inga simpson_23Inga is the author of UNDERSTORY, WHERE THE TREES WERE, NEST, and MR WIGG.

Her first work of nature writing, UNDERSTORY: a life with trees, is out now.

WHERE THE TREES WERE was shortlisted for an Indie Book Award, and longlisted for the 2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Australian Book Industry Awards, and the Green Carnation Prize.

NEST (2014) was shortlisted for the Courier Mail People’s Choice Award, the ALS Gold Medal, and longlisted for the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Stella Prize.

Inga’s first novel, MR WIGG (2013), was published following her participation in the 2011 QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program. It was shortlisted for the Indie Debut Book Award.

She is also the winner of the (final) Eric Rolls Nature Essay Prize.

Inga has PhDs in creative writing and English literature. Her work has been published in Review of Australian Fiction, Griffith Review, Clues, Writing Queensland, and the Dictionary of Literary Biography.

Her first career was as a professional writer and researcher, including for federal Parliament and the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Inga grew up near Grenfell in central west NSW, and has lived in Canberra, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast hinterland. She leads writing retreats, workshops and mentorships through Olvar Wood.

In 2015, Inga was awarded a QLD Literary Fellowship to research and develop her next novel, Willowman.

14 Responses to Bio

  1. martin says:

    Hi Inga
    Just read Where the Trees Were [got it from library for $1.00 in book sale] one of best buys ever, is [ In 2015, Inga was awarded a QLD Literary Fellowship to research and develop her next novel, Willowman.] going to happen. Just got MR WIGG out
    Keep on writing

  2. Eilla says:

    Hi Inga, I just finished reading Mr Wigg and it was rejuvenating and a complete joy. As I finished the last page I didn’t want it to end. Thank you so much. Keep up the good work.

  3. inga says:

    Thanks, Eilla!

  4. Mary says:

    Eagerly awaiting Understory as I’ve adored all of your books Inga.

  5. inga says:

    Thanks, Mary!

  6. Graeme Breadmore says:

    Hello Inga, I discovered Mr Wigg at our library and was touched so much by it I read parts of it to our children and grandchildren. We all love the outdoors,vegie gardens so related to it well. I was deeply touched by the descriptions and challenges Mr Wigg had with him being a widower and growing older. My father who only passed away this week at 96 although not a gardener reminded me of the similar path they took in maintaining their independence. It brought me to tears a few times when reading this the others.
    We also loved Where the trees where and Nest. I look forward to Understory. Thanks for your beautiful writing. Graeme and Carolyn Victoria

  7. inga says:

    Thanks, Graeme. Glad you enjoyed Mr Wigg. Hope it brought you and your family some comfort at this time.

  8. martin says:

    Just read understory realy truly beautreeful and treetastic how is possible that the best is yet to come?
    If your ever in Woolongong pop in there’s lots of great surf spots here
    Have you ever been to Margaret River ? you’d love it heaps of surf spots either side with in 30 minuets and cape leeuwin lighthouse where you can watch the sun come up and go down in the ocean [not really, the sun doesn’t move the earth does] and the land full of Jarrah and Karri trees [not really as most of the planet has been destroyed] but still a beautiful spot combine it with a journey with maps. org and and you have at least 2 great books

  9. Pamela Mason says:

    Hi Inga, Have just read Understory. Loved it so much. Borrowed from library but intend to buy my own copy so I can dip into it frequently. Lived on the Sunshine Coast before the frantic development which continues unabated so related so much to the destruction around your home. I love trees and would be very proud to be, like you, a treewoman. Looking forward to reading your other books. Thank you. Pamela

  10. inga says:

    Thanks, Pamela! Glad you appreciated a familiar tree-story.

  11. inga says:

    Thanks, Martin. 🙂 I love Margaret River, and the proximity of trees (and wine) to the beach – though the surf was a bit fierce for me!

  12. Michael C says:

    I absolutely loved “Where The Trees Were”, and currently am thoroughly immersed in “Understory”. Loving the trees, the natural environment and the insights into the lives of you, N, R and B. Living in a totally developed city environment, I find it inspirational to experience the various species in their natural habitat.

  13. Lyn Lea says:

    Hello Inga,
    I have just finished Under story and loved your honesty, determination and caring for the creation. Inga as a dabbling artist I thought it would be lovely to have a little sketch at the beginning of the chapter of the tree described. Maybe you thought it better that the reader research the particular tree for a visual prompt? (I will do so for the trees that I do not know.)
    I have friends from Melbourne visiting the Grampians region this week looking for native orchids (e.g. spider orchids) to photograph. They have a mighty collection of photos…
    It is an honour to have read your story.
    Very best wishes,

  14. inga says:

    Thanks Lyn,
    So glad you enjoyed the book.
    Well, I’m not a visual artist myself (though a keen photographer) but a nature writer. This is my version of a sketch, describing the trees with words and images to allow the reader to imagine them – or appreciate them in more detail next time they see them. Whether a book is illustrated or not is also largely the publisher’s decision. 🙂

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