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Nicole Hayes

Author, Broadcaster

Nicole Hayes is an award winning author and a former journalist based in Melbourne, and is one-sixth of the groundbreaking all-female AFL podcast and radio show, The Outer Sanctum, on the ABC, which was which was instrumental in bringing light to the Eddie McGuire / Caroline Wilson controversy in 2016.

Nicole’s novels include contemporary YA thriller, A Shadow’s Breath (Penguin Random House, 2017), which was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award, Longlisted for the Gold INKY Awards and a CBCA Notable book; One True Thing (Penguin Random House, 2015), a contemporary YA novel with a backdrop of music and politics. One True Thing was the winner of the Children’s Peace Literature Award and was shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Literary Award, the WA Young Readers Award, and the YABBA and KOALA awards; and The Whole of My World (2013) which was the first novel about AFL to feature a female main character, and the first written by a woman. The Whole of My World was longlisted for the Gold Inky Award, and shortlisted for the YABBA and KOALA awards, and was the vehicle that brought The Outer Sanctum team together in 2015.

Recently, Nicole has written opinion pieces for The Guardian, Griffith Review and The Lifted Brow, and co-edited an anthology of writing, From the Outer: Footy Like You’ve Never Heard It (2016) with Alicia Sometimes, as well as a children’s book celebrating the inaugural year of the AFLW, A Footy Girl’s Guide to the Stars of 2017. She has written chapters for two books – Balancing Acts: Women in Sport (Brow Books, 2018) and for kids, Speccy-tacular AFL Stories (Penguin Random House, 2018).

Nicole runs writing programs for adults and young people, and is a Stella Prize Ambassador and a regular guest on ABC and commercial radio and digital networks talking about books, sport, gender, and writing, and has appeared at major festivals, including Melbourne Writers Festival, ANZ Literature and Arts Festival (London), Rock and Roll Writers Festival (Brisbane and Melbourne), Somerset Festival of Literature (Qld) and International Women’s Day events.

The Outer Sanctum podcast has grown from a homemade DIY podcast to an ABC hosted show, expanding this year to a live radio show covering the AFLW season, and the AFL finals series. In 2018, they performed their first live show, which was an immediate sellout.

You can follow Nicole on Twitter @nichmelbourne, Instagram: nicolehayes9706, or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicole.hayes.71619. Or see what’s The Outer Sanctum is doing at Twitter: @outersanctum01, Instagram: @theoutersanctumpodcast, and Facebook.

 

Where were you born?

I was born in Melbourne but spent more than a decade living in various countries around the world, including the UK, France, and Japan, and then Hawaii for three years after I met my American (military) husband. We moved back to Australia before our kids were born, and found our way back to Melbourne as soon as the US government allowed it.

What other jobs have you had?

I’ve worked as an English conversation teacher in Japan, a journalist and publishing assistant in Hawaii, an editor and communications specialist in Canberra, and a writing teacher in Melbourne. As a backpacker in Europe, I took virtually any job that presented itself.

What themes are recurring in your work?

Feminism, family, friendship, footy, politics, grief, and forgiveness, as well as the power of creativity in aiding wellbeing. In particular, I write stories about girls and women making their way in worlds or spaces where they’re not ordinarily welcome.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Being involved in The Outer Sanctum podcast which has helped drive the national conversation around women and sport. Winning the following awards: Children’s Peace Literature Award (2015), CBCA Notable Book 2016, Varuna/Hodder Headline Manuscript Award (YA), Varuna Manuscript Award (Adult fiction), New Feature Film Writers Award (Film Victoria), and shortlisting in the WA Premier’s Literary Awards (2016), YABBA Award (2014), and long-lasting in the Gold Inky Award (2014) for my Young Adult novels.

Where have your works been published?

Apart from my two YA novels, One True Thing and The Whole of My World (Random House), with a third coming out in 2017, (A Shadow’s Breath) as well as co-editing an anthology of footy stories (From the Outer: Footy Like You’ve Never Heard It) I’ve also co-written a children’s book about women’s football called A Footy Girl’s Guide to the Stars of 2017. Both books are collaborations with Alicia Sometimes and published by Black Inc. I’ve had feature articles published by Griffith Review, The Guardian, The Wheeler Centre, Writers Victoria, Newswrite, Mamamia, and Newtown Review of Books, among others.

What are you passionate about?

Stories! All stories, in whatever form they need to be told. As a woman and the mother of two daughters, I’m particularly passionate about stories for and about girls.

Haven’t I seen you before?

Recently, I’ve spoken at Melbourne Writers Festival, Emerging Writers Festival, Willy Lit Festival, Somerset Literary Festival, Carey Literary Festival, Word for Word, as well as various media appearances including Fox TV’s AFL 360, and ABC Radio 774 and Radio National.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I have a Master of Arts in Communications (Creative Writing) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and Media Studies.

 

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