Claire Scobie is the award-winning author of Last Seen in Lhasa and The Pagoda Tree, chosen by Good Reading magazine as one of their Best Fiction Reads 2013. She has lived and worked in the UK, India and now Sydney. Claire mentors writers and runs creative writing workshops across Australia and retreats in Italy; she also hosts literary tours in India with Abercrombie & Kent. She has appeared as a panellist on ABC TV’s First Tuesday Book Club in a travel-writing special and is a regular guest at writers’ festivals. She is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers and her Tibet memoir won the 2007 Dolman Best Travel Book Award, the only UK travel-writing prize. Claire writes for numerous publications, including London’s Daily Telegraph, Destinasian, Sunday Life and contributes to the Sydney Morning Herald. In 2013 she completed a Doctor of Creative Arts at the University of Western Sydney.
Hi, what’s your name?
Where do you hail from?
Who do you work for?
I’ve been a freelance journalist for over 15 years. I’ve written for the Daily Telegraph, the Observer in London, Qantas The Australian Way, The Bulletin, Marie Claire and the Sydney Morning Herald. I run writing workshops around Australia, consult for businesses and mentor writers. I’m also an author and recently completed a Doctorate of Creative Arts, so technically I am Dr Claire Scobie J My first non-fiction book, Last Seen in Lhasa, won the Dolman Best Travel Book Award and last year Penguin published my second book and first novel, The Pagoda Tree, set in eighteenth-century India. I also host literary tours to India for Abercrombie & Kent.
Tell us a bit about you – how did you get to where you are today?
I started working as a researcher / writer for the Saturday Telegraph Magazine in London. After a while I stopped photocopying the cuts for other journos and started writing feature articles. In 1997 I won the Catherine Pakenham Award as best young woman journalist of the year. That year I left the Telegraph and moved to India where I worked as a freelancer for the English broadsheets and I’ve never looked back. In 2002 I moved to Australia and began to expand my writing portfolio to teaching, mentoring and consulting. I am passionate about the power of words.
What are your career highlights?
Completing my Doctorate, publishing two books, finding and interviewing Dr Mohamed Haneef, going undercover filming in Tibet and hearing that writers I’ve mentored have been published.
Who or what inspires you to get out of bed in the morning?
The story I am working on.
Which other storytellers do you admire?
Arundhati Roy, Granta books, Mick Brown, Tim Flannery, The brothers Grimm, Isabel Allende, Richard Flanagan, Helen Garner, Robert McKee, Robyn Davidson, David Mitchell, Esther Freud, David Asleem, in no particular order.
What do you plan to share at Storyology?
How journalists can expand their portfolio and use their storytelling skills in other areas; tips and techniques on Writing Smarter; how to master the software Scrivener; why journalists still have a future – even if the industry is changing beyond recognition.
Where can we find you?
LinkedIn: Claire Scobie
Facebook: Claire Scobie Author
Vimeo and/or YouTube: The Pagoda Tree (Video)