In brief

Nigel Featherstone is an Australian writer of adult fiction. His new novel, BODIES OF MEN, was published by Hachette Australia on 23 April 2019.

In early 2018 THE WEIGHT OF LIGHT, a song-cycle for which he wrote the libretto (music by James Humberstone), had its world premiere in Canberra, Australia, and was highly praised by critics. Nigel’s short fiction has appeared in many Australian literary journals, including the Review of Australian Fiction, Meanjin, and Overland. He lives on the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales.

A bit more

Nigel Featherstone is an Australian writer of adult fiction. His contemporary dramas explore domestic life, unique relationship types, history, and the lure of secrets.

Nigel’s war novel, BODIES OF MEN, was published by Hachette Australia in April 2019.

He is also the author of three novellas: THE BEACH VOLCANO (Blemish Books, 2014), which was described as ‘Elegant and original’ (Kerryn Goldsworthy, Sydney Morning Herald), ‘Accomplished – an intense fiction range’ (Peter Pierce, 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 first novel, REMNANTS (Pandanus Books, 2005), was well received by critics, as was his story collection JOY (2000).

Nigel is also the author of 50 stories published in Australian literary journals including the Review of Australian Fiction (three times), Meanjin, Island, and Overland, as well as in the US.

In 2014 the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium commissioned him 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. The work has been described as ‘A gem of a song cycle’ (Canberra Times), ‘An enthralling visual and aural experience’ (Australian Arts Review), ‘A beautiful show. The whole package – words, music, performance, set and lighting. Highly moving’ (Whispering Gums), and ‘A truly stunning piece of work – bravo’, Sydney Voice Project. It received a 2018 Canberra Critics Circle Award. The website for THE WEIGHT OF LIGHT can be found here.

Between 2018 and 2019, and after an invitation from the Tuggeranong Arts Centre, he collaborated with singer-songwriter Pete Lyon on THE FINAL HOURS, a 5-song response to the paintings of Myuran Sukumaran, an Australian man who was executed by the Indonesian government after being found guilty of drug smuggling as part of the ‘Bali 9’.

In 2019 he contributed spoken word to ‘We Are Freedom‘, a dance track by Sydney-based producer Hyperconfidence.

Between 2007 and 2015 Nigel was a frequent contributor to Panorama, the weekend magazine of the Canberra Times, and Fairfax Media more broadly; he has also written for Australian Book Review, BMA, Capital, 3:AM Magazine, and The Millions (US).

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 has been appointed a Visiting Fellow at UNSW Canberra for 2019-2021.

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


Nigel is represented by Gaby Naher, The Naher Agency, Sydney.

For publicity enquiries relating to BODIES OF MEN, please contact Lydia Tasker, 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.

An online portal is at Open To Public.


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


This isn’t a definitive list, and it changes regularly, but writers that regularly inspire include: Andre Aciman, Anton Chekhov, Steven Carroll, JM Coetzee, Michael Cunningham, Anne Enright, Aminatta Forna, Helen Garner, Alan Hollinghurst, Kazuo Ishiguro, Philip Larkin, Cormac McCarthy, Mike McCormack, David Malouf, Toni Morrison, Flann O’Brien, Mary Oliver, Michael Ondaatje, Dorothy Porter, Annie Proulx,Randolph Stow, Colm Toibin, Leo Tolsoy, and Evelyn Waugh.

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.