Rachel Hennessy is the award-winning Australian author of three novels. She writes contemporary fiction and non-fiction for adults, as well as Young Adult fantasy.



Mountain Arrow - MidnightSun Publishing, 2020

River Stone - MidnightSun Publishing, 2019


The Heaven I Swallowed - Wakefield Press, 2013

The Quakers - Wakefield Press, 2008


A little more detail:

Rachel Hennessy’s first novel, The Quakers, won the Adelaide Festival Award for an Unpublished Manuscript and was published by Wakefield Press in 2008. The novel was described by John Birmingham as ‘un-put-down-able’. This manuscript was also long-listed for The Australian/Vogel Award, shortlisted for the Varuna Writers Centre Manuscript Development Program and winner of the ArtsSA prize for Creative Writing.


Press Quotes:

Australian Book Review:

'The Quakers offers a nuanced and accomplished case study of a troubled mind, leaving the reader to decide whether it is a criminal one.'

Independent Weekly:

‘Hennessy has created a taut, well-written novel that digs under the skin of teenage obsession, alienation, peer pressure and envy. ... [a] beautifully-crafted story.’

Rachel's second novel, The Heaven I Swallowed was Runner Up in The Australian/Vogel Award, and published by Wakefield Press in 2013. It was subsequently long-listed for the Nita B Kibble Award for an established female Australian writer.

Press Quotes:


‘Hennessy writes like a dream.’

Australian Aboriginal Studies:

‘Grace is a chillingly real symbol of the unresolved issues this nation still needs to confront. For this reason, The Heaven I Swallowed is an important book.’

Rachel’s short stories have been published in the anthologies: Small City Tales of Strangeness and Beauty, Emerge: New Australian Writing, On Edge and The Body. In 2005 she co-edited On Edge, a collection of short stories by students in the Creative Writing program at the University of Adelaide, published by Wakefield Press. In 2009 she co-edited Gateways: An Anthology, a collection of short stories by writers with a disability, published by Seaview Press. In 2011 she edited and wrote an introduction to a collection of short stories Illuminations: The Alan Marshall Short Story Award 2003-2010.

In 2012 she was a Hot Desk Fellow at The Wheeler Centre, writing a non-fiction essay on miscarriage which was subsequently long-listed for the inaugural The Lifted Brow Experimental Non-fiction Award in 2015. Other non-fiction works have been published in Overland, Kill Your Darlings, The Lifted Brow and Daily Life.

She is a manuscript assessor for Writers Victoria and has been an assessor on the Literature panel at Creative Victoria and the Australia Council. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide.

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Rachel Hennessy leaning on a fence