Jessica Dettmann

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Jessica Dettmann
Alma materUniversity of Sydney; Lincoln College Oxford
Notable worksHow to Be Second Best

Jessica Dettmann is an Australian author and performer.[1]


Dettmann worked as an editor for Random House Australia and HarperCollins Publishers Australia before becoming a writer.

In late 2018 her debut novel How to Be Second Best was published through HarperCollins, drawing comparisons to Liane Moriarty and Marian Keyes.[2][3] The novel was endorsed by both Mia Freedman and Ben Elton, who labelled Dettmann “a fine comic writer”.[4][5] The Daily Telegraph called it “the first book you have to read in the new year”.[6]

In 2019 the Telegraph tipped her as “Australia’s next Liane Moriarty”.[7]

Dettmann has regularly performed her work at Giant Dwarf’s Story Club.[8] In July 2016 she performed 'The Chairs Are Gone'. In October 2018 she performed 'Yuletide MacGyver'.[9]



Short stories

  • 'In Recognition of Fifteen Years’ Service' in Thanks for The Mammaries (Penguin, 2009)[10]

Performance pieces

  • '64: The Chairs Are Gone' (Giant Dwarf Story Club, 2016)[11]
  • '139: Yuletide MacGyver' (Giant Dwarf Story Club, 2018) [12]




  1. ^ "Jessica Dettmann". Cameron's Management. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  2. ^ "How to Be Second Best". HarperCollins Australia. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  3. ^ Council, Kiama Municipal. "Kiama Conversation Hour: Jessica Dettmann". Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  4. ^ "How to Be Second Best". HarperCollins Australia. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  5. ^ "Ben Elton". Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  6. ^ "The first book you have to read in the new year". 2018-12-29. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  7. ^ " | Subscribe to The Daily Telegraph for exclusive stories". Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  8. ^ "Jessica Dettman". Cameron's. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  9. ^ "Best episodes of Story Club". Podyssey Podcasts. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  10. ^ Darmody, Sarah Jane; Foundation (Australia), National Breast Cancer (2009). Thanks for the mammaries. Camberwell, Vic. : Penguin Books. ISBN 9780143009078.
  11. ^ podcasters, Omny Studio is the complete audio management solution for; Stations, Radio. "#64. Jessica Dettmann - The Chairs Are Gone - Story Club: The Podcast -". Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  12. ^ "Listen to #139. Jessica Dettmann - Yuletide MacGyver from Giant Dwarf". Podyssey Podcasts. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  13. ^ "Books That Changed Me: Jessica Dettmann". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2019-02-09. Retrieved 2019-06-07.