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Dr Natalie Kon-yu

BA Hons (Curtin), PhD (Murdoch)

Lecturer, College of Arts & Education

Natalie is a creative writer, editor and academic, with a particular focus on the creative writing by women and feminist literary criticism. She is currently working on a project which will examine the representation of women in the Australian Publishing Industry.

She has co-authored and co-edited Just Between Us: Australian Writers Tell the Truth about Female Friendship which was published by Pan Macmillan in June 2013 and is also interested in the way in which female friendships are portrayed in our culture.

Natalie’s creative and critical work has been published in national and international journals and she has won several prizes for her writing, including the Katharine Susannah Prichard Emerging Writer in Residency, an Australian Society of Authors’ Mentorship and her manuscript was long-listed for The Australian/Vogel Award. Natalie is currently working on completing her first novel.


Refereed journal articles

Kon-yu, N (2013) "Bring out your dead: The Ethical Dilemmas of Writing Family Secrets", The International Journal of Literary Humanities

Kon-yu, N (2012) "The Recounting of a Life is a Cheat’: Unreliable Narration and Fragmentary Memory in Historical Fiction", TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses

Kon-yu, N (2012) "A Woman Sat Down and Wrote, She Wrote’: Authorship and Meta-fiction in Carol Shields’ Unless and Siri Hustvedt’s The Summer without Men", The International Journal of Humanities

Kon-yu, N (2010) “Letting Go of the Truth; the Other Side of Silence in Researching Women’s lives” TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses


Kon-yu N (co-editor and contributor) (June 2013), Just Between Us: Australian Women Writers Tell the Truth about Female Friendship. Contributors include: Cate Kennedy, Melina Marchetta, Nikki Gemmel, Jane Caro. Foreword by Helen Garner. ISBN: 9781742612140

Conference proceedings

Kon-yu, N (forthcoming) “A Good, Clean Catfight” Biennial Women and Gender and Conflict Research Conference, October 18-19, 2012, University of South Dakota, USA

Kon-yu, N (2011) “Stitching the world together again: finding creative possibilities through theoretical constraints”, Strange Bedfellows or Perfect Partners: The 15th Annual Australian Association of Writing Programs Conference. RMIT, Melbourne, Australia, November, 2010

Kon-yu, N (2009) “Mixing Memory with the Desire to Forget: The Creative Uses of Forgetting in the Novel”, Margins and Mainstreams: The 14th Annual Australian Association of Writing Programs Conference. Hamilton, New Zealand, November, 2009

Kon-yu, N (2007) “Using Fiction to Bear Witness”, GREAT Writing: The 10th International Creative Writing Conference, University of Wales, Bangor, 2007

Kon-yu, N (2000) “Embodying the Performative Subject in Beckett’s Not I”, On the Edge: the Refereed Published Proceedings from the Fourth Annual Curtin Humanities Postgraduate Conference. Ed. Gemma Edeson and Cathy Cupitt. Perth: Black Swan Press, 2000

Creative non-fiction

Kon-yu, N "The myth of the BFF and the end of female friendships" The Guardian, May 2013

Reprinted as "The BFF Breakup: More Common Than We Think?", The Huffington Post, May 2013

Kon-yu, N "Welcome to The Museum of Australian Women’s History" The Conversation, March 2013

Kon-yu, NRIP BFF: why women need to talk about friendship break-upsThe Conversation, Sept 2012

Kon-yu, N "Not B-List Exactly, But A–: Reading Siri Hustvedt and Lionel Shriver", Kill Your Darlings, Issue 8, Jan 2012

Teaching responsibilities

Undergraduate unit: Creative Writing ASPCRE

Undergraduate unit: Literary Studies ASPLIT

Undergraduate unit: Gender Studies ASPGEN


Undergraduate unit: Reading Contemporary Fiction ACL1001

Undergraduate unit: Gender and Genre in Short Fiction ACP2067

Postgraduate unit: Creative Writing (Masters) ACG5206

Postgraduate research students


Charlotte Strong, (Victoria University) Masters Communication, ‘Do No Harm: Ethical Considerations in Humanitarian Storytelling’

Gabrielle Innes (The University of Melbourne) Masters Creative Writing, ‘Blurting is a Form of Bravery: Silence, Depression and Loss in Fiction’

Current supervision

Co-supervision of three PhD students, supervision of one Honours Student

Professional memberships

  • Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AWWP); Advisory Board Member
  • ‘Writing from Below: Interdisciplinary Gender, Sexuality and Diversity Studies Journal’; Australian Women’s and Gender Studies Association (AWGSA)

Appearances in the media


Natalie Kon-yu and Merridy Eastman.  ABC TV News 24, Weekend Breakfast Interview.  Broadcast on 02/06/13


Natalie Kon-yu (with Merridy Eastman and Liz Byrski) ‘Just Between Us: female friendships, for better or worse’, Life Matters, Radio National. Broadcast 29/05/13

Natalie Kon-yu ‘Building a Museum to Women’, Life Matters, Radio National.  Broadcast 02/04/13


Areas of expertise

  • Carol Shields’ Scholarship
  • Feminist historiography
  • Feminist literary criticism