Chris Bell has written 35 published books for children, including picture story, chapter and YA. Recently she was awarded a 2014 Varuna Retreat Fellowship to work on Prison Boy – her YA historical novel set in convict Van Diemen’s Land. Her contemporary YA novel Jumping Through Hoops won the CYA Published Author Prize 2011 and was longlisted 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. Chris holds the voluntary role of Assistant Coordinator of SCBWI Vic (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and in 2014 and 2015 served as one of the CYA National Writing 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:
2014 Varuna Retreat Fellowship – Prison Boy (YA historical novel) Eleanor Dark Foundation (Varuna Writers House)
Long-listed – Jumping Through Hoops (YA contemporary novel) Mslexia Children’s Writing Competition 2012 (U.K.)
Winner – Jumping Through Hoops 2011 CYA 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Second Place – Glass Under Tin (YA novel) 2003 FAW National Literary Awards – Jim Hamilton Award – Unpublished Manuscript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