Centre for Continuing Education

Christopher Cyrill


Christopher Cyrill is a published novelist, short story writer, playwright and poet. He began publishing his work in 1987 and served for many years as the fiction editor for HEAT magazine and the fiction editor of Giramondo Publishing.

His work history includes acting as the LOTE officer/Section Coordinator for the Australia Council of The Arts –Literature Unit, Director of the New South Wales Writers' Centre and as the Policy Officer at the Australian Society of Authors. He currently runs an editing/ mentoring and manuscript assessment business named The Collected Fiction.

He has taught Creative Writing at Wollongong, Macquarie, Sydney, Newcastle and New South Wales universities.

Writing History (Condensed)

  • Author of two novels, The Ganges and Its Tributaries Penguin 1993 and Hymns for the Drowning, Allen & Unwin 1999.
  • Third novel Quarternion – Crown and Anchor Volume 1 a work in progress
  • Published over 100 poems, reviews and stories both within Australia and internationally between 1987 –2013
  • Four radioplays written, produced and broadcast by ABC Radio Drama
  • Fiction editor of Heat International Literary journal 2001-2008
  • Fiction editor of Giramondo publishing 2003- 2008
  • Essayist/Reviewer for journals such as HEAT, Meanjin, ABR, Southerly, Australian Author, Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian Literary Review and the Australian newspaper
  • Reader/Host/Chair at all major Australian literary festivals and a variety of academic conferences
  • Winner of the Marten Bequest Scholarship 1993, Varuna Residency 1994 & 2010, Delamotte Studios Residency 1995, Australia Council Literature Grants 1998 & 2004 & 2009, shortlisted for the NSW and Victorian Premiers' Awards, 1994


“Cyrill's prose is remarkably controlled, poetic in pitch and rhythm, without the self-conscious verbosity that is too often mistaken for the same…Calvino is present, even, perhaps unavoidably, Proust.” - James Bradley, novelist

“Christopher Cyrill read my 200,000 word novel and gave me detailed suggestions that were not only helpful and practical, but which also managed to be sensitive to my deeper literary aims. His comments are pure and focused, from one writer to another: there is no ego, no misunderstanding. He knows how long it takes and how hard it can be to edit and rework a novel countless times. Yet his feedback does not shy away from the hard truths; he gets to the nub of the manuscript and works to make it the best it can be. I would not hesitate in recommending him to any writer at any level of experience.”" - Dr. Katerina Cosgrove, novelist

“In the brief space of a semester, Chris was able to improve my writing dramatically by greatly enhancing my skills as an editor and my awareness as a reader. He has always emphasised the importance of restraint, of writing in a clear, purposeful manner and the need to develop strong systems of images when attempting to bring a text to life. He was also able to demonstrate how a writer can dissect a text and come to understand how grammar is a means of modifying the modality and pace of a piece of writing. It goes without saying that I strongly recommend Chris as a teacher and as a mentor. I should add that having a writer of Chris' calibre teaching you is a great aid to any student who wishes to take writing seriously and his knowledge of the industry enables him to instruct such students on the best path for progress.” - John Leonard, writer