I know this is a little bit cheeky—but I’ll be honest: I really, really, really, really want to get my book published.
I’ve started pitching it to some agents, and—in case they check my social media or website—I wanted to write this blog highlighting all the reasons why signing me is a great choice.
Admittedly, I am a bit of an introvert, so highlighting all the good parts of myself is terrifying. But I wanted to show that I am dedicated. That I will work my butt off. And that I will do whatever it takes.
Because this is my dream. And this book means so much to me, and to my community.
So, if you’re an agent (or a publisher) reading this: hello. Thank you so much for taking the time to consider me. I’m great, I promise!
But first: a little bit about my book
I returned to my beloved hometown of Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast, only to watch it burn in the horrific 2019/2020 Black Summer Bushfires.
My book is a gripping narrative non-fiction collection of stories that tells the tale of a New Year’s Eve unlike any other, providing a behind-the-scenes insight into the devastating blazes that destroyed 5.5 million hectares of land and 2,448 homes on Australia’s east coast alone.
Mixing my own story of evacuation and reporting as a freelance journalist mere metres away from the nearest blaze with the chilling stories of a dozen locals across the south coast, my book sheds a light on the good, the bad, the brave and the terrifying tales of surviving a natural disaster.
My book also features the stories of numerous local firefighters who saved our lives, and pays a tribute to the locals who lost their lives in the blazes.
Currently, I have:
- 30,000 words completed, including the first chapter and several other sample chapters
- More than a dozen interviews with locals who survived the blazes (with enough content for 80-90,000+ words)
- A detailed chapter outline
- A synopsis
- Comparison titles
- The support of a loving and resilient community
And a burning passion to release this story into the world. Please feel free to reach out if you would like further information.
Now, to the reasons why I’m awesome!
Reason 1: I’m already a highly experienced journalist
Believe it or not, but I actually already have a decade of professional writing experience under my belt.
I published my very first article at the tender age of 16, and never looked back. I have a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Wollongong, where I graduated with a distinction average and was in the top 15% of my class.
Since then, I’ve been published hundreds of times around the globe by major news outlets and organisations around the country, and across the globe. This includes:
- Daily Mail
- New York Post
- PopSugar Australia
- New Idea
- That’s Life
- Now to Love
- Daily Telegraph
- Herald Sun
- Women With Disabilities Australia
- Endometriosis Australia
- Cancer Council
- Women’s Health Victoria
And MUCH more—plus a whole bunch of exciting brands I’m not allowed to talk about due to non-disclosure agreements.
You can check out my portfolio page for a few examples.
Reason 2: I experienced what I’m writing about first-hand
I’m not just a journalist or random writer covering the Black Summer bushfires—I experienced them first-hand.
I felt that chaos. That terror. That helplessness. I saw the wrath with my own eyes, and felt its smoke choke my throat.
This gives me the ability to deeply connect with the stories I’m writing about: because I know exactly what they’re feeling. I know what it’s like to wake up one morning with the fire on your doorstep. I know what it’s like to evacuate, and wonder if you’ll ever see your home again. I know what it’s like to wonder if the people you love are alive.
My lived experience helps me to describe the events with accuracy, detail and spine-chilling emotion—all of which will make for a great book.
Reason 3: I care deeply about my community
I’ve put my heart and soul into this book—because the south coast is my home. I have such a deep connection to my community—and in fact, I’m writing this book because of my community.
When the fires tore through my hometown, I felt this overwhelming need to tell our stories, in our own voices. I was frustrated by big-time journalists who would swoop in for the scoop, never to return—and heartbroken that the world would never know what my community had been through. I began by writing articles for news outlets, but realised there was no way I could do these incredible stories justice in just 1000 words.
So, I started writing a book.
I won’t ever forget what we’ve been through. I won’t forget what we’ve lost—who we’ve lost. Because this isn’t just a job for me: it’s our lives. Our history. And I think my connection just makes this book all the more powerful.
Reason 4: I reported about the bushfires on-the-ground as a journalist
When the fires hit, we had no power and next to no reception. News outlets didn’t know what was happening, and the Fires Near Me app was dangerously inaccurate.
At one stage, even some of the firefighters had no communications and were left to leaving each other hand-written notes at the station.
I wanted to do something—anything—that could help. So, I used my journalism skills to report what was happening. I hoped that by providing accurate information, I might be able to help make a difference.
I shared posts and videos, and even wrote a few articles—including “What it was like inside the Batemans Bay firestorm”. I wrote it by hand on a scrap of paper, before driving to somewhere with reception, hot-spotting my phone and typing it up with my laptop’s last 20 minutes of charge, and emailing it to an editor.
I was also interviewed by i98 Radio and the BBC—including a live cross (but sadly, this was cut due to reception difficulties).
My other articles on the bushfires include:
- “Fiery’s hell: ‘I saved eight houses in one night and now I’m homeless’”
- “Australia’s Angels saving lives in the bushfires”
- “What it’s like to watch your hometown burn” (note: this was a 10 Daily article, which no longer exists. I still have a copy though!)
- “Aussie town says it feels forgotten one year after bushfires”
And a few more to be released.
Reason 5: my work on the bushfires has already received national and international coverage
My videos and images were used by news outlets all over the globe, including 7 News, News.com.au, BBC, Good Morning America and much more. In one of my videos, I called the fires “apocalyptic” and was widely quoted.
My work was also used in an episode of Four Corners, and I shared a little of my story in an episode of the BBC’s World’s Deadliest Weather.
I’ve already been in the media cycle—and by releasing a book on it, I know I can get a lot of great coverage. Speaking of coverage . . .
Reason 6: I have some pretty sweet marketing and PR skills
Having worked in journalism, marketing and communications for the last 10 years, I know a thing or two about marketing.
I’ve built my whole career around powerful storytelling and marketing, and have worked on a number of campaigns for other organisations. I’ve worked in government comms teams, newsrooms and even the Daily Mail—so I know how to make content go viral.
In fact, I’ve actually written a whole bunch of articles that have gone viral, including “Teen buys every cupcake in shop after customer fat-shames her” which was syndicated dozens and dozens of times around the globe.
I can write my own press releases, do my own marketing and PR campaigns and have a lot of great contacts in the media—all of which will help me sell this book.
When it’s released, I will pitch as many articles as I can write for major news outlets around the globe. I’ll reach out to all my contacts. I’ll apply for podcasts, speaking events and any other interview opportunities. I can even write my own award applications.
My journalism, PR and marketing skills will be an absolute asset and will complement your team’s marketing. I also have my whole community behind me—and because many of them are directly involved, they’ll be able to assist with marketing as well. I’ll even create a media kit for the people I’ve interviewed, and am happy to coach and support them for their own media opportunities (if they want to).
Reason 7: I have already started marketing this book
I’ve written oodles of articles where I’ve mentioned my book, and have been on podcasts and radio shows where I’ve already promoted my work.
I’ve even talked about it at my speaker debut at the 2021 National Young Writers’ Festival (that’s right—I’m already speaking at national events, and that’s without a book published. Imagine what I can do when I have the finished product in my hot little hands!).
Reason 8: I have a social media following—and have strategic experience in growing social media accounts
I’ve been active on social media for the past decade, steadily building my follower base. Across my platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, I have just under 5.5k followers. Including my personal accounts, this number jumps to 6.6k.
Many of these people are highly invested in my book, and have commented their support since I started the project.
As someone who used to work in social media at one of the biggest news outlets in the world (Daily Mail), and as someone who managed a forensic mental health organisation’s social media for almost three years, I am confident I will be able to continue to grow and engage with my followers.
In just 12 months, I managed to grow my previous organisation’s Twitter by 52%, and their LinkedIn by 105%, thanks to a social media strategy I wrote. I was also able to increase website reach by 331% during the same period. While working at Daily Mail Australia, I also helped grow their Facebook page from 400,000 to 800,000 in six months.
So, I’m not too shabby! I’ll even join Tik Tok and other social media platforms to get the word out even further.
Reason 9: I’m not a one-trick pony
As a creative, I have SO MANY IDEAS for future books and projects—some of which, I’ve started writing.
Because I’m only 26, I have a lot of years of solid book writing ahead of me. That means there’s a lot of time for me to continue to grow and flourish. And not to toot my horn too much, but I think I already have some pretty great skills—including journalism, copywriting, editing, speaking and more. Imagine where I could be in another decade!
Reason 10: I’ve already had some of my work published in a book
Aside from my extensive journalism experience, I’ve also written part of a book!
I wrote a short excerpt for Kathy Divine’s book Golden Age Politics on ethical journalism. So I’m not a total newbie to the author thing!
Reason 11: I’ve won awards!
I’ve worked my butt off my entire life—and, it has paid off. I topped my classes in high school, was ranked in the top 15% of my journalism degree, have won various scholarships, and this year, I was recognised with TWO awards.
I won Silver in the Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the 2021 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, with a large portion of my application centred around my work in the bushfires.
I was also the winner of the 2021 Clever Copywriting School Member of the Year.
Reason 12: I’ll be giving back to my community
I would really like to give something back to my community. So, when I get this book published, I plan to donate money back to my local community—especially to those who are still without homes after the fires.
By writing articles and sharing fundraisers, I’ve already assisted in raising almost $20,000 for my local community. It would be great to do more.
Reason 13: You’ll have the chance to help shape this book
While I’m almost halfway through writing my book, it would be great to have input from industry professionals—which means you have the opportunity to help shape something that is so meaningful to me and my community.
It’s a good feeling knowing you’re helping people feel heard and seen.
Reason 14: I am a DELIGHT
As you may have guessed, I have a pretty great sense of humour, and I believe in kindness, always—which makes me great to work with.
It feels a bit weird saying that about myself, but I do have dozens of testimonials from clients and past people I’ve worked with who can vouch for my skills, and what it’s like to work with me.
You can check out my testimonials here.
Reason 15: you’ll be making my dream come true
I’ve wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember. I’d proudly tell everyone in school I’d one day write a book. Eventually, I decided to jump into journalism, because I figured it had better job prospects.
I love journalism, but I am ready to take that next step up in my career. I’m ready to finally chase my dreams.
Are you interested in my work? Please feel free to get in touch. Thank you so much for your time. I can’t wait to hear from you.