We are the Brisbane Writers Festival Team.
Lovely to meet you.

Sarah Runcie

Chief Executive Officer

Sarah Runcie joined Brisbane Writers Festival in 2020 as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Sarah's extensive experience spans the creative industries, government and not-for-profit sectors. Her professional experience includes policy and advocacy, communications and arts administration positions. A highlight from Sarah's career is the establishment of Parliamentary Friends of Australian Books and Writers and the Parliamentary Book Club, whilst working for the Australian Publishers Association.

Sarah established the Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative in 2016, which is recognised as a world leading initiative in print accessibility in the book industry.

Sarah is committed to a Brisbane Writers Festival for all.

Melissa Bates

Administration Manager

Melissa joined the Brisbane Writers Festival team in 2019. As a recent graduate of Associate Degree in Creative Writing (Southern Cross University), Melissa holds a deep love of literature which paved her decision on a major career change into the arts. With an extensive background across the banking, finance and accounting sectors, Melissa’s previous roles have been diverse encompassing all aspects of experience. Melissa’s last role was with ANZ for over 8 years, whilst immersed in numbers and client service, it was an affection for the written world of words that override Melissa’s decision to develop her writing skills through a rich mix of literary studies in a writing degree.

An avid reader, Melissa loves books and is passionate about sharing her reading experiences with others so that they too can see how books leave lingering thoughts long after a book is finished. Additionally, Melissa understands the importance of reading with children as being invaluable and is passionate about encouraging an active pursuit of guiding children to love books like she does. Melissa is gradually working on a manuscript that bubbles in the background, and aside from loving books, Melissa has a passion for travel, the arts, music and attending writers’ events. Stories have such an important role to play and it is through these conversations Melissa finds we can connect with others.

Daniel Seed

Programs Manager

Daniel has worked in the creative sector in podcasting, photography, web design, and technical book production.

Daniel’s passion is the intersection of creative arts and tech. Most recently, he has lectured in journalism and communications, and worked in a marketing capacity, at The University of Queensland. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism (Hons – Class I).

Benjamin Law

2020 Guest Curator

Benjamin Law is an Australian writer and broadcaster. He’s the author of the memoir The Family Law (2010), the travel book Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012), the Quarterly Essay Moral Panic 101 (2017), and the editor of the anthology Growing Up Queer in Australia (2019). Benjamin also created and co-wrote three seasons of the award-winning SBS TV series The Family Law, based on his memoir. His debut play Torch the Place (Melbourne Theatre Company) runs February–March 2020. He has a PhD in creative writing and cultural studies from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Ella Peile

Programs Team

Ella has been working with young people for the past fourteen years, including six years as a teacher with Education Queensland. She has also worked with Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre and as an Education Resource Writer for Queensland Theatre Company. Ella enjoys all art forms and has produced work as a writer, director, performer, and artist. She holds degrees in Creative Industries and Education.