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Nancy Cunningham

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Nancy is a writer from Adelaide, South Australia, who has always loved storytelling in all its forms. From writing plays at primary school and original stories at high school influenced by Abbott and Costello movies and Archie comics, to a career in agriculture telling the scientific stories of Australia’s rural beating heart, to life-changing personal events that placed her back on the path to a more creative journey, the writer in her blossomed.

Novels, short stories, tv, movies, video games, songs, and poetry have inspired her to write stories in genres from historical to romance to crime and science fiction to short literary fiction. But 20th-century historical fiction is where her writing heart really lies, especially stories involving stoic heroines of the past overcoming adversity.

She lives in the suburbs with her tech-savvy partner (and real-life hero), her book-obsessed, gorgeous curly-haired daughter, and Molly, the retired greyhound. When not writing fiction, Nancy works as a research scientist in entomology.

Her debut, Crossing the Bridge (previously 'The Bridge'), has been a winner and finalist in several awards, including the prestigious Valerie Parv Award, the West Houston ‘Emilys’ and was longlisted for the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Award in 2020 and the Sapphire in 2021. In 2020 it won the CYA Allstars Conference ‘Unpublished Adult Manuscript’ prize. The release date for ‘Crossing the Bridge’ is 1st of January 2024.


When I won the CYA conference prize for best-unpublished manuscript prize in 2020, I didn't feel as if my novel was quite ready to submit to a publisher, it just needed some polishing, and then I could go on to start the submission process (which is hard because I always felt my manuscript would never be as polished as I wanted!) And after having won, the one-on-one with Clive Hebard was extremely useful to me as an unpublished writer - both as it was the first time I had insights from a publisher and insights into my novel! I knew then that I wanted to work on it more before I submitted it again. Clive and CYA gave me an awareness of what I needed to do to move forward to really shine my manuscript. I submitted in late 2022 and received an offer in January 2023!

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