About ­ Susan Steggall

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Due to renewed interest in my (out of print) 1999 memoir, Alpine Beach. A Family Adventure, which covers the decade we (myself, husband John, son Zeke and daughter Zali) spent in the French Alps - the village of Montriond near Morzine, I have had it reprinted as a revised edition. The 20th anniversary of Zeke's bronze medal at the Snowboard World Championships (Austria, 1999), Zali's gold medal at the World Alpine Skiing Championships (Vail, 1999), as well as her candidature for the forthcoming Federal elections, has fostered renewed interest in the book. So, from 14 February 2019, it is once more available. Please contact me - swal1@bigpond.net.au - for details.


Date: 25 MARCH 2017 Time: 4.00pm Place: Manly Library, Market Place Manly 2095 This book has been developed from the prize-winning manuscript in the 2016 Write A Book In A Day, open section, competition. The project not only raises money for the Kids' Cancer Project but also creates an invaluable opportunity for some creative collaborative writing. The Northern Beaches Writers' Group of which I am a member has been a leader in this kind of project for four years. 2016 was the first time I participated as a writer and the first time I have dipped my writing skills into the pond of Y/A fiction. It has been a terrific experience and I have enjoyed both the thrill and tension of creating a book manuscript in twelve hours and the longer process of turning this into an exciting story for pre-teens and young teenagers to read.

ROSE SCOTT WOMEN WRITER'S FESTIVAL 2014, Saturday 16 August 2014

Winter is certainly upon us with lots of wonderful white stuff in the Snowy Mountains for the skiing and snowboarding tragics among us!

Winter is also time for settling down with a good book – several good books. It is also a time for thinking about reading and writing with the Rose Scott Women Writers’ Festival happening in a few weeks’ time – on Saturday 16 August 2014 to be precise. See the website: www.rswwf.com.au for full details.

I’ve listed the program here as I am very excited to be speaking about my art mystery novel 'It Happened Tomorrow'.

09.00 Registration and Refreshments
09.40 Welcome to Festival - with the Festival's songwriter and performer, Lindsay Drummond

10.00 Deborah O’Brien – 'The Jade Widow'
Deborah is a teacher, visual artist and bestselling author of Mr Chen’s Emporium. Her follow-up novel, The Jade Widow is a captivating tale of pioneering Australian women finding their way in a man’s world in the 1880s. References to Rose Scott, co-founder of The Women’s Club, feature in the historical tale. Deborah will be in conversation with presenter and Women’s Club member, Jenny Strachan.
11.00 Book purchasing and Author signing

11.30 Blanche d’Alpuget – 'The Young Lion'
Blanche is an award winning author, essayist and the second wife of Australia’s longest serving Labor Prime Minister, Bob Hawke. The Young Lion is her first novel in 20 years and is the first instalment in a quartet about the House of Plantagenet, the ruling dynasty of England for more than 300 years. Blanche will be in conversation with Olympian, presenter and author, Lisa Forrest.
12.30 Book purchasing and Author signing

13.00 Lunch Break

14.00 Judy Nunn – 'Elianne'
From stage actor and international television star to blockbuster bestselling author, Judy’s career has been meteoric. Judy’s latest novel is a story of honour – family honour among hard men in a harsh environment. But when honour is lost so too is love, and without love, what becomes of the family? Judy will be speaking to the Festival’s Creative Director, Michaela Bolzan.
15.00 Book purchasing and Author signing

15.30 Susan Steggall – 'It Happened Tomorrow'
Susan is an art historian who also writes fiction and biography. Her work is informed not only by art, both historical and contemporary, but also by her interest in, and family connections to France, its people, culture and language. Susan is a member of The Women’s Club and will be speaking to presenter and Club member, Jenny Strachan.
16.30 Thank you
16.35 Book purchasing and Author signing
Festival Close and Drinks

Mid Winter Tales. Talking about biography at Manly Library

THE DEAD OF WINTER. Series of Family History and Author Talks at Manly Library: 7, 14, 21 & 28 August 2013.

Borrowing some excellent ideas from Virginia Woolf’s essay on biography, I’m calling my talk, on 14 AUGUST:RAINBOW AND GRANITE: THE COLOURS AND TEXTURES OF BIOGRAPHY. This will not only give me scope to talk about my book, ‘A Most Generous Scholar: Joan Kerr, Art and Architectural historian’ (LhR Press) – a biography of a woman who was both a rigorous academic and a larrikin intellectual who relished a good argument – but also to explore some of the fascinating issues surrounding the writing of biography. Who ‘owns’ the biographical subject when that person is no longer with us? How does one reconcile the public intellectual with the private individual? To name just two. THE EVENTS ARE FREE BUT BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL: 9976 1747.
Check Manly Library's website <http://www.manly.nsw.gov.au/library/> for details of all speakers.

Susan Steggall


Susan Steggall

Susan Steggall is a writer and an art historian with a PhD in Creative Writing allied to a Master and a Bachelor Degree in Art History and Theory. Publications include: Alpine Beach: A Family Adventure (1999; translated by the author into French as Sydney-en-chablais: aventure savoyarde d’une famille australienne); two novels, Forget Me Not (2006) and It Happened Tomorrow (2013), plus art-related articles, exhibition and book reviews, book chapters and essays. She has edited numerous anthologies for the Society of Women Writers NSW Inc and was editor of the ISAA Review (the journal of the Independent Scholars Association of Australia Inc) from 2010-2015. She has taught courses in Approaches to Australian Art, Writing Art and Design, Audiences for Art at COFA.

Her biography, A Most Generous Scholar: Joan Kerr, Art and Architectural Historian(LHR Press, 2013) was a winner in the Non-Fiction section of the 2013 Society of Women Writers NSW Inc's Biennial Book Awards.



E-BOOKS: I am delighted to announce the e-book versions of ‘Alpine Beach: a family adventure’ and its French version ‘Sydney-en-Chablais: aventure savoyarde d’une famille australienne’ (available in versions suitable for all e-readers). These publications recount the ten years, from September 1978, that we (John, Susan, son Zeke and daughter Zali) left Australia to live in the Alps of south-eastern France, so beginning an extraordinarily successful relationship with wintersport competition and a lifelong love affair with Haute-Savoie, its people and special places.

While I did have reservations about the wisdom (or folly?) of translating into someone else’s language (as Diego Marani writes in ‘The Interpreter’, his latest book: ‘Languages are like toothbrushes: the only one you should put into your mouth is your own’), I did it in the spirit of communication to share the record of my children’s formative years with the French parents of their peers. Several friends said: ‘Oh but, Susan, when we read your book, ‘Sydney-en-Chablais’ we hear you speaking’. At its most fundamental language is how we communicate with others so I guess I’m happy with that.

www.steggalls.com for details about both books.



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Curriculum Vitae

I am an art historian who also writes fiction and biography. All my work is informed not only by art, both historical and contemporary, but also by my interest in, and family connections to, France, its people, culture and language. Although I have lived all my adult life ‘within a walk of the sea’, my love of alpine landscapes has taken me on many memorable adventures.

  • In 1999 I published, Alpine Beach: a Family Adventure (Robyn Ianssen Productions), an autobiographical account of the ten years I spent in France with my husband and two children. I translated Alpine Beach into French in 2002 as Sydney-en-Chablais: aventure savoyarde d’une famille australienne (Éditions Kusatsu P/L)
  • From 2002 to 2005 I lectured in undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW: Writing Art & Design; Writing For Different Audiences; and Approaches to Australian Art, in the School of Art History & Theory.
  • In 2006 I published Forget Me Not (Seaview Press), a novel linking Australia and France, from World War I to the 1980s.
  • From 1993 to 2010 I have had published numerous articles, exhibition & book reviews (art & culture) in specialist and general magazines.
  • 2012 A Most Generous Scholar: Joan Kerr, Art and Architectural Historian, my biography of Joan Kerr, was published by LhR Press.
  • 2013 It Happened Tomorrow, Editions Kusatsu and ebook


2010-13  Editor, ISAA Review

2001-13  Editor, ISAA National Newsletter

2006 Editor (with Introduction), A Way of Happening, Society of Women Writers NSW  Inc. (an anthology of prize-winning short stories and poetry)