At the age of 28 Robert Drewe turned from newspapers to fiction writing with his debut novel The Savage Crows. His other novels include The Drowner, A Cry in the Jungle Bar, Grace, Our Sunshine and Fortune, which won the National Book Council’s prize for fiction. His short-story collections are The Bodysurfers, The Rip and The Bay of Contented Men which won a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.
The Drowner, the first novel to win the Premier's Literary Prize in every State, also won the Australian Book of the Year Prize, the Adelaide Festival Prize for literature and was voted one of the ten best international novels of the decade.
The Shark Net won the Western Australian Premier's Prize for Non-Fiction, The Courier-Mail Book of the Year Prize and the Vision Australia Award. Like The Bodysurfers it was also adapted into an ABC and BBC TV mini-series, while Our Sunshine was made into the international film Ned Kelly, starring Heath Ledger.
His latest novel, Whipbird (published August 2017), is partly inspired by the misadventures of one of his ancestors, a teenage Irish soldier in the British Army’s 40th Regiment of Foot, at the Eureka Stockade.