Chris Mansell, poet, playwright and children's author, has lived in Lae, Papua New Guinea and attended schools in New Guinea and New South Wales. She has a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Sydney and has studied at the Playwright's Studio at NIDA (1988). For most of her working life she has been involved in writing, performing, print production, editing, and in lecturing about writing.
Mansell was the founder of the literary magazine Compass Poetry & Prose, and its editor from 1978-1987. She was involved in the New South Wales Poets in Schools programme 1983-1984, has been writer-in-residence at several universities and arts and theatre organisations, including Kaleidoscope Community Arts Company, Tasmania (1990) and Southern Queensland and Curtin Universities. Mansell lectured in writing at the universities of Wollongong (1987-1989) and Western Sydney (1989). Her manuscript of poems, 'Shining Like a Jinx', won the Amelia Chapbook Award (California, USA) in 1992.
In 1993 Mansell took up a writing fellowship from the Australia Council's Literature Board and in 1994 was awarded an Australia Council Community Writer's Fellowship with the Shoalhaven City Council, writing the play 'Why' with Shoalhaven's Mad Talent Theatre Group. She also wrote the play 'Some Sunny Day' for the Kiama Council for the Australia Remembers project. She has been actively involved with the South Coast Writers' Centre and the Shoalhaven Poetry Festival.
Her recorded work includes Raptors Blue (1989), an audio cassette with music by Rob Cousins, and her CD The Fickle Brat which was published in 2002. Some of Mansell's writing has also appeared in chapbook and pamphlet form including Zoom Poems (1988), On the Railway Near the Sea (1992), The Event Horizon (1992), Words on Words (1998), Epitaphs (1998), Being There at the Birth (1998), On the River (1998) and Fantasy Suite (2000).