home she must try to prevent.

As Stella unravels the dark secrets of her family’s past and her own, it becomes clear that everyone remembers the past differently and the small choices we make every day can change our future irrevocably.

‘Wonderfully unsettling and compulsive … the twists had me frantically turning the pages’– EMMA VISKIC

‘A beautifully compelling book that dares to ask “What if?” with heart-busting yearning, wry humour and masterful storytelling’ — KATE MULVANY

Trevor Shearston, author page

Shearston, Trevor: cover image for Hare’s Fur

What a swift odd turn his life had taken. A teenage girl with a ring in her nose was sliding ware into his drying racks.

Russell Bass is a potter living on the edge of Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains. His wife has been dead less than a year and, although he has a few close friends, he is living a mostly solitary life. Each month he hikes into the valley below his house to collect rock for glazes from a remote creek bed. One autumn morning, he finds a chocolate wrapper on the path. His curiosity leads him to a cave where three siblings — two young children and a teenage girl — are camped out, hiding from social services and the police.

Although they bolt at first, Russell slowly gains their trust, and, little by little, this unlikely group of outsiders begin to form a fragile bond.

In luminous prose that captures the feel of hands on clay and the smell of cold rainforest as vividly as it does the minute twists and turns of human relationships, Hare’s Fur tells an exquisite story of grief, kindness, art, and the transformation that can grow from the seeds of trust.

At once touching and exuding charm [Hare’s Fur] still manages to pack a punch’ BOOKS & PUBLISHING [Five Stars]

International Rights: http://scribepublications.com.au

Shearston, Trevor, 2018, photo by Bette Mifsud.


Barry Maitland – new book

  Barry Maitland

  The Promised Land


‘(Barry Maitland’s) Brock and Kolla novels are among the best crime fiction being written today’Canberra Times

Promised Land, Cover Image
Newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Kathy Kolla investigates a series of brutal murders on Hampstead Heath. Under intense pressure to find answers, she arrests the unlikely figure of John Pettigrew, a failing London publisher who lives alone on the edge of the Heath.

Pettigrew’s lawyer calls on recently retired David Brock for advice, and soon, unable to resist the pull of investigation, the old colleagues Brock and Kolla are at loggerheads.

At the heart of the gripping mystery of the Hampstead murders lies a manuscript of an unknown novel by one of the greatest literary figures of the twentieth century. Brock believes that its story will unlock the puzzle, but how?

‘Brock and Kolla, a pair of crime fictions finest.’ The Age (Melbourne, Australia)

For earlier writing, see Barry Maitland’s Author Page.

David Marr: author page

David Marr: My Country

David Marr has written for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Saturday Paper, The Guardian and The Monthly, and he has served as editor of The National Times, reporter for Four Corners and presenter of ABC TV’s Media Watch.

David Marr’s books include Patrick White: A Life, The High Price of Heaven, Dark Victory (with Marian Wilkinson), and six bestselling Quarterly Essays: His Master’s Voice, Power Trip, Political Animal, The Prince, Faction Man and The White Queen.

‘David Marr is as brilliant a biographer and journalist as this country has produced.’ — Peter Craven.

David’s first book was Barwick (Allen & Unwin), a biography of the former Chief Justice of Australia, which won the 1981 NSW Premier’s Literary Award.

This was followed by The Ivanov Trail, the story of the spy scare in Canberra.

Then in 1991 the brilliant and universally critically acclaimed biography Patrick White — A Life was released by Random House in Australia, Jonathan Cape in Britain, and Random House in the USA. This biography of the Novel Prize winning novelist won seven major Australian awards.

In 1994 Patrick White — Letters was published in Australia followed by publications in the UK and USA.

The Henson Case, released by Text Publishing in 2008, examined the uproar caused by the withdrawal of some of Bill Henson’s photographs from a Sydney art gallery on the grounds that they may have been obscene.

My Country is published in Australia by Black Inc. at http://www.blackincbooks.com/

Scott Bennett 2018

  Scott Bennett

  The Nameless Names
  and Pozières

 ALM site

Scott Bennett:The Nameless Names: Recovering the Missing Anzacs, cover image.

Scott Bennett 2018

‘On the Somme, on a quiet hill just outside Villers-Bretonneux, is the Australian National Memorial; its panels record 10,738 Australian soldiers missing in action over three years of fighting in that region. The Menin Gate records the 6,000 Australian soldiers missing in Belgium. In Turkey, the Lone Pine Memorial records the names of 4,900 Australian and New Zealand soldiers missing in the Gallipoli campaign…The Great War for Civilisation brutally erased them: dismembered by shellfire, buried without proper identification, shovelled into unmarked graves, or left to rot in no-man’s-land. They were consigned to a suspended state — no name, no body, no burial, no mourning — entombed in uncertainty.’

Scott Bennet’s new book explores how three Australian families learned to accept and live with their grief.

Australian troops march through the wrecked city of Ypres during the third battle of Ypres in September 1917. They march in the shadow of the shattered Cloth Hall, and will pass by the ruins of the Menin Gate on their journey to the front line. Many of these soldiers, subsequently killed in battle, still remain missing 100 years later. (Australian War Memorial)

Genre: History

Rights to both books: World: Scribe at http://www.scribepublications.com.au/

Michael, by Tina Hutchence: ALM front page

Michael: by Tina Hutchence, with Jen Jewell Brown

Cover image for Michael, by Tina Hutchence

He died at only 37 but his fans are legion. INXS singer/songwriter Michael Hutchence was the celebrated frontman of a band that was the biggest in the world.

Michael’s big sister, Tina, adored him from the start. ‘My brother roamed the world with a book in his hand and another book in his suitcase,’ Tina writes, and throughout Michael a paper trail of the literature he loved gives clues to the man many see as an enigma.

‘Lost boy Michael, who was my dear friend, and who is very much missed. All respect and thanks to Tina for sharing these stories and keeping the memory alive.’

Simon Le Bon, singer / songwriter, Duran Duran


Michael: by Tina Hutchence: her author page

Michael: by Tina Hutchence, with Jen Jewell Brown

Cover image for Michael, by Tina Hutchence

He died at only 37 but his fans are legion. INXS singer/songwriter Michael Hutchence was the celebrated frontman of a band that was the biggest in the world.

Michael’s big sister, Tina, adored him from the start. From a twelve-year-old holding him in her arms as a newborn, to being his teenage nanny, Tina remained Michael’s trusted confidant until his sudden death.

Tina’s intimate and detailed telling of her brother’s story — from faltering teenager with a lisp to raging rock star — blazes with love and adventure, and includes the acquired brain injury that changed everything for Michael; the risky schemes that saw him named in the Paradise Papers expose of 2017; his secret philanthropy in support of East Timor; and his bliss at the birth of his only child, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily.

‘My brother roamed the world with a book in his hand and another book in his suitcase,’ Tina writes, and throughout Michael a paper trail of the literature he loved gives clues to the man many see as an enigma.

A cry from the heart celebrating the ‘lost boy of INXS’, Michael Hutchence, this personal and heartfelt biography reveals the incredible, rollercoaster life of Australia’s most enduring superstar and shares the private moments of an adored brother, son and father.

‘Lost boy Michael, who was my dear friend, and who is very much missed. All respect and thanks to Tina for sharing these stories and keeping the memory alive.’

Simon Le Bon, singer / songwriter, Duran Duran


Joe Agresta: Track Work Rider: My Life With Bart

  Joe Agresta

  My Life With Bart


Few have captured Australia’s imagination as vividly as racehorse trainer Bart Cummings. Winning an unprecedented dozen Melbourne Cups in a career that spanned seven decades, his was a household name unequalled in racing.

But few know the name of Bart’s secret weapon — the man he entrusted to ride his best thoroughbreds every morning before dawn, as they worked towards the biggest races on the Australian turf.

For more than thirty years, Joe Agresta was the track work rider who told the trainer how his horses were feeling, physically and mentally. Saintly, Let’s Elope, So You Think, Shaftsbury Avenue, he knew them all. He rode them all. He might have failed in a short, 15-race career as a professional jockey, yet his innate horsemanship helped shape one of the world’s most influential stables. Without him, even the Cummings’ genius could not have trained the horses that shone through decades of Spring Carnivals.

Joe Agresta and Bart Cummings, at the races.

This is the story of an ordinary man who started life in the country, then moved to Melbourne to grow up between two racetracks and years later, worked the long-gone, national quarter-horse circuit. Eventually, he settled back in Melbourne — and almost didn’t take the job with the man he would refer to as ‘Boss’ for the next three decades. Joe Agresta: Track Work Rider: My Life With Bart is not just the inside story of Australian racing’s iconic trainer. It’s also an ode to one of the enduring partnerships in Australian sport.


Nigel Blackiston was foreman at the time and Bart told him to make sure she could gallop on the course proper, the main part of the track, at least three times before the race. His theory was that the Moonee Valley track would suit Dane Ripper, because she had bad joints and it was a soft surface.

From the start, Joe saw something in Dane Ripper. He always had a great sense of a horse and this was long before he became foreman at the Melbourne stable.

Finally, it came time for the mare’s all-important third gallop, when it was hoped she would put it all together and prove she was ready to race a few days later. But this wasn’t the same quiet, almost private affair. It took place in the middle of the Breakfast With the Best track work session, part of the build up to that year’s Cox Plate Day. Thousands of people were there that morning, watching some of the best horses in the Southern Hemisphere complete their final preparations ahead of one of the country’s major race days.

It was a big deal and I wasn’t even supposed to be on
Dane Ripper that morning. Jockey Darren Beadman was slotted to ride her, but Bart told him to leave her to me. He must have trusted my judgement with regards to this mare, which is very reassuring, if a little intimidating. Then again, I trusted my judgement, and I was confident the mare was going well, without being a champion.

But my opinion was about to alter.

At the 600m on the outside of the Moonee Valley track, I gave Dane Ripper a little ‘squeeze’, urging her forward. She was cruising through her work, so I gave her just a little encouragement. Well, didn’t she take off! She accelerated as fast as almost any horse I have ever sat on. I remember thinking to myself ‘Shit, Joe. Hold on!’

Then I got to the 400m, and I gave her another little ‘squeeze’. Well, she just went faster again. She found another gear, and this is after I thought she was well and truly at full speed. When I got to the 200m, I thought that there was no way she could kick again, but sure enough she did.

She had sped up at the 600m like a good horse could, and then accelerated again at the 400m like a top horse. But only champions can find a third burst of speed like she did at the 200m this particular morning. Dane Ripper might not have been quite up to that grade, but this was the work of a gun who was at the top of her game. She’d certainly surprised me!

From the moment I came in from this work, I was raving to anyone who would listen about this mare and how well she had just galloped. From Reg, to blokes I didn’t really know, I was telling them what had just happened. It wasn’t really like me, or anyone in the stable to be so forthcoming about a horse, but I was just so excited. I’d just received a front row seat to something pretty amazing.

Naturally, Bart was there on such an important Spring morning and came downstairs to talk to me when I came back to the mounting yard. The following 45 seconds went something like this…

Bart – What did you make of that, Joey?
Me – Yeah, Bart, she went unbelievably well. What race are you running her in?
Bart – The 1600m race on Saturday — the Waterford Crystal Mile.
Me – What! No Boss, she will win that by 100 yards, you have got her in the wrong race. Bart, she should be in the Cox Plate.
Bart – The wrong race, hey? Well, that’s easily fixed!

Then he yelled out to a bloke who worked with us, who wasn’t far away.

‘Hey Doc, get in the ute and go home and get me the cheque book. But hurry, we only have three-quarters of an hour before the acceptances close.’

It sounds like a modern day Banjo Paterson yarn. But Doc didn’t have to get on the back of his horse and travel across Queensland. He just had to ‘jump in the ute’ and go and find Bart’s cheque book. Now, it costs many tens of thousands of dollars to accept for the Cox Plate, and based almost solely on my assessment, Bart was willing to do it. At least, I think it was on my assessment. You never know. Bart might have just as easily been having a lend of me and known exactly how good this mare was all along.

But this time, I think he had underestimated her and I was right.

While we waited for the cheque book to arrive, I gave my mate Greg Childs the thumbs up to go and try and get the ride on the mare for the Cox Plate. A top jockey’s always keen for a chance in such a big race, and he ran over and asked Bart if the mare was running. As he made his case to be considered for the ride, Bart just kept nodding along and saying things like ‘That’s good’ or ‘Yep, no worries.’ After he left, Bart turned to Nigel Blackiston, and half whispered ‘Give Damien Oliver’s manager a call, will you?’ Bart wanted Damien to take the mount.

To this day, I have no idea what he had against Greg Childs, if anything at all. Luckily, Greg would only have to wait two years before he won back-to-back Cox Plate’s aboard that mighty mare Sunline.

Happily, the cheque book arrived in time and Dane Ripper was ‘paid up’ as an official acceptor in the 1997 Cox Plate. Still, not many thought she was up to the task, despite her trainer’s record — and four days later, she took her place in the field as a forty-to-one chance. That year, the Cox Plate was worth $1.5 million in prize money to the winner, the Waterford Crystal Mile – the race the mare was originally aimed at – was worth a measly $125,000.