Rachel Hennessy

Dr Rachel Hennessy

Lecturer

School of Humanities

Faculty of Arts

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Rachel’s first novel, The Quakers, won the Adelaide Festival Award for an Unpublished Manuscript and was published by Wakefield Press in 2008.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

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  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2020 Hennessy, R. G. (2020). Am I no longer a writer? 'Universal' tenets and the writing/teaching self. New Writing, 9 pages.
    DOI
    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
    2020 Publication status: Published
    NTRO sub category: 3 Written work
    Title: Mountain Arrow
    Authors: Hennessy RG
    Author affiliation: (1103972) Hennessy, Rachel
    ISBN-13: 9781925227741
    Publisher: MidnightSun
    Publisher URL: https://midnightsunpublishing.com/
    Place of publication: Adelaide
    Publication date: 1 November 2020
    Series: The Burning Days
    Extent: 358 pages
    Type of work: Novel
    ERA Research Statement - 2000 character limit: Research background: The second novel in my YA trilogy, this work continues to explore ecological visions of the future, particularly focused on the consequences of un-checked scientific exploration around genetic manipulation. It sets up a number of storylines to be concluded in the third novel (to be published in 2022). Research contribution: The work offers a fresh approach to the Young Adult speculative fiction genre, focusing on character and emotional reality, rather than being action driven. Research Significance: It provides an original contribution to the Australian YA field by being one of only a few dystopian series which use multiple viewpoints, rather than being centred on one protagonist alone. It was described by respected author Rebecca Lim as 'a layered, dystopian YA, with touches of paranormal, that interrogates humanity's effect on our environment and our destructive and redemptive capacities'.
    Language: En
    Author URL: http://www.rachelhennessyauthor.com/
    Record created at source: 4 November 2020
    2020 Publication status: Published
    NTRO sub category: 3 Written work
    Title: Scorchers: A Climate Fiction Anthology
    Authors: Hennessy R
    Author affiliation: (1103972) Hennessy, Rachel
    Editors: Mountfort P, Prosser R
    ISBN-13: 9781990000621
    Publisher: Steam Press
    Publisher URL: https://www.eunoiapublishing.com/steam-press
    Place of publication: Auckland
    Publication date: 2020
    Pagination: 80-91
    Extent: 3000 words
    Type of work: Short Story
    ERA Research Statement - 2000 character limit: Research Background: Scorchers is the first ever pan-Australasian anthology of climate fiction writings. Including pieces both by some of Australia and New Zealand’s most celebrated authors, its sixteen contributors have responded to a deceptively simple provocation: How can writers—and by implication literature—respond within the short fiction format to the overwhelming reality of the climate crisis? Research Contribution: The short story "The Bird Around My Neck" utilised ongoing research interest in the question of how literature might overlap with genre elements to engage with the issue of climate change, including consideration of what makes us human and how artificial solutions might be both comfort and curse. Drawing on a long-held love of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" the short story centres the poem as a site of character conflict, considering how the central image of the albatross might have moved from that of symbol of punishment to symbol of hope. Research Significance: The anthology was reviewed by New Zealand's Kete Books: "... Australian Rachel Hennessy brings style and swag to her story about a potty-mouth robot, "The Bird Around My Neck". “Why you being so formal, Katie?” it asks belligerently, while Katie tiptoes around it, the love of her life reduced to silicon moulded around a memory chip."
    Record created at source: 11 January 2021
    2020 Publication status: Published
    NTRO sub category: 3 Written work
    Title: Scorchers: A Climate Fiction Anthology
    Authors: Hennessy R
    Author affiliation: (1103972) Hennessy, Rachel
    Editors: Mountfort P, Prosser R
    ISBN-13: 9781990000621
    Publisher: Steam Press
    Publisher URL: https://www.eunoiapublishing.com/steam-press
    Place of publication: Auckland
    Publication date: 2020
    Pagination: 80-91
    Extent: 3000 words
    Type of work: Short Story
    ERA Research Statement - 2000 character limit: Research Background: Scorchers is the first ever pan-Australasian anthology of climate fiction writings. Including pieces both by some of Australia and New Zealand’s most celebrated authors, its sixteen contributors have responded to a deceptively simple provocation: How can writers—and by implication literature—respond within the short fiction format to the overwhelming reality of the climate crisis? Research Contribution: The short story "The Bird Around My Neck" utilised ongoing research interest in the question of how literature might overlap with genre elements to engage with the issue of climate change, including consideration of what makes us human and how artificial solutions might be both comfort and curse. Drawing on a long-held love of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" the short story centres the poem as a site of character conflict, considering how the central image of the albatross might have moved from that of symbol of punishment to symbol of hope. Research Significance: The anthology was reviewed by New Zealand's Kete Books: "... Australian Rachel Hennessy brings style and swag to her story about a potty-mouth robot, "The Bird Around My Neck". “Why you being so formal, Katie?” it asks belligerently, while Katie tiptoes around it, the love of her life reduced to silicon moulded around a memory chip."
    Record created at source: 11 January 2021
    2019 Publication status: Published
    NTRO sub category: 3 Written work
    Title: River Stone
    Authors: Hennessy R
    Author affiliation:
    ISBN-13: 9781925227499
    ISBN-10: 1925227499
    Publisher: MidnightSun
    Publisher URL: https://midnightsunpublishing.com/2019/03/river-stone/
    Place of publication: Adelaide
    Publication date: 2019
    Series: The Burning Days
    Volume: Book 1
    Extent: 288 pages
    Type of work: Novel
    ERA Research Statement - 2000 character limit: Research background: This Young Adult novel is the first in a dystopian trilogy, utilising research into ecological visions of the future and considering the ways in which climate change has been presented to younger readers. Research contribution: The work contributes to a growing body of writing that combines more traditional tropes - the romance element and the action-based plot - with thoughtful and complicated characters, bringing literary elements into genre.
    Research Signficance: The work was selected to be part of the Scholastic Standing Orders, ensuring it went into many high school libraries nationally and received reviews from leading organisations dealing with younger writers, including ReadingKids and the Children's Book Council of Australia.
    Source URL: https://www.dymocks.com.au/book/river-stone-by-rachel-hennessy-9781925227499
    Verification-status: Verified
    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 R
    Author affiliation: A1103972
    Publisher URL: https://www.textjournal.com.au/
    Place of publication: Australia
    Publication date: 2016
    Journal: Text: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses
    ISSN: 1327-9556
    Volume: 20
    Issue: 2
    Extent: 4245 words
    Type of work: Prose/Creative writing
    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.
    Source URL: http://www.textjournal.com.au/oct16/hennessy_prose.htm
    Author URL: http://www.textjournal.com.au/oct16/content.htm
    Verification-status: Verified
    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 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

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

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 Co-Supervisor Tattoos as Ekphrastic Narratives of Otherness in Crime Fiction Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Stephen William Abram
    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
    2020 Co-Supervisor Approaching Writing and Ecriture Feminine Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Hartley John Snape
    2020 Co-Supervisor Life and poetry of Foragh Farrokhzad Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Hossein Asgari
  • 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
  • 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

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