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    Category Archives: women who write

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    Graphic Design Speak: Tips, Advice and Jargon Defined for Non-Graphic-Designers… paperback edition!


    Last year we released the eBook Graphic Design Speak: Tips, Advice and Jargon Defined for Non-Graphic-Designers, to lots of great feedback and hundreds of copies sold. By popular demand, we’re soon to be releasing Graphic Design Speak in paperback format through our sister-biz Creative Minds Publishing, and you can pre-order it now to get it first!

    This handy 44-page paperback guide explains:

    • Basic colour terms like Pantone, CMYK, RGB and what they mean
    • Common file types and where you use them (a.k.a. Why can’t my printer just get my logo from my website and put it on my business card?)
    • How to distinguish a high-resolution image from a low-resolution one (a.k.a. A journalist has asked for a high-resolution image for a story about me, but how do I know which one of these image files to send?!)
    • The standard paper and envelope sizes
    • Facts about fonts
    • And over 95 common words and phrases us graphic designers throw around willy nilly.

    Here’s what’s new in the paperback edition:

    Plus, it’s printed in full colour in Melbourne, Victoria using environmentally friendly printing methods and paper.

    Read more here or pre-order here! Books will be posted in early September.

    Graphic Design Speak - written and designed by Tess McCabe

    How and where to use colours such as Pantone, CMYK, RGB and more. Written/designed by Tess McCabe. Image by Louise Jones.

    Graphic Design Speak - written and designed by Tess McCabe

    A handy reference for paper and envelope sizes. Written/designed by Tess McCabe. Image by Saint Gertrude Letterpress and Design.

    Graphic Design Speak - written and designed by Tess McCabe

    Over 95 graphic-designy words defined in plain English. Written/designed by Tess McCabe. Images (left) Brand by Name; (right) Pom by Pomegranate.

    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: books, CWC news, women who write | Comments Off
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    Interview: Leanne Clancey, food writer

    By Tess McCabe


    Tell us about your background. What have you studied, where, and how did you come to specialise in writing about food and lifestyle matters for publications such as Epicure, Gourmet Traveller and Broadsheet?

    Because I come from a really ‘foodie’ family (which includes several chefs, a winemaker, a butcher, growers, bakers and fishermen), the food thing was always there but I didn’t really consciously pursue it as a career path in the early days.

    During high school I was obsessed with music. I hosted my own radio shows, ran club nights and all-ages shows, DJed, published little ‘zines, interviewed touring bands – all that stuff. Looking back, I guess I was quite entrepreneurial and courageous from a young age. After VCE, I enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts (Social Science) at Deakin University in my hometown of Warrnambool, but after the second year I had really itchy feet to get to the big smoke, so I quit uni and enrolled in an Audio Engineering course in Melbourne. That took me into the worlds of film, TV and studio recording, which I loved.

    Like a lot of university students, I started working in restaurants to pay the rent. My first real hospitality job in Melbourne was at O’Connell’s Hotel in South Melbourne, where I worked alongside chef, Greg Malouf for almost five years. It was here that my real food and wine education started. I really lucked it – the place was iconic and influenced a lot of young chefs at the time. I worked with so many seriously talented and passionate people during those years and I was a total sponge for it all. What I lacked in age and experience (I was 20 when I started there) I made up for with enthusiasm; I was forever asking questions, so I learnt a lot.

    Later, I spent three years travelling around Europe. While my friends were more interested in getting drunk and pashing boys, I voraciously chased down wine and food experiences like drinking Soave in Soave and sherry in Jerez and WWOOFing(working on organic farms) in Umbria. My whole world opened up. I was in my element and it inspired me like nothing else.

    Back in Melbourne, I worked in a handful of high-end restaurants as well as helping manage a really great little 2 Chefs Hat restaurant in Port Fairy owned my two brothers, Shane and Andrew. It was a great time for us – three passionate siblings with our own areas of expertise (Andrew is a chef, Shane’s a wine maker, I was the front of house doyenne). The place had a real buzz and the customers loved it. We worked hard and had a ball.

    In 2005 I started teaching hospitality, wine knowledge and barista courses at William Angliss College. This experience taught me good skills in observation, assessment and critiquing – which now informs my work as a restaurant critic.

    The food writing thing came out of a gnawing, long-term passion that I just couldn’t ignore any more. I did a couple of short courses on food writing and travel writing and editing in 2009, and later started a blog. I then took my mentor, John Weldon’s advice and started approaching some editors about doing proper, published work. I started writing for The Age Good Food Guide, The Age Cheap Eats Guide and Broadsheet in early 2011 and that’s when it all started taking off.

    How did the opportunity to write An Appetite for Melbourne come about – did you approach the publisher or did they approach you?

    They approached me, though it all came about quite serendipitously, actually. I had been aware of the Herb Lester guides for some time, after reading about them in Monocle magazine and then seeing them in bookshops like Hill of Content and Third Drawer Down. I was a big fan and was really drawn to their excellent design, unique themes and snappy copy.

    In early 2013 I caught up with an old school friend,Caz and her author husband, Paul who were out visiting from London. As it turns out, Paul had written a guide for Herb Lester the year before, called The Look of London. After finding out more about me, my work, and my crazypassion for all things food and MelbournePaul later recommended me to the publishers to write a Melbourne guide. I was very flattered to be commissioned for this project and the finished product makes me really proud of my city. Melbourne’s dining scene really is world class.

    clance hobart mary

    What was the process for putting the guide together, and how long did it take? Did you suggest the content or was it a collaborative process with the publisher and editor?

    The process took me a few months, as I had to juggle my other work around it. Plus Ideliberated for some time over who to include and how to squeeze Melbourne’s best stuff into just 40 listings. It was also a challengeto get the right mix of places that I thought would appeal to Herb Lester’s predominantly international audience.

    The Herb Lester guides often like to uncover nostalgic gems and aren’t so interested in what’s new or hot or cool. This meant really taking a step back from my usual work of chasing the new/hot/cool, and instead looking at some of Melbourne’s more enduring classics with new eyes.

    I also get that if you’re coming to Melbourne from London, Paris or New York City that you don’t necessarily want a ‘European’ experience (which Melbourne does so well) but rather, you’d want to get to the heart of what’s unique about the city and its culture.

    My London editor, Ben steered the broad themes quite loosely so really, curating the guide was all up to me. This side of things was both liberating and scary; I was pretty concerned about how many industry friends I’d lose via the whittling down process!

    What makes this guide special in comparison to other Melbourne guides, for the local and the tourist?

    I think the guide’s most obvious charm is its beautiful design and the sense that you’re really getting off the beaten track with a savvy local’s insider tips. There are hidden gems and character-filled places that locals might’ve forgotten about. For a tourist, it’s a little peephole into the bits of Melbourne that I love and chance to live like a local, even if they’re just visiting for a few days.

    The cover of Leanne's publication 'An Appetite for Melbourne', published by Herb Lester

    The cover of Leanne’s publication An Appetite for Melbourne, published by Herb Lester

    What other projects are you working on now?

    As well as my regular editorial work for The Age Epicure and Broadsheet I also contribute restaurant reviews for The Age Good Food Guide and Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. This kind of work keeps me busy and means that I get to eat out a lot and meet some great people. I love it.

    Right now, I’m working on some pieces for SBS Feast Magazine, as well as another travel guide (as yet under wraps). There’s a book in the works too; something I’ve been chipping away at for a while now. Hopefully this year will be the year to get it over the line.

    I do a bunch of copywriting, ghost blogging and social media for other people – like wine makers, designers, chefs and producers – too. It’s fun, and I love getting the opportunity to help people with their business in this way.

    Recent highlights? Spending almost a month in California ‘on the job’ with my favourite photographer, Peter Tarasiuk for some editorial work.

    I also had great fun doing a guest spot on radio recently; it took me back to my teenage days of community radio and has prompted some other media opportunities too, which is exciting.

    Another big one this year was being invited to appear at the Melbourne Writers Festival. I’ll be speaking at two events in late August where I’ll be chairing panel discussions with some industry heavyweights on themes around food ethics. It’s a huge honour and I can’t wait.

    Where can people get the guide and how much is it? Also how do we follow you for more Melbourne tips?

    The guides are available from a number of local retailers including Shelley Panton Store, Books for Cooks, Third Drawer Down, Hams & Bacon, The Lark Store, and Hill of Content. You can also purchase them online via the Herb Lester website. They retail at around $12 each.

    Catch up with what Leanne is doing/writing/eating via her Instagram (@clance), Twitter (@tourdeclance) and her blog.

    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: interview, women who write | Comments Off
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    Women Who Write – Michelle de Kretser

    By Sandra Todorov

    Michelle de Kretser is back with her new novel Questions of Travel. The beauty and tragedy of life is explored through the eyes of two women: Ravi, a Sri Lankan born IT specialist and aura, a middle class Australian travel writer.

    De Kretser (herself Sri Lankan born) explores the idea of what travel means to society, criticising some of the commercial aspects of it. I asked Michelle about her writing life and her start in the industry.

    How many words do you write per day? Do you listen to the radio or music while you do it?

    When I’m writing the first draft of a novel I write a minimum of 500 words a day. That handy little word count function on my word-processor gets a lot of use. `Still 417 to go….’.

    I sometimes listen to classical music while working. Anything with words interferes with writing.

    Describe your workspace.

    I work at home, in a room that has a lovely Federation-era moulded plaster ceiling with lyrebirds and waratahs. There are, unsurprisingly, several bookcases filled with books. The ironing board also lives here. The mantelpiece holds photographs of my dogs and also five rather creepy little plastic doll masks that I found about thirty years ago in an op shop. There is also a standard lamp with a pink satin shade like a little girl’s party skirt; it used to belong to my mother.

    What is the best thing about being a writer?

    Autonomy in your work: no meetings! The great satisfaction of making something, and the joy of being able to spend time thinking about words.

    What is the worst thing about being a writer?

    The insecurity and self-doubt.

    How did you get your first book deal?

    I had met a few literary agents while working in publishing. I sent the manuscript of my first novel to one of them, a woman I liked very much and who struck me as being very good at what she did, and things went on from there.

    How important is it for writers to be part of a network of creative people?

    I don’t know. I have dear friends who are writers but we rarely talk about the nitty-gritty of our writing with each other. I have many friends who are readers, and that’s wonderful. We share our enthusiasms with each other, and that can lead to marvellous discoveries.

    Sandra Todorov’s writing has appeared in The Seminal, The Lowy Institute ‘Interpreter’, Kill Your Darlings and Miranda Literary Magazine. She runs a consultancy from Melbourne CBD and her first novel will be out in 2013.

    Posted by: Sandra
    Categories: regular columns, women who write | Comments Off
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    The year that was: Women who Write

    {Throughout January, we’re looking back at all the posts our awesome columnists wrote for us in 2012, before our team of some new and some returning contributors start blogging in February.}

    In the second half of last year, aspiring writer Sandra Torodov joined the blogging team to author Women who Write. Talking to authors about their processes, achievements and inspirations was a great insight into women who weave the written word. Thanks, Sandra! xo tess

    Emily Macguire
    Emily Maguire is a writer with strong convictions. She caused a stir with her first novel Taming the Beast, which explored the seduction of a schoolgirl by her sociopathic male teacher. Read more…


    Monica Dux
    Monica Dux wrote her 2008 book The Great Feminist Denial (a collaboration with Zora Simic) with the goal of making feminism relevant to a new generation of women. She told Lip Mag… Read more…


    A New Way To Honour Women Who Write
    This edition of Women Who Write is dedicated to The Stella Prize, a new initiative designed to celebrate the work of Australian women writers. This is the first major literary prize for women’s writing in Australia and it will be awarded for the first time in April 2013! Read more…


    Sheryl McCorry
    Sheryl McCorry has been described as ‘a woman in a million’. The grandmother from Forrest Downs, whose bestselling memoir Diamonds and Dust took everybody by surprise in 2007, is back with Love on Forrest Downs, a story of her battle to keep her new outback home. Read more…

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    Posted by: Tess McCabe
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