Olga Masters was born in Pambula in New South Wales. Her first job, at seventeen, was with a local country newspaper where the editor encouraged her writing. She married at twenty-one and, with seven children and part-time journalism work, had little opportunity to develop her interest in writing fiction until she was in her fifties. In the 1970s she wrote a successful radio play and a stage play, and between 1977 and 1981 won prizes for her short stories. The Home Girls, her first book, won a National Book Council Award in 1983 and her first novel, Loving Daughters was highly commended for the same award. Her third and fourth books, A Long Time Dying and Amy’s Children, also received critical acclaim. At the time of her death in 1986, she was working on a new collection of stories, which was published posthumously as The Rose Fancier. A collection of Olga Masters’ journalism, Reporting Home, edited by Deidre Coleman was published in 1990, and a critically acclaimed biography by Julie Lewis in 1991.