Novelist and Playwright
Clare Mendes was born in Melbourne in 1967. She began her working life as an advertising copywriter before turning her hand to scriptwriting and storylining for the TV soap opera “Neighbours”. For many years she held the position of Executive Officer at the Fellowship of Australian Writers, and these days she devotes her energy to Melbourne Writers’ Theatre, where she works as Company Manager.
Her first novel, Drift Street, was published in 1995. Since then she has produced three more novels: A Race Across Burning Soil, The Curtain Raiser (HarperCollins) and her latest tale The Unvoiced Consonant (Little Owl Press).
Clare’s radio plays Katja’s Refuge, Harvey Kildaire and Ama de Casa have all been produced by ABC Radio National, and a radio play On The Dotted Line was produced and broadcast at the Miles Literary Festival in Queensland in early 2015.
For the stage, Clare has written the monologue Little Impurities (La Mama Courthouse, November 2014), the full-length play The Agreement (La Mama Courthouse, October 2015), Trash Goes Down the River (Bluestone Church Arts Space, June 2017) and the monologue Big Dipper, which will feature in St Kilda Stories (Melbourne Fringe) at the National Theatre in September 2017.
Clare is a graduate of the University of Melbourne (Literature), the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Advertising) and Award School. She also holds a Cambridge teaching qualification which has taken her on language assignments around the world.
She has lived in Jakarta, Hanoi, and Trujillo, Perú, but her favourite neighbourhood will always be Park Slope, Brooklyn, where she once lived in an illegal basement apartment that was kept warm by a maze of overhead pipes.
Clare is the recipient of an Angus & Robertson Fiction Prize, an Asialink Award, a Varuna writing residency, a Playworks Script Award and a handful of grants.
In 2000 she was awarded Life Membership of the Fellowship of Australian Writers for her contribution to Australian writing.