Ryan O’Neill is an internationally acclaimed short story writer and novelist whose most recent book, Their Brilliant Careers (2016), has been shortlisted for the 2017 Miles Franklin Award.
Ryan’s fiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Best Australian Stories, The Sleepers Almanac, Meanjin, New Australian Stories, Wet Ink, Etchings and Westerly. His work has won the Hal Porter and Roland Robinson Awards and been shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Steele Rudd Award and The Age Short Story Prize.
His debut collection of short stories, The Weight of a Human Heart (2012), was shortlisted for prizes including the Australian Short Story Collection Prize in the 2012 Queensland Literary Awards, the UTS Glenda Adams Award in the 2013 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, and the First Book Award in the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Awards. His second novel, Their Brilliant Careers, is a playful set of biographies of 16 invented Australian writers. The book is a comic tapestry of the writing life that presents an alternate history of Australian literature over the past 150 years. In addition to the Miles Franklin, Their Brilliant Careers has been shortlisted for the 2017 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction.
Ryan’s non-fiction works include: Alexander Fernsby: the Definitive Biography; Ordinary People Doing Everyday Things in Commonplace Settings: A History of Australian Short Fiction; and Sacred Kangaroos: Fifty Overrated Australian Novels.
Born in Glasgow in 1975, Ryan has lived in Africa, Europe and Asia, where he taught English language before settling in Newcastle, Australia, with his wife and two daughters. He teaches at the University of Newcastle in the University’s English Language and Foundation Studies Centre.