Rachel Hennessy

Dr Rachel Hennessy

Lecturer

School of Humanities

Faculty of Arts


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 four novels. She writes contemporary fiction and non-fiction for adults, as well as having recently completed a Young Adult trilogy, the first of which – River Stone – was published in May, 2019 and the second book - Mountain Arrow - was published in November, 2020.

Rachel’s first novel, The Quakers, won the Adelaide Festival Award for an Unpublished Manuscript and was published by Wakefield Press in 2008.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.

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

  • 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 Creative Writing: The Essentials
Department of English and Creative Writing, University of Adelaide

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

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2021 Co-Supervisor The Essential Worker: Psychological First Aid and the Composite Novel Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Jane Turner Goldsmith
    2021 Co-Supervisor Notes from the Pyrocene Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Natalie Le Beau
    2020 Co-Supervisor Epistolary Novel about the Influence of Enid Blyton on Australian Cultural Identity Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Angela Kingston
    2020 Co-Supervisor Writing a war from within a war: Explorations in traumatic Bosnian war memory Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Ms Naida Roberts
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Volume 1: Scapegrace
    Volume 2: The (Absent) Female Body: Cross-dressing Narratives in Young Adult Fantasy Fiction
    Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Emily Francine Palmer
    2020 - 2021 Co-Supervisor A Passage through Sin: Life and Poetry of Forugh Farrokhzad
    Volume 1: Only Sound Remains
    Volume 2: Forugh Farrokhzad: Of 'Sin' and her Demons
    Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Hossein Asgari
    2020 - 2021 Principal Supervisor Incendiarism in Fiction: Writing the Bushfire Arsonist Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Sally Sian Lily Fermer
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2021 - ongoing Member Practice-Led Research Sub-committee University of Adelaide Australia
    2020 - ongoing Member Faculty of Arts Early/Mid Career Researcher Network University of Adelaide Australia
    2020 - ongoing Member School of Humanities Research Committee University of Adelaide Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2020 - ongoing Member Australasian Association of Writing Programs Australia
  • Community Engagement

    Date Title Engagement Type Institution Country
    2020 - ongoing "How To Plot Your Novel" Masterclass Public Community Engagement The Advertiser Australia

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