Mark Smith lives on Victoria’s Surf Coast, where he runs an outdoor education campus for a large Melbourne boys’ school. His debut novel The Road To Winter (Text, 2016) was shortlisted for the Australian Indie Book Awards, the Aurealis Awards, The Readings YA Book Prize and the WA Young Readers’ Book Awards. It was been published in both the UK and US this year. The sequel, Wilder Country, will be released in August, 2017, and the third of the Winter trilogy, in late 2018. Mark is also an award winning writer of short fiction, with credits including the 2015 Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize and the 2013 Alan Marshall Short Story Prize, and his work has appeared in Best Australian Stories 2014 & 2015, Review of Australian Fiction, The Big Issue and The Australian.
n his YA fiction, Mark combines his love of the outdoors (surfing, mountain biking, travelling) with his experience as a teacher in a residential campus on Victoria’s west coast. He believes strongly in the resilience and adaptability of young people when they’re confronted with new and challenging situations.
I was born at the Mercy Hospital in Melbourne where, due to him fathering nine kids, they eventually gave Dad his own car park.
Outside of teaching I’ve done a variety of things to earn a living: surf instructor, canoe instructor, Executive Officer in not-for-profit sector, paper boy, chicken sexer (in descending order of merit).
There are a few themes that recur in my writing, often when I don’t even mean them to: environmental issues, social justice (particularly indigenous and refugees), the resilience and loyalty of young people, relationships and love.
Signing a three book deal with Text Publishing after the manuscript for The Road To Winter was picked out of the slush pile and passed around the office. The resultant phone call changed my life.
Both The Road To Winter and Wilder Country have been published in Australia, New Zealand, the US and UK.
I’m passionate about the environment, refugee issues, protecting our oceans, surfing, writing – and pretty much life in general.
Dowsett, P., Rees, E. & Wharton, A. (2020). Beyond the Dark: Dystopian Texts in the Secondary English Classroom. Australian Association for the Teaching of English.