Sharon Dean lives on the far north coast of NSW, where she runs a digital storytelling program for an aged care organisation. Outside work, her love of Japanese poetry led her to research the life of Australian haiku writer Janice M Bostok. This research became the basis for a PhD, which in 2011 won a Chancellor’s Medal at Griffith University. In April 2014, Sharon stayed at Varuna on a two-week Residential Fellowship. Between staring into the branches of the Canadian maple, delighting in the company of the other writers and falling in love with Katoomba's misty mornings, she spent her residency having a shot at turning her thesis into a novel. She hopes to return to Varuna to finish the job.