Alayna Cole is a writer and academic, and is based in Queensland, Australia.

Creative writing »
She is experienced in creative writing across a range of mediums, and is currently undertaking her doctorate in Creative Arts (Creative Writing) at the University of the Sunshine Coast. She is researching queer representation and how to disrupt the patriarchal, heteronormative traditions of the fairy tale canon. Alayna also has experience writing creatively for videogames, including treatments, scripts, and branching narratives.

Academic and non-fiction »
Alayna's non-fiction work includes academic papers and publications, as well as presentations at conferences and conventions about her research. In addition to academic non-fiction, Alayna is a games journalist who writes criticism for a number of publications, including a regular writing position with Hyper Online. She also uses her non-fiction experience to write a range of other reviews, feature articles, and even recipes.

Games and criticism »
Having loved games forever, Alayna accidentally stumbled into the games industry in January 2014, using her creative writing experience to write for a game. She truly cemented her position in the field in late 2015, after writing for several games publications, attending a handful of events as press, speaking at PAX Australia 2015 on two panels, and being offered a position teaching game design at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

From here, Alayna's involvement in game development, criticism, and research has continued, and her work in the industry is the culmination of her varied skills and interests. In addition to developing and researching under her own name, Alayna designs games and alternative media at Horned Llama Studio, which she co-founded in 2016. In the same year, Alayna also founded Queerly Represent Me, a database and resource hub about the representation of diverse sexuality, gender, and relationships in games. She is working on bringing interactive art experiences to regional Queensland with Experience Play, and is a regular on the System Links podcast. Alayna teaches game design in the Serious Games program at the University of the Sunshine Coast, where their mission is to use games and technology to positively change the world.

She has been nominated and short-listed for—and won—several awards for her work as a developer, journalist, and activist.

Other services »
Alayna's additional services include editing, tutoring, and consultation. As well as university teaching and lecturing, Alayna has had experience in a variety of classroom and one-on-one environments, and offers tutoring or consultation services. Alayna also has experience as a freelance editor, providing proofreading, copy editing, and structural editing services to clients. Her experience with and research surrounding diversity in games make her an ideal consultant on these topics, and more.

Find out more...
For a full list of Alayna's publications and presentations, as well as awards and media, see her awards and publications summary.

You can contact Alayna by sending her an email, or a message via Twitter or Facebook. You can also find her on LinkedIn.

- Rami Ismail

Key facts

Name: Alayna Cole
Location: Queensland, Australia
Primary job title: Writer and academic
Secondary job titles: Narrative designer, developer, editor, tutor, journalist, critic, teacher, lecturer, researcher, and administration assistant
Key projects: Founder of 'Queerly Represent Me', co-founder of 'Horned Llama Studio'
Education: Doctorate of Creative Arts (Creative Writing) [in progress], Bachelor of Arts (English / SoSE), Bachelor of Education (Secondary)

Games bio

Alayna Cole is the founding director of Queerly Represent Me, a resource hub and research organisation championing queer representation in games. Alayna works as a sessional lecturer in the Serious Games department at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and is an award-winning games journalist and game developer. She was featured on the 2016 MCV Pacific 30 under 30 and the 2017 MCV Pacific Women in Games list.

Academic bio

Alayna Cole is a doctoral candidate in Creative Arts (Creative Writing) and a sessional lecturer in Serious Games at the University of the Sunshine Coast. She has broad research interests, but she is primarily focused on creating and analysing narratives that improve diverse representation, particularly of gender and sexuality. Her doctoral thesis—entitled Queerly Ever After—comprises a collection of reimagined fairy tales that seek to incorporate plurisexual perspectives.

Awards and publications »
Press kits »

Photos and Images

I am lucky to have amazing friends with wonderful talents and a good eye for a perfect photo opportunity. Thank you to everyone who has taken my photo or drawn my likeness, and given me permission to use these images in my work. Here are credits for some of the photos and images of my face that you might across the internet.

All photos are available in higher resolution, upon request.

Brian Geritz
Dakoda Barker
Saf Wander