Reading

2021: a year in books

Photo shows a woman standing in front of a brick wall, a book held in front of her face. Caption reads: 2021 a year in books ruthdawkins.net

I love reaching the end of a year and taking a moment to look back through the books I’ve read.

Starting my @ruthreadsbooks Instagram account that I use as a reading diary has been a bit of a game changer. I still keep a notebook to record everything I read each year, but having the visual prompts of the front covers is a great way to jog my memory about the books I’ve enjoyed the most. Continue reading “2021: a year in books”

freelance life

Notes from two small islands

Back in September I was invited to take part in a Hobart Pecha Kucha event.

Pecha Kucha originated in Japan but now takes places in cities all over the world. It’s an event format in which invited speakers prepare 20 slides – images only, no text – and have 20 seconds to speak about each one. Continue reading “Notes from two small islands”

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.

Copywriting, Writing

Celebrating World Water Day

A screenshot from the Hydro Tasmania website showing a blog post titled 'It takes a village'

 

Monday 22nd March was World Water Day – a valuable opportunity to reflect on how lucky we are here in Tasmania to enjoy an abundance of water, and also a time to acknowledge that not everyone in the world is so fortunate. Continue reading “Celebrating World Water Day”

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, Writing

Huon Valley Council: Stories from the Valley

Sailboats on the Huon River in the Huon Valley

Earlier in the year, I shared a couple of posts with you that I’d written for Huon Valley Council’s new website.

I cut down on my freelance writing work a lot over the winter, while I focused on family and caring duties (more on that over on my personal blog DorkyMum), but I’ve really enjoyed being back at my desk during November and December and one of the jobs I’ve been enjoying has been writing more Huon Valley blog posts.

We normally just visit the Huon as a day trip, and if I’m honest we usually don’t get any further than a slice of pie and a flight of cider at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, but all the research I’ve done for these posts has made me realise what a great long weekend or extended break you could have down the Valley and Far South. It seems like an especially good place for families, with plenty to do and see. Continue reading “Huon Valley Council: Stories from the Valley”

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”

Reading

What are the best books about Tasmania?

A stack of books with the caption 'What are the best books about Tasmania?'

For a relatively small state, Tasmania has a disproportionately high number of good writers.

From emerging writers like Erin Hortle and Ben Walter, whose work you can often read in contemporary Australian lit journals, to crime writers like David Owen, historians like James Boyce, and award-winning novelists like Amanda Lohrey and Christopher Koch, there is a wonderful diversity of styles, themes and genres.

There’s also an abundance of talented children’s writers and illustrators in Tasmania, including Coral Tulloch, Christina Booth, Emily Conolan, and Kate Gordon. Continue reading “What are the best books about Tasmania?”