Nick Earls

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Nick Earls
Born Nicholas Francis Ward Earls
(1963-10-08) 8 October 1963 (age 51)
Newtownards, Northern Ireland, UK
Occupation Novelist
Nationality Australian

Nicholas Francis Ward "Nick" Earls (born 8 October 1963 in Newtownards, Northern Ireland)[1] is an award-winning novelist from Brisbane, Australia. He writes humorous popular fiction about everyday life, and is often compared to Nick Hornby.[2] The majority of Earls' novels are set in his hometown of Brisbane, a fact which led to his high local profile, and his fronting of a major Brisbane tourism campaign.[3]


Earls emigrated to Australia from Northern Ireland at the age of nine in 1972 with his parents and sister. He was educated at the Anglican Church Grammar School while living in Brisbane.[4] He completed a medical degree at the University of Queensland, and worked as a GP before turning to writing.[5]


Zigzag Street, his second novel, won the Betty Trask Award in 1998[6] (sharing with Kiran Desai's Hullaballoo in the Guava Orchard). His young-adult novel, 48 Shades of Brown, won the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award for older readers in 2000.[7] Several of his novels (After January and 48 Shades of Brown) have been adapted for theatre, and 48 Shades of Brown was adapted into a film entitled 48 Shades, released in August 2006. Earls has also written other novels, including Bachelor Kisses (which borrows its title from a song by Brisbane band The Go-Betweens), Perfect Skin, World of Chickens, The Thompson Gunner, and young adult novels After January, and Making Laws for Clouds.[8]

Earls has also contributed to the four best-selling anthologies in the Girls' Night In series as well as Kids' Night In and Kids' Night In 2 as editor. His most recent novels are Welcome to Normal, a collection of original short stories, The True Story of Butterfish, about a former rock star re-adjusting to mundane life in the Brisbane suburbs, and Monica Bloom, based on his own adolescent experience of an ill-fated crush;.[5]

Several of his books have been adapted for the stage by Brisbane's La Boite Theatre Company.

He is referenced in the film All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane.


Year Work Notes
2012 Word Hunters: the Curious Dictionary novel for children
Welcome to Normal collection of original short stories by Earls
2011 The Fix novel
2009 The True Story of Butterfish novel
2007 Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight young adult novel, co-written with Rebecca Sparrow
A revealed life : Australian writers and their journeys in memoir collection of memoirs from Australian writers, including Nick Earls, edited by Julianne Schultz
2006 Monica Bloom young adult novel
Making waves : 10 years of the Byron Bay Writers Festival collection of short works by Australian authors, including Nick Earls, edited by Marele Day, Susan Bradley Smith and Fay Knight
2004 The Thompson Gunner novel
2003 Kid's Night In edited by Jessica Adams, Juliet Partridge and Nick Earls
2002 Making Laws for Clouds young adult novel
2001 World of Chickens novel
2000 Penguin Australian Summer Stories 3 collection of short stories by Australian authors including Nick Earls
Perfect Skin novel
1999 48 Shades of Brown young adult novel
1998 Bachelor Kisses novel
There Must Be Lions: Stories About Mental Illness with Sonya Hartnett and Heide Seaman, features Nick Earl's short story There Must Be Lions
The Gift of Story edited by Marion Halligan and Rosanne Fitzgibbon, features Nick Earls' short story Plaza
1996 Zigzag Street novel
After January young adult novel
Smashed: Australian drinking stories collection, edited by Matthew Condon and Richard Lawson, includes Nick Earls' short story Green
Original Sin edited by Robyn Sheahan, includes Nick Earls' short story Box-shaped Heart
Sporting Declaration edited by Manfred Jurgensen, includes Nick Earls' short story PE
Blur: Stories by young Australian writers edited by James Bradley, includes Nick Earls' short story Head games
1995 Paradise To Paranoia: New Queensland Writing edited by Nigel Krauth and Robyn Sheehan, includes Nick Earls' short story Meanwhile, thirty-eight above Charlotte
Picador New Writing 3 edited by Drusilla Modjeska and Beth Yahp, includes Nick Earls' short story The Goatflap brothers and the house of names
Nightmares In Paradise compiled by Robyn Sheahan, includes Nick Earls' short story Juliet

Short fiction[edit]

Title Year First published Reprinted/collected
Moving 1993 Earls, Nick (1993). "Moving". Outrider : a journal of multicultural literature in Australia 10: 49–58.  Issue titled Queensland, words and all. Earls, Nick (1999). Headgames. Ringwood, Vic: Penguin. pp. 233–246. 
Dog 1, Dog 2 1993 Earls, Nick (1993). "Dog 1, Dog 2". Outrider : a journal of multicultural literature in Australia 10: 59–64.  Issue titled Queensland, words and all.
  • Earls, Nick (1999). Headgames. Ringwood, Vic: Penguin. pp. 73–84. 
  • Kaminsky, Leah, ed. (2010). The pen and the stethoscope. Carlton North, Vic: Scribe. pp. 156–164. 


  • Earls, Nick (1992). Passion. St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press. 
  • — (1999). Headgames. Ringwood, Vic: Penguin. 


  • Earls, Nick (1985). Near and far away. Clayfield, Qld: Boolarong. 

Critical studies and reviews[edit]


  1. ^ Author: Nick Earls, Penguin Group.
  2. ^ Wyndham, Susan: The Hot Seat: Nick Earls, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2 September 2006.
  3. ^ Media Release: Nick Earls tells Brisbane's story through new campaign, Brisbane Marketing, 20 March 2002.
  4. ^ Mason, James (2011). Churchie: The Centenary Register. Brisbane, Australia: The Anglican Church Grammar School. ISBN 978-0-646-55807-3. 
  5. ^ a b Silkstone, Dan: Mature face of Aussie lad lit, The Age, 15 July 2006.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Sunny Garden - The Official Nick Earls Website. Sunny Garden - The Official Nick Earls Website. 23 April 2007.

External links[edit]