© 2020

Writing the Australian Beach

Local Site, Global Idea

  • Elizabeth Ellison
  • Donna Lee Brien
  • The first book in 15 years to examine creative and cultural representations of the Australian beach

  • Brings together ideas across creative and cultural disciplines to examine the beach through writing

  • One of very few to examine representations of the Australian beach in a variety of cultural forms (e.g. fiction, film, cookbooks)


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Elizabeth Ellison, Donna Lee Brien
    Pages 1-15
  3. Forms of Beach Writing

  4. Multiplicities of Australian Beach Writing

  5. Reading the Beach as Text

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 165-165
    2. Lee McGowan, Elizabeth Ellison, Michele Lastella
      Pages 181-194
    3. Mark Maxwell, Elizabeth Ellison
      Pages 209-225
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 227-243

About this book


Writing the Australian Beach is the first in fifteen years to explore creative and cultural representations of this iconic landscape, and how writers and scholars have attempted to understand and depict it. Although the content chiefly focuses on Australia, the beach as both a location and idea resonates deeply with readers around the world. This edited collection includes three sections. Forms of Beach Writing examines the history of beach writing in Australia and in a number of forms: screenwriting, social media writing, and food writing. In turn, Multiplicities of Australian Beach Writing examines how forms of writing—poetry, travel writing, horror film, and memoir—engage with some specific beaches in Australia. And, finally, Reading the Beach as a Text considers how the beach itself functions in cultural narratives: how we walk the beach; the revealing story of beach soccer; and the design and use of ocean baths. Given its scope, the collection offers a unique resource for scholars of Australian culture and creative writing, and for all those interested in Australian beaches. 


Beach Australian Beach Beach Writing Creative Writing Representation Australian Literature Australian Film Popular Culture

Editors and affiliations

  • Elizabeth Ellison
    • 1
  • Donna Lee Brien
    • 2
  1. 1.Creative IndustriesCentral Queensland UniversityNoosavilleAustralia
  2. 2.Creative IndustriesCentral Queensland UniversityNoosavilleAustralia

About the editors

Elizabeth Ellison is a Senior Lecturer of Creative Industries at Central Queensland University, Australia, with an ongoing interest in representation and the Australian beach. 

Donna Lee Brien is  Professor of Creative Industries at Central Queensland University, Australia. With an internationally recognised research profile in non-fiction genres, including memoir and food writing, she has an extensive publishing history as both author and editor with leading publishers.

Bibliographic information


“A fascinating and informative insight into the primacy of the beach in the modern Australian landscape” (Robert Drewe, Author of The Bodysurfers, The Bay of Contented Men, The Rip and The True Colour of the Sea, Australia)

“A new volume on the beach and its unpredictability, on the multiplicity of its meanings, its uses, and its users, is timely … If the twentieth century stories about the Australian beach can be characterised by their hints of hedonism, exemplifications of community and family, and gestures toward natural and human threat, twenty-first century stories may afford something new: the opportunity to bring a fresh, and a more diverse, gaze onto the stories and myths of the beach.” (Jen Webb, Distinguished Professor of Creative Practice, University of Canberra)