Ceridwen is a Sydney-based writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, and in-depth essays and profiles. Born in South Africa, she grew up between South Africa and Australia, went to Harvard University on scholarship as an undergraduate, and did her postgraduate studies in social anthropology at New York University.
Her debut novel, Blood Kin, was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Award and selected for the U.S. National Book Foundation’s prestigious "5 Under 35" honours list. Her second book, Only the Animals, won the inaugural 2014 Readings New Australian Writing Award, the Steele Rudd Award for a short story collection in the Queensland Literary Awards, and was co-winner of the People's Choice Award for Fiction at the 2015 NSW Premier's Literary Awards. The book is on the VCE Literature Text selection (for high school students in Victoria).
Her 2018 novel, In the Garden of the Fugitives, described by The New York Times as "an elegant...impressive, thought-provoking novel," was published around the world and longlisted for the 2019 ABIA Awards. Her memoir-biography, On J.M. Coetzee: Writers on Writers, was published in 2018 as part of Black Inc.'s acclaimed Writers on Writers series. In 2019, Penguin Random House published a collected edition of Ceridwen's profiles of people in unusual careers, Inner Worlds Outer Spaces: The Working Lives of Others, and in 2020 they published her novel Life After Truth (which started out life as an Audible Original as an experiment in audio-first novels). She's also the author of the bestselling Audible Original novel Once More With Feeling.
Ceridwen regularly contributes essays and articles to many publications, including newyorker.com, the Monthly, WIRED, Smithsonian Magazine, and Alexander. Her essays have been selected for The Best Australian Science Writing 2021, The Best Australian Science Writing 2020, The Best Australian Science Writing 2019, The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018, and The Best Australian Essays 2015. She has a special interest in social justice and environmental ethics in outer space. Her essay "Mining the Moon" won the 2020 Australian Museum Eureka Award for Long-form Science Journalism; her article on moon dust won the 2020 UNSW Press Bragg Prize for Science Writing; and her essay about the impact of satellite mega-constellations on astronomy won the 2021 UNSW Press Bragg Prize for Science Writing. She recently collaborated with film director Rowena Potts to write and produce the short film Moonrise (2021), selected for Australian and international film festivals. Ceridwen is also part of the group who co-created The Declaration of the Rights of the Moon.
Her forthcoming collaborative work of bio/auto-fiction, MOTHERTONGUES (co-written with Eliza Bell, and with original songs by Keppie Coutts), will be published by Penguin Random House in April 2022.