Kathryn Heyman is a novelist, essayist and scriptwriter. Her memoir, Fury, appeared in May 2021 receiving widespread critical acclaim. Her sixth novel, Storm and Grace, was published in 2017. Her first novel, The Breaking, was shortlisted for the Stakis Award for the Scottish Writer of the Year and longlisted for the Orange Prize. Kathryn’s other awards include an Arts Council of England Writers Award, the Wingate and the Southern Arts Awards, and nominations for the Edinburgh Fringe Critics’ Awards, the Kibble Prize, and the West Australian Premier’s Book Awards. Reviewers have compared her work to that of Cormac McCarthy, Kate Grenville, Angela Carter, Peter Carey, William Golding and Joseph Conrad.
Kathryn Heyman’s several plays for BBC radio include Far Country and Moonlite’s Boy, inspired by the life of bushranger Captain Moonlite. Two of her novels have been adapted for BBC radio: Keep Your Hands on the Wheel as a play and Captain Starlight’s Apprentice as a five part dramatic serial.
Raised in Australia, Heyman spent many years living in the UK, where she began her publishing career after studying at Sheffield Hallam University, under the tutelage of the Caribbean poet E.A Markham. She has judged several literary awards, including serving as the senior judge for all panels of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, for whom she delivered the keynote address on the eve of the Sydney Writers Festival in 2013. She is a member of the Folio Prize Academy.
Heyman has held several writing fellowships, including the Australian Copyright Agency Author Fellowship, the Scottish Arts Council Writing Fellowship at the University of Glasgow, and a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellowship at Westminster College, Oxford. She taught creative writing for the University of Oxford and is now fiction program director for the Faber Academy in Australia.
Kathryn Heyman speaks at conferences and festivals internationally; previous events include the Cheltenham Writers Festival, Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival, Edinburgh Book Festival, Worlds Writing Festival, Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, British Council/Australian Embassy Readings in Singapore and most Australian festivals. In 2010, Kathryn founded the Australian Writers Mentoring Program.