Simon Cleary is the author of Everything is Water (June 2024) and three previous novels: The War Artist (2019), Closer to Stone (2012) and The Comfort of Figs (2008).

Simon grew up in Toowoomba before studying literature and law at the University of Queensland. His first novel, The Comfort of Figs, set in his adopted home of Brisbane, explores the changes to landscape that come with the creation of cities.

After graduating from university he spent six months hitch-hiking across the Sahara into West Africa. His experiences in Algeria when civil war broke out there informed his second novel, Closer to Stone, which deals with the effects of extreme beliefs.

His third novel, The War Artist – a love story – interrogates the human cost of war and violence.

In addition to his books, Simon’s published work includes shorter fiction, non-fiction and poetry. His piece All Around Us Creatures Graze featured in the Museum of Brisbane’s “The Storytellers” Exhibition as a collaboration with artist Todd Fuller.

His novel The War Artist is currently in creative development for an immersive multi-artist project having previously been adapted into a moving school musical experience.

Simon has been a guest panellist at literary festivals, moderated panels, delivered presentations including How Works of Fiction Become Words for Change, delivered writing workshops and keynote speeches, and been a regular judge of literary awards.

Photo: Patrick Hamilton