Deborah is proud to have her monograph published by Routledge (2024). Subterranean Imaginaries and Groundwater Narratives – a scholarly book exploring how climate writers can think about writing the climate catastrophes – particularly those featuring groundwater.

Deborah is a co-editor of A to Z of Creative Writing Methods (2022) Bloomsbury. Her feature essay in this collection is “Nonhuman Imaginaries”. This book compiles the thinking and experience of 60 Australian and International authors on innovative creative writing methods. A must for any writer.

Testimonials in relation to the novel in progress – WHY WE CRY:

Carmel Bird:  Award Winning Australian Author, Winner Patrick White Award 2016.

The topical Cli-Fi tale of Why We Cry foregrounds loss and grief, universal feelings embodied here in the brave and tender hearts of the characters, in the other creatures of the earth, and in the earth itself. Life depends on water, and in this rural narrative water takes on a singular and dramatic role. Sensitive and passionate, dedicated to the facts of science as well as to the human colours of story, Why We Cry is a novel for the times.

Julienne Van Loon: Author, Associate Professor, University of Melbourne

In a country like Australia, water is a deeply significant and increasingly contested resource. Deborah Wardle’s impeccably researched debut novel, Why We Cry, explores the social and emotional implications of placing our groundwater resources at increased risk. Who owns the water beneath the earth? And who amongst us would be willing to defend it, at all costs? This is a provocative novel that deserves to be widely read and broadly discussed.

Deborah Wardle writes heartfelt stories with clarity and compassion.


Washing Mum first published in The Big Issue #No. 411 17-30 July 2012

Still Standing – The Big Issue #No. 425 8-21 February 2013

Deep Time – published in Overland journal website, December 2013

Pastoral Who published on EHospice website of Palliative Care Australia, 29th November 2013

Washing Mum published on the Australian Palliative Care EHospice site (4th Oct 2013)

Tapioca Tea – Short fiction published in In Meniscus Journal – Beyond the Divide. May 2016

Canvass and Cigarettes – The Big Issue #No. 449 10-23 January 2014

All in the Mind – The Big Issue #No. 469 10-23 October 2014

Vegetarian in the Bacon Factory Overland Online December 2014

Keep you Shirt On in The Big Issue #No: 517 2016

Groundwater – in Meanjin  Vol 82, No.2. 2023



Beneath Our Feet  – Essay shortlisted for The Nature Conservancy Prize in 2019


Also available as a pdf here:

Short fiction

  • Love Letters. Shortlisted for the Josephine Ulrick Prize, Griffith University, 2016. Published in Meanjin 83.2 Winter 2024
  • On the Verge Published in Feral Feminisms Issue 10, Fall 2021. https://feralfeminisms.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/1-2-FF-ISSUE10-front_and_intro.pdf
  • An Outing  Published in Understanding Aquifers through Groundwater Stories Edited collection available through this website.


  • Draft novel Why We Cry — The story chronicles Frankie Pankhurst’s journey towards becoming a water activist as she mobilises her community to refuse further unscrupulous use of groundwater.
  • Draft novella Jeannie Coyle —  A country girl grows to finds the love of a woman is all she wants. Jeannie raises two sons with her life partner, Ruth, and with their ever present horses, faces many challenges that make her a stronger woman.