Magic Mirrors Presenters

Kathleen Jennings is an illustrator and writer of fairy tales. She has been shortlisted for a Hugo Award and several World Fantasy Awards, and has won a number of Ditmars. She is currently working on illustrations for Juliet Marillier’s Mother Thorn, for Serenity Press. Kathleen’s short stories have been collected in US and Australian Year’s Best anthologies, and her Australian Gothic/fairy-tale novella Flyaway will be published by (US) and Picador (Australia) at the end of July 2020. She recently completed an MPhil on the beautiful sublime in Australian Gothic literature, and has started a PhD to pursue her fascination with contracts in fairy-tale novels. She can be found online
Dr Kate Forsyth is the internationally bestselling and award-winning author of more than forty books, including picture books, poetry and novels for both children and adults. She has been voted one of Australia’s Favourite 15 Novelists, and has sold more than a million copies. 

Her books include Beauty in Thorns, a retelling of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ inspired by the fascinating lives of the women of the Pre-Raphaelite circle of artists and writers; Bitter Greens, a retelling of ‘Rapunzel’ for adults set in Renaissance Venice, which won the American Library Association award for Best Historical Fiction; and the collection of feminist fairy-tale retellings, Vasilisa the Wise & Other Tales of Brave Young Women, which won a silver medal in the 2018 Readers Favorite book awards in the US.

An accredited master storyteller, she has a Bachelor of Arts in literature, a Master of Arts in creative writing & a Doctorate of Creative Arts in fairy tale studies. Her doctoral thesis was published as The Rebirth of Rapunzel: A Mythic Biography of the Maiden in the Tower & won the William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism in 2017.
Philippa Borland is a literature major with a life long interest in fairy tales, gaming and romance, who can be found at:
D.M. Cameron is an AWGIE nominated radio dramatist, award-winning playwright and celebrated short film writer. Donna’s debut novel, ‘Beneath the Mother Tree’ was listed as a top Australian fiction read for 2018 and long listed for the Davitt Awards. She is the author of several stage plays, including her critically acclaimed solo work, ‘The Flowering.’ She has had four plays produced by ABC Radio National – ‘Water Tight’, ‘The Salt Maiden’, ‘Bringing Down the Moon’ and ‘Shopping for Lifeforms’. Her film script of ‘The Salt Maiden’ premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, won best screenplay and short film at the Port Stephens Film Festival, and was overall winner of the Coasties Film Festival 2015. She is a recipient of the Australian Writers Guild/Queensland Theatre Company Mentorship Scheme, a Varuna Litlink Residency and twice recipient of the Fresh Ground Scheme at the Judith Wright Centre. Find out more at
Lorena Carrington is an award winning and internationally published illustrator. She collaborates with authors on fairy tale collections, including Vasilisa the Wise and Other Tales of Brave Young Women, The Buried Moon, and Snow White and Rose Red, (Kate Forsyth) and French Fairy Tales (Sophie Masson), amongst other books. She is also an exhibiting artist. Find her at
Lorena is the winner of the 2020 AFTS Award.
Serene Conneeley is a Sydney writer with a fascination for history, travel, ritual, and the myth and magic of ancient places. She’s the author of original Australian faerytale The Swan Maiden, the Into the Mists and Into the Storm Trilogies, and non-fiction books Faery Magic, Mermaid Magic, Witchy Magic and Seven Sacred Sites. She’s studied magical and medicinal herbalism, bereavement counselling and other healing modalities, plus politics and journalism, and loves reading books, drinking tea, working out, visiting the swans in her backyard park, and celebrating the phases of the moon, the dance of the seasons and the magic of the earth.
Renee Dahlia is a bisexual writer of romance novels. She is an unabashed romance reader who loves feisty women and strong, clever men. Her books reflect this, with a sidenote of dark humour. Renée has a science degree in physics. Website: 
Spike Deane is a visual artist who specialises in cast glass, she makes art about fairy tales, folklore and mythology. Her mixed media arts practice is focused on the underlying narratives found in folk and fairy tales to consider questions of becoming, transformation and ‘the hopeful journey’. She graduated with Honours from Sydney College of the Arts (Glass) in 2012 and was a finalist in both ‘Hatched’ the National Graduate Art Prize and the National Student Art Glass Prize with pieces combining animation, glass and fairy tales.
Monika Viktoria Diak, is an Honours student at the University of Sydney through Sydney College of the Arts. She is based in the Blue Mountains, where she paint from my home studio. Monika has been a practicing illustrator and painter since graduating from the National Art School in 2007, and has exhibited her works in Australia, Japan, Europe and the UK. Monika will be talking about her work and research as a bilingual dual citizen who grew up in Australia with Hungarian heritage, and how that has informed her practice and the series of paintings it inspired.
Kathryn Gossow has been writing and publishing short stories and flash fiction in a variety of genres since 2006. Her debut novel Cassandra was published by Odyssey Books in 2017 and was a finalist in the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel 2017. Her collection of short stories, The Dark Poet, was released in May 2019. She is a regular blogger at and sometimes gardener of her two-acre garden in a pocket of the Brisbane River.  She is the Ring Leader of the Brisbane Fairy Tale Ring.
Sarah Hart is a current Phd candidate at Deakin University. Her practice-led creative project explores positive collaboration between women in retold feminist fairy tales. She is keenly interested in the power of representation, particularly for girls and women, and sees connection and community as a beacon of hope in challenging socio-cultural times. Sarah is also a published creative writer and emerging artist, with a number of group and solo exhibitions under her belt.
Zoya Makarova lives in central Victoria and is fascinated by Australian nature.  She usually goes for the long walks to collect small treasures like feathers, leaves and branches.  Afterwards, in the comfort of her studio, she attempts to capture their unique beauty and tiny details in the watercolour paintings.  She loves combining beautifully saturated colours with muted earth tones to achieve a fresh, joyful and yet serene look.
Lindy Mitchell-Nilssen is a storyteller, author and reformed glossophobe. After writing her first children’s book, Lindy discovered her passion for oral storytelling. She trained at The International School of Storytelling, UK, where she met Swedish storyteller, Ulf Nilsson. They married and became Heart to Heart Storytelling; Storytellers, Celebrants, Imaginators. Lindy is currently President of the Australian Storytellers, NSW.
Livonne Larkins graduated from Nepean Arts & Design Centre with a Diploma of Photo-Imaging in 2015. Her work is predominantly Fine Art Composite Photography and uses her love of theatre, storytelling, mythology, history, costuming and fairy-tales to complement her art practice.
Having been impacted by them, Livonne is a passionate advocate of de-stigmatising mental illness, grief, and domestic violence, which form principal elements in her work. Her first solo exhibition, From Fractured to Fairytale, the story of the artist’s life told as a fairytale, was first shown in May 2019 in the Blue Mountains NSW. 
K. A. Last has been a graphic designer in the publishing industry for 20 years, and designing book covers since 2013. She has a BA with a major in English and minors in Children’s Literature, Art History, and Visual Communication. She is the author of young adult fiction in the fantasy and urban fantasy genres, and has had two fairy tale retellings published, Ella and Ash and Chasing Neve, with others in the process of publication.  
Design work
Ella and Ash
Chasing Neve
Fiona Price is a writer by calling and a cultural diversity specialist by career. She fell in love with words as a child, and has been playing with them ever since. She talks too much, studies multiple languages and has tried her hand at writing everything from speeches and academic articles to a song for the Newport Community Choir. In her professional life, she runs cross-cultural training and reads out the names at graduation ceremonies. In her creative life, she is currently converting pop songs into sonnets on Instagram and trying to finish a fantasy trilogy. Fiona has an Anglo-Australian father and a Chinese mother, and lives in Melbourne by the sea.
Patricia Poppenbeek has an MA in Literature, is chair of the AFTS anthology sub-committee, Ring Leader of the Victorian Fairy Tale Ring, and a trained teacher, editor and writer. She has had three romances published in Little Gems, the Romance Writers of Australia anthology. Other short stories have appeared in Timeless Tales, the AFTS Ezine, Tirra Lirra and Tango Australis. In 2014 her writing group won a grant to publish Melbourne Subjective, an anthology which includes three of her works. 
Graham Ross has been telling stories in an oral tradition for many years, sometimes under the auspices of the local chapter of Storytelling Australia. Currently, he is President of this group and also convenor of the Fairy Tale Ring in South Australia. His eclectic background includes:  surviving the cobweb of hosting storytelling on Zoom; buying copies of Dark Emu to give away;  critiquing a friend’s Phd proposal on the life experiences of Baby Boomers spanning the analogue –digital cultural shift; and, acting  the role of an undertaker in a recent theatre production, just pre Covid-19 !/
Kathy Smart has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and earned an Advanced Diploma in Game Design and Production to create the world’s first full length, fully voiced, fully interactive English children’s storybook based on “The Frog King, or Iron Henry” (Grimms). She runs the Adelaide Game Developers discord and the Adelaide Game Developers website page and SA Women in Games. All Kathy’s stories are ultimately about girls separating from strongly-knit families, and stepping into the lives they choose.
Shirley Way is a founding member of the Australian Fairy Tale Society, a former president of the Queensland Storytelling Guild, and a current member of South Burnett Arts. The passionate arts advocate is also the Local News Director for Queensland’s Resonate Regional Radio Network