Monday, 29 October 2007

writer pip harry

Pip, a day-maker and writer, on safari in Africa.






Sometimes you meet someone and they make your day - just give that extra little boost you needed. That happened to me late last week when I was fortunate enough to meet Pip Harry. Over lunch at a work function we got talking and she truly changed my outlook ... and my weekend! You see, Pip is a writer, too. She's worked as a journalist for many years and has also been trying to get published. She told me about a writers program at Varuna for near-completed manuscripts. Basically the lucky five who are selected get to workshop their novel with editors from HarperCollins with a view to publication. The applications close on Wednesday so I've been frantically polishing mine all weekend. But more than anything, Pip made me realise that all the feelings I've had about my creative writing are ones she has experienced. The great news? I'm normal! Here's Pip's story.



How long have you been a writer? Since I learnt how to grasp a crayon in my chubby paw. I've been paid money for it since 1997, when I took my first job as a part-time editorial assistant/coffee fetcher on a running magazine.
What's been the highlight so far? Getting to write stories that make other people (and me) feel good. Recently, I've loved writing for Notebook magazine about volunteer groups, people making positive changes in their lives and strong, interesting relationships. Travel writing in general is pretty great too and as an entertainment reporter I've met and interviewed so many amazing, talented people.
What are you looking forward to? Going to Beijing and Tokyo in four days for a press trip!
Who inspires you? I volunteer with a group of homeless writers at the Edward Eagar shelter in Darlinghurst. They inspire me with their unadorned, powerful words and their fight to exist in a world they find challehnging.
What are you passionate about? Ocean swimming, creative writing in all it's forms, my family and partner.
What's been your best decision? To leave my desk job and work from home as a freelance writer a year ago. It's given me the freedom to write about things i care about, on my own terms and to spend lots of time squeezing my nine-month-old niece, Liv.
What would you do differently next time? I would avoid that patch of ice at Treble Cone ski resort in New Zealand, so I didn't tear my calf muscle in two.
10 years ago, did you think you'd be where you are now? No. Ten years ago I was living in Melbourne, nannying part-time and considering teaching because writing just wasn't paying the bills. I think I was sleeping on a friends couch and desperately cold calling magazine editors begging for work.
What’s next? I want to finish a novel I'm working on (slowly!) for young adults, and perhaps study for a masters degree in creative writing at UTS.
What book are you currently reading?
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, a very smart teen novel; Heat by Bill Buford, a delicious novel about Italian food and cooking; and the UTS Writers Anthology, 2007, a collection of really excellent short stories.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pip continues to inspire in 2010 - now as a new mum I met her through mothers group. She's a great down to earth mum and very encouraging of those around her to explore their creative yearnings. Thanks for highlighting her - and hope you've had success with your manuscripts.

Anonymous said...

Even more inspiring, Pip has now signed a contract to publish a YA novel and is the amazing and loving mother to a beautiful little poppet called Sophie....

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