Dr James Vicars

Adjunct Lecturer - Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education; School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

James Vicars

Phone: +61 2 6773 4059

Email: jvicars@une.edu.au


James Vicars began writing as a journalist and creatively as a poet and short story writer in his mid-twenties. Besides editing numerous publications and a literary magazine, New England Review, in the 1990s, his poems have appeared in anthologies and a short story, essays and reviews have also been published in magazines. As well as roles in the media he has worked as a communications consultant, as an editor, and as a teacher, lecturer and writing mentor. He has specialised scholarly interest in the areas of biography and fictional biography and is currently finalising an account of the life of Australia’s first woman pilot, Millicent Bryant. He has been awarded fellowships from the NSW Ministry for the Arts and the Eleanor Dark Foundation, and his literary interests are in contemporary novel, life writing and poetry, and twentieth century English and Australian literature. He was appointed an Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Arts in 2014.


BA (English), Grad Dip Ed (UNE), MA (Communications)(CSU), PhD (UNE)

Teaching Areas

The Craft of Academic Writing, Writing in Genres, Writing for Work, Film Genre, Reading and Thinking About Literature, Research and Writing across Disciplines, Media Studies, Critical and Creative Writing through Literature.

Research Interests

Biography, fictional biography, hermeneutics, critical and literary theory, communication and media studies, Indian philosophy.



‘Discarding the disclaimer? Reappraising fiction as a mode of biography’. TEXT Journal of Writing and Writing Courses, Vol. 20, No. 1, April (2016).

‘ “Life” choices: deciding to use fiction in biographical writing’. Writing in Practice: The Journal of Creative Writing Research, Vol.2, March (2016).

‘Thresholds of innovation: conceptualising imaginative writing and fiction in biography’, in Minding the Gap: Writing across Thresholds and Faultlines (eds Gail Pittaway and Thom Conroy), Cambridge Scholars (2015)

‘Writing encounters: framing the use of fiction in biography’. The Encounters: Place, Situation, Context Papers – the refereed proceedings of the 17th Conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (2012).

‘ “Storying” lives: biography as story and the ethical imagining and “holding” of lives’. The Ethical Imaginations: Writing Worlds Papers – the refereed proceedings of the 16th conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (2011).

Presentations and symposia

‘Fiction as a biographic space for exploring ‘lost’ lives’. Forgotten Lives: Symposium, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, April 2016.

‘Telling lives to true histories: fiction as a biographic space’. Locating lives: the Inaugural Conference of the IABA Asia Pacific Chapter, Flinders University (2015)

‘Creative constructions and textual transformations in the writing of lives’. Writing the ghost train: the 20th Conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, Swinburne University (2015).

‘Framing Millicent: a reading’. Project, Process, Publication: Ideas and Intersections, School or Arts, University of New England (2015).

‘Thresholds, boundaries and gaps in conceptualising biography’. Minding the Gap: the 19thConference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, Massey University (2014).

‘ “Plac-ing” the subject in the imagination and writing of lives’, Where do you think you are? Writing Australia Symposium, University of New England (2011).

‘Beyond context: the possibilities of the archive in biography’,Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) Conference (2010).



‘A howl for “the fair go” ’. New England Review, Yve Louis (ed.), New England Review Inc., Armidale (1998).

‘Appropriation and Colonisation’. Famous Reporter 15 (June) Ralph Wessman (ed.), Walleah Press, Hobart (1997).

‘The Gulf’. Kangaroo (literary magazine) Gregory B Shortis & James Vicars (eds). UNESRC, Armidale (1991).


‘Nightmare’; ‘Mirror’d’; ‘One moment of presence’ in Words Against the Sky, Geoff Tanks, Phillipa Trelford & Brenda Glennon (eds). PoetZinc, Armidale (2008).

‘Windjammer’; ‘Waking at 7.03’ in heart-weather, Dael Alison (ed.), PATP, Newcastle (2007).

‘Dialectic’, ‘Badde Manors’ in … and the whole damned thing!: An anthology of poetry and prose. ValChubb, Bette Guy & Yve Louis (eds). PoetZinc, Armidale (2002).

‘Leaps of fate’, ‘Dialectic’ in Skylines: New Writing from New England, Yve Louis (ed.). New England Writers’ Centre, Armidale (1999).

‘Confession’ in Unreal Estate,Nigel Krauth (ed.), Griffith University, Brisbane (1995).

‘Wedding’ in Border Crossings, John Foulcher (ed.), National Library of Australia. Canberra (1994).


‘Good Friday’, Kangaroo, UNESRC, Armidale (1984).

Literary magazines edited

New England Review, New England Review Inc. Armidale (2000).

New England Review (with Gregory B Shortis) New England Review Inc. Armidale (1992–1996) (8 issues).

Kangaroo (with Gregory B Shortis) UNESRC, Armidale (1989–1991) (3 issues).


Australasian Association of Writing Programs (Executive member)

Consultancy Interests

Human communications and media, creative writing and biography.