About Fiona

I'm a freelance writer based in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne grief

It may be Grand Final weekend, it may be that most of us are going about our daily lives as normal, and it is certainly true that the vast majority of us never knew Jillian Meagher, but it feels like Melbourne is in mourning today. There is also a lot of rubbish being said.

With so much being said, regurgitated and examined, I wonder what good it does to write about it myself. Therapy I suppose, so forgive me. Continue reading

Antony Hamilton

This month, Artery features choreographer and dancer Antony Hamilton. Lovely guy who introduced me to yet another groovy little cafe, this time in Northcote.

Read all what Antony’s doing here: artery.australiacouncil.gov.au

It’s the second in the series of articles commissioned for Artery magazine profiling each of the 11 Creative Australia Fellowship recipients.

Can also watch some of what Antony does on Vimeo:


Talking to Gian Slater

Last week I had coffee with the lovely Gian Slater down at North Island in North Fitzroy.  She’d only got back from New York a few days ago and was preparing for a gig with her group Invenio on the weekend. 

She was the subject of my first article in a series of 11 over the next 12 months for the Australia Council’s Artery magazine, now a wholly online “source of news and information about artists, events, projects and trends that shape the Australian arts landscape.”

Gian was one of the recipients of a inaugural Creative Australia Fellowship in May this year, which will provide her with $60,000 over the next two years to develop her career.

The article is now up online – you can read it at artery.australiacouncil.gov.au

Watch her performing for ABC RN:  ‘Gone, without saying’ – Gian Slater and Invenio [HD] Music Show, ABC Radio National



Procrastinating is bad

I have definitely spent this afternoon procrastinating. Procrastinating is bad.

To make this an edifying post I should share some words of wisdom on why all writers procrastinate from time to time and motivational learnings on how to overcome it. But I haven’t got any and can’t because the enemy won today. Even writing a blog post about procrastinating is procrastinating. Continue reading

Kate Hunter’s Rules for Children’s Fiction

This was a lovely article on Mamamia last week, 8 rules that I didn’t know about writing for kids, that I thought worth making note of. It’s the second time in a week I’ve found something entertaining there.

It goes to show that in children’s publishing perhaps more than anywhere else it’s futile to think there’s a winning formula, there are so many exceptions to the ‘rules’. Continue reading

Meeting the Meanjin and Melbourne Books editors

According to Zora Sanders, deputy editor at Meanjin, if she has to read one more short story about children in the bush with an alcoholic father she might well head to the bush and take to drink herself. Not surprising if you have to read 30-50 submissions a week.

Sanders was at the Wheeler Centre on a typically cold, dark Melbourne Monday night along with Adolfo Aranjuez editor of Melbourne Books, which publishes the annual anthology Award Winning Australian Writing. It was a Writers Victoria event held in conjunction with the Society of Editors (Victoria) called Ask the Publisher: Short Fiction, facilitated by Editors Vic co-president, Liz Steele. BTW Aranjuez is also working with designer Nina Read on the new design-rich journal Fragmented and is associated with Voiceworks.

Hearing what ends up in that slush pile at the other end of the publishing email system is probably the most intriguing thing for writers to hear and was what made this event really worth going to. Continue reading

The value of youthful opinion

This could have just been a tweet but I felt compelled to argue in my own way with this article from the other day in the Sydney Morning Herald Heckler by guest columnist Lynn Van Der Wagen, ‘I want out of Generation I’.

Obviously given the title Heckler it’s meant to get people a bit heated up and its quite the generalised rant so it is a column easy to object to. However, it was this bit that I particularly took umbrage to:

TODAY’S teenagers are shaped by a multitude of weighty issues – high levels of teenage obesity, a heavy binge drinking culture and a social media landscape with hefty consequences. Continue reading

Exciting opportunities in online journalism – apparently

With so many editorial redundancies in the news at the moment the market may well soon be awash with talented writers touting their skills. Doesn’t bode well for the rest of us, does it? Like many people out there I have handy emails that come in from time to time when job ads meet the criteria I plugged in to some online form yonks ago. On the one hand I’m heartened at how often they come in. On the other they do make me feel so very tired.

Continue reading

Gamification: more than a buzzword?

What was probably my last piece for artsHub went up online on Friday 15 June 2012, ‘Gamification: the only way to get attention’.

My ears perked up to this topic when I found I had read it or heard people talk about three or four times in a week – what was this all about I thought? It does seem people have very differing ideas about it. Some are scathing some far to optimistic and excited. I’m inclined to see it as a new outfit for an old idea with some tech-tweaks that make it a bit exciting. Continue reading

Writer needs job? or work? or just to get paid?

It’s getting a bit depressing out there. It seems there’s articles being written daily on how hard it is to get paid as a writer, let alone get a job. In fact, I’m starting to wonder if writing about how impossible it is to get paid to be a writer might be a valid career move as it seems a pretty popular genre.

Bethanie Blanchard in her Lit-icism column on Crikey did a great piece on the writer’s dilemma this week, ‘Why don’t you know what you’ll get paid?’. It’s so true that how much you’re going to be paid for a piece of writing is left off the table or not even discussed, unless you specifically bring it up. Continue reading