About Anna

I was born in Adelaide, which is, as far as I know, the very best place to be born and means I will be forever plagued by nostalgia for terrible water, white sandy beaches, Balfour’s custard tarts and a boat called Popeye. I lived on a hilly street with a bakery at the end, and all my neighbours were my friends (and occasional lovers). My love of writing was constantly affirmed; they sent me to writing camps and writing workshops and one really terrible writing session where we just listened to Bittersweet Symphony for half a day.

Now I live in Melbourne, where I write about brains and love and people and family and food and creativity. My fiction and non-fiction has been published by Black Inc. (From the Outer, 2016), The Guardian, The Big Issue, Good Weekend, Meanjin, Overland, Kill Your DarlingsSeizure, Daily Life, The Age, the ABC and many other places.

I wrote a novel called THE PAPER HOUSE, which has been described as “something magical” and “one of the best books of 2016.” My new book, THE GULF, is out now. I was the inaugural winner of The Horne Prize for my essay “The Suicide Gene”, and in 2018 was grateful to be supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria as part of their Creators’ Fund.

I’m also a PhD candidate at Deakin University, looking at the institutionalisation of women and historiography, with a focus on the Adelaide Destitute Asylum, where my great-grandfather was born. I won the 2017 Philip Brown History Award for this work.

Awards + Acknowledgements

Creative Victoria Creators’ Fund (2018) $25,000 to support writing Foundlings

Philip Brown History Award (2017) for research into women’s institutionalisation using original sources

Horne Prize (2016) “The Suicide Gene”


Anna Spargo-Ryan is the Melbourne-based author of The Gulf and The Paper House, and winner of the 2016 Horne Prize. Her short fiction has been published in The Big IssueIsland, Kill Your Darlings and The Lifted Brow. She has also written for the Guardian, Meanjin, Australian Book Review and Overland, among other publications.

Anna Spargo-Ryan is the Melbourne-based author of The Gulf and The Paper House, and winner of the 2016 Horne Prize. Her work has appeared in The Big IssueIsland, Kill Your Darlings, Meanjin, Good Weekend, the Guardian, and many other places. She is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Deakin University.

Publicity Enquiries / Review Copies

Please direct all publicity and press enquiries, and requests for review copies to the team at Pan Macmillan – panpublicity@macmillan.com.au.