Billy Marshall Stoneking





8/31/1947 , Orlando, Florida

Birth Name

William Randolph Marshall




Billy Marshall Stoneking's published work includes the modern Australian classic, Singing the Snake (Harper/Collins, 1990); and the equally good though less-classic, Lasseter : In Quest of Gold (Hodder & Stoughton, 1989). Taking America Out of the Boy, an irreverent auto-fictography, was published by Hodder Spectrum in 1993. His poetry also appears in The New Oxford Book of Modern Australian Poetry, edited by Les Murray, and The Penguin Book of Contemporary Australian Verse, edited by John Tranter.

His full-length play, Sixteen Words For Water (published by Harper/Collins in 1991) has enjoyed several successful productions, mostly recently by Harlequin Productions in Olympia, Washington. It has also had seasons at the Miniature Theatre (the Berkshires, Massachusetts, July, 2000); Alleyway Theatre Company (Buffalo, NY, February-March, 2000); the Crypt Theatre (Dublin, 1999); Old Red Lion (London, 1991); and other theatres in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Hobart (Australia), and Dunedin (New Zealand).

In addition to several other plays, he has written and performed in two major poem-plays, Call It Poetry/Tonight and Out of Limits, staged at the Sydney Theatre Company's Wharf Theatre, and the Sydney Opera House, respectively.

In the late 1980s, he paid the rent writing episodes for Paramount Television's Mission: Impossible (which was filmed entirely in Australia); and was creator and co-writer of the award-winning, ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) television drama series, Stringer. He was also principal script editor on the Australian feature film, Chopper.

Much of his work has been influenced, and continues to be influenced by his long association with tribal Aboriginal people. From 1978 to 1983, he lived and worked at Papunya Aboriginal Settlement (275 kms west of Alice Springs, N.T.) where he collected and published stories and other materials in the local dialect [Pintupi/Luritja] for use in the Papunya outstations' bi-lingual reading programme. He is conversant in several Aboriginal dialects. His film documentaries - Desert Stories, Nosepeg's Movie, and Pride & Prejudice - as well as other work, draw heavily on his time spent in the desert.

He currently lectures in screenwriting at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. For more info visit his site at