Leigh Swinbourne

Since moving to nipaluna/Hobart in 2001, Leigh’s work has been produced by Old Nick Company (Empty Harvest, Fair Play, The Maireener Necklace, An Unexpected Meeting), and Hobart Rep (Bad Faith).

In 2004 the Australian Script Centre organised a professional workshop and moved reading of The Mark of Cain, which was subsequently short-listed for the 2005 Patrick White Playwrights’ Award. In summary of the shortlistings the judges praised “...the bold scale of the play and the importance of the issues it deals with, the vivid and interesting characters, and the great theatrical opportunities it offers”.

In 2007 The Australian Script Centre funded dramaturgical assistance for Catch the Moon, which was produced in a moved reading for Living Writers’ Week 2008. The Tasmanian Theatre Company staged readings of Youth (2009) and The Mark of Cain (2010). In 2015/16 Leigh was part of Blue Cow Theatre’s playwright development project for which he wrote The Long Shadow, which was given public readings by Mudlark Theatre Company in 2016 and Tasmanian Playwrights’ Project in 2019. In 2021 La Trobe University produced an online performance of The Tryst.

Leigh has had short stories and articles published in journals and anthologies. He is the recipient of writing grants and residencies from Arts Tasmania and Varuna. He has published two short story collections, The Shark (2011), and Away (2014), through Ginninderra Press, both selected for ‘Pick of the Week’ in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. In 2013 he was shortlisted for the University of Tasmania Prize for an unpublished manuscript, subsequently published as the novel Shadow in the Forest by Ginninderra Press in 2019. A third collection of stories, The Lost Child, was published in Jan 2024.

Empty Harvest
"...generational differences power this confronting work all the way to it's explosive climax" - The Mercury, 8 March 2003

Fair Play
"...a fine act of trespass" - The Mercury, 3 October 2002

More about Leigh's writing can be found at

SLEEPWALKING by Leigh Swinbourne
EMPTY HARVEST by Leigh Swinbourne
FAIR PLAY by Leigh Swinbourne
THE TRYST by Leigh Swinbourne
THE MARK OF CAIN by Leigh Swinbourne
YOUTH by Leigh Swinbourne

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