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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 ; Sophie Beaumont
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 Satin Rundle Mall/Rundle Street : MidnightSun , 2023 25540406 2023 single work picture book children's

'Every morning early, when no-one’s about, Satin slips out of the forest and walks along the sleepy sunrise streets, looking for blue...

'He’s collected all kinds of blues, from all kinds of places. He’s making something beautiful, with all those blues. But something’s missing, and he doesn’t know what it is. And then, one day, he comes to a street he’s never been in before. And what he finds there will change his lonely life forever. 

'A beautiful, haunting fable by award-winning writer Sophie Masson and acclaimed illustrator Lorena Carrington.' (Publication summary)

2024 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Notable Book Picture Books
y separately published work icon Sydney Under Attack Lindfield : Omnibus Books , 2022 23601342 2022 single work children's fiction children's historical fiction

'In 1942, 12-year-old Nick lives in Rose Bay, Sydney, with his mum, dad and sister, and dreams of becoming a writer like his dad. But with the world at war, Nick is constantly on alert for anything that seems out of the ordinary and then late one night he sees it!  A plane! But no-one believes him! Then, the unimaginable happens. Sydney is attacked! And Nick starts noticing people behaving strangely. Is it just his imagination or something more sinister?' (Publication summary)

2023 longlisted Davitt Award Best Children's Novel
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
Last amended 22 Jun 2023 09:14:12
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