I am a Sydney-based writer, passionate about stories in all their forms. I write picture books and junior fiction novels, and review books for Buzz Words (a children’s book blog and e-zine). Obsessions include books, blogs, podcasts, good food, coffee and travel.
I love how children’s books spark the imagination, unlock creativity and transport readers to other worlds. I still remember the magic they brought to my own childhood (I swear I was really in that Magic Faraway Tree!), and I’m loving delving back into the world of words and ideas to inspire young readers.
In 2015, I completed a Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) through Deakin University, majoring in Children’s Literature. I’ve also completed a BA in Media Communication and several children’s writing workshops at the NSW Writers’ Centre. I’m a member of SCBWI, the CBCA and the NSW Writers’ Centre, and two invaluable critique groups where we workshop each others’ manuscripts.
Competition results to date:
- 3rd place, non-fiction picture book category, CYA Competition 2016
- 1st place, junior fiction ‘first page’ competition, Buzz Words 2016
- Special Mention Award, unpublished picture book competition, Kids’ Book Review 2015
- Top 10 (junior fiction category), top 20 (picture book category), CYA Competition 2015
- 5th place, short story e-book anthology competition, Creative Kids’ Tales 2014
Competitions like these are a wonderful way to receive feedback on stories to help improve them. I am a huge fan of the aforementioned organisations for all that they do to encourage new writers and spread the children’s book love.
Whether it’s transforming over-complicated, jargon-filled content into engaging copy, or creating editorial to reflect a brand’s unique voice, I enjoy working with words in all their formats. I have written and edited marketing materials such as website content, brochures, newsletter articles and city guides for organisations including Websalad, Insider Journeys (ex-Travel Indochina), Tourism Malaysia, Hotel Cambodiana and Raffles Hotels & Resorts.
Magazine + online writing
I have penned everything from feature articles and columns to interviews and travel tips for magazines and websites. My writing (and some photography) has appeared in print publications including AsiaLIFE Cambodia, AsiaLIFE HCMC (Vietnam), Tiger Tales Magazine (Singapore), CLEO Australia, Sydney’s Child Magazine, The Straits Times (Singapore), Tropical magazine (Thailand) and Touchstone Magazine (Cambodia).
I have also been published online on Travelwire Asia, Any Arena, Pocket Cultures, Bootsnall, About.com: Southeast Asia Travel, National Geographic Traveler’s Intelligent Travel blog, a Tripbase e-book, and on various travel blogs. I’ve been interviewed about expat life, travel, writing and blogging for publications such as MamaMia.com. For writing samples, please visit my Portfolio page.
Travel + expat experiences
I have lived and worked in Cambodia, Vietnam and Canada, eloped to Paris and given birth in Bangkok (twice!). I’ve also traversed Asia on a long-term journey, where I fell in love with Sri Lanka’s people, food and landscapes, blissful beach days on Thailand’s Koh Chang, China’s sheer scale and the vibrancy of Vietnam. Other favourite destinations include New York City, Rome, Barcelona and Mexico.
While living in Phnom Penh, I became Deputy Editor of AsiaLIFE Cambodia Magazine, which involved penning pieces on food, shopping, wellness, people and travel, and contributing to regular columns on news, events and restaurant openings. Highlights included seeking out elusive freshwater dolphins in far-flung rural Cambodia, a prophetic encounter with a feng shui master, and interviewing diverse personalities from fashion designers to a Cambodian hip hop mogul to Irish singer Ronan Keating. In Phnom Penh I also worked as Resident Editor for travel guidebook company LUXE City Guides, updating two editions of their Cambodia & Laos guide.
Next, I moved to Vietnam, where I mastered manoeuvring a pram around the colourful chaos of my local market and wrote a Saigon hotspots column for Tiger Airways’ inflight magazine. I also blogged and wrote for regional publications and websites, and drank lots of cafe sua da.
I first began blogging in 2003 while on a long-term backpacking trip around Asia, Then, blogging was in its infancy and people would provide feedback along the lines of ‘I love that internet thing you do!’ My over-enthusiastic musings along with shots capturing my Thai fisherman pants-wearing years are now thankfully lost in the depths of cyberspace.
When I was living in Cambodia later in the 2000s I started another blog, A Girl in Asia. The world of travel blogs was just beginning to explode, and I discovered people were hungry for tips on where to go and what to eat, beyond what they found in mainstream media. My blog soon became a go-to source for expats and travellers in Southeast Asia, was syndicated on US news site GlobalPost.com and led to several paid writing opportunities. It then morphed into Sydney food-focused blog Devoured (when I moved back to Australia). Both are now rolled together into one simpler place – here! Topics still include travel and food, plus all things writing and snapshots of life.
If you would like to get in touch, please visit the Contact page, or email me at liz [DOT] ledden [AT] gmail [DOT] com