Warami. Marhaba. Jingi wallah!

My name is Mykaela Saunders and I’m a Koori and Lebanese writer, teacher and community researcher. My writing has been widely published across forms, genres and disciplines, I’ve won prizes for fiction, poetry, essays and research, and my projects have attracted funding and fellowships.

I’m the editor of THIS ALL COME BACK NOW, the world’s first collection of blackfella speculative fiction, forthcoming with UQP in 2022. I’m working on two short story collections and a novel –

  • Always Will Be is my speculative fiction showcase of sovereign Tweed Goori futures and makes up the creative component of my University of Sydney doctoral project on Goori Futurism.
  • With Teeth is a collection of satirical and absurdist stories exploring contemporary Aboriginal experiences in the arts, activism, and academia.
  • My novel, Last Rites of Spring, is a psychedelic nightmare in novel form and has been described as “a confronting and experimental narrative journey through the damages of the past, an oppressive present and an uncertain future”.

I’m of Dharug descent, I belong to the Tweed Goori community, and I’m working class and queer. I’ve worked in Aboriginal education in various capacities since 2003, and taught at the tertiary level since 2012. My research explores trans-generational trauma and healing in my community.

I live and work with gratitude on the lands of the Dharug, Kulin, and Bundjalung nations – Sydney, Melbourne, and the northern rivers of NSW.

Awards

Winner

  • 2020 National Indigenous Story Awards, Fire Bug
  • 2020 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, River Story
  • 2020 Oodgeroo Noonuccal Indigenous Poetry Prize, Choice Cuts
  • 2019 Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Prize for Nonfiction, West Footscray Factory Fire (an apocalypse)
  • 2016 USYD Sister Alison Bush Graduate Medal, Yarning With Minjungbal Women

Shortlist

  • 2021 Liminal & Pantera Press Nonfiction Prize, Communing With Uncle Kev Through The Archives, 1991-2021
  • 2020 QLA David Unaipon Award for an Emerging Aboriginal Writer, Last Rites of Spring
  • 2019 Liminal Fiction Prize, Terranora
  • 2019 Peter Carey Short Story Award, Long Road Becoming

Grants & fellowships

  • 2020 Australia Council for the Arts Cherish II Fund, This All Come Back Now
  • 2020 EWF At Home Residency, Last Rites of Spring
  • 2020 Creative Victoria VicArts Grant, With Teeth
  • 2020 Copyright Agency First Nations Fellowship, Goori Futurism
  • 2019 Grace Marion Wilson Glenfern Fellowship, Goori Futurism 

© Mykaela Saunders, 2021