Amy Barker was born in 1978 at Southport, Queensland. She had a nomadic childhood, changing schools often. The majority of her early years were spent on Queensland’s Gold Coast and also the Tasman Peninsula where her father’s family are seventh generation Tasmanians.
The recipient of a prestigious T.J. Ryan Memorial Scholarship, Amy attended the University of Queensland to study Arts/Law. After obtaining her Arts degree in English Literature she abandoned law a year from graduation in order to pursue her writing.
In 2004 Amy graduated with distinction from a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Queensland University of Technology and in 2005 won a Varuna Award for Manuscript Development for Omega Park.
To support her fiction writing Amy worked part-time in law research and led the Remix My Lit project within the Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. She was also editor of the resulting University of Sydney Press publication, Through the Clock’s Workings, the world’s first remixed and remixable short story anthology.
In 2008 Amy was resident at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre for professional artists at Annaghmakerrig in Ireland and the same year won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Emerging Author for her debut novel Omega Park, which was published by University of Queensland Press in August 2009. Omega Park was Highly Commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award for fiction in 2010 and winner of the 2012 IBBY (International Board of Books for Young People) Ena Noël Award.
Amy is now working full-time on her second novel, Paradise Earth, set on the Tasman Peninsula and inspired by the Port Arthur massacre. For this work in progress she won the 2013 DJ ‘Dinny’ O’Hearn Memorial Fellowship and undertook a six month residency at the Australian Centre, University of Melbourne.
In 2015 Amy spent three months writing in a cell in Old Melbourne Gaol as part of the Cells for Writers program, a joint initiative of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and Writers Victoria.
Amy lives in Melbourne.
She is represented by literary agent Fran Moore.