Sarah Rose
Sarah Rose

Sarah Rose McKenzie

I'm a bi-fierce writer, poet and book blogger based in Wollongong, New South Wales. I love reading and writing about queer identities, radical women and community advocacy. I’m also partial to herbal tea, misty oceans and rabbit cuddles.

In 2016, I studied Honours in Creative Writing, specialising in queer Australian Young Adult (YA) fiction (known as Aus YA or Oz YA). Drawing on my own experiences, I wrote a novella and thesis about growing up bi in coastal Australia.

This website is a space where I share my published stories, poems and articles. It’s also a platform for celebrating diverse Aus YA. In my book blog, I publish sporadic reviews of Aus YA stories that I think are unusual and inspiring.



Soul Placeis a short story about female friendships, first love and growing up bi in an idyllic coastal town.

‘Soul Place’ was one of the top 10 finalists in a short story competition for emerging writers from the Clarence Valley, northern New South Wales. The shortlisted entries were published in a beautiful book called The Long Way Home 2018 - Stories From The Clarence Valley, edited by Erin Brady and Claire Aman.

You can check out the PDF version of ‘Soul Place’ here!

‘she is’ is a free verse poem about girlhood and growing up. It alludes to mental health issues and trauma, so please take care of yourself.

I was so excited that ‘she is’ was featured in Baby Teeth, a Wollongong-based literary and arts journal, July 2019. I love this journal and highly recommend checking it out!

‘a dirty word’ is an experimental, bi-fierce poem published in a local Wollongong zine, Bi/pan feels, compiled by Andie Yates, April 2019.

‘in between words’ is the companion poem to ‘a dirty word’, published in the University of Wollongong’s Tertangala - Gender and Sexuality Issue, October 2018.


About AUS YA

The light she portrayed in that story was special: the world was brighter and more marvellous and more ... everything, the way it is sometimes when you look at the colours in the sky at dusk and think ‘I am in another world’.
— Joanne Horniman, 'A Charm of Powerful Trouble'

I’m very excited to discuss Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories, an incredible new anthology edited by Michael Earp! Kindred is the first of its kind in Australia – a collection of short stories featuring purely queer Australian YA authors.

The characters and their worlds are dazzling: from young Jem’s exposure to ableist queer spaces; to Roxy and Ziggy’s gender-neutral dystopia; to Jack and Paul’s family confrontations and wedding plans … Read on!

I’m delighted to bring you a review of the newly-released Prisoncorp by Marlee Jane Ward (published by Seizure/Brio Books, April 2019), which follows on from Ward’s dystopian YA novellas, Welcome to Orphancorp and Psynode.

Mirii has found herself imprisoned – for real this time – and must survive the hell that is ‘Corrections Co’, a women’s facility in the searing desert … Read on!

So it’s been a while … welcome to my first book review for 2019! I’ve decided to write a combined review of Welcome to Orphancorp (2015) and Psynode (2017), two awesome sci-fi punk novellas by Marlee Jane Ward.

Welcome to Orphancorp is a gritty, gut-wrenching story of survival, friendship and enduring love in the face of brutality From the very first page, we see the grim world of Orphancorp through Mirii’s eyes. She is shackled and gagged, but that doesn’t prevent her from goading the ‘Aunties’ and ‘Uncles’ .… Read on!



Some of my commentary and articles about community and culture



Are you an Aus YA fan? Do you have book recommendations, comments or questions? Are you interested in collaborating? I’d love to hear from you!


Instagram: sarahrose_writer