Aug 25 2008

O’Sullivan – Michael

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During his working life Michael has had several occupations, including sub-contract carpenter and rural fencer, university tutor, librarian and archivist. In the 1980s and 90s he worked as a reference librarian at the Australian National University Library, as Senior Tutor in Cultural Heritage Management at the University of Canberra, and as Curator of Private Records at the Australian War Memorial. He have published articles in professional archival and archaeological journals.

Since 1999 Michael Sullivan has worked as a writer full time. His most recent novel is, The Home for Lost Books. His work has been described as “traversing realist and magico-realist styles of narration with skill, compassion, and a sly humour”. (John Clanchy)

In December 2005 he was awarded a Highly Commended citation in the Marjorie Graber-McInnes/ACT Writers Centre Short Story Awards for The Puzzler. He was also awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ via the IP Picks Fiction competition in 2006 for his novel Easter at Tobruk


Secret Writing, Commended in ‘Best Fiction’, IP Picks 2005, published in October 2005.

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Easter at Tobruk, Highly Commended in ‘Best Fiction’, IP Picks 2006, published in June 2007.

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Federation. (Unpublished).

The Home for Lost Books. Commended in ‘Best Fiction’, IP Picks 2008.

Short Stories:

The Puzzler, Highly Commended in the Marjorie Graber-McInnes/ACT Writers Centre Short Story Award 2005.
Published in ACTWrite, June 2006, Vol.12, No.5.

A Stranger in Paradise, First Place in Smithsbooks Short Story Competition 2006.
Published in Island magazine, Summer 2007-08, No.111.

All the forgotten people, Commended in 2008 Alan Marshall Short Story Award.

Surprise Party, Highly Commended in the Writers’ Resource Centre 2008 Short Story Competition.
To be published in an anthology of Best New Australian Writers in 2009.

Paradise, a collection of twenty stories concerning the experiences of a police officer in a fictitious North Queensland town.


‘Stop your cryin’, by Liz Murphy, in API Review of Books, February 2006.

A brief synopsis:

Easter at Tobruk, where two powerful forces, Christianity and war, collide in an Australian context. The novel investigates the relevance of a particular episode in Australian history to contemporary Australians, and changes to Australian society during the second half of the twentieth century.

A Shot at Federation follows two men during the 1890s, set against the background of labour strikes and the Federation movement. It is inspired in part by the similarity of issues during the 1999 republican referendum in Australia to those of a century earlier.

Secret Writing (Interactive Press, 2005), considers the relationship of non-indigenous Australians to our landscape and sense of place. Two very different Australians develop their personal identity as they explore the world of Albert Namatjira’s paintings in Central Australia. “Pearl conceded it might be a figment of her imagination, but it had done her a good turn, made her see the world in a new light. She could hear the land singing. That was when Pearl decided it was time to return to her land