We are the BWF Team.
Lovely to meet you.

Jackie Ryan

Artistic Director

Jackie Ryan has an abiding interest in culture that connects her work across forms and genres, from writing and research to performance, arts administration, film work and visual design. Her mantlepiece holds a Queensland Premier’s Award for a Work of State Significance, the USQ History Award, an Aurealis Award, a Bronze Ledger Award and a Queensland Writing Fellowship; she’s also been shortlisted for The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award, the Russell Prize for Humour Writing and the Queensland New Filmmakers Awards. Her non-fiction book ‘We’ll Show the World: Expo 88’ (UQP) was published in 2018, and the websites for her ongoing writing projects – ‘Burger Force’ and Fanciful Fiction Auxiliary – have been preserved by the National Archives of Australia as sites of cultural significance. Jackie’s programming experience traverses State Library of Queensland, Queensland Writers Centre and Avid Reader. She holds a PhD in history and political science from The University of Queensland.

Email: program@bwf.org.au

Melissa Bates

General Manager

With a background in finance and administration, Melissa brings a wealth of accounting and operational experience to BWF. She worked in ANZ’s financial planning team for eight years and has held accounting, bookkeeping and office management roles for a range of companies including Harvey Norman and HGT Australia.

But Melissa knows her way around a bookshelf as well as a spreadsheet. An avid reader and keen book club member, she graduated with an Associate Degree in Creative Writing in 2018 and joined the BWF team the following year. When she’s not wrangling budgets, she’s working on a manuscript and sharing her love of stories with her two kids.

Email: info@bwf.org.au

Myles McGuire

Programs Manager

Myles McGuire is a writer and editor with extensive experience as a literary interviewer. After starting at BWF as a clown in 2022, he joined the team as a copywriter and Program Coordinator in 2023.

Myles’ fiction has been published in Griffith Review and been nominated for awards including the Peter Carey Short Story Award. He has provided editing and proofing services for Griffith Review, Kill Your Darlings and Voiceworks. In 2021 he was awarded a Master of Philosophy by QUT, where he currently teaches creative writing. As well as conducting in-conversations with acclaimed authors including Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan, he has performed his work in drag and dressed as a Franciscan monk. He is currently at work on a novel.

Email: program@bwf.org.au

Emily Bowman

Youth Programs Manager

Emily joined the Brisbane Writers Festival team first as an intern, then as Programs Assistant in 2021. She now manages BWF's Youth Programs, including Love YA, Word Play, and Families, as well as the Youth Ambassador program and the annual schools Microfiction Competition.

A theatre kid in high school, Emily majored in Drama for her Bachelors, before rediscovering her love for all things books and writing and going on to do a Master of Writing, Editing and Publishing. Emily devoured books growing up, as well as dabbling in dance, making short films, and school theatre productions, giving her a strong passion for the arts and creating. When she's not tackling her ever-growing TBR pile, Emily is working on her own creative projects, including her various Young Adult manuscripts.

Email: program@bwf.org.au

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