About Deborah

About Deborah

Dr. Deborah Wardle is a published writer, researcher and tertiary lecturer and tutor.

Deborah’s  PhD thesis, titled “Storying with Groundwater: Why We Cry”, explores the ways climate fiction expresses the ‘voices’ of inanimate entities, particularly groundwater. It draws upon posthuman ontologies to construct an argument for the importance of climate fiction in the Anthropocene.  As the creative component of her PhD at RMIT, Deborah’s draft novel, ‘Why We Cry’, explores human relationships to groundwater and water activism. The next task of re-writing the novel for publication – making a story that is accessible to a wider reading public is underway.

She has fiction and non-fictional stories published by Spinifex Press, Meanjin, Overland, The Big Issue, Castlemaine Independent and Palliative Care Australia’s online journal E-Hospice. She has peer-reviewed articles in Meniscus Journal, Fusion Journal, the Canadian journal from the University of Manitoba, Mosaic, and Animal Studies Journal. Her short story, ‘Love Letters’ was shortlisted for the Josephine Ulrick Prize in 2016 and the Peter Carey short fiction prize in 2019.

Deborah completed a Masters in Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing at University of Melbourne with two short stories, Blayney and Ruth’s Wall, and a thesis titled “Life and Death with Horses – Gillian Mears’ Foals Bread. The short stories are part of a novella in progress, Jeannie Coyle. She completed a Master of Arts in Women’s Studies from Melbourne University in the early 1990s, examining funding and leadership patterns in the Women’s Health Services of Victoria.

Teaching Environmental Literatures at RMIT and creative writing and contemporary eco-fiction at Melbourne University, Deborah’s wide experience in tertiary and adult education shines. She has outstanding research skills ( in the worlds of her examiners) and is a writer with exceptional range. She confidently communicates in the arena of professional writing and has proven excellence as a fiction writer. Applying the skills and knowledge acquired through her PhD, Dr. Deborah Wardle is a researcher and teacher of the highest calibre.

Deborah was born near Cardiff, Wales (UK) and grew up in Cardiff, a western suburb of Newcastle NSW. She has lived in Central Victoria for over forty years. She was the inaugural coordinator of the Loddon Campaspe Women’s Health Service and managed the Castlemaine Steiner School and Kindergarten for over eleven years, supporting the school through its growth stage. She has built two mud brick homes and gardens in the Castlemaine district. She is now engaged in a long-term land restoration project with her partner on their forty-acre property.

She relishes her ‘long apprenticeship’ in the art of writing stories that reflect human and non-human responses to global warming.


  • I have known Deb for eight years as a colleague, collaborator, and friend, and it is in the highest possible terms that I recommend her as a writer, editor, and educator. Deb is a true observer, and this combined with a poetic sensibility and innate curiosity about the world yields a keen attention to detail, and a way of writing about life that is at once beautiful, poignant, and transformative. She is careful and measured, yet creative and unafraid of exploration and risk. After I asked her to evaluate my first fiction manuscript, she provided me with an invaluable in-depth report, both supportive and probing, and my work has benefited immeasurably from her expertise and critique. – Alison Strumberger, author and editor. Vancouver Island, Canada.

Recent Publications:

2024: Understanding Aquifers through Groundwater Stories.  Self Published – Deborah Wardle Books. Hard copies available $30 from Deborah Wardle. E-copy on this website.

2024: “Love Letters” in Meanjin Winter 2024

2023: Subterranean Imaginaries and Groundwater Narratives. Published by Routledge, Environmental Humanities series. Publishing and availability details available here.

2023: “Groundwater” in Meanjin Vol 82, No. 2. Winter Edition

2022: A to Z of Creative Writing Methods. Published by Bloomsbury.  See the link: https://www.bloomsbury.com/au/a-to-z-of-creative-writing-methods-9781350184237/ to order copies.