Chris Bell has written 35 published short fiction books for children, including picture story, chapter and YA. Her junior eco novel manuscript Strange Creatures received a Highly Commended in the 2016 CYA Writing and Illustrating Competition – published author prize. In 2014 Chris was awarded a Varuna Retreat Fellowship to work on Prison Boy – a YA historical novel set in convict Van Diemen’s Land. Chris’s contemporary YA novel Jumping Through Hoops won the 2011 CYA Writing and Illustrating Competition – published author prize and was long-listed in the international 2012 Mslexia Writing for Children Competition. Chris holds a Master of Creative Writing and a Diploma of Arts – Professional Writing and Editing. She is the Assistant Coordinator of SCBWI Vic (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and in 2014/15/16/17 served as one of the CYA Writing and Illustrating Competition judges.
Chris works as a full-time writer. Currently she is working on an adult historical novel set in the period of the Great War. One of the most exciting aspects of this project is the research, especially as it took her all the way to Scotland – the home of her Scot’s forebears. Standing on the banks of Strathclyde Loch she discovered her characters had stowed away with her and come home to the land of their births. Chris had a fantastic time getting to know their lives and loves, language and traditions, though she could not share their love of haggis.
FELLOWSHIPS & AWARDS:
Highly Commended – Strange Creatures (junior eco novel) 2016 CYA Writing & Illustrating Competition (Published Author Award)
2014 Varuna Retreat Fellowship – Prison Boy (YA historical novel) Eleanor Dark Foundation (Varuna Writers House)
Long-listed – Jumping Through Hoops (YA contemporary novel) 2012 Mslexia Children’s Writing Competition (U.K.)
Winner – Jumping Through Hoops 2011 CYA Writing & Illustrating Competition (Published Author Award)
Second Place – Glass Under Tin (YA novel) 2003 FAW National Literary Awards – Jim Hamilton Award – Unpublished Manuscript
Shortlisted – The Golden Man The University of Canberra 1997 National Short Story Competition (Tertiary Section)
Certificate of Merit – Gone Again Auswrite Short Story Competition 1996
Certificate of Merit – The Face in the Mirror Auswrite Short Story Competition 1996
Certificate of Merit – Gone Fishing Auswrite Short Story Competition 1996
Writers Victoria | Australian Society of Authors (ASA) | Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI Vic) | CBCA |Varuna Alumni | First Tuesday Book Group | Young & Jackson Writing Group | LLLCD Writers’ Group.
EDUCATION & COURSES:
Master of Creative Media (Creative Writing) with Distinction Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) 2012
Year of Reading for Writers 2009 Victorian Writers’ Centre
Year of the Novel 2008 (Andrea Goldsmith) Victorian Writers’ Centre
Diploma of Arts – Professional Writing & Editing Box Hill Institute of Technology 1998
Certificate in Creative Writing Box Hill Institute of Technology – 1995