Rachel Hennessy

Dr Rachel Hennessy

Lecturer

School of Humanities

Faculty of Arts

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Dr Rachel Hennessy is currently a Lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide. Her research interests include diversity and inclusivity in creative writing pedagogy, posthumanism and climate fiction.

Rachel is the award-winning Australian author of three novels. She writes contemporary fiction and non-fiction for adults, as well as having recently completed the first book of a Young Adult trilogy, the first of which – River Stone – was published in May, 2019.

Rachel’s first novel, The Quakers, won the Adelaide Festival Award for an Unpublished Manuscript and was published by Wakefield Press in 2008. The novel was described by John Birmingham as ‘un-put-down-able’. This manuscript was also long-listed for The Australian/Vogel Award, shortlisted for the Varuna Writers Centre Manuscript Development Program and winner of the ArtsSA prize for Creative Writing.

Rachel's second novel, The Heaven I Swallowed was Runner Up in The Australian/Vogel Award and published by Wakefield Press in 2013. It was subsequently long-listed for the Nita B Kibble Award for an established female Australian writer.

Rachel’s most recent novel, River Stone, was selected to be part of Scholastic Australia’s Standing Orders, going into many Australian high schools.

Rachel has appeared as a panellist and speaker at the Melbourne Writers Festival, the Sydney Writers Festival, the Emerging Writers Festival, the Newcastle Young Writers Festival and the Coal Creek Literary Festival.

In 2012 she was a Hot Desk Fellow at The Wheeler Centre, writing a non-fiction essay on miscarriage which was subsequently long-listed for the inaugural The Lifted Brow Experimental Non-fiction Award in 2015. Other non-fiction works have been published in TEXT, Overland, Kill Your Darlings, The Lifted Brow and Daily Life.

She has been a manuscript assessor for Writers Victoria and an assessor on the Literature panel at Creative Victoria and the Australia Council.

    Expand
  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2018 Hennessy, R. (2018). ‘The ability to see and the talent to speak’: The emergent writer and questions of voice and authority. Text, 22(2).
  • Original Creative Works

    Year Citation
    2019 Publication status: Published
    NTRO sub category: 3 Written work
    Title: River Stone
    Authors: Hennessy RG
    Author affiliation: (1103972) Hennessy, Rachel
    ISBN-13: 9781925227499
    Publisher: MidnightSun
    Publisher URL: https://midnightsunpublishing.com/
    Place of publication: Adelaide
    Publication date: 2019
    Extent: 359
    Type of work: Novel
    ERA Research Statement - 2000 character limit: This Young Adult novel is the first in a trilogy entitled "The Burning Days". It has involved research into dystopian visions of the future aimed at a younger audience, considering the line between raising awareness about climate change and the need to engender some kind of hope. It contributes to the growing body of writing that combines more traditional tropes - the romance element and the action-based plot - with thoughtful and complicated characters, aiming to bring literary elements into genre. The work was selected to be part of the Scholastic Standing Orders, ensuring it went into many high school libraries nationally and received positive reviews recognising its research intentions (quoted below).

    "River Stone is a gripping Young Adult dystopia with a unique flavour, filling the genre’s bones with its vibrant characters, relentless storytelling and a phenomenal world. This is the future, but it feels more like the prehistoric past, and as the characters journey towards the city of Melney, they are shadowed by a violent history, one that the author uses to comment on present-day issues of environmentalism and war.' (Readings Kids)

    "River Stone contains a strong warning: that our world is on the road to ecological disaster, and unless we act now and change the way we use the earth’s limited resources, we too will be destroyed. Pan remembers their leader Theodore’s careful instructions regarding crop rotation: “If there is one thing we have to conquer from the past it is our tendency towards greed. Only grow as much as we need. Let the soil have time to rest, and then sing again.” This message, however, doesn’t come across as preachy nor does it detract from the cracking pace of this book. I’m sure I won’t be alone in eagerly anticipating the next instalment in this stellar new series." (Children's Book Council of Australia)
    Record created at source: 26 March 2020

    2016 Publication status: Published online
    NTRO sub category: 3 Written work
    Title: The (in)exactitude of knowledge
    Authors: Hennessy RG
    Author affiliation: (1103972) Hennessy, Rachel
    Publisher URL: https://www.textjournal.com.au/
    Place of publication: Australia
    Publication date: 2016
    Journal: Text: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses
    Volume: 20
    Issue: 2
    Extent: 4245 words
    ERA Research Statement - 2000 character limit: This critical creative work explores the question of how teachers gain authority in the classroom without abandoning the role of uncertainty which is required in the creative writing arena. In 1820 the philosopher Schopenhauer delivered a lecture at the same time as Hegel, which was attended by only four students. This historical fact is used throughout the piece to consider how and when self-assurance arrives for those who teach. It also uses biographical details and pedagogical experiences to weave idea with situation. The piece was blind refereed for selection in the creative section of the ERA (A) ranked journal.
    Record created at source: 26 March 2020
    2013 Publication status: Published
    NTRO sub category: 3 Written work
    Title: The Heaven I Swallowed
    Authors: Hennessy RG
    Author affiliation: (1103972) Hennessy, Rachel
    ISBN-13: 9781862549487
    Publisher: Wakefield Press
    Publisher URL: https://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/home.php
    Place of publication: Adelaide
    Publication date: 2013
    Pagination: 198 pages
    Extent: 198
    Type of work: Novel
    ERA Research Statement - 2000 character limit: The Heaven I Swallowed was completed as the novel component of a PhD thesis, drawing on research into The Stolen Generation, particularly around the motivations of the white perpetrators who removed Aboriginal children from their homes. The novel presented the point of view of a non-indigenous woman of the 1950s whose motivations were located in her religious beliefs, loosely based on my own family history. The exegetical component of the work utilised postcolonial theories of racial identity to problematise the issue of representing Aboriginal characters, questioning the use of realism as a useful mode and working towards gothic and hyper-real narrative structures. The creative work was identified as one of the only novels which attempted to "see" indigenous removal from the viewpoint of the white perpetrator, aiming for neither empathy nor condemnation, but ensuring the representation was nuanced. The novel was identified by Australian Aboriginal Studies as "an important book".
    Record created at source: 24 February 2020
  • 2017 Winner of Nillumbik Ekphrasis Poetry Award (‘Trigger Warning’)
  • 2015 Longlisted for The Lifted Brow Experimental Non-fiction Award (‘Kristeva’s Blood’)
  • 2014 Longlisted for Nita B Kibble Award for Established Woman Writer (The Heaven I Swallowed)
  • 2012 Hot Desk Fellowship, The Wheeler Centre (‘Kristeva’s Blood’)
  • 2010 Artstart Grant for Professional Artists, Australia Council ($10,000)
  • 2005-2009  University of Adelaide Postgraduate Award, University of Adelaide
  • 2008 Runner Up, The Australian/Vogel Award (The Heaven I Swallowed)
  • Developing Writer New Work Grant, Literature Board, Australia Council ($25,000)
  • 2006 Adelaide Festival/ArtsSA Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript (The Quakers)
  • 2005 Emerging Writers New Work Grant, Australia Council ($15,000)
  • Longlisted for The Australian/Vogel Award (The Quakers)
  • Shortlisted for Varuna Writers’ Centre Manuscript Development Award (The Quakers)
  • 2004 ArtsSA Prize for Creative Writing
  • Doris West Scholarship for highest ranked female in Masters by coursework, University of Adelaide
  • 2003 Awarded Varuna Writers’ Centre/Playworks Fellowship (The Butcher Twins)
  • 2001 Short-listed for Sydney Theatre Company Patrick White Playwrights’ Award (S.S.W.L)
  • 1995 University Medal for Academic Excellence, University of Newcastle

 

 

 

2020 Coordinator Honours Writers on Writing
Department of English and Creative Writing, University of Adelaide

2019 Teaching Associate Short Fiction
School of Culture and Communications, University of Adelaide

2019  Head Teaching Associate Creative Writing: Ideas and Practice
School of Culture and Communications, University of Melbourne

2018 Lecturer Short Fiction
School of Culture and Communications, University of Melbourne

2018 Teaching Associate Applied Research Methods (Masters Winter Intensive)
School of Culture and Communications, University of Melbourne

2014-2019 Teaching Associate 
School of Culture and Communications, University of Melbourne

2015-2019 Thesis Examinations and Supervision
School of Culture and Communications, University of Melbourne

2007–2008 Guest Tutor Master of Arts (Creative Writing)
Department of English and Creative Writing, University of Adelaide

2006 Tutor Writing the Environment
Department of Environmental Studies, University of Adelaide

1996 Tutor Dramatic Practice
Department of English, University of Queensland

  • Position: Lecturer
  • Phone: 83135618
  • Email: rachel.hennessy@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Napier, floor 5
  • Room: 5 04
  • Org Unit: English and Creative Writing

Connect With Me

Other Links