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

Amy Hyslop


Amy is a cultural advocate and practitioner who is passionate about connecting audiences with the rich and varied creative experiences Queensland has to offer. Prior to joining the Brisbane Writers Festival, Amy worked in senior marketing and development roles with Musica Viva (QLD), Expressions Dance Company, DeClassifed Music, The International Water Centre and The University of Queensland. Her areas of expertise include for-purpose marketing, audience development, fundraising, digital transformation and event management.

Contemporary dance, photography and music are all close to Amy’s heart, but her true loves are reading and writing. She believes in the power of stories to open up worlds of possibility and bring culturally diverse communities together and is thrilled to be able to bring her love of all things literary to her role with the Festival.

Amy was a dance and theatre critic for Australian Stage for seven years and her one-woman show Where is Joy? was produced by Metro Arts. She is working on her first manuscript. Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts (UQ) with a Major in Art History and is completing a Masters in Marketing (RMIT).

Rachel Fry

Artistic Director

Rachel is a creative who began her career in Fashion Design, moved on to wandering the globe then headed home to work in business management, event management and small business ownership. Rachel co-owned Urban Grind cafe’s around town for over ten years which were havens for community engagement and great coffee. Her love of community and the written word flowed over into starting an Independent Bookstore Cherry Blossom in Paddington where she created and facilitated many community and writer’s events.

Rachel is slowly working on developing a series of illustrated children’s books. She is passionate about sharing stories, writing, connection to nature, the arts, sustainability, music and contributing in any way that adds more beauty into our community. Since 2018 Rachel has been the Program Manager at BWF, helping to curate and deliver exceptional conversations.

Ella Peile

Programs Manager

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.

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.