It only took Holden Sheppard two summers of working as a labourer for his father’s earthmoving business to realise he wanted something different from life. At 18, he packed up everything he owned (including a pogo stick and a bunch of mix tapes), left his hometown of Geraldton, Western Australia and drove his ’91 Nissan Pulsar four hours south to the state’s capital, Perth, to pursue his passion for writing.

holden sheppard oct 2017 profile
Holden Sheppard, October 2017

​After a rough landing at university – learning literary theory was a world away from digging trenches and laying pipes – Holden eventually found his feet. In 2013, he graduated with Honours from a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Writing, and was he was listed as one of the Top 100 students at Edith Cowan University.

​After winning a prestigious ArtStart grant from the Australia Council for the Arts in 2015, Holden began work on his first full-length novel. In 2016, he undertook a mentorship through the Australian Society of Authors to develop his manuscript. His short fiction has been published in Indigo Journal and page seventeen, and he has also written for the Huffington Post, the ABC, DNA Magazine and FasterLouder. Holden has three short stories available as free eBooks through all major eBook retailers.

​Holden’s debut YA novel, INVISIBLE BOYS, won the 2017 Ray Koppe Residency Award from the Australian Society of Authors. In 2018, he will complete a writing residency at Varuna, the National Writers’ House, in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. Holden is represented by literary agent Haylee Nash of The Nash Agency.

When he’s not writing, Holden works as a copywriter and sessional lecturer at Edith Cowan University. He is the Vice President of the Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre in Joondalup.

Holden has always been a walking contradiction: a gym junkie who has played Pokemon competitively; a sensitive geek who loves aggressive punk rock; and a bogan who learned to speak French. He is the only writer he knows who has switched to decaf and lived to tell the tale, and he’s quit smoking more times than he cares to admit.