Dr Ross Watkins - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Staff profile

Dr Ross Watkins

DCA Sunshine Coast, BA(Comn)(Hons) Technol.Syd., BA(Comn) Technol.Syd.

  • Senior Lecturer, Creative Writing
+61 7 5459 4657
Office location
D1.20, Building D
Sunshine Coast
Dr Ross Watkins

Dr Ross Watkins is an adult novelist and children’s picture book author/illustrator. The Apology (UQP 2018) has been optioned as a television series with Fremantle Media, while his picture book One Photo (Penguin Random House 2016) was shortlisted for the 2017 CBCA Picture Book of the Year and published in China (TB Publishing 2018) and North America (Dad’s Camera, Candlewick 2018).

Ross’ first major publication was as the illustrator of The Boy Who Grew Into a Tree (Penguin 2012), which was shortlisted for the 2013 Aurealis Award for Speculative Fiction.

His scholarly research explores practices in illustrated narrative, representations of grief, and experimental scholarly writing modes such as fictocritcism.

Ross is a General Editor for TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses, Australia’s most prestigious academic journal in the field, and an Executive Committee member of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP), the peak academic body representing the discipline of Creative Writing in Australasia. Ross began teaching Creative Writing at USC in 2006.

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Professional memberships

  • Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP), Deputy Chair 
  • TEXT:  Journal of Writing and Writing Courses, Special Issues Commissioning Editor
  • Arts Research in Creative Humanities


  • Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year 2017 Shortlisted: One Photo
  • Office of Learning and Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, 2013
  • Vice Chancellor’s and President’s Commendation for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, 2013
  • Aurealis Award for Speculative Fiction 2013 (Category: Children’s book predominantly told with pictures) Shortlisted: The Boy Who Grew Into a Tree (illustrator)
  • Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Emerging Author (Manuscript) 2011 Shortlisted: The Arc (doctoral novel)

Research areas

  • visual narrative
  • the book as object, and the spatiality of the page
  • fictocriticism using narrative devices
  • melancholy, loss, mourning and elegy devices in prose
  • cultural significance of objects, particularly in relation to collecting/collectors
  • fatherhood and writing
  • creative writing knowledge forms, including radical scholarship and evolving expressions of new knowledge within the field

Teaching areas

  • Creative Writing

Program coordinator

Dr Ross Watkins' specialist areas of knowledge include: creative writing , contemporary realism, visual narrative, fictocriticism, melancholy, loss, mourning and poetic elegy devices in prose, cultural significance of objects

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