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Sophie Masson Sophie Masson i(A50370 works by) (a.k.a. Sophie Veronique Masson)
Also writes as: Isabelle Merlin ; Jenna Austen
Born: Established: 1959 Jakarta, Java,
Southeast Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
Gender: Female
Arrived in Australia: 1963
Heritage: French
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Sophie Masson was born in Indonesia to French parents. Her mother's family came from Northern Portugal, Valencia in Spain and from the Basque region of the Pyrenees; her father's from South West France and Quebec in Canada. She spent her first nine months of life in Indonesia, then lived in France with her grandmother and aunts in Toulouse until emigrating to Australia with her parents in 1963. There were frequent returns to Empeaux in the southwest of France.

Masson's French heritage has provided a fertile knowledge of stories, legends and fairytales and she has developed a strong interest in Celtic mythology and the Medieval period. As an adolescent she read fantasy and science fiction, in particular the works of Ray Bradbury. She attended Sydney Catholic schools and then the University of Sydney, completing her Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master's degree in both English and French literature at the University of New England. From 1979 she travelled in Europe. She worked as a journalist before becoming a full time writer of fiction for children and adults. Masson lives in Armidale with her family.

Masson won first prize in the 1984 Moto Magazine (Zimbabwe) competition for her short story, The Barbecue. Her work was read on Radio 2EA in 1983 and 1985 and she has read at the French-Australian Cultural Symposium at the University of New South Wales as well as in Armidale, New South Wales. Her novel Fire in the Sky was placed on the Children's Book Council's Notable Books List and in 1992 was broadcast as a radio serial on 2ARM FM (Armidale).

Masson's strong interest in Arthurian legend led to her involvement as one of the organisers of the Grail Quest festival held at Sydney University in June 1999 and the Camelot Day celebrations at Macquarie University in April 2000. She is the president of the Arthurian Association of Australia.

In 2004, as the author of over 30 novels for adults, young adults and children, Masson accepted a three year appointment to the Literature Board of the Australia Council. She has also been a member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Children's Book Council and the New South Wales Writers' Centre. Masson's writing is featured frequently in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian, the Age, the Guardian Weekly, Quadrant, Australian Quarterly, the Australian Book Review and Online Catholics.

(Source: A Bibliography of Australian Multicultural Writers (1992) compiled by Sneja Gunew

Most Referenced Works


  • Author writes in these languages:ENGLISH

Personal Awards

2019 recipient Order of Australia Member of the Order of Australia (AM) For significant service to literature as an author and publisher, and through roles with industry organisations.
2010 Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Keesing Studio Writer's Residency February to July 2010.
2009 recipient Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Six month residency at Keesing Studio, Paris, 1 February - 28 July 2010

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon The Ghost Squad Adelaide : MidnightSun , 2021 20488421 2021 single work novel young adult thriller fantasy

'Imagine a world where all seems normal yet nothing is -a world very much like our own yet jarringly unlike. A world where two clandestine organisations, the Ghost Squad and the Base, are engaged in a secret battle for control of information so dangerous it could literally change life as humans have always known it…

'A bold, exciting novel with thrilling twists and turns, The Ghost Squad is a novel that will keep readers guessing – and keep them awake at night!' (Publication summary)

2022 longlisted Davitt Award Best Young Adult Book
y separately published work icon Join the Armidale Parade! Armidale : Little Pink Dog Books , 2019 18549782 2019 single work picture book children's

'It’s Festival time in Armidale, and everyone’s getting floats and costumes ready for the big street parade. For the new family in town, it’s even more exciting: for this is their first time to join in the colour and magic and fun!'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2020 shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Five to 8 Years
y separately published work icon There's a Tiger Out There! Richmond : Little Hare Books , 2019 15703096 2019 single work picture book children's

'A girl frightens her little brother by insisting there’s a tiger in the garden, but when the little brother turns the tables on the older one, the older sister ends up being the most terrified … until they join forces and make each other feel brave.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2020 shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Birth to 3 Years
Last amended 27 Jan 2019 10:18:59
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