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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 Two Rainbows Richmond : Hardie Grant Egmont , 2017 11881295 2017 single work picture book children's

'll the colours of the rainbow are explored against the striking backdrop of two different worlds.

'A stunning exploration of colour by internationally acclaimed author Sophie Masson and emerging illustrator Michael McMahon. ' (Publication summary)

2018 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Notable Book Early Childhood
y separately published work icon Jack of Spades Armidale : Eagle Books , 2017 10292615 2017 single work children's fiction children's thriller historical fiction

'It’s May 1910 and 17 year old Linda Duke has just received a strange message: a playing card, the Jack of Spades, in an envelope that was sent from Paris, where her widowed father, Professor Charles Duke, a noted but impractical Shakespearean scholar, has gone on a research trip. In the code devised by her late French mother Madeleine, who was a dedicated card-player, ‘Jack of Spades’ means treachery and danger. Her father knows that. But it is not his handwriting on the envelope. Linda is convinced he is in great danger, and being both brave and determined, decides to set out immediately to Paris to look for him, starting with the place where he was meant to be staying, a guest-house in the Latin Quarter called the Villa Ardennes.' (Source : )

2018 shortlisted Davitt Award Best Young Adult Book
y separately published work icon The False Prince Sydney : Momentum Books , 2015 9048606 2015 single work novel fantasy thriller

'Over a year has passed since the events that changed Helen’s life forever. With Maxim and her other friends, she is fighting to uphold the legacy entrusted to her, but struggles with the weight of memory, the stress of trying to keep Trinity afloat, and the continuing manipulations of the company’s enemies.

'Meanwhile, in a remote coastal settlement in southern Mexico, a young fisherman is made an offer he can’t refuse. This triggers a chain of events which will completely transform the struggle for Helen’s ownership of Trinity and the secrets of the Koldun code.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2016 longlisted Davitt Award Best Adult Crime Novel
Last amended 27 Jan 2019 10:18:59
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