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Latest News

Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms is shortlisted in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards.


Paris Dreaming is listed in Book Riot's 100 Must Read Funny Novels!


Am I Black Enough for You? appears in the Stella Prize Diverse Cultures Reading list.


Anita's memoir Am I Black Enough for you? is #1 on Book Riot's 100 Must- Read Australian Books


Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms has been longlisted for the 2018 International DUBLIN Literary Award.


Anita is running the New York Marathon with #TeamEpic, follow her journey on instagram.


Anita's novel Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms is nominated for the Courier-Mail 2017 QLD People's Choice Book of the Year. You can vote here!


Anita has been appointed a Postdoctoral Fellow a the University of Canberra. Read more here!


Anita has been appointed to the Board of the State Library of Queensland.


Anita's latest novel Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms about the Cowra Breakout has been launched to rave reviews. Read more here.


Anita's latest writing adventure was with Adam Goodes and Michael O'Loughlin. They released Kicking Goals with Magic and Goodesy in NAIDOC Week! Get your copy now - FREE delivery anywhere in Australia!


Anita's latest book is Matty's Comeback for young readers. Teacher notes are available here!

Anita is featured in Celebrating 40 Years of Sydney Festival photographic exhibition until January 23 at UNSW Galleries.

Anita takes up a new role as Manager of the Epic Good Foundation
based in Brisbane!


Anita's forthcoming novel Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms listed as one to look out for in 2016! via Sydney Morning Herald


The Mayor of Cowra launches Anita's kids novel Harry's Secret at Mulyan State School.


Visual artist Rachel Fenton pays homage to Anita's poem "I don't hate you, but..." in "Alters; Aspects from La Trobe Track, Karekare (after Anita Heiss)" in the August 2015 edition of Cordite.


Anita is festured in the anthology She's Having a Laugh published by Affirm Press and featuring Tracey Spicer, Gretel Killeen, Bev Killick, Annabel Crabb and other wickedly funny women! You can order your copy through Booktopia!


Anita is featured in the article "I read only non-white authors for 12 months. What I learned surprised me"


Anita shares her writing process plus more at WordMothers.


Anita's poetry and work from Sacred Cows is including in new public artwork in the City of Sydney at 8 Chifley Place.


Anita is in conversation with BlackWords. Read her interview here.


Anita was invited to do a Q&A with Bookworld. Read about what she loves, what she hates, what she regrets plus more!



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Anita won the Style Rocks / Lollypotz Valentine's Day competition. Was it luck or the law of attraction. She writes about it at her blog...


Anita's memoir Am I Black Enough for You? will be released in the US by the University of Hawaii Press in March 2014. You can order here!


Anita's novels feature heavily in the 2013 Australian Women Writers Challenge.  Over 2013, there were 45 reviews of works by Indigenous women writers.  Dr Anita Heiss was the most reviewed, with 6 reviewers penning their thoughts on her works. You can read the reviews here.


Anita presents a TedX talk on "Sameness" in Brisbane! You can watch it on-line.


Anita is listed as one of the Top 20 women shaking things up on Twitter!


Anita joins a list of respected Australian authors in Women of Letters anthology

As one of the speakers at the Sydney Women of Letters event in 2013, Anita's letter titled 'To the moment the lights came on...' is published in Yours Truly (Penguin Australia).


Anita joins Maori writers in Ora Nui: special edition

Alongside a number of First Nations Australian writers, an excerpt from Am I Black Enough for You? appears in Ora Nui: a Collection of Maori and Aboriginal Literature edited by Anton Blank and Kerry Reed-Gilbert.


The Great Debate: Australians need leaders not politicians.

The great debate at the Brisbane Town Hall; Australia needs leaders, not politicians! A timely and often hilarious debate between Anita Heiss, Julia Zemiro, William McInnes, Tim Fischer, Yassmin Abdel-Magied and Ben McKenzie. This was held on the night of the federal election as part of the Brisbane Writers' Festival. You can listen to the podcast here!

What's Anita's Friday Fave read? You can find out here!
Check out Anita's Top 10 Indigenous children's books!
For the month of May Read Watch Play is promoting Indigenous music, literature and art. If you're a teacher looking for resources - you need to check it out! Anita has contributed her thoughts on kid's books here!
Anita was a finalist in the 2013 Australian of the Year of Awards (Local Hero)
Anita was nominated for Australian of the Year by Reconciliation Australia. She was a finalist in the NSW Local Hero category.
Anita was a finalist in the 2012 Human Rights Awards (non-fiction)
Anita was nominated for the award by Reconciliation Australia for her memoir Am I Black Enough for You?
Anita writes for the QANTAS Australian Way magazine
One of Anita's dreams came true when she finally had the chance to write for Australia's national airline. Her work appeared in the August 2012 magazine and April 2013. You can read both on-line here.
Anita is in fine company in Dear Mum
Published through Random House Australia, Dear Mum is an anthology of letters from Australians to their mothers. Anita's letter sits alongside those of Di Morrissey, Anna Funder, Libby Trickett, Kasey Chambers and more. All royalties go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. You can order your copy here!
Anita joins the team at Speakers Ink
Anita is pleased to have joined the Brisbane-based booking agency owned by Helen Bain. You can book Anita for school, community or corporate events and she even does Skype visits. For details head to the company website!


Anita co-writes crime novel as part of National Year of Reading

Along with students from St Laurence's College in Brisbane, Anita wrote a crime novel set in the cities south. Sure you capture your attention from the first line, you can read the first review of The Tightening Grip here!

Anita wins the VIC Premier's Literary Award for Indigenous Literature

As part of Indigenous Literacy Day activities at the Melbourne Museum, Anita was announced winner of the prestigious award for her memoir Am I Black Enough for You?  You can read the judges reports for all three finalists here.

Art of the tropical north!
Anita's article on Indigenous cultural tourism in Tropical North Queensland appears in the August edition of The Australian Way for QANTAS. If you're not flying and want to read it, click here!
Am I Black Enough For You? a memoir
Anita's memoir on identity will be released through Random House Australia on April 1st. For information on the title click here! To hear why Anita wrote the book, watch her RAH video. To order your copy so it arrives fresh off the printer, click here.

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Aboriginal Business Magazine features Anita...
Anita was thrilled to be part of this new initiative by business man and now publisher Neil Willmett. To subscribe to this glossy publication full of useful business tips, strategies and positive stories, click here!
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Anita becomes a Patron of AGSA

Anita humbly accepted the invitation to be a Patron of the Alliance of Girls' Schools of Australia and looks forward to encouraging female students nationally to aim for important leadership roles in their own lives.
Anita won her 4th Deadly Award
On September 27, Anita won her 4th Deadly Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature for her novel Paris Dreaming. For more information on the fabulous event at the Sydney Opera House you can read Anita's blog post here. To hear / see Anita live at the Deadlys on the night, click here

Anita releases Paris Dreaming

Libby Cutmore takes to Paris in Anita's latest novel, the sequel to Manhattan Dreaming. You can meet Anita and get a signed copy of Paris Dreaming at events being held around the country. To find out where and when, just click 'Upcoming Appearances to the left of this page.To read more about the book, Anita's blogs on it, and where to buy it, click here. To read some articles or listen to interviews with Anita about Paris Dreaming click the following links:
Anita is appointed a 2012 National Year of Reading Ambassador!

Anita recognised in International Womens' Day project

Anita along with 99 other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women has been recognised for her contribution to making change. Anita was nominated by Kerry Reed-Gilbert to be part of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Alliance '100 Women in 100 Years' project, and she is incredibly humbled to be in such esteemed company.You can read more about the project, the nominees and some of the blogs written by the women here

Anita went to see Oprah at the Opera House

Anita was one of the lucky few who got tickets to Sydney taping of Oprah at the Oprah House and the NITV film crew followed her. For a glimpse into the excitement and why Anita is a huge fan, click on The Gathering with the gorgeous Belinda Miller and scroll down to Episode Two! To read about the day, head to Anita's blog for December 14 and 'Why I'm grateful for Oprah in Sydney!'

 Anita wins another Deadly!
On September 27, Anita was presented with her 3rd Deadly award for Outstanding Contribution to Literature for her novel Manhattan Dreaming. You can read Anita's yarn about it here in Booskeller + Publisher online.
You can also read more about the Deadly's at Anita's blog.

Anita and Leah Armstrong, CEO of Reconciliation Australia


Galuwa Ambassador

Anita has been appointed an Ambassador for the Galuwa: A pathway program for Aboriginal Youth.

Challenging the Critics

Anita, along with Jessica Rudd and Rebecca Sparrow recently challenged the critics of chick-lit at the Brisbane Writers' Festival. There's some small coverage here.
My Australian Story: Who Am I? - OUT NOW!
Anita's historical novel Who am I? the diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937 on the Stolen Generations, has been repackaged and is now available in all good bookstores nationally. Or you can order on-line from Gleebooks, Readings or Dymocks.

Manhattan Dreaming launched in New York

Anita was joined by 70 friends and fans at The Australian Hotel in W38th in New York for the launch by Hazel Rowley of Manhattan Dreaming on July 1st. With travel assistance from the Australian Consulate in NYC and the University of Western Sydney, Anita was already humbled before Matt Astill, owner of The Australian, put on a fantastic spread of Australian food and wine. You can read more about Anita's NYC launch by visiting her blog.

Anita with the staff of The Australian Hotel at the USA launch of Manhattan Dreaming in New York, 1 July 2010


NAIDOC in New York and Paris


Anita with her Australian supporters celebrating NAIDOC day in New York, New York, 29 June 2010

This year Anita was the guest speaker at the Australian Consulate in New York, and a week later at the Australian Embassy in Paris. At both events Anita delivered her NAIDOC address on celebrating the growth in Aboriginal literature in the past decade. Anita believes Aboriginal writers are helping to bridge the gap of ignorance, not only in Australia but internationally. To read more about Anita's NAIDOC events click here and here. And you can read more about Anita's time in New York and Paris by reading her blog.

Anita with Australian Ambassador to France, David Ritchie, in Paris 8 July 2010


Anita In Atlanta, Georgia

Anita spent a week in Atlanta in June researching a travel story for Brisbane News and delivering workshops at the 10th Black Writers Reunion and Conference. While she was there she also gave an intimate reading of Manhattan Dreaming for the Australian / New Zealand Chamber of Commerce. And you can read more about Anita's time in Altanta by reading her blog.

Anita with Duncan Cole, Australian AUSTrade Commissioner for Atlanta, Georgia 25 June 2010


Business Toolkit

Anita offers her advice as a sole-trader in the Business Toolkit for Indigenous Women. You can download it here or from the FaHCSIA website.

Manhattan Dreaming has been released to widespread positive publicity

The many launches, speeches and events around the country have resulted in healthy book sales. To read reviews and to buy on-line go to the Bookshelf

Terri Janke's launch speech for Manhattan Dreaming was very well received. You can download it here.

Anita with her screen-writing mentor Geoffrey Atherden at the Sydney launch of Manhattan Dreaming at Gleebooks on March 12


Anita profiled in Australian Women's Health.

If you missed it, you can read it on-line here.

Anita named 'Yabun Artist of the Year' for her contribution to literature

A ceremony was held at the Gadigal Information Service's site in Redfern.

Anita with her mum, Elsie and brother, Mark. Photo: Amanda James

Once again Anita will work alongside other authors like Tara June Winch, Samuel Wagan Watson, Andy Griffiths and David Malouf to raise awareness and funds to improve Indigenous literacy in remote Aboriginal communities. ILD is on September 1st and Anita hopes you all participate.

Mary Talance runs away to Iran!

Anita's historical novel on the Stolen Generations: Who Am I? The Diary of Mary Talance Sydney 1937 has been translated into Farsi and released in Iran.

How to order Mary Talance

In English:
In French
In Spanish


Anita takes Indigenous literature to the international stage in Las Vegas...


In October 2009, Anita was appointed to the Board of the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy, and looks forward to contributing to the organisation's vision: 'To inspire young Indigenous people to greatness!'

Anita wants to go on Oprah

Anita is a long-time fan of the Oprah Winfrey Show and is inspired by Oprah's journey as the world's most successful broadcaster. Anita would love to yarn with Oprah about Aboriginal issues such as literacy, and also talk about books. Anita's friend Deborah Green set up a group on Facebook to help Anita reach her dream of going on the Oprah Winfrey show.


For the third year running, Anita will be attending the Black Writers Reunion and Conference in June 2010. The 10th anniversary conference will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, and Anita will present workshops on travel writing and writing memoir.

Travel writing

In August 2009, Anita made her travel writing debut with The Sunday Telegraph. She has already published stories on Las Vegas, Wollongong and a road trip from Sydney to QLD and back. Look out for future stories on Mallorca, Wagga Wagga and Canberra in coming months.

Anita writes for Message Stick on-line

Anita was invited to write some 'Opinion' pieces for the Message Stick On-line site. You can check them out at http://www.abc.net.au/indigenous/stories/s2573637.htm


Anita is to appear on ABC-TVs Messagestick program on 23 August at 1.30pm.

Books Alive '09

Anita has been included in the prestigious Books Alive 2009 promotion. Readers who purchase any one of the 50 Books You Can't Put Down will recieve a free book of specially commissioned short stories, including one written by Anita.
To download the press release on this exciting development, click here.

Anita is an ambassador... for Books in Homes

Anita has joined this project which aims to provide books for children in homes which don't have books.
To download the poster for Anita's Books in Homes role, click here.

National Sorry Day Reading

Anita is included on the line up as part of this event at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Sydney.
To download the poster for this event as a pdf, click here.

Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature released.

Edited by Anita and Peter Minter, this important work is now on sale.

Anthology editors Heiss and Minter win 2008 Deadly award for literature

Dr Anita Hess and Peter Minter, contributing editors at The Centre for the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature, have won the Deadlys 2008 award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature.
The two are the editors of the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature which was published by Allen & Unwin in May 2008. The work is the most comprehensive anthology of Australian Aboriginal writing ever published.
Anita Heiss is a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central NSW, a writer, poet, activist, social commentator and academic. Peter Minter is a prize-winning poet, editor and reviewer.
The award was announced at the 14th annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander awards ceremony held at the Sydney Opera House on October 9.
Professor Jill Roe, AO, Director of the Centre for the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature, Division of Humanities congratulated the editors on their achievement.
?The university has been privileged to play a part in the preparation of this wonderful landmark volume,? she said.
The anthology is a groundbreaking collection of work from some of the great Australian Aboriginal writers over the last 200 years. It offer a rich panorama of Aboriginal culture, history and life ranging from Bennelong's 1796 letter up to the present day.
Heiss and Minter selected works that represent the range and depth of Aboriginal writing in English. The anthology includes journalism, petitions and political letters from both the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as major works that reflect the blossoming of Aboriginal poetry, prose and drama from mid-20th century onwards. It chronicles the ongoing suffering of dispossession of Aboriginal people, but also their resilience across the country, and the hope and joy in their lives.
The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature is the first work to be produced under the major literary project, The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature. These anthologies are produced under the auspices of the Centre for the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature at Macquarie University and the Sydney Centre of International PEN, a worldwide association of writers promoting literature and freedom of expression.

Who Am I? The diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937 - French edition out NOW!

Anita's novel on the Stolen Generations Who Am I? the diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937 has been released in French (Qui suis-je ? Journal de Mary Talence; Sydney 1937) by Au Vent Des Iles in Tahiti.
You can order the book on-line here.

Avoiding Mr Right, (the sequel to Not Meeting Mr Right) is now availabe in stores nationally.

To download a press release about Avoiding Mr Right, click here.
Anita is the newly elected Chair of the Australian Society of Authors, the peak organisation for protecting the rights of Australia's literary creators.


Essay Indigenous Book Publishing in Making Books: contemporary Australian publishing, UQP, 2007
Essay Writing Aboriginality: authors on "Being Aboriginal" in A Companion to Australian Literature since 1900, edited by Nicholas Birns & Rebecca McNeer, Camden House, 2007
Essay Aboriginal Children's Literature: more than just pretty pictures in Just Words?: Australian Authors on Writing and Justice, UQP, 2007
Anita wins the 2006-07 Scanlen Prize for Poetry
Anita's book I'm Not Racist, But.... gained the prize for the best published collection of poems in English by an indigenous Australian writer. The prize was announced by Elizabeth Hodgson on Sunday at the Brett Whiteley Gallery, Surry Hills, Sydney during a Poets Union Poetry Reading.

Anita Wins Deadly Award. Photo: Amanda James

At a star studded evening at the Sydney Opera House, Anita accepted the award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Literature, beating a strong field of contenders.

Best Selling Book: I'm not racist, but... ! Click here for more details. Photo: Amanda James