Keith Gray originally from the UK, now based in Vienna, has always been a vocal advocate of the best fiction for children and teenagers. His own books have been published in a dozen languages and have won or been shortlisted for awards all over the world, including the Sankei Cultural Publishing Prize of Japan (The Runner), the American Library Association Best Books ‘YA’ (Ostrich Boys) and the Scottish Arts Council Book Awards (Warehouse). His bestselling novel Ostrich Boys was also adapted for the stage and has been performed in such far-flung places as Seoul, Mumbai and Edinburgh. Keith has edited 2 ground-breaking anthologies for teenage readers, working with writers such as Patrick Ness, Melvin Burgess, Anne Fine and Malorie Blackman. He was Scottish Book Trust’s first ever ‘Virtual Writer in Residence’ and has been a judge for the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Booktrust UK Teen Book Award and has reviewed teenage fiction for both the Guardian and Scotsman newspapers. He is a regular speaker in schools, libraries and at book festivals, always hoping to encourage readers and writers of all ages.
With a teaching technique focused on releasing emotional tension while providing catalysts for individual inspiration, she has taught masterclasses and seminars across America, Europe and Asia. Her clients include creative professionals at the United Nations, Vienna University, the Minnesota Fringe Festival and various other theater and musical organizations.
As a performer, she recently appeared in Neue Oper Wien’s production of Zyklan’s controversial political opera Die Staatsoperette, the KlassikFestival Kirchstetten’s La Fille du Regiment, and the Haydn Festival’s Die Schöpfung.
Paul Malone is an Australian author living in Austria for the last decade. In recent years, Paul has focused on short stories for older children and young adults. His short stories have appeared in e-zines, magazines and books. His two more recent short stories—The Happy Buddha Tea House and Molly’s Magic Garden—have appeared in Australia’s leading children’s literary magazine, The School Magazine.
Paul writes prolifically, daily, and anywhere he can—at his desk, on the underground, on his mountain bike, even in hospital with a drip in his arm (cycling and writing are a dangerous mix!) Like most of us, Paul doesn’t have the luxury of writing for hours on end, day after day. He has moments, minutes, windows of opportunity to write. Such is the paradigm for today’s successful writers (he thinks)—they’ve got to write creatively on the go. The wonderful news: such creative writing is coupled with intense energy—the writing really comes alive. This is what Paul hopes to convey in his writing workshops.
Renee Benson is a singer, songwriter, poet and composer from New York. As a singer, she has performed in Germany, Austria, Turkey, UK, Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Holland, Denmark and Romania. In 2011, she performed as part of the Austrian entry for Eurovision and has performed at LifeBall in Vienna. Renee is the lead voice for the experimental jazz and hip hop poetry based collective, “No Home For Johnny” and one half of the Freudian cabaret act, “Cheating on New York,” which documents the life of two single ex-pats from NY in their newfound home of Vienna, Austria. To date, Renee has written over 50 songs and is working on her first book of poetry.
Over the past seven years, she has split her time between New York and Europe — spending the bulk of that time writing and performing in Vienna. She studied vocal performance under Ariel Bybee, a prominent mezzo-soprano at the Metropolitan Opera for eighteen seasons and creative writing with Kenyan writer N’gugi wa Thiong’o, author of “Decolonizing the Mind.” Renee holds a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. http://reneebensonmusic.com
Following studies in Tokyo and London, Kirstin Zhang graduated with distinction from the MLitt programme at the University of Glasgow. She now teaches short story at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland and is Writer in Residence to Creative Communities, a storytelling project. Her short fiction has appeared in publications such as the Scotsman, GQ and Harper’s Bazaar and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She is a member of the National Association of Writers in Education.
Julian Gough was born in London, grew up in Ireland, and now lives in Berlin. He has published three novels (Juno & Juliet, Jude: Level 1, Jude in London), a collection of peculiar poems (Free Sex Chocolate), two BBC radio plays, and the narrative ending the computer game Minecraft. He has won the BBC National Short Story Award, and been shortlisted, twice, for the Everyman Bollinger Wodehouse Prize. He also sang on four albums by literary pop band Toasted Heretic, one of which included a song about not kissing Sinead O’Connor, and had a UK number one Kindle Single with the comic novella CRASH! in 2013. Julian has just finished his fourth novel, Infinite Ammo, for which he launched a “Litcoin” campaign, aimed at remodelling the economics of reading. The novel will be published in 2016 by Picador (UK) and Doubleday (US).
Alice Miller is the author of The Limits, published simultaneously by Auckland University Press and Shearsman Books. She was the Associate Editor of The Vienna Review, and has an MA from the International Institute of Modern Letters and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Glenn Schaeffer Fellow. For her writing, Alice has received the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award, the Royal Society of NZ Manhire Prize, a Michael King Centre residency, a Grimshaw Sargeson fellowship, and a trip to Antarctica courtesy of Antarctica New Zealand. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Narrative Magazine, Boston Review, Oxford Poetry, The Iowa Review, Best New Zealand Poems, and The American Scholar. Her website is ackmiller.com.
Caroline Bruckner is a writer and screenwriter based in Vienna, Austria. Her short film ‘The Confession’ won the Student Academy Award and was nominated for an Academy Award (Best Live Action Short) in 2011. The children’s book ‘Moritz’ was published through H&M for the UNICEF All For Children initiative.
Caroline’s short fiction has been featured in Crack the Spine, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Forge, The Minetta Review, Westview, Willow Review, and others.
Abigail Rasminsky has written for The New York Times; O: The Oprah Magazine; The Morning News; The Forward; The Toast; The Millions; and Dance Magazine, among other publications. She has taught writing at Columbia University, Webster University/Vienna, and in high schools across New York City. A native of Montreal, Canada, Abigail lived in Brooklyn for 12 years and is a graduate of Columbia’s MFA Writing Program. More at: http://www.abigailrasminsky.com
Brian Hatfield has worked extensively in presentational and representational performing arts. While acting, singing and dancing, he has also written curricula, workshops and courses for theatre and film and advertising students, public speakers, literature classes and conductors. He keeps up to date with modern plays, holding readings for actors in Melbourne and Vienna. Since completing his Masters of Arts in 2008, he has been working on a collection of theatre and film scripts. He has worked as a journalist and a film and theatre critic. His course, Writing People: Human Beings and Human Becomings, aims to become a springboard for a collaborative group, “wrighting’’ theatre scripts and film screenplays.
Dardis McNamee is the Publisher and Editor at Large of METROPOLE Vienna in English, (www.metropole.at) an English-language city magazine and online community in Vienna, Austria, launched in October 2015 with her daughter (and CEO!) Maggie Childs, following their former collaboration on The Vienna Review, which closed in 2013. The paper’s fine archive is available at www.viennareview.net.
Over a long career in journalism she has been a correspondent for, among others, The New York Times, The Albany Times Union and Conde Nast Traveler in New York, and for the Wall Street Journal Europe and Die Zeit in Vienna, as well as a speechwriter to two US ambassadors to Austria.
She is a cum laude graduate of Bryn Mawr College in Music and Political Science and a doctoral candidate at the University of Vienna in Contemporary History, where she is researching the influence of public relations on 20th century politics. From 2002 to 2011, she was a founding faculty member and later Research Professor of the Department of Media Communications at Webster University Vienna, where she was awarded the 2007 Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching for Webster Worldwide. In 2010, she was granted Austrian Citizenship of Honor (Ehrenstaatsbürgerschaft) “for outstanding contributions to the Austrian Republic.”
With her daughter, Margaret Childs, she is co-author of the 2011 Frommer’s Austria and Frommer’s Vienna and the Danube Valley. She has lived in Vienna for 19 years.
Sylvia Petter is Australian and has a PhD in Creative Writing (UNSW 2009). She writes long and short, serious and fun. Her four story collections are: The Past Present, Back Burning, Mercury Blobs and, as AstridL, Consuming the Muse – erotic tales. Samples of flash fiction and links to stories online may be found here: http://www.readwave.com/sylvia.petter/ She has led flash fiction workshops, and chaired panels on flash fiction and new ways of disseminating the short story at international conferences. In 2014, she was Co-Director Vienna of the 13th International Conference on the Short Story in English. Find more of sylvia at sylviapetter.com