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Proud Kalkadoon woman, Megan Albany lives with her son, husband and moodle in the Northern Rivers of NSW. As an author and songwriter, she has experienced pretty well everything life has to offer from city living in New York and Europe to car accidents, suicides and helping a friend fulfil an eight-year quest to become terminally ill. She now lives an exceptionally normal existence and enjoys nothing more than sitting at her desk and using whatever wisdom she has garnered to write about how little she has learned along the way.
Her first novel, a black comedy about a woman dying, was one of only four works shortlisted for The Banjo Prize in 2020 and was recently signed as part of a two-book deal with major publishing house Hachette. The List (working title) was also Highly Commended in the Australian Society of Authors 2020 Award Mentorship Program for writers and illustrators. Her debut novel will be on the shelves in early 2022 and Megan is currently completing a soundtrack album for simultaneous release.
Megan has spent over twenty-five years working as a journalist, editor, scriptwriter and songwriter/ composer. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and has been a journalist with the Koori Mail, the Guardian Newspaper in the UK, the Metro Newspaper in Ireland, the Irish Echo and the Illawarra Mercury.
She was a writer and editor for the leading Aboriginal magazine, Deadly Vibe and was the founding editor of InVibe magazine - a magazine for Indigenous youth in custody. Megan was the researcher for the SBS Documentary into the Juvenile Justice System, ‘Can It Hurt Less’ and was the scriptwriter for five years for the ‘Deadlys’, the National Indigenous Awards which screened on SBS TV.
She was one of the founding writers for the Aboriginal NITV health show, Living Strong and was the concept developer for Move It Mob Style. She taught literacy in the Pitjantjatjaran lands and has taught creative writing in the Disadvantaged Schools Program and song writing at the Northern Rivers Conservatorium.
Megan is currently completing an album for release alongside her debut novel. The album, Songs For A Good Cry (working title), will feature Megan and other well-known artists performing songs which explore the nostalgia, humour, drudgery, outrageousness and grief that accompanies the journey of the dying.
No stranger to music-making, Megan has released two previous albums with her band Skinful as well as composing music for film and television. Her song Finding Myself reached number 26 in the Irish charts and she has performed at Dublin’s Fused Festival, the Heineken Music Festival and the Miller Genuine Music Festival. Her original composition ‘Looking Good’ (co-written with Marc Mittag) received national airplay and was featured on Rove Live as well as The Panel. Her composition, ‘Song For Change’ was performed by Australian Idol Daniel Mifsud as part of the Marc Mittag and the Headhunters tour (Herbie Hancock’s band) and was featured on the Sunrise Morning Show. Her songs Quiet Clear Pool and Sex With That, were licensed for the Neighbours TV series. Megan also writes songs for other artists.
WHAT CYA CONFERENCE DID FOR ME
When I attended the CYA conference, my first novel was in development and was about a third of the way through. After meeting with Sophie Hamley from Hachette, who congratulated me on my work and offered to pass on the details to the fiction department, I was not only inspired to complete my novel, but was able to use the interest from Hachette to secure an agent, Fiona Johnson from Beyond Words Literary Agency.
As a result, Fiona secured me a two book publishing deal with Hachette and my novel went on to become one of only four works of fiction to be shortlisted for the 2020 Banjo Prize. The incredibly friendly atmosphere of CYA helped reignite my passion not only for my writing, but for connecting with the industry and made me realise the publishing world is not the unapproachable world I had imagined.
Fiona Johnson from Beyond Words Literary Agency, and Sophie Hamley from Hachette are doing assessments at the 2021 CYA Conference. Check out the Assessments page to find out more about them.