Acknowledgement of Country

I acknowledge and respect the living cultures of the Ngunnawal and Gandangara peoples, who are the traditional custodians of the land on which I am so incredibly fortunate to spend my time writing. I pay tribute to the unique and powerful role that First Nation communities have played – and continue to play – in the life of what some call the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. I acknowledge all Elders, past, present and emerging, and honour those who continue to teach me wisdom and learning.

In brief

Nigel Featherstone is an Australian writer who has been published widely. His war novel, BODIES OF MEN, was published by Hachette Australia in 2019 and was longlisted for the 2020 ARA Historical Novel Prize, shortlisted in the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards, and received a 2019 Canberra Critics Circle Award. His other works include the story collection JOY (2000), his debut novel REMNANTS (2005), and THE BEACH VOLCANO (2014), which is the third in an award-winning series of novellas. He wrote the libretto for THE WEIGHT OF LIGHT, an adventurous and highly regarded contemporary song cycle that had its world premiere in 2018. He has held residencies at Varuna (Blue Mountains), Bundanon (Shoalhaven River), and UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy. He is represented by Gaby Naher at Left Bank Literary, Sydney.

A little more

Nigel Featherstone is an Australian writer. His war novel, BODIES OF MEN, was published by Hachette Australia in 2019 and has been described as ‘A thoroughly humanising depiction of Australians during World War II’ (Australian Book Review), ‘A remarkable story – action at break-neck speed and a bitter-sweet ending’ (Canberra Times), ‘A timeless novel of love between men in wartime’ (Newtown Review of Books), and ‘A page-turner underpinned by a fundamental understanding of humanity’ (Whispering Gums). BODIES OF MEN was longlisted for the 2020 ARA Historical Novel Prize, shortlisted in the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards and received a 2019 Canberra Critics Circle Award.

Along with novelists Robyn Cadwallader and Julie Keys, Nigel was awarded the inaugural 2020 Write North Writers’ Group Residency, a special initiative of the Byron Writers Festival and Create NSW.

In May 2020, Nigel’s first full-length play with songs, THE STORY OF THE OARS, underwent creative development at Canberra’s Street Theatre through its First Seen program; an earlier creative development, also at The Street Theatre, was supported by Create NSW. More about this project can be found in the Canberra Times, RiotACT, and on The Street Theatre’s blog.

In 2014 the Hume Conservatorium commissioned Nigel to write the libretto for an original song cycle, with the music composed by James Humberstone from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. This work, titled THE WEIGHT OF LIGHT, was developed by The Street Theatre in Canberra and had its world premiere in the national capital in March 2018 to critical acclaim; it has also been performed in Goulburn (March 2018) and Sydney (July 2018). The work received a 2018 Canberra Critics Circle Award. In November 2020, three songs from THE WEIGHT OF LIGHT will be performed by baritone David Wakeham at Carnegie Hall, New York, as part of a recital comprising a range of world and American premieres.

In 2018-2019 Nigel collaborated with singer-songwriter Pete Lyon on THE FINAL HOURS, a suite of 5 songs inspired by the art work of Myuran Sukumaran, an Australian man executed by the Indonesian government after being found guilty of smuggling heroin as part of the ‘Bali 9’.

Nigel is the author of three novellas: THE BEACH VOLCANO (Blemish Books, 2014), which was described as ‘Elegant and original’ (Sydney Morning Herald), ‘Accomplished – an intense fiction range’ (Canberra Times), ‘Utterly enthralling’ (Newtown Review of Books), and ‘Unforgettable’ (Verity La), and was recognised with a 2014 Canberra Critics Circle Award; I’M READY NOW (Blemish Books, 2012), which was short-listed for both the 2013 ACT Book of the Year and the 2013 ACT Writing and Publishing Award for Fiction; and FALL ON ME (Blemish Books, 2011), which won the 2012 ACT Writing and Publishing Award for Fiction.

His critically acclaimed first novel, REMNANTS, was published by Pandanus Books in 2005: ‘Beautifully written – subtle, soft, sensitive’ (The Mercury) and ‘Featherstone is the inheritor of one of Australia’s greatest articulators of Australian middle class, Randolph Stow; he is like Stow too, in his rejection of the larger-than-life characterisation for the precision of a finely drawn reality (Wet Ink).

Nigel is also the author of nearly 50 short stories published in Australian literary journals including the Review of Australian Fiction, Meanjin, Island, and Overland. His memoir essay, ‘The Boy and the Mountain’, appears in the special Australian Issue of the Chicago Quarterly Review (2020). His collected stories are JOY (2000) and HOMELIFE (1999).

Nigel has written nearly 120 creative non-fiction stories, which have been published in outlets such as the Sydney Morning Herald, Canberra Times, BMA, 3:AM Magazine, and The Millions.

In 2013 Nigel was a writer-in-residence at UNSW Canberra / the Australian Defence Force Academy; he has also held residencies at Varuna (Blue Mountains, NSW) and Bundanon (Shoalhaven River, NSW).

He was the founding editor of Verity La (2010-2014), for which he received a 2012 Canberra Critics Circle Award.

Nigel is currently a Visiting Fellow at UNSW Canberra, a position he will hold until 2021.


Nigel is represented by Gaby Naher, Left Bank Literary, Sydney.

For publicity enquiries relating to BODIES OF MEN, please contact Tessa Connelly, Senior Publicist at Hachette Australia, on

For other matters, you’re welcome to contact Nigel direct on You can stay in touch via Twitter and/or Facebook and/or Instragram.


Nigel lives on the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, and spends considerable time in Canberra, the national capital of Australia.

Blog acknowledgements

Author photos by Andrew Sikorski, 2018.

The header image used from 2009 to 2013 (and sometimes appears as this blog’s avatar) was a detail of Genuine Texture 1985 by Philippe Reichert and used with kind permission of the artist.

Other images used are either those taken, produced and prepared by Nigel Featherstone, or are presented for educative purposes only.

The National Library of Australia archives Under the counter or a flutter in the dovecot in the National Bibliographic Database as part of the PANDORA Archive, which ensures that all the material published here is safeguarded against changes in hardware and software, and that the blog as a whole is protected in perpetuity.


Unless otherwise stated, all work on Under the Counter or a Flutter in the Dovecot by Nigel Featherstone is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.