Ever since her brother started hearing voices, Edwina Shaw has been fascinated by the workings of the human mind. Her first book Thrill Seekers is based on her brother’s battle with schizophrenia. Thrill Seekers was released in the UK and throughout the English-speaking world through Ransom Publishing UK and was shortlisted for the 2012 NSW Premier’s UTS/Glenda Adam’s award for new writing. It will be released in a new imprint through Raven Books UK in 2018. Her children’s book In The Dark of Night – a ghost story – was released in late 2016 by Raven Books UK and selected for the nationwide library promotion Summer Reading Club.
She has kept a journal since her late teens and started writing fiction inspired by these in 2002. Her second novel manuscript, “Child of Fortune” is loosely based on her experiences establishing an English language school in Cambodia in the mid 1990’s while the Khmer Rouge waged its last terrorist attacks, kidnapping and killing foreigners. It was a finalist in the 2012 Amazon/Penguin US Breakthrough Novel Award.
She has also had numerous short pieces published in Australian and international literary journals. In 2008 she was awarded the Griffith REVIEW’s GREW Award for most promising new writer and her story “Mrs Sunshine” was included in Black Inc’s 2014 Best Short Stories collection.
She has also written a combined memoir/self-help title, “A Guide to Grief” sharing the wisdom she gained riding the waves of loss after the untimely deaths of her father, brother and infant son and her pathway to healing through yoga and writing practices.
Her fourth novel ms. “Dear Madman”, is a dark, suspenseful drama based on the true story of a tragedy that has haunted her family for over a century. In late 2017 she was awarded a Screen Queensland grant to develop the screenplay of “Dear Madman: with the guidance of writer/director/producer, Stephen Lance.
She is also working on a new YA novel called “Castaway!”.
While waiting for her big break, she earns a living teaching writing at the University of Queensland, and yoga, most recently to professional dance students at the Queensland University of Technology. She has a background in education: from teaching in a maximum security Juvenile Justice Centre, to working with students with severe disabilities in special schools, running her own private language school in Cambodia, and teaching English as a second language to refugees in Australia. She also writes regularly for Uplift Connect an holistic online magazine.
She is also the coordinator of RELAX and WRITE RETREATS – yoga and writing retreats and workshops for women. She regularly teaches creative writing – using her unique blend of yoga, drama and dance – in schools, libraries, at festivals, at the Queensland Writers Centre and in the community. See Speakers Ink for bookings.
The worst job she ever had was selling dagwood dogs (corn dogs) in Sideshow Alley, closely contested by her long stint as a house cleaner.
Edwina grew up in Joh Bjelke Petersen’s Brisbane during the seventies and eighties, but escaped to live in Kings Cross and Darlinghurst in Sydney, Leipzig in Germany, Singapore, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville in Cambodia. She is passionate about mental health, women’s issues, yoga, travel, and most of all, about story as a tool for healing and compassion.
She lives happily in Brisbane with possums, bush turkeys, kookaburras, magpies and the occasional python.
She is available for speaking engagements and innovative workshops combining movement and writing. Please book through SpeakersInk