Great male artists have provided endless subject material for novelists, yet it was the lack of recognition of women painters that drew author Julie Keys (The Artist’s Portrait) to the art world of 1920s Sydney. Chloe Higgins talks to Julie about the exclusion of women from the history books, writing strong female protagonists and the pathway to the publication of her debut novel.

Julie Keys (Australian)

Julie Keys

Julie Keys lives in the Illawarra region on the NSW south coast. Her short stories have been published across a range of Australian journals. Julie has worked as a tutor, a registered nurse, in positions related to youth homelessness and as a clinical trials coordinator. She is now studying a PhD in creative arts at the University of Wollongong and writing full-time. Her debut novel The Artist's Portrait was shortlisted for The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers in 2017.

Chloe Higgins (Australian)

Chloe Higgins

Chloe Higgins is the Director of Wollongong Writers Festival. She was the 2016 KSP Writers’ Centre Emerging Writer-in-Residence and the Varuna/Ray Koppe Young Writers’ Resident. She won the 2017 Feminartsy Memoir Prize and placed third in the 2018 Glimmer Train Family Matters competition. Her debut memoir The Girls explores grief, guilt, family dynamics, and socially-stigmatised sex. The Girls and was listed in The Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘What to Read in 2019’ list.