Copywriting, Feature Writing

An interview with an Olympian

A screenshot of a blog post on Hydro Tasmania's website showing Olympic canoe slalom athlete Daniel Watkins

Working as a freelance writer means that life is always interesting – the pieces I’m commissioned to write are so varied and I often learn a lot during the research.

A recent commission for Hydro Tasmania was particularly exciting, because it led to an interview with not just one, but two Tasmanian Olympians! Daniel Watkins is currently in Tokyo, and did an incredible job to make it into the final of the men’s canoe slalom event. Peter Eckhardt is a former competitor in the same sport, and now Commodore of the Derwent Canoe Club.

I spoke to Dan and Peter for this piece on The Splash, Hydro Tasmania’s blog, and discovered how Hydro Tasmania co-ordinate water releases for recreational users, as well as the qualities that make Tasmanian canoeists unique on the international circuit.

Feature Writing, Writing

An essay on Caught by the River

an image of a sunset on the Isle of Harris, with a quote from an Iain Crichton Smith poem that reads "It’s the island that goes away, not we who leave it.”

Caught by the River has long been one of my favourite websites. The self-described ‘arts/culture/nature clash’ publishes beautiful and thought-provoking essays, music and photography.

It’s one of the sites that I recommended in my Women’s Nature Writing post a couple of years ago, and I’ve been thrilled by the number of people who have let me know that they’ve become regular readers since that recommendation. Continue reading “An essay on Caught by the River”

Copywriting, Feature Writing, freelance life

A New Year: Open for Business

Decorative flat lay with the text 'Happy New Year' in the centre

You know you’ve been busy when you don’t get a chance to write a ‘Happy New Year’ blog post until the first week of March.

It feels a bit late to be posting a detailed roundup of the projects I worked on during 2020, so I think I will skip that annual tradition other than to say thank you so much to all the clients and editors who chose to work with me. Continue reading “A New Year: Open for Business”

Feature Writing, Writing

Guardian Feature: Tasmanian road trips

Road trip through Tasmania

After many months of Tasmania’s borders remaining closed to the other Australian states and territories, we are now starting to open up. Last Friday was the latest step in this gradual relaxing of restrictions, when we started to welcome back travellers from New South Wales. I’m afraid our friends in Victoria will have to wait just a few weeks more, although we can’t wait to see them soon too! Continue reading “Guardian Feature: Tasmanian road trips”

Copywriting, Feature Writing, freelance life, Writing

Spring in Tasmania

cherry blossom with blue sky in the background to illustrate a post about Spring in Tasmania

Tomorrow – the first of September – marks the beginning of spring in Tasmania. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to some warmer, brighter days. 

Winter was a weird one this year – but then, hasn’t everything been weird this year!? There were individual days that seemed to last forever, and weeks that seemed to be over before they’d even started. Continue reading “Spring in Tasmania”

Feature Writing

Guardian Feature on Tasmania in Winter

A red laser light installation at Dark Mofo winter festival in Tasmania

I had a feature published at Guardian Australia over the weekend: a response to the news that Dark Mofo 2020 has been cancelled, and an encouragement to continue supporting Tasmanian small businesses, arts organisations and restaurants even in light of that cancellation. Continue reading “Guardian Feature on Tasmania in Winter”

Copywriting, Feature Writing, freelance life, Writing

February 2020: Back to work!

View of desk from above with caption 'Back to work'!

After a long and lovely summer holiday which included a trip to Hawaii for a family wedding – lucky me ­– I’m finally back at my desk.

Even after six years living in Tasmania, I haven’t quite adjusted to taking a break in January. For all my friends in the Northern Hemisphere, the turn of the year marks that moment when they start to feel energised with new ambitions and resolutions; whereas here it simply marks the start of a month off.

That means when February does roll around, and school goes back at last, it can feel like there’s an awful lot to catch up on. Continue reading “February 2020: Back to work!”

Copywriting, Feature Writing, freelance life, Writing

My freelance year: the good, the bad and the ugly

black background with caption 'My freelance year: the good, the bad and the ugly' by Ruth Dawkins

Another year just about done!

2019 has been a very busy one here, so I thought I’d finish it by sharing a quick post with you about the good, the bad, and the ugly of my year in work. I am a big fan of being transparent about the highs and lows of freelancing, so that others who are considering making that jump have a realistic sense of what it entails. Continue reading “My freelance year: the good, the bad and the ugly”

Feature Writing

A New Essay at Literary Mama

Screenshot of Literary Mama website

Just a quick post to let you know that I have a new personal essay up at Literary Mama today.

I’ve been doing a lot more commercial writing work this year, which has meant less time for personal essays and blog posts, but I’m grateful that I still have time to do the occasional one.

Earlier in the year, my son decided he didn’t want me to read him a bedtime story anymore. It felt like a big milestone, and I was full of feelings… 1800 words of feelings, in fact!

It’s always a joy to work with the great editorial team at Literary Mama, so I’m really pleased to see the resulting piece – The Last Bedtime Story – be published as part of their November/December issue.

Feature Writing

Guardian feature on Aurora Australis

Screenshot of a Guardian Australia Feature on the Aurora Australis by Ruth Dawkins

I have a piece up at Guardian Australia today about the final season of the icebreaker Aurora Australis, which has spent the last thirty years transporting cargo and crew to Antarctica.

This was a lot of fun to write, and I’m very grateful to the researchers and writers who took time to speak with me.

One cool fact that didn’t make it into the article – the ship is painted the same colour as San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge!