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Sonia Orchard

Author. Mentor. Festival Director. Speaker.

Hi and thank you for dropping by. I'm the author of three books: a memoir 'Something More Wonderful'; my first novel 'The Virtuoso' (winner of the Indie Award for Best Debut Fiction for 2009); and my most recent novel 'Into the Fire', which came out in February 2019 and has been optioned for TV. I have two nonfiction books scheduled for release in 2025. I also write short non-fiction/opinion pieces on a variety of issues, from the environment to social justice. In 2019, I founded the Mountain Writers Festival (committee), Australia's first writers' festival to focus exclusively on the environment. After two years of COVID cancellations, the festival finally ran in November 2022 - we had internationally renowned speakers, sell-out audiences, and the sun shone all weekend after three weeks of torrential rain. You can find out more about the festival and sign up for updates here.

I have degrees in music, literature, environmental science/marine biology and a PhD in creative writing. I work with my pets sleeping at my feet, a cup of cold Earl Grey tea on my desk, and a view of Geboor/Mt Macedon out the window. Writing about myself on a website makes me feel deeply uncomfortable (but I can recognise the benefits in having one). Right now, I would much rather be reading or writing, or hanging out with my friends, my husband and my three kids. Maybe with a beach, good food, and an open fire involved.

I live on Wurundjeri country (in Victoria's Macedon Ranges), on unceded land, one hour from Melbourne.


Reviews for Into the Fire

May, 2019

"Orchard is a superb storyteller. Her writing is intimate and animated, with a lullaby quality. Part homage to motherhood, part critique of third-wave feminism, Into the Fire is a powerful discernment of the complexity and fragility of human behaviour."

March 8, 2019

"From the outset, Into the Fire is never less than riveting, compelling drama...a superbly crafted novel..."

Readings February Book of the Month

January 29, 2019

"A literary trend I’m enjoying very much is the novel focusing on the tribulations of female friendship. Think Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet; Marlena by Julie Buntin; The Burning Girl by Claire Messud and Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott..."

Books + Publishing

November 29, 2018

"...what’s most intriguing about this story is the sharp commentary on gender politics, comparing our university-age selves to our mid-career selves, and the subtle power of gaslighting. Into the Fire will appeal to fans of Emily Maguire, Zoë Heller and Sofie Laguna."

The Saturday Paper

February 9-15, 2019

"Into the Fire’s honesty in looking at often ugly behaviour, and its ability to knuckle down into the core of its characters’ complexities, make it hard to put down..."

The Adelaide Advertiser

February 16, 2019

An "attractive, intelligent and steadfastly feminist novel..."

May 21, 2019

"Delicious, dark, smouldering — Sonia Orchard’s Into the Fire is an unflinching post-mortem of a once life-giving friendship, swirled with the doubts, guilt and shame that every woman under patriarchy recognises, lying alone in the belly of night."

Sydney Review of Books

October 22, 2019

Into the Fire explores what Lessing demonstrates: how even the best-intentioned women, even feminists, might fail one another simply for not appreciating the many reasons – hidden, silent, structural – that their sisters end up thwarted, or in the most tragic circumstances, dead.


For a list of upcoming events, please click below...


On Radio

Reading with Raf (Drive 774)

April 24, 4.30pm

For the month of April (2019), Read with Raf on Drive 774 will be reading Into the Fire. Join Raf and Alicia Sometimes on Raf's bookclub, April 24th at 4.30pm to hear them discuss the book, and please feel free to call in to join in the discussion.

Listen here

March 1, 2019, 11am

Lisa Pellegrino is Jon Faine's co-host. She's an ABC Radio broadcaster and performer.
Their first guest is writer Sonia Orchard. Her previous books are the memoir Something More Wonderful and the novel The Virtuoso. Her new novel is Into the Fire (Affirm Press).
Then they are joined by singer songwriter Stephen Cummings. As well as his musical career solo and with the Sports and Pelaco Brothers he's published two novels (Wonderboy and Stay Away From Lightning Girl) and a memoir (Will It Be Funny Tomorrow, Billy?). Stephen's new album is Prisoner Of Love and he's about to release a career anthology 4 cd set, A Life Is A Life. You can catch him at Memo Music Hall, St Kilda on Friday 12th April 2019.

February 20, 2019

Sonia Orchard joins host Mel Cranenburgh to tell us about her new novel, Into the Fire, out now through Affirm Press. Into the Fire is Sonia's third book and second work of fiction that author Rosalie Ham (The Dressmaker) has described as 'a perceptive, provoking story of friendship and intimacy'.


Bits and pieces I've written

September 6, 2023

Sydney Morning Herald

February 22, 2019

Sydney Morning Herald

December 15, 2017

Sunday Life Magazine (Sydney Morning Herald / The Age)

September 21, 2016

An article on writing, cultural appropriation and - the elephant in the room - privilege.

August 31, 2016

Sydney Morning Herald / The Age

August 19, 2016

The Age / Sydney Morning Herald

August 26, 2016

Sydney Morning Herald / The Age

September 10, 2015

The Age / Sydney Morning Herald



Into the Fire

Affirm Press, 2019


For anything media related, please contact Laura McNicol Smith at Affirm Press at or my agent Jane Novak at

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