I am a writer, with a PhD in creative writing from the University of New South Wales.
My debut autofiction novel ‘The Eulogy’ will be released on 1 June 2022 by Hardie Grant Books. The manuscript was shortlisted for the 2018 KYD Unpublished Manuscript Award. You can pre-purchase a copy here.
I have written for the Sydney Morning Herald, Artshub, Screenhub, Artlink, Online Opinion, Arts Professional UK, Cultural Trends, Australian Journal of Human Rights, and have contributed to publications on storytelling, love, death and dying.
I am currently working on a non-fiction book with the working title Sublime: Living As Though Life Matters, which sets out practical tools for how to lead a spiritual life without religion. From time to time I will include articles and excerpts and interesting research in my blog on this site.
I am an alumna of Varuna: The National Writers’ House, and have been published in various collections, including Love: Art, Music, Ideas, Politics; Global Storytelling; and Roots: Home is Who We Are.
For enquiries about my literary work, please contact literary agent Sarah McKenzie.
I also regularly appear at festivals and conduct interviews for media and podcasts about the writing life, spirituality, death and dying in a secular society.
Please use the contact form below if you would like to enquire about booking me for a speaking engagement.
With searing honesty and gentle humour, Jackie Bailey nails the complexity of familial love and the effects of intergenerational trauma. A remarkable, life-affirming meditation on grace and forgiveness.
My Author Bio
Jackie Bailey is a writer and independent funeral director, living and working on Dharawal country in the Illawarra. Her debut autofiction novel, The Eulogy, will be published by Hardie Grant Books in June 2022.
Jackie has received numerous awards for her work and has a PhD in Creative Writing. Jackie has a background in arts and creative industries research and has spearheaded work on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in the arts.
Jackie is also an ordained interfaith minister and is currently working on a book which explores how to live a spiritual but non-religious life. When she is not writing Jackie can be found bushwalking, hanging out with her husband and daughter, or helping families to navigate death and dying.
Trust Bailey to lead you through the combustible emotional landscape she has drawn so finely, and so wisely. A propulsive, powerful, important debut.
Buy 'The Eulogy' now!
The Eulogy is a literary page-turner from new Australian voice Jackie Bailey – a story about family, death and grief that is full of love, humour and life.
It’s winter in Logan, south-east Queensland, and still warm enough to sleep in a car at night if you have nowhere else to go. But Kathy can’t sleep. Her husband is on her blocked caller list and she’s running from a kidnapping charge, a Tupperware container of 300 sleeping pills in her glovebox. She has driven from Sydney to plan a funeral with her five surviving siblings (most of whom she hardly speaks to) because their sister Annie is finally, blessedly, inconceivably dead from the brain tumour she was diagnosed with twenty-five years ago, the year everything changed.
Kathy wonders – she has always wondered – did Annie get sick to protect her? And if so, from what?
In writing Annie’s eulogy, Kathy attempts to understand the tangled story of the Bradley family: from their mother’s childhood during the Japanese occupation of Singapore in World War Two and their father’s experiences in the Malayan conflict and the Vietnam War, to Annie’s cancer and disability, and the events that have shaped the person that Kathy is today. Ultimately, Kathy needs Annie to help her decide whether she will allow herself to love and be loved.
Jackie Bailey’s autofiction novel is an astounding debut, deftly weaving together storylines and relationships over decades, and will stay with readers long after the last page.
Come see me!
Sunday 22 May 2022
Sydney Writers Festival, ‘What if my Mum Reads This?’ Free Panel with Benjamin Law, Sarah Malik, Alanna Hicks and Cat Yen, Carriageworks, Eveleigh, NSW
Saturday 4 June 2022
South Coast Writers Festival, ‘Challenging the Limits of Autofiction,’ with Roanna Gonsalves, Wollongong Town Hall, NSW
Sunday 5 June 2022
Words on the Waves Festival, ‘Mere Mortals,’ Panel with Lech Blaine, Ross & Rachel Menzies, Ocean Beach SLSC, Central Coast NSW
Wednesday 29 June 2022
In Conversation with Julie Keys, Collins Booksellers Thirroul NSW